I was speaking with an acquaintance recently and was struck by the number of people she knew that called themselves "environmentalists", and as such were wedded to the prevailing global warming rhetoric. It is hard to come to terms with the pervasive laziness of such people who are probably otherwise very nice upstanding citizens. I have been contemplating this problem and I believe I have had a breakthrough that I would like to share with you today.
In the information age we have now reached the point beyond total saturation of information. The democratization of so much opinion and "fact" has left us with very few trusted sources and in an effort to synthesize it all, the old media and the loudest voices allow us to become lazy and complacent with the information they provide. Environmentalists sit in their cozy air conditioned offices attempting to figure out something to do to raise money and keep their marketing businesses alive, so we are bombarded daily about catastrophes suppositions and wild what if scenarios. We are told about all the things that we should do to be "mainstream" and friendly to our planet. If you didn't know better you would think that plastic bags were sent from some evil alien planet to destroy us all, but this (just in case you were not sure) is not the case.
Human beings have an average life span that today is the longest in history, but even then it spans a total of perhaps 80 some years. With the life and death search for food and shelter an unknowable experience for most of us in the prosperous west, we have been offered a paradigm of sorts: we aren't here that long so enjoy life, but fret about everything you have no control over. Our conception of time, what we control and what is important has become distorted in the modern age.
You see, 18 000 years ago the spot where I am seated was covered with a thick layer of ice; but over time that ice has receded and what has followed is beautiful landscapes, copious amounts of fresh water and abundant resources. Thanks to global warming, North America is a very prosperous and pleasant place to live. Hold on you say, the glaciers are disappearing at an alarming rate and so on and so forth....Ok, but why get excited now? You see our 80 years in the context of the earth is but a moment and our ability to conceptualize our world in terms of the things we cannot control, like time, is extremely difficult; so we make every effort to speed up the process in relation to our short span of time. Which is why all of the dire predictions always have a date that lands somewhere near your golden years (currently 2035-2050ish). The reality is that climate changes (four times a year for those not paying attention), uranium depletes, ice grows and recedes, carbon rises and falls all in their own time; and earth time is thousands or millions of years, versus our apparently significant 80 or so. Few things in life are linear other than age, time and the latest catastrophic predictions from the high priests of environmentalism.
Carbon is the latest bugaboo of the air conditioned commissars, so let's examine a few things we know about carbon. It is the basic building block of all life (no wonder the EPA wants to control this). It is the byproduct of various processes such as breathing and burning. It is essential for plant growth. The optimal level of carbon in the air is unknown, but its relative amount of the airs composition is very small. So when carbon is emitted it is absorbed by other parts of the environment in a seemingly endless cyclical process. It seems rather obvious why the commissars want to capture it, for profit of course; because what spells control over the lives of others like controlling the basic building block of life, especially if there is some serious money involved.
But that evil carbon in all its wonder embodies many of the themes that environmentalists love to tell us about: like composting, recycling and all things organic, so I would like to introduce one of the greatest organic, composted, recycled products available on earth, a product that can generate all kinds of profitable economic activity for everyone: oil. Lovely oil.
Oil as I understand it is the product of carbon based organic matter being crushed and perhaps heated over many millions of years which is basically the earth's method of composting. That makes oil the single greatest and most useful organic product available to us today. When we drill for and refine oil we are merely recycling it into more useable forms and releasing it for further cyclical uses in the environment. When we drive, heat, or engage in other joyous human activities like boating at the cottage or getting together for a drive with our other car club members we are recycling carbon from one form to another. Once that carbon is used and released, plants will soak up all that wonderful carbon dioxide and use it to grow and increase yields while reducing water use. This process by plant life is a beautiful and effective source of carbon capture and all natural to boot. All of that additional plant matter will decompose and be stored for future generations in the form of lovely oil and coal. Our ancestors will hopefully drill, refine and burn it once again partaking in this wonderful all natural recycling process. It's a beautiful thing.
So next time someone tells you they are an environmentalist tell them you are too. While they eat carrots in front of the TV in their air conditioned palaces praying to the gods of the sun and wind to rescue them, you can drive out to your favorite hotel in the mountains and enjoy a succulent steak. You will even experience great satisfaction that you are helping the environment and future of the planet by recycling carbon by using a rich organic product, which will help the generations of the future. You are doing this by living your life and by enjoying the bountiful wonders of carbon: yes, lovely oil.
Tristram Waye is a Canadian and a proponent of all wonderful, organic, all natural hydrocarbons.