Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rising Fuel Prices, A Wakeup Call

Burning oil fields in Kuwait

Some people watch the stock market, but everyone watches gasoline prices. It's not only the price of the next tank of gas, it is also a component of one's other living costs. Everything that one do not catch or grow must be transported, and transportation takes gasoline.
For years, automobiles have been produced with lower gas mileage. The amount of metal used has also been in some cases needlessly high. It should be considered not only environmentally friendly but patriotic to drive cars that make efficient use of natural resources. A favourable tax climate should be created for those who invest in and drive energy efficient cars.
There is a lot of fossil fuel within America's borders and off our coasts that can and should be extracted. Iran was once a staunch ally of the U.S. and supplied a part of our oil needs with no political strings attached. Since the Islamic revolution, they have been America's enemy. The lesson is obvious. If you look at where the world's crude oil comes from, it comes from politically unstable regions. Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela all have histories of political instability. This means that contingency plans need to be devised. America found a good percentage of its raw materials behind enemy lines after Pearl Harbour.
The former Soviet Union contains vast petroleum resources. It has spun off into different ethnic blocs. The Azeris are related ethnically to Turks. Bukharians speak a language related to Farsi There are also Mongolians. Then there are the Slavic republics such as Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. The Russian Republic has separatist movements within its borders Additionally, Islamic fundamentalism (both Shiite and Sunni) is making inroads in the former U.S.S.R.
The world is in an unstable state. It is reckless optimism to assume that the flow of crude petroleum from abroad will be uninterrupted.
Solar power could supply a percentage of home heating and electricity. Wind is also a source of power. Local governments can structure taxes and zoning to favour energy sources that lessen America's dependence on foreign oil.
America's agricultural waste is a vast renewable resource. From ethanol to methane, a lot can be done with agricultural waste to produce heat, electricity and motor fuel.
It is always wise to chart the future. One should not to be forced to make decisions in the wake of a catastrophe. The poor health of the U.S. dollar is in part due to our dependence on foreign oil. The health of our currency is certainly a pressing reason to develop diverse and indigenous sources of energy.
An English statesman from the first half of the nineteenth century, Lord Palmerston once said “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”
In looking at America's current allies, this saying has no less resonance today than one hundred and fifty years ago. It is a truth we may ignore at our own peril
Copyright 2008 by Magdeburger Joe

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