You’re To Blame for the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster

There’s a lot of blame going around for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and of course BP is getting most of it.

Who else should get a lot of the blame?

Look at yourself in the mirror – i.e. you, me and anyone else who chooses to consume oil and oil-derived products.

We all love oil – even those who profess to hate it and the companies that produce it. They love oil too, or else they wouldn’t keep choosing to consume it all the time.

We the consumers of oil rely on other people to extract it from the ground for us. While we expect them to extract it flawlessly, that’s not always realistic. With such vast and sophisticated extraction operations, fraught with methane and other flammable liquids and gases at every turn, there are bound to be occasional accidents and oil spills. Without you generating the demand for oil, there would be no oil wells. And no oil spills. So the ultimate responsibility for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster lies with you.

Yes, that includes Prius-driving, Big-Oil condemning, snowmobile-loathing people who call themselves environmentalists. Chances are, they’re among big oil’s best, most loyal, and most dedicated customers as well. They’re constantly using their product – every day, many times a day; every time they drive their car, grease their bike, turn on their oil heater, moisten their lips with Vaseline, ride the bus, fly to their destinations, and buy their food that was transported to the grocery store in oil-consuming trucks. They hate Big Oil but love its product. Without it, their well-being, comfort level, and happiness would be severely compromised. They’d be living in abject poverty.

So you think that driving a Prius will reduce the demand for oil and thus help prevent oil spills? Nonsense – driving a Prius will help prolong our supplies of oil. We’ll keep extracting it for a longer time than we otherwise would have. So driving a Prius may even increase the potential for oil spills in the long run.

BTW, I’ve got nothing against buying a Prius at all. I’m all for prolonging our supplies of oil and saving people money.

In fact for my next car I’m thinking of a Civic hybrid (Priuses to me look nerdy). But because it’s about $5,000 more expensive than a regular Civic, I calculated that, assuming $2.80/gal. gas, I’d have to drive it for about 10 years in order for it to pay off in terms of money saved thanks to the higher gas mileage. That’s a let-down. And there’s no tax credit for Civic hybrids anymore.

Prius is the New Volvo


Assumption: Prius drivers disproportionately lean to the left, just as Volvo drivers lean left – or at least used to. I don’t have statistics verifying that but it seems to be the case.

Why? I think it has just as much to do with the body style than it does with the gas mileage. The Prius body style to me looks nerdy. Likewise, Volvo body styles, with their boxy look, used to be nerdy (now they’re more mainstream). And for some reason, people who like the nerdy look tend to lean left.

As far as the high gas mileage aspect of the Prius, righties should be just a likely as lefties to be attracted to that. Granted, lefties more than righties likely would be attracted to hybrid cars because they think* they’re helping the environment. But righties would be more likely than lefties to be attracted to hybrid cars based on the reason that they think they’re saving money in the long run (assuming the purchase price isn’t overwhelmingly higher than a non-hybrid equivalent). Savers tend to be righties and spenders tend to be lefties, both when it comes to personal finances and national finances.

So in the end, the reason you saw more Obama bumper stickers than McCain bumper stickers on Priuses has got to be the nerdy body style.


* “Think” is the operative word. They may think they’re helping the environment, but they’re harming it. Anytime you drive around a half-ton machine that requires the laying of thousands of square miles of pavement and associated destruction of trees and natural habitat, that requires the construction of habitat-destroying and energy-consuming automotive factories, that requires the extraction and distribution of oil and other natural resources, that emits pollutants into the air, that generates a bit of noise pollution, and that to some observers generates sight pollution (i.e., the nerdy look), you’re not helping the environment at all. While you may be harming it a little less than, say, an SUV, it’s microscopically less. And you’re destroying the environment much more than the ever-hated (by lefties) snowmobiles and four-wheelers, which don’t require the paving over of natural habitat.

If you really want to help the environment, then don’t buy a Prius. Or any car.