Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ten things you CAN do

Go ahead and get mad and protest BP if makes you feel better, but if you really want to make a difference, here's a few suggestions:

1. Take the bus.

2. Carpool.

3. Walk.

4. Ride your bike.

5. Reread numbers one through four. And then read this, because baby, you and me is a-pollutin' a-plenty every time we step on the gas.

6. Use a canteen (because you can't blame BP for this.)

7. Watch this (particularly starting around the 2:55 mark):

8. Turn off the air conditioning (I mean COME ON. What are you? A candy-ass?)

9. Use those piggy-tail light bulbs.

10. You get the idea: Conserve, conserve, conserve. Conserve like you mean it.

And one more thing ... pray for the Gulf.

* * *


Tony said...


hoosierboy said...

Do not buy anything that contains plastic or is wrapped in plastic.

Do not use make up many are petroleum based.

Do not wear any clothing made from sythetic materials.

Do not use anything that requires lubrication -- that has a motor. That includes fans, microwave ovens, celing fans and air conditioners (as you stated). That will also include your forced air furnace next winter.

Do not buy any more computers (plastic). Those bags at the store -- better ask for paper, NOT plastic.


paul bitzan said...

Thank the Jebus that someone finally said it.

Don't get me wrong, I'll likely not change many of my habits (though the missus buys those piggy tail bulbs). It's just that for all of the finger pointing and posturing, nobody ever really takes a look in the mirror.

ps - Does this make you a "conserve"-ative?

Genie of the Shell said...

Thanks for this dose of sanity. Until consumers stop demanding vast quantities of oil, disasters like this will keep coming until we destroy ourselves completely.

sarah said...

thanks erin. hoosierboy-i believe i can use synthetic oil for my ceiling fans that replace my ac. same goes for any lube my heater uses. who gets any kind of bag at the grocery store anymore? are you wearing polyester? i hope not! love my lakewood tap water. i only wish public transportation served the boonies where i start my work day. maybe i can retire... and yes, we are all responsible! still hate BP...!

Erin O'Brien said...

Like Sarah says, Hoose, I use those cloth reusable bags and I effing love them!

And a word on those light bulbs, peeps: we use them everywhere except in the dimmers and, although we don't have air conditioning, our monthly electric bill is allmost always less than $100. Those bulbs make a HUGE difference.

Erin O'Brien said...

(uh-oh. llooks llike I need to conserve my ll's.)

Bill said...

Watch what happens to your utility rates if everyone uses less. It recently happened with our water. Everyone used less so they boosted the rates by 30%. We have plenty of water here but rates go up to support the utility.

Heating a house is 31% of the average U.S. household energy cost.

Saving money is the best reason to conserve. I don't like people telling me how/where to spend my money. Especially super rich movies stars, entertainers, etc.

If we keep electing socialists, the tax on energy will soar and that will definitey reduce consumption. At least for those of us without unlimited income.

Amy L. Hanna said...

No. 11: HARANGUE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE. Don't forget who is closer in bed with whom here ...

Call me names all you want, O'Brien, but some of us medically need the AC. Besides, it's my electric bill anyway.

But, in the spirit of the post - mostly good points if you're that typical globalized resident of Earth in a First World corner.

philbilly said...

Matt Simmons has been telling the truth aboout the hydrocarbon industry for decades, and like me , is generally pro rational consumption of hydrocarbons. The link is to a website I know nothing about, watch the video. Or google "matt simmons there's another oil leak".

Always I hear the fake conservatives braying their 'Merkun manifesto about the zero sum game and socialism.

We can make carbon fiber from corn stover, plastics from soybeans, 1940 Fords had soybean decklids, Henry liked to hit em' with a sledge hammer. Import billions of bushels of ag based products from the current dissolution of Africa for energy and materials and employ a continent, where we'll be sending troops soon enough.
A company in Hartville Ohio makes hydraulic fluids, lubes, greases from High Oleic Base compounds(HOB). They radically out perform petroleum products in every ASTM test, they also blend with and extend petro base stocks. I use em in my hotrods. The military uses it in troop vehicles because the chance of fire is lower, you remember today, Bill and Hoosier, the folks in Iraq who are defending our oil flows?

Next time someone says to me there's no alternative to what we're doing now, and I'm a socialist for believing different I'm gonna punch them in the face.

