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Roll on boys!

August 18, 2009 - Per Peterson
The only time there’s a traffic jam at Garvin Corner (intersection of U.S. Highways 14 and 59, 2 miles north of Garvin) is after the Box Car Days parade on Labor Day. That was before Tuesday morning, when eight 18-wheelers coming from three different directions clogged the intersection, burning fuel and puffing black smoke. So what, right? A few miles down the road on 59, I looked to the west and saw those majestic, white wind turbines, most of them spinning, generating electricity with every loop of the blades. Big deal, right? These two things made me think: Are we totally beating our heads against the wall in our ongoing effort to cut down on our hunger and need for foreign oil? Are we getting anywhere with things like wind turbines and solar power? I’d like to think so, but seeing so many semis at one little intersection in the middle of nowhere on your map made it hard to believe we’ve made a dent in cutting down on our oil dependance. It got worse. During the final 15 miles of my daily commute to Marshall, I ran into another dozen 18-wheelers headed south — that’s almost one for every mile. Then there were four more at the intersection of 59 and 23 in Marshall. Then three more at the intersection by Varsity Pub in downtown Marshall. These things are everywhere. What, they’ve never head of semi pooling? I kept wondering to myself (and then talking to myself out loud, as I am wont to do) why bother trying to go green? How can we possibly make a difference with all these diesel trucks flying around? I also wondered to myself how long it's going to be before we start drilling all over the United States, because, eventually, it's going to happen. And this is just a tiny spot in southwestern Minnesota. It’s not like I-90 where you see semi trucks all over the place. These are just rural highways, albeit U.S. ones. I’m being a total pessimist, I know, but it’s hard not to be, especially after looking at the gas gauge and realizing I need to fill my tank again.


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