Remember those old WWII propaganda posters? The one that goes: When you ride alone, you ride with Hitler? The suggestion being that by riding alone, you selfishly waste fuel only on yourself instead of conserving it for the war effort. Such shame tactics seems quaint and goofy today, but the message still seems to carry a weight to it. Of course, Hitler is long dead and even if was alive he probably wouldn't want to ride in your '76 AMC Gremlin anyway. But what about the dictators who are alive today, especially the ones in the oil-rich Persian Gulf region? Comedian Bill Maher had a book out a few years ago titled "When You Ride Alone, You Ride With Bin Laden." Silly title, but he makes a point. Terrorists like Osama Bin Laden are dependent on oil funds for their operations. It's a sad irony that Americans buy oil from the Middle East only to have some of that money end up in the hands of people who send others out to kill Americans, or at the very least reinforce social norms that have been outdated in the West for centuries. Obviously these mindsets predate the modern oil industry, but money has allowed criminals to flourish and dictators to remain in power. So one seriously has to ask if American driving habits are making it unsafe for us at home and abroad. Should we have maintained our energy consumption mentality even after the second World War II, potentially putting a damper on auto racing, movie car chases and the post-war mobility that allowed the proliferation of suburbs? Now, in a perfect world we would be able to do what we wanted without having to face unintended consequences, but since we live in this world, should we alter our fuel consumption habits for national security reasons? Or are we already too tied into a system that requires maximum transportation miles per person to make a difference? –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; email@example.com
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