I live in one of the most mass transit friendly cities in America. I live in a city where people walk. I live in a city where people bike to work. But even here in Portland, cars are still by far the norm. That's fine. But as gas prices climb higher and higher & we find ourselves in a war that's really more about oil than weapons of mass destruction, there's still little change on our part.
Not only are we not moving away from our dependence on oil - demand for it is increasing here in the U.S. and exploding worldwide. Look at these pictures and see if you can spot a local problem:
Here's a hint: I took those pictures three years ago in China. As capitalism takes hold in the planet's most highly populated country, roads are filled with cars where they'd previously been filled with bikes. The price of gas in Portland Oregon will keep going up as demand increases in places like Beijing, Xi'an and Guangzhou, China. Guess what's happening in India, Africa, and... well... just about everywhere else?
So - what are we doing about it? Nothing.
And speaking of middle eastern oil - how goes the war in Iraq? Talk about a lesson in futility.
3,000+ people died on September 11th as airplanes became weapons and skyscrapers fell to the ground in New York City. As if there's anyone who doesn't know that.
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft says: "disturbing intelligence indicates al Qaeda's specific intention to hit the United States hard,"
Really? I had no idea. It's a good thing we've been so focussed on Iraq then, isn't it? Right - except that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda until WE turned it into an Al Qaeda breeding ground. Well that was a good plan, wasn't it? Now, we're locked in a quagmire of our president's making while Al Qaeda recruits. We should have been focussed on defeating Al Qaeda. Instead, we've strengthened it.
We know Al Qaeda is beefing up it's resources while our attention is elsewhere, and we know that Al Qaeda is using Iraq as a way to recruit, under the guise that the war is really against Islam.
I simply cannot fathom how Iraq became more urgent than Al Qaeda. Maybe after the next attack on American soil we will put our focus back where it belongs.