Cluelessness over the the world energy / economic predicament fogs the public discussion more than ever as we approach summer. The New York Times ran a big story in the Sunday news section about India's soaring energy needs and its future plans ("Hunger For Energy Transforms How India Operates"). India is the world's fifth leading energy user. Dig this: they import 70 percent of their oil. India's government predicts that the country will have to import 85 percent of its oil two decades from now.I'm not sure what amazes me more: that George Bush was re-elected rather than impeached or that we are this far into the energy crisis with so little public discussion on the matter. This should be top of the agenda folks. It's as though we trust that by ignoring it the problem will go away and that will not happen. Nope. We're setting ourselves up for a big fall. We'll see soon enough.
So what's India's plan? According to Energy Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, the solution is "to persuade China to cooperate rather than compete." Okay, and your bargaining chip would be. . .? Also consider this: The US, Japan, Europe and China will all have to import more than three quarters of their oil supplies. Does this suggest that the world is going to remain an orderly place?
The Times story about all this is so devoid of critical analysis that it appears to have been written by an 11-year-old child.
Here in the States, the price of a barrel of oil is back over $55 and we are only one week into the summer vacation driving season. President Bush is running a scam on the public by pretending to push Congress to act on an energy bill that offers nothing to realistically address the nation's oil addiction and, especially, its car dependency. He doesn't dare, I suppose, because he must know that the American economy is about little more than car dependency. But just watch: as the price for a barrel of oil heads north past $60, Bush's abject leadership failure will become self-evident and the public mood will appear to shift overnight. The oval office will become a very lonely place indeed by this coming fall, and its occupant will have three long and terrible years left to suffer there.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Clueless about our energy crisis
James Kunstler continues to write the most cutting and accurate articles regarding oil and world energy. Here are a few choice nuggets from his most recent, Still Clueless: