Is There A
Gas Crunch?

By Lin Stone

We aren't running out of fuel any time soon.  Nor has the price of gas really gone up by any appreciable amount. Compare the the rise in the price of gas with the rise in the cost of an adequate home and you'll see what I mean.

What we are experiencing is
the value of the dollar going DOWN.

Back when the common back earned $1.00 per hour by the sweat of its brow our gas was selling for fifty cents a gallon.  Now that American backs are earning between $6.00 and $75.86 per hour it is only natural that the price of gas should rise to $3.00 per gallon.  Considering the quality of our fuel, the price has actually gone down quite a bit.

While none of us likes the newest price of fuel, let's remember that we were even unhappier when fifty cents a gallon first came upon us.

The pickle suckers of our society have been squealing on the gas supply sensationalist plug for the past ninety years.  Keep it in mind that the only way for pickle suckers have to make a living is by predicting one crisis after another, pointing their shaky fingers at one issue after another until the whole world is grimacing in actual pain and pessimism.  This is not an energy crisis but purely a social dilemma, much like the Mexican Caballeros once faced when they HAD to use a horse to cross the street not because they couldn't walk but just because if they didn't use a horse their peers would believe they had lost social prestige.  


Abortion in America 

There is no denying that using the modern health care system will plunge anyone into bankruptcy unless they have adequate (and un-cancelable) health insurance. 

Let's back up a step though. Has it ever been proven that our unhampered modern health care system would actually provide a better state of health to American citizens?

The Constitution has no avenue for charity to be dished out by the government. 

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While we may have an identity crisis going on we certainly don't have an energy crisis lurking anywhere close.  At this point we simply need drivers to be more responsible.  Everywhere you look today there are fuel-guzzling monsters hunting out distant mud holes to wallow in, purely in the name of fun.  Every weekend millions of boaters head for the lakes and streams for hours of chugging around just like there was an inexhaustible supply of energy.  There are people who drive to the store three times a day.  There are people who drive thirty miles, past nineteen supermarkets, to save fifty cents at their favorite store.

If there really was an energy crisis sneaking up on us a simple solution would fix the problem almost overnight: Just double the taxes at the pump on fuel and let people readjust their lives around luxury costing more.  Before you know it, we'd be inventing excuses to only go to the store once a day instead of three, walk instead of ride, acquiring bicycles to go short distances on, and scooters to jet around town on.  Fuel would only be used for long trips and we would definitely cut down on the number of long trips.  Fuel consumption would be cut in half and station owners would be moaning to Congress for subsidization laws to protect them just like they were farmers or something important.

That brings up the point of Congress and the media blaming farmers for higher prices on our grocery shelves.  Poor farmers must be burping bitterly in their cups of cappuccino over that one.  Farmers are the one segment of society totally at the mercy of someone else for the prices of their product.  Clothing manufacturers?  They can raise their prices.  Candlemakers?  They can raise their prices.  Bakers?  They can raise their prices.  Carmakers?  They can raise their prices with impunity.  Cereal makers?  They can all raise their prices. 

But farmers? These poor guys are TOLD what their products are worth.  "Your cows are worth .."  "Your corn is worth .."  Even worse, the farmer is only told the value of his product AFTER he has gone to all the expense and effort of planting it, protecting it, plowing it, harvesting it and presenting it for market.  "Gee, I should have raised corn this year. You can get better odds at the casino."

Now, let's go to the supermarket for a sack of potato chips.  That big, family-sized bag?  The farmer only gets eight cents for the potatoes that went into the package, but who gets the blame for you having to pay the cashier three dollars?  The farmer.  Rodney Dangerfield never had it so bad.

If there ever is a real fuel crunch a few simple changes in our lifestyles will put matters aright in a hurry. For example, if you look at all the city buses running to and fro you will notice they are usually almost empty.  If citizens realize how much they can save by taking buses those numbers can double.  When buses begin to get crowded more busses can be bought and even more savings realized.  When I was a child we bought groceries once a month.  By the time I was grown we were buying groceries once a week.  These days it is hard to remember a day we didn't buy groceries of some kind.  No wonder there are endless streams of cars hurtling down the highways, usually almost empty.  Just checking regularly with our friends to see if anyone can benefit by going the same direction we are can save fuel consumption by one third. 

In the same way, once we change social perceptions from only poor people ride the bus to only dumb people don't ride the bus this energy crisis will be on its way to being solved.  All we really need to do is curb our spending habits and begin to brag on our neighbors and other people that walk farther than they drive.

If the energy crisis gets downright pickle-sucking bad we could shift our social identity from car ownership to car rentalship. This step alone would eliminate the junkers and clunkers overnight and slash the energy drain by half. People could be encouraged to work closer to home, or even at home. The next step towards a solution would be to off-stagger working hours to alleviate rush hours and relieve jammed traffic street strain. Bicycle routes could be established for the general populace to popular city destinations. Wider walkways would encourage people that had to drive to get out and walk for their health.

If the energy crisis ever does threaten to turn into a real crunch it could be avoided by a shift in sources. Right now the turmoil is in raising prices for corn in an effort to produce enough ethanol so we can continue our irresponsible driving habits. We can't produce enough corn to feed us and fuel our vehicles too.