We continue to use only petroleum feedstocks because they are the most heavily Goddamned SUBSIDIZED COMMODITY in the history of mankind.
F**k the dimwitted mopes. No Mooslum terrorist will ever harm our country the way our own entitled ignorance has.

Bill said...

Hey Philbilly! I'm not opposed to alternatives. I own stock in a couple of companies working on viable alternatives. You don't have to lecture me. If it works and I like it, I'll buy it if I need it.

Erin O'Brien said...

There are 30,000 wells in the Gulf and they exist because of you and me and our thirst for oil. One of them was going to blow eventually--due to an act of God, incompetence, terrorism or who knows what else.

If this had happened to any other oil company, the response would have looked essentially the same.

I'm not trying to exonerate BP; I'm only trying to point out the truth. Angrily shaking a fist at the BP station on your way to fill up at the Shell might make us feel better, but in the end it's pure denial.

**BONUS BULLSHIT** I wonder about this failed blowout preventer. I wonder what sort of testing it undergoes and how many times devices of this ilk actually prevented a blowout. At a mile deep and with untold pressures, I wonder if any of these safety devices would ever work. How could the manufacturers ever simulate these conditions?

And Bill? Do you realize that you conservatives-who-don't-conserve-anything have misused the word "socialist" to the point that it ceases to have any meaning at all?

Bill said...

E: Yes. I think it's too easy to label people. I shouldn't use the socialist label. It's just that I think people, who want to use someone elses money to give to other people or cause, tend to lean that way. I try to conserve money so that I can buy what I need, take care of my family, and give what I want to those who might need some help. I don't need an agency or "do gooder" to tell me where to spend my hard earned money or how to live. I haven't been on a plane in 6 years. Think of all the carbon I've not used. I don't cheat on my taxes and I vote. Oh yeah, I complain too. Dave Matthews did an interview the other day and said, basically, the same thing you're saying. He thinks those of us, who aren't important like him, should walk, take the bus, etc. And, the fact that he's saying this, is his contribution to saving energy. Of course he can't do these things becaus he has to travel, us a big bus, use lots of electricity, etc. Hypocracy sucks. I'm just sayin.

Lord Basil said...

This is nothing but a Marxist enviro plot to ban offshore drilling.

I am certain that Barack Hussein Obama, the Kenyan Marxist homosexual in the White House, deliberately waited for this oil spill to get out of control so he could use it to justify banning offshore drilling, and getting the government to promote so-called "green energy."

I am also certain that Hussein knew the spill was going to happen, and endorsed drilling off the Atlantic to convince people he was on board, when what he was really trying to do was declare war on the fossil fuel industry, take it over, and then shut it down.

Cap and Tax can't be far behind now.

These are the lengths Marxist Fascists will go to to enact their agendas because they know being honest about it is politically unfeasible in a conservative country like America.

I predict a civil war in this country in the next 6-12 months.

Bill said...

Wow Lord Basil! Just what I was thinking. I'm off to the gun store now. Shopping for a new shotgun. I'll probably stop by the church meetin on the way home.

TRegina said...

Glad I stumbled upon your web site and comments.

Thank you for reminding us all of things we can do to become part of the solution. I would add one more "To Do", which is probably one of the hardest things of all for us to do and that is drive at 55 mph and save millions of gallons of gas per year.

Thanks again for your post, Erin.


philbilly said...

Bill, Basil, I too, cling to my guns, but that's a hollow point.

Thanks for the laugh, Basil, my nuts are twisted up good about the spill.
Does the tin foil make yer head sweat?

Lord Basil said...

Philbilly, and others,

I do not seek to provide cheap laughs. I am trying to save the country I fought for in Vietnam from the onslaught of Marxism, Fascism, and homosexuality.

Towards that end, tomorrow I will launch a blog of my own which will elaborate on topics I have mentioned in comments here and elsewhere.

I don't mean to hijack a thread by spamming, but our country is in trouble, and I consider providing a link to my blog an act of political resistence:

I urge you all to check in often, and if your heart is moved, to join me in the certain fight we all face against Barack Hussein Obama, the Kenyan Marxist Homosexual Usurper in the White House.

Thank you.

kamper said...

