The twelve-step process to heal an addiction is to acknowledge the truth that we are addicted to something, it can be a substance such as nicotine or alcohol, or something like love or coffee. Addiction is an unhealthy attachment. Attachment to something we believe is necessary for us not knowing there is a better alternative…. a moral alternative.
There is nothing new with this concept, but living in the Philippines, obviously there is an addiction to petroleum fuels and policy has condoned this addiction. The rise in the price of fossil fuels is not because of the greed of oil companies, which the public is being brainwashed into thinking. Petroleum is a nonrenewable resource, once it is extracted, you have already removed that stock from the entire geological reserve and its utilization in industrial and transport processes not only reduces the reserve but also releases GHG emissions that is being internalized in the global economy through cap and trade strategies. Those who burn inefficiently must pay more, rising fuel prices is a consequence of the resource inefficiency that is now being capped, just like an addict being prevented to access his or her choice of addiction. If you want to use more fuel, you have to pay more.
Rather than convincing the country to be more fuel efficient, policy strategy is condoning greater dependence by subsidizing consumption rather than subsidizing shift to sustainable alternatives. Why? Is it because an absence in subsidy towards “shifting to a sustainable alternative” will not make such a shift additional? But how come no major effort is being made to invite major investment in fuel efficiency or alternative technology particularly in the transport sector? Efforts are even towards publicizing subsidy to the inefficient consumption side?
I know this is a Catch 21 situation when a command and control approach will invalidate additional efforts in shifting to renewable or sustainable means, but the economic incentive to shift is just not clear. Is there any market incentive to turn away from the conventional petroleum dependent transportation sector. (yes there is, there is the carbon markets, but its way too complicated to understand and the standards and quality control requirements to minimize the risk…no one is willing to raise standards anyway, let’s just be complacent and suffer together…is this what the local economy and government is telling us?)
Honestly, I am quite disappointed with the transportation sector which is a complicated mix of personalities. Transport is not supposed to be impoverished since there is a stable demand for a public utility like electricity and water. How come the water and electric utility sector is not impoverished? Because for the past 20 years investments by the private sector have been made.
More than anything, it is all about public service and citizen focus but if those who provide the transport service are junkies rather than level headed people, there really is no hope. What we have are a bunch of junkies who have no sense of direction, just putting pressure and contributing to the suffering of the citizenry.