Friday, April 29, 2005

What, me Liberal?

I was so surprised to get a particular comment on my last posting. Someone asked me to "nix the liberalism", (the translation to English from Pig Latin is by me). Then the writer asked what SUV I drive.

First, I would be surprised if anyone who reads this weblog is not a) one of my blood relatives, or b)a person who has actually ridden in my Subaru, or c) conscious of my political leanings.

For the record, I've really admired SUV's, because they look so cool. I think they would fit my family lifestyle since I regularly drive more than three children in the afternoons to dance class, baseball games, or on playdates. I am never a lone driver. A minivan would also work, but as far as I know, none have a stick and I still like to live in the fantasy view that I am still cool because I drive standard transmission. However, I have written letters to the editor of two papers, an email to the Everyday Ethicist, and have had countless conversations stating why I believe SUVs are really a bad idea for our country.

For those that truly have no alternative for what they have to haul, they seem like a very appropriate vehicle. Maybe for taking the work crew out to the oil rig, or what have you. But man, to drive yourself, in town, to and from work, like so many of the SUV drivers I see here in Austin, they don't seem to be very "conservative" in terms of gas consumption, emissions, and safety for the general driving public.

Not to mention, the people getting rich off our gulping of oil are often in Saudi Arabia, where, by the way, many of the hijackers of 9/11 came from. You know, I feel really good and extra patriotic thinking I'm starving the Saudis of a little piece of America's assets. I wish we could think of some energy source and have THEM buy from the good old USA for the next 50 years. That's because I'm so patriotic. I love America a lot more than Saudi Arabia.

I'm posting a photo of my beloved (100,000+ mile) Red Subaru wagon, so you can wish my sweet ride a little goodwill.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

well, let me come clean. I am a fellow Austinite, and new father of a one year old daughther. Found your blog by accident, and figured it would be nice to follow the blogging of another Austinite with a family centric point of view. I meant no harm and by no means meant to start a political rant. I thought I was just taking a stab at another typical SUV driver, as they are usually first to complain about gas prices. Like you, and I guess unlike most of the SUV drivers, I understand the connection between their consumption and the rising prices. I do hope the gas crisis becomes a wake-up call for American automakers. With that said though, I did vote W and I do hope that the drilling in Alaska will help with our dependence on Saudi oil. I also hope we can build some more refineries to handle the bottleneck of oil refining. Unfortunately, i don't see us getting away from oil anytime soon, yes I would like to see more hybrids, but I don't think there is an alternative fuel that is a viable alternative at this time.

Elisa said...

Oh Kathy, I have really been enjoying your blog lately.

Julie said...

Catching up with postings after being out of town - where to begin, where to begin...

Am I the only one who giggled at the thought of you being cool because you still drive a stick shift? Come to the dark side. It's so easy to pass lollypops to the back seat to keep kids calm when you just have to move the car to "D".

And as my dear husband would say - no matter what we like to tell ourselves, we are no longer cool.

Kathy said...

Yes i am.... cool, that is. When I roll down the windows, zoom down Mopac, radio blaring Led Zep (they're still cool, right?), and shift into "5", I am One Cool Mama.

Julie said...

Um...yeah...right

Anonymous said...

http://www.knoxstudio.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=BUSH-ENERGY-05-16-05&cat=WW

Anonymous said...

http://www.knoxstudio.com/shns/story.cfm?pk=BUSH-ENERGY-05-16-05&cat=WW

Kathy said...

I appreciate that link. That is the change of heart I was hoping for. Let's see if it sticks. I AM surprised just to see him pointing in that direction.

I still think drilling in AWR is a waste for such a small amount of oil.

Anonymous said...

small amount?!?!? i've heard it is possibly the second largest reserve.

Kathy said...

I googled past some obviously very pro-drilling and very anti-drilling websites, and stumbled across this one that cites lots of govenmental estimates for amount of oil, recovery costs, etc. Here is the site: http://www.sibelle.info/oped15.htm

The following quote comes about 3/4 down the webpage they created. My position is that there is always someone (who will gain financially) who would try to recover any amount of oil in a field and sell it. What must be weighed, and is subject to interpretation, is the cost of intangibles to get the oil. Do we value pristine nature? Are we willing to bypass a small amount of oil, if the cost in a spoiled natural preserve is great? Does it matter if we are recovering an amount of oil that lasts months? years? decades?

I probably value unspoiled spaces more than President Bush or the average oil producer. If nothing else, my idea of holding back development saves the resource for another day instead of using it now when oil prices really aren't even at an all time high, adjusted for inflation. I'm sure, many others feel that the risks to the environment are entirely worth drilling in the ANWR. I don't own oil stock, nor do I benefit from the Republican tax cuts, since I am firmly in the middle, not upper, class. Others will surely feel differntly about this issue than me given their views on the environment, their attachment to oil company revenues, or their belief that the President always knows the best course of action and is working toward a known common good.

Anyway, here's the quote from the website:

"The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that if the green light is given it would take 7 to 12 years to sell leases, do permitting, environmental reviews, etc. and that initial production could start in 2010 at the earliest. Assuming an optimistic scenario in which the mean expected
technically recoverable oil in the entire coastal plain (not just the 1002 area) - 10.3 billion barrels - could be completely recovered (i.e. ignoring market pricing) the EIA estimates production of 600 million barrels a year. In comparison, US daily consumption is 18.5 million barrels a day, or 6,752 million barrels a year. Thus in this scenario ANWR, once on tap, would provide less than 9% of US annual usage (given that usage is trending upward..). Assuming a less positive scenario, at a market price of $24/barrel the mean estimated commercially recoverable oil is 5.2 billion barrels, and since the oil is in multiple plays rather than one large play the costs of exploting the oil will be higher."