June 12, 2011

Rant O' the Week: You know what I can’t stand to hear about anymore? That we Americans are addicted to oil.

[Bumped due to popular demand]
marko2_s.jpg"I'm not addicted to oil.

I'm addicted to being able to drive into town on my own schedule. I'm addicted to being able to haul home a week's worth of groceries with two little kids in tow without having to wait for the fucking bus with eighty pounds of filled plastic bags in my hands. (That's disregarding the fact that I live out in the sticks, and the nearest bus stop is four miles away, which is one hell of a hike with the aforementioned two little kids and week's worth of groceries.)
"I don't give a shit what kind of substance I have to put in the tank of the minivan to feed that particular addiction. I don't care about oil. If my minivan ran on distilled cow piss, I'd fill up with distilled cow piss. If they ever come up with an electric minivan that goes the speed limit on the Interstate, accelerates to highway speeds in less time than a geologic epoch, and doesn't need to be recharged every fifty miles with electricity that comes from a coal-powered plant anyway, I'll gladly buy one of those and deep-six the old combustion engine. -- Marko @ the always entertaining and often correct munchkin wrangler.

Posted by Vanderleun at June 12, 2011 3:33 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Can you imagine how long it would have taken the Nazis to kill 6 million Jews without mass transit?

Mass transit is about the convenience of the state. You will be assimilated.

Posted by: Scott M at June 10, 2011 8:11 PM

And then you will be annihilated.

Posted by: Jewel at June 11, 2011 1:58 AM

@Jewel: Ditto!

Posted by: Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas at June 11, 2011 3:35 AM

He forgot to mention the inane cost of the cow piss cars.

Posted by: mare at June 11, 2011 5:41 AM

You can buy cow piss in cans in Japan, you know. Drinking it is quite another matter.

Posted by: Jewel at June 11, 2011 5:44 PM

For way too much of the U.S., mass transit is simply not a viable alternative to driving. The country is too big, and we're too spread out. The last time I lived in the U.S., I had a 50-mile (one-way) commute, which was by no means unique in my office. Although I lived in a metro area that had good mass transit into the central city, there were no forms of mass transit available in the outlying suburb where I lived, and my office was likewise well away from the mass transit routes. Much of the U.S. is the same, and there's no easy way around that. If there were, we'd have found it by now.

My solution to my commuting situation was to buy a used S-Class Mercedes (hey, if I'm going to be on the road a lot, might as well enjoy the trip), and commute at off-hours. My managers didn't care what hours I worked, as long as the job got done, and the Benz V-8 actually got (much) better gas mileage when loafing at typical highway speeds than the Ford V-6 it replaced, so I came out ok. No distilled cow piss, though.

Posted by: waltj at June 11, 2011 7:40 PM

Oh, I hate this addicted to oil crap too. One may as well say we're addicted to food and medical care. And housing. And clothing. Idiocy.

Posted by: Robert at June 12, 2011 1:21 PM

Dave Barry nailed it decades ago: Mass transit takes lots of people very quickly to places nobody wants to go.

Posted by: Your Majesty at June 12, 2011 1:22 PM

I remember taking a bus from Nashville, TN, to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, many years ago. Greyhound was on strike, and we had to go via Trailways. My daughter was five at the time. 29 years ago, and the memory still lingers. We also went from Nashville, TN to Albany, NY when she was three. God, I'd almost forgotten that one, but like PTSD, the memory never leaves. You're damn right I'm addicted to my car. I'll never put myself (or anyone else I love) through that kind of torture again. SCREW mass transit.

Posted by: Mean Granny at June 12, 2011 1:32 PM

Americans are addicted to oil in the same way humans are addicted to oxygen. There is a difference between a necessity and an addiction.

Posted by: Voluble at June 12, 2011 1:40 PM

My 1994 S320 gets 22-24 mpg on 89 octane. Nice ride too.

Posted by: Zek202 at June 12, 2011 1:41 PM

Like Granny, I rode the bus for 25 hours to get home.
Very bad experience.
Make Pelosi and Obama ride that 25 hour bus
SCREW mass transit

Posted by: Bruce Wayne at June 12, 2011 1:43 PM

How come the government wants to "treat America's addition to oil", but throw anyone who suffers from any other kind of addiction into an overcrowded prison?

