Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tired of This Image?

Rachel at 4.5 Billion Years of Wonder doesn't care. What she does care about are the stupid attitudes all round that allowed this image to be captured. And no, neither you nor I are off the hook. Matty Boy of Lotsa 'Splainin' 2 Do says much the same thing, from a non-geological perspective. And Sunday, I linked to an op-ed in the NYT that said the same thing too.

Basically, we're squandering a precious, and for all practical purposes, irreplaceable, resource.

I have said before that I have lived with this in mind since the oil crises of the 70's. In one of those on-line "carbon footprint" quizzes, I discovered that I use 1/17th of the energy of an average American. Not 17%, but a seventeenth. Further, I found that 2/3 (!) of that was from flying back east to see my family every couple of years. If I dropped that from the calculations, my footprint was 1/50th of the average American.

This is not to say that I think everyone should blow up their car, and grow all their food in their back yards. I don't. In fact, I'm probably more dependent on our vehicularized society than many. My back yard is a parking lot. I appreciate my coffee from southeast Asia, the Austral-Asian Islands, Africa, and South America. I need my food from all over the place. I love my rolling tobacco from Europe. These are not things I'm likely to give up prior to dying.

But the point that all three of the above links make so abundantly obvious is that the vast majority of people in this country look at the above, and think "oh, that evil BP is to blame." Or, "that darned congress regulates too much/doesn't regulate enough." Some wackaloons think it was an evironmentalist plot.

You want to see who's to blame? Look in the mirror. And go read Rachel's post, "Thoughts from a future petroleum geologist." It's the best commentary I've seen on the issue. My comment there was, "An excellent post that captures my own feelings better than I could myself. Thanks."

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