June 21, 2005

Independence From Oil Day

The first organizaitonal meeting for the Independence from Oil Day Parade will be held tonight, Tuesday June 21st. The parade will take place in Seattle on July 3rd, winding up at Volunteer Park for speechifying, barbecuing and socializing.

If you care about this issue and would like to help out, you're cordially invited to show up here at 6:30 pm:

Gould Hall
University of Washington
3949 15th Ave East

For more information about the parade, go to the Independence from Oil website.

Posted by natasha at June 21, 2005 02:14 AM | Environment | Technorati links |

Ok, this is definitely a good concept and a good thing to do. But just so you know there are countries that do the right thing with oil. Venezuela has created extensive social programs with their oil revenue. For example, you can see one here:


These social programs have been very beneficial and have included health, subsidized food, educational programs, housing, and more. Using these programs Venezuela increased the standard of living of its poorest citizens by 33% percent just in the past year:


So, at least SOME of the money spent on oil goes to worthy causes. Also, Venezuela has been a strong supporter of OPEC. This increases oil prices which gets them more money for their social programs while at the same time getting consumers to cut back at least some on their consumption (albiet, not enough).

Lastly, if you do have to purchase gasoline you might want to consider doing it at a Citgo station as Citgo is wholey owned by Venezuela. There was actually a person organizing a "Buycot" of Citgo a little while back.

Posted by: oil wars at June 21, 2005 05:17 AM

Well, let me frame it for you this way...

I just finished a year long course in organic chemistry, where I was introduced to all the magical and amazing things that can be done with raw hydrocarbons. The possibilities, which at this level we only scratched the surface of, are almost endless and enormously valuable.

There are way better things to be doing with oil than burning it in engines, even aside from the fact that the majority of our food is grown with petrochemical based fertilizers for which there is no ready replacement. You think people are clamoring for cheap oil now? Wait until they start demanding the return of cheap food.

Posted by: natasha at June 21, 2005 02:21 PM

With Peak Oil either upon us already or in the near future, cheap oil won't be coming back. In some areas without significant local agriculture, people won't just be clamoring for cheap food - they will be clamoring for food, at any price.

Posted by: Roy Smith at June 21, 2005 03:54 PM

Dear Natasha . . .

While I wrote this missive months ago, Independence From Oil Day seems the best day to share it. Little has changed since my writing. Progress is slow, slower under King George II. Under Bush 43, environmental policy has stalled, if not stopped, and turned around.

I thank you for sharing this announcement. It is good to know that there are those that continue to care. I definitely do. My own concern was my reason for penning this piece.

I invite you to read, reflect, and share your thoughts.

Betsy L. Angert Be-Think

Posted by: Betsy L. Angert at June 21, 2005 10:41 PM


Do you read comments before you respond to them, appearently not. I wasn't criticizing the idea of reducing oil consumption - that WOULD be a good idea. I was simply pointing out that in some places in the world good does come from the use of oil.

But I guess living in rich country you don't care. Sorry for having bothered you with the unimportant concerns of people who aren't rich North American college students.

Posted by: oil wars at June 22, 2005 05:35 AM

Well, it did in fact sound like you were backhandedly criticizing the idea of oil independence. And it isn't clear why you feel you need to insult me based on where I live or how much money you assume I have. If I really didn't care about these issues, I wouldn't have to write about them at all.

Seriously, what's problematic about pointing out that oil is too valuable to burn? If I'm not mistaken, oil from Venezuela and the Sudan is just as good for making polymers and fertilizer as oil from the North Sea. In fact, doing that sort of refining at home could give significant economic boosts to the poorer countries that tend to have the most oil, and I'd be all for their doing that at home instead of sending us their unrefined crude. I think, for example, that Iran is doing that right now, giving them the prospect in the long run of selling their oil (including products manufactured from it) at about $300 a barrel, instead of whatever the going rate for crude is. The opportunity to build up a skilled work force and broaden a manufacturing base around a homegrown industry would be an enormous windfall for many countries.

Just take a look at what I said, for pete's sake. There is going to continue to be enormous demand for products made from oil, particularly because of its application in agriculture. My question is why we're wasting so much in ways that damage our environment, not whether less developed nations should use the money from their own resources to better their circumstances. I think it's great when they do that, it's one of the reasons why I have respect for what Chavez is trying to do in Venezuela. Though you have to admit that in many oil-rich nations the profits benefit a few wealthy individuals while the majority of the people suffer. Nigeria is a classic example, with a few corrupt oligarchs and the multinationals sucking up the wealth and carelessly ruining the lives of people unfortunate enough to live near the drilling.

What I was saying is that there's no reason why our working towards oil independence, which is to say from using oil as a fuel source, needs to be a threat to the income of oil producing nations.

Posted by: natasha at June 22, 2005 10:49 AM