What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The Environment

I am by no means a tree hugger. People always use that in such a negative way and I don't know why. What would be wrong with hugging a tree. Just like children, research suggests that plants grow better with positive reinforcement and don't do as well when you cut them down.

But, I eat animals and use furniture made of wood. Plus, I'm always throwing stuff away. I don't even have a compost heap. I always feel a little guilty, though, when I throw away all that junk mail. I wish they just wouldn't send it, of course, but I suppose that if I was a real tree hugger then I would wall paper my room with it, or use it as toilet paper, or make paper dolls that I would sell at some folk festival and donate the money to the Arbor Day Foundation. Amanda and I would look silly next to all the real hippies with their matted hair and dirty babies. Sorry, no matted hair. Just washed it. No thanks, I don't need pachule.

So, I'm not a spokesman for PETA, but, I got an email at school the other day that concerned me. It was a forward from a fellow faculty member (which irked me because they aren't supposed to send politically charged material over school email. I didn't care that I got the email, but that if I responded, it would set off a firestorm that would end up in me getting repremanded. So I sat on the desenting comment until now, where I get to say what I want.) The forward was one of these rally the troups emails to quell the big, bad oil companies. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in love with corporations. In fact I think that people who don't support small businesses should be called corporate huggers and we should turn that into a bad thing.

This email suggested that the world should agree amongst themselves to not buy gas from the big oil companies which would put pressure on them to lower prices and therefore lower everyone's prices. The reasoning was that the "don't buy gas for a day" campaign was trite and the suits at BP and Shell were rolling their eyes. We'd be back tomorrow! So whoever originated this post suggest this was something that could acually work. Which I agree with in theory. I mean, I'm no economist (what AM I?) but the don't buy from one company deal seemed reasonable. Except for one thing. It doesn't really do anything but make your gas cheaper at the expence of oil companies. The fact is that it's probably impossible to lower the price of oil or else I'm sure they would. I hear on the news about the price per barrel of crude oil, which apperantly determines how much we will pay at the pump. I think that the price is based on that number and the exec just hike it up ten cents a gallon above the little Gas Shack prices or so to make their name brand profit.

What concerned me about this forward however (besides the authors shotty logic that I, of all people, was able to find a hole in) was that it reinforced the notion that people just don't get it. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF OIL! And we just pissed off the people who have most of it, so no one wants to go get it. (Come on, Cheny! You call that a war for oil? Where's the damn oil?) The problem is that we use too much oil and it doesn't make it as fast as we want. The earth isn't one of our sweatshop children that will work a little faster if give them three more boxes of Chicklets to sell in the markets to rich American tourist who buy the crap being made in the sweatshops.

LITTLE GIRL
Chicklets Mister?

MAN
No thank you, little girl.

LITTLE GIRL
I make you Nikes.

MAN
Deal! Work fast and you won't get beaten. As much.

(Back to oil) I am really nervous about the future of the earth and our dependency on oil. What concerns me the most is that The Bush administration does so little to curb the effects or to push for funding of research that could possibly find alternate fuels. Why not raise the standards for gas miliage, or require all vehicles to be hybrids. Of course that would cost a lot of money, but no one is going to be driving in post apocolyptic societies where energy is scarce, the ice caps are melted and winter is the new summer and summer is when Schlitterbaun is open on the North Pole. "Bring your SPF 50! The sun's, like, right there!" The Bush administration's brilliant idea is to start poking around up in the Alaskan wilderness. I've never been there, but I heard it's nice...for oil. Is Bush still pissed at the Dixie Chicks and so he's taking it out on Wide Open Spaces? Isn't the world already industrialized enough?

People, start walking, take a bus, a taxi, anything. City planners and strip mall people, stop making it so hard to get around without vehicles. Mrs. Gunderson, do you really need a Hummer? The sixth graders only throw the eggs because you slept with their daddies. And I know you're turning 16 soon, Billy, and it's really exciting because you're going to be able to drive you loser friends around until you find nothing to do, but the huge friggin pick-up? Really? What are you hauling? Your bike to the dump along with your childhood?

