A dramatic event drives organizational or cultural adaptation. While suffering short term pain (sacrifice) usually develops into long term health.
Since the strategic leaders (politicians) refuse to address (well thought out solutions) the looming catastrophic energy crisis, I see the rising gasoline prices as a good thing (for more details dealing with this issue please go to http://fabiusmaximus.wordpress.com/)
Now, the people who are struggling with higher gas prices, particularly small business owners will say I am wrong. Unfortunately, this is what is called sacrifice. Most all of us, except the rich, are feeling the pinch. But, I already see good things in a supposed bad situation, and it is called adaptation. For our nation to get strong again, with a vibrant middle class, and people that are not dependent on the government for every entitlement, we must make small sacrifices now, instead of giant ones later that will likely throw our nation into chaos.
See, if led by the right people, I have faith in the majority of the American people will respond unselfishly if just told the truth, as well as the endstate for their sacrifices. So, far, of course, strategic leaders do not have the character to do tell it like it is. So, we continue to go off into never never land. So, when gas prices have risen sharply lately, the land of entitlements wants to blame everyone but themselves.
So, what good signs of adaptation are starting to show their heads?
First of all, I was resting in my hotel room outside Gettysburg after a long and great day with Georgetown graduate students walking Day 1 of the battle, listening to the news, when I heard that a Congressman (don’t remember who) has proposed that the country begin a Manhatten Project focused on energy independence. Through the Manhatten Project we invented the nuclear bomb to help end World War II. Why not do it to find alternative energy sources to our addiction to oil? Three months ago on the National Public Radio show Science Friday, I heard a college professor propose the same idea. Today, our nation spends 55 billion on weapons research and 3-4 billion on energy research.
Now, that would be a mantle that a strategic leader could take hold of and lead us away from the path similiar to the one that leads to disaster (see CNN’s Investigative Reports on “We were warned” regarding what happened if we suddenly could not get the gasoline we needed). I am no scientist, just a historian, but having read for several years, I now feel confident with will power, investments and leadership, that alternatives-working together-exist to free us from our addiction to foreign oil. I believe the alternative technologies exist, but we have all been sold there is no need because we have more oil than we know what to do with.
So, just live free, be happy and don’t worry is what our leaders today tell us so it frees them from the responsibility of leading.
No more baby.
Second, I see people taking more responsibility in planning all auto trips. Just cannot jump in the old SUV and drive two blocks for just that gallon of milk anymore. Already driving is down 1% less than last year, which is a lot, and should only continue to improve, and mean this helps lower our demand, cut green house emissions.
Three, mass transit use is up. This will be one that politicans have to address now. Instead of continued adding of roads and widening of existing roads (which just leads to more congestion and unnecessary growth), plans are now being talked about for more mass transit. Europe has lived with high gasoline prices for decades and as a result, their city and residential planning is far more efficient, their land management is excellent, and the availability of mass transit and bike paths/trails eliminates the dependency on cars.
Four, more articles are appearing on the absurdity of our poor land management and the destruction of farm and outdoor space by the rapid building of suburbs. Based on the promise of infinite and cheap gasoline, America is the only country in the world, which has spread itself out so much that everyone must depend on the car to do and get anywhere. No one thinks about how the food we eat gets to us in suburbia Washington D.C. from 1500 miles away? What happens if it cannot be delivered by truck?
We starve or ending up fighting each other for fewer parcels of food.
Five, the obesity epidemic is getting addressed with smaller portions being served at restraunts (due to what I mentioned above it costs more to deliver the food so restraunts have to find a way to cut costs), and people are getting out and walking and riding bikes more (still at our own peril because the dominance of the automobile has almost eliminated any other form of transportation). The other upturn to fixing and reducing our fat butts is that it will lower medical costs. Now, I am also against national health insurance because it makes us less responsible and more dependent on a larger government (controlled). It also continues to diminish hard working and responsible people. As talk show host Glenn Beck recently said “Why do I want to pay the doctor bill for someone who wants to lay around all day and eat dounuts?” Good point.
Finally, so, instead of seeing the bad in all this (as both political parties are doing), this may be good in the long term that we begin making the transitions necessary now (today) that will better prepare us for when oil peaks (today or soon) and less competition for this resource with India and China (which could lead to resource wars) as well as the rest of the world.