Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Go Green

Two commercials: one is a dorky ad for BMW with Couric and Gumbel in an all-electric vehicle which was made in a wind-powered factory:

In the other a beautiful, statuesque woman with a hypnotic voice is spewing some horseshit about how wonderful fracking and offshore drilling are. How they could add hundreds of thousands of jobs to the economy. I wonder how many of those jobs would be because of increased demand for doctors and other health-care workers to cope with the more numerous cases of heart and lung disease, and skin cancer, and burn victims who lit a match in a house which was fracked under, and heat stroke, and funeral homes to commemorate those drowned in tsunamis, and so forth.

They're going to need some very beautiful actresses with extremely hypnotic voices to get me to forget that, now that we can build cars that run on electricity in factories that run on wind, we're not going to be needing so much oil and gas and coal. When the word finally gets around that plug-in electric vehicles currently have fuel costs about half those of hybrids, which in turn go about twice as far on a gallon of gasoline as their conventional counterparts, and that those costs will continue to sink as power generation becomes more efficient, and that green homes already produce more power than they use, and make money by selling their surplus to the grid, and that what goes for cars and trucks and homes is also applicable to trains and ships and planes and office buildings and factories, people simply won't want their petrochemicals so badly any more. They're going to have to truly hypnotize me, to make me completely unconscious and under their control, to get me to forget all of that.

I'm not talking about green technologies which are under development or theoretical, but technology already in use. We just need to spread the word that the new stuff is already here, and let the oil companies take their rightful place in the leper colony next to tobacco.

How many drivers right now have zero transportation fuel costs, because they live in green homes which produce a surplus even after they tank up their electric cars or trucks? Whatever the number is, one thing is certain: the number is going to grow, and word of such things will get around, and the cost of oil and gas -- compared with less than zero -- will grow less and less attractive even to those people who are just too fucking stupid to factor in the costs of petrochemicals' direct damage to people's health, and the costs of climate change.

But why take my word for any of this? Who am I? That's right: I'm nobody. Paul Krugman is somebody. Listen to him.

The only hope the petrochemical industry has left is misinformation. And so here it comes: the commercials telling us how yummy fracking is and how many jobs offshore drilling will bring. (Don't forget the jobs of the people cleaning up the spills which are actually noticed and then actually required to be cleaned up. Yes, the list of jobs created by big oil really does just go on and on.)

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