My Bank Statement
Right-wingers continue to bury their heads in the sand over the oil issue. A while back, I compiled a list of references to "peak oil" at one of the biggest christo-fascist zombie brigade blogs. Rewind to today and they still have ZERO references to peak oil but 32 references to the non-story of "oil for food".
The aforementioned blog features the insufferable Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson, who just today happened to score an interview with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. He also happens to work as a vice-president at my former bank. I say "former" because I recently took all my money out of that bank and posted my feelings in a DailyKos diary. I couldn't take the lies and projection, and putting my money on the line makes me feel like I made at least a symbolic gesture. I had a bit of a righteous adrenaline surge when I blamed Johnson for my money withdrawal to the bank's manager.
The wing-nuts will eventually start to choke on their own vomit. They cannot just ignore what goes on during their day-to-day lives, and if they try to take sides, they will realize that everything turns into an explosive wedge issue to their base constituency. Take the case of ethanol. It turns into a wedge issue because every time Bush mentions it, some wing-nut will go crazy claiming some enviro-nazi supports similar ideas, while another one will go ballistic over subsidies, while the bottom line states that ethanol may not cut it as far as EROIE goes. Cognitive dissonance will overwhelm their senses and theoretically they should shrivel up and die.
The same goes for energy taxation, mass transit, and domestic energy reserves; all of these remain wedge issues to the righties, but perfect fodder for progressive discussions. However silly it may seem to hear populist slogans like "the oil companies are gouging us" repeated by the nearly 70% against Bush, that misguided rage seems quaint in comparison to the blinders that most republicans wear.
In comparison to the relative quiet in the right-sided blogosphere, a few right-wing radio talkers have tackled the oil pricing issue. However, bringing in somebody from the American Petroleum Institute does not carry the same weight as speaking with just plain common sense as Mike Malloy of Air America radio has recently. He basically wipes away any hints of populism in callers by always referring to our nation's history of gluttony. Same goes for Marc Maron on his AAR show (a first, I think, as I just heard a commercial for a Noam Chomsky book).
If perchance, the rise in oil prices has something to do with Bush buying oil for the petroleum reserves, at inflated prices, so they can push the price up and then drop it right before the elections, it will just lead to a further deferral of gratification. Whatever the roller-coaster ride shows, the price continues to climb in the long run. The Oil Drum has other explanations for the fluctuations.
As far as I can tell, prices haven't affected commuting behavior in my neighborhood. I haven't noticed any difference in increasing cycling activity at my work, the same couple of bicycles show up year after year at the bike rack. However, I do notice a difference in road rage. I almost got plastered this morning by a left-hand turning pickup and I had a walk signal going for me. I presume that the ragesters basically can't stand the sight of seeing someone not paying $50 a pop at the gas station, and lash out. The downside: the adrenaline rush I felt from almost dying essentially wiped me out for the rest of the ride. I will have to get used to more frequent bouts of righteous indignation. I imagine it will get worse before it gets better.
My new mantra: Let it ride, I say, let it ride.
Update: The editors at The Oil Drum have formulated a comprehensive statement that lays equal blame on both political parties for the way we approach the new "oil crisis". Perhaps true, especially in terms of striking out against big oil, but remember that progressives can change, while conservatoids just fester.