Out of time and energy

What will it take to convince Americans that traditional energy sources are no longer sustainable? We had hoped that, if there could be any “bright side” to the current man-made disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, it would be a realization that we are running out of oil. How else to explain BP’s drilling in 5,000 feet of water? If there were an easier way to make a profit, it’s certain they would have done that. The mere presence of deep-water drills in the Gulf tells an inescapable truth: There is simply no more easily accessible oil.

But that’s just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg, and the U.S. Senate’s failure to include climate-change provisions in the energy bill they are considering is bad news indeed for the entire planet. We’re not just sad that the well-funded army of lobbyists from carbon-producing energy sources apparently has more clout than the well-founded and thoroughly vetted findings of the world’s scientists (and spare us the “Climategate” blathering; it’s been debunked already). We’re also distressed that, once again, America’s leaders have decided to leave a huge mess for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to clean up—if they’re able to survive on the planet at all.