An observation worth noting … and pondering, from Louis W. Allstadt * :
It will take masses of people demanding action from politicians to offset the huge amount of money that the industry is using to influence lawmakers, a world-scale version of those standing-room-only town meetings. Something has to wake up the general public. It will either be education from the environmental movements or some kind of climate disaster that no one can ignore.
I’ve been a consistent advocate for the premise that citizens must demand not only more honesty and integrity from their chosen officials and preferred media; so too must they invest time and effort to understanding for themselves the facts about our energy supply (among other vital issues of the day) and make up their own minds about what to do. That this is easier said than done in this day and age is duly noted.
With misleading and/or disingenuous, cherry-picked offerings designed to protect narrow interests at the expense of the public now almost standard fare for a select group of public, industry, and media officials, the public’s future well-being hinges on that commitment to become responsible for understanding the impact public decisions will have on them and their families.
Each of us deal with a variety of responsibilities, interests, and considerations on a daily basis. Few of us enjoy the luxury of having plates not already filled to overflow, so adding the burden of becoming conversant on energy supply matters is a tall task. But the reality is that everything we do and own and utilize depends in small or large part on energy. Curtailed or more expensive supplies affect each of us.
If our “leaders” are not providing us with the information we need to make appropriate decisions in our own lives as well as in our communities, what kinds of decisions will be made instead? And what are the consequences of planning (or not) if we approach that task with insufficient or inaccurate information to begin with?
Others are making decisions to address their narrow interests today. In time, all of us will pay a price unless we seize the opportunity now to learn what we must, and insist that our leaders act in our collective best interests … not theirs or their benefactors.
Crisis, or opportunity?
* Allstadt is a retired Executive Vice President of Mobil Oil. He headed Mobil’s western hemisphere exploration and production operations. The quote was taken from an interview with journalist Ellen Cantarow, who has written a number of stellar pieces in recent months on the fossil fuel industry.
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