Posted by: TreeGuy at June 12, 2011 1:46 PM

Hey what we have now is the FIRST five-year plan. If we re-elect these BOSSES, the next five-year plan will go into effect. That includes masses moving BACK into the city with forced mass transit (gov. workers at the helm), controlling food supplies and prices, gov. motors as your only choice, and equal pay except for the ruling elite. If you RE-elect these people, start saying ba-a-a-a-a-a-a!

Posted by: Artskoe at June 12, 2011 1:47 PM

The media is addicted to trite clichés and vacuous soundbites.

Posted by: ben at June 12, 2011 1:50 PM

Here, here!

It is 35 miles to the nearest bus stop for me. And when I get there, they refuse to hook my stock trailer full of 1000 pound heifers to the back of the bus and pull it to the stockyards.

I love petroleum and petroleum products.

Posted by: Andrew at June 12, 2011 1:57 PM

>Dave Barry nailed it decades ago: Mass transit takes lots of people very quickly to places nobody wants to go.

Two out of three correct ain't bad - unless his definition of "very quickly" is somewhat more generous than mine.

(Of course, if we're talking about light rail systems, the "lots of people" isn't correct either.)

Posted by: xj at June 12, 2011 1:58 PM

When a politician says "Americans are addicted to oil", what he is saying is "Americans aren't as poor as I think they should be."

But don't think he is a hypocrite, because I am sure he has tax hikes he's ready to propose to make us as poor as he thinks we should be.

Posted by: Kazinski at June 12, 2011 2:18 PM

Oil is not an addiction; it is a bargain. For that $700M or whatever dollars we send overseas we get a substance with myriad uses besides mere fuel: plastics, medicines, pesticides, fertilizers, et al. The total value of all the products and uses we get from oil is many times its cost. We are truly screwing the oil producing countries.

BTW: loved the Dave Barry quote. will steal it.

Posted by: bob sykes at June 12, 2011 2:20 PM

You're completely underestimating your addiction. It's much, much worse than that. You're addicted to asphalt. To electricity in your house. To heat in the freezing winter. To clothes not made from the skins of animals. To the internet. To communications with people not in your own village. To ambulances. To food you didn't grow in you own plot of land and the lack of famine that comes with that. To modern medicines. To hospitals. To education. Heck, even mass transit is just methadone for your addiction.

Saying we're addicted to oil is like saying we're addicted to air.

Posted by: Caradoc at June 12, 2011 2:26 PM

When someone says Americans are addicted to oil he means "I don't like the way you live your life but I know I would lose any debate about the cost/benefit trade-offs you are making versus my preferred solar/wind/biogas/unicorn fart/moonbeam energy, so I'm going to redefine whatever I disagree with as a medical condition so no debate can take place." This is the sign of a lazy mind and such people should be treated with undisguised contempt. It could also be treated as Stalinism, but then you have to explain who Stalin was.

Posted by: Thomas at June 12, 2011 2:32 PM

Always remember, mass transportation is the dream of socialists/communists and "academics". Individual transportation is tied closely to individual liberty.

Hussein bin Obama likes mass transportation.

Any questions?

Posted by: btms at June 12, 2011 2:42 PM

The alternative to mass transportation, and the dream of Al Gore and his ilk, is an America where everybody lives within sound of the factory whistle. Every morning we would pull on our brogans, pack our lunch buckets, trudge down six flights of stairs, and walk to the mill. This would solve many problems. Mass transit and urban sprawl for two. All jobs would be union and all votes would be Democrat. The Gores would live in the big house up on the hill, famed in song and story.

Posted by: Ernie G at June 12, 2011 3:04 PM

I am not addicted to oil. I use modest amounts of furnace oil to keep my pipes from freezing in winter, and modest amounts of gasoline to get to the market and into town. I have good insulation and Andersen thermopane windows on the house. The Mercury gets 23 mpg, down a bit from the DeVille that used to get 27 mpg.
Mass transit is OK, if, and only if, the company you work for is on a mass transit stop. In 40 years of working, only once did this happen. All the other companies I worked for were out on Rt 128 where the MBTA doesn't run.
Heating the house and commuting to work isn't addiction to oil, it's taking care of your family.

Posted by: David Starr at June 12, 2011 3:11 PM

Mass transit is great if it's irregular route, non-time dependent and doesn't require a specialty license to operate.

Posted by: Mike H. at June 12, 2011 3:37 PM

I take offense to the implication that I am "addicted" to something. To me, the intent is to make the target group "feel bad" about what they are doing. The speaker wants the target to be ashamed of their behavior. That phrase is a form of emotional blackmail. We - as a society - look at people who are addicted as "broken" or "less than perfect". This type of manipulation is the same mentality that created "Political Correctness". The intent there was to shame a person into behaving a certain way. Same thing here.

