Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Everyone knows that BP and their contractors like Halliburton are directly responsible for whatever went wrong out there that lead to the oil gusher. But the distributed responsibility is actually more interesting to me. President Obama, Dick Cheney, various government bureaucrats, policies advanced by Democrats, Republicans, multinational corporations, the dinosaurs, etc etc. It's not surprising that finally someone's head popped off and some of the blame was cast on EEStor for moving too slowly or operating in unAmerican stealth mode.
This finger pointing is great theatre. And it will undoubtedly lead to more work for government bureaucrats which may or may not improve our chance of avoiding a future similar event. But after we've all come out of shock and we realize that no matter how sound our logic is for pinning responsibility on some one or some organization, a simple truth should be brought forward. To help this process along, I'm just going to be blunt:
The oil catastrophe is my fault. I take responsibility.
No, I don't work for BP or the Department of the Interior or for any political group or multinational corporation. I am simply a consumer of filthy dirty oil and because it's cheap and readily available for me, I consume it all the time--lots of it. I own and operate large vehicles and use oil like I paid for an all you can eat buffet of it. I never stop to think about where it comes from and how it's become increasingly difficult to obtain. The thought that innocent and friendly little cute sea animals are being killed or harmed doesn't even occur to me. And so, it's apparent that this terrible event unfolding now in the gulf of mexico is very closely linked to my behavior. The good news is I am not alone. It's your fault too. I would argue it's more your fault than mine. Nah, kidding. The truth is, the cost of paying for this problem is one we all share. (And would people please stop insisting that BP will be paying for all of this. They won't! All of the oil companies will raise their prices and that revenue will come from me and you--so we will be paying for it. )
But, if you think about it, it's not really my lifestyle or habits that increase my responsibility. It's rather my ineffective and limited demands for an alternative. I do not think governments can innovate well but I do believe they can create policies which reward innovation. (giving billions of dollars to politically connected venture capital firms is not the solution, either). My failure is as a citizen is for not seeking policy improvements to eliminate our need for oil. We're all guilty of this. Newsflash: acquiring oil is inherently risky to a great many things we hold dear such as our seafood and beaches...and economy and security.
So, now that I've accepted responsibility, here's what I'm going to do next. Nothing. That's how I handle most of these issues that arise from time to time. Are you like me? Probably. But, if someone can show me something useful to do, I'm all ears. But there is something coming which could create an opportunity for some activism. Yes, I'm talking about EEStor.
IF and WHEN EEStor emerges from the bat cave in Cedar Park, the capability they will be bringing forward could use policy enhancements to accelerate. We need aggressive phasing out of oil and combustion engines and coal and nuclear and chemical batteries (like lithium ion) and everything else that has a disposal cost we can't calculate due to our limited life spans. Now, that is something I would paint my chest and march along a boulevard or even jog naked with a bag over my head were the opportunity to arise to do so without being arrested (actually, I'm not that comfortable with my body--sorry, not an option). That's another thing. Right now, everyone thinks we'll get to a point where once EESU appears, we'll be like, oh, EESU is here...it will sell itself...no help needed. WRONG. Adoption of this technology is going to be challenged, taxed, blocked, attacked, etc etc. It's not going to be a rosy, easy path forward. It might cause a war or two even. Mark my words. Some of the obstacles will stem from ignorance. Some of it will be political posturing. Some of it will be pure evil greed. If you think the propaganda posted all over the Internet about EEStor being a scam is a significant effort, you haven't seen anything yet. There are a good many vectors to attack EEStor and anyone who supports them. So be ready. Maybe put on a soldier's hard hat and stow away a few days of fresh drinking water. I don't know. But it's coming.
(Note: this muaha deliberately shortened due to the gravity of the event here covered.)