Saturday, July 03, 2010

Oil is a Miracle not a Curse


It is so hard to listen to otherwise smart people get in a tither over "America's addiction to oil". It is a foolish and uniformed argument that needs to be squashed.

Years before Global Warming was a glint in Al Gore's eye the estimable Sci Fi superstar Arther C. Clarke was scolding us in his futuristic novel "The Deep Range"...

Chapter 23; The Bureau of Mines was also responsible for the hundreds of oil wells that now dotted the sea beds, pumping up the precious fluid that was the basic material for half the chemical plants on Earth- and which early generations, with criminal shortsightedness, had actually burned for fuel.

If an equivalent alternative for powering our cars, ships, airplanes, trains and trucks was sitting on the shelf and being ignored, then and only then would Mr. Clarke's little tirade not be an insult.

Hearing President Obama and then movie star Robert Redford days later scolding Americans for putting gas in their cars to get around left the impression that the alternative was there for the taking and mysterious forces were keeping it just out of reach. The implication was clear, somehow we - the people - are all complicit!!!

The truth is oil is a miracle, it's God's gift to the modern world without which the modern world would never have come about. If cut off from oil now we would driven back into the feudal age. Billions would suffer, and millions would die. Right now - in this day and age - there is no alternative.

If there's anything I agree with these people about is that as a society we should leave no stone unturned looking for an equivalent alternative to oil as a basic transportation fuel. The trouble is if we let these fools have their way they would hamstring us by enacting draconian rules against using the most effective energy source we have at this point in time. Lowering our standards of living and essentially promoting poverty is the worst possible way to achieve the next level. Yes, the end of the oil age has to come for a whole host of good reasons, but shooting ourselves in the head is far worse than slowly "poisoning" ourselves. Yes, we can be assured that the Earth will heal from the disaster in the Gulf Of Mexico. It is beyond terrible, wholly regrettable and probably even criminal, but it's not the end of the world.

In the wake of the Gulf Of Mexico oil leak there have been countless talking heads spouting off about the evils of oil and oil companies (and even about the pre-Obama government). Little has been explained about what a miracle oil is and how much of our modern world is dependent on it - how much we all are completely dependent on it.

Here I compiled a small list of products that require the use of oil - this, as they say, is just the tip of the iceberg:
Ammonia
Anesthetics
Antifreeze
Antihistamines
Antiseptics
Artificial limbs
Artificial Turf
Aspirin
Awnings
Balloons
Ballpoint Pens
Bandages
Basketballs
Bearing Grease
Bicycle Tires
Boats
Cameras
Candles
Car Battery Cases
Car Enamel
Cassettes
Caulking
CD Player
CD's & DVD's
Clothes
Clothesline
Cold cream
Combs
Cortisone
Crayons
Curtains
Dashboards
Denture Adhesive
Dentures
Deodorant
Detergents
Dice
Diesel fuel
Dishes
Dishwasher parts
Dresses
Drinking Cups
Dyes
Electric Blankets
Electrician's Tape
Enamel
Epoxy
Eyeglasses
Fan Belts
Faucet Washers
Fertilizers
Fishing Boots
Fishing lures
Fishing Rods
Floor Wax
Folding Doors
Food Preservatives
Football Cleats
Football Helmets
Footballs
Gasoline
Glycerin
Golf Bags
Golf Balls
Guitar Strings
Hair Coloring
Hair Curlers
Hand Lotion
Heart Valves
House Paint
Ice Chests
Ice Cube Trays
Ink
Insect Repellent
Insecticides
Life Jackets
Linings
Linoleum
Lipstick
Luggage
Model Cars
Mops
Motor Oil
Motorcycle Helmet
Movie film
Nail Polish
Nylon Rope
Oil Filters
Paint
Paint Brushes
Paint Rollers
Panty Hose
Parachutes
Percolators
Perfumes
Petroleum Jelly
Pillows
Plastic Wood
Purses
Putty
Refrigerant
Refrigerators
Roller Skates
Roofing
Rubber Cement
Rubbing Alcohol
Safety Glasses
Shag Rugs
Shampoo
Shaving Cream
Shoe Polish
Shoes
Shower Curtains
Skis
Slacks
Soap
Soft Contact lenses
Solvents
Speakers
Sports Car Bodies
Sun Glasses
Surf Boards
Sweaters
Synthetic Rubber
Telephones
Tennis Rackets
Tents
Tires
Toilet Seats
Tool Boxes
Tool Racks
Toothbrushes
Toothpaste
Transparent Tape
Trash Bags
TV Cabinets
Umbrellas
Upholstery
Vaporizers
Vitamin Capsules
Water Pipes
Wheels
Yarn




CW

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