I applaud Marko for speaking out.

Posted by: _Jon at June 12, 2011 3:47 PM

Let's go back to horses and buggies. Then we can all be addicted to hay.

Posted by: Mister Snitch! at June 12, 2011 3:47 PM

This rant is fantastic. Have a couple of speechwriters "presidentialize" it and this is what the Republican nominee should be saying all across the nation and how they should be talking on all the issues, Americans are fed up!

Posted by: bobbymike at June 12, 2011 4:25 PM

I'm not addicted to cocaine.

I'm just addicted to the feeling I get when snorting cocaine.

I am so sick of hearing that I'm addicted to cocaine.

Posted by: addictnonymous at June 12, 2011 4:47 PM

Take your coke away and you'll still exist. Take oil away and modern society won't exist.

Nice try though.

Posted by: Caradoc at June 12, 2011 4:54 PM

addictnonymous -
...or as Rodney Dangerfield said "I don't use cocaine, I just like the way it smells, that's all!"

But what really irks me is when these idiots bemoan how we are addicted to FOREIGN oil...the same idiots who won't let us drill our own. Probably the only country with resources that we won't let ourselves develop. God, I hate envirotwits.

Posted by: model_1066 at June 12, 2011 4:57 PM

And for those who distilled their own bio-diesel so that they wouldn't be dependent on oil...well, the idiot left-wing government bureaucracy saw to it that they were punished with outrageous taxes and fines for their insubordination. The left lives off the graft of those who produce, and can't stand for anyone to bypass their cash flow.

Posted by: forrest at June 12, 2011 6:04 PM

I, for one, think we should be concerned with our "addictions". Specifically, we should be extremely concerned with our pernicious addiction to the produce of six inches of topsoil and steady rains in order to survive. After thousands of years of civilization I would have thought our technology would have enabled far more sustainable alternatives...

Posted by: CR at June 12, 2011 6:32 PM

The United States sits on only 2% of the world's cow piss reserves, yet uses 25% of the world's cow piss. Shame.

Posted by: Rip57 at June 12, 2011 6:35 PM

I'm addicted ... to productivity.

The type of productivity that is diminished when I have to schedule my work around a bus or train schedule, instead of having the ability to work a little OT to finish a task and keep things moving.

What the Re-, er, Progressive moralizers assume, is that we all punch a clock with eight hours -- no more, no less. That, or they assume that those who do not are part of the "rich" and therefore are worthy of bearing every burden their Utopia creates.

This is another attempt to apply a simplistic, top-down, one-size-fits-all answer to what are in fact MILLIONS of economic challenges that are highly individual-specific ... problems exacerbated by other simplistic "solutions" from the same moralists who seek to apply this one.

The outcome, is truly Regressive, if we accede to the wishes of these poster children for Romans 1:22.

Posted by: Ritchie The Riveter at June 12, 2011 6:48 PM

Spent time in Europe a year ago with several friends (German, Swiss, French, Brits). *Drove* because we couldn't get all those places as easily as the idiots making these "addicted to oil" propoganda fantasize about. (6 countries, 2 *very small* villages, 3 cities.)

But of course the most important thing is *how small* Europe (and Japan) are compared to the USA. I mean *really really* small.

When are the elites ever going to let go of the need to turn us into Europeans?

We are Americans. We live in an incredible, huge country. Our lifestyles and opportunities are unique and valued by many. Get used to it.

Posted by: JAL at June 12, 2011 8:10 PM

Unfortunately, "evil oilman" George W. Bush was one of those who bought into the "addicted to oil" meme. Big mistake.

Posted by: RB at June 12, 2011 8:15 PM

I'll never put myself (or anyone else I love) through that kind of torture again. SCREW mass transit.

Greyhound is actually an intercity bus service. Mass transit is the service that one finds in metro areas that runs many times a day - you know, the buses with all the graffiti on the seats, or the streetcars/trolleys with the graffiti on the outside, both kinds more often than not carrying rather shady-looking people.

Posted by: Blacque Jacques Shellacque at June 12, 2011 10:05 PM

Maybe we could switch to virtual reality, in which our avatars would travel and do our jobs, go to our classes, serve our prison sentences, go on our honeymoons, etc. Would save a lot of energy.

