Friday, September 12, 2008

High Oil: Good or Bad?


During his 2006 state of the union address President Bush stated that America was addicted to oil. As he continued his speech he mentioned alternative energy and new technologies to replace our dependence on oil.

Since 9-11 oil prices have skyrocketed, at times nearly quadrupling the prices we were paying during 2000 when gasoline could be found at prices only a few cents over a dollar. Most of us have complained about the high prices and many of us have adjusted out lifestyles to reduce the impact upon our standard of living while others among us have simply gone broke. The high cost of energy has caused prices of other goods to rise as businesses found they could no longer eat the increasing cost of transportation.

We are all familiar with the impact of high oil prices upon our personal lives but for a moment let us consider the question posted in the title of this post, are the high prices good or bad for us, our country, and our world?

Many scientists agree that global warming is a problem, if not a crisis, brought on through the burning of fossil fuels. The importation of oil from unstable regions of the world finances much of the terrorism that has become the focus of the current administration and the fear of the common citizen. Fossil fuel is believed to be a finite resource, when it’s gone, it is gone. Crude oil is the source of not only gasoline and diesel, but it is the raw material for much of today’s products such as plastics and an entire range of petrochemicals.

With this in mind is it responsible of us, as caretakers of this earth for future generations, to be using this resource as a motor fuel? Should we be roaring away, carefree in our hopped up pickup truck or SUV while a much more efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle would serve the purpose?

I cannot help but think the prices we have been experiencing are in some ways linked to the current administration’s pledge to break our dependence upon oil.

The markets are driving new technologys and forcing conservation. In turn not only are we importing less oil but we are producing less pollution. As new renewable technologies come on line, pollution will be reduced even further and our flow of money to unstable governments will shrink. If oil prices drop substantially this process will quickly be reversed and the new technologies will not be perfected or implemented until once again some years down the road the problems with our oil based economy will once again surface.

High Oil prices; Good or Bad?
Please post a comment, tell us what you think!


4 comments:

Michelle's Rambling Woods said...

IMHO-I'd like to think that the current administration was concerned about the environment enough that this was in their "plan", but I don't think that was the case. The high prices are good in that they make people re-think how they use their cars, but it is taking a horrible toll on those who can least afford the extra money it costs for gas and heating, our seniors and lower income families. So, I see this as a demonstation of bad planning or no planning.

Louise said...

As I child I had family living in Europe. As I child I started visiting them, and that continued until a few years ago when they moved to the U.S. Gas was always $4/gallon or more there. I lived there for a while in the late 80's, and it was that price then, when it was about $1 in the US. Their incomes were lower, but their standard of living was similar. How did they do it? Largely tiny little cars (1 per family was more common than 2 per family) and public transportation. Since then I have been saying that the only way Americans will conserve energy and get serious about the environmental effects is when it affects their wallets. High prices are good for the environment. Unfortunately our country is so large and cumbersome that getting acceptable public transportation in place nationwide is not going to come quicky, easily or cheaply. Some may say it should have been happening all along, but money sunk into such things that the public doesn't use is not wise. And from where I sit, the prices are not high enough yet to really affect much. I see a LITTLE more car-pooling and a LITTLEL more biking, but nothing drastic.
The prices are bad for the economy, but I hesitate to blame the government for this. Many are irresponsible with their money, using credit cards way beyond their resources. Driving giants vehicles they can't afford and can't afford the gas for. This is not the government's fault. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own lives and for the future of the planet. Governments cannot (and should not) control these things.

Didn't mean to be so long, but ultimately, I think the high prices are good.

fishing guy said...

Salty: You pose a very hard question. I don't beleive the government has anything to do with the high prices of gas other then ignoring it. We are an oil dependent country and the oil companies decided, if we want a President from Texas, everyone should pay. Outrageous profits are the result of the high gas prices. People of low or fixed incomes are hurt the worst of all.

The rich profit from a Republican government and we hear reform from McCain but will that really happen. We as a country are on a downward spiral and energy is at the core.

The high price of oil is hurting the economy and saving in gas usage can't balance that out.

Chad Oneil Myers said...

I'm sitting at my computer on this Monday evening instead of over at my Fiancee's house because of gas prices...

Our current economy has made it difficult to court a lady... but, we do what we have to do, so we can do what we want to do.

Did 9/11 ultimately cause our current state of economy?