I can't say that I disagree with the "It's all our fault" approach, because ultimately it is, but as long as there is ANY deepwater oil drilling going on then the gov't should have required best available safety equipment be installed, and the fact is that it did not. Thanks, Dick Cheney. (see last sentence of excerpt below)

You could just as easily say that the people who died of tainted peanut butter a few years ago are just retribution for our insatiable need for PB&J. We are reaping the 'benefits' of 40 years of deregulation. It's not an accident any more than the financial crash wasn't an accident.

What I want to know is why these threats aren't seen as aspects of national security.

From Wiki:
The BP wellhead had been fitted with a blowout preventer (BOP), but it was not fitted with remote-control or acoustically-activated triggers for use in case of an emergency requiring a platform to be evacuated. It did have a dead man's switch designed to automatically cut the pipe and seal the well if communication from the platform is lost, but it was unknown whether the switch activated.[60] Regulators in both Norway and Brazil generally require acoustically-activated triggers on all offshore platforms, but when the Minerals Management Service considered requiring the remote device, a report commissioned by the agency as well as drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness.[60] In 2003, the agency determined that the device would not be required because drilling rigs had other back-up systems to cut off a well.

jonas said...

You know, HB's point while seemingly harsh, is not far off. But, he's missing one crucial point to sum it all up: don't buy anything. Virtually EVERYTHING we buy either uses oil in its manufacture, or minimally, in it's transportation. And since almost none of us grow or make our own clothes, food, lodgings, etc., everything we buy came from somewhere else. And those "somewhere elses" (ie. Asia/S.Asia/SE Asia) certainly use oil for everything too.

Oil is tied to almost everything. It systemic. While individually cutting back makes us feel better, real change will come with alternative fuels that actually work and are cost effective. The entire, global economic and industrial system is locked into oil.

A friend used to work in insurance, and specifically trucking insurance. He had a bumper sticker that had a picture of a stork carrying a baby. It read "Everything else you own came by truck". Not an untrue statement. We are a consumer society that demands stuff be readily available at all times, in all places. And we're certainly not alone. You want to chance out oil usage? Change that reality. Or, find an alternative to oil. That will likely prove far easier than telling Americans they might reconsider spending the weekend at the mall.

jonas said...

Let me add a bit more to that thought. Part of the reason it will be much easier to find an alternative fuel, rather than change various societies' approach to consumption is cultural and economic. Something we teach engineering students about is call "technological momentum" ( In short, over time, systems have become enmeshed in society such that serious, rapid change of those systems becomes very difficult. Thus, it might be easier to use the systems in place, but in a smarter way.

Like almost all other concepts in the literature of the history of technology, the automobile (or, gasoline/internal combustion engine) is a quintessential example of this. Think of the secondary and tertiary industry, technology, economy, and general culture that has grown up around cars: roads, gas stations, insurance, drive through everything, etc., etc., etc. So, remove the internal combustion engine, and things get a little problematic. Obviously, not an option. We have to create something smarter.

To my previous post, as I type this, I look at my computer, plastic water bottle, table, papers, backpack, clothes...nothing..NOTHING that wasn't in some way created or in my possession because of oil. My sense is that people really don't have a real sense of what getting off oil would really mean, w/o a REAL alternative ready to go. Yes, we can make it black and white and say thing like "Well, soldiers wouldn't die in Iraq," or "there'd be no Gulf spill." But it's not that simple. Yes, we can conserve (should conserve), but the changes that make avoiding things like the Gulf Wars and this Gulf spill possible require MASSIVE social and cultural changes that will only happen over a long period of time.

Or, 'The Day After Tomorrow' was right, and we just have to wait a couple of weeks for Denis Quiad to save humanity.

Bill said...

Lord Basil: I actually thought you were being facitious! Sorry about that. Good luck with your blog. You have lots of competition. I admire those (especially E) who have the talent, ethusiasm, and persistence to keep people coming back. I'm hooked on O'brien.

Erin O'Brien said...

ABC news just reported that the entire Gulf oil leak (to date) represents about the same amount of oil the US blows through in FIVE MINUTES.

Kamp, the trouble I have is that the inherent use of oil is filthy dirty--and we accept that every day. No one waxes furious over the daily traffic surrounding LA--at least to the degree we're fuming over the Gulf. It's not NEWS.

