Why America will never be energy independent

Preserving wilderness means establishing limits. We say, in effect, we will go this far, and no farther, for development. We agree to do without the material resources the wilderness might contain. David Brower was fond of saying in the late 1960s that if stopping dams in the Grand Canyon meant economic sacrifice, then the United States should choose to be that much poorer.
~Wilderness and the American Mind, Fourth Ed. Emphasis mine.

I hope you did your homework. And yes, I did recycle that quote.

America will never become energy independent for two reasons. One large, the other not so much.

The first one is simple. American politics are deeply in bed with big oil. This is the larger and also the harder of the two to reverse.

The less simple one is our own entitlement. God damn it, if we want the the temperature in our house to be seventy year-round, we’re going to have it be seventy year-round.

You know how fucking ridiculous that notion sounds to me? You know how often I run into people who insist on having their houses be cold enough to store meat in? In the summer? I live in fucking Texas. In the summer, it’s hot. Always. I do turn the A/C on, mostly because my roommate demands it, but even then we keep it set fairly high. It’s hot outside, and it’s only cool enough to keep us from sweating in our apartment. That’s fucking life for you. Come winter time we’ll be cold because the heater will be set to just above what we can tolerate and there will be quilts on the beds and sweaters on our bodies. Summer is hot, winter is cold. Put on your fucking big girl panties and learn to deal with it.

That’s right. Part of getting our asses off of oil means actually learning to live with using less energy. You know, the “reduce” part of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” We can’t sit around and hope the fucking technology to make solar/wind/gasohol/whatever will suddenly spring up to make it affordable and efficient enough to power all of the US, much less the world. If you want the US to get off the damn oil, you may have to limit your own damn energy consumption. Face it, even if we made ourselves energy independent tomorrow, we’d still have to find a way to continue to produce more energy. The population grows and the amount of energy “needed” per person grows, too.

We can have our cake, and eat it, but only if we’re content with having half a cake and eating half a cake. There’s not a second cake. It’s a lie. There is no way in hell to have a full cake and still get to eat a full cake if you only fucking have the one cake.

It doesn’t help that right now green energy is about as viable as a kitten suffering from methamphetamine withdrawals. Without the government and the new green trend to kick it in the ass, it’ll ultimately just make a feeble little lurch…in the wrong direction. Our entire culture runs almost exclusively on oil. That’s not something that can be reversed easily and not in five or ten years.

Speaking of trendy green, the damn green movement needs to get on board with this. Fuck CFLs, fuck hybrid cars, fuck trying to remind people to do “little things.” Tell people instead to ditch the fucking clothes dryers. Useless pieces of junk, those. Hell, tell them to ditch the washing machine, too, and use the laundromat. Do we each really need our own washing machine? I hope you use yours more often than I’d use mine if I had one (once every week and a half). I’d rather just keep sharing one, even if every load costs me a dollar.

Ditch the decorative lights. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wandered through my mother’s behemoth house turning off all her stupid lights. She has overhead lights. The table lamps are redundant and completely useless.

I’m not going to mention the gizmos and gadgets except that chances are, you don’t fucking need them. If it plugs into a wall or plugs into something that plugs into a wall or needs batteries or just generally requires some form of energy in order to giz or do whatever the hell “useful” bell or whistle you bought it for, it’s true usefulness is suspect and it’s completely complicit in our inability to become energy independent. I don’t care if you like the item. I like my PS2. A lot. But that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be seriously questioning whether or not I actually need to own the PS2.

We may have to give up the damn cars, or at least mostly give up the damn cars. I’m going to take an absolutist stance, here. There is no such thing as a green car. Hell, I doubt the existence of a greener car. Quit wagging your finger at BP and crying about the oil-covered wildlife and do something.

And those are just examples. I could go on for days.


2 Responses to “Why America will never be energy independent”

  1. There was originally an R before “reduce, reuse, recycle.”

    It’s been erased and forgotten but if we refused to let stuff even enter our lives there would be correspondingly much less need to reuse & recycle.

  2. That’s not something that can be reversed easily and not in five or ten years.

    Short-sightedness is probably the biggest problem in general. People expect things to happen while they’re useful to them. People need to realize that we really don’t exist for very long as individuals and get the hell over it.
    I guess a lack of specieal solidarity is right up there with short-sightedness.

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