Apr. 29, 2014

unintended consequences

It is most interesting to watch the change in public response regarding recent increases in gasoline prices compared to what we saw several years ago. Has the general public forgotten the furor raised over past increases in price and the clamor over how that affected our expendable income, thus decreasing the purchase of products with that in turn reducing productivity ? Perhaps we have just resigned ourselves to the ever increasing costs associated with owning the icon of American freedom, the automobile.  Although the government has made much to do about how important it is to attain energy independence by producing more green energy in order to reduce fuel costs, the reality is that just the opposite has occurred.  Is green energy really the answer, or is it just what information we choose to accept as fact that determines our response and the eventual decisions the government makes. While the national media and subsidized farmers want you to believe that things like ethanol improve our environment and decrease dependence on oil imports, the truth is that fertilizers, produced by oil fueled plants, are used in excess to produce huge corn yields and in turn pollute the watershed with excess nitrogen that eventually runs from the "corn belt" of middle America into the Gulf of Mexico.  The result is a "dead zone" extending miles into the gulf, a consequence many times worse than the BP oil spill. This is information that seldom gets discussed in an open forum. Ethanol infused gasoline also clogs and destroys small engines over short periods of time ( ever wonder why you have to replace your weedeater or small chain saw every year?). I wonder if anyone has factored those costs into calculating the real cost of using ethanol based fuels! Unintended consequences seldom make headlines and certainly are not part of the conversation in Washington.

In reality, it is a matter of what and how information is reported in the "news" that seems to affect our response.  Unbiased news reporting, familiar to so many raised in the Walter Cronkite era, has now been replaced with "infonews" where public opinion is shaped by what the pundits choose to report and the way in which they report it. This is most unfortunate and is a major contributing factor to the polarization of the American public.  Enemies outside our borders can simply sit on the sidelines and watch us destroy ourselves from within.