Monday, June 30, 2008

Enough, already! More on oil, too.

We have arrived at the last day of June. It would be wonderful if it were the last day of this June’s weather, too. I know we’ve had long spells of rotten weather before; in fact, seems to me we had quite a spell of snow just last winter. But this is the time of year we’re supposed to be outside, to be enjoying the world around us, soaking up the sun and vitamin D, and reaping the rewards of making it through the winter.

Today is still very wet outside, and weather guy Kevin says we may get some hazy sun a little later this morning, but about all that will do is brew up some more showers and thundershowers. From what he says, we could have a small round of showers to bring us July tomorrow, but Wednesday should be nice; and after a little activity Thursday afternoon, we might finally get a reasonably good Holiday Weekend.

For right now, today, I am totally sick and tired of all this crummy weather. The dampness has gotten into every old bone in my body. I’m sure there must be one in there somewhere that doesn’t hurt, but I’d be hard pressed to tell you where. If this were another time of year, I’d be tempted to quote Old Scrooge in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. “Bah! Humbug!”

Have you ever noticed how NASCAR, and most other sporting events as well, work very hard to find people to sing the National Anthem that can’t sing it? Not only that, most of those singers feel that they and the songs they make up are the absolute prime reason all the fans are there and that they alone are the center of attention. And speaking of NASCAR, if “Gentlemen, start your engines” are the most famous words in all auto racing, why do they have to tell us every single event that they are “The most famous words in all of racing?”

I spent some time over the weekend reading a forum where drilling for oil was a main topic of discussion. The sides were split which usually makes for good discussion. One side seems to be saying that drilling won’t help because we don’t know what it will do to the environment in the future and we should study it. They also argue that what we need is more conservation and the development of alternate energy sources. The other side agrees drilling will take time to have any effect on our crisis, but it will give us the necessary time to develop alternatives.

I think the weakest argument is the one that says we don’t know about the future. If we did know about the future, we just might not want to bother going on. My wife and I like to travel by car. We strike out each year, this one being an exception due to gas prices, on a tour of some part of the country. If we worried that such a trip might result in a car wreck, or worse, we would never go anywhere. I probably could write all day about such ridiculous scenarios, but they’re no different than not improving our future because of what it might do.

On the other hand, right now we’re almost totally dependent on our oil from other countries, many of which we try to convince ourselves are friendly but at the same time knowing they are funding groups determined to bring us down. Our in-ground oil supply ranks right up there with theirs and I believe we must become independent of them. As I understand it, we’ve already developed the technology to make drilling safe. Can we guarantee there will be no disasters? Can we guarantee a big truck won’t hit us when we cross a roadway? Of course not. But we’ve learned to take precautions to limit that danger and still cross a roadway.

I read a poll over the weekend, a Gallup one I believe, that indicated that the vast majority of Americans favor drilling. I’m not a big fan of polls because they can easily be skewed to show intended results. But one that goes against the party in power raises an eyebrow.

As I said a week or so ago, this is an interesting debate and one that will continue on and on right into November. It’ll probably continue periodically here, too.


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