Friday, December 26, 2003

Tom DeLay Admits We're Sacrificing American Lives For Oil
"The greenies have led us into the crisis in the Middle East... The rabid environmentalists felt it was more important to jeopardize the lives of our brave American servicemen than risk the death of a single snail darter."

All you have to do is take DeLay's reasoning, but choose a separate premise, or frame, that doesn't automatically assume a reliance on oil, an industry in which DeLay is deeply enmeshed in, and you get a surprising admission.

For, what DeLay is really saying here is that we are sacrificing American servicemen, their lives, because of dependency on foreign oil, and blaming the environmentalists for not allowing further oil exploration in protected domestic areas (the impact on dependency, by the way, in opening up exploration as DeLay suggests isn't so great as to avert war in the first place).

Choosing our own frame, a serious and pioneering investment and effort to move away from a primary emphasis on oil, and towards more sustainable and localized forms of energy production, would truly bring energy independence, and thus, according to DeLay's logic, have the immediate effects of saving American lives.

In essence, what DeLay is saying is that military campaigns in the Middle East are a cost-of-business for our oil-based economy. In essence, a tax that is not reflected in the price of oil-based products, but that is instead paid by the American taxpayer without a true accounting. This is just mentioning the financial element, and not the lives lost, which are priceless.

It's "Greenies" like Lester Brown (founder of the WorldWatch Institute) who are trying to convince us that, in our interests, and in the interests and integrity of free markets, these costs need to be accounted for in the price of products. Whether it's human lives and wealth that is sacrificed to maintain supply lines, or deforestation leading to soil erosion, there are goods, services, and costs we either don't acknowledge or properly acknowledge in the appropriate measure.