Not seeing the forest for the trees. It's the classic characterization of tunnel vision. An updated version of the old saw might be not seeing the shale for the pipeline. That, writes Jeffrey Simpson, is the disease which afflicts our present political masters:
Recently, the U.S. Energy Information Agency produced an estimate that the U.S. has almost 60 billion barrels of “technically recoverable” shale oil. Now, “technically recoverable” does not mean that all this supply will be used. Nor does it mean, however, that supplies the agency knows about today will not increase, perhaps substantially, as new deposits are discovered or innovative technologies for discovery and extraction are found. All that can be said is that 60 billion barrels of “technically recoverable” oil is a godsend for the United States.
Whether you pollute the air or the ground water, you wind up in the same place. But consider that information from the American perspective:
Every barrel of oil that the U.S. can supply for itself reduces the country’s current account deficit, strengthens its economy and, most important, makes the country less vulnerable to international events in faraway places, some of which are notoriously volatile and shot through with anti-American attitudes. U.S. policy-makers – and ordinary citizens – therefore assign a very high priority to reducing and, if possible, eliminating their country’s dependence on oil imports, especially from the Middle East and Venezuela.
That oil will continue to warm the planet. Until we use clean, renewable energy, we will further the planet's collapse. But that shale oil also spells the collapse of our blue-eyed sheiks. Their fevered dreams are coming to an end.