I just read a NYTimes article titled: “U.S Inches Toward Goal of Energy Independence.” That title couldn’t be more falsely termed. There is simply no way expanded oil and natural gas drilling production, which is having a Twilight boom via hydraulic fracturing, can lead to any type of energy independence. It’s simply laughable. If anything, it will only continue to delay the desperately needed renewable energy infrastructure the planet needs, an infrastructure that’s truly based on independence.
Nothing is renewable or independent about oil and natural gas. They’re finite resources hooked to archaic energy systems that keep chugging along thanks to the self-minded Koch brothers. Detroit is the city it is today because the US car manufacturing system died. The suburbs are slowly, but surely, eroding into economic and social wastelands because more and more Americans are choosing to live in car-free, metropolitan areas where a family can instead walk to dinner or to the park versus driving 30 minutes. It saves money, keeps our air clean and increases community vitality and lifespan (yes, it’s true). What could be wrong with that? Well, the oil and natural gas industry would like you to think otherwise. You “need” your car. You “need” all your senseless products and gadgets to keep you satiated. You can’t “live” without your this, or your that. And living in a city? Scary!
Regardless, the economy is shifting in a deep, organic way the likes of even the Koch family can’t compete. Occupy Wall Street is just one example of growing American discontent and disassociation. Energy independence? Sure. Why don’t we stop demanding so much in the first place – that’s a wise start. From there, consider car-sharing or, if you’re truly daring, ridding of your car altogether and taking public transpiration. Don’t live in a city? Make the leap and consider moving. Too big a jump for you? Then do what you can where you are, but keep these thoughts in mind. Write to your Representatives. Get involved and educated. It’s not hard and since most Americans could care less about politics these days (Congress’s approval ratings are at an all time historic low), the more people who stand up for what’s right, the better.
The Earth is not going to be a very friendly or hospitable place very soon. In fact, our Earth is already showing signs of great discontent (80+ degree days in March in New England, rainless regions of the South and West, etc). Climate change is real and is happening now and anybody who tells you otherwise is in denial. Until we realize how connected we are as a species to our planet – our only home – then we’re the losers. And there’s no independence in that.