Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Leadership of Wishful-Thinking

As much as people don’t want to hear it and are in denial, high fuel prices are not the problem; high fuel prices are the solution -- to traffic congestion, pollution, death and destruction by autos, the lack of exercise, etc. The usual healthy response when prices rise in any commodity, is to cut back on the consumption -- into alternatives, but instead, we see people more determined than ever to consume as much as they like -- as though they can run the table against a superior bankroll.

When people during the ‘90s started buying SUVs and Hummers without consideration for today’s present energy crisis possibilities, we were obviously headed for trouble. The only action that will moderate fuel price rises is to reduce demand -- in a world in which the worldwide consumption is increasing rapidly because of the emerging affluence of the major populations of China and India.

A rail system may sound like a solution twenty years from now but people need to do something today, right now, to solve the problem by switching to high fuel consumption alternatives -- like biking, walking, buses, car and van pools, electric scooters, etc., and if they do so now, there might not be a problem to solve twenty years from now. These panaceas promised at some distant time in the future undermines the will to solve these problems in the present moment -- and that changes the future.

Otherwise, we merely have leadership by wishful-thinking.


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