Some thirty years ago when China was a far different country I liked to think that a billion Chinese riding bicycles could not be wrong. A good thing from a Western point of view. The automobile had already ripped the fabric of America with sprawl and lack of energy policy, but the automobile was a distant glimmer in China where collectivism was fueled by people power. OIL was cheap for Americans and it was ours for the taking. Now that the world is a mash up of China centric and Western behaviors it seems that a billion Chinese might be wrong. Not wrong because they ride bicycles but because they are the world’s largest consumer of cars. That would also mean they are direct competitors with the United States for CHEAP OIL. This is not a good thing for either country. First, we have to believe automobiles and CHEAP OIL consumption are not sustainable. Where are we all going when at last count there were 308 million of us and 1.3 billion Chinese? Living for the moment is one method to keep our sanity. But I have a hard time with that philosophy. Remember the last time OIL spiked? People actually stopped buying SUV’s and Hummer was sold to a Chinese firm. That was then, this is now. Gas is hitting $4.00 per gallon again and it’s not even a blip on the radar for most Americans yet. Steady the course Skippy and live for the moment or until your SUV sucks up all your grocery money. When do we change our behaviors for good and plan better than the Chinese have planned? There is so much we can do now, but the debate has been to chisel away at entitlements when we should be focusing on shared energy use and self-regulated consumption. We have to know the balance of power is shifting. The OIL nations are looking for a world policeman. Will it be the US or China? I for one am not keen on more policemen in my life. China is far from free, they jail artist for christ sake. And don’t get me started about the middle east. Bloggers are being jailed for no less than what I’m writing. Does riding a bike for once slow the chain reaction of chronic trouble over OIL? What will you do to keep your American freedom? Do we get on a bike Skippy and leave the car at home. Or send our sons and daughters to foreign sands so we can do the drive up at McDonalds? Live free or die. Don’t tread on me. Those words use to mean something.
About the drawing. Sketch of Skippy Mpls. MN “who’s that behind those Foster Grants? Another company that went offshore to China was Foster Grant sunglasses originally manufactured in Leominster MA. Sunglasses wearers were once very few, much like bicycle riders are now, a few people used them and they only became popular after Hollywood Stars were seen in them. Riding tip. Keep your eyes on the road ahead.