“…researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimate the combined economic costs of U.S. oil dependence to be more than $5 trillion (2008 dollars) since 1970. In 2008 alone, the combined cost was nearly $600 billion. In 2009, a year in which oil prices averaged just $62 per barrel and U.S. oil consumption was significantly reduced compared to 2005-2007 levels; the United States still ran a $200 billion trade deficit in crude oil and petroleum products. In that context, the government spending of $120 billion over 8 years—particularly as it is directly tied to high penetration rates of grid-enabled vehicles—can be thought of as a relatively affordable down payment on future economic stability.” (Economic Impact of the Electrification Roadmap by the Electrification Coalition. April 2010).
So the roadblock to get off oil is NOT the lack of business case. Neither is it the technical barriers. We have the technical capacity to make a viable transition away from oil. So let’s not have any more tolerance for that obsolete political and special interest group rhetoric that is threatening our very own life sustaining eco-system, let alone our economies in the Gulf of Mexico, in the US and by default at the Global level.
On a more philosophical level, unlike the natural world we humans have an incredible resistance to change. We fail to understand the natural law of “adapt to the environment or die” which every organism knows about and obeys. Those organisms, who have dared to defy such law such as the dinosaurs, have become extinct. That is essentially what we are facing as human beings, the risk of extinction for defiant stupidity driven by a sense of attachment to the unsustainable industrial and economic model. For example, resisting oil companies and gas engine part makers and are blindly and emotionally resisting such change because they are dependent (attached) to the money and familiarity comfort they have with those products. They do not want to face the reality of change which cannot be defied. They succumb to the powerful and detrimental emotions of GREED and FEAR which cloud any potential for judgment and sense of opportunity.
There are many scientific third party studies showing our full potential to a much quicker transition from oil than the one we are supposed to be embarked on. We could have gotten off oil decades ago, but the technology to do so is said to be 10 years ago every ten years! That could make any one suspicious. That has been my experience with Fuel Cell Vehicles. One of my favorite studies showing our overall capacity (except for will) to expedite our transition from oil is “Winning the Oil Game” by Amory Lovins, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, an institution with which I am collaborating now.
Therefore every time I hear our leaders or so they call them, stating technological barriers prevent us from getting off oil, and the dirty aging industrial paradigm, including the US President this morning, my intelligence and whole persona feel insulted.