Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Hanson on the Trouble with Oil

Victor Davis Hanson writes a clear-headed explanation of the central factor in the rising influence of thug nations (such as Iran and Venezuela) and of the perceived economic woes of Western nations. Oil, of course, is the heart of it all. Without oil, Hanson argues, tyrants like Mohammed Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez would be nothing more than whining little lambs in the wilderness.

But the problem of rising oil prices is deeper than that, Hanson argues: ". . . huge petroleum profits don’t just empower dictators, subsidize nuclear proliferation, and curtail economic reform. They also have pernicious psychological effects. Americans hit with gasoline price hikes of nearly a dollar a gallon have fallen to despairing over our economy." Further, it warps our foreign policy as we must dance around not offending "allies" like Saudi Arabia and the like.

Hanson concludes that clearer thinking is needed on this issue on both sides of the aisle: "Next time we whine that we cannot drill in the Arctic or off our coasts, that nuclear power is too dangerous, that government-encouraged conservation violates free enterprise, or that gasification from coal and shale is too costly, we should remember: There are insidious--and dangerous--costs in today’s oil trade too." In short, perhaps we all need to give in a little here. Conservatives should be more open to conservation measures and Liberals need to wake up to the reality that demands we shake our dependence on foreign oil by producing our own.

Discussions - 11 Comments

Trying to think clearly and be more open to conservation at the same time...

Question: Are our reindeer more important to us than Canada’s are to Canada or do their reindeer not hang out in their oil fields? Have studies been done? If not, why hasn’t anyone applied for a very lucrative federal grant yet?

An earlier age would have viewed the problem through a different lens, "Was man made for the Sabbath, or was the Sabbath made for man...." Is man the crowning jewel of all creation? Or are his claims no better than "the beasts of the field, the birds of the air?"

Man can make use of the various minerals of the earth without abandoning his obligation as steward. It is the modern and radical environmentalist who would have us believe that the problem is mutually exclusive. A polity that discards common sense in their use of all that the earth provides should not be surprised by a subsequent economic retardation, with all that entails.

China’s economy is growing at about 10% per annum, and India is slowly emerging from her long economic slumber. Meanwhile, American petrodollars make possible the spread of one of the most pernicious messages of hate ever to darken this dear earth. And those same petrodollars empower and enable implacable enemies of this country. At such a time, this environmental self-indulgence becomes most unwise.

Although I don’t agree with all Hanson says about the global economy, he is correct about our addiction to foreign oil and how this empowers our enemies. Drilling at home is a good short-term solution, but the technology is old...the piston engine is over 100 now. Time for a new energy regime (yea, I know, easier said than done, but it’s what’s needed).

U.G., I meant conservation of OIL, i.e., not using so much--not reindeer! We should consider ways of protecting the oil we have in our reserves AND of finding new sources of it in friendlier places. But here’s a note to the radicals: if a missle hits Alaska, it’s gonna kill the deer too.

Actually, the Alaskan oil pipeline increased the caribou herds...seems lichen (their fav) like to grow on the warm pipes. Go figure.

Julie, if the United States can’t drill in ANWR, which is the earthly equivalent to the far side of the moon, then where can we drill. The Left has effectively killed the oil industry’s ability to drill for oil WITHIN the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. American oil companies have to look abroad for new finds. The new areas for oil exploration are the Arctic and Antarctic. But watch the Left trot out the same objections they’ve made about ANWR, for those regions as well.

It’s difficult not to conclude that the REAL problem for the Left is American economic preeminence. If they can use radical environmentalism to put a millstone around the neck of Uncle Sam, they’ll do so.

Dan...are you the same as the troll? Actually, you’ve just made a great point...the attempt to use environmental regulation as a backdoor to socialism. Well said.

"A troll?"

You’ve confused me with someone else.

But the point I made about the Left devolving into various niche movements, radical environmentalism being a good example, is an idea developed at length by David Horowitz in his book THE POLITICS OF BAD FAITH. Which I recommend, for those interested of course.

I’ve read’re right...a very good book. You might want to add an initial to your name or something...there’s this troll (a leftist gate-crasher) by the name "Dan." You wouldn’t want to give him respectability, would you?

Sorry for the confusion Dan. I started using the lowercase d when I saw that someone else had the same name. It doesn’t matter anyway. Everyone who disagrees with dain is the troll. So the next time he supports the Confederacy, or says that people who disagree with him must be "reeducated" or "purged", or claims that every member of another race is "lazy", or makes fun of handicapped people, don’t you dare argue with him. If you do, he will call you a "troll" too. Sooner or later he will blaim Craig Scanlon.

U.G., I meant conservation of OIL, i.e., not using so much--not reindeer!

"Never mind." Emily Litella.

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