The Enemy of the Good (eideteker) wrote,
The Enemy of the Good

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Lunchtime ramblings

I am so sick and tired of propaganda. Equating an excess of supply (housing crisis) with an excess of demand (oil crisis) is just plain irresponsible.

Here's my comment, which probably will never see the light of day on CNN's site (since I pretty much failed at the "on-topic" and "questionable" criteria of their comment guidelines):
Unfortunately, there are some crucial differences in the problems with the housing market and oil. The housing collapse was caused by a surplus of supply, not a surplus of demand. We can build more houses. And while we can build more houses, we can't always drill more oil. It's not about running out of oil; it's about the cost to extract the oil rising. We are not discovering new deposits fast enough, and the deposits we are discovering are smaller and smaller.

We've enjoyed cheap oil for a long time now. But everything has a cost; the cost we pay for artificially cheap oil is the whiplash in pricing we're currently experiencing. Yes, the dollar may rebound, with the help of some smart (and long-term) economic decisions. But supply will never rebound again. Oil may get cheaper in the short term, but just as critics of Global Warming miss; cooler weather today does not equate to cooler climate. Oil may get cheaper, but it will never be cheap again. And unless the US stops chasing the quick buck with short-term economic policy, we will start falling to the back of a very long line for the oil that remains.

We've had cheap oil for so long, we've lost touch with the real cost of it. The cost in terms of suburban sprawl we can no longer afford to support (see: housing crisis). The cost in terms of foreign policy entanglements and unnecessary wars. The cost in terms of a weakening dollar, and the eventual loss of our superpower status. We can not even conceive of the true cost of gas; we're sure prices are going to fall "any day now." But check the prices in Britain; we've got a long way we can slide yet as far as gas prices are concerned. We're only beginning to catch up with the real-world dollar-value of petroleum.

Start living long-term. Work closer to home. Get a smaller car, and get the kids a bicycle so they can get themselves to soccer practice. Develop your town center. Rediscover walking, and walkable towns/cities. Stop living in a fantasy world of cheap oil. Because even if oil prices come down a bit for now, they're still going to climb. We've had 30+ years to prepare since the last gas crisis, and we've squandered them. Fund research, not wars. Stop being so selfish and think of your children.

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