From Timothy Egan in the May 5 New York Times‘ Opinionator:
On energy, amnesia is the American way. Things lumber along, 300-million-year-old fossil fuels are pulled from deep inside the kingdoms of desert despots and shipped to our shores. It’s slow-motion suicide, of sorts, to the planet — and I’m no worse or better than anyone else who uses oil for everyday comforts — but we don’t see the wounds until a spill brings it all home.
Totally. As you may remember from our About Us page,
Santayana said: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This may be truer for America than anywhere else, because we pride ourselves on dismissing the past, moving forward, progress. In America, the past just gets in the way, and has to be torn down like an old building.
We think this time is different. This time, the past has blocked our way, and is threatening to tear us down instead. We chronically bubble our economy, import our energy and use it inefficiently, and waste our water resources.
Egan is absolutely right when he says:
Suddenly, alarms are sounded. Brows are furrowed. Promises are made. This time, with fears that the Gulf spill will be even larger than the one in Alaska, lessons will be learned, yesiree. But soon enough, we’ll go back to planting trees on Earth Day, feeling good about recycling — Hooray for us! We’re green and cool — while resuming the old routine. That is: a nation with five percent of the earth’s population consuming about 23 percent of the world’s oil output, glug, glug, glug.
That’s what we said:
But crisis is nothing new to Mankind: every couple of generations, the same portents of Apocalypse gather – only to be swept under the carpet when the warnings of imminent destruction are perceived to be from the radical fringe, crying wolf.
Let’s face the music and dance.
But don’t fret! You and Timmy are the lucky ones – now there a lot more ways to make things go.