Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Addicted to Oil"

As you are no doubt aware, President Bush recently traveled to the Middle East.

One of his motives was to grovel before the Saudis, to try to get them to increase their oil production. (That inconvenient supply-demand thing. An effort to increase the supply, since his fellow countrymen are unwilling to decrease their demand, but whine incessantly about the cost of fuel.)

Apparently the Saudis said "No." And frankly, who can blame 'em? While a robust U.S. economy is still important to their own economic well-being, they can sell their product (of which there is a finite amount) all over the world for the going price. If we don't buy it, somebody else will.

Last night, Jay Leno was making great light of the fact that Bush was gifted with a bicycle during his trip. Leno implied that it was the Saudis who gave him the bike, and joked that it's their response to the American energy crisis.

Yeah - that's funny. Bicycles as an answer to the energy crisis.

I'm not laughing because bicycles are my answer.

I'm not laughing because if my fellow Americans would get over their addiction to (terrorist) oil, and adopt similar consumption patterns to my own, I'm confident prices would be closer to $2 than to $4.

I'm not laughing because their demand for oil affects the price I pay, on the few occasions when I have to gas up each year. (It was a bit sobering last weekend, spending $15 to fill up my motorcycle tank! Thank goodness it's not a frequent occurrance.)

If we could tell the Saudis, "Screw you! Keep your steenking oil! We're riding bikes now!" ... THAT would make me laugh!!

(I did some digging; the bike was actually a gift from Israeli Prime Minister Olmert. The bike is Israeli-made; probably a fine bicycle. I'm thinkin' it looks just a bit small for the Cyclist-In-Chief.)

4 comments:

kawika said...

i fully agree. it's not a laughing matter, living on an island with no oil, but plenty of sun and wind and waves . . . i can't see how many people still ride alone in their suvs, get impatient at me when i'm riding to work . . . and there's the impact of global warming, which will submerge whole nations in the pacific . . . sorry for griping

Clancy said...

My comments about oil stray from the current administration. I think drilling and developing new oil supplies is silly. Keep ours for later and use everybody else's first.

Yesterday I was late picking up my son from school so I borrowed a car at work to pick him up. Saved me all of 2 minutes probably but with a kindegartener time can be of the essence. The ironic part- I was wearing my One Less Car shirt.

Scott said...

I agree, and the band-aids we're applying are creating their own set of problems. On a related note, Reuters wrote a piece today commenting on how Americans are driving less, but not eating less.

It got me thinking. The average American lives 15 miles from work (By choice, I know, but it's that quality of life thing.). A 30 mile round trip requires roughly 1000 extra calories a day (More on a day like yesterday with those nasty winds in Boise), so any appreciable increase in the number of Americans biking to work will probably increase our diets.

On the other hand, you could bike 1000 miles on the number of calories in one gallon of ethanol that might get you 50 miles in your car. The efficiency difference is staggering. The moral: Food was made for eatin' not for burnin'!

db said...

It's amazing that many people see bikes as toys, like Leno does. But that is changing as gas prices rise. I have several coworkers who ride into the office a couple days of the week now.

I don't think that bike's too small for a technical mountain bike. You wouldn't want to have an upright position on one of those, if it's made for technical trails.

It was fun pulling up behind another cyclist at a traffic signal around 6 p.m. or so yesterday -- it was pouring rain. He looked back at me and we both grinned as thunder rolled off to the south. I said: "A little humid today." He laughed, the light changed, and we went our separate ways.