Out of gas

The need for a national plan
The American addiction to oil is like an addiction to amphetamines, says Alfred W. Crosby: the substance is enormously stimulating and its users think they function much better with it than without it. But the substance alters one’s sense of reality, and if it’s taken in large doses over a long period its effects are poisonous (Children of the Sun: A History of Humanity’s Unappeasable Appetite for Energy). And those addicted to oil, like those addicted to “speed,” begin to panic whenever the supply is in jeopardy.


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