Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Steal Back Your Life, Part II

The energy crisis we're experiencing now could have been avoided. For less than what we've spent on this stupid, testosterone-fueled, illegal, and immoral Iraq War, we could have replaced most of the petroleum we use with an electrical generating capacity that could meet today's needs and then some. It would have been a matter of building a few dozen of the present generation of idiot-proof nuclear facilities and a few dozen vast wind farms, and converting private vehicles to electricity, or to gas/electric hybrids that can be plugged into a wall socket.

We could have once again had a railway freight system that takes a back seat to none, to replace all the smelly, dangerous, diesel-burning tractor-trailers that presently make the national highway system into an obstacle course.

Instead we chose to pour three trillion dollars, four thousand-plus of our own lives, and the lives of a million or so Iraqis into the sand of the Mesopotamian desert, not to mention the hundreds of thousands who have been maimed, invalided, or had their lives otherwise ruined. We did this in pursuit of petroleum and an adolescent need to act out some macho self-image.

The time to launch an emergency energy rehabilitation program would have been ten years ago. Or eight years ago. Five years ago would have been too close to where we are now -- we'd still be in the soup, just not as deeply.

There is no political leadership in this country worthy of the name, and hasn't been since Roosevelt died.

When a government has no interest in serving the needs of its people, when it violates the people's right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," then the people have "the right to alter or abolish it." Or, Jefferson might have said, the duty to overthrow it.

Actually, "overthrow" is a rather harsh and inappropriate word, since it implies the kind of violence that would be foolish and self-destructive if ordinary people tried to use it against a war machine such as the one oppressing us. "Undermine" not only sounds nicer, it's more practical.

We can undermine our ruling class and the government which does its bidding by a) not buying stuff; and b) not paying taxes. The way to accomplish b) is to find some way to make a living off the grid, getting paid cash in an underground economy.

Piece of cake.

Now all we have to do to steal our lives back and seize the carrot is figure out how to live without oil and gas that we can afford.

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