Thursday
Jun172010

Oil Dependence or Independence?

I watch the oil spew out of the pipeline in high-def television.  I read newspaper columnists advocate riding bikes to work as a response many of us could do to demonstrate our patriotic resolve to ween ourselves from "our addiction to foriegn oil".  Apparently we spend about $700 billion year on oil bought from countries who threaten us or support those who do. But I don't see much action or change in the daily habits of those around me.  So here goes with an appeal using patriotism, self-interest, guilt and greed to move them to action.

President Obama has left a big leadership hole to fill on this one.  He needs patriotic, grassroot voices to get a message of self-reliance and independence out to the mainstream of America. He needs us to model the good life we experience when we choose a car-free or at least a car-light lifestyle.  He needs us to talk to our friends and family about getting a bike and using it for neighborhood errands and short trips around town.  In short, President Obama needs us to join a movement of activists passionately leading personal change and community transformation toward an oil free future.

He needs us to become Bike Patriots.  And in my opinion, it is the most patriotic thing an American can do right now.

What is in it for me?  Let's look at four benefits of being a Bike Patriot:

1. You get to make a seriously meaningful contribution to your country, your family and your friends.  You might be surprised to find your personal influence by acting as a Bike Patriot and passionately aligning your life with your beliefs and then encouraging those around you to align theirs. 

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” -Gandhi

 2.  Bike Patriots are healthier, more active and therefore generally happier than those who live a car-dependent lifestyle.  At least according to the overwhelming body of scientific information generated in the last 10 years related to stress and exercise, and obesity and active living.  

 Turns out an oil dependent, sedentary lifestyle kills in many ways.

 3.  Bike Patriots don’t send money on foreign oil.  They live free of the guilt of sending money to someone who will use it to kill fellow Americans.  I haven’t done the math but there is some amount of oil produced domestically and by friendly countries that we as a country should be using less than.  A budget of oil that is independent of terrorist leverage.  So Bike Patriots living car-free or car light lifestyles will go far beyond their savings quota to offset those Americans who can’t or won’t. 

Speaking of those who won’t, those who ever seriously uttered the words, “drill baby drill”, should consider spending their summer vacation on any of the gulf beaches affected by the oil spill.  Those gulf coast businesses that trusted the oil industry to supply your addiction to oil need your money to survive this disaster.

 It is about living with the consequences of your actions, and aligning your walk with your talk.  Will you go?

4. Greed and Bike Patriotism.  Speaking of vacations, my friends that are Bike Patriots take great vacations.  They take active trips around the world; biking and hiking in exotic places returning with tales of adventure and sometimes romance.  And they range in price from pauper to princess.  The common denominator is their funding source.  Instead of car payments and fuel, Bike Patriots make trip savings accounts. 

Maybe it is the difference between junk food and whole food. Junk living verses whole living. The money gets spent on experiential living while supporting local businesses globally verses being spent on global oil businesses supporting terrorism.

“An unexamined life is not worth living.” –Socrates

So are you moved to action?  Let me know.