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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

SUV, WMD

and ME

I’m not sure if the environmental movement came to a publicity peak in the late “’80s or I was just paying more attention then.

The message then was being broadcasted loud and clear: The American lifestyle is not sustainable in the long term and the future success of the human race teeters precariously upon the assumption major advances in technology will save us when our natural resources are depleted. The options were clear: maintain the status quo or begin moving toward a “greener” lifestyle. As individuals, and collectively as a nation, we made a choice. Nearly two decades later, we still embrace a lifestyle that requires a growing energy diet.

Oil has become the lifeblood of our nation and has allowed modern man the comforts and conveniences unimaginable a century ago. Because of the vital role of oil, our government possess the foresight and acknowledges in action that the continued success of our nation relies heavily upon access to cheap fuel. It would appear that securing reliable energy sources is a major objective and the ends justify the means. This policy may not be the best for the environment, and individual rights may even get tramped form time to time.

Obviously, occupation of Iraq was necessary for whatever long-term plan our leaders have in mind. Regional control was an attractive option to top U.S. planners for several reasons. The geography of Iraq and the leverage gained by occupying Iraq were overshadowing reasons for an invasion. Don’t be fooled, any meddling in the Middle East probably has something to do with our long-term energy needs. As of June, with an occupying force in place the United States will begin selling Iraq’s oil on the world market.

In the days leading to the war, popularity against the offensive swelled from the Arab street to Main Street USA. Yet our leaders pushed the war machine forward despite the cries of the largest protest the world has ever seen. Have our leaders lost sight of the will of the people and become rogue leaders? It would be easy to assume that our leaders have become insulated from the real world, concerned only with personal gain and involved in schemes to become wealthier and more powerful. To a certain degree that is true. Our leaders do live within a microcosm that does not mirror the real world. However, the leaders of our nation are basically byproducts of the same American culture as you and I.

It would be safe to assume that the policies that come out of Washington are generally in the best interest in supporting the lifestyle that Americans have chosen. You may find our country’s resulting foreign policies intrusive or even vulgar. However, the actions of the federal government are in the best interest in sustaining the lifestyle to which you, every day, say I DO.

Our elected leaders are the visual representation of what we truly are. We do not live low-impact lives. Even if you live your life as a “PC environmentalist,” by historical standards your existence requires a significant amount of natural resources.

The ugliness that is required to maintain our high standard of living – the waste that is produced, environmental degradation, manipulation of other countries and whatever else the CIA does – are necessary evils for insurance our lifestyle. Many in our country today choose to ignore these facts.

Hypocrisy is the is the killer of change. To believe one set of ideals and act on another holds back human evolution more then any scheming corporation could. For many folks in our country today, that is their reality. For many, life is much more enjoyable they keep their naive heads in their utopian asses. The status quo has a seductive power over the less motivated and shortsighted.

The hypocrisy that taints the American landscape has hit an all-time high. Take, for example, the droves of war protesters. Where were these activists, the majority of whom believed the war was strictly for oil, prior to the invasion? Was all good in the world of oil consumption and war just disrupted their ideals for utopian living? I guess the billions gallons of oil spilled into the oceans and tons of emissions are OK, but a war for oil, heaven forbid. Equally puzzling, where are they now? Where were these activists as the legislation to allow for drilling in NAWR became a reality? It would appear that they hung around just long enough to embrace a moralistic holier-then-thou pose for the 5 o’clock news.

The problems humanity faces today will only be exaggerated in the future. The war may be over, but the same issues plague us. For now, they are easily swept out of sight, only to be addressed in closed-door meetings. The cliche has never echoed with such resounding truth: If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

The first step to bring positive change is to quit being hypocritical, demand it of your president. In November 2004, ask of George W: What progress has been made on your promise in the amount of $1.2 billion pledged in the State of the Union Address “so that America lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen-power automobiles”?

Edward Graef

Minturn


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