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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

What a mistake this would be...

Today while reading the news, I came across an article regarding artic oil exploration. I have always been opposed to this and have trouble understanding why this would be necessary.

According to the Defenders of Wildlife website, oil production in these areas would not occur for at least ten years. This would not help to eliminate our current oil shortages. Another thing to consider is how people such as George Bush would personally benefit from this, if passed. In the 2000 presidential campaign, oil companies were in the top ten largest contributors to the Bush campaign. While Bush's assets were put into a trust when he became president, don't you think he will go back to supporting oil companies when he is no longer in office. Besides these points, you have to consider the overall damage that would occur to the environment.

In my mind, the money and time would be better spent on finding other souces of energy. We need to end our dependence on fossil fuels. Eventually we will have used all of the fossil fuels that are available. Should we destroy a beautiful part of the world so that people can drive SUV's? We should familiarize ourselves with how we can help. If you would life some info on other sources of energy, check out Renewable Energy Policy Project.

I have been up on this soapbox for long enough. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you. It is important that we solve some of these problems not only for ourselves, but for our children and our children's children. The world really is a beautiful place that we should strive to protect.


Blogger The Management said...

Ahhh, one of the most sacred places to the left is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Those are awesome photos of Alaska, they really make it look like it’s a place filled with flowing green meadows, burgeoning with endangered wildlife. I really do love Alaska and picture myself living there one day. Though you did forgot to mention that the oil-rich part, well, its a barren frozen, wasteland.
Nice use of photos though. Using pictures to invoke an emotional response is a good way to get your point across. If I were to do the same I would have pictures of hungry kids (believe it or not, gas is used in the production and delivery of food stuffs, when costs go up so do prices), unemployment lines (petroleum isn’t just for SUVs, we make plastics, roads, medical equipment and all kinds of other stuff from it. If the costs go up, less people can buy those products, less people needed to make them, more people unemployed), and dead old people (those with a fixed income are less likely to be able to afford heating costs if they skyrocket).
However, I don’t like to argue from the heart. After all “The heart is very long in receiving the convictions forced upon it by reason” (Abigal Adams) and I don’t like that advantage or adversary. Logic should reign.
With oil over $50 a barrel and gas over two bucks a gallon, the United States relies too heavily on foreign sources of oil. That’s pretty much the heart of the matter. It is estimated that 11 billion barrels of oil lie underneath the frozen tundra of ANWR and it could be tapped without any real environmental damage.
Why do you want to deny Americans the ability to become less reliant on foreign oil and to pay lower prices at the pump. Your reference to “the money and time would be better spent on finding other sources of energy” implies that no research is being done. I assure you that work is being done and that money and time are being spent on it. To many industries require energy to be apart of some vast oil company conspiracy. Sony would jump up and down if they perfected their micro fuel cell (though the stock would most likely only go up). Type “solar cell” into Google and see how many hits you receive. The problem is none of these technologies are there yet, nor will they be viable for the immediate future. I agree with you that we should move away from fossil fuels, the thing is, we are and we will. Most of the arguments made by environmentalists are less aimed at real environmental considerations than there are about capitalism (see what happens when you let anyone into your meetings, Commies jump in and take it over…that’s for another day though).
Also, it’s not just people with those damn SUVs. It’s our whole economy, and more importantly it’s about choices. Maybe if we just passed a law and told people what kind of cars they can and can’t drive! Then we could pass some laws saying you can’t work more than 5 miles from home (that’s a lot of gas saved there). Then we could tell everyone that they can only have one car per family (mandatory car pooling, could save us lots and lots of gas).
The fact is, people can do everything I mentioned above, but choose not to. You and Bob are two of the most socially conscious people out there and neither one of you walks to work, living where you live is just too important. What happens if gas shoots up to $6.00 a gallon and it simply costs to much for you to commute? Why should you have to make that choice.
By the way ... do you know just how much of ANWR would be affected by the drilling? The area where the drilling would occur is but 8% of the entire refuge. The other 92% wouldn't be touched. Did you know that the small section of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge where the drilling is to take place was actually set aside for that specific purpose when ANWR was established.
Do you want to see the price of crude oil, and thus the price of gas at the pump, drop the floor overnight? Just let the congress go ahead and authorize the exploration in ANWR. The Oil Sheiks will immediately lower their prices in order to forestall a rapid implementation of any exploration or oil recovery that could cut into their market share. If you thank that’s bad… well… that’s for another day too.
OPEC's acting secretary general was quoted recently that crude oil could hit $80 a barrel within two years. At $50 a gallon, gasoline prices shot up 30 cents a gallon, to around $2.09 in the Midwest for regular. Oil is at $53 a barrel right now....imagine what a gallon of gasoline will cost when it hits $80 (hello, hungry kids, unemployment lines, and dead old people… wait, I said I wouldn’t do that).

You asked why we must do this? Not relying on OPEC is why.

(And you thought you wouldn’t have anything to say that people would read :)

3:01 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Wow, you manage to superimpose your over-simplified ideal on reality once again. It's kind of amazing how much sense it seams like you're making when you deal in idealizations where no one has any responsibility to others (people and creatures alike) and we only have to look out for our own best interests. If you called the shots, Alaska would end up looking like New Jersey!

4:08 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

While you say that the area to be drilled is a barren wasteland, it is part of an eco-system. In 1984 and 1985 the government did seismic exploration in the area, by 1999 there were still visible signs that this testing was done. There are also other concerns for animal welfare.

While I do consider that having our own sources of oil will benefit the things that you mentioned, hungry kids, etc., who is to say that the oil prices will not be just as high. After all, the companies who drill for this oil, will be in the business of making money.

The "freedoms" that we excercise today may be mortgaging the future for our children. I take the oil today, mess up the environment and say "Oh well, it was might right to do so." I am not sure if I am comfortable with that.

As far as SUV's go, they are a huge waist of valuable resources and are an environmental nightmare. While it is your right to drive one, maybe you should have to pay a special tax or something for owning one. Let's face it, a hummer is a much bigger drain on resorces as say a honda civic might be. A hummer gets about 17 mph on the highway while a civic gets about 30. They emit greater amounts of harmful toxins into the air and put a bigger strain on our road systems. As you mentioned before, oil is also used in building roads.

Bob and I do not walk to work. First of all, I don't work, so I don't use gas for the purpose of getting to work. Bob does commute, but when it was time for him to buy a new car, fuel efficency was a top priority. When he was able to do so, he did take public transportation.

As I stated before, my big belief is that we need to rely less on fossil fuels, because when they are gone they are truly gone. I really want to see other areas of energy explored. While maybe they have put money into researching the other venues, in my mind it is not enough.

For now, lets just agree to disagree. No matter what you say I will think you are full of crap and vice versa.

11:05 PM  

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