Thursday, September 24, 2009

National Pride, National Unity

Question: Soon we will have a shortage of oil and an increase in demand, how do we rectify this situation?

How do we solve a problem that we don't have yet? This is a tough request to make of anyone, much less a pompous undergrad. I thought it was funny when in class we read a blog post by someone who was alive during the early 20th Century laughing at how foolish we were to be so worried about a world without oil. This is funny because even when we try to face things directly we always tend to diminish the adversity of them. This person obviously feels as though we didn't yet depend on fossil fuels during the early 20th Century and their observation is wrong. The change from oil to no oil; from coal to no coal and so on will be a major change that I don't think we have the foresight t0 predict it. Or that we could even imagine the scope of it. What we do when we get there will be a combination of things. Preparedness, invention and unity strike first as necessities in my mind. Well necessity is the mother of invention so it will remain to be seen what can be done as far as furthering our technology to deal with a drought in oil. In addition being prepared is not something we can do alone, it just won't work. This leaves us with unity.

For a majority in America the end of oil is the end of society. Our government is not prepared to handle a country overflowing with people and direct them in their discourse in any way, shape or form without the technologies we have in place currently. To put it blatantly the laws that hold our society in check will cease to exist. It will remain to be seen how long until the law of the fittest will once again pervade as people who want more will be able to take more. Maybe this is pessimism but I don't see law holding up long in a land where we can't enforce it. Why, because we live in an environment where "the self" is valued above all. Capitalism has many nice benefits but a glaring negative is its ability to separate a group into individuals.

We see this happening right now with Health Care Reform. We have our Representatives coming out of debate decrying the bill because they feel that the American public in general doesn't want to pay for others to receive health care if these others cannot afford it themselves. They're reinforcing the notion that as Americans we should take care of ourselves and let the less fortunate suffer; because if these people could possibly have a lower standard of living in our fine country of prosperity then it must be their own fault. What happens when we all become less fortunate? Will this attitude still pervade our nation? What could happen as a result of this?

As I said before our country is overflowing with people. As the supply of food in markets will diminish our major cities will no longer be able support such populations as we currently have. Millions of people will find themselves migrating away from these overcrowded areas with hopes of finding a better life elsewhere. Many rural homes may attempt to live a life of self sustenance which will be equally as difficult as most farmers use synthetic fertilizer to supply their food with nitrogen to grow. For those farmers prepared to farm without any modern assistance they better make sure to stock up on ammo now as some migrating urbanites may see their farm as welcoming as the families that currently reside there. We'll have to pardon the police response here, as they're attempting to learn how to ride a horse without breaking their necks.

Is this the worst case, doomsday scenario? I believe I may be exaggerating some. Yet, our country will certainly be bleeding out of multiple wounds at once. Consider the following:

Oil + America's Major Industries = America's Economy

Oil Shortages + Decreasing Consumer Confidence = Economic Depression (we've seen this one first hand)

So, what have we discovered? The solution to our oil dependency will not be a quick fix that will easily alleviate all of our woes. This once again brings us back to unity. In our current system we’ve isolated ourselves from a majority of the world and even our own countrymen. We can easily proclaim ourselves to be our #1 priority and we’ve let this distract us from what those in power are doing, in the name of America of course. (A good read is Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins but this is another cause for another time) We’ve bastardized our local communities and shunned the global community. Is it really any wonder that when a leader comes along that truly inspires us to be better than we’ve shown so far that we would pack our problems right onto his shoulders and watch him carry the burden alone while we sit here and do nothing and say nothing to help him? Not really. We’re worried about our “self”. Be it our family, our pets or our car we care more about what’s ours than about anything else.

Maybe it’s time we remedied that. I suggest each and every one of you to go and actually read what the Health Care Reform will do for us.
This is not a perfect plan in my opinion, but every plan has its faults. The key to this plan is that it is a significant change in the right direction. For the sake of our National Community and our own integrity I pray that you agree that this is necessary and understand that this will go a long way towards establishing a Nation that is unified. A Nation that is ready to deal with any adversity. If we can get enough support for this perhaps we can even have a rally and truly voice our opinions together in a constructive way. Just think…if we can do this then maybe we can obtain the organization we would need to let our voices be heard with a truly major issue; when it comes to the end of oil.

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