Friday, June 13, 2008

Stunning Example of Full-Blown Denial

The Statesman Journal Editorial Board writes

Support Delta in Salem or risk losing service

pretending that "There’s no question that the Mid-Valley benefits from regaining commercial air service in Salem, especially for business travelers and for companies shipping cargo."

Funny, I thought business travelers and companies needed a stable climate too. And aren't they the very ones who most often rage about taxes --- like the taxes needed to subsidize a service that obviously makes no sense economically (else why the need for a subsidy?)

The clutch play, of course, is an appeal to ego. When you want to do something irrational, appeal to irrational symbolism:

The symbolism of airport service is equally important. It makes the Mid-Valley more appealing to businesses. The alternative — a state capital without even air service — seems absurd, although that’s what residents and businesses endured for years.
What seems absurd is a city that can't even manage to offer bus service on Sundays that's throwing money at airlines when it's crystal clear that jet fuel will never, ever be cheap again and that the whole air travel paradigm is going to change radically, with flying again becoming the mode of travel for only a select few. On top of beating the drum to blow 2/3 of a billion dollars on a third bridge over the Willamette to speed the cars and trucks that will soon run less and less as prices of oil keep shooting up.

The argument that we need to appeal to businesses with jet service is also absurd. What we need are businesses who don't have their heads so deep in the sand that they are clueless about what's coming down in the climate and in the energy markets as a result of our century-long energy waste party.

Flying from SLE won’t always be more convenient or as financially feasible as flying from PDX. Those are judgment calls that each family, business and government agency must make when deciding which airport to use. But the money spent flying through Salem is an investment in the Mid-Valley's economic future.
Indeed --- every time you fly, you help degrade our economic future by increasing our greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the demand for fossil fuels (and thus the prices), and diverting the money from investments in the infrastructure we will need as oil sails through $250 per barrel on its way to eventual pricelessness.