Sunday, February 17, 2008


Unlike any event in recent history, a confluence in events is creating an unprecedented shift across the global political, financial and social landscape. Oil has been floating around the $100 per barrel mark and seems to have stabilized there. While the U.S. war in Iraq is exasperating America’s debt, China's economy has been filling its coffers at a pace perhaps never before witnessed in human economic expansion and a long list of nations is finding new bluster and arrogance. Oil’s price is conveying vast amounts of cash into such non-democratic treasuries as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and Venezuela. Although this was not an intended consequence of ordering troops into Bagdad and neither was its further destabilization of the Middle East, the fact remains that from the likes of Putin and Armadinajad the cheers are deafening. Along with the avalanche of currencies accumulating in the reserves of governments unfriendly to North America’s interests, comes an escalation in their spheres of influence.

At the same time, North American consumers overburdened with personal debt are raiding the kids’ piggy banks to fill their tanks on the way to work. Altering the prevailing transformation of America’s position on the international theater of authority and persuasion requires a very rapid price decline per barrel to well below 60% of the current level. That sounds ridiculous since human dependence on oil continues to increase unabated. Consumption is not about to reverse if we all run out and purchase hybrids or abstain from reading with lights on. There are over six and one half billion of us and that number is heading for ten billion.

There are actions the U.S. can implement to begin reversing the tide.
1. Get out of Iraq and stay out of any conflict for long enough to give U.S. taxpayers time to fully understand their predicament and implement a turnaround plan - I say ‘taxpayers’ because Congress seems unable to demonstrate leadership.
2. Start building nuclear reactors to make a major impact on national dependence on oil. This will take years but there are no currently known viable alternatives to nuclear energy that can supply a meaningful percentage of the demand. Yes, there are problems with “waste” handling, nevertheless there are known technologies and processes that can be diligently implemented.
3. Launch a national “savings” campaign opposing the profligate spending of the past decade. That goes for all levels of the political landscape - individual, city, state and particularly federal government. The promotion of “spending” which has historically been promoted as good for America has resulted in an American middle class holding the biggest bag on a total U.S. combined debt of $48 Trillion. Maybe congress will hear the roar and pay attention.

America’s choices may be limited but there are some.


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