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11 July 2008 @ 02:43 pm
A question for the minds available.  
Anyone and everyone, feel free to chime in on this one, because I am truly confused.

We've got a government right now that is waging a so-called "war on terror." We've had four different administrations in a row pursuing another war, this time against illegal drugs. Do you know where most the money fueling the Middle East has come from in terms of sales/exports? Oil and opiates. American dollars have been sustaining the peoples and governments that make up the "Islamo-facists." The majority of oil used in the United States comes from countries and regions inimical to us either directly or through support of those who do directly threaten us (think Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, et cetera), with 64% of imported crude coming from twelve countries not counted amongst our allies.* We've got limited oil fields that we could be tapping under the land and oceans of the <strike>motherland</strike> oops <strike>fatherland</strike> nope sorry homeland, but they are indeed limited. Drilling for oil under US dominion is a stop-gap measure at best.

With all that in mind, here's my question: Why isn't energy independence the single most important issue for the American government? You've got environmental concerns? Burning petrol accounts for a staggering amount of both local smog and longer-term damage to the atmosphere. Clean-burning fuels solve that issue. You're worried that we've hit peak oil and are about to brown out in terms of supply versus demand for energy? An alternative, renewable resource would solve that. Our military runs on two things right now: food and gasoline. Our enemies supply the gasoline and we're importing food while US fields lie fallow, just to shore up the price of foodstuffs grown by conglomerates like Monsanto. Why the hell are we leaving ourselves in this co-dependent, vulnerable position?

Explain it to me, people. Why is total energy independence not Job #1 for defending American interests?

* - Edited for correction and clarification.
 
 
Current Mood: honestly confused
Current Music: Bill Hicks - "Non-smokers, Gifts of Forgiveness"
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Alathaniel A'Tharenalathaniel on July 11th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
"They haven't been taught to look into the future, they don't have a govermental or corporate model to follow when it comes to looking further than the end of 3 years at best, and so everyone thinks in terms of "today" only."

Exactly. And those of us inteligent enough to look ahead seem, all to often, drowned out by those who demand instant gratification - and get it in the form of feel-good politics that only makes the situation worse.
(no subject) - twfarlan on July 11th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on July 11th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Yep. sounds about right. - journeyrose on July 13th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 11th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
I don't enjoy form letters enough to write any of the current office-holders or aspirants.
Jeremiahjfargo on July 11th, 2008 08:26 pm (UTC)
The majority of oil used in the United States comes from Middle Eastern sources

Actually, you're mistaken.

Our top importer is Canada, third is Mexico. Saudi Arabia is second, but dwarfed completely by non-Middle-Eastern sources. Iraq comes in at 6th place as the next Middle Eastern country to provide us with oil.

We don't get as much oil from that part of the world as most people seem to think.

Source
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 11th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
Quote me accurately:

The majority of oil used in the United States comes from Middle Eastern sources, with supplemental levels coming from other countries and regions where we're particularly unpopular...

Using that, sources inimical to us account for around 64% of imported crude oil.
(no subject) - jfargo on July 11th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on July 11th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jfargo on July 11th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on July 11th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jfargo on July 11th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on July 11th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Life Rebooted: apocalypsehopeforyou on July 11th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)

1) Because the government has been investing in smart bombs and military projects and bases for eons. We have the infrastructure in place to go to war and stay at war for some time to come.

2) Because we have a big bad ass military, and allies who need access to the same resources we do... even if they consume less, they still consume oil and don't have their own reserves, either. The US does their dirty work for them.

3) Because we don't have the infrastructure in place to do huge amounts of sustainable energy research NOW. And the need for these resources is immediate. Even if we cut a fraction out of military spending and shuttled it off to NASA and energy projects to solve the problem, it takes years to develop technology that can be mass marketed and mass produced on an efficient economic scale.

4) Because our government and our country is a capitalist republic. It's about making money, and making profit off resources as they become more scarce or in great demand. And the money can already be made, now, without having to find the angel investors.

5) Because our government and culture at large is not invested so much in the public good, public works, or projects that may not initially return a profit and may in fact run a deficit... or may never simply be about profit. See "tragedy of the commons".

6) Because conservative politics have had a role in toning down environmental science warnings and dismissing global warming as a result of our mass consumption of fossil fuels and dependency on them. They had reports from leading environmental scientists censored during the Bush administration and possibly before. If official reports don't hold the truth, then official policies reflect them.

There's more, but that's off the top of my head for now.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 11th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
So, no rational reasons.
(no subject) - hopeforyou on July 11th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - twfarlan on July 11th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hopeforyou on July 11th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ummm... no... not really... - journeyrose on July 13th, 2008 02:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: ummm... no... not really... - twfarlan on July 13th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - alathaniel on July 11th, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Life Rebootedhopeforyou on July 11th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
More evidence of insanity:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=5357350

posted 1 hour ago.

Whee.
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 11th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC)
Dammit, science cannot be dictated by political fiat.
(no subject) - jfargo on July 11th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - livethlfe on July 12th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Skye: bluebonnetspagawne on July 11th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
There is more than ample oil in East and West Texas to last for many more years to come. The shortage is a line of BS started by the big oil companies to boost their profits, and it started back in the late 1040's.

Yes, we need other sources of energy, to protect our planet, it is the only one we have and we are doing a very good job of completely trashing it.
Gramalkingramalkin on July 11th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
This has a lot to do with it:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/2277298/President-George-Bush-'Goodbye-from-the-world's-biggest-polluter'.html

L A: Down and Seriouslouisadkins on July 11th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
I find most of what I would say is already said. There are those in a position of power and prominence that benefit from us following this tack, and unless they sail into a hurricane they are gonna see the winds in their sails as being too good to let go of. They aren't interested in where the wind blows them, only that it "is" doing so, and they don't wanna break because they don't know if "they" will be the ones at the head, next time.
Reana Bladereana on July 11th, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Keep in mind also that the lobbyists for the oil and auto industries *want* to keep the status quo -- the auto industry in particular makes tons of money selling vehicles that make considerably less than optimal mileage. Also keep in mind that the current and past administration has ties to Halliburton, who by and large has a HUGE stake in the oil industry.

That being said, our government, by and large, has stopped caring about the people and the future of our country, and is far more focused on their own power games and pocketbooks. My opinion is that the current administration needs a nuke and pave.
Noah Singman: Noah and Conniensingman on July 12th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
Energy independence isn't as sexy or newsworthy as crazed Muslim bombers and dope fiends until gas prices pinch enough.

In any event, it is not the job of the federal government to pursue, or in any way be involved in, "energy independence." See the US Constitution, Article I (Section 8) and Amendment X. The war on drugs is every bit as unconstitutional, as is most of the "war on terror."
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 12th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
It isn't constitutionally the business of the Federal government to do a lot of the things it does, and yet time and reality have gone ahead and have them happen. Congress has taken upon itself the ability to decide what will and won't happen in terms of interstate commerce and transit, to support one business over another, to declare that monopolies are not to be allowed unless apparently it benefits them directly to support a hegemony such as is represented by the not-quite-competing oil industry players, et cetera.

Any time there is the chance to help the populace at large in a way that is not fiscally beneficial to the powers that be, we see those powers using Congress against progress. Clean air laws, pollution regulation, fuel efficiency technologies, these are just examples of what wealthy businessmen have used lobbyists to forestall or defeat completely.
(no subject) - nsingman on July 12th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
craigers01 on July 23rd, 2008 06:07 pm (UTC)
It's all because of women. They led me astray from my plans for the world. Plans which would have left us with all the resources (under glass in the the case of the middle east) under the control of one unified world government.