Unbelievable. The free money plan includes drilling in Alaska, of course.
I can’t quite forget or forgive James Howard Kunstler for spilling the seed of his rhetorical gifts on the ground with Y2K before Peak Oil. He is a professional doomsayer who drags down the credibility of real and present dangers by seeing them everywhere and always. I was baffled when some of my wiser friends were really worried about Y2K; some of those friends now look askance at me when I tell them I doubt my son and his playmates — his whole generation — will grow up to drive cars. “People aren’t going to stop driving, Todd; I’ll be first in line to buy a hydrogen car!” one told me.
Still, a year ago Kunstler wrote this:
ANWAR contains perhaps four billion barrels of oil. Since America uses over 20 million barrels a day (one billion every fifty days), ANWAR represents about a half year’s supply. It will take several years to ramp up production there, and to build the expensive pipelines needed to get the oil out. By that time, the US will have hit the wall of energy reality. Gasoline will already be expensive enough to cast doubt on the continuing project of suburbia. Since building suburban houses and all their accompanying infrastructure is the basis of our national economy, the world will have reason to conclude that the US has poor economic prospects, and therefore other nations will feel a steep disincentive to continue investing in our debt and equities. When that happens, the dollar craps out, credit evaporates, and a huge new class of economic losers materializes here in the US.
When it becomes evident that Bush & Company have absolutely no energy plan beyond ANWAR, the Republican majority will begin its nauseating Icarus-like freefall from the political heights. Their unworthy opposition, the Democrats, may well go with them, since none of its stars and their hirelings have offered a single credible idea about America’s energy dilemma. The result of all this compounded lack of political cred is likely to produce disorder and, ultimately, some kind of extreme behavior — either the rise of a seriously nasty jingoistic new party pandering to all those economic losers, and / or some desperate affray with one or more of the many nations who are viewed as somehow causing America’s pain, whether that is Mexico, Venezuela, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, or, who knows, France.
The one thing American leadership seems completely unprepared and unwilling to do is admit that the game is over for the American Dream of suburbia. Our leaders will not take even the first baby steps toward admitting that the way we live is a problem, for instance making a serious effort to restore passenger railroad service. The nation’s sense of identity is now tragically linked to a living arrangement that has no future. It’s especially tragic because before we embarked on this childish dream of a drive-in utopia, we were a better people, a more realistic, honest, and brave people. We have become a craven people now worthy only of being lied to and misled.