Friday, October 24, 2008

Only Roadkill On The Mega-Profit Superhighway

Has the fossil fuel industry consistently schemed to rev up profits?

Are you a slave to a system manipulated to keep power generation centralized?

Are Native Americans still being treated like Indians?

Are America's ideals destined to be roadkill?

I have a confession. George W. Bush and I have something in common. We both love to ride mountain bikes. There's nothing like getting outdoors for a good ride in the fresh air and natural surroundings. It only makes sense for mountain bikers to be environmentalists. But, “President” George W. Bush is about as far from an environmentalist as anyone can get.

For instance, his appointed bureaucrats are poised to trash Moab, Utah – one of the best places to mountain bike in the country.

The Bush BLM is fast-tracking six “resource management plans” for the Moab area. The BLM wants to officially designate over 17,000 miles of dirt routes in the wild areas in Southern Utah near Moab. They also want to open 80% of 11 million acres for oil and gas drilling – by December (just before Bush leaves office). A mountain biker wouldn't do that. Is Bush being blackmailed? Who really runs this Country?

Follow the money...

When you initially consider the two things the BLM intends to promote (off road vehicles and oil exploration), they seem unrelated. But remember, Bush Jr. has a lot of oil men buddies/backers. When you look at the two from an oil man's perspective, they aren't so unrelated after all. These are both ways to maximize oil profits. Here is an opportunity to get as much cheap oil as possible, and an opportunity to get people to use as much oil as possible. The oil companies must see this as a good thing. And an awful lot of people too lazy to walk (and likely too lazy to think) have been tricked into believing this is about freedom. No, this is about corporate anarchy.

I'll tell you what a good thing is...

Better yet, I'll show you.

A good thing is when we don't have to toil to make these fossil fuel companies even richer – while we poison ourselves just to get around.

There are people who have already escaped the oil addiction cycle. It can be done.

When you combine renewable power generated locally with that shared on long distance power lines and that stored in battery powered vehicles, renewable power becomes far more reliable. Renewable power can be shared – like music on the internet.

Which means that power can be reliably generated at home – and doesn't have to be minded or drilled. That's what the fossil fuel industry doesn't want us to know. That's the technology the fossil fuel industry hopes to marginalize. What else can you expect the fossil fuel industry to do? Change? Not without a fight. The profits are too obscene. Even if they know that global warming is destroying the balance of our environment, their system is geared to keep the cash coming in. Expect them to fight dirty. Expect them to lie. Expect them to pay off politicians. Expect them to buy patents, or even buy off companies; and shut down competing industries. Nothing is below elements within the fossil fuel industry.

It's time to get past the denial stage. Fossil fuels are bad for us. With them, we release 30,000,000,000 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide a year from the ground into the air. That's got to hurt... in fact, all signs are that we are right in the middle of the biggest extinction event since the end of the dinosaurs.

Maybe that's why oil men like Bush Jr. don't seem to care about Moab. Maybe they believe the end of the world is coming anyway. Maybe they believe that God will see them destroying things here and will (senselessly) invite them into heaven to destroy things there too? MAYBE NOT! Then again, maybe the oil men just figure they'll be dead by the time the bills come due, and don't care about the rest of us.

  • So, just how long has this been going on? Well, there are some who are convinced that Prohibition was actually part of a strategy, schemed up by no less than John Rockefeller, for oil to take over the automobile market. Think about it. Americans like to drink. Most of the members of the American Congress back in 1917 liked to drink to. And prohibition was a ban on alcohol manufacturing, not consumption. Alcohol (biofuel) was used to fuel cars before gasoline. The transition to gasoline happened during prohibition (you couldn't get alcohol). What started it all? John Rockefeller donated 4 million dollars to a temperance society. That's equivalent to 60 million dollars today. Evidently; the oil industry has been manipulating our political system ever since it was powerful enough to get away with it.

  • So, just how big a problem is it? These massive corporations have taken on a life of their own, and don't intend to die, even if humanity does. Alternative energy has been marginalized for the past 28 years. (I've mentioned the dirty tricks the fossil fuel industry has used in previous posts.) If you remember the 1970's, you'll remember that at no time since has renewable energy had any where near the political support it did back when Jimmy Carter was president. Massive campaign contributions and unprincipled propaganda efforts have seen to that. (Anyone with a TV today might assume the oil companies have switched over to renewables already, if we didn't know any better.) And many within the populous either have been convinced that there isn't a problem, or that there isn't anything they can do about it. Our civilization is in high gear to self-destruction.

  • So, just how bad is it for some? Since the 1950's, the US Government has been forcing an exodus of over 12,000 Navajo people from their reservation – for Peabody Energy to mine coal there. “Through this forced relocation, the Federal Government has destroyed the subsistence lifestyle of thousands of Navajos, uprooted whole communities, and left the Navajo Nation and Navajo people to bear much of the burden of addressing the extraordinary economic, social, and psychological consequences of relocation.” And now, after all this, John McCain, chairman of the Senate committee on Indian Affairs; is campaigning to put an end to Navajo relocation payments.

I'll bet you thought this all ended back in the 1800's. The white man chasing Indians off their land, and offering them nothing but empty promises in exchange. Well... it's still happening, but it's actually worse now. The white man's corporations contaminate the ground and pollute the air – when there are far cleaner, safer, and less oppressive options (that cost just a little bit more).

This could all be avoided if we relied on renewable energy.

One might conclude that the highway to hell is powered by fossil fuels.

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