Useful idiots was the term Stalin used for communist sympathizers in the West. These were usually reporters, academics and students too dumb to realize how horrible life would be under totalitarian rule. The term can also be applied to progressives, its really just a fancy way of saying socialists. They desire the same things: massively large government, wealth redistribution and limited freedom.
Which brings me to the latest progressive laugher in the news. Literally DOZENS of folks around the country turned out to demonstrate against oil. The Hands Across the Sand protest brought out all the usual fruits, flakes and nuts in a valiant effort to stop drilling for oil.
Carrie Dolwick of the Sierra Club cried, "It's time to stand up to the oil industry. It's time to move America beyond oil and into a clean energy future."
And then she climbed into her 12 mpg suv and drove home on roads made partially from and with the use of oil. In her vehicle, she was surrounded by oil byproducts. Tires, gasoline, oil, lubricants, upholstery, CD player, dashboard, refrigerant, battery, speakers, oil filters and on and on have their genesis with petroleum. What is a good environmentalist to do?
And what did she find at home? Well, unless she lives in a tree, the paint on her house comes from oil. Without oil, the house would not even exist as all the materials had to be moved to that location. From the roof to the plumbing, you will find products that had their origins in petroleum.
The cute plastic button along with the ink used to write that catchy poster slogan, you guessed it, come from oil. The clothes along with the laundry detergent to wash them every other month are oil derivatives.
And there are many more oil products we use every day. Although being a leftist hippy type, she may not use deodorant, shampoo and shaving cream, but if she did, she would be a hypocrite.
Petroleum is the life blood of a modern economy. Without it almost every field of human endeavor would suffer. There are literally thousands of products from plastics to medicine that owe their existence to petroleum. You can see a partial list here.
Oil occurs naturally and seeps into the ocean without any help from man. It is not limited. We have seen the known reserves continue to increase even after chicken littles in the 70s swore we were on the verge of running out of it.
We do suffer, here in the states at least, from an unwillingness to aggressively pursue it. It takes an act of God to get permission to drill, and a Moses-like performance to part the bureaucratic red tape. The same goes for nuclear, which is the safest and cleanest source of electricity, but I digress.
Drilling creates jobs. Remember those? After almost 2 years of double digit unemployment, several thousand more jobs would be nice. The recovery and marketing of oil produces tax revenue from lease payments and oil profits. It creates wealth that circulates into the economy creating more jobs from transportation and other related industries.
And best of all, that wealth would stay in US hands and not bankroll people and despots who hate us and would force even female progressives to wear burqas - which might not be a bad thing if they were living a petroleum-free existence.