Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting serious about oil dependency

I.H.T. Special Report - Energy - Oversight on Offshore Drilling May Change, but U.S. Dependence on Oil Won't -

The only thing that will bring about a decreased reliance on oil is to make it so expensive that we'll find other ways of conducting our lives than driving around in personal, oil fired automobiles.

Put a massive carbon tax on oil, to pay for restoring the environment damaged by drilling for oil, and to wean the American public off of oil consumption. When oil is $10 a gallon, we'll get serious about restructuring our towns and cities for walking and bicycling. We'll stop consuming so much cheap plastic crap. We'll develop local economies based on local production for local consumption.

Make it expensive, make it dear, make the people think hard every time they fill that tank with ocean killing petroleum.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pulling hairs over oil

Many stories about People giving hair off their heads for oil cleanup these days.

It was much the same during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. There were a dozen new schemes every day to clean up the oil, none of which worked very well. We received semi-loads of terry cloth towels for cleaning otters and birds. After the spill, there were no towels purchased in Alaska for over ten years.

Once the oil is out of the bottle, there's no cleaning it up. No amount of hair, human or canid, will ever clean up all the oil. All we'll have is tons of oily hair that will have to be disposed of.

What we found in Valdez is that people who see this from a distance feel a need to do something about it, anything, even if it doesn't make any difference. It's the doing of it that's important.

Now if we could just get them to understand that everyone has a hand in causing these oil spills. Every time we start our cars, eat our fertilized foods transported thousands of miles, fly in our airplanes, heat our homes, we drive the energy industry that destroys habitat, pollutes the shoreline, the air and the water. The fires of the gulf drilling platform were lit in the cylinders of millions of cars, in the furnaces of millions of homes everywhere.

In order to stop the spills we must stop drilling, transporting and consuming oil. This will come, in its own time, but not until much more damage has been done.

Let's strive for energy independence. We can grow all the horses we need right here.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Building a new society from the Earth up

Building a new, "sustainable" human society means fundamentally changing the way we do everything. This article: The Economics of Organic Farming discusses the economic advantages of local organic farming, reducing transportation costs for quality, nutritious food for local residents.

Organic farming is a philosophy of life, as well as as an economic approach.

"Traditional" farming seeks to eliminate all competition to the production of food for human consumption, using chemical pesticides and herbicides to kill any organisms that might reduce absolute production of human nurtured and engineered plants and animals.

Organic farming recognizes that plants and animals desired for human food are an integral part of the web of life. Attempting to isolate human food from all other life forms results in food with less nutritional value for humans, as well as destroying the living soil and the delicate ecological relationships among all living things.

Organic farming is not only the basis for a local economy. It also serves as the philosophical basis for a local human society, living in close harmony with all of life, human and non-human.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Mahatma Gandhi