Someone told me the other day that although the US had more than enough oil, they weren’t pulling it out of the ground because they wanted to help the Middle East out by buying theirs first. I wondered how she knew this.

After a little bit of research, I discovered that the United States was sitting on 21.9 billion barrels of oil – enough oil to fuel this country for about 3 years at a usage rate of 19.993 million barrels per day.

A good friend’s niece told her “that we are fighting a war because ‘they’ bombed New York, and we have to teach them that they can’t.” She learned this in school. Apparently her school is unaware that the bombing on New York was attributed to Saudi Arabians, not Iraqis.

Bob was talking about the aftermath of Peak Oil at the farmer’s market last month and a wide-eyed woman exclaimed in alarm, “Who will buy my rural property, then?” I guess she hadn’t heard of Hubbard’s Peak.

So, where do we learn what we know? From our family, friends, teachers, bosses, co-workers, the newspapers, books, magazines, TV? According to librarian and writer, Alison Clement in “Lessons from Basra” “The kids repeat what they hear at home.“

How do we improve our chances of getting unbiased news? Start by throwing out the TV. Television is rife with advertising by companies who have nothing to sell us. Why would that be? As noted in the Daily Kos, “because when the ads are running, the criticism and investigation stops.”

After that, start reading – books, articles on the Web, and magazines like The Sun and Orion, which have no advertising.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.