Shuck and Jive

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Meaning of Life, Part 32

If the U.S. government and its citizens decided to launch a new energy system and have it in place within twenty years, not only would the energy system be built, but the rest of the world would be forced to follow along. Instead, American policymakers are too paralyzed to act, terrified that to change U.S. energy patterns would threaten the nation's economy and geopolitical status--not to mention outrage tens of millions of American voters....

Critics place much of the blame on a political system corrupted by big energy interests--companies desperate to protect billions of dollars in existing energy technologies and infrastructure. An equal measure of blame, however, must fall on the "average" American consumer, who each year seems to know less, and care less, about how much energy he or she uses, where it comes from, or what its true costs are. Americans, it seems, suffer profoundly from what may soon be known as energy illiteracy: most of us understand so little about our energy economy that we have no idea that it has begun to fall apart. p. 15-6

Paul Roberts, The End of Oil: On the Edge of a Perilous New World


  1. Whenever I hear someone say that we simply can't afford to "deal with" climate change or such things as our oil dependence, I like to mention Y2K. We really have no idea how Y2K might have affected our global economy or our everyday lives. Why? Because we treated it as a serious threat and worked to prevent it - globally and locally.

    I heard many people complain that it was a "boondoggle" that wasted time, money and resources. However, I also remind people that NOT ONE business went under as a result of complying with necessary changes to prevent shut-down from Y2K. Not one. And really, more businesses were created - whole new areas of technology brought into mainstream use (online storage, anyone?) due primarily to a concerted effort by industry to protect itself against this nebulous threat.

    Certainly it was a costly undertaking, and it changed the way many companies did business - for a while, at least.

    This is how we need to think of climate change and our energy use.

  2. It is true that "we the people" have to realize that we are to blame for the destruction of the environment. It is convenient to blame others but it is us. Ouch! That hurts. But we need to face the truth.

    Thanks for that painful and important breminder, John. Your blogging ministry is so prophetic and so important. Thanks.

    love, john + + “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” – Mohandas Gandhi