Things are hot again. The US public is being bombarded by news stories on energy and how expensive and scarce it is. Funny, these stories don't seem to connect having more gasoline and using it would means a switch in news stories to Global Warming issues. We are truly damned if we do or we don't.

I have an analogy: What if we grew up in a family (a country) that gave you all the chocolate you wanted. Sweet (gasoline) or dark (diesel) chocolate at breakfast, lunch and dinner. What's more, all your favorite uncles and aunts (other countries) have nearly the same diet! What would happen?

Well, I supposed you would have a chocolate-centered life. We would take it for granted. Wouldn't even think it was out of the ordinary. But we would be fat with shorter endurance, higher upkeep (health care) costs, and we'd be just plain old bigger. There'd be congestion problems too. Cutting back on chocolate for our own health would seem a real hardship and unfair, even if we know it is for own good. After all, chocolate is all we know! And now the world is running out of chocolate. Soon all the best of it will be gone. Gimme, Gimme, Gimme more! Now!

So, too, the US vehicle fleet. It is big in numbers and size, requiring a lot of energy to do even the simplest of things. We cut back in trips or vehicle size only grudgingly. According to the US Energy Information Administration, petroleum use is still increasing but at a slower rate than previously.

It is time. The chocolate makers are currently so rich they are buying up our neighborhood. We are an addicted society. Some of us have started to use less chocolate by buying products that mix in other ingredients - like ethanol. We'll call that Flexible Foods. Others just use chocolate and more of other foods - like electricity. We call these Hybrid Foods. Some have gone cold turkey. They use Bikes and Public Transit. We call them Treehuggers.

I love chocolate. Had some yesterday. But I know I gotta cut back. Make it last a long time. Wanna leave some over for the kids, too.

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