Cars-first transportation, the world’s #1 source of greenhouse gas emissions, is yielding its historic consequences, as nobody — not even greens — talks about it with any degree of seriousness:
As he continues his efforts to inherit a good planet, Mitt Romney has apparently been caught on video talking to some of his rich sponsors. In it, Romney not only makes some hilariously deluded attempts to flatter his backers on the topic of who benefits from government spending, but also calls peace in the Middle East “almost unthinkable.”
“You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem,” says Romney. “There’s just no way….We sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field.”
As the late, great John Kenneth Galbraith argued, this is more evidence that Republicans are more honest that Democrats. Romney’s admissions are an acknowledgment of the sacrosanct status of one of the primary tenets of mainstream politics in corporate capitalist/cars-first America: U.S. promotion of chaos in the region that sits atop “our oil.”
Peace in the Middle East would quickly lead to the ultimate anathema for the U.S. overclass: Rational regional politics. The obvious first topic there: Who owns the oil?
Such questions are verboten, with guns.
For any true American nationalist, this aspect of foreign policy would be massively enraging, as it shows the world’s mightiest armed force professing its own impotence to compel a simple outcome it publicly professes to desire on powers that are utterly small, exquisitely fragile, and on our payroll.
Of course, as Romney’s little chat reveals, the truth is that the United States will brook no serious talk of peace and democracy in such a vital region.
Here at DbC, we track the sociology of overclass heedlessness. How could we not, given that the automobile is perhaps the ultimate embodiment of the phenomenon?
So, anyhow, here we are, living in a world of Peak Oil, more and bigger impending oil shocks, and eventual extraordinary misery. What, at this very late moment, remains “the world’s primary manufacturing industry?” That’s right: the one that turns out 4,000-pound petroleum and coal burning machines that sit idle for 95 percent of their lives.
In fact, the news is worse than that. The car industry is not just still #1. It is still expanding:
A new J.D. Power forecast said global auto sales will likely set a new record this year.
The consulting firm said it expects global light vehicle sales of 76.5 million units in 2011, 6% higher than the existing record of 72 million light vehicles sold in 2010.
And somebody said capital is heedless of the health and welfare of the species, unless compelled by society!