How can we escape our addictions?

After I reviewed Collapse in my last post, I had planned to write about innovations in sustainability that are being made by dedicated people every day.  Instead, I feel as if I’ve been holding my breath for three weeks.  It’s anxiety. And I know I”m not alone in this state of low-level, unremitting stress.

Then, I had an Ah-Ha! moment. You may have noticed that members of the Republican Party appear to be paid lobbyists for Big Oil. And they have, thus far, managed to prevent Congress from extending unemployment benefits. Why such cruelty to desperate Americans during this nightmare of an economy? Then it hit me.

I don’t think it’s cynical to suggest that Big Oil’s Republican servants understand that by withholding unemployment benefits it keeps our struggling and desperate populace focused on surviving instead of organizing to change the system that has created the environmental devastation in the Gulf, the ongoing wars for oil, our addiction to oil and our plundered economy.

Powerful people like to paraphrase economist Milton Friedman’s advice, “Never waste a crisis.” The idea is that if people are in distress they’re easier to take advantage of and to control.  I’d also add when people are addicts, they’re likely to do whatever their dealer wants them to do so they can continue to get their fix. Our Big Oil Overlords are invested in keeping us addicted.

Take Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, for example. He’s running around his toxic, oil-soaked state shilling for BP.  Just how much of Jindal and Louisiana does Big Oil own?

Jindal is just one among many pushers for the Oiligarchy. Baldfaced Gulf Coast politicians demand that the drilling in the Gulf must continue. There are over three thousand oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico.  But the oil industry-connected judges in the Louisiana courts won’t let President Obama stop deep water drilling in a handful of them even temporarily. Are Louisianans  like an addiction- ravaged junkie continuing to jab a syringe full of heroin into a scabby, abscessed vein?

It’s horrifying to look at that state’s devastated ecosystem and to hear them lobby for more drilling. This is lurid front-page news! Louisiana is addicted to oil, and it will do anything for its dealer, including ecocide. Buried in the obits: the rest of the world is dying from the effects of oil addiction too.

We are the world, and we are addicted to oil.  We’re all in this biosphere together. And our pushers are addicted to power and greed. This is an unsustainable and insane system.

There’s plenty of bad news gushing relentlessly into our consciousness like the oil that’s been pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.  The good news is that there are many people finding ways to get off the grid and organizations working toward real solutions to our energy crisis.  We can’t afford to despair! We can kick this habit by making clean energy choices whenever we can.

~N. Logsdon Mandelkorn

One response to “How can we escape our addictions?

  1. thanks for naming this, Nancy.
    I agree.
    Republican strategists don’t care that people are out of work and addicted because they are too busy pimping themselves. Dem’s too. it’s sad. there is so much fear too. Just ask the shrimpers working for BP …

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