Drilling Our Way Out: Quick and Sexy Math

Since the announcement that Governor Sarah Palin would be the Vice Presidential pick for the Republican ticket, a lot of people have had drilling on their minds.  Many people, including Sarah Palin, seem to think that if we just keep drilling – deeper, harder, faster and in more places – our nation could finally find the satisfaction its been craving, without having to rely on foreign pipes.

But as hard as we drill, we only produce about 10 percent of the gushers in the world, while we receive the fruits of about 25% of gushers worldwide.  That’s a lot of extra pumping for one nation to do, almost twice as much, if we’re going to give as good as we get.  In fact, the Adonis of oil drilling, Saudi Arabia, only produces about 12% of the gushers in the world.  Do we really think we have that much stamina?  Just because we can do the pumping doesn’t mean we’ll get the gushers we’re looking for, anyway.

Because if you ask other nations honestly, they’ll tell you that after a certain point, too much drilling is just a bad thing.  It’s a tiring waste of resources that damages the environment and just gets kind of sad after a while.  Worse than that, once you’ve drilled one hole dry, even if you’re allowed to go for another hole, it’s not really going to produce any gushers and it’s probably just going to be a shitty situation for everybody.

In fact, most nations would tell us that if we were just a little less selfish, we wouldn’t need to work so hard in the first place.  If we didn’t spend so much time trying to show off and act cool around our friends, we wouldn’t have to worry about living up to an impossible image or dealing with our inadequacies. If we just appreciated what we have a little more, took it less for granted, maybe we might find out that quantity is no substitute for quality.

After all the latitude and patience we’ve been given, to insist that finding new and interesting places to drill – especially those we’ve worked so hard to keep clean – just isn’t the right answer to the problem.