Cave You Can Believe In

Nobody denies that domestic U.S. petroleum production passed its peak 40 years ago and has zero chance of ever regaining it. That, of course, has no impact on mainstream reporting and politics, where everybody plays the game of implying that some secret stash will be unlocked and return the United States to carefree cars-first living.

In the least surprising news of the month, Zerobama, the most fraudulent of all modern U.S. Presidents (a major competition, I know, but one he easily wins), is now officially piling onto this remarkably dishonest game, having just announced, in his unchanging didactic techno-smarm, that he’s caving in to demands to further deregulate domestic oil and natural gas drilling.

The only effect of this latest item of complete conventionality will be to raise the level of ecological destruction that accompanies the ruling institutions’ perpetuation of the nation’s massively unsustainable transportation infrastructure.

Memo to Rachel Maddow

maddow oval office Rachel, you are certainly correct that OilBama blew it.

But two wrongs don’t make a right. Passing an “energy bill” is not going to do jack shit to prevent future oil rig explosions or any of the other costs and dangers of the status quo.

The reasons:

1. 80+ percent of U.S. oil use is due to cars-first transportation.  71 percent goes directly into gas tanks, and at least another ten percent goes into making cars, building asphalt roads, and automobile-induced generally inflated petroleum use.  If we do not radically demote the automobile in this society, more deepwater oil drilling and rig disasters are assured.

2. Doubling or tripling automotive fuel efficiency standards in the US car fleet is very easy to say, and essentially impossible to do, unless you spend trillions of dollars doing so.  If we are to switch over to glorified electric golf carts, we will need to rebuild our entire existing road and fueling infrastructure, as well as our whole electrical grid.  If we are going to spend trillions, we should rebuild our cities and towns to facilitate truly sustainable transportation, not more cars.

3. Doubling or tripling automotive fuel efficiency would merely slow the pace of oil use.  It will absolutely not “get us off oil.”  In fact, trying to double or triple automotive fuel efficiency would INCREASE the rate of petroleum used in road and vehicle building, both of which would be required to make micro-cars exist in sufficient numbers and platforms.  The automobile in any viable cars-first format is a 1,500-plus-pound metal and plastic box for moving people distances that ought to be covered by walking, bicycling, and using shared public transit vehicles.  As such, it is inherently oil-instensive and radically unsustainable.  Why haven’t you ever pondered that, Rachel?

4. Alternative fuels do not, and probably will not, exist, except as counterproductive tricks on end-users desperate for answers.

5. Until you liberal wonks stop working to keep people tied to shameless sell-outs like Obama, none of your fantasy-world legislative rebellions stand a ghost of a chance of happening.  We need social movements and serious discussion of reality, include the necrosis of the Democratic Party, not misleading and unserious beltway pwog talking points.

Grow up, Rachel.  This isn’t a game.

Here Come the Poses

money justice The other day, I said that the Deepwater Horizon blowout would lead to six months of scapegoating and posturing about “our concern,” then yield to a renewal of deep-water oil drilling.

Yesterday, President No-Change passively admitted the same:

We owe all those who’ve been harmed, as well as future generations, a full and vigorous accounting of the events that led to what has now become the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Only then can we be assured that deepwater drilling can take place safely. Only then can we accept further development of these resources as we transition to a clean energy economy.

Clearly, the verdict has already been reached, before the monkey trial even starts.  “Let us collect the testimony, then find ourselves assured of the necessity of what’s going to be done, regardless of the facts.”

This is called softening up the rubes, in the game of corporate-sponsored politics.

As always, it is going to take a major social movement to stop this heedless overclass of ours. Like their predecessors, they have lost all capacity for self-reform.  Obama is 100 percent part of the problem.