"America has become a vassal state to OPEC. Our military men and women are offered as a serf army to OPEC nations. We use billions of US tax dollars and blood of our soldiers to preserve power of these unpopular governments. Wind power and solar energy could quickly free us from OPECís shackles." - Hulagu's Web
In first quarter of 2005, cost of a gallon of gas climbed to highest price ever. In that same period ExxonMobil, behemoth global oil company, surged forward as largest and most profitable corporation in world valued at more than $402 billion on Feb. 28th. The American public funded this success through military operations to secure oil and in turn, pay for success with higher and higher prices at pumps.
While America politicians and businesses clamor over dwindling global oil reserves, other countries are taking necessary actions to replace oil as their principle energy source. Germany and France have both implemented successful alternative energy programs, dramatically reducing their dependency on oil, and oil rich countries. This is perhaps one of principle reasons why their governments are labeled as uncaring towards Americaís political predicament with foreign oil. While America spends billions to secure oil resources with their military, Germany and France pour their wealth into expanding their alternative energy programs. Itís a race that America is losing. Politically, American blight in Middle East is of great advantage to countries in support of renewable energy, because these countries are getting a head start on global race towards technological development of more efficient renewable energy systems. Billions spent on preservation of status quo of OPEC nations assures France and Germany oil for immediate future. At same time, money saved from opting out of participation in Coalition can be used to build many alternative energy resources and research new methods of securing renewable energy. Well-orchestrated protests against American involvement in Iraq and other Middle East countries endears Canada, France and Germany to world.
"Implementing alternative energy requires us to be motivated; as we know it's much easier to simply hook into 'grid'." -- David Suzuki
Why is America so dependent on oil and unwilling to seriously turn to alternative energies to gain freedom from OPECís shackles? A principle reason is naivety regarding possible options of renewable energy, coupled with distorted way big oil and their hoard of PR people compare cost of oil against cost of other energy sources. The cost of a barrel of oil is used to determine its kilowatt/hour cost. That price is stripped clean of billions spent each year for securing oil. The barrel price only reflects OPECís asking price. Not considered in kilowatt/hour cost is tax money spent on military mobilization to assure resources of companies like ExxonMobil reach American shores. The death of American soldiers and their overwhelming sacrifices to keep oil flowing, to power America, or to squander on SUVís and ATVís, is never considered as a part of oil cost in corporate offices of energy titans.
Some feel adamant that alternative energy will not only provide cheaper energy but remedy or at least diminish primary reasons for ongoing global conflict. Alternative energy provides ability to offer a large level of redundancy in sources so that countries are not dependent on natural resources of another nation. It also provides a much cleaner energy, reducing tremendous pollution problem of fossil fuel. The profitability of alternative energy is an investment that starts today and pays off tomorrow.
Most alternative energy resources are much safer to produce and use. The oil business, however, has a bad history of subjecting even their employees to dangers in production and transportation of fuel. On March 23, 2005 a huge explosion erupted in an oil refinery in Texas wounding around 70 employees and killing 14. In Tosco Avon Refinery in Martinez, California, an explosion in 1999 killed 4 employees. After an investigation that refinery was closed and lawsuits are still raging over accident. Oil spills are another major hazards unique to oil industry. Most are not as infamous as Exxon Valdez Spill, but they all are damaging and happen frequently with ships breaking apart and trucks overturning. The results are death of people, wildlife and long term environmental damage.
How can America embrace alternative energy and reduce dependency on politically volatile foreign oil? Realize that alternative energy is now cheaper for any country than oil. The military expense involved with procurement of oil is a hidden fee, paid through taxes and with lives. The American working class pays bulk of this burden as higher taxes than any other group. Education is answer in US, because reality of alternative energy is realized by simplicity and beauty of wind power and solar energy. It is insane to continue ongoing effort, extending use of a fuel that is so scarce, dangerous, polluting, monopolized, and produced by politically unstable entities. Americaís energy crisis can be solved quickly with alternative energy. There is no need for another soldier to die on foreign soil, leaving loved ones to grieve. This should be Americaís focus, not finding more oil fields or even destroying Alaskan wildlife reserve just to squeeze a few more barrels out of ground, to face same problem in a few more years. Prolonging agony does not suspend agony -- it saves agony for later.