The pinheads (I know, name calling is childish, but I looked it up and it’s technically correct) did bring up an interesting thought though, which almost has me changing sides. Had they been intelligent enough to succeed, they might have stopped the flow of a significant portion of North American oil production. This obviously was their goal, although accompanied by an unsurprising inability to foresee the consequences of what they were doing (i.e., possibly causing a huge spill themselves, no doubt acceptable if done for the right reasons…). So it begs the question: since these idiots (ditto) are expanding their tactics to stop significant flows, and it’s nearly impossible to fight them – entire pipelines can’t be guarded simultaneously – wouldn’t it be great to give them what they want?
In other words, how about shutting in every pipeline for, say, a month this coming winter? It would be a dream come true for these people – no fossil fuels for anyone. For thirty whole days, let the enemies of fossil fuels bask in the glory of total victory.
It seems like an extreme idea but a clear lesson would be taught that, to paraphrase Mark Twain, can apparently be learned in no other way. Anyone who produces energy knows how fundamental it is to almost everything in modern life, and the consequences of life without oil or natural gas are appropriately frightening. Fossil fuel opponents on the other hand take full advantage of the human tendency to take everyday things for granted.
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to provide evidence that can’t be ignored, or twisted, or distorted? Would we see the same level of fossil-fuel derision emanating from eco-warrior-riddled apartment buildings that are as cold on the inside as out, in January?
No gallivanting around the world on jets, ruminating in mid flight on the evils of the very hydrocarbons keeping them aloft. No driving, no Uber-ing, no food on the shelves because delivery trucks have no fuel.
You might wonder why any sane person would wish to see such hardship, and I don’t really, but no information or dialogue seems able to cut through the fog of lies, misinformation, and apathy about where energy actually comes from. It would be harsh medicine indeed, but sometimes that’s what it takes. It’s like children used to empty threats who suddenly panic when one day their parents really do smash the Xbox. We need to smash the Xbox.
Endless little comforts and treats of modern life are taken for granted. Natural gas to heat buildings (that’s actually a big one). Public transit that’s there when you want it. Any sort of food that’s at our fingertips to satisfy “what we feel like tonight.” It can all be gone in very short order, without the cheap, plentiful, reliable energy that fossil fuels provide. I can hear already the affronted few who might read this and sound off that this view is archaic, that green energy will save the day. And someday it might. But for now…well, by way of example the US produces 11 percent of its energy from renewables, a fair bit of that at times of day when it’s not needed most. So I will leave it to those same people to show us how we would get through a winter on 11/100ths of our current energy usage, or perhaps 4/100ths, at peak times.
It won’t happen of course; logistically it’s too difficult, and because we are a market-based economy there is no one lever able to achieve that feat (thank heavens). Europe, lacking the capacity to heat itself in winter, understands the reality a bit better, with Putin sitting to their left with his hands on just such a lever that he has threatened to use. Here in North America, like rabbits in suburbia, there are no natural threats to either the supply or the vandals.
The misguided simpletons (ditto) that sabotage infrastructure know this too, that North American producers would never inflict the harm that they so richly deserve by taking away fossil fuels. They act with full childish impunity, knowing that their victim is irrevocably tied to a free-enterprise system that does not allow such measures. Yet another thing to be grateful for that no one is. Like the cheap and life-giving fossil fuels that keep them alive, the protestors owe their comfortable existences to an economic system they are free to ridicule, damage, and disrupt to their heart’s content, and which they do with a vengeance. Such is the world we live in.