With pirate attacks off Africa’s east coast becoming increasingly brazen, efforts to combat the scourge are proving futile. But maybe that’s a good thing, in a roundabout way. Think of it this way, argues The Nation. It’s only a matter of time before a ship is sunk or an oil tanker spills its crude into the ocean. Such an event would send insurance rates skyrocketing, and force oil tankers to seek safer but longer routes around the problem areas. The end result would be a rise in oil prices similar to if oil-producing nations slashed their output. The pirates would accomplish what the U.S. Congress has been too chicken to do since the 1970s: impose a gas and oil tax as a way to force Americans to conserve energy and reduce their dependence on foreign oil. And you thought gun-toting Somalis on the high seas was a bad thing.