read, think, evolve

Volume 1 Number 11                                                                        June 24, 2000

Who should I annoy this week?  (Considering how few people actually visit this web site I suppose I'm not actually annoying anyone, as no one is listening.)

In the past couple of weeks I have found myself annoyed by two topics in the news.  The first was a couple articles which attempted to make global warming sound like a good thing.  The second topic was politicians falling all over each other trying to come out in favor of lower fuel costs.

I recognize that most people in the U.S. and in many other places in the world have become dependent on automobiles for transportation and on the trucking industry to keep the market distribution system going.  I know it isn't popular to say that fuel prices should be even higher (e.g., the current taxes don't even begin to cover the costs of cleaning up the impact of motor vehicles and need to go much higher in order to clean up the mess created by vehicles.), but we are running out of time and the cleanup needs to begin.  We in the U.S. have been paying pretty much the lowest fuel costs in the world and that isn't going to continue, and in my opinion it shouldn't continue.  We need to start doing something about the mess and the first step is to charge the full cost of gasoline to consumers.  Maybe that doesn't sound like a nice thing, but it is the only way we are going to finally see changes made.  Once the full cost of gasoline is in the marketplace, there will be motivation to find alternative fuels, non-motorized modes of transportation will be used more often, and the usage of public transit systems will increase.  (Sadly, human nature is such that we rarely change much unless life becomes painful and motivates us to look for new alternatives.)

The reality is that even if we limit burning fossil fuels for transportation to the developed portions of the world, the ecosystem can't handle it.  We can't limit it  though and fuel consumption will continue to expand around the world until we wake up and dump billions into scientific research to find alternative energy sources which don't harm the ecosystem.  It can be done, it can be done soon, and once it is done our cost of living will go down.  (There will be initial outlays to replace old technology with new technology, but once that is done there won't be monthly utility bills to pay and no one will ever have to stop at service stations except for repairs.)

Why do we fear change?  (If we continue along the road we travel all will be lost, and it's time to make radical changes.)

Why is it we would rather pollute the earth than to invest in the science that would bring solutions?  (Part of the reason, I suppose, is that lots of powerful corporations and individuals have a vested interest in continuing the status quo (e.g., demand for oil and gas would diminish radically, we wouldn't need utility companies, vehicle manufacturers would have to retool to build new methods, ...).  Since they own the politicians, government isn't doing anything.  Since they own the news media, we aren't going to even hear much about it.)

Why are we so lazy?  (We could be so much more, if we just applied ourselves; but we tend to find an easy quiet rut and just stay there.)  

Well, I suppose I should get back to grasping at straws and try to find some way to get some traffic for the web site.  (My hand hurts, but I have no real choice but to press on and pray the web site makes some money before my hand becomes a useless hunk of meat.)

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