Then there's the less obvious oil usage Jonas refers to--ugh. Who's calling for a head on a stick over this shit every single day?

So I dig what you're saying about peanut butter, but it's not a parallel to me. Everything about oil is filthy and dangerous: it's extraction from the earth, its refining, its ultimate use and burning. We just don't really care about it until it's covering a pelican.

Erin O'Brien said...

Nearly forgot: Dear Lord? As always, thank you for dropping in.

Lord Basil said...

Bill, I am dead serious. I could just hide in my basement and listen to my ham radio. But I'd rather fight for the traditions and institutions that made America the greatest nation on God's Green Earth, especially in the face of the assault presented by Barry Soetoro.

Drop in to my blog often. I may just change your mind and make you a patriot yet.


Thank you Erin. From the immorality you promote here, I think you could benefit from my blog, too.

Erin O'Brien said...

Another thought on Jonas's point: Obama gets plenty of criticism for talking about it taking years to get off oil. Who are we trying to kid. Just think of the goddamn retooling involved.

Holy shit!

Erin O'Brien said...

Lord, I consider you to be one of the most pronounced members here at the Owner's Manual.

Thank you for your continued support.

Erin O'Brien said...

And Lord? I do appreciate traditionally hard things.

philbilly said...

Basil, your assumption that Erin and others who share her views are not patriots is the coffin under the nails in your philosophy.

Careful eh what, where you aim when the shit starts.

Bill said...

I am totally confused. E: start a different subject! Good point about the spill being 5 minutes usage.

philbilly said...

Here's the thing Bill, we as 5% of the world's population using 25% of the oil, could have, should have embarked on a path of leadership, economic growth and another demonstration of Yankee ingenuity on a global scale. I am a subject matter expert on alternative fuels,I don't say that to inflate my wad, but to assure you I have invested my own cash, sweat and tears into trying to shift us to a more sustainable and equitable path. Without so much as a peep about any global warming algore-ithms.

The association of green energy, an utterly useless term by now, with the political diatribe is counterproductive. Oil, fossil fuels et al, have propelled a significant portion of humanity to a standard of living unthinkable only a few centuries ago. Emerging nations will not be denied their shot at the same brass ring. In many cases, we are being leapfrogged technologically, while our partisan bullshit demonstates perpetual motion.

The day the Soviet Union fell, oil was $17/bbl. There is a distinct correlation between access to energy products and free markets, true free markets,Keynesian ascendant, mind you.

Can you not see the price, the true cost of enriching the Saudi thugs?

I quit.

God bless America and every man and woman in uniform today, yesterday and tomorrow.

Al the Retired Army Guy said...

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

Most Americans will grill out, and countless cattle and hogs will have given their lives to make most of us happy in our backyards, not to mention tomatoes, sugar, mustard seed, vinegar ...

Erin talks about 10 things we can do to ameliorate the leak in the Gulf. For the most part, she's on target.

But today, I'm not thinking about that terrible tragedy, and it is a tragedy for our nation.

I'm thinking about Arden Bradley Cooper and Ronald Milton Randazzo.

I watched them die 100 yards away from me well over 18 years ago. I can still see it in my head.

I remember Cooper's mother coming to Fort Hood, six months after that day, and accepting the Silver Star on his behalf, knowing that nothing any of us could do would make up for her loss.

And I'm thinking, why am I here, and why isn't he here?

Tomorrow, I will make real BBQ ribs for my wife, along with some local grilled crookneck squash, zucchini, out of season corn (bought by her, not me!), and some local potatoes. It will be, for most folks, a three/four day weekend.

But for me, it's the day I remember my friends who died 100 yards away from me, in full sight. It's the vision that I wish would go away but won't. And I think that's how it should be, lest we forget the sacrifices of folks like Arden Bradley Cooper and Ronald Milton Randazzo.


Anonymous said...

I honor the war dead and wounded. Sorry for your pain and losses Al.


Bill said...

Cannot improve upon the comments of Philbill and Al. We have lots to be thankful for, many to remember and thank, and much to improve.

Kirk Jusko said...

Conserve so much that it cuts into BP's profits so much that they go out of business.

Remember, the oil companies aren't charities. They want us to indulge. That's how they make their fortunes.

Still, the governemnt MIGHT have to step in anyway.