a living thing in the forest

In 2002, Martin Feldstein wrote an article for the National Bureau of Economic Reseach describing a plan to decrease US consumption of gasoline.  Very shortly after 9/11, the connection between oil and national security was easily made.  I love the idea of Oil Consumption Vouchers as described in Feldstein’s article.

Last winter I read The Lacuna, a novel by Barbara Kingsolver and she described how, in the 30’s We the People pulled together, embraced rationing, for the common good of our nation and the world.  Americans had a common goal.  We were united.  I was not born yet, but I know women who painted lines up the back of their legs to simulate nylon stocking seams to give the illusion that they were not out in the world bare-legged.

Oil Consumption Vouchers could be our modern Community Voyage.  Conservatives and Progressives may not agree on why we, as a country, need to decrease our dependence on fossil fuel.  National security, global warming, save the earth, save our strategic political/economic dominance, decrease the deficit.  It really does not matter why you might choose to participate.  We can each hold our opposing ideologies and achieve the same goal:  use our own oil reserves as much as possible.

OCV’s will not solve the problem, but it is a step and more importantly, it is a step we can take together.

Our government needs our help.  Our democratic system is struggling right now.  Politicians are squeezed between the need to make vast sums of money to get reelected with the lobbyists holding all the power and the fringe of their constituencies.  Tea party, Coffee party, Blue Dogs.  And the majority of us now call ourselves “independent” and wait for the radicals to elect their candidates in the primaries so that we can choose from lesser evils in the general election.  We the People need to step up for energy policy, national security, deficit reduction, planet health and take action on our own behalf.

Unfortunately, I cannot find another reference to this plan.  I have written to Dr. Feldstein asking for more current information.  His assistant says that he is traveling.  I will await his reply.  Oh, and send him this blog entry.

Are you in?