Saturday, November 18, 2006

petrochemicals, not sunshine, is our problem.

Entry for Wednesday, 13 July, 2005

One of my younger sons asked me today, "What is your blog about - Idiots running the world?" He's 11 years old. Enough said.

I saw a commercial today which I found annoying. It was one of those ads for sunscreen that shows a child getting a sunburn which then morphs into cancer. Apparently it isn't obvious to the makers of sunscreen, but there is no evidence whatsoever that for thousands of years prior to the invention of petro-chemical sun blockers, people were dropping dead right and left from skin cancer. In fact, people have worked primarily outside for thousands of years, yet there is no evidence of rampant skin cancer in the anthropological record. Or any other kind of cancer!

Isn't it just a bit suspicious to anyone that cancer in general makes no significant appearance in human history until after the industrial revolution? And specifically, isn't it odd that skin cancer only became a problem after some chemical company decided people's delicate skin needed to be "protected" from the sun? OK, class, how many other naturally evolved creatures have to be artificially protected from what is alleged to be their native environment? Or, why would you think the creator is so stupid that God would design a system that would kill people until thousands of years later, when they could invent the "cure" for the problem?

Recently in the news there was an article about how toddlers - children as young as 2 or 3 - who had never had any sunburn are now turning up with melanoma. Anybody want to guess how much sunscreen these attentive parents slathered on these kids - to "protect" them? Or how much heavily perfumed petroleum based baby lotion? How much toxic bug repellent? Or how many chemical cleaners, detergents, and "antibacterial" soaps have soaked into their skin? Poor babies. They are being killed not by the sun but by their parents stupidity.

Attention, people with common sense! Sunshine does not normally cause cancer. Petrochemicals cause cancer. Anything you slather onto your skin is absorbed into it. If you put toxic chemicals on your skin, they will also soak in. And of course, anything unnatural you ingest will eventually make it's way to your skin, as well.

We need to stop buying into the consumer version of "replacement theology." You cannot replace natural whole foods and substances with artificial substitutes, heavily refined and processed products now devoid of any nutritional content, or petrochemical derivatives - and then pretend there is no difference. And then pretend there is no problem.

And speaking of replacements, kudos to Toyota for deciding to make Hybrid and other alternate energy cars the focus of their business, instead of a red-headed-stepchild type of sideline. Not only does reliance on petroleum not make sense for the environment, it is also a very bad strategy for national security and economic stability. We decided several years - yes, years - ago that when we got a new car we would only consider a hybrid, not a regular gasoline engine. Demand for hybrids is so high that dealers can and are charging thousands of dollars above the sticker price - and people are willing to pay! And yet, American companies keep churning out more of the same old same old gas-guzzler SUVs. Why? Because the petroleum industry has an economic stranglehold on them, and they know it. No one was brave enough to try and break free. So a foreign company had to take the lead - and will most likely keep it.

I predict a very bad economic outlook for GM and other dinosaurs in the American automotive industry. And as it was once said, what's bad for GM is bad for America. Seriously. The percentage of GDP that comes from the native auto industry is staggering - a serious housecleaning there will spread ripples through out the economy, and take time to settle down.

This is not about globalization, per se, but about what happens when any local economic sector gets too dependent on foreign or non-renewable sources. Modern economic theories decry self-sufficiency as "old fashioned" and "inefficient," but self-sufficiency was what built this country, and I believe lack of it is what will kill this country. Never take the low ground and let your enemy throw rocks at you. That's what we have done. The modern business model is unsustainable. Undoing it will be a painful learning experience. Not undoing it will be a terminal lapse of common sense. Self-sufficiency is not evil. Self-sufficiency should be a much sought-after goal.

But the American culture has lost sight of its roots. We have surrendered the high ground to unaccountable robber barons who think only of themselves - not the greater good - and indeed, cannot do otherwise, because their god demands total submission. Their culture, their world view, their selfishness, and their economic methods are inherently evil. They view people as nothing but machines - interchangeable parts - whose only value is in their collective ability and willingness to give the corporation money. The local, individual consequences people suffer from the barons' selfish and greedy decisions are not on their radar. Why should the barons care? After all, they say, we give people what they want - the easier, the cheaper, the faster, and the "more available." We're not responsible for their bad choices!

But they are responsible - because they don't act in good faith. Instead, they act to maximize their profits at any individual cost, and they act to appease their shareholders - and more to the point, they act for the sole purpose and intent to do obescience to their god.

And I don't need to tell you what their god is. You already know. It is the root of all evil, after all.

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