Adena L. Kalfa
“What’s in It for Us?”
The American standard of living is wholly reliant on oil. It moves us from A to B, heats our homes, and is also a basis of a range of products like medicines, paints, plastics, fertilizers, and so much more. There are however, many damaging and costly results in our use of oil. The American people are fully aware of the damage oil is causing our nation, but we are not willing to contribute some individual help towards the crisis. What is the driving force behind why the American people are so intent on consuming oil, and not intent on solving the energy crisis as a whole?
The average American citizen is
probably not aware of the hidden costs behind oil. As a nation we are more
focused on the War in
The fact that the American economy is at risk is a well-established argument. The question remains, why? Why can our Government not take care of this problem? Why can’t we enact a set of laws regulating the use of energy in our homes, or the sale of gasoline? Why are the American citizenry not truly worried about the fact that our American dream and lifestyle are quickly going to be shattered?
The heart of the problem may very
well lie in both the citizens and the government. As citizens, we find it a lot
easier to point a finger to one specific thing. We seem to use the excuse that
President Bush is causing all of our problems; if he had not gone into
Another issue at hand is the American need for instant gratification. We are not looking at the energy crisis as a long-term problem. Right now, we have our gasoline; we have our electricity, or medicine, paints, and our plastics. What would our citizens do if we went to fill our cars with gas only to find that the well is empty? We would not know how to deal with family members dying due to air pollution caused by oil drilling. We simply are not willing to look ahead, because it has not yet truly affected us individually, and if it has, it’s only been to a minor extent, not enough to sway the entire nation.
When we combine our greed with our lack of patience and our economic standing, we have one heck of a problem. Proposing a quick fix solution would be the typical American way. In this case, however, it is not possible. Solving the energy crisis is solving only a symptom of a deeper problem. Our entire attitude must change towards the way we deal with things. This is a process, which involves an entire nation working together in a slow, but necessary evolution of our outlook.
Nicholas Klassen. “True Cost”. Adbusters Magazine, Volume 12. September 2004.
Three Outriders of the Transport Apocolypse: Road
Accidents, Air and Noise Pollution.” <http://www.who.int.html>
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