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Friday, June 11, 2010

Hypocrite of the Day - Me??

Pretty cool graphic from the Guardian in the UK. It helps to explain why the Brits think we Yanks are being less than honest with ourselves regarding our anger at BP.

The Brits have had a rather interesting response to the American Outrage over the GoM spill: With less than 5% of the world’s population, the US consumes 25% of the world’s oil production.

They believe we are being hypocritical in our outrage — if we were all that concerned, argues the Brits, we would not have been so profligate in our consumption, love affair with the SUV, and refusal to enact Pigou taxes on fuel consumption.

They raise a valid point.

I am not looking to exonerate BP; I have no doubt they were reckless and irresponsible in how they proceeded to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with Deepwater Horizon.

However, they were trying to fulfill our own reckless and irresponsible demands for cheap and plentiful energy. Anyone who is an energy consumer cannot ignore their contribution to what happened.

We can be a bit hypocritical in the US of A. We have $50k earners who bought $750k houses, then complained about Goldman Sachs; Walmart shoppers who buy 12 packs of tighty whiteys for $2.99 — then complains about job losses. Or the non voters (the majority of us) who complain about Congress. We energy consumers ought to realize that it is our demand that led to drilling in the GoM.

Personally, I try not to be hypocritical about my enormous carbon footprint (Denying global warming, ignoring the impact consumption has). I haven’t shown much willingness to change, but I won’t pretend there is no damage from my addiction to Horsepower.

Its sure is much easier to blame BP, than to accept resposibility for our own role in the spill…


  1. It's true we should pay more tax on oil to encourage transition to greener energy. But let's not let the enanblers off the hook.

  2. Is BP the enabler or the Big Pusher (BP)?
    As a challenge - go to the grocery store and try not to buy anything packagad in (copious amounts) of plastic - chances are you will not even fill up one (paper) bag! I guess this is a good argument for Farmer's Markets!

  3. You are so right when you say that it is difficult to buy anything not packages in plastic. Oil, and its byproducts are everywhere. It will be a challenge for us as a Nation to figure out how best to deal with our energy needs as well as how to use the oil products in a safe and economically manner.

  4. Link to an article on California lawmakers vote to ban Plastic Bags.