Sent: Friday, May 04, 2007 6:19 PM
Subject: Ground Zero: my real life situation
I had read about Peak Oil years ago -- 20 years ago, when it was a new idea -- but only recently did I realize its imminence. My realization occurred as I was reading a brochure from the Saudi Arabian government, advertising the find of one last large oil reservoir somewhere beneath the sands. Just one.
In the future, I'll tell the story of my life in decades to come, but for now, my story is simple: I no longer drive a car. The high price of gasoline had something to do with it, as did the thought of putting my hard-earned dollars into some petrochemical fat cat's pocket. The distribution of wealth in the world, and in the U.S., is bad enough without making it worse.
Sometime last year, while driving my girlfriend's car, I was idling at the stoplight...idling along with twenty or thirty other cars, all spewing out unseen CO2, wreaking havoc with our environment, hastening radical climate change. The "eco-friendly," natural-gas-powered buses do it. The leaf blowers do it. The rice farmers who burn their fields do it. Build a bonfire, it does it, too.
Contributing to this invisible flood of CO2 seems a certifiably crazy thing to do. Literally, fouling our nest. So I tuned up my own car as good as I could and sold it.
People tell me I'm addled to be living in L.A., the city that invented modern mobility. I tell them that if they want to see a truly insane person, look at their own reflections in the rear view mirrors of their cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and powerboats. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." I feel like I'm living among the inmates of a vast insane asylum, driving themselves over the bring, unable to resist the compulsion. I no longer drive and you know what? I actually feel sane again. I can tell the difference: I'm not a hero; I'm just not crazy.
Santa Monica, CA