It's just sad. And here I am in Baytown, TX, where I went running the other day. There are no running tracks, or even sidewalks, crosswalk signals or respect for bicycles. It's a joke to try and get around without a car.

I guess that's all I have to say on the matter. The pizzas ready and I'm hungry and tired. And cranky. And I want a bottle. A bottle of respect for the earth.

6 comments:

Dan Carlson said...

Got your address through Ryan. I like your blog. And I'm glad you were sad when Mitch Hedberg died, if that makes any sense. That guy was fantastic.

Nathan Bruhn said...

Kyle,

I couldn't put it into words the way Ann Coulter can, so hear is my reply to "The Environment" post. That being said, I am arguably one of the most "green" and environmentally friendly conservatives you may know. I have a very active compost pile, an organic garden, and three worm bins. Oh, yes. But my armpits don't stink and I don't smell of fried tofu. :)

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By Ann Coulter
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 18, 2002

HAVING WEARIED OF OPPOSING THE WAR ON TERRORISM, Democrats are now trying to sabotage the country's energy policy. A better idea, they think, is to continue sending large amounts of money to countries that nurture homicidal Muslims intent on destroying America.

George Bush has proposed drilling in a tiny, desolate portion of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR. According a leading Democratic opponent of the plan, lying is the key to defeating ANWR.

ABC-NBC-CBS have been accompanying discussions of ANWR with picturesque footage of caribou frolicking in lush, fertile fields – all of which happens to be nowhere near the site of the proposed drilling. ANWR is 19 million acres – larger than Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut and Delaware combined. If oil is found, less than 2,000 acres would be directly affected. The area targeted for drilling looks a little like the moon, but less inviting.

Consequently, Gale Norton, the secretary of the interior, responded to the campaign of lies by unveiling actual film footage of the area at issue. She sent a true and accurate film of the proposed drilling site to the networks and also posted the footage on the department's website.

Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts (D, needless to say) claims this underhanded dissemination of the truth is illegal. Telling the truth is not merely contrary to the principles of the Democratic Party, now it's a violation of law. As Markey explains, the law prohibits agencies from promoting any "film presentation designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress."

It was bad enough when Democrats just lied a lot themselves, purported not to know what "is" means and claimed that "everybody" lied, perjured themselves and suborned the perjury of others. Markey has staked out a more aggressive position by announcing that Republicans who tell the truth are breaking the law.

At least we have Markey on the record admitting that a truthful video of the proposed drilling site in ANWR would persuade Congress to support drilling.

ANWR exploration is overwhelmingly supported by Alaskans, Eskimos, Teamsters and caribou. It is opposed by Northeastern liberals who would never set foot anyplace near ANWR and haven't the first idea what it looks like.

The word "wildlife" in ANWR's title, for example, is somewhat misleading. The coastal plain – where the drilling would occur – is in total darkness half the year and reaches temperatures of 50 below. Most of the year it is uninhabited and uninhabitable by wildlife. Indeed, the only living things in the vicinity of the coastal plain – Eskimos and caribou – enthusiastically support drilling.

When oil exploration began in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay 30 years ago, environmentalists claimed it would yield only a "few months' supply" of oil and would wreck the ecosystem. Prudhoe Bay turned out to be the largest deposit of oil ever found in North America. Caribou frolic and play by the pipeline. In 20 years, the caribou population has skyrocketed, from 3,000 to almost 27,100.

The Teamsters have been huge supporters of drilling in ANWR, but Democrats treat union members like they treat the blacks. They expect union money and endorsements, but when the prospect of half a million high-paying jobs comes along, the Democrats tell workers it's only "one issue."

Ed "The Truth Is Illegal" Markey responded to Teamster support for ANWR by dismissively sniffing, it was only "one issue." Luckily, the Democrats have all those other issues dear to the heart of the average blue-collar worker: abortion on demand, gay marriage and taxpayer-funded crucifixes submerged in urine.

