The far end of Section 6 of Jones Beach is, as any self-respecting gay New Yorker knows, the rainbow zone where brothers and sisters gather together behind shady sunglasses to scope out the pecs and buns and richly packaged sausages. (Me personally, I could never spend $300 for a pair of swimming trunks.) Last week, my friend and I took a late morning train from Penn Station (it's a $15 round trip purchase on the green-colored Babylon line, which includes the bus you take to the beach when you get off at the Freeport station.) But before we boarded, brimming with anticipation, we stocked up on food and water and trashy magazines. I purchased the latest issue of the Economist. I opened up the cover and the first advertisement was courtesy of Chevron, the energy company, which read (between the lines) as follows:
The fact is, the vast majority of countries rely on the few energy-producing nations that won the geological lottery, blessing them with abundant hydrocarbons (lucky Middle Eastern bastards...) And yet, even regions with plenty of raw resources import some form of energy. Saudi Arabia, for example, the world's largest oil exporter, imports refined petroleum products like gasoline (fuckin' idiots don't even know what to do with all that oil...)
So if energy independence is an unrealistic goal, how does everyone get the fuel they need (bomb the hell out of Iraq), especially in a world of rising demand (seize control of their oil distribution network), supply disruptions (300 killed today in another suicide attack), natural disasters (screw Katrina victims and just get those oil rigs pumping again), and unstable regimes (ding dong, Saddam is dead, Bush is a lame duck pre-si-dent)?
True global energy security will be a result of cooperation and engagement, not isolationism (another surge in troops for Iraq, please...) When investment and expertise are allowed to flow freely across borders (send us your weary scientists and engineers, and no, we don't need any more sand-logged Mexicans...), the engine of innovation is ignited (file that damn patent), prosperity is fueled (ching-ching!) and the energy available to everyone (in New York City and Los Angeles) increases. At the same time, balancing the needs of producers and consumers is as crucial as increasing supply and curbing demand (we're gonna gouge drivers at the pump because we can, and what the hell are they gonna do about it?) Only then will the world enjoy energy peace-of-mind (the world of oil executives who just took home a $200 million Christmas bonus.)
Succeeding in securing energy for everyone doesn't have to come at the expense of anyone (just everyone in Africa.) Once we all start to think differently about energy (more is more), then we can truly make this promise a reality (hell is where the fuel burns eternal--we'll see you there.)
And they hadn't even called our train yet.