Sunday, July 20, 2008

Off-Shore Drilling Anyone?

While the President of Sri Lanka is selling off his, possible, off-shore oil reserves to an Indian company for $1 billion, President Bush is opening up the possibility in the U.S. as well. Seriously people, just drive less. Is it really worth the damage to our oceans that will surely happen? We banned this 27 years ago -- his dad instated the ban! I thought he was really religious. What happen to "honor they father and mother?" Congress, I'm expecting you to hold tough. This is in your hands now.

By the way, in case you were wondering, there is not enough oil anywhere in the U.S. (I mean anywhere!) to make us independent from foreign oil. We could drill in every single spot where oil is just suspected and it will not be enough. This is fact. There is no argument here. The only way we are going to be independent is if we use less oil.

In the most recent Sun magazine a reader wrote to the magazine to comment on something written in a past issue. She wrote,

"Activists seem to assume that everyone is young and single, and lives in California. You cannot transport kids and groceries on a bicycle in a snowstorm in Canada; nor can you find public transportation."
I found this very interesting. I lived in Siberia for a couple of years. Very few people had a car in my town and I don't know anyone who used that vehicle to go shopping. Granted, we had public transportation in my town, but amazingly enough, we also had feet. I know it is hard to believe, but we walked in -35 degree weather (Fahrenheit and Celsius meet at -30) to go shopping in the bazaar, which was also outside. People pulled their small children on sleds. Also, believe it or not, people biked in this weather, on the ice!

Now I live in a tropical country. A place where, trust me, people are far poorer than the low-income people about which the reader was writing. They bike their children (note the multiple there) to school. One on the front bar and one on the rack in back. If they are lucky enough to have a motor bike they can transport a family of five.

My point: buck up people. I'm so, so sick of hearing people complain that they might actually have to work a bit to counter climate change. I'm not saying you have to give up your car, but if you are driving to places that are less than two miles away, well you are just stupid. Yes, I said it. This is how irritated I am -- I'm willing to insult my readers.

While in Deniyaya the Sewa Finance VSO said he doesn't necessarily believe in climate change. He didn't explain further because our conversation was interrupted, but I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was going to go on and say he thinks the calls for change are still warranted. Here is the thing people, everything that we need to do to stop climate change will have other positive benefits in our lives. Seriously, there isn't really anything bad involved. During these really awful economic times, the push for alternative energy will create jobs. Less carbon dioxide in the air means cleaner air. Is there such a thing as having air that is too clean? NO.

Plus, if we don't drive everywhere we'll be healthier. Is this a bad thing? NO.

And we won't be so dependent on foreign oil. Is this a bad thing? NO.

Alternative energy is cheaper in the long run (yes, there will be some up front costs, but I would argue the U.S. government should pay for that since they subsidize gasoline right now -- fair is fair people). Is saving money in 15 years a bad thing? NO.

[Side note: as oil prices rise this initial cost that everyone freaks out about may soon not be more than paying for gasoline. Just a thought.]

I know a lot of you hate it when I get preachy here, but I just spent the weekend biking around Colombo and listening to various news podcasts. It frustrates me no end. I'm out there biking the 15-20 km to town, breathing in the awful, fully-leaded, air here and you guys are complaining about having to reduce how much you drive. Give me a break!

1 comment:

Jo-Anne said...

AMEN, SISTER!!! Thank you for saying -- far more eloquently, I might add -- the way I feel about this issue! I'm ashamed that that stupid woman with her car and her children referenced my home and native land Canada. I will never understand why people complain about oil prices like there is an unlimited quantity out there. The arrogance of humans dismays me...