Why photos of oil-covered wildlife are dangerous.
Donald Boudreaux writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
…Fact is, gasoline and aviation fuel aren’t the only products produced with petroleum. Our modern lives are full of too many such products to count.
And not only are petroleum-based products all around us and practically indispensable — they’re also inexpensive. Yet we pay no attention to these everyday wonders.
This fact is why photos of oil-covered wildlife are dangerous: They make us aware of petroleum’s risks while we remain oblivious to petroleum’s benefits.
In the real world petroleum is an astonishingly beneficial, versatile and inexpensive resource. In the fantasy world of too many people, however, petroleum is a vile substance that does little beyond enriching a few sheiks and billionaires while it kills both the planet and humanity.
But in fact our world is incalculably better and even cleaner because of petroleum — which is why it is especially regrettable that newspaper pictures of the likes of plastic wrap and asphalt would not grab readers’ attention with anywhere near the impact of pictures of oil-covered animals.