Almost immediately following President Bush's famous "addicted to oil" speech in 2006, we saw a massive run on renewable energy stocks. We were also inundated with armchair analysts and know-it-all talk show hosts belly-aching about our addiction to oil. But the fact that so many were quick to jump on this addicted-to-oil bandwagon made the contrarian in us question that very idea.
Are we really addicted to oil? Addiction is a strong word. Having volunteered at a rehab clinic during my college years, I can assure you that watching a heroin addict detox and watching city-dwelling consumers roll their eyes while shelling out $100 to fill their SUVs are two entirely different situations.
Still, there's no denying the fact that oil is the slippery glue that holds our increasingly fragile infrastructure together. However, the word "addiction" indicates that we, as a society, have a compulsive physiological and psychological need for oil, as if oil were cigarettes or caffeine. So the question is, when you wake up in the morning, do you crave oil? Do you need it to get through the day?
On instinct, most would say yes. You do need it, because without oil, you don't have gas, and without gas, how the heck are you supposed to get to work, school, or even the grocery store? As much as we all want a clean environment in which to live, cars don't run on good intentions, and many Americans don't live within walking distance of their workplaces, shopping districts, ...