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April 21, 2005



War won't do it. The decay of civil liberties and an attack on our environment won't do it. But by god, raise the price of gas, and Americans will surely lose faith in the powers that be.

How do we get people to notice that gas prices aren't the only thing that is impacted by governmental policy? Even the governmental policies focused on "energy" represent a cesspool of concerns that cannot be divorced from the question of "what is the price of oil today?" These concerns range from the long-term environmental sacrifices associated with drilling in our national parks to the broad-ranging effects of an oil-focused foreign policy to the need for meaningful national debate about responsible energy use and conserrvation practices to environmental regulations that look the other way when corporations pollute to the dire predictions of scientists worldwide who are working on global warming issues and much more.

Sadly, corporate and political greed are adversely affecting the Earth's "energy cycle" to such an extent that the phrase can now be used interchangeably with the phrase "cycle of corruption", as indicated in PMBryant's post. Tiresome as it may be, I hope that PMBryant's readers will consider it their personal responsibility to juggle the "related issues" each time they craft a new political opinion for themselves, rather than simply responding in knee-jerk fashion to rising gas prices.

Here's a challenge for those who think I'm making things too complicated by proposing that we consider the importance of "related issues". For those of you who still believe that the price of gas should be a major consideration in judging the success of a presidency, I can tell you how to lower your weekly gas expenses by as much as fifty percent if you'll lead the campaign for my presidency.;-) Are you ready? Sell your SUV and buy a cute little fuel-efficient car instead. Now wait, I know and love some SUV owners myself, so nothing personal, but your SUV useage is actually one of the "related" issues (e.g. the need for conservation) mentioned above, and it's something that you have complete control over, so it needs to be included in our discussion. With the price of gas continuing to rise with no real end in sight, keeping that ol' SUV just isn't worth it anymore, is it? One thing is certain, your keeping an SUV is certainly "worth" it, in particular, to the folks who manufacture the SUVs and to the advertisers who sell them and to the gas companies who fuel them and to the banks that finance them and to the politicians who finance their own campaigns and win elections by giving breaks to big corporate donors who build and finance and fuel and advertise the SUVs. You see, there are little cycles of corruption within the bigger ones. It's a nested problem, like the Russian box that you open only to find a smaller box inside with an even smaller box inside it. But don't worry, you will look great in your cute new fuel-efficient car, and with the money that you save on gas you can actually drive it somewhere other than just to work (like a restaurant)! Really.

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