Thursday, February 21, 2008

Terrorism Penalty for Oil

All this talk about making biofuels take responsibility for the entire world's land use has started me thinking about what the oil industry should take on as an equivalent responsibility. I mean, if we are evaluating fuels for EVERY possible impact they can have on everything else -- we should be thorough right?

Why have we not heard ONE PEEP from the "environmentalists" about the devastating potential of massive oil spills, toxic pollution, wildlife displacement and land degradation that oil extraction, refinement and distribution can lead to. Of course, you hear about all these ills from them when linked to the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) but do you EVER hear reports or scientific studies about the CUMULATIVE environmental impact that oil has on the world and the fate of the peoples near it?

Not only that -- but do you ever hear about the DEVASTATING cost in terms of terrorism promotion, human rights atrocities, religious persecution and overall dictator promotion -- that the oil industry empowers?

The environmental purist would say -- these problems affect people, not the environment, so that's not our scope of concern. But the pragmatic, WHOLE person obviously realizes that the more poverty, oppression and outright persecution that goes on in the world, the less likely that the environment will rank even a 23rd thought from most of the people in the world.

If you want to stop global deforestation -- you can make as strong of a case for helping to eliminate poverty in developing countries as you can for the need to cut back on domestic biofuel production -- MORE of a case. If you want to help the environment, you have to help the people in these countries be ABLE to care about their environment.

So - if biofuels have to have a land use penalty, then oil should take on a terrorism penalty -- it should account for all the misery and terrorism promotion that is furthered by its extraction, sale and distribution -- and it should definitely be a lifecycle analysis!

We are talking about an either/or situation here. If you oppose biofuels, THEN YOU SUPPORT OIL.

1 comment:

  1. "Environmentalists"?

    I don’t understand why you need to mix so many thoughts together to make what is a fairly simple point – that dependence on oil comes at a huge price in terms of impacts to the environment and to people’s lives.

    Sweeping statements about not one “peep” from “environmentalists” about what “oil spills, toxic pollution, wildlife displacement and land degradation that oil extraction, refinement and distribution can lead to” is quite an absurd thing to say. Simply because you haven’t come across a suitable study on cumulative impacts due to oil doesn’t delegitimize questions regarding the impacts of biofuels.

    You may have made your mind up with respect to biofuels, and there’s nothing wrong with that – I would tend to agree that this fuel source has great promise. However, I just don’t understand why that conclusion leads one to engage in empty demagoguery against “environmentalists”.

    As far as I’m concerned decisions have to be made to address Climate Change. Those decisions should have been made yesterday, but ultimately need to be the right ones. Consideration of the potential impacts of using biofuels is a fair area of inquiry. Simplistic statements like “We are talking about an either/or situation here. If you oppose biofuels, THEN YOU SUPPORT OIL.” are designed to cow legitimate debate on the plusses and minuses of biofuels.

    I’d say you’ve taken your self-appointed “pragmatism” trademark a little too far.

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