Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1 Billion Cars

I've been reading Plan B 4.0 by Lester Brown and that's enough to make me lose sleep until the next leap year. Back in 2008 there were an estimated 910 million automobiles in the world. I don't think allowances were made for more fuel efficient cars or gas guzzling pigs like Oggy's 1969 Econoline Van. We probably aren't at 1 billion cars but there's no doubt we are approaching it and that raises the question of how these cars are going to run. Now, most of us are selfish thinkers with the foresight of a snub nosed monkey in heat so I'll relay some information on to you and you can discuss it amongst yourselves while Rush Limbaugh shuffles papers in the background of your blighted consciousness.

The simple answer to fuel problems is alternative fuels. Internal combustion engines, aside from making us absolute slaves to our vehicles, is polluting the ocean and skies. In Churchill Falls Labrador they have one of the biggest hydroelectric power plants in North America supplying much of eastern Canada and New York with energy using 1964 technology. Yet, as I walked around the mosquito swarming streets I didn't notice any electric vehicles. Even the tour guide truck was a fuel powered SUV. Inside the power plant everything was electric but only the houses used the power supplied a mile away by the 12 turbines. Maybe the cold weather had something to do with this since batteries tend to shut down in negative 40 degree temperatures. Who knows...but that's the situation.

Electricity, supplied by hydro electric plants, wind turbines and solar farms is a trend that has been developing for half a century and shows no signs of slowing down. Gas and oil are being used to facilitate the development of cleaner sources of energy. Or I should say that gas and oil are being used to transport useless web cams and anal beads around the world and a small minority are also using gas and oil to develop cleaner sources of energy.
The enemies of Ford and Chrysler conspire to attack corporate America

I'm sure back in 1870 train conductors who relied on steam created by burning wood in a double boiler thought it would never be cost effective to refine crude oil into flammable gasoline. The same thoughts now apply to switchgrass fuel, prairie grass and hemp gasoline. Yes, combustible hemp oil fueling cars. If it is possible then it will eventually be cost effective...or it will be cost effective for someone.

The conflict I want to bring up is something that is easily overlooked when the topic of ethanol comes up along with other plant based fuels. Corn takes land and unless we start to cultivate national park lands then that requires a sacrifice of agro land somewhere. And with nearly 1 billion cars out there owned by people making an average of $30,000 a year competing with, say, 3 billion poor people like Oggy who make less than $3,000 a year the market will side with the people who can afford to pay for the corn to be planted so it can be refined into fuel to burn in their cars so they can get to work making pharmaceuticals. 3 Billion poor people vs 1 Billion car owners. That leaves 3 billion people who have money but don't own a car and at least one hippie who owns a huge van but has no money...I don't know who that person will be but he's going to have to choose a side and there's a good chance he'll team up with the car owners.

I think this is where the paper theory of capitalism breaks down because if the market determines that corn should be used to fuel cars and 3 billion people are out of luck then that would be naively ignoring human nature because 3 billion people are not going to placidly watch their dinner be ignited so I don't have to walk to Walmart to get the chicken strip and mashed potato dinner. No, that's not going to happen. You push 3 billion people into a corner and all the camper conversion hippie vans in the world won't protect you from their wrath. Like Jim Morrison said, "They've got the guns but we've got the numbers."

Now, what I predict is exactly that scenario of more rainforest land being plowed under "Sold" by electro-prodded natives and then cultivated to grow corn to fuel distant "smart" vehicles. The natives themselves will be allowed to work in the iPod manufacturing factories and when they start to jump off the buildings they will get no sympathy because Americans aren't supposed to "inflict their morality on others" or whatever catch-phrase the conservative of the week will shill on his mouth breathing, knuckle dragging audience as they switch between Nascar and Kid Rock. No, it would be unforgivable to interfere with the natural holocausts we cause since speed junkie radio hosts must know what they are talking about. Better to sit on our thumbs jacking off while the dirty deeds are perpetrated in our honor on the natives, their land stolen and destroyed and then they are relocated to villages where they have to pay rent and the only means to money is working in the iPod factory. Yeah, that's a trail of blood only a goddamn television psychic could follow. You'd have to be a near genius to put all those pieces together and see the injustice. No, it's better to listen to Rush Limbaugh feed you baby pacifier information and slap another rainforest slab of chicken wings on the barbeque. Let bygones be bygones! Don't cry over spilled milk. Survival of the fittest! Yes, the dirty minds will survive as long as the clean ones allow it. Freedom isn't free but the cost isn't what the newspapers say it is because there was a discount in the price of Amazonian children flesh and a closeout sale on clean rainforest water. Fried Chinese slave girl fingers are buy one get one free with duck sauce! Mention this ad and Save! Buy now and buy in bulk so your fat ass can fit through the mcdonalds drive-thru. And when a future Oggy asks for mercy for the displaced and enslaved Kogi native you can claim ignorance and slap his wrist because it's none of our business and we're mere spectators in the whole affair and our paws never got wet in the fat fish bucket. I wish I could inflict that kind of ignorant arrogance on myself but I must be immune to conservative flim flam talk. Maybe I have my father to that for that but I also wish I could be as stupid as the rest of America so I could fit in better and put my Khazakstani Infant neck on the barbeque and crack another beer. But no, I have to side with Lester Brown, loathed and crucified on a cross made of pizza boxes and CD cases, the persecution of Oggy The Ignorant persists to drain the carbon emission of our morality into the sinkhole of Laissez-faire  indifference.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.