You may be right.
Glenn Taylor


I appreciate the heart and candor in your response. I personally think that oil was at first pure blessing — it saved the whales, and was economic gold that dramatically improved the standard of living of the world. All of our medicine, and all of our comforts owe a debt to oil.

Now the gold still flows, but with temperatures rising and oceans acidifying, we have a responsibility to ask hard questions. Oil is not an inherent evil at all — every technology cuts both ways. Frankly, I wished we looked as hard at other technologies as we do at oil. But rarely is the data as clear-cut as it is with climate change; most technologies create a social cost, rather than a physical one, and social costs are hard to quantify.

As for cheering on oil’s demise: I am, by disposition, an efficiency nut, so I would rather that pipelines not be built, and drilling not commence, not for moral but for economic reasons. I would rather that we see the transition coming, and help people in oil-producing regions find new employment. I would rather see a gradual change, than a hard crash.

I don’t always get what I want. But in writing, I am trying to spread the word that it’s time to think about how the coming changes will change our daily lives. Oil is the example that grabs readers because it is so emotionally charged; but in oil, there are lessons for us all.

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