The price of oil is going up because we are running out. We do not have the ability to shift enough resources into alternative fuels before our infrastructure starts to collapse. At that point, based on the precedent of how our leaders have handled the situation so far, do you honestly think our country will be willing to adapt?
Thats assuming we are even able to adapt. Those involved in the production of alternative sources of energy are underfunded, understaffed, and forced to compete with lobbyists from nuclear and oil companies who have an unlimited amount of money and use the legislature to force alternative fuels out of the market. This is in addition to the already massive subsidies that nuclear, coal, and oil companies get from the government.
If there is an energy crisis, i believe our country will handle it the way it handles every crisis: with violence. Only this time, the fuel that we need to make war is also the fuel we need to survive. The United States is not a country of intelligent people making intelligent choices. The lowest common denominator has too much power to threaton, cajole, and berate people who are trying to engage them in intelligent debate, and force our politicians to pander to their whims.
Our debates have become 5 minute sound bites, with neither politician promising to actually DO anything, except generic, ambivilant and unclear statements to the effect of "I will fix the economy." Forget about the economy. We should be focusing on survival.
I am not a big fan of radical decisions. I will cite a prime example of this: There is a small town in California called lake-elsinor, where there is a "man-made" lake. This "lake" exudes a stench so powerful that you can sense it a mile off. The town has an incredibly high crime rate and a high unemployment rate. Because of Lake Elsinor, thousands of people are forced to live in an impoverished, dangerous, and unattractive area, with little hope of ever leaving.
The reason i mention Lake Elsinor is this: energy consumption is a problem that requires radical action to solve. Our government has a poor track record with these sorts of things. China is doing much better with alternative energy than we are, mass-producing solar panels and cutting back on oil consumption in preperation for the crunch. If China, a massive beurocratic government with many times the number of people living there as in America, can take these radical measures to adapt to changing times, then why is it so difficult for americans to make the switch to a hybrid or a smart car? Maybe america needs more than the rhetoric of cutting back and conservation of natural resources, maybe it is time we all took responsibility as individuals, and kicked the oil addiction, cold turkey.