According to a Huffington Post article, Ukraine has stopped payment to Russia pending further price negotiations for natural gas. This comes after Ukrainian leaders failed to pay 500 million to Russia for gas already shipped, according to the article. The article also deviates slightly stating that ‘masked, camouflaged’ men have taken over a police station in Ukraine. Not surprisingly, the leaders of Ukraine are blaming Russia for the takeover. Huffington Post is reporting that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia told BBC radio: “We do consider that these actions are inspired and prepared in Russia and encouraged by some of the Russia agents in Ukraine.”
While I don’t necessarily buy into the ‘Russia is funding protests and helping them take over parts of Ukraine,” I’m not really concerned with that and wasn’t the purpose of this post. I just mentioned it because it is slightly interesting. What I do want to bring up is the leverage Russia, or any other energy-production country, can have over countries dependent upon that energy. This small issue speaks to a larger issue that is looming over our heads now: energy.
The United States, Europe, China, India, and several other countries burn up oil on a massive scale. According to the CIA’s “World Fact Book”, the US uses almost 19 million barrels of oil every single day (as of 2011 — no doubt larger now). That number is followed by the European Union, which smokes through nearly 13 million barrels of oil a day. The United States, according to the “World Fact Book” is the second largest oil producing nation (as of 2012). The US produces 11.1 million barrels of oil every day. That means we are reliant upon other countries, mostly middle-eastern countries, for nearly 8 million barrels of oil every day. What does this mean? It means, unless we can cut 8 million barrels of oil out of our daily lives, we are beholden to middle-eastern countries for sustaining our extravagant lifestyles.
Hummers, trucks, jets, ships, and various other forms of oil consumption can be construed as ‘unnecessary’. But, many of us don’t want to give up those luxuries. Because of this arrogance, ignorance, and delusions of infinite supply, we are going to end up just like Ukraine. A country we depend upon for oil may very well call on us to stop doing ‘this’ or stop doing ‘that’. The threat could be a break in our supply of oil. This disruption may very well be disastrous. $10 per gallon of gas doesn’t sound very appealing to me; I don’t know about you, but I think we should be pushing hard to avoid this scenario.
The worst part of the world’s dilemma is that we’ve known it would come to this for a while. This problem has been no secret, and it has been discussed, arguably, since Ford signed with OPEC to trade oil only in dollars (or, petrodollars).This begs the question of why? Why would we put ourselves in such a precarious situation? Why would we allow America, the supposed “greatest nation on earth” to be at the mercy of someone, or somebody, in the middle-east? Big, big money – that’s the only explanation I can give and it makes a lot of sense.
Big oil money has been dominating the political scene since it became a necessity in our everyday lives. Other than banking interests, nothing dominates like energy. Our politicians have been blinded by dollar signs. The people of this great nation have been drowned out by the countless number of lobbyists for big energy industry. Good people turn bad when they are subjected to daily bombardments of big oil lobbyists. Those that do not comply, or follow suit, are gerrymandered out of office, or are faced with an opponent with endless rivers of cash. Our country is being purchased by lobbyists of bankers, oilsters, gangsters, and terrorists. That is the reason we have done nothing to keep the ‘now inevitable’ from happening.
We can send men to the moon, spacecrafts to Pluto, and view galaxies hundreds of millions of light-years away, but we can’t produce a low-cost, efficient, and renewable energy source? I don’t buy that. What I do buy is that we (or rather, our politicians) have purposefully kept these renewable energies out of the mainstream so the oil-men can take us for all we have while the oil supply is still available. Renewable energy isn’t as wonderful for them because it is going to be produced everywhere, which lowers the ability to blackmail countries into conforming.
We should be out protesting this, because the next oil crisis could be right around the corner. I know I don’t want to be forced into submission by a bunch of rich guys half-way across the world. The United States should never have to militarize against a nation to protect its energy needs, nor should we be forced to conform for some other country. Let your congressmen and women know how you feel. Vote the incumbents out of office — every single one of them — in order to send a clear message: “don’t do what we say, and you WILL be gone.”
Unfortunately, that may not be enough. That’s why I call on all of our scientific folk out there to put forth some crowd-funding gigs and get to work on our solution to this ever-growing problem of oil dependency. It can be done. Who knows, you could be the next one to find the solution; all you have to do is stick your neck out and try.