Jim Chattin, Devils Lake, N.D., letter: Energy 'monkey' rides on Uncle Sam's back
DEVILS LAKE -- John McCain changed his mind and now favors offshore drilling. Barack Obama has also softened his anti-offshore drilling position. Can the American voter blame these guys for changing their minds? After all, we Americans have grown...
DEVILS LAKE -- John McCain changed his mind and now favors offshore drilling. Barack Obama has also softened his anti-offshore drilling position. Can the American voter blame these guys for changing their minds? After all, we Americans have grown up used to cheap gas. Our entire economy has blossomed because of years of easy access to cheap energy. So how can anyone blame them? They just want to get elected.
We are spoiled. Instead of true leadership -- by that I mean having the guts to tell us that our lifestyles and our economic habits must change -- our presumptive candidates have had to compromise their principles, shade the truth and promise what they can't (or shouldn't) deliver.
The big problem is not finding and developing new oil fields (offshore or otherwise) or other petroleum-based energy resources; it is cutting our cocainelike addiction to this stuff. Both campaigns tout "clean coal" as a big part of the solution, mostly because we have no choice -- at least in the short run.
The "clean coal" alternative, however, should be dumped as soon as possible because this approach will only result in the building of more of these facilities to meet our energy demands. That will bring about the release of more greenhouse gases.
How can we possibly reduce the impact of global warming if we continue to pump huge amounts of CO2 into the air? Yet as long as most Americans aren't flooded or burned out of their homes and can afford to pay more for gas, food, heat and air conditioning, our political leaders never will grow a spine and tell us what we have to do.
But they should -- even knowing full well that we fickle voters will turn them out -- because they will have asked us to actually pay to fix decades of mistakes and to sacrifice in many other ways to make it happen.
Eventually, when the current generation of selfish, spoiled Americans is safely dead and buried, perhaps their kids and grandkids -- the ones who have been stuck with the bill -- will start to vote for straight-talking politicians who are truly prepared to lead.