Don’t know if it was Bush who originally came up with that stupid term — probably not — but I sure did cringe every time he used it. Weaning ourselves off of civilization itself really is more apt, since that’s basically what it would amount to. Here’s a small sampling of what we’ll be doing without if the green-weenie neo-Luddites have their way:
Petroleum is used in many of the medical products we take for granted. Visit any hospital or doctor’s office and you will find these items that are derived from petroleum: heart valves, artificial limbs, stethoscopes, syringes, hearing aids, vaporizers, anesthetics, antiseptics, operating gloves and equipment tubing.
In the home, petroleum is a major component of many items found in medicine cabinets and on cosmetic stands: dentures, aspirin, nasal decongestants, rubbing alcohol, deodorants, cough syrup, bandages, burn lotions, antihistamines, allergy medications, vitamins, cologne, insect repellents, moisturizers, soaps and petroleum jelly.
Plastic is everywhere, and this carbon-based polymer compound is an essential part of everyday life. Walk through any store or supermarket and you will find hundreds of items stored or packaged in plastic. Because of their inert nature, plastics can be used for these purposes without fear of chemical interaction with the contents.
In addition, plastic is used in a wide range of products that require shaping and molding. These include computer housings, toys, eyeglass lenses, shingles, computer disks, athletic shoes and thousands of other products.
These first two are only the beginning, of course. Far from some sort of insidious “addiction,” our reliance on oil is the result of its nearly unlimited usefulness, and our genius for finding ways to advance humanity by making use of the materials available to us.
And that’s really what the green-weenie Left wants to destroy. Every time you see some smelly, dreadlocked leech using anything other than two tin cans and a string (hemp, of course) to organize another die-in at some evil corporation’s HQ, you ought to snatch his laptop or cell phone right out of his grubby hands and stomp it into bits.
But what about the “peak oil” hysteria that’s waved in our faces like a scolding schoolmarm’s finger every decade or so? Well, just this:
While the US is often depicted as having only a tiny minority of the world’s oil reserves at around 28 billion barrels (based on the somewhat misleading figure of ‘proven reserves’) according to the CRS in reality it has around 163 billion barrels. As Inhofe’s EPW press release comments, “That’s enough oil to maintain America’s current rates of production and replace imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years”. Next up, there’s coal. The CRS report reveals America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for over 28 percent of the world’s coal. Much of it is high quality too. The CRS estimates US recoverable coal reserves at around 262 billion tons (not including further massive, difficult to access, Alaskan reserves). Given the US consumes around 1.2 billion tons a year, that’s a couple of centuries of coal use, at least.
In 2009 the CRS upped its 2006 estimate of America’s enormous natural gas deposits by 25 percent to around 2,047 trillion cubic feet, a conservative figure given the expanding shale gas revolution. At current rates of use that’s enough for around 100 years. Then there is still the, as yet largely publicly untold, story of methane hydrates to consider, a resource which the CRS reports alludes to as “immense…possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels.” According to the Inhofe’s EPW, “For perspective, if just 3 percent of this resource can be commercialized … at current rates of consumption, that level of supply would be enough to provide America’s natural gas for more than 400 years.”
Meanwhile US energy policy persists in pursuing the myth that renewables are the economically viable future, with fossil fuels already, as the president said in January, “yesterday’s energy”. With 85 percent of global energy set to come from fossil fuels till at least 2035 no matter what wishful thinkers may prefer, current US energy policy – much like European – is pure political pantomime.
It is that. And Democrat Socialists are playing all the leading roles in the dumbshow. Remember it next time you drain your bank account to fill your tank to get to work — assuming you still even have a job to go to. And remember it again next time you step into the voting booth.
I’m reminded yet again of Reagan’s Rule: so much of what they know isn’t so. And almost nothing they say is.