Wednesday, November 07, 2007


The price of oil is about to reach $100 a barrel if it hasn’t already. This isn’t a topic I normally write about, although it’s something that has been in the front of my mind for some time, starting from the period I spent in Los Angeles a few years back, which is when it hit me, just the sight of those hundreds and thousands of cars stretched out forever on the freeway in the middle of a desert that can’t come near to supporting the six million or so people who live there now and that number is growing. In LA you almost have to have a car – public transportation is primitive and the distances between the places you want or need to visit to carry on life make it nearly impossible to walk or ride your bike. Anyway, nobody rides a bike to work or for shopping in LA – it’s not at all cool, which is too bad, too bad for him or her and too bad for the rest of us. New York, Dallas, Chicago, you name the city the problem is the same and in the great splay of the rest of the country the internal combustion engine, particularly the new mammoth “super” trucks and faux military SUV’s, guzzle fuel and spew waste into the air at a shocking rate – it’s environmental pornography featuring soccer moms and would-be cowboys and hazy-headed young turks on the prowl and folks like you and me, who for the sake of vanity or convenience or without even giving it a thought, buy into the culture of greed and waste and insanity. And it isn’t just in the USA; it’s everywhere, here in Europe – everywhere. Yesterday’s news about the escalating price of oil just got to me – it made me angry – I feel exploited by the oil companies and the auto manufacturers and the politicians. If one of the presidential candidates made alternative fuels and rescuing the environment a priority I would probably vote for him or her – no matter the party. It’s that important and it’s that late in the game. It bothers me to no end that HH, sleeping in his room right now, will likely come to maturity in a world that is dirtier and far more dangerous than the world we know today. Each night when he takes his bath or brushes his teeth I remind him not to waste water, to use what he needs and save the rest for tomorrow. Tomorrow: What kind of world are we leaving for our children