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[quote="Indychris":36ejnt4i][quote=">>-Toxos-->":36ejnt4i] It’s about time Americans quit griping about the high gas prices (which are still quite low by international standards) and started doing something serious on a national scaleabout their gas dependency... Tox.[/quote:36ejnt4i] I agree about stopping the whining, but we are a LONG way off from being independent of petrol. Our focus, IMO, ought to be getting away from as much FOREIGN dependency as possible.[/quote:36ejnt4i] Yes, a very long way off. So the sooner we start getting serious about it the better off we'll be. It is hardly an either/or foreign/domestic equation since the US [b]so[/b] dependent on oil. It needs to lower it's dependency wholesale to get anywhere. However, the US has done exactly the opposite in recent years. Since the Bush administration has been running things, US oil imports have gone up from 58% in 2000 to a whopping 70 % in fall 2006, and are now hovering around 66 %. A very long way to go, indeed. (source: EIA, Energy Information Administration, Official Energy Statistics of the US Government) [quote="Indychris":36ejnt4i]I also admit to tiring easily from all of the inferences that we should be content when we compare ourselves to all those OTHER countries. Their prices are higher because of the tax structures, and I personally refuse to be content when the number one profiteer from Oil Production is the government who invests and risks nothing in the endeavor!
[/quote:36ejnt4i] Well, the government is the entity that could make the necessary [b]systemic changes[/b] to induce a decrease in oil dependency, especially with the help of tax revenue. Without government intervention, or shall we say "guidance" there is no hope of achieving serious systemic change. It is a question of the "[b]Tragedy of the commons[/b]". Like you said elsewhere people are selfish and will generally do what is best/easiest/advantageous for themselves, even then when it is not in the common good. Already Aristotle pointed out: "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it" [quote="Indychris":36ejnt4i]Besides, the USA didn't get to it's prominent position in the world economy by constantly comparing itself to others and succumbing to global peer pressure. We did it by pursuing what was right and in our best interest.
[/quote:36ejnt4i] Let's be fair. The US was above all extremely lucky by being blessed with a host of beneficial historic circumstances. In the 20th century two World Wars were fought on European soil leaving the economies of the US's industrial competitors in tatters. In spite of that we did not do things for our nation's best economic interest between the WWs resulting in the Great Depression and still hadn't really pulled out of it before entering WWII. After WWII the US was the only major industrial economy left that hadn't been demolished by the war on its soil. The US was thus uniquely positioned to tap into sheer bottomless energy resources with it's oil companies, it had no serious industrial competitors left, and these wrecked industrial countries, especially its vanquished former enemies, Germany and Japan, provided huge markets for American products. So no, it sure wasn't "peer pressure". Anything but that. But the historic circumstances sure did help. As for doing what's right and in our best interest....I don't think there is a conflict. I think reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy use efficiency is the right thing to do. And I also think it is the best interest of the US to so, and the only way to do that is to reduce oil dependency. It's really a win/win situation. The sooner the better. Tox.
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