As much as I'd like to put the majority of the blame on the Bushies and their minions, I think Robinson (and many others) overstate the Bushies' culpability at the expense of getting at the clod, hard truth of the matter. Americans are simply not yet willing to budge significantly on the lifestyle they've become accustomed to. After all, it was noted environmentalists Clinton and Gore who first circumvented the CAFE standards, paving the way for the SUV fiasco we're now just in the middle of.
(Yes, in the middle of. These beasts are now just hitting the secondary market, and as gas prices increase, their secondary market value will continue to decrease, putting them in the price range of folks who might ordinarily be driving around beat-up Pintos. Won't that be nice? Regardless, we're stuck with SUVs for quite some time, even if Americans are starting to take hybrids more seriously.)
To be fair, there were some valid reasons for slighting the CAFE standards, mostly revolving around the automakers' intransigence over re-engineering, and their sheer lack of reluctance to layoff tens of thousands to make sure shareholders get their dividend and upper management gets their bonuses. The fun times of commuting from the exurbs in one's Suburban are about to come to a halt; the only question (which isn't really much of a question) is who gets to bear the brunt of all that.
I have been somewhat skeptical of certain aspects of global warming theory, but that is rapidly changing, as the enormous and unprecedented weather events of the past several years continue to accumulate in an undeniable pattern. At any rate, Robinson is spot-on in his analysis of journamalistas' problem with "evenhandedness" and "objectivity". Much as we look back on the era of Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair as a watershed in truly afflicting the comfortable, we will look back on this era with utter contempt and disgust, as the irresponsibility of starfucking celebrojournos finally started eating its own tail.
Aside from the numerous worthy conferences on blogger ethics, mind you. If only my hands were as clean as Juuudy Miller's, or Timmeh Russert's. I can but dare to dream.
This is exactly right, and it's a point that Jim Kunstler makes pretty much every Monday. The question, where do you start, without collapsing a consumerist economy, without plundering savings that most Americans no longer have and can no longer afford? This is a country that lives on the margin, both collectively and as individuals, and only by the grace of the Chinese not calling in their promissory notes have we been able to continue down this dead end.
We need to find a way to wean ourselves from the petro-tit, sooner rather than later. We cannot foot the bill for a garrison state halfway around the world indefinitely, and we cannot afford any more Katrinas, not that we could afford the first one.
Anyway, read the whole interview, you won't be disappointed. Pretty damned good for "mainstream news", much less a small-town free paper.