June 19, 2008

The American Consumer...

...is an idiot. No offense intended, all consumers worldwide are idiots. We are all idiots. OK, maybe not idiots, but irrational decision makers. We make short term decisions based on current needs, wants, and especially, on personal hardships, often without (or with much less than prudent) concern for future repercussions. This is bad for long term stability, both economic and ecologic.

Kate Wing over at Blogfish puts it quite plainly, and quite well, why US oil exploration expansions won't help us fuel our SUVs.

Not to get political, but it's getting quite irritating hearing people repeatedly clamor for loosening the strings to allow more drilling in the US, as if it will solve all our problems and help us pay for our children's' college. It isn't regulation that's hurting your purse, "it's the economy, stupid."

And while we're at it, stop pushing for tax breaks and pricing subsidies on gasoline...that only exacerbates the situation. To artificially lower the price only serves to expedite the exhaustion of the resource. I don't have the answer, but we should be looking to curb our petroleum demand, not increase it.

7 comments:

The Trout Underground said...

Instead of showering oil companies with tax breaks and corporate welfare, we could be lowering the cost of solar, populating rooftops with small solar installations (supplying about half a house's energ), modifying our hydro to make it truly renewable, and doing projects like wind farms the right way.

Sadly, those are long-term solutions, and therefore off the radar of policymakers.

FoulHooked said...

And that, sir, is why you are "at the top rung of fly fishing’s blogs."

When you might lose your job every 2, 4 or 6 years by making superficially unpopular decisions, sustainability is low on the priority list...and forget about it if you're an appointee of one of those 2/4/6'ers concerned with popularity, you could be gone in an instant if you dissent.

thanks for chekin in Tom

AnglerNorth said...

What about stopping the speculation?

Half the problem we have now is speculation pushing up the price. OPEC _IS_ saying that emerging markets are going to start bearing down on supply, but emerging markets are EMERGING.

It's like all of a sudden a few months ago someone turned on the switch, and instead of "emerging" those foreign markets were just "on". I would not call this a gradual increase in price.

I'm not saying that sticking with oil is the answer, and I'm REALLY not saying that expanding drilling/exploration inside the US is a good idea. But there are other factors that we could probably look at short-term that might help.

Long term you guys are definitely on the money.

Margaret said...

I am a big fan of personally cutting consumption since I can't personally enact legislation nor am I capable of amazing inventions. Although not enough change has been made, I am glad that vehicles are becoming a bit more fuel-efficient. But, we have totally ignored construction vehicles and mowers. The average lawn mower put out more CO2 than a personal vehicle! That seems insane to me. If we can make our vehicles more efficient, how easy should it be to alter lawn mowers? Yes, we only use them twice a week (here in FL) but we more millions of acres of land tons of it is government lands. Mowers contracted in FL are required to mow their area 75 times per year, whether or not it's necessary. Anyhow, at the very least, I wish there were fuel-efficient lawn mowers on the market for the average consumer to chose. grrrr

Alex said...

I'd be curious to know how much gas would be if the dollar kept pace with other currency, the pound for example.

FoulHooked said...

My solution to the lawnmower issue...NEVER MOW AGAIN! No irrigation req's either (once established at least).

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/garden/07230.html

Margaret said...

i'm all for not mowing, except i'd have to buy the kids waders so they could play in the back yard. poisonous snakes and all.