Saturday, March 17, 2012

The world is a much cleaner place because of oil

Donald Boudreaux points out how underappreciated oil has become given that it provides us with so many life-improving products. Whenever papers publish photos of wildlife despoiled be an oil spill, they should also "feature a front-page picture of some other item made from petroleum (such as roofing shingles, a bottle of ammonia, ink, a waterproof parka, plastic wrap, lipstick and antiseptic ointments) or of products treated with petroleum to improve their performance and durability (such as razor blades and cutting boards)."
Fact is, gasoline and aviation fuel aren't the only products produced with petroleum. Our modern lives are full of too many such products to count.
And not only are petroleum-based products all around us and practically indispensable -- they're also inexpensive. Yet we pay no attention to these everyday wonders.
This fact is why photos of oil-covered wildlife are dangerous: They make us aware of petroleum's risks while we remain oblivious to petroleum's benefits.