Two questions lost in the shuffle

by Ogi Overman

Am I missing something here? Of the thousands of questions asked of the 15 or so candidates during this interminable presidential campaign, there is one that has not, to my knowledge, been asked. If I were one of the ones doing the asking, it would have been near the top of my list. I would have framed it something like this:

“Senator (Congressman, Governor, Mr. Nader), when the world’s supply of oil begins to dwindle later in this century, would it not be preferable for the US to have some left in reserve?”

And if I’d been able to ask after the Republican Convention, I would’ve rephrased it, asking: “Given that there is a finite amount of oil underneath the earth, rather than ‘Drill, baby, drill,’ should we not be more interested in ‘Conserve, baby, conserve’?”

Unfortunately, the debate seems to have become whether to increase drilling, both offshore and on land, by a little or by a lot. The option of preserving some environmentally sensitive areas seems to have been taken off the table. Nowhere is there a mention of perhaps saving some for future generations, of rationing so that our children’s children may have some.

The pendulum seems to have swung toward the necessity of not only developing alternative energy sources but maximizing our own. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some left after everybody else had used theirs up, conserve now and have some stashed? Regardless of what T. Boone Pickens says, there is not an infinite supply of natural gas, either, and one day it too will be used up.

We’re looking at this whole energy question backwards, it seems, but apparently very few see it that way.

“Drill, baby, drill” is the most sickening, self-centered chant I’ve ever heard. To think that a whole convention and now a whole 40 percent of the country would think there is validity to that notion is a pathetic, disheartening commentary on the state of the human race. The Republicans give no thought whatsoever to the good of the planet, preferring to satisfy their own temporal needs at the expense of the long-term good of both the planet and the human race. It’s as if they’ll not rest easy until every last drop of oil has been sucked out from the planet’s core.

And the Dems let them get away with it.

The greediest of the greedy, the ones like CRABWOMAN (Crazy Rightwing Alaskan Bitch Who Overshadows McCaint Albeit Nastier) who are leading the cheers for ANWR drilling, are a contemptuous lot. But even the ones who are screaming for drilling off the Outer Banks are not far behind. Is this not the Graveyard of the Atlantic, where one major tanker spill could mean death for dozens of threatened species, a despoiled Currituck Sound, a Kitty Hawk lighthouse devoid of tourists and a cleanup that could take decades and cost billions? Does not the continual threat of two or three hurricanes a year making landfall on the Carolina coast preclude anymore drilling in their path?

Am I living in a world alone here? Why is no one sounding the alarm? I thought this was to be the year when the environment became a serious campaign issue, but it seems the need for more oil has trumped it, pushing it off the radar screen.

Actually, there is one more question I’d like to ask CRABWOMAN, one that so far is not getting a lot of play but probably will soon. One of the wildlife groups is airing it in several battleground states, so hopefully we’ll see it here shortly. It can be seen on YouTube, however, and it shows red wolves being shot from the air by low-flying planes over Alaska. Turns out the good governor introduced a bill making it easier for these wolves to be shot, even offering a bounty for hunters who bring in a foreleg. This is on top of the fact that she does not think polar bears belong on the endangered species list. Now, if I did not already question her fitness to hold office — any office — this would send me over the edge. This view is unconscionable and, taken with all her other whacko ideas, is reason enough to question McCaint’s sanity. Who’s running this show, anyway? It’s got to be either Rove or nobody at all.

Anyway, my question to her would go like this: “Governor, how do you justify the slaughter of thousands of red wolves, given that shooting them from the air is not exactly sport, and especially since they clearly suffer before dying?”

Somebody in the media must take this woman to task. I know Rove and her handlers found out the hard way that she can’t answer questions in a one-on-one interview. But somehow, somebody has got to hold her accountable.

As Joe Biden said between her winks, “The truth matters.”

Ogi may be reached at and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth on ABC 45 at 6:30 a.m. Fridays and on WMYV 48 at 10 p.m. Sundays.