Demanded Rehabilitation

By Katie Spiro, Gardner-Webb Media Student

In this current state of the union, the issue of foreign oil dependency is America’s number one threat to its internal and external homeostasis. America has been rocked with an increase in gas prices these last few years and financial tension is a common clause to many Americans. From the outside, gasoline appears to only directly affect our means of transportation—yet underneath its three dollar mask of necessity lays an addictive American attitude that craves a rehabilitation called change.

As an economic issue, our dependency on oil is extraordinary. Oil has been fueling our economy for decades (pun intended). Our market demands it. Transportation is vital to all Americans. Whether a soccer mom, a business executive, or a train commuter– we all depend on oil in one form or another.  So where does the starting line even begin  in a race to change this daily constraint?

We must change our market.

Back in 2008, gas prices hit a record high in North Carolina of $5.03 per gallon. The first few days after the price jump, people were calling in sick, school buses were no longer publicly fundable options, and cars lined gas stations till trash bags covered the pumps. Yet as the days continued, the reality set in. People began to react, and adjust once they realized the world kept spinning. Students rode motor bikes, families carpooled, and employees ate lunch in. Once it became clear that life continued—people changed.

This “click” moment is what our country will need in order to change. Whether brought on by accident (BP oil leak), conflict (Egypt, Iraq), or some other drastic event, this “ah-ha” moment is the key to an American public that will demand change as a necessity, not an option.

What is the solution? Can America develop a rational and comprehensive plan to gradually reduce its dependence upon foreign oil, and oil in general? Or perhaps America can supplement oil by promoting the use of alternate home-grown clean energy sources, such as wind, solar, clean biofuels, hydroelectric. But what if both approaches slug a foul ball? Perhaps a drastic event must be the bastard child of change. Unfortunately, with the devil in the details, it is hard to pinpoint an excat solution, but if America stands for anything, it is that anything is possible.

The economic, political, and environmental impact of massive fossil fuel consumption is now beyond reasoned argument. Change must occur– it’s the smart thing to do. And it is the right thing to do.

A rehabilitation called change is needed. Crave it.

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