Patriots drive small cars

November 1, 2006

The war IS about oil. Maybe we should arrange to care less about oil.

Bush has as much as said it: I am worried that rival forms of extremists will battle for power, obviously creating incredible damage if they do so; that they will topple modern governments, that they will be in a position to use oil as a tool to blackmail the West.

I’ve been doing my part for years; I was a teenager in the 1970s during that oil embargo. I rode my bike a lot then, my father carpooled, built a solar hot water heater (he built a great one for some friends of ours; it had the collector below the tanks, and so was automatically convection-circulated and convection switched), and bought a stupendously inefficient wood stove (but we had trees and a chainsaw). I drive a Honda Civic now, and I’m riding my bike for about 30% of what would otherwise be car travel (2-3 commutes/week, plus grocery store runs). We’ve got a much-more-efficient wood stove, that despite its tiny size (it weighs about 200 lbs, takes 15-inch logs — I brought it home in my Civic) manages to heat most of the house. We don’t have our own personal wood lot this time, so I am starting to keep my eye out for old pallets and tree parts. A cord of wood, would not fit in my Civic, or on my bicycle.

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