Cough Doctors

quack-doctor Chronic dry coughs are one symptom of lung cancer. Physicians who examine cigarette smokers with chronic dry coughs can take an xray to check for lung tumors, or send the smoker home to take cough syrup.

Huge and unsustainable use of petroleum is one symptom of cars-first transportation. Activists who aim to create sustainable societies can either attack cars-first transportation, or strike futile poses about “oil addiction.”

These two situations are precise analogs: Getting arrested in an attempt to win marginal twitches in the petroleum supply chain is precisely the same as sending a coughing cigarette smoker to the pharmacy for cough drops. Both are reckless evasions of duty.

Meanwhile, the eco-shirkers are now congratulating themselves for staging “the largest grassroots environmental protest in decades.”

ROFLMAO. Anything is bigger than nothing, right?

Social movements are rare and hard to organize. To succeed, they must choose the right targets and point in the direction of imaginable and meaningful victories.

To see instead this kind of wasted, deluded effort makes me profoundly sad, especially when activism on behalf of real transportation reform is something large chunks of public might come to support.

The Myth of Oil Addiction

Petroleum is to the problem of energy use in America what a chronic dry cough is to the lung cancer patient. It is a symptom, not the disease.

The truth is that the corporate capitalist overclass is addicted to perpetuating cars-first transportation in the United States, regardless of the costs and dangers of doing so. The nation’s voracious appetite for oil is at least 80 percent a result of this underlying addiction. In the exceedingly unlikely event that the overclass ever manages to transition the nation’s automotive fleet to “alternative fuel” vehicles, the amount of energy demanded by those vehicles will remain wildly and radically unsustainable. The notion that everybody can accomplish their daily transits via personally owned 3,500-pound machines that sit idle for 95 percent of their lives was, is, and always will be a capitalist pipe-dream. The planet cannot support such wantonly heedless expenditures of its limited resources, oil or no oil.

The clearer and more pressing this fact becomes, the more the overclass pushes its chosen misdiagnosis, which is that “We [all of us] are addicted to oil.”

If you doubt this, read today’s belch from the High Priest of Prevailing Doctrine, Thomas Friedman. Friedman’s main proposition? If our masters “sell more Chevy Volts,” all our energy problems will go away.

The unexamined unseriousness of this assertion is beyond stunning. Keep this in the time capsule for your grandkids. They will be amazed we tolerated such nakedly corrupt magical thinking.