Saturday, July 19, 2008

Addicted to Oil

Before Katrina (BK), the Coastal Commission and the State of California refused the Bush administration to extend 36 leases for offshore oil drilling between Oxnard and San Luis Obispo. The skyrocketing price of oil is now pressing these filthy oil-addicted opportunists to exploit more resources to fulfill their habit. A significant part of what they call “energy” was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. Yet it was the carbon dioxide residue produced by the burning of fossil fuel that heated the Gulf of Mexico so hot that it accelerated Katrina from a Category 1 storm over Miami, to a Category 5 storm by the time it reached Louisiana and Mississippi.

They are desperate to prolong their obscene profits among their oil industry kit and kin. There are those in Washington trying to score political points off this tragedy by calling for the opening of California’s coastline to more oil and gas drilling. The 2005 underhanded energy bill signed by President Bush, gives those voices the tools to begin to do just that. That same bill also opened the door for private companies to buy out (“privatize”) Public Utilities, which have until now been protected by Public Utilities Commissions. A Public Utility is an industry said to be “affected with a public interest” and therefore subject to a degree of government regulation. Private companies serve only themselves with as much profits as they can get away with irregardless of the consequences to the public or the environment.

By building bigger and stronger gas-guzzling cars, and the widespread replacement of natural renewable products with those made from petroleum byproducts, the oil industry has hooked America, and soon, all of the world, on the myth that “high class” means obscenely consuming petroleum products. From no-iron shirts to Nylon tents, to plastic laundry baskets, we have become addicted to petroleum products. And the billion Chinese in the PRC are striving fast to keep up with the Joneses.

Do you know plastic was originally made of cotton? That Diesel invented his internal combustion engine to burn vegetable oil? That the best engine lubricant before motor oil was hemp oil? That sails used to be made of hemp, as well as paper and clothing? That laundry baskets used to be made of wicker? That rayon and Dacron are made from tree fiber? That Saran Wrap used to be made from vegetable fibers? That cars can run on ethanol, which can be fermented out of biomass instead of edible corn? But instead our petrochemical industry brings in record profits as the whole world becomes more and more dependent on their products while petrochemical wastes are contaminating our planet and make it uninhabitable for living things.

Bush and his cronies are coveting the “energy resources” lying off the California coast. Don’t be fooled anymore. Buy a high efficiency car and only use your truck when you are moving freight. Get a pair panniers for your bike and pedal your way to shopping. Carpool. Take public transportation. The lesson of Hurricane Katrina is to stop burning fossil fuel.