First off, it isn't a case of either or. There are millions more acres suitable for raising corn IF prices go up in an effort to invite farmers to accommodate.  If we run out of land, Mexican farmers would LOVE to sell their corn to us. Second, other grains are raised much easier than corn and harvested more efficiently.

Third, instead of using only the one small portion of the crop to produce ethanol we can use the total plant to produce heat either by burning, or by compression and make electricity for smaller vehicles used for inter-neighborhood jaunts.

Fourth, we can use things that aren't even crops yet to produce heat either by compression or by burning. For example, we have kudzu growing in rampant rages in the South and we have red cedar trees threatening to take over the entire plains country of Oklahoma if we don't do something about it. In New York there is garbage by the metro-gallon.

In each region of the country there are other commodities that are at present causing a problem because they multiply faster than rabbits on welfare. Every day of the year in every state in the union there are trees and other vegetation being shoveled aside in the name of progress then burned to get it out of the way. Take this scientific fact to heart: Anything that will burn, be it grass, garbage or trees can produce no small measure of heat. Heat can produce electricity when properly harnessed, and never forget that heat itself is often a very desirable product.

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There is no energy crisis. We have heat to produce electricity. We have wind to produce electricity. We have ice for electricity.

Ice? For electricity? Oh yes. Ben Franklin taught us that a penny saved is a penny earned. If we reduce the need for electricity by one kilowatt then we have effectively produced one kilowatt of electricity. In our country there are certain hot spots where the biggest expenditures of energy are in keeping things, people and places cool. Ice does that admirably well.

It would be much cheaper to haul ice floes to any of our hot regions where it can be used to cool down large buildings. Even before modern miracles of insulation came into being huge slabs of ice could be kept all year long. Today there is scarcely any loss at all in hauling ice all the way across the country. Since ice floats, huge slabs of ice can be carved out of the Great Lakes and shipped down the Missasip like so many logs to be used downstream when Mint Juleps are in season. Ice bergs can be carved out of the Arctic, harnessed and tugged to some of our northern seaports.  There we could put it on trains that are already empty most of the time anyway, and shipped in insulated cars to the great hot west.

One thing about ice, even if it comes from the ocean, when it melts (producing cooler temperatures in the air around it) ice turns into good water. In our desert hot spots water is being pumped from ever dwindling pools of water far, far beneath the surface. The deeper the well from which that water is drawn the deeper is the drain on the poor farmer's purse. By bringing ice down to cool off our important buildings we would also produce water that did not have to be pumped up from beneath the ground. In areas like Nevada and Saudi Arabia water is almost more valuable than the cooler temperatures ice could produce. An ice berg or two would be very much appreciated.

Water is the most abundant resource on the face of the earth. One thing about water, it moves. It moves rapidly and it changes its molecular composition quickly. Anywhere we notice a change or even a desire to change we find an opportunity to harvest another energy crop. Streams of water can run mills and rivers can send turbines screaming. We haven't even begun to tap the full potential for producing power from the streams and rivers we have with the technology available to us today.

Ocean tides would be simple enough to harness.  If we think in terms of multiple units instead of trying to build one huge generator we'll go a lot farther in less time. When the tide comes in it brings in millions of tons of weight. That weight can be used to send hydraulic oil surging uphill through turbines that produces energy. When the ocean's weight goes out the hydraulic oil will pour back down into the pouches, ready to be squeezed upwards yet again.

Pickle Sucker Sensationalism sells more newspapers than good sense does and it helps scientists get bigger grants for useless studies. That doesn't mean we should leave our good sense behind when we pick up the newspaper or turn on the television.  Beware the spit and snap of the Pickle Sucker's trap lest your mouth and mind pucker sour and more unkind.  This energy crisis is so insignificant and small compared to the brightness of our future that only true pickle suckers can see it at all.

the end

Hand Picked Essays on the Social System

Children under the age of 13 MUST HAVE

 permission from parents before they can
 click on any of our links

The Meaning of Life, By Jack London

President McKinley  By Theodore Roosevelt

Dealing With The Depression... Franklin D. Roosevelt

Social Justice, By Jack London 

The New Century, by Theodore Roosevelt

China's Red Paint Syndrome 

Who is right? Republican, or Democrat?


Mr. Mac Was A Mermaid 




Do Christians Have Any Rights Left?


Good Neighbors...


The Farmer and the Businessman  by Theodore Roosevelt


The World Wide Rave  You can be a star.

A better state of health


The 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln.


ARE We Being Invaded?

Free Education For Allegedly Undocumented Immigrants 


The Rule of The Republic, AN AUDIO rebroadcast by Theodore Roosevelt -- Or, you can choose to read pretty much the same message, HERE.


Covenant With The People by Theodore Roosevelt


Are We Guilty of Greed? 

Simple Subterfuge UNRAVELEDThe process is simple enough, just pretend Washington politicians are stupid and anything they are trying to do is the obverse of what will be accomplished.


The Supreme Court is our servant by Theodore Roosevelt


The Gettysburg Address, by Abraham Lincoln.

The Constitution has no avenue for charity to be lavished by the government.


Charity Beginneth with the Soul: 


Finding Peace in Times of Terror... 


Is there a real gas crunch?


God Bless Americans.. 

Is Gambling Wrong?  

The Slip of Customer Service

The Child Protection Act 

Abortion in America 

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