Even though it may take some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have psychological impact that I think is beneficial.
In other words, it does nothing, but might sound good to people who don’t pay attention to details.
This, my friends, is not what we need in a president. We need a president who is willing to tell us the truth, no matter how unpopular. Drilling for oil won’t solve the problem. The problem is that we as a planet, and in particular we as a nation, use too damn much petroleum, and we’re going to run out. As the available reservoirs get scarcer, prices will inevitably rise, and it’s gonna hurt. There’s a reason Obama told the auto-makers in Detroit that their industry is “unacceptable and unsustainable,” and there’s a reason hybrid cars are flying out of car lots.
The solution is to find new ways to power cars, trucks, boats and planes and to produce electricity. In the nearer term, the solution is to use other means of getting around (bikes, buses, trains, feet) and of getting products to market (eating locally, buying from local suppliers, recycling and reusing, etc.).
If this approach, treating psychological gains as a replacement for real solutions, only extended to McCain’s energy policy, we might be able to sustain it. But we’ve had this for the last 8 years in dealing with security. The nonsensical screenings at airports, especially the wars on nailclippers and liquids, exist to give people a psychological boost but don’t actually make us safer. There are a million ways that someone could smuggle a blade or explosives onto an airplane, and focusing on liquids distracts screeners from truly threatening objects.
We invaded Iraq for much the same reason. Rebuilding Afghanistan was hard, but Bush and McCain thought it would be fun and easy to invade Iraq. They figured that, after the cakewalk, they’d get a nice popularity boost, and everyone would forget about the failed hunt for bin Laden.
We need a new direction, not the same cynical policies of the Bush years. It’s time for solutions that actually address problems, not ones that merely make us feel like we’re addressing them.