Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

We saw it coming and did nothing

with one comment

Good article by Nelson Schwartz in the NY Times on how thoroughly the US ignored warnings and avoided constructive steps regarding oil. For over 30 years the problem has been evident and growing, and in that time the US as a whole—people, politicians, and industry—have ignored warnings while proceeding toward disaster. This graph from the article speaks volumes.

The US sometimes seems to have a will to fail. From the article:

Over the last 25 years, opportunities to head off the current crisis were ignored, missed or deliberately blocked, according to analysts, politicians and veterans of the oil and automobile industries. What’s more, for all the surprise at just how high oil prices have climbed, and fears for the future, this is one crisis we were warned about. Ever since the oil shortages of the 1970s, one report after another has cautioned against America’s oil addiction.

Even as politicians heatedly debate opening new regions to drilling, corralling energy speculators, or starting an Apollo-like effort to find renewable energy supplies, analysts say the real source of the problem is closer to home. In fact, it’s parked in our driveways.

Nearly 70 percent of the 21 million barrels of oil the United States consumes every day goes for transportation, with the bulk of that burned by individual drivers, according to the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan research group that advises Congress.

So despite the fierce debate over what’s behind the recent spike in prices, no one differs on what’s really responsible for all that underlying demand here for black gold: the automobile, fueled not only by gasoline but also by Americans’ famous propensity for voracious consumption.

Read the entire article—it’s fascinating, in a way. Like watching a trainwreck.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 July 2008 at 9:09 am

One Response

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  1. I have long wondered how come small-engined, fuel-efficient, high-performance cars have been available in Europe for so many years (they’ve had gas in the $4-5.00/gal range for years), yet never made it to America. And U.S. companies own many of those European brands, e.g. Opel. Clearly, the technology has been around for a long time yet US and other carmakers have continued to supply us with gas-guzzlers. Makes you wonder about collusion between the oil compnaies and car manufacturers.


    6 July 2008 at 7:42 pm

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