Green Dream to End Fossil Fuels Also Means Going without Plastics

Have you ever seen the 1967 movie, “The Graduate,” where actor Dustin Hoffman, in the role of a young graduate, gets sage advice as to what field he should get into?  "Plastics," young man, is the future was the recommendation.  But where do plastics originate?  Plastics are characterized as polymers.  Polymers are long-chained monomers.  Some examples of monomers are ethylene and propylene.  When these monomers are polymerized they become polyethylene and polypropylene.  From where do these monomers originate?  They are products from oil and gas production.

The current crop of Democratic Party presidential wannabees have drunk the Green New Deal (GND) Kool-Aid.  Stop fracking!  Stop oil and gas production on federal lands!  Ban offshore oil and gas production!  Most of these “rocket scientists” come from states that import their refined products for transportation fuels and heating oil.  They do not want any of those stinking oil refineries in their backyards but please continue to import the gasoline and diesel from refineries in the Virgin Islands or from Venezuelan-owned refineries.  So where do we get plastics if oil and gas production ceases?  Technology exists to convert coal into hydrocarbons but it is energy-intensive and very expensive.  By the way, that technology was developed to further Hitler’s Nazi putsch to conquer the world.  So do we return to a world of “Before Plastics”?

Here is a little table of just a few plastic items we use and the kinds of items that could replace them if the proponents of the GND were successful:

 

Whatever did we do 60 years ago before plastics?  That must be going through some snowflakes’ minds (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comes to mind, but I digress) after the seven hour DNC marathon commercial aka Democrat debate on climate change.  As is often the case, some folks want to cure the symptom, not the cause.  Those pesky, evil straws are at the center of the debate to some people.  After all, plastic straws have been ingested by sea mammals and remain in their gullet until they die.  So the manufacturers of plastic straws must be held accountable for such atrocities.  It makes no difference that some people have an affinity for littering such wastes.  Blame the straw-makers.

I believe a likely majority of snowflakes are convinced that virtue-signaling people who drive electric vehicles are using clean energy to putter around their neighborhood.  Just the opposite is true unless the source of electricity is 100% renewable, such as solar, wind and hydroelectric, or else nuclear power.  As these people virtue signal, they expropriate tax monies from some governments as tax write-offs given for such use.  Do not forget that most road repair funds come from taxes levied on transportation fuels at the pump.  These people do not worry about paying their fair share of road repair funds for their equally damaging vehicles, well, just because.  And where do you think asphalt originates to build roads and highways?  Crude oil.

So take a brief trip down memory lane of a time “Before Plastics.”  Smog was so bad in New York City and Los Angeles in the early 1960s that health issues came to the forefront of politics.  President, Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency to combat air and water pollution.  A key goal from its inception was to minimize the production of smog-creating exhausts from fuel burning facilities, especially cars and industrial facilities such as power plants and refineries.  Lighter cars meant better gas mileage which meant less exhaust gases.  Plastics and lighter metals like aluminum used in cars helped reduce their weight. If plastics are effectively outlawed with fossil fuels, Vietnam and Malaysia will need to get those natural rubber trees working again to provide latex for making tires. All the plastics in vehicles that lower weight to help improve mileage, well, forget about that.  And forget about polyurethane and Styrofoam insulation.

We went to the butcher counter to buy meat when I was a kid.  The meat was wrapped in waxed butcher paper.  Where do you think that wax came from?  If you think bees, you would be wrong.  Wax, also known as paraffin, comes from crude oil.  Of course we carried the groceries to the car in paper bags.  If we got rid of those pesky plastics, would we need to chop down more trees for increased use of paper products?  We recycled milk bottles and soda and beer bottles and even got returned cash for the deposits on those glass bottles.  Besides the environmental impact to a wastewater treatment plant that processed the water from recycling glass bottles, what happens to transportation costs for glass bottles versus aluminum cans or plastic bottles? Extend this to food packaging and imagine the added impact to incremental food costs.  If the food is not protected properly it will spoil faster.  The heavier the packaging, the costlier it is to transport it. Actually, when you think about it, anything that you use daily today would be adversely affected if plastics were outlawed. 

I remember in the late '70s how another greenie rage was installing wood stoves to heat the house.  Greenies were peddling this as the environmental-friendly way to go.  I installed one in my house in Fairbanks, Alaska and could heat the 2,000 s.f. split level house with that single wood stove alone as long as the temperature was 0 degrees F or higher.  But then the same greenies who said use this renewable resource instead of fossil fuel soon said too many particulates were being emitted into the atmosphere and therefore to stop.  Winter in Fairbanks is fun enough alone with limited daylight let alone those days when the thermometer gets below minus 50F.  I did not have enough Jimmy Carter-esque cardigan sweaters to warm this body without turning on the fuel oil heater.  The plumbing also appreciated temperatures above freezing.

Call me cynical but I cannot envision a modern world without plastics.  

