TIME has a great article about how the Republicans are making fun of Obama for his suggestion that if all Americans inflated their tires properly and took their cars for regular tune-ups, they could save as much oil as new offshore drilling would produce. Of course, the Republicans are having a field day with this comment.
But the TIME article suggests that there could be truth in the statement.
The RNC is trying to make the tire gauge a symbol of unseriousness, as if only the fatuous believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil without doing the bidding of Big Oil. But the tire gauge is really a symbol of a very serious piece of good news: we can use significantly less energy without significantly changing our lifestyle.
The article is about tackling the “low-hanging fruit” (one of my all-time favourite expressions) – which is naturally, in this energy context, CONSERVATION. Study after study shows that the cheapest way to alleviate the energy crisis is to fix the demand for energy, not the supply. But as I even mentioned in yesterday’s post, most Canadians think give their municipal governments a failing grade for energy conservation.
Of course, some people are now citing that the TIME article is wrong (notice that the link is from the Free Republic – a very right-winged, Dixie Chick hating site) – but I’m not going to try and dismiss the facts of the tire gauge vs. offshore drilling as the TIME article could very well be wrong and Obama could be easily wrong. (I’m sorry, I don’t care enough to start calculating the actual results of the comparison…and it’s NOT ABOUT THE TIRES!)
Tackling the ‘low-hanging fruit’ is not wrong.
Understanding how much energy we use and where we use it – and then trying to decrease that use – that’s just being sensible.