Some thoughts on the Civil War and the Fossil Fuel economy

TL;DR – A Crazy Dream. It could well be better, cheaper and save more lives just to buy up all the fossil fuel wealth held by corporations. 

With all this Confederate flag stuff coming up, it brought clarity to something. In many ways we are again fighting a civil war over the heart of what we want to become. It again deals with money.

The Civil War was fought over slavery. But a reason the South held onto it beyond all rationalization was that there was extreme wealth tied up in the possession of slaves. It would have been devastating to the stability of their economy if all that wealth disappeared overnight. They would not do it willingly.

So they distorted the political process for 20 years. They tried to divide the US. They fought a war that killed 700,000 people, still lost all that wealth and saw a devastated economy they have not really ever recovered.

Nobody won and everybody lost.

It may have been better for all concerned for the Federal government to simply buy all the slaves, allowing the South to use the money to create a more modern economy. (Although there are arguments against this, they do not support the death of 700,000 people. Or the disruptive impact the war has had since.)

It would not have been fair. It would not have been right. But it would have saved so much.

Today we see corporations with huge wealth derived from fossil fuels. They are fighting beyond all rationalization to prevent that wealth becoming worthless. All that value disappearing would devastate them. They will not give it up it willingly.

They distort the political process, using their wealth to corrupt politicians and prevent any useful work to proceed. They use much of their wealth to divide the US.

It looks like they are fighting a cold sort of civil war, with people dying and the environment being devastated, before the inevitable happens and they lose that war.

I’m thinking that the fastest, most peaceful solution to the inevitable would be to pay them for their wealth of fossil fuels, and making them use that money to become modern energy-based companies devoted to clean/green energy. 

It probably would be less costly, in lives and the environment.

But it will never happen. I’m figuring that the toll in human life and devastation will then be much greater than 700,000.

And the survivors will be asking “Why did they just not suck it up and pay these companies off?”

It is not fair. It is not right. But it would save so much.

Image: The Fort Sumter Flag (recreation)