This will be short. The extensive article is, " Waking up to the threat of 'peak oil'," by Ron Way, here, posted today, Monday, Aug. 18, 2008, at minnpost.com
Read it there. Read it seriously. I generally realize finite resources are just that, finite, and that there are petrochemical uses that to me are more valuable to society than today's combustion and tomorrow's shortages.
I first heard of formalized "Peak Oil" collective thinking from Will Thompson, a transportation planner living in Ramsey. It is real, the question being when do we hit the "tipping point" when extraction begins to lessen yearly and prices accordingly shift higher greatly, and alternate energy utilization becomes real, by necessity and not by effort of visionaries now pushing that sane policy.
There is currently a shrill, bombastic election year cry against the sane long-term view. The bombast will lead to nothing long term. The better perspective of sincere commitment to alternative energy development and exploitation also would improve balance of payments (which currently are out of whack and anything but balanced). The sane view is to wean us from consuming petroleum profligately with more and more of it having to be purchased from foreign sources regardless of what some hopeful GOP politicians will tell you is a quick fix the Dems oppose, ones who'd play on voter gullibility.
By that I of course mean the false "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less," chorus of falsehood, where as best as I can tell it was Newt Gingrich (who will sell you the goods as well as taking free contributions) who did the kickoff. Yet many in the GOP have picked up the tune, as a way to divert attention from the real unfixed troubles we face: healthcare, higher education costs, the mortgage mess, an unwinable war caused for us under a hail of false premises, and a devalued dollar in a time of stagnant wages; all the result of the Bush-Cheney-McCain-Coleman White House and Senate cabal the GOP has given us, tarted up as if it were "leadership" and "statesmanship."
The alternative to Gringrich foolery, the sensible long-term energy policy perspective, is something I recall hearing best advocated by Bob Olson, a DFL hopeful in the Sixth District whose sensible thinking got derailed and all but ignored, in the District.
Olson was the candidate who could have handily defeated Michele Bachmann, if only he'd been endorsed for the task.
Presently, we need two things, first, to sweep house of the short-term demagoguery and bad policy, and to shift to sounder energy thoughts, while admitting there is much else to talk of fixing and to realize that those who have put things where they are will be least likely to undo their mischief. We need change, we have to believe in it, and we need sensible people, not war profiteering for Big Oil, Halliburton, or Carlyle Group.
Fixing things is, of course, the second thing needed. Obama and Franken are the broom to sweep up. Then let us hope they can fix things in a consensus way to right what's wrong in the nation.
Again, cute slogans are no answer, but a distraction that only misleads. And "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less," mixes up ideas that do not necessarily at all follow one another. So, read that peak oil article, it is worth the time. And for your own good, don't be taken in again by Newt Gingrich, the "Contract With America," charlatan whose time in Congress was a disaster for the nation. Newt was the bagman and perpetrator for that flim-flam of the voters, and proud of it.
"Caveat Emptor" used to mean something back when we were a less gullible nation. Fool me once, shame on you -- all that. Newt again is on the move, so why should any of us trust a thing about it?