E.G. for Example has an excellent posting on the US Administration’s current efforts to strip away all progress made in the name of conservation for the last 50 years. Especially in light of so many revelations this year about Bush’s energy policies, the secret meetings, Cheney’s Halliburton roots taking such dominance in all of his efforts.
Living in California, you can imagine how happy I am with Cheney’s views of conservation. I remember, fondly, his ill-regarded remark this year about conservation efforts not being enough to help in California. The irony of his statement is that California ended up managing just fine this year after all. Using that same conservation.
Considering how badly this state was burned by Enron, and Cheney’s association with said company, I think his remarks will continue to come back and bite him in the butt in the future — particularly at voting time. At least, this is my fondest wish.
However, as much as I don’t care for Cheney, that’s not the biggie for me: the issue of opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling was, in my opinion, one of the worst moves I’ve ever seen made by a president of the United States.
The problems of increased population and increased demand of natural resources is not something that we can solve with these disasterous short-term solutions. We have to develop plans that will enable this world to survive 100 years into the future, much less 500 or 1000 years. However, the best of the plans are ones that require religious tolerance, selflessness, and intelligence — not traits I’ve seen dominate the Republican party that much recently (though I do see sparks ocassionally).
For instance, to be blunt, we need less people using less natural resources. Birth control will someday no longer be an option if we’re to survive; however, it would be nice to see birth control practiced voluntarily now, rather than involuntarily in the future.
We need to change our attitudes about population control that are still — at least in this country it seems — based on the old biblical admonishments of “…go forth and be fruitful”. The folks who coined these words were small tribes living in the midst of vast lands — they didn’t foresee the devastating impact of these words on a future population that’s not gained the intelligence to know when “fruitful” is as much metaphor as actual practice.
Conservation is still a huge key to our energy problems. Is it so difficult to buy a car with good gas mileage, to turn off a light, to turn down the heater and turn up the air conditioner, or to recycle a can or a newspaper? Conservation is an effective approach to solving energy problems, if applied consistently across the nation. And therein lies the difficulty, doesn’t it? Particularly since conservation doesn’t necessarily benefit Big Business in this country and in other countries. Have to watch that bottom line, you know.
Alternate fuel sources are another biggie. In college I took a class on environmental science. At that time I read that scientists predicted we would run out of petroleum deposits by the year 2025 at current rates of consumption. And that was 20 years ago. Petroleum and the petroleum distillates are used for items so much more precious than the production of gasoline, including medicines. If we literally burn our supplies now, what will we use in the future?
We have the capability now to use alternative fuels, but again, this requires an almost universal drive to support these efforts on the part of the US and other countries. We need acknowledgement that these efforts aren’t a luxury — they’re a necessity. Unfortunately, these efforts require retooling of plants and facilities, and this cuts into quarterly profits for companies such as Ford, and energy companies such as…well… Enron.
However, rather than focus on these long term solutions, it’s easier to drill.
In an NY Times article today, Bush has said that he might scale back the drilling effort in the Refuge. I’ll not be happy for anything less than complete withdrawal from the idea. Is it so wrong to ask that there be one area of this planet — just one — that is left totally alone? Wouldn’t it be nice to know that there’s one area of this planet not being exploited, paved over, drilled, drained?
On a side note, I want to mention that Cheney and I have something in common — we both worked for Halliburton at one point. Of course, I worked for a Halliburton subsidiary: Sierra Geophysics, a small company in Kirkland, Washington that created 3D oil software. And we know that Cheney was Halliburton CEO.
I remember fondly how Sierra Geophysics was stripped of all of its essential software and the staff that didn’t want to relocate to Oklahoma was canned. I am especially fond of this memory since the recommendation to close our shop down came through what was then, Anderson Consulting.
As Halliburton stripped our little company back then, Halliburton alumnus Cheney seeks to strip the Refuge today.
I wonder if they’re using Anderson to manage the effort?