Image credit: Insomnia Cured Here, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Have you ever seen the 1967 movie, “The Graduate,” where actor Dustin Hoffman, in the role of a young graduate, gets sage advice as to what field he should get into?  "Plastics," young man, is the future was the recommendation.  But where do plastics originate?  Plastics are characterized as polymers.  Polymers are long-chained monomers.  Some examples of monomers are ethylene and propylene.  When these monomers are polymerized they become polyethylene and polypropylene.  From where do these monomers originate?  They are products from oil and gas production.

The current crop of Democratic Party presidential wannabees have drunk the Green New Deal (GND) Kool-Aid.  Stop fracking!  Stop oil and gas production on federal lands!  Ban offshore oil and gas production!  Most of these “rocket scientists” come from states that import their refined products for transportation fuels and heating oil.  They do not want any of those stinking oil refineries in their backyards but please continue to import the gasoline and diesel from refineries in the Virgin Islands or from Venezuelan-owned refineries.  So where do we get plastics if oil and gas production ceases?  Technology exists to convert coal into hydrocarbons but it is energy-intensive and very expensive.  By the way, that technology was developed to further Hitler’s Nazi putsch to conquer the world.  So do we return to a world of “Before Plastics”?

Here is a little table of just a few plastic items we use and the kinds of items that could replace them if the proponents of the GND were successful:

 

Whatever did we do 60 years ago before plastics?  That must be going through some snowflakes’ minds (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comes to mind, but I digress) after the seven hour DNC marathon commercial aka Democrat debate on climate change.  As is often the case, some folks want to cure the symptom, not the cause.  Those pesky, evil straws are at the center of the debate to some people.  After all, plastic straws have been ingested by sea mammals and remain in their gullet until they die.  So the manufacturers of plastic straws must be held accountable for such atrocities.  It makes no difference that some people have an affinity for littering such wastes.  Blame the straw-makers.

I believe a likely majority of snowflakes are convinced that virtue-signaling people who drive electric vehicles are using clean energy to putter around their neighborhood.  Just the opposite is true unless the source of electricity is 100% renewable, such as solar, wind and hydroelectric, or else nuclear power.  As these people virtue signal, they expropriate tax monies from some governments as tax write-offs given for such use.  Do not forget that most road repair funds come from taxes levied on transportation fuels at the pump.  These people do not worry about paying their fair share of road repair funds for their equally damaging vehicles, well, just because.  And where do you think asphalt originates to build roads and highways?  Crude oil.

So take a brief trip down memory lane of a time “Before Plastics.”  Smog was so bad in New York City and Los Angeles in the early 1960s that health issues came to the forefront of politics.  President, Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency to combat air and water pollution.  A key goal from its inception was to minimize the production of smog-creating exhausts from fuel burning facilities, especially cars and industrial facilities such as power plants and refineries.  Lighter cars meant better gas mileage which meant less exhaust gases.  Plastics and lighter metals like aluminum used in cars helped reduce their weight. If plastics are effectively outlawed with fossil fuels, Vietnam and Malaysia will need to get those natural rubber trees working again to provide latex for making tires. All the plastics in vehicles that lower weight to help improve mileage, well, forget about that.  And forget about polyurethane and Styrofoam insulation.

We went to the butcher counter to buy meat when I was a kid.  The meat was wrapped in waxed butcher paper.  Where do you think that wax came from?  If you think bees, you would be wrong.  Wax, also known as paraffin, comes from crude oil.  Of course we carried the groceries to the car in paper bags.  If we got rid of those pesky plastics, would we need to chop down more trees for increased use of paper products?  We recycled milk bottles and soda and beer bottles and even got returned cash for the deposits on those glass bottles.  Besides the environmental impact to a wastewater treatment plant that processed the water from recycling glass bottles, what happens to transportation costs for glass bottles versus aluminum cans or plastic bottles? Extend this to food packaging and imagine the added impact to incremental food costs.  If the food is not protected properly it will spoil faster.  The heavier the packaging, the costlier it is to transport it. Actually, when you think about it, anything that you use daily today would be adversely affected if plastics were outlawed. 

I remember in the late '70s how another greenie rage was installing wood stoves to heat the house.  Greenies were peddling this as the environmental-friendly way to go.  I installed one in my house in Fairbanks, Alaska and could heat the 2,000 s.f. split level house with that single wood stove alone as long as the temperature was 0 degrees F or higher.  But then the same greenies who said use this renewable resource instead of fossil fuel soon said too many particulates were being emitted into the atmosphere and therefore to stop.  Winter in Fairbanks is fun enough alone with limited daylight let alone those days when the thermometer gets below minus 50F.  I did not have enough Jimmy Carter-esque cardigan sweaters to warm this body without turning on the fuel oil heater.  The plumbing also appreciated temperatures above freezing.

Call me cynical but I cannot envision a modern world without plastics.  

Image credit: Insomnia Cured Here, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0