Can't stand it, going to give in to a sideways rant today. This is what set me off: Bio Gas.
Basically, Big Oil is "explaining" that they "can't" afford to develop their industry to the point where it is reliable- because of the uncertainties connected with ethanol. Like what happens to the price when there's a bad corn crop?
Our whole society has gotten SO used to the "BIG LIE" tactic that we don't even note when it happens anymore. The "Journalists", and I use the word with great sarcasm, just report what the Big Liars say- and make a footnote about the contrary opinion, and let it loose in the headlines.
The result is an impenetrable tangle of Big Lies- and Big Half-Lies (like this one) - which are actually far more dangerous to our society. That little scrap of truth makes it possible for those with a good 5th grade education (the goal of all NeoCon education policy) to vehemently support, and vote for, falsehoods that are utterly not in their own interest.
It's the Gordian Knot of our time, or the Gordian Crap, as I call it; which can also be cut. Gordian Knot (Wikipedia haters- sorry, but it was just way more accesible and relevant than anything else.)
Big Oil is stealing money as fast as they can, before someone in Congress wakes up.
"Ooh, we're SO sorry our profits are creating ALL TIME records! It's really not our fault! It's the markets! That 40 Billion dollars we siphoned out of your pockets last year? We really couldn't help it! We also couldn't help that we did it again, and again, and again." All Time Record Profits
Liar liar, pants on fire.
(Incidentally, if I turn up dead tomorrow, you'll know why. You think $40 Billion/yr isn't adequate motivation for killing? Many times?)
So, Exxon (and everyone else in Big Oil) you're telling me that-
a) nobody in your company NOTICED you were making record high profits, repeatedly?
b) nobody in your company thought- "hm, if we take an extra $20 BILLION out of the economy, some of our customers, and their businesses, might be hurt."? (one lucid example: fishing license purchases, and boat license purchases, in Minnesota are down- substantially- which means a bunch of related businesses will have profits- down.)
c) nobody in your company has the AUTHORITY to say "let's cut our prices just a tad- take a little less profit this quarter."?
I really don't believe it; though I suppose it's possible you're all really that stupid. Your actions certainly suggest that.
Very basic biology- if you want to be a successful parasite (that would be you) The First Rule is; DON'T KILL OFF YOUR HOST BY STEALING TOO MUCH.
And we read the headlines- say "tsk, tsk" - and move on. Very encouraging.
Well, enough crap cutting. How about something we could DO? This comes under the category of "we have not yet BEGUN to think."
One of the biggest problems we face as a society right now is the unstated, unrecognized assumption in our thinking that our problems are the result of LOGICAL developments.
We're in this difficult place for a reason; we assume.
No, we're not; much human development is often more a matter of pure chance than logic. (Another barrier to realizing that is organized religions- they don't like that idea at all.)
That's basically good news, though; because it means there could be LOGICAL ways OUT of our difficulties. Like this:
Problem: We consume way too much gasoline and diesel fuel- more than we can continue to produce, and too much for our atmosphere to handle.
Answer: Consume less.
Aha. Easier said than done! you reply.
No, VERY easy to do; it just takes some collective will power, and a bit of growing up.
TRUTH, now- do you NEED a car with 250 Horsepower?
No, of course not. It's huge fun- but it's not necessary to get from here to there. Everybody knows that. But the Spoiled Brats of the world prevail, throwing tantrums and kicking their heels, when anyone suggests taking away their dangerous toys.
Their toys are DANGEROUS. They kill people in crashes, and suffocate us with pointless carbon dioxide, and cause hurricanes, for crying out loud.
We have to take the toys away. Are you a grownup, or not?
Why do we currently have highways populated with SUV's with 500 horses, and "sports cars" with 900 horses? Because this whole phenomenon just grew up- unregulated by any adults- from the horse and buggy. There was no one to say NO when some mechanic decided that if 10 horsepower was amazing, 50 horsepower would REALLY sell.
All those extra horses are totally pointless, apart from the adrenalin- and just burn gas for nothing. My TRACTOR has only 40 horses- and it has power to spare.
I contend- a nation of grownups would rule that :
No cars shall be built with more than 35 horsepower.
Gasp!!! You can't DO that! It's my RIGHT to ....
No, it really ISN'T your right. At all.
How about safety? The road would be much safer; everybody owns a car that will cheerfully cruise at 70 mph- but takes 2 minutes to get there. You'll have to think ahead. That's good.
We could talk about pleasure boats- ATVs- snowmobiles- also.
Obviously- emergency vehicles, cop cars, trucks- should have the horsepower they actually need. Which will still be much less than at present. I'd be totally happy for cop cars to have 200 horses, and ambulances.
Reasonable? I have to say yes. Logical? Certainly. Would it cut our fuel use? HUGELY.
Being discussed anywhere? Certainly not.
Better that poor Mexicans starve- and die- so we can have more ethanol, and not change our habits. (This IS already happening, in case you are not aware - price quadruples?)
Ok; a very reasonable response from YOU at this point would be- "sure, this is logical; but it's totally unrealistic- it's just not going to happen, the barriers and inertia are way too much."
Which I will grant is absolutely true. Lots of powerful people really don't want to give up their toys, and profits, and they'll scream "FREEDOM" really loud- and all the NeoCon Fifth Graders will vote along.
So, how about this, instead- a HorsePower Tax. Every year; part of the license plate fees.
Up to 35 horses, free (I think there are NO cars made with engines this small at the moment- because, um, we're trained to lust after "Zero to Sixty in 4.3 Seconds!" - but we could require all makers to offer such vehicles- next year...) For bigger engines- bigger annual tax, by the horse, with the annual tax rate rising as the engines get bigger. Older cars.... we could work something out.
Take that tax money and put it into mass transit, maybe.
It would help, and it would be a move in the right direction- which might make the next move in that direction possible, in the future.
Logical. I'd even say "obvious" as a possibility - if anyone were REALLY THINKING about answers for our problems. But mostly we don't- we're trained by our entire educational process to READ- and comment. Not actually think.
So. Whaddya think?
(Hey, Vanessa- this would make a good letter to somebody... :-) AND- I think it's abundantly clear that Canadians in general are more grown up than USAers. It would be fabulous for Canada to lead the way here.........................)