"Oiloholics": Letters & Comments

Various Readers, 8/12/2003

Letters and Comments from readers on the "OILOHOLICS" Article

I like your thoughts about connecting the issues and the poster in your mind's eye. But, as long as we have a "they" we are comfortably in a good/evil paradigm that lets us off the hook. We must speak out, but just like in the 12 step programs you reference, it is only from our own personal recovery we can ethically speak. I wonder what we would come up with if those of us who made some shifts reflected on those and the effects and shared those stories. Shalom, and thank you for your work.

-- Asherah Allen

I would like to point out that fuel cell cars are now available in the DC and Tokyo market. They are fueled by hydrogen. Although it is still technically difficult to remove hydrogen from water in large efficient quantities, it is on the verge of viability. If you combined this with hydropower or wave power, you could make a good argument for the economic death of oil within ten years, in the industrialized countries. I would suggest a forum to look at how to raise capital to open hydrogen stations by the religious to promote the technology. It is quickly becoming an issue of capital, not technology. I would bet BP Hydrogen with GM would be thrilled to death to find people willing to help push the technology.

— "Tchotki"

Very powerful message, as usual. Thank you for saying what needs to be said. However, I have a couple of problems with hybrids. First, they will only make us slightly less addicted to oil. I suppose that two drinks a day are better than four, but we will still be addicted. Perhaps this is a reasonable short term solution but there are alternatives, at least for some of us. My SUV is a Toyota Rav 4 EV, an all electric vehicle. And it is powered by the solar panels that are on the roof of my home. I could not afford to buy this car or to put the panels on my home, but I did so anyway as I could not bring myself to buy a car with an intfernal (not a typo) combustion engine. Although the local dealer in Long Beach, CA has a waiting list of 37 people to buy this car, Toyota is not producing them anymore! Second, beware of the phony hybrid. GM and some of the others are coming out with a 42 volt battery system, instead of the usual 12 volt. This will enable more non-propulsion functions, e.g., air conditioner, power steering, I think, and other things to be powered by the batteries instead of using some of the horsepower of the engine. This will improve gas mileage minimally in absolute terms. In percentage terms, it may look good, but that is because they are starting from such a low point.

Blessings and Peace,
—Shaya Benjamin

Wonderful, creative, gentle, forthright, clear, caring, strategic and helpful.

— — David Tulin,
Tulin DiversiTeam(tm) Associate

And how much oil do we use (or other polluting combustibles ) in our constant traffic in electrical messages? What of the oil which went into the plastic for the keyboards and computer boxes? What of the manufacture of everything else including bicycle parts or bus and train parts? Rethinking the system and curing our ills is much more complex than we think. While I agree about the SUV's and the traffic damage and believe that that would be a start, I am not at all convinced that those are the ills so much as symptoms indicating our disease.

— Peter Goldberg