China won the cold war.

It’s an odd statement considering China wasn’t in the cold war. But look, Russia is a shell of a country and the United States is the “Untied” States. There is no cohesion. Each state acts for its own good, with little or no concern for the good of the entire land. The disparate “untied” states plus the oil addicts and car junkies are going to let someone else win the economic war. That someone else could be China.

We owe our soul to the foreign country store. The United States has a huge trade deficit with China. We use the equity in our homes like an ATM card to buy anything China sends us and then we complain because it is made so cheaply. The day China stops buying American bonds is the day the world’s economy will go bust. Not just the United States and not just the housing sector that seems to keep our economy growing. Most of the mortgages are bundled and sold in groups. The Europeans are buying these mortgages, known as CDOs. If the United States economy goes bust and mortgages start going into foreclosure Europe will feel it as well.

We have to get off the dependence of The Seven Sisters, a reference to the old seven multinational oil companies, were Exxon (Standard Oil of New Jersey), Chevron (Standard Oil of California; Socal), Mobil (Standard Oil of New York), Gulf, Texaco, Royal Dutch Shell (a joint venture with the Netherlands) and British Petroleum (BP) (their interest expanded when they discovered oil fields in Persia (Iraq) and in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)). Through mergers and acquisitions, the Seven Sisters have become four: ExxonMobil, Chevron-Texaco, BP (now wanting to be known as beyond petroleum), and Royal Dutch Shell. We are addicted to the drugs they sell us. Their warlords in Washington are making sure their drugs stay the drug of choice.

The first step to getting help is admitting that we are addicted to this liquid drug. America could get rid of all it’s debt in a matter of years if we stopped buying the crude that terrorists keep trying to kill us for conspicuously using at such inflated prices. Our trade deficit is over $725,000,000 as of January 2006. In 2004 we spent $179,266,000 on importing oil. That is a 26 percent increase over 2003. We could be trade-deficit free in 3 years if we stopped buying foreign oil.

It wouldn’t be just because we stopped purchasing someone else’s trash as our treasure, but because we would create an energy source of our own, an energy policy of our own. America owns the intellectual rights and patents to make itself an independent, living breathing entity again. We need more of an energy policy than President G(asoline) Bush telling us to “conserve energy”. We need a real energy policy. Brazil initiated an energy policy in 1975 and they are 25 percent ethanol, with their farmers reaping the benefit. The United States is still outsourcing its energy to any country that we can buy it from, even the countries that harbor terrorist that bomb us.

It’s taken five years for our government to demand that our diesel be as clean as the Europeans and then the oil lobbyist still negotiated another 45 days as a transition period. In that time we could have created regulated biodiesel or sundiesel that fed all our diesel trucks and created a revenue stream through our farmers.

In Peter Maass’s New York Times Magazine article, “Idea Lab: The Price of Oil” Maass takes a longer look at the economic and environmental devastation of countries that have discovered oil and exported it to America for billions of dollars. According to Mass, “If those problems are not of urgent interest to Americans, it’s largely because we do not pay much attention to the troubles of foreigners unless they threaten us directly; this is the crux of things. Perhaps understandably, many environmental groups indulge our inherent parochialism by devoting the bulk of their funds and publicity to domestic issues.

For example, the Sierra Club, with an annual budget of about $80 million, has a six-point Action Plan for 2006 that includes campaigns related to the Sequoias in California, the Endangered Species Act, and the drilling ban in ANWR; few of its priorities reach beyond our borders. The Natural Resources Defense Council, which spent $52 million last year, lobbies on Capitol Hill about global warming and the need to develop alternative fuels, but only 3 of the 10 locations on it’s ”Biogem Watchlist” are outside the United States and Canada.

If you want to learn about oil’s impact on the countries that supply us, you would do best to look elsewhere. One of the best watchdogs on resource issues is Global Witness, a small organization in London that publishes excellent reports even though it’s 2004 budget of $3.4 million would not cover the fund-raising costs of its big American brothers. ”

Hybrids are a bridging technology that caught the eye of the grassroots groups. Get it right, hybrids are not the ultimate solution. Hybrids are helping automobile manufacturers get a real-world understanding of what it will take to create a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Some of the technologies that automobile manufacturers have in their hybrids are the same technology they have in their hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. But hybrids are not getting us off the dependence of foreign oil.

In hybrids, hydrogen, and alternative fuels we explore what is happening right now, what we are doing right now to combat the problems, and what can be done in the future.

It’s not too late.