This blog has been remiss, and I apologize.
You see, I often dismiss Caribou Barbie (Sarah Palin) as a crank and an
idiot, which is just too easy at times. I sometimes forget that a significant portion of the
population actually believes what they think she said (most of it is
intelligible, quite frankly), and she does have a modest amount of political
power. Therefore, we have to cut her crap, too. She says some incredibly crazy shit, and I
think it’s time we called her on it.
This particular piece of prose from the the ex-governor, ex-candidate, ex-beauty queen, ex-college student-four-times-over, etc, doesn't seem quite as nutty as the crap she spews from her second-darkest orifice, which is why I felt it particularly necessary to address it. It's pure garbage wrapped in a veneer of pure reasonableness.
The following is from her Facebook page, April 30 (and no –
I will not provide a link – let her find her own “friends”). This isn’t among
her stupidest things, but it’s still completely right-wing clueless:
all been shocked and saddened by the tragic events in the Gulf of Mexico. My
heart breaks for coastal residents who are facing fears of the unknown impacts
of the oil spill.
As an Alaskan, I can speak from the heart about
the tragedy of an oil spill. For as long as I live, I will never forget the day
the Exxon-Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and
millions of gallons of North Slope crude poured into the waters of our
beautiful Prince William Sound. The spill was devastating to so many Alaskans
who, like my own family, make their living on the water from our commercial fishing
industry. “Heartbreaking” was the word my husband Todd, an Alaska Native and
trained oil spill responder, used to describe the scene as we watched it unfold
on land and water that we feel is sacred.
Alaskans understand the tragedy of an oil spill, and
we’ve taken steps to do all we can to prevent another Exxon tragedy, but we are still pro-development. We still believe in
responsible development, which includes drilling to extract energy sources,
because we know that there is an inherent link between energy and security,
energy and prosperity, and energy and freedom. Production of our own resources
means security for America and opportunities for American workers. We need oil,
and if we don’t drill for it here, we have to purchase it from countries that
not only do not like America and can use energy purchases as a weapon against
us, but also do not have the oversight that America has.
Oh, please, Barbie; let’s cut the crap. The oil
spill in Valdez Harbor in Alaska was one of the worst environmental disasters
in history; as of late 2006 – 17 years after the spill – a study showed
that the negative environmental effects were still devastating, and the area would continue to be dangerous for some years even after that.
It essentially ruined one of the most pristine areas in the United States for
at least a generation; who knows if it will ever actually recover. Yet, as you
can see, she learned nothing from the experience, which I’m sure she only saw
on the news, the same as the rest of us.
But someone should explain to Barbie here that
this current mess will probably be a much larger problem over a much larger
area for a much longer period of time. You see, the Exxon Valdez was a tanker;
it had one ship’s worth of crude oil 10.8 million gallons, or 250,000 barrels worth. The current broken well will continue to
gush oil into the Gulf of Mexico until someone can figure out a way to plug it.
The only responsible oil development is on land,
and even then under extremely tight controls, with human beings present to
trigger shutoff should any leakage occur. There is no way to responsibly drill
miles below water, regardless of what “expert” humans think we can do to
control it. There’s a reason NASA did millions of experiments and performed all
sorts of simulations before every step in the space exploration process; they
had to know what could be done in case something bad happened, because it was
not possible to just send someone else up there to fix it. THAT is responsible
development when between two and six astronauts are involved, and it most
certainly be considered a minimum amount of responsible development when the
entire ecosystem is at stake.
It shouldn't be possible to even think of drilling offshore until it can be
demonstrated, through practical application that the effects of any possible accident can be mitigated to almost nothing. Since the dawn of the neocon era, what little regulations that have been allowed to remain
take this asinine approach, in which they make sure all efforts have been made
to prevent an accident, but very little is done to develop practices for dealing with emergencies and environmental catastrophes. How stupid is that? We KNOW that accidents will occur
at some point, even if all known precautions are taken; responsible development has to be based on the assumption that an accident will happen. First, we should
make sure the action (such as drilling offshore) is necessary (in this case, I submit that it’s not), and
if it is found to be necessary, then we should be looking at all fail safe mechanisms in place when an accident occurs.
Now about this whole “if we don’t drill here”
line of bullshit. Where does this crap come from? The only way we can cut our use of foreign oil is to drill for more? Is that really the only solution?
No. Caribou Barbie and her right wing minions, it's not.
Now, I'm about to use a little math, which I know is hard, but do try to keep up.
In 2008, the United States consumed about 7.1
billion barrels of oil, which is roughly 23% of world consumption. Of that, 57%
came from other countries; that's about 4 billion barrels. Now , of the countries we import oil from, 19% comes
from Canada, 11% comes from Mexico, and 9% comes from Venezuela, none of which cause any major foreign policy problems. (yeah, I know… Hugo Chavez didn’t like Bush… neither did I) So that means about 2.4 billion barrels are coming from problem countries.
So, what happens if we reduce our oil consumption by 10%, and we leave import levels for
Canada, Mexico and Venezuela where they are? Can you guess? That 2.4 billion barrels drops to 1.7 overnight. Without drilling one damn hole. In fact, if we would direct the 1.8 million barrels we export every day (about 650 million barrels a year) to our domestic supply, that number would drop even further, to 1.1 billion barrels per year. All without drilling more domestically? Imagine that.
We don’t NEED as much oil as we use, which seems to be the major assumption that Barbie and the wingnuts seem to grab onto like puppy with a chew toy. Doesn’t the
fact that we have less than 5% of the world’s population but use 23% of all oil
produced point to a problem that can’t be solved by drilling for MORE OIL? I mean, if Carbou Barbie had a swimming pool, and it was leaking 100 gallons a day, would her solution be to just put more hoses into the pool and add more water?
could easily cut our consumption by 10% almost overnight, simply by doing
things like driving less, taking what mass transit is available, setting the
heat a little lower and the air
conditioner a little higher, investing a few bucks on compact fluorescents and knocking a little time off our hot showers. And if we could just finance the placement of wind and solar farms and an upgrade of the power grid, we could save even more.
You can cut our foreign dependence on oil
by cutting use. And if you’re surprised that Caribou Barbie doesn’t understand
that concept, then you don’t know Caribou Barbie.