Posted by: PacRim Jim at June 12, 2011 10:07 PM

Our approach to this energy transition is completely wrong. Instead of punitive taxes,... positive incentives should be the motivation to switch to alternative energy sources. This applies worldwide.
Whatever investments are to be made should go towards R & D to nudge Green energy to be cheaper than petroleum. Carbon credits and the like are losing strategies, and if they lose, then they are part of the problem.

Posted by: Muggins at June 12, 2011 10:33 PM

Yes, lets nudge green energy

Posted by: at June 12, 2011 11:00 PM

I don't want to be nudged. Does the word "nudge" appear anywhere in the Constitution?

Posted by: rickl at June 12, 2011 11:18 PM

The "addicted to oil" phrase is a metaphor. And the posters who posted their ludicrously low MPG figures were supporting it, not arguing against it.

If more or less any mass-market European car was getting figures like that, it would be in the shop to be fixed.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at June 12, 2011 11:50 PM

Which Fletcher, is why we're here and you're there, thank God but not Gaia.

Soon we'll stop that dumb ethanol additive simply because there won't be money to subsidize it. That will happen right after half the arab street starves. Then the bottom falls out of corn futures, gas prices drop and mass transit again becomes a socialist nightmare, no one will ride it.

Score another disaster for Progressive Ideology.

Posted by: Peccable at June 13, 2011 5:59 AM

Fletch, my big Benz V-8 consistently got 28 mpg--sometimes higher--on the highway. Maybe not Prius territory, but an S-Class is just a much more capable vehicle that I was willing and able to pay for. My money, my choice. Also, Fletch, compare apples to apples. Upwards of, what, 65% of cars sold in Europe these days are diesels? (I was in Italy a few months ago, and this seemed about right). Diesels are inherently more efficient than gasoline-burners of the same size, so that skews the mileage figures. The relatively few diesel cars sold in the States--Mercedes, BMW, VW--also get excellent mileage, but they're concentrated at the high end of the market, so that means sales tend to be fairly low (the new VW Jettas have taken a step or two downscale, so VW might sell more of them, but they lack the nice touches the previous ones had).

When I lived in Singapore in the mid-to-late 1990s, mass transit actually worked for me. The MRT is relatively inexpensive, the police-state-lite that is Singapore deals harshly with graffiti-writers, and the trains are comfortable and actually go to places that people want to go. Singapore is also small and relatively densely-populated, so there's a critical mass of riders that makes public transportation economical. Besides, cars are outrageously expensive there, so the subway is a good alternative. But when I moved to Australia a few years later, a car was a necessity. Like the U.S., Australia has lots of spread-out suburbs that can't be served efficiently by subway or light rail lines.

Posted by: waltj at June 13, 2011 7:57 AM

Cold fusion featured in the LA Times in '89 before it was debunked. Environmentalists were aghast at the possibility of cheap clean energy:

“It’s like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” – Paul Ehrlich (mentor of John Cook of SkepticalScience.com, author of "Climate Change Denial")

“Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.” – Paul Ciotti (LA  Times)

“It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited sources of energy.” – Jeremy Rifkin (NY Times)

“Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura Nader (sister of Ralph)

The most popular AGW supporting blogs are owned by PR firms financed by green energy speculators:
DeSmogBlog = green PR firm paid for by a $125 million online gambling site convicted money launderer who sells solar cells.
RealClimate = left wing PR firm behind the junk science link of vaccines to autism and the silicone breast implant scare which bankrupted Dow Corning.
ClimateProgress = left wing think tank.

CLIMATEGATE 101: "Don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone....Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that." - Phil Jones

Here I present The Quick Glance Guide to Global Warming:
Denial: http://bit.ly/m6xySt
Oceans: http://oi53.tinypic.com/2i6os4y.jpg
Thermometers: http://oi52.tinypic.com/2agnous.jpg
Earth: http://oi56.tinypic.com/2reh021.jpg
Authority: http://oi52.tinypic.com/wlt4i8.jpg
Prophecy: http://oi52.tinypic.com/30bfktk.jpg
Psychopathy: http://oi52.tinypic.com/1zqu71i.jpg
Icon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmPzLzj-3XY
Thinker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n92YenWfz0Y

-=NikFromNYC=- Ph.D. in Carbon Chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

Posted by: NikFromNYC at June 13, 2011 3:30 PM

Damn Nik - every time I see it it gets better.

Posted by: Papertiger at June 14, 2011 2:47 AM