Most Americans do not realize that we have the oil and natural gas resources right here under our own soil. The burning question, in light of recent historical events is: why the hell haven’t we been using them? Considering the negative aspects of our dependence on other countries along with their conflicting ideologies,* we are in dire need of some common sense about the dangers of globalization. We should be tapping our own resources while being aggressive about developing our alternative energy options, with an eye toward moving away from petroleum products altogether, and then making aggressive lateral moves toward cleaner energy production and products.
For example, most of our products involve some use of petroleum for things as widespread as product packaging. This can be solved by something as simple as shifting a large sector of our agricultural focus on the cultivation of Industrial Hemp. Hemp can be used for so many things, that it would completely renew our independence and could very well save our economy. We can use hemp for packaging our products, for shopping bags, nutrition, clothing, shoes, biofuels, paper, car parts (to include the actual body of the vehicle), household decorative items and furniture, and many types of fabrics and upholstery, fiberboard (and potentially replacing wood completely, as hemp can be used for boards, bio-crete, and insulation)–almost anything we now make from wood or plastic can be made from Hemp. It grows well without pesticides, herbicides or fungicides; it produces more pulp per acre than timber, and does not require harmful or otherwise toxic additives to create these products.
Twenty six other countries cultivate Hemp, and are benefiting greatly from it. And why are we not cultivating Hemp already? Partly it’s because most Americans do not understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. These are two different plants. And all the drug-fear arguments, upon closer scrutiny, are revealed to be not only negligible in light of hemp’s benefits, but often completely erroneous.
Instead of seizing this opportunity to develop alternatives like Hemp, Compressed Natural Gas, Wind and Solar energies, we continue to rely on other countries who maintain their position with their hands around our throats. I fail to see the logic in continually placing ourselves in peril politically, economically, environmentally and personally by imposing our beliefs and ideologies on other countries with differing beliefs. It is not our place to recruit the world at large to the pervasive American belief-systems. It is only our place to work toward equitable and cooperative interaction when we have to, but not encouraging situations where our livelihoods or security depends on the actions and beliefs of other countries. We are not going to change their minds. They are just as committed to what they believe as we are.
I say live and let live. Self sufficiency is the crucial point here. WE have the wisdom, the resources, the education, the skill and the spirit to refashion America into a strong, independent nation that can remain capable of self sustainment, and still be a world leader when necessary. But any decisions we make based on imposing our own ideologies on others should be curtailed, if not removed entirely. The only reason this has not been so is that globalization has led us to a situation where we have dependence on these other countries for our own well-being. If we remove that dependence, we not only place ourselves in a stronger position internationally, but we ensure the stability of the United States–which would then be under our own control, and not the machinations of politics and agendas. It would once again make America the Land of Opportunity, instead of the Land of Broken Dreams.
Refer to these wonderful sites for more information:
*for an excellent treatise on the grave dangers of these ideologies, refer to Sam Harris’s Excellent book, The End of Faith.