One of our loyal readers recently made an interesting comment on our recent BP article. Martinez, who made no attempt to conceal his political affiliations, focused not on the oil spill, but rather on the broader topic of oil exploration and ending our dependence on oil. He likened our current state to the 70s during the oil embargo and reminded us that “40 years later we are consuming much more oil today than they ever dreamed about back then”. Having provided these two focus points, he offered his thoughts:
… this oil crisis has me thinking that it might play out to be just another political game, where both sides will try to exploit the situation in order to sell a predetermined narrative.
I am sure that in the months leading up to the November elections, Democrats will have a so-called energy strategy that will promise to take us off oil. The Paliners on the other hand will maintain their Obama’s Katrina narrative in an attempt to undermine the current administration. After the elections, nothing will change and we will still have oil in the Gulf chocking the ecosystem. The bigger issue of ending our dependence on oil will once again be shoved to the bottom of the list.
Politics aside, Martinez does bring up a good point, one which appears to have been put off the table following the issue with BP and Advanced Fluid Dynamics. In light of the obvious and unforeseen environmental and economical impact resulting from the BP screw up, it is understandable that a critical look at the bigger picture might be a distraction; however, let us not ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the room. The Gorilla of course is now-evident discovery that the oil exploration industry is highly unregulated and our thirst for oil appears unquenchable.
So, can we really ever end our dependence on oil?
It’s kind of funny. I have been schooled in and worked both in the Environmental and Oil Industries. I try to be an advocate for both. I’ll say this.
Our addiction will come to a screeching halt when we are paying $10 + for a gallon at the pump and it’s cheaper to use alternative methods (and might be much sooner than you think). It’s never going to be about environmental or preservation ethics, but sheer cost & financial pain. We only change when it’s painful enough. It’s the human condition.
We are dependent on a lot of things. Why stop at oil? Let’s end our dependence on cell phones, televisions, movies, and computers, quit our jobs, and go live out in the woods. Of course, then we’d be dependent on plants, trees, and animals, but, at least, life wouldn’t be as easy, long lasting, and convenient as it is for us now.
Thank you so much for the comment,
My proposal is basically aimed at reducing our dependence on a commodity that, 1) harms the environment and 2) poses a danger to the quality of life that future generations will have.
In light of the prevailing conditions in the Gulf, we cannot ignore the environmental dangers posed by Oil exploration and collection, not to mention the effects the usage of oil has on the environment.
Until we curtail our usage of oil, global warming-induced natural disasters such as Katrina will continue.
Or what do you think?
Of course we can, but not voluntarily. We will end our dependence when it starts getting harder to source but it’s not going to be pretty.