Friday, December 02, 2005

Post-Carbon Patsy Cline

In my humble opinion:

No analysis. No examination of underlying facts. No consideration of the future. No anticipation of change.

That's the crux right there: No anticipation of change. Is that not the stupidest of all things? What, pray tell, could be more stupid? The word OIL is not even mentioned. Stupidity beyond my own imagination. I need help to be that stupid. No, even with help I am incapable. God knows they, the Goldwater Institute, have tried, but I still remain less stupid than they themselves, despite their grand efforts and media access. They try harder, admittedly. Credit where credit is due, as dad always said.

Nice office space, though. No link. Because they suck. Oh well. Too bad. But just for fun, here's an example of their think-tank product. It has to be seen to be believed, it's so granitic in its stupidity:

Sprawl is a dirty word in Phoenix these days. According to one Arizona Republic columnist, "Limiting sprawl and turning development back into our cities would go far to addressing a host of ills, including Balkanization and destructive competition."


As the author notes, among the great cosmopolitan centers of the Western world, London's population density peaked in the early 19th century, Paris in the 1850s, and New York City in the early 1900s. Before and since then, expanding economies with increasing incomes have exhibited what I will call the inexorable centrifugal force of growth.

She does not mention oil at all. Not at all.

Nor does she specify "the author." It's a need-to-know basis kind of thing, I guess. Heck, it's a freaking newspaper, not a scholarly article. So who needs standards? Or even information? The print articles are just there to fill up space between store advertisements.

She later goes on, however, to cite the feckin' "invisible hand" of Adam Smith. Very impressive. Almost as impressive as "the inexhorable centrifugal force of growth." That's called "cancer" in the real world. And it kills and there is no cure. Oh well. Everybody dies sometime. Might as well die stupid.

Loser. Pathetic. I have to tell you, history has shown that Adam Smith's hands were plainly visible to all who knew him. Not invisible.

They weren't oily. Not much, anyways. Maybe that's why she fails to mention it. Or maybe she's an idiot.

What will happen to people who live in homes that are oversized and too far from their places of work when petroleum prices normalize according to the laws of supply and demand? Gas goes to $10 per gallon. Inevitable. It's a finite resource. Only a matter of a little time. After all, Bush basically doubled the price of gas in his few short years of economic demolition. And he's not done yet.

The cities of Europe developed suburbs when the locomotive and automobile made transportation quick and cheap. Those days are soon coming to an end. And just who, of all people, is the truest herald of the post-carbon cheap fuel age?

Patsy Cline.

"I Fall to Pieces" will well apply to suburban living soon.

Unable to afford the high prices of heating/cooling huge 3500-square-foot edge-city homes while commuting 45 miles per day, each, to and from work, two-job families will soon find the suburban lifestyle unsustainable. Their yards will not be big enough to grow the "victory gardens" they will need to supplement their food needs, due to the excessive cost of groceries as transportation costs multiply the prices at the local supermarkets. Supermarkets they can't afford to drive to frequently.

As Patsy Cline admonished us decades ago, many of us will soon be Walking. After midnight. To work, if there is any, and to stores, school, medical care, and other areas of social need, because driving will be prohibitively expensive.

Suburbs will die, and inner cities, as well as rural farms, will become the places where people eek out lives, jobs, and commerce. Cannondale stock may actually become listed on the NASDAQ again. If there even is a NASDAQ.

Maybe the Goldwater Institute can afford to pay people to be stupid, but I seriously doubt that we can base our entire future economy of that concept.

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