After The New Gold Rush
Now that global warming has caused considerable Arctic thaw, the notion of accessing an abundance of new oil is presenting itself as consolation for the damage global warming is bringing. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and last September saw the lowest extent of ice cover for more than a century. And, there are huge deposits of oil in the Arctic. What incredible good fortune it is for the oil companies that global warming should turn out so propitiously. It's an American tradition to turn lemons into lemonade, and our oil companies are always up for the challenge.
"By the end of this century, the length of the navigation season...along the Northern Sea route is projected to increase to about 120 days from the current 20-30 days..."
How convenient that is. Of course, the probability of spillage increases as well, but that's of no great concern to the companies who see no end of the rainbow for oil profits, in spite of all the talk of peak oil. Their only concern is that they have a future, however short-term it may be. For those wondering why the breaks haven't been applied to global warming, they should now have their answer. The U.S. is not likely to change this unfolding scenario while there is oil to be had in the Arctic, and will play a dangerous game of limbo with our climate. How low can the ice go before the damage is globally catastrophic? One thing's for sure- if weather conditions continue to become more severe, there should be plenty of fuel to burn to stay warm. And so, to the oil companies, it's the kind of win-win situation that brings myopic smiles all around the boardroom.
Those wishing to implement alternative energy have got their hands full in trying to divert this scenario. The public is going to have to be made to demand better fuel efficiency, and, considering that the SUV has become the new status symbol, it's going to be a very ardous task. The public will not budge until they see tangible signs of danger to their own well-being and, by that time, it may be too late to reverse the warming trend. The sense of self-import on the part of American consumers precludes heeding the warning signs, and so it's down the road we go towards oblivion. The acceptance of fossil-fuel useage as part of the status quo is embraced with religious fervor. As a sign of the times, one could almost reverse the popular bumper-sticker slogan to say, "my dogma ran over your karma".
It's a shame that so few have the imagination to envision a world without oil consumption. It was such imagination that once made this country great, as it moved past the time of oil lamps and horse-drawn carriages into a then-futuristic world that relied on innovation. That we have reached such an impasse of ideas speaks volumes for our foundation-driven, dumbed-down educational system and corporate-controlled media, and how we now find ourselves in an evolutionary cul-de-sac, with individualism on the wane. Unless a sudden virus of thinking outside of the box miraculously takes hold, this purgatory of progress will in short order be our undoing.
"Be an opener of doors for such as come after thee."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson