Well, Happy 4th to everyone and I hope you have a great holiday! And I would ask that in the midst of all of the celebrations that you say a prayer for the men and women on station throughout the world, regardless of the branch of service or where deployed...for this all-volunteer force is a remarkable experience in democracy...and is far better than conscription...but let us always pray and work for peace!
Returning to a topic I raised at the bottom of my Tuesday June 24 entry about high gas prices having a "silver lining" I would observe that we can probably all see the changes that are happening...painful but positive...as we go through this grinding of our pocketbooks and patience oh high gas prices...but there are increasing reports that are confirming my suspicions of what will shake out through this pain...and here are a few of the positives that I think will develop:
**Businesses that produce products that are relatively low in value but have high shipping costs can return to the US. Examples would be furniture, produce, milled lumber, and toys (largely off-sourced to China, South and Central America and elsewhere in the past decade) Not only will this create jobs but it will help the environment due to reduced shipping costs and burn of fossil fuels, as well as reinforce the value of "US Made" or "California Grown."
**We will begin to see renewed interest in conservation...and production...of new fuel sources. Look, I think it is just immoral that we can, on the one hand, argue for environmental and human rights and make it nearly impossible to explore, produce, refine or distribute petroleum products in the US but that we can pay $145+ dollars per barrel to countries that we have little or no control over in their own production. And I don't give a rip if you drive a Prius or a Yukon on this! We are all buying and using this oil...and it is not just if our cars get 20 or 30 or 40 miles a gallon! What of all of the fuel it takes to move our products via truck, rail and ship? All of us eat, buy toilet paper, fly to our vacations...so it is not as simple as all of us driving a hybrid. (Speaking of hybrids...are we talking at all about the source of the electricity to recharge the cute little Prius that tootles along in the express lane? Or where all those batteries will go? Or if it diverts us from the real problem...that too many of us drive long distances by ourselves? Check out http://blogs.drive.com.au/2008/05/the_electric_car_pollution_pro.html for a little diversion on this topic)
But I digress...as I mentioned earlier we need to reconsider nuclear, drilling, shale extraction, wind, solar and other areas...and we are seeing the economic analysis turn towards it working in our favor...which means additional producers and innovations will come...which will then in turn bring the price of transportation back down again...and for an example of this see what one of my past students Troy Hinds of SPG Solar is up to (see http://www.pointloma.edu/Fermanian/News_and_Notes.htm) with their plan to develop a huge solar system at PLNU...nice stuff, makes economic sense and environmental sense...but I still cannot figure out why we cannot drill up at ANWR...especially in light of the aging and eventual depletion of our existing Alaskan Pipeline and fields...
**Young entrepreneurs will seek new solutions to old problems...which us "old dogs" cannot get around to solving. Trust me, I have seen the future with these ""kids" (at my age anyone under 30 is a kid!), and they are remarkable. They have a balance of pragmatism, thoughtfullness, audacity, clarity of thought and innovation that my generation did not have--we were too fixed on earning money and getting ahead. These young entrepreneurs (not just business students but from all fields, interests and areas of study, both for profit and non profit) are thinking about things differently and have a global perspective that we did not have...and I am impressed. I would suggest that all of us old veterans find ways to pour ourselves into this next generation in any one of a number of ways (mentoring, internships, coaching, even a cup of coffee once in a while) and help them along. They have the answers to these questions and we need to start giving them more "rein."
But for now slam down a couple of hot dogs, drink some iced tea (c'mon, I am teaching at a Nazarene University!), light a sparkler or two, and say a prayer for our armed forces and for peace in the world...and enjoy the day!
Oh and PS...anyone interested in Rachel and Dustin's wedding can see a few pictures at http://tunnelphotography.com/# and go to the blog section, scroll down to the June 29, 2008 entry and enjoy! It was a great evening with family and friends!