The first call I heard coming in to Mike Barnicle on Boston radio this morning was from an impassioned woman, wondering WHAT IT WILL TAKE for Americans to WAKE UP and realize that WE HAVE TO CONSERVE ENERGY, and this terrorist plot proves it. Okay, exactly how much do we have to reduce our oil consumption until British citizens of Pakistani descent will no longer be able to afford to buy hair gel at the airport?
It’s a great example of looking for your keys under the streetlight because the light is better there, even though you dropped them a block away. It is certainly unpleasant and annoying that of the money we pay for gas, some of it ends up in the hands of people who know some other people who know some terrorists, who get some of our money. My calculation is that over my lifetime I’ve contributed about $.0037 to terrorist causes by not driving a Yugo.
The problem is that bad people want to kill us. We might adopt any of a number of strategies to combat this, but it’s important to keep our eyes on the main fact. Fanatics believe that whatever happens, it all relates back to their pet cause. I think it must give people some sense of control over a world they find chaotic to be able to identify something they can do that they think will help. Even better, getting to yell at other people to do what you’ve been telling them about for years activates even more feeling of control, and adds in self-righteousness to boot.
Conserving energy, even on a national scale, has very little to do with the war on terror. Even if we work really hard to impoverish the Arabs, there will still be a billion of them, many of whom hate us. Even with people starving in the streets, nutcase leaders will find money for weapons (See Korea, North; Iraq). Conserving energy on an individual level does not affect terrorism in any measurable way.
Tracing where their money comes from – that might help. Or listening to their phone calls. Just a thought, if you’re truly looking for some way you’d like to help.
Additional note: do you see now why someone might consider this level of evasion to be in some way unhealthy? Perhaps even diagnosable?