Boudreaux: In praise of petroleum

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.

3 thoughts on “Boudreaux: In praise of petroleum”

  1. Wow, an actual intellentually honest journalist…… I’m afraid Donald has nixed any chance at that “big time” media break. Kudos to Mr. Boudreaux!

  2. Greens need fossil fuels too. They power their luxury private jumbo jets on flights to “save the planet” conferences around the world every week. They power their luxury cruuise ships to trips to the tropics and Alaska and Antartica. The heat and cool ther multiple mega-mansions and three story log summer “cabins” gouged into the face of our most scenic mountain ranges. They power their Escalades and Hummers. They fuel the aircraft used to buzz penguin herds on Antartica and frighten them into dropping their eggs on ice. (The declining numbers are used to “prove global warming’s harmful effects). They also transport their heroine and cocaine here.

    But greens fear running out of a limited resource and so it is necessary to deprive us of fuel to drive to work, heat or light our homes or produce our food.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.