Sunday, April 27, 2008

america the plastic

The other night, while sitting around a bonfire, Michael A. Levy had a great idea. He found an American flag in my room mate and friend's room. He was like "hey let's burn this flag" because it is our constitutional right to do so as Americans. This ultimate form of showing dissent for the country in which we live was found to be legal in the supreme court case Texas v. Johnson in 1989 ( But, as Michael put fire to the flag we quickly realized that it would not burn. The flag was made of plastic, and therefore would not burn, but rather