The Oil Crisis
I remember the autumn of 1973. I leaned up against the back of the living room sofa and looked out the window at the line of cars going down the street to the Esso station that used to be there. The owners of the cars chatted, smoked, and listened to the radio while they waited to see if a rumored tanker truck would come and dole out some precious gas. This was the beginning of the OPEC oil crisis. On the nightly news, the persistent calls for America to end its dependence on fossil fuels began.
Flash forward to 2013, the music, cars, and fashion have all changed, but the need for fossil fuels
has done nothing but increase. “Energy independence” is a frequent campaign pledge for politicians, but little is done to achieve it.
The negative impact of our reliance on fossil fuels is everywhere to be seen: the emissions from fossil fuels are warming the planet and putting the lives of our children at risk; massive spills from ships, pipes, and drilling rigs have fouled our environment; the transportation of oil between nations by ship or pipe requires the US to maintain a huge military to protect its energy supply; military aid or military intervention is used to keep oil producing countries cooperative; a heavy-handed involvement in those countries causes resentment and creates a fertile breeding ground for terrorists, the poor-man’s revolutionary.