So much for "everyone" sacrificing for the war on terrorism. Little old ladies get strip-searched at airports, but the environmentalists won't budge on an uninhabitable wasteland at the continent's edge. The Democrats' idea of sacrifice is for Sen. Teddy Kennedy to stop getting drunk and groping stewardesses.

When not jetting around the country on his private plane, paid for by the deceased husband of his second wife, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has emerged as a leading opponent of ANWR. Developing new sources of energy, Kerry says, is "old thinking." The Democrats' innovative new idea is for the little people to wear sweaters and drive smaller cars.

That's a bold stroke: We'll delay starvation by eating a little less every day. The illogic of it confounds reason. Everyone is against waste – except Northeastern liberals telling the rest of us to conserve. (How about they practice by conserving our money?) We need more energy. Postponing death is not an energy policy.

Markey has similarly "innovative" ideas. He proposes that we "bring OPEC to its knees" by "our technological superiority." What he means by "technological superiority" is this: "Let's make SUVs get 30 miles a gallon"! How about we make cars and airplanes that run on grass? Or hot air, and run a pipeline from the Capitol?

There is not a thinking man's Democrat in the country. If only caribou voted instead of Democrats, the country would finally have a serious energy policy.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ann Coulter is a bestselling author and syndicated columnist. Her most recent book is How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must).

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From Right Field

Nathan

ML said...

Kyle I didn't realize how political you were. I would agree that we are bonbarded by too much junk mail and paper in general. We recycle the newspapers and magazines, but if we would recycle all paper it would be even better. However, I just wish we didn't get all that paper. Computers have helped but it seems that in the long run we still have to have a "hard copy".

Now I don't know a lot about oil and gas drilling and such. But I do know that my dad worked in an oil refinery where he worked to refine crude oil. Its a lengthy process not to mention just drilling for the oil. I'd say that prices on gas and oil have a lot to do with the difficulty in obtaining the product and then processing it. Also there is the whole safety aspect of just working in a refinery that is hassardess to one's health.

I'm not complaining too much about the prices. That is unless the product is being wasted. And it just could be a waste to use so much of it on those 3 block trips to my school everyday. (I just don't want to walk to school with my bookbag and my clean clothes. I'd be out of breath and hot and sweaty by the time I arrived. That would only make me cranky and the kids would not get a lot out of a cranky, hot, sweaty old teacher.

Okay I'll stop since I've stepped off into the senseless realm.

Mom

Tucker said...

That was really long. But I did like how it is Bush's fault that companies are not working on oil free solutions.

W! Start forcing companies to do stuff! Why don't you control American business better!

Ann Coulter is my new best friend.

Anyway, I am in Europe, and they have no space, so they do things pretty economically. I imagine that America will realize the fault in it's ways just as soon as we run out of space... in 3,000 years. When people start moving into Oklahoma, then we should get worried.

You can lead Americans to water, but you can't hit them on the back of the head and then drown them. It is illegal.

Kyle said...

Point taken on the Bush responsible for companies, thing. BUT, there have been measures that crossed his desk that would force companies to do things more ecologically that he's refused to sign. (the Kyoto treaty for one.) It would be nice though if someone with as much influence as he does would encourage a more responsible use of our environment.

And mom, it always seemed that you loved to hate politics and I always hated to love them and so I guess those paths never crossed. I'd rather have converstations with you about more important things like, ...well, most anything.

Jason said...

Three points:

1. Right on, Kyle. The answer to the oil crisis is not to try to get more oil. The answer is to find (or in many cases subsidize the development of) other sources of renewable energy, such as the hydrogen fuel-cell technology. The government can help this along by providing incentives and subsidies. These oil companies apparently need that carrot to get them moving.

2. Ann Coulter is a lunatic. She, Karl Rove, and Tom Delay are the epitome of what is wrong with the Republican party, each for their own, unique reasons. I stopped taking anything she had to say seriously years ago when she started making stuff up (the article quoted is a good example).

3. I've found that riding a bike is often a MUCH better way to do everyday commuting, but only if the infrastructure of the city supports it. Most people do not commute so far that cycling would take that much longer to get around (in many cases, it would be shorter). When city councils wake up to this, we'll all be better for it.