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As the arguments rage this way and that, the headlines bring us something akin to an ultimate irony: an Exxon-owned pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas ruptured, spilling Canadian crude all over local backyards and forcing homeowners to be evacuated.
I realize that we've pretty much guaranteed our addiction to dinosaur-juice for the forseeable future. Any my owning a car means I'm one of the billions of people on this planet who are contributing to the problem. Indeed, we're all part of the demand-side problem that makes pipelines through the backyards of regular folks a sad necessity of modern life.
There are no easy solutions to any of this, but it still strikes me as somewhat tragic that decades after the first so-called "oil crisis", we still haven't taken anything beyond tentative steps to figuring it out. We happily maintain our petroleum-based reality and in doing so continue to pump untold billions into the coffers of nations whose most notable contributions to humankind involve being situated in the right stretch of oil-soaked desert. If only we had seriously invested in technology that would have broken the chain sooner.
I know, I know: hard challenges, and no easy answers. But still...where's the will?
As I walked through this East London neighborhood and snapped this scene, I wondered how much longer we'd be having this conversation. And how much longer some of us would cast wary glances out the back door of the house.
Your turn: Will we live to see the day when our economy is no longer mostly based on oil-based energy?