P Is for Products

Petroleum is very useful stuff. You can make plastics, lubricants, a myriad of chemicals, and it’s great to make roads with. You can also burn it. Current estimates indicate we have about 50-60 years of oil left if we keep burning it as we are doing. We can also do much greater damage to our climate and civilization by burning it all. The International Energy Agency announced in its latest World Energy Outlook Report that every year of delayed action will add $500 billion to the price tag of addressing climate change.

Since we have other options, and renewable energy sources are already near the same price as fossil fuels, we need to keep our valuable oil for making things and not burn it up. Whenever you make, for example a plastic object or a road, that sequesters carbon. Our descendants should not be left with a lot of carbon dioxide gas in place of the raw material they need to make things. It seems to come down to short-term benefits vs. long-term benefits.

Transitions take effort, and I believe we need to make a stand, even if it’s not always comfortable. We in California, and especially Santa Barbara, are watched the world over as an example. For many reasons I am voting “yes” on Measure P, and I would like to see a movement to grow our solar, wind, and wave power in this county as much as we can and as fast as we can.

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