Thursday, June 19, 2008

Farewell happy fields where joy forever dwells: hail, horrors! (Milton)

If power sources start to run out, you should:

  1. Look for more sources of the same finite filthy resource,
  2. Look for new sources of power that won't run out or ruin things, or
  3. Wish it were fifty years ago, when you should have done (2.)
To fully appreciate the concept of disaster economics, I think of the current excitement over Alaskan oil. There's a chunk of protected wilderness that most people blithely believe is land that we've saved for oil drilling. Now, the laissez-faire wacky capitalist Milton Freedman-Ayn Rand hybrids who run the world right now say: "Hooray! There's a crisis that we can exploit!"
"If gas were more expensive, we could screw the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior, Congress, treehuggers, polar bears, cariboos, and everybody else. They'll beg us to open up federally-protected lands in order to drill for more oily stuff.
"And we'll make sure we erase all that 'closed to development' crap, so we can start selling off the land and use that valuable Alaska resource to get some taxes back, and make some real money. That's what 'refuge' means, isn't it? We set it aside for a time when we can use it. So ANWR is just our rainy day real estate fund, really.
"And it's starting to drizzle pretty hard."
To special people who think they were chosen by god to rule the nation and so can do no wrong, or the ones who think that there is no tomorrow so exploitexploitexploit, or the ones who want to use only one resource until it's exhausted and then go on to exhaust the next, or the ones who just plain don't care about the souls of their grandchildren because they can turn "wilderness" into "capital gains" if you open it up to development, thereby ensuring happy greedy progeny.
Plus, with an ice-free Arctic, just think of all the opportunities for yachties.
If only we could tweak the meaning of "end our dependence on foreign oil." To something like, "end our dependence on oil." I mean, one little word...
If I go to a federal reserve and start shooting wildlife or riding around on an ATV (I know, I mean at one of the federal reserves where you're not supposed to), I would be committing a crime. Because Congress said that the land is protected. So, that's kind of like saying that drilling and development in ANWR is unconstitutional. And you know how I feel about that kind of talk.
When I hear people talking about drilling in Alaska -- further drilling, I mean -- it's like hearing some kids planning an act of vandalism on school property. Except no custodian can come over with his bucket and clean up.
But I'm sure that we can hire more custodians in Shelltown or Exxonville once the golf courses and Piggly-Wigglys and McMansions and highways are there. Highways full of , oh, you know the rest...

Oh and there'll be no more worry about cariboos and stories like the polar bears who accidentally find Iceland. Here's the last one of these damned things:

Of course, Iceland has a commercial whale fishery, so who knows? Maybe we'll go back to whale oil and the tropical port of New Bedford can get back on the chart.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://usactions.greenpeace.org/action/start/200/?session_action=reset

This petition urges Senator John McCain to stop offshore drilling.
Do your part

SCM said...

Looking south of the North Pole, you have to wonder about New England. With warming winters, towns where many people can walk and bicycle to the stores, workplaces, and parks (try living without a car west of the Missippi or south of the Mason-Dixon), and much more potable water than Southerners and Westerners enjoy, New Englanders may find themselves welcoming new neighbors in the years of oil depletion.

ThirdMate said...

SCM:
According to even our local mall is above the 14M flood stage. Our place will have a short walk to the shore.
Shorter, I mean.
Might look to renting out the top floor to mariners.

ThirdMate said...

Again, Blogspot HTML sloppiness. The resource I mention above (http://flood.firetree.net/ -- accessible by clicking on any word in the comment there) is a "conjectural" flood map. Spooky.