Monday, August 04, 2008

It's Monday, Time to Quibble Over Something Relatively Unimportant

Bear with me.

As I write this, CNN.com has changed their quick poll -- right now it's about whose energy policy you favor, Obama's or McCain's. But a little while ago it was about reaching into the national oil reserve. Here's what bothers me and probably nobody else -- instead of just "yes" or "no" as answers, CNN, in an attempt to be appropriately cheeky for the Web, posted the answers as "yes, drivers need a break," and "no, it's just for emergencies." Again, they replaced that poll a minute ago so my wording might be slightly off, but you get the gist of it.

Why do they need to provide my rationale? I would be reading too much into this to say that this style of poll answers feeds into/is a result of our national political duality -- you either answer questions one way for one reason and you're a lefty, or you answer the opposite way for the opposite reason and you're a righty. On an intellectual level, there are other reasons that a person might vote either way. This is all really nothing more than the way of things on the Web -- you need to have some kind of attitude to attract that two seconds of attention it takes people to click on something. It still irritates me.

Now then, with that over, something that actually matters: there is no Band-Aid that's going to keep oil prices down, and all this suggestion that offshore drilling or tapping reserves or gas tax holidays are going to save us is irresponsible pandering at its basest. It's one thing to believe something that's dumb and destructive but can't be disproved, like that homosexuality is an "abomination" to somebody-or-other. This is something else entirely -- the perpetuation of a myth that even the most GOP-sympathetic economist could tell you is pure baloney.

I am not some socialist spouting. I want America to pull out of the recession with real vision, and that isn't going to happen drilling holes with 20th Century technology in a vain attempt to stave off the inevitable and pretend that the go-go cheap gas 90s will continue indefinitely, especially not while Europe, China and others take the lead in developing modern energy technology.

Put aside the fact that we don't actually know how much oil is under the ground, and that it's going to take a huge monetary investment to get it because we've already tapped out the easy-to-access oil, and that we won't see oil from brand new drilling for another decade, and that even if we could have it today it wouldn't make that big of a dent in our foreign dependence or the price. The real shame of floating these measures is that it allows people to continue the daydream, instead of trying to take the lead in the modern world.

And another thing!

(grumbling, followed by muttering)

Now that I've barked about that for a bit, it's time to retire for the night.

4 comments:

chaviva said...

Crotchety old man.

Michael said...

Grumbling with a purpose isn't grumbling.

Chris said...

I muse about this sometimes--how every issue is a partisan issue. For instance, people who opposed the war were overwhelmingly pro-choice. There is no logical connection between not invading Iraq and believing that women should have the right to make decisions about whether to carry their pregnancies to term. It's just one example.

Which is to say: grumble grumble grouse. Goddamned boomers.

Michelle S said...

I agree with Michael: grumbling with a purpose isn't grumbling. Of course that opinion is somewhat self-serving, since I engage in said activity frequently. Tom was kind enough to let me do so on his own blog.

Also, I wanted to applaud you for the goal you stated on this blog of "[wanting] to be world-renowned for my wit, not simply small-circle-of-friends-renowned. In the meantime, I'd settle for a steady gig and a tall glass of I.P.A." If not for my highly developed set of journalistic principles, I would steal that goal and use it for myself, except I'd substitute "Belgian white" for I.P.A.