It was almost 10 years ago when I wrote this, and I think it's interesting how it still applies, so I thought I would share it with you:
Problem #1: We don’t know the true cost of oil:
We’re a little angry because we think we’re paying too much for gas.
Surprisingly, and perhaps foolishly, we still aren’t taking into consideration other costs we are currently paying via tax dollars.
- Do we have any idea how many of our tax dollars are being spent defending our oil interests around the world?
- How many are spent cleaning up the environment and regaining our health due to pollution?
- How many are spent, incredulously, subsidizing the oil industry. (What? Isn’t the oil industry profitable enough to pay it’s own bills?)
I don’t know if anyone knows the real number, but the cost has got to be painfully high. If these additional costs were paid at the gas pump… just how angry might we be?
Problem #2: Oil is now the wrong fuel.
Granted, oil has served us well for the past hundred years or so… and the industrial age has increased our standard of living immensely… but the side effects are now too serious to continue using this type of fuel any longer.
We all know this and being the good people that we are, we want to do the right thing, use harmless fuel, but…
Problem #3: Our freedom to choose better energy sources is impeded.
Oil companies are motivated by profits.
Politicians are motivated by power.
You and I are motivated by costs.
When we get hit in the pocket, we get angry and act.
Yet, because we don’t know and don’t pay the true and total cost of gas at the pump, we’re not very angry or motivated… in spite of the recent increases.
As long as we’re pacified by the illusion of low gas prices… an illusion that is perpetuated by a quiet but powerful collusion between the oil industry and politicians… we won’t insist on using alternative energy sources that seem, but by true comparison aren’t, more expensive.
I advocate that our tax dollars not be spent subsidizing the oil industry… that our tax dollars not be spent cleaning up oil spills… and that our tax dollars not be spent defending our oil interests.
If the oil industry was made to pay these costs and consequently we paid these costs at the pump, we would feel the true and painful urgency needed to develop and use better energy sources.
There’s a better way… and I have no doubt that the creative geniuses in the world can develop affordable fuel that serves our needs without causing harm to the environment and ourselves.
- Dan - October 14, 2000