Go Ahead, Boycott Oil and Gas, You Hippie Moron

October 10, 2014

Before you move into your mud hut by the river, burn wood and dried cow pies for cooking and warmth, eat grasshoppers and deer mice, poop in a hole in the ground, and live a short life and die a brutal death at the age of 23, please consider how interconnected affordable and abundant fossil fuels are with human history and the steady increases in longevity and life-span.

I had the privilege this summer of interacting with all sorts of people as I worked in behalf of pro-fossil fuel ballot initiatives. When approaching a potential supporter I would say:

Do you like hot showers and cold soda pop?

Most would answer in the affirmative, or at least stop walking long enough to see what I was up to. Next I would ask:

Do you believe in American energy independence?

Amazingly, some would say “NO!” and walk on. I attribute this to a couple of things, first, I look like a Conservative. I’m well groomed, fit, attractive, relaxed, clean and happy, plus I usually wear a tight t-shirt displaying Old Glory when I do this kind of work. The fact that I’m an unequivocal Right-winger might explain why some people actually took the stance that America should be dependent on foreign sources, (or no sources at all) for our literal life blood. But others would wait for what came next:

Do you support Colorado’s clean energy industry, and do you think those jobs which come mostly from the exploration and extraction of clean Natural Gas should benefit our own people?

This was the deal maker or breaker. Despite the fact that I live in the fracking paradise of Western Colorado,  there were a few hostile, incoherent, environmentalist progressives who would freak at the mere mention of oil and gas. Some of the best responses to my question, “Do you support Colorado’s clean oil and gas industry,” were:

  • “NO!” (This is funny because obviously these people drove a car to get where they were and charged their cell phone before they got there)
  • “I hate you f***ing people. I wish you f***ers would die!” (This was the response of a 70-something desiccated hippie puke who was in the presence of his little grand children. Yeah, classy.) And last but not least–
  • “Hell no! Fracking destroys the environment! It’s killing the planet! Fracking causes earthquakes and learning disabilities!”

Secretly, within the confines of my my mind, I would say:

Okay you nasty hippie liberal maggot, you drove here in a car; you grow your weed using electricity-guzzling halogen lamps; you process your meth on a stove that burns Natural Gas; you spend your days watching PBS on an electricity-powered flat-screen TV; and you fill your gut with beer which goes through a process using every fossil fuel imaginable. Obviously you don’t take hot showers because you stink like roadkill in July, but you need fossil fuels for every frigging thing you do. If you don’t support the industry you stinking hypocrite, why don’t just go ahead and BOYCOTT oil, gas and coal you pathetic hippie moron.

I’m a polite person, so I would never say that aloud. But if you extrapolate out the natural consequence of hippie moron logic, in order to be honest they would have to boycott everything that comes from gas, coal, and oil, or just kill themselves. The following list is a fragment of a fraction of what people would give up through a through and honest boycott of fossil fuels and their products:

One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:

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

But it’s not just stuff, it’s the quality of life that matters. There are other ways our lives would become unlivable without gas, oil and coal. Before you say “NO!” to fracking, gas, oil and coal, and before you move into your mud hut by the river, burn wood and dried cow pies for cooking and warmth, eat grasshoppers and deer mice, poop in a hole in the ground, and live a short life and die a brutal death at the age of 23, please consider how interconnected affordable and abundant fossil fuels are with human history and the steady increases in longevity and life-span.

  • 49% of U.S. electricity comes from coal, more than twice the contribution of either nuclear power or natural gas.
  • Coal is found in most of the lower 48 states of U.S. and throughout the rest of the world.
  • Oil has been used for more than 5,000-6,000 years. The ancient Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians used crude oil and asphalt (“pitch”) collected from large seeps at Tuttul (modern-day Hit) on the Euphrates River.
  • The United States gets 37% of its energy from petroleum, or oil.
  • Sometime between 6,000 to 2,000 years BC, the first discoveries of natural gas seeps were made in Iran. 
  • Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel.

Wind and solar power are incredibly inefficient, especially when it comes to large-scale electricity output, requiring subsidies from tax-payers and corporate entities, and both require myriad minerals and compounds that someone, somewhere in the world, has to pull out of the bowels of the earth.

  • US installed wind turbine capacity was 4.4% of US energy generation. On a global basis, wind energy’s contribution is about 3.2%. 
  • Absent economically-viable, utility-scale, energy storage, intermittent,  wind energy cannot exist on the grid, unless balanced by coal, gas and hydro plants. 
  • Solar panels contain lead (neurotoxin), cadmium (known carcinogen), triflourine (potent greenhouse gas).
  • Numerous toxic “rare earth” metals, most of which are mined in China, are used in wind turbine technology.
  • Yearly, wind turbines kill nearly 600,000 birds and 900,000 bats in the United States alone.

Electricity keeps the heart of human progress beating. The loss of electricity on a large scale would have immediate and deadly consequences. Everything from medical devices to basic communications would cease to function, and, in the case of an EMP event or similar cataclysm, within one year, 90% of the population would be dead or dying. So, to all you ninnies who hate the oil and gas industry and think coal is the big, dirty monster that ate the environment, I lay down this challenge. For one week, boycott it all. Have the power to your home cut off. Give up your transportation, your communication devices, and every tangible, and intangible thing in your life that exists because of Natural Gas, oil, or coal. And don’t your dare go to your neighbor’s house for that cold soda pop and hot shower. After a week of living in the stone age, you let me know how it’s working for you.

by Marjorie Haun  10/10/14

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