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Decision to stop off-shore drilling because of risk betrays American Exceptionalism.
(Page 3 of 5)
• Opposition to oil drilling on shore in the Alaskan wilderness here.
• Opposition to wind turbines here.
• Opposition to solar energy here.
Getting the picture? No oil drilling on or off shore. No natural gas, no coal, no nuclear power, wind power or sun power.
The future according to Ned Lud.
A mere handful of miles down the Susquehanna River from where this is being written — visible plainly when one crosses area bridges — are the cooling towers of a nuclear power plant known as Three Mile Island. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Back in 1979 TMI, as locals call it, had a…well…problem. A glitch. OK. More than a glitch. It appeared for a brief time that just like the famous Jane Fonda film The China Syndrome, then playing in theaters, residents of Central Pennsylvania would have to kiss off everything they held dear. Up to and possibly including their lives, because TMI was, in the style of the hysteria surrounding Fonda’s movie, about to have a melt down that would burn all the way through the earth to the other side — China.
It didn’t happen.
Could it have happened? Well, maybe the China part is a bit Hollywood, but yes. It could have been Chernobyl. Yes. Like the terrifying problems of crashing airplanes and cars, it could have happened. Nuclear power is a man-made machine, just like those airplanes and cars and that oil rig bleeding its essence into the beautiful waters of the Gulf. Yet everyday around here Central Pennsylvanians get up in the morning, turn on the lights, and go about their day with plenty of safe and cheap energy. No one that I’m aware of has seven arms and three legs as a result of living through the experience.
Safe. Cheap. But not, however, risk free. Because there is no such thing as risk free in this life. We who live near the arguably most infamous nuclear power plant in the world understand we are vulnerable to a glitch. In this day and age, maybe a terrorist attack. God only knows what vulnerabilities lie within the machine that is TMI. They are there — they are everywhere — without doubt.
Yet unlike Governor Schwarzenegger we are willing to take the “risk” of living here. In part because most sensible people in the shadows of those cooling towers know that in fact there is no “risk free” place to live anywhere in America or anyplace else in this world. Nuclear power accidents can happen. Oil can spill. Planes can crash.
But life will go on.
WHILE OUR FELLOW AMERICANS in Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama and Florida may be momentarily and quite understandably shell-shocked, they will move on and succeed. Why? Because they are Americans, meant here not in the patriotic sense but in the sense that they will not let go of their dreams. Dreams have but two ways to go: forward to a manifested reality, or retreat to failure and defeat. The people of the Gulf Coast like the Pilgrims who stared out at a frozen land in front of them and an ocean behind them, will do what Americans have always instinctively done. They will find a way to make their American dreams real once again. To clean up, to build, to re-build, to adapt. And in the process they will exhibit yet again the core values at the heart of American Exceptionalism.
As Nansen G. Saleri has noted in the Wall Street Journal, the oil companies too will dream their own dreams. They will absorb the hard facts — in this case the hard scientific data of the world of deep sea drilling, of oil, gas, post-accident responses — the nitty-gritty of a mistake. And then? Then they will move forward to realizing the dream.
Gulf Coast Americans will dream again — and make those dreams come true.
As with Washington at Valley Forge, New York Governor DeWitt Clinton building the Erie Canal, Texans and the Alamo, Lincoln with the Civil War, Edison with the light bulb, Teddy Roosevelt with the Panama Canal and Ronald Reagan with the Cold War… a way will be found to make the dream live. A way will be found.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?