Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Castles made of sand..


‘Scuse me, I’ve been busy. After a short workweek, I joined the Rice FE&P Sandcastle team for the 22nd annual AIA Sandcastle contest, my first. Eight-four teams competed in various categories, a five-hour race against wind, tide, and gravity. It was a great event, even for a certain schlepper relegated to operating a wheelbarrow and shovel.

One entry represented a gas gauge, giving someone an opportunity to demagogue on the subject of energy prices. The theme I gathered is that we have a God-given right to emit two tons of carbon per capita per year.

This theme was reinforced as we left, traffic crawling through acres of beach filled with pick-ups and SUVs, our forty- mile drive taking almost two hours.

Now this morning I turn to The Chronicle’s Sunday Outlook section and see the lead article by James Howard Kunstler, “Our motoring utopia is all in the rearview.” He tells us that the global energy situation has changed the way that we will trade, travel, produce food, use land, govern ourselves, and get healthcare and education. He says:

“These systems will run into trouble. Instability in one sector will bleed into another.

Shocks to the oil markets will hurt trucking, which will slow commerce and food distribution, manufacturing and the tourist industry in a chain of cascading effects. Problems in finance will squeeze any enterprise that requires capital, including oil exploration and production, as well as government spending.

These systems are all interrelated. They all face a crisis. What's more, the stress induced by the failure of these systems will only increase the wishful thinking across our nation.”

I have just been reading Kunstler’s book “The Long Emergency.” What I had expected to be a piece of dry nonfiction has turned out to be riveting.

He’s got me thinking that this spike in energy prices, which we think is killing us, may turn out to be a blessing if it turns us away from an unsustainable way of life that can only lead us to war and misery as we despoil our planet.’

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