The Needle and the Damage Done

The Days of Wine and Oil-Soaked Roses
by Paul Dean / May 17th, 2008

Our valiant Prez once again in a recent interview shared his insight with Americans that we are “addicted to oil.” The solution? Bush says the country needs to commit critical resources to drilling and oil infrastructure, and build more refineries in order to create more supply. Excellent. This kind of talk implies that Bush once again recognizes the critical need to allocate billions more in Federal funds to create even greater subsidies and tax breaks for corporations that are right now reaping record-breaking profits. What did you expect? A real attempt to develop solar, wind and other renewable energy sources?

The president (whose expertise on the subject of addiction is said to have been built upon a solid foundation of direct experience) seems to have proposed a bold strategy here to cure our ills. If we define addiction as a disease, the approach bears scrutiny to see if it can have crossover potential as a cure for other forms of this same disease.

Let’s deal with just the obvious: perhaps America’s Drug Czar should announce that the country has a drug addiction problem, but that we are taking bold steps to increase production of heroin and cocaine, with the goal of providing every addict enough substance to meet demand.

You see where I’m going with this. We’re talking Enron-style, heavyweight Republican outside-the-box stuff, like “gambling therapy” bus tours to Las Vegas casinos for gaming addicts.

Here is a news flash for Mr. Bush: This “addiction” to oil he has only recently discovered was built into our cities and suburbs, into our transportation systems, our agricultural production systems, our manufacturing systems, and our political structure as a matter of deliberate policy over decades. Millions of Americans and citizens of other industrial societies have been acutely aware for more than thirty years that there are and will continue to be huge social, economic and environmental problems associated with our increasing reliance on oil. Many serious questions, which demand real answers, have also arisen from insightful critiques on the negative effects to society of the huge accumulation of capital and political power as a result of the emergence of oil-based multinational corporate economies with near-monopoly power and nearly unlimited wealth. People have for years been questioning what effect oil depletion will have on the availability and affordability of oil as a reliable commodity into the future. These are not trivial questions, especially in light of our increasing societal dependence on the stuff for survival.

Read the rest here. / Dissident Voice

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