Monday, September 05, 2005

regime change begins in your home

using the supposedly random-selection feature of the "next blog" button at upper right, today I happened upon the liberal doomsayer. very satisfying blog. check it out.

(simultaneously, it is a guilty pleasure to have such feelings of righteous justification [that someone agrees with me] that reading such a blog elicits. I've stated previously that I'm highly disturbed by the politics of division, of either/or, of left/right, red/blue--- name your dichotomy. I'm convinced [by what more than my own moral or perhaps merely psychoemotional sensibilities, I cannot say] that there is a better way for people to carry out discourse, to manage a democracy--- indeed, to live. I retain the hope that a politics (if that's the right word) of consensus will eventually become viable in this nation; I suspect it will take some generations before it can be practicable on a national scale.)

mr. doomsayer offered a link to a washington post article about Sen. Clinton's response to oil industry profiteering in the wake of the Katrina diaster. despite the (to my limited knowledge) unanswered question of exactly who is raising the gas prices (the local station operators or their wholesaler/suppliers; of course, they all are, but who started it and why?), she's right on, of course, and it infuriates me that the discussion of oil company profiteering is only now getting even this limited amount of attention. but I remind myself that the power, as always, rests in the hands of the people who send the fun chips up the economic ladder in the first place: us. because he who holds the pursestrings wins.

yes, I realize that many people's lives are structured such that dependence on fossil fuel consumption appears anything but optional. I understand that many people have backed themselves into lifestyle corners that make them slaves to the Great Petroleum God. and I suppose that some of their situations are indeed as they claim. yet as the price of gas continues to rise (don't look for a post-diaster restoration to pre-Katrina prices, folks), I think more folks will reconsider the way they've organized their lives around gas and cars.

I'm the first to admit that, despite all my rantings and ravings (and my folk 'n' friends will tell you that's a lot of ranting and raving!), I still tend to make the easy choice and drive somewhere when I don't really have to or when it suits my convenience rather than, say, sharing a ride with someone else even though it's less convenient to do so. part of that laziness can be attributed to the fact that I can walk to work presently and that my car (a 20-year-old Honda) still gets close to 40 MPG. even so, I have slowly changed my own habits over the years. lately I've taken to asking around among my workmates if anyone needs me to pick up or drop off anything if I'm going to make a trip somewhere. I live in a very small town in a rural area and there are frequent occasions that all us of find ourselves in need (or want) of something that cannot be obtained locally. I always feel not only helpful but also like a good conservationist whenever I am able to run an errand for a friend or co-worker at the same time that I'm taking care of my own business.

it is small changes in habit such as these that will help us move toward a new consciousness (and vice versa as well)--- a consciousness of interrelationship and interdependence that has as a byproduct (or fundamental principle?) awareness of and adherence to the precept of conservation not as a reactive response to dire conditions but as a normative condition of existence.

and if you like toppling giants (and I have to admit that I do!) such a consciousness, nationally applied in the overlapping arenas of fossil fuel use and personal transportation, will bring the oil companies to their knees. clearly the principle of normative conservation is of a higher calling than laying low the mighty--- but I, for one, will be cheering the loudest when Exxon-Mobil's stock value tanks and their CEO and flotilla of VPs are pounding the pavement looking for work (psst! here's a hint for you folks: get into renewable energy).

this is an exciting time, make no mistake. we have it in our power (as we always have--- it just seems all the more imminent now!) to change this cockamamy system. and we must not wait for our government to initiate the changes we need. we must begin the work ourselves. we must stand up and do the work.

conserve because it is the right thing to do.


At 9/04/2005 10:46 PM, Blogger .Ben. said...

why do people not understand economics....

Kanye West has changed his name to The Face. Spread it around.

At 9/05/2005 11:24 AM, Blogger Algernon said...

Hmm.... trying to figure out what your comment actually is, but your cryptic remark leaves me guessing. (And the add'l item about one Kanye West means nothing to me so I'll ignore it.) I suppose you're referring in a roundabout way to your opinion that my suggestion of a transformation of our energy infrastructure is somehow economically unworkable. Of course, I'd hate to argue with an econ expert such as you appear to be, but I'll go out on a limb and suggest further that the economics of continued pursuit of the dying fossil-fuel economy is a dead end--- whether sooner or later, it's just a matter of time. I think the economics are quite favorable for a change in national energy policy--- the costs of fossil fuels are now painfully evident and smart investors will be looking to renewables; let's watch it happen.


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