OK, it's been all over the news, and I'm sure it's been hurting your wallet, pocketbook, purse, or European carry-all. Oil prices reached an all-time high this week at > $132 per barrel, and gas prices have been higher than $4 per gallon for the past 2 weeks. Everybody is moaning and groaning.
However, my thoughts at this time are "no pain, no gain". We need to feel the pinch of high oil prices. We need to feel more than a pinch, we need a good punch, a good blow, a good beatdown. Why? Because it is the only way to provide enough impetus to get us moving on alternative energy sources. And, finally, finally, it appears that people are decreasing consumption in response to these high prices. Yes, for the first time since 1979, driving in the U.S. decreased on a monthly basis (by 4.3%). It's classic supply/demand economics.
I know there are both liberal and conservative readers of this blog. All the liberals are probably largely supportive of investment and implementation of alternative energy sources (wind, solar, hydrogen fuel cell cars). You conservatives out there, you may be rolling your eyes right now.
But, conservatives should embrace the shift away from fossil fuels just as much as liberals. Why?
1. Isn't this free market capitalism at its best? When the cost of one good or service becomes too high, other more efficient and less expensive goods become more attractive.
2. The majority of money that we are spending on oil is going straight to terrorist countries. Why do we want to fund our enemies?
3. Alternative energy with provide a host of new jobs for young scientists and businessmen, and will promote and necessitate advances in technology.
4. What is so wrong with breathing cleaner air? Recent studies have shown that smog actually increases the risk for premature death.
5. Why are you so resistant to change? What is it about oil that won't let you give it up? Did people complain when the automobile replaced the primary method of transportation (horse and buggy) back in the early 1900s? Did people complain about the arrival of airplanes to replace train and boat travel? Technology is great. If we can get around and power our homes and buildings by cleaner and more efficient means, why not?
I defy you to provide a compelling argument to stop the shift to more solar, nuclear, wind power. Don't bet against Boone Pickens!!!