Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Americans Just Don't Get It!

Americans seem to believe their way of life is a "given". It's an innate heritage.
They are shocked when reality begins to hit home.

Today's local paper the Las Cruces Sun News had a front page article revealing that New Mexico now has the second highest gas prices in the nation. Our attorney general is embarking on an investigation.

Meanwhile the local people are shocked, dismayed, frustrated and hurt:

"This is just horrible. It's too high," said Tony Ortega, as he topped off the fuel in his Toyota 4Runner on his way to Albuquerque.
Ortega said despite the high gas prices, he and his wife still need to travel.
It's a must," he said. "What are we going to do? Park our cars?"

Robert Medina, who drives a Ford Excursion, feels the pinch every time he fills his tank.
That's because filling an empty tank costs Medina about $75.
Medina also owns a Chevrolet Avalanche, but he said because of the high prices, it stays parked.

Well, folks -- things are a'changing. Oil is finite. China is dipping a huge straw into the jar, and India's is now there also. Global Warming is a fact, and it's a fact that our automobiles are, perhaps, the major culprit. Yes, there is oil shale in Canada but to extract the oil from it is very expensive and environmentally destructive.

Even the best of good times--- must come to an end. Change is needed. In this case change: alternate fuels, conservation, car pooling, public transit are PROGRESS!

Our CAFE standards prescribing minimum mpg's for cars and light trucks have not basically changed in a decade.

Here is how our CAFE standards compare with other nations:

  1. -EU: 44mpg in 2008, projected to 48 in 2010 and 52 in 2012.
  2. -Japan: 48mpg in 2010.
  3. -China: 36mpg in 2008
  4. -Australia: 34mpg in 2010.
  5. -Canada: 32mpg in 2010.
  6. -USA: 27.5
It's tragic, and senseless --- but much of the Third World wants our standard of living, and as the title of a book I read in my college day -- there are "Limits to the Earth".

No, Reagan was wrong: There is not always a new dawn for America. At least if the new dawn means some way we can continue living wastefully, extravagantly and heedlessly. My Fellow Countrymen >> It's time to growup. A phrase from St. Paul comes to mind: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.

How important are raising the CAFE standards in a really significant way?

CAFE fast facts:

* Can reduce urban smog, aiding cities and communities in complying with the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. It is the biggest single policy step the U.S. can take to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
* Can be done by strengthening an existing successful law without creating a new bureaucracy
* Enjoys bipartisan support of legislators in the U.S. Congress
* Saves consumers money at the gas pump
* Saves millions of barrels of oil daily, already