One of the more prominent among the manifold idiocies of the environmental left is the idea that oil is evil. Recently, according to a press release from the Western Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association representing more than 450 companies engaged in exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the West, more than 400 groups converged on the White House to demand we keep fossil fuels in the ground.
They did this, of course, while waving signs made of plastic and having driven or flown in fossil fuel-powered vehicles to Washington. And probably while drinking from plastic or aluminum water bottles, or while sipping an extra-soy-macchiato latte, all of which require fossil fuels to produce. These are the same sorts who tried to block offshore drilling in the Arctic by blockading a harbor with kayaks and canoes made of plastic.
To shine light on the idiocy, this week the WEA challenged people who insist that oil is evil to live a full seven days without using fossil fuels. To any who would accept the challenge, they would find this is impossible.
Said WEA president Tim Wigley:
Environmental groups have actively promoted ending fossil fuel consumption. The problem is the average person doesn’t understand where things come from.
Taking these groups at their word, we created the Challenge to show that oil and natural gas products are not easily dispensable. In fact, it’s quite the contrary; fossil fuels make modern living possible. They power our economy and provide the basic feedstock used to manufacture smartphones, clothing and medicine and make our world safer, healthier and more convenient.
Indeed, the world the environmentalists imagine best describes a post-apocalyptic movie. Said Gene Koprowski, director of marketing for the Heartland Institute:
This idea of going without fossil fuels for a week — wasn’t that the premise of the Mad Max series of films, a post-apocalyptic world where fossil fuel was scarce to non-existent?
Think life without a car to drive or fuel to heat your home is pleasant? This is just dumb. It’s not pleasant. It is like living after the apocalypse.
There are electric cars available from Tesla and other manufacturers today. But to generate power for the batteries for these cars, the owners hook up the car to an electrical outlet … and rely on energy churned out by the coal-burning power plant down the way.
They can’t escape from fossil fuels, these electric car makers. There are lab-based alternatives to fossil fuels for the production of plastics and fibers, etc., but to my knowledge, these are not commercially viable presently.
Nearly everything we wear, eat, or use has fossil fuels in the supply chain somewhere. Even the carpets most of us walk on are made of synthetic fibers. To most of the environmental left, food magically appears in the grocery store,; iPhones and other modern conveniences are conjured by Technology Gnomes in the middle of the night, rather than having been manufactured using toxic processes.
Perhaps the problem is that environmentalists can’t see the overseas plants which make their gadgets — but they can see the oil rigs.
According to Wigley, environmentalists couldn’t even enjoy a “sustainably sourced” craft beer, as the energy to produce them and the trucks which deliver them all run on fossil fuels. It’s impossible to even commute to work without using fossil fuels in some way, said Wigley:
Since announcing the Fossil Fuel Free Challenge two weeks ago, we’ve challenged numerous environmental groups to practice what they promote. We’ve called on companies like Starbucks, Nike, Walmart and others that have pledged to do away with fossil fuels to try going just one week without.
The reaction we get is people saying they’ll ride a bike to work or that they already drive a hybrid. However, those still use considerable amounts of fossil fuels and components that only come from oil and natural gas.
The people protesting against fossil fuels don’t really want to live in a world without them. They just want to feel righteous, a problem even some within their ranks recognize they have.
Alternative energy is certainly something we can strive to make economically viable. Until then, fossil fuels are the engine which drives the modern world, and must remain so.