Wars over oil replaced by drilling at home
America got involved in a huge war in Iraq primarily over control of oil. America also wanted the dollar to still be used by Iraq instead of the Euro, so the war was in essence a bullying session at great expense to both nations. Third, the war cmbined with the Afghanistan invasion also was about improving our military position near Iran. All three of these political objectives make logical sense. But, fighting huge wars for such small goals seems corrupt and not worth it. The solution is to create our own energy at home. And since our nation is so large, especially when you include Alaska, there are lots of energy opportunities.
Drilling at home weakens the Arabs
America and Canada started finding new and improved ways to drill for oil in our own lands without depending on the Middle-Easterners which was a great idea. Many of the Gulf countries are going under financially now that America is in competition with them for oil production as the cost of oil has gone down. Weakening countries engaged in terrorism or engaged in supporting others do terrorism seems like a reasonable national goal.
But, fracking & offshore drilling are bad for mother earth
The problem is that America doesn’t know when to stop exploiting the land for resources. Moderate drilling for oil in safe places makes sense. But, what about offshore drilling? That can create spills that are impossible to completely clean up that are devastating to the environment. And fracking is much worse as it pollutes ground water and does long term damage to whatever region it is done in. Many people claim that fracking increases the rate of cancer many times over. I personally don’t know what the truth is, but creating environmentally unsafe conditions for temporary profit are extremely bad in the long run. America needs to find clean and safe ways to lead the world of energy.
Standing Rock Protests
Right now, the native folks at Standing Rock are protesting a pipeline that is going to go over a river. They know that if there is damage to the pipe sometime in the future, that the environmental consequences will be hard to control. Additionally, since the rivers from North Dakota feed into the Mississippi river, if you pollute one river, you pollute the entire network of rivers. The claims about long-term environmental risk made at Standing Rock make sense — and our government should start listening if they want a planet that their children can inherit.
Worldwide environmental standards are necessary
The solution to the problem seems to be three-fold. First as a nation and as a planet, we need clearly defined environmental standards and goals. There should ideally be a worldwide government in charge of environmental safety to regulate countries like… well… all of us. Brazil is cutting down their rainforest, America is fracking, and China is polluting. We all need to wake up and regulate.
The second solution is to find alternatives to drilling. Solar energy is currently more expensive than oil, but doesn’t have to continue to be. If more research was put into the efficient construction of solar energy farms, it would be more cost effective, and with no damage to the environment. Additionally, energy from corn based ethanol are also solutions. The problem is that the price of food is so high, that ethanol can not be a competitive alternative to oil. The only way to reduce the price of food staples is to reduce the population of the planet — but, reducing the population would also create a reduction in oil prices. Do we have to wait until the oil is almost all used up before we find alternative energy resources?
Last, having more efficient ways of using fuel seems to make sense. Hybrid cars are helping people save energy. Van-pooling and ride sharing are becoming more popular these days as well. More efficient models for distributing goods nationwide would be yet another way to save on fuel. More efficient train and truck systems of transportation would be part of that solution.
I hope we can meet our energy needs without destroying our planet. The bigger issue is getting the people in power as well as regular folks to see that our environment is one of the most important issues of the day — and if it doesn’t get solved, we’ll all be very very sorry.