Boycott Petroleum

Hey, Code Pink and the rest of you activist types, I love you dearly, you make me laugh and every time you try to arrest Karl Rove you make me want to pump my fist in the air and shout “hell yeah!” But the Boycott BP movement completely misses the point.

Please. Yes BP are pigs but so are Chevron, Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, and every other operation drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and around the world right now.

Don’t boycott BP. Boycott petroleum!

Look, it’s just a fluke that this accident happened on a BP rig. It could easily have been another company’s operation. We could be making hilarious re-designs of the Chevron logo, not BP’s.

I realize in this modern age it is extremely difficult for consumers to single-handedly kick the petroleum habit. This is why we need our government to make strong, decisive, bold steps in this direction. But there are things we can all do to use less of the eco-disaster creating stuff.

I know we can’t all trade in our cars for EVs and hybrids (but those of you who can or are in the market for a new car might consider that). But we can all drive less, and drive more efficiently when we do use the car.

• Try taking one fewer car trip a day and see how that works. If you normally drive your car at lunchtime, try bringing your lunch to work, or walking to lunch. Try combining your errands so you take fewer trips. Car pool. Can you take a bike anywhere or use public transportation?

• Eat less meat. Yes, meat is destructive to the environment and uses a lot of fossil fuels. Mr. Beale and I are trying the Meatless Monday campaign. And let me tell you, it’s been a tough sell with my spouse, who a) doesn’t like vegetables and b) thinks if the plate doesn’t contain meat it’s not a meal (When I first mentioned Meatless Mondays to him he said, “so we eat fish?”). So I’m getting creative in the kitchen. He hasn’t divorced me yet, so maybe we can stick with it.

• Do you have an extra $4 a month? C’mon, you know you do. Buy a block of green power from NES. We buy 10 5 at our house (forgot we cut back when we had the solar panels installed). It’s a lot to add to the power bill every month, not everyone can do that, but surely you can find $4 in the sofa cushions. It’s a gallon and a half of gasoline. Maybe you can find it in what you save by not taking that extra car trip.

• Stop buying bottled water. Seriously, plastic water bottles are disgusting. Get yourself a stainless steel thermos and if your tap water tastes bad, put a charcoal filter on it.

• Raise (or lower) your thermostat. Open windows at night, close windows and blinds during the day. You will adjust, I promise you. Buildings don’t need to be cooled to meat locker temperatures in the summer.

Look, we don’t all have to live in tents and start churning our own butter. If everybody did just one extra thing I think it would have a huge impact.

This spill isn’t just BP’s fault. It’s everybody’s fault. We’re all responsible, every one of us.

13 Comments

Filed under BP, energy conservation, Gulf oil spill

13 responses to “Boycott Petroleum

  1. >"Boycott petroleum!"That'd make a fine tshirt, SB. Think republican, sell a million of 'em. 37North

  2. >Think republican, sell a million of 'em. yes I could have them made in a Chinese sweat shop gpt $1 from ecologically unsound fibers then use up oodles of petroleum by having them sent here in a container ship. Then I'd sell them for $50 a pop.

  3. >Way back in the '40's, a magazine called Outdoor Life ran a contest to find the best way to describe conservation .Here's the winner: "I give my pledge as an American to save and faithfully to defend from waste the natural resources of my country – its soil and minerals, its forests, waters and wildlife."Straightforward, clear and concise. And every year more important. 37North

  4. >you can actually get t-shirts of 100% recycled plastic, beside the point as that might be.

  5. >Hardly a boycott, more like a cut-back.To Boycott petroleum is 100% impossible without returning society to the stone age.But good luck with that if that's what you want.

  6. >All true. But boycotting is a little tricky. Sometimes you affect a whole industry by just going after one of the big players, and if successful, the rest will follow. You go after the most vulnerable first, and then the others will see the "writing on the wall." This model worked pretty well with the old growth lumber campaign in the 90s spearheaded by Rainforest Action Network. You also have to be careful to get the support of the workers.

  7. >Don’t boycott BP. Boycott petroleum!Good luck with that.

  8. >Yep, the party of no. The party of no ideas. The party of no progress. The party of defeat. The party of let's just keep making the same mistakes over and over and over again. The party of we haven't a fucking clue so let's just hide our heads in the sand and hope it will all work out some day.Keep selling that, Mikey.

  9. Jim

    >SB and all environmentalists – I welcome your efforts to boycott petroleum. It will leave more oil for me and my family to use. I will be sure to slow down when I pass you walking or riding your bike down the road.Don't wait for the whole world to join you – a boycott has to start somewhere. Be the trend setter and show us how it is done. I am sad to see you leaving the world of blogging as I am sure your petroleum boycott will include any use of plastics such as your computer keyboard, your cellphone keys, etc.Be sure to check all of your clothes and discard any polyester and nylon containing products as well.Enjoy your simplified life of boycotting petroleum.

  10. >Right, Jim. Because nothing is worth doing if it's not done 100%, perfectly pure, 365 days a year, 100% of the time. Why even try? Let's just go on as before and pollute God's creation with abandon, why not? I mean, if we can't find that magic fix we are all hoping for, the one thing that allows us to pretend there's nothing wrong with the way we're sucking up the world's resources, completely out of proportion to our population, right? Why even START. Just keep going as we always have. That's the spirit. It's the American way!You completely missed the point of the post. And I'm not surprised, not in the least.The point is not that we live in tents and churn our own butter and return to a pre-industrial lifestyle. The point is that if everyone does just ONE thing, we can make great strides. I'm not asking people to give up their plastic laptops, unless it's practical for them. I'm asking everyone to find the ONE thing they can do. It may not be giving up laptops. Maybe it's car pooling. Maybe it's changing your thermostat one or two degrees. Maybe it's not eating meat or putting solar panels on your roof or changing your old refrigerator for a new efficient one.You're a defeatist. So many conservatives are. And I don't get that. I thought you guys were the fist-pumping, "America can do anything!" crowd. Suck up all the energy you want, you're attaching yourself to an extinct energy source. It makes no sense. None.

  11. Jim

    >"You're a defeatist." No, but it sounds like you are a defeatist with the world passing the tipping point on global warming, the era of oil being over, the oceans are killed, etc.You want change – then change. Once the world sees your shining example I am sure we will all rush to join you. Why wait for or insist on government mandates? Are you suggesting that if everyone is not forced to your way of thinking then it is not worth you changing? Again – I support your right to boycott petroleum, I just choose not to join you. This is America – the land of the free right?

  12. >Jim,Re-read my post. My post is telling people to NOT wait for the government mandate. My post is telling people to take action themselves, now. Cripes. Do me at least the courtesy of reading the post. Do I want government mandates? On some things. Not on everything. Our government does need to show leadership, because the Big Oil has run our government for 50 years and there is nothing close to an even playing field where emerging technologies are concerned. Our government operates a massive fleet of vehicles and if the government used fuel efficient vehicles that would create a massive change in how we manufacture vehicles in this country. I'll see some of the changes I want. Some of them are going to be completely ignored. Because this so-called "socialist" president is maybe a smidge to the left of Richard Nixon.So don't buy into the caricature that Hannity and Fox and Brent Bozell's news outlets paint of liberals. Try actually listening and looking into what people are proposing and why. You might learn something.

  13. Pingback: The Upside Of Entropy | Southern Beale