By: David Blackmon | 8.13.17 | Forbes
Last Friday, the American Statesman published a piece titled “About 100 Protesters Call For Austin To End Fossil Fuel Use For Power”. Being from Texas, I read the piece and viewed the video attached to the story with great interest. The City of Austin – Texas’s capital city – maintains its own power utility that is separate from the power grid that provides electricity to most of the rest of the state.
The protesters were on-hand to oppose a proposed plan that would increase the city’s use of renewable fuel to 65% by 2027. In a state rich in natural gas resources for power generation, this goal wasn’t aggressive enough for these 100 souls.
My first thought upon seeing the group of protesters was to wonder how many of them drove to the site of the protest in gasoline-powered cars, which make up about 99% of automobile fleet in Texas? I wondered further if any of them understand that many of the components in the cars they drive – even Teslas – are made from petroleum-derived products?
Many in the group were wearing sneakers. I can’t help wondering if they know that those shoes are in part made from petroleum products? Some carried backpacks – do they know that parts of many such items are to some extent made from petroleum products?
It was a prosperous-looking bunch, most of whom no doubt practice sound dental hygiene. I couldn’t help wondering if they know there’s a very good chance their toothpaste – and their toothbrush, for that matter – is largely derived from petroleum? I wonder if the women among the group realize that their makeup and lipsticks are most likely derived from petroleum as well?
Many in the group were carrying the latest in cellular technology. I wonder if any of them understand that many of the components that make up their I Phones and Samsung Galaxies are derived from petroleum products? What about the elastic that holds up their underwear, or the frames of their glasses? Do any of these protesters understand that those are derived from petroleum products? I wonder if they understand that these products cannot be replaced with windmills or solar panels?
Some in the group were consuming bottled water. I couldn’t help wondering if they know how those bottles are made. Speaking of water, I wonder as well if they know that the water that comes into their homes is almost certainly pumped there by pumps powered by gasoline or natural gas? And speaking of their homes, I wonder how many of these protesters cook their meals on natural-gas stoves or heat their homes and water with natural gas appliances? Do they even know where the natural gas comes from? Most Americans don’t.