I remember, not that long ago, having a conversation outside a local nightspot, when the topic turned to Peak Oil. I’ll say right up front, I am a believer. I do not want to be. More on this later. So, the person I’m talking with actually tells me that while he tends to “buy in” regarding the need for alternative fuels, and sustainable living and such, his “problem” is how the message gets delivered. Seriously, he said that. I have pondered that ever since. I believe i have decided that its bullshit. Its an easy out for someone that “gets it”, but is horrified that he may get lumped in with those who are frequently derided as “dirty, filthy hippies”. Cuz he is way too cool for that. So, though his intelligence is an asset here, he chooses to handicap himself by disengaging it.
Long time readers of The Coyote Chronicles will remember a thread about speaking or writing authoritatively often being misinterpreted as condescension. For awhile, in an effort to be sensitive to those who might be offended, I’ve tried to infuse my arguments about certain issues with all the requisite disclaimers and “your mileage may vary” diplomacy’s. I’m past that. So, lets go ahead and be clear before i launch into my rant below: I have a penis. I have a certain, well, certainty to the way I write and speak, so…yes, I am a card-carrying member of Teh Patriarchy. If I was a meteorologist, and I was loudly proclaiming the approaching storm is death on a stick, you may disregard my message, but then please don’t expect my fellow Patriarchs to pilot a chopper out to rescue your ass because you didn’t like the way the message was delivered.
OK, in no particular order, heres what is on my mind:
1. Regarding gas prices, availability, and alternatives to fossil based fuels…if you think America will just “invent” it’s way out of this mess, you are a fool. The rest of the world is leaving us in the dust with respect to math and science education. At least we will have enough lawyers to protect their patents and copyrights. The simple truth is that we are going to have to pay what the rest of the world pays, or something close anyway.
2. Gas prices will stay between 3.50 and 5.00 for the foreseeable future. Food will cost more. Electricity will cost more. Insurance will cost more. Natural gas and propane will cost more. Water will cost more. Anything delivered by truck will cost more. County and city fees will cost more. Property taxes will increase. Services will be cut back. If your income is going to stay roughly the same, you only have two choices: Sacrifice some things, or take on debt. If you decide debt is the way to go, well, you’re a fool.
3. Home foreclosures are on the rise. Bank failures are on the rise. Corporate welfare is on the rise. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, Lehman Bros, General Motors are all preparing to feed from the public trough. We are still spending a million a minute in Iraq and Afghanistan. The big Russian bear has emerged from hibernation. Our efforts to exploit South America and prop up business friendly regimes are coming around to bite us in the ass. A handful of powerful men and their minions have successfully raided the treasury, and made sure that we won’t be able to fund our schools nor our entitlement programs. To make sure we CAN fund the latest stealth bomber series, they have instructed your local paper to deliver a propagandist DVD designed to make you fear Muslims. We have no press, just family connected journalism majors who are hell bent on reminding us that after two years of campaigning, “we still don’t know Barack Obama.” Yet, after a 12 minute acceptance speech, most Americans “identify with Sarah Palin.” In short, folks, we’re fucked.
As i said up top, i don’t WANT any of this to be true. Hell, those of you that have been to my home will understand when I say I live in paradise. I’m surrounded by trees and creeks and I would be perfectly happy to putter around my barn, building ugly furniture and waging psychological warfare on my animals. I’d like nothing more than to spark one up at daylight, and spend my time cooking exotic foods that only The Primary Wife will eat. Speaking of The Primary Wife, I’m pretty sure she’d like to spend her days carving up and decorating gourds, and painting, and planting flowers. We’d love to travel to Santa Fe in the Winter, and spend May through August on some beach…..but, sadly, life intrudes.
Feel free to dismiss this as mere negativity. However, my family is better suited than most to ride out rough patches with respect to the economy, or to endure a food shortage or energy crisis. We started preparing years ago, and though we haven’t organized ourselves yet, we are at least aware of the problems and willing to make adjustments to our lifestyle if need be.
This long winded, stream of consciousness post was mostly written for me. I needed to remind myself to start calling a spade a spade, and to hell with worrying about how I’m perceived. I intend to write more about what we can all do together, and write less about the Kabuki theatre that is the modern political process. I owe that to myself. I owe that to you.
Thanks for reading.