Coming up big with crisis

Pardon me while I throw up at this history-deprived breathless Chi Trib HUGE story today about the oil crisis.  Fifteen thousand words!  Heaving is an option for me because I happen to be reading The Doomsday Myth, by Charles Maurice and Charles W. Simpson, a 1984 book out of the Hoover Institution at Stanford U.

Their first chapter, “The Energy Crisis Is Over!” is a rundown on what happened 1979–83, when newsies and others proclaimed the end of everything — “a long dry summer” and “Over a barrel,” both Newsweek cover stories in 1979 — but ended with stories of glut — “Down, down, down: OPEC finds that it is a crude, crude world” in Time in 1982 and “Oil prices hit the skids” in Newsweek in 1983.

They look back on “10,000 years of economic crises,” none of which ended everything, as we know, as bad as they were.

No matter.  Trib’s Paul Salopek, born yesterday as far as crisis-history goes, writes another chapter in panic:

TRIBUNE SPECIAL REPORT: Traveling from a gas station in the Chicago suburbs to Nigeria and beyond, the Tribune's Paul Salopek retraced seemingly ordinary tankfuls of gas to the most fragile and hostile corners of the planet. His journey shows why our gas-fueled lifestyle is at risk.


[T]o truly grasp the scope of the crisis looming before them, Americans must retrace their seemingly ordinary tankful of gasoline back to its shadowy sources. This is, in effect, a journey into the heart of America's vast and troubled oil dependency. And what it exposes is a globe-spanning energy network that today is so fragile, so beholden to hostile powers and so clearly unsustainable, that our car-centered lifestyle seems more at risk than ever.

It would be different, of course, if he cited this argument by Maurice and Simpson, in addition to others.  One does not do it that way, however, when one wants or thinks he has a HUGE story.

In any case, his is the language of those news mags’ headlines.  So.  How are Salopek and his editors on crisis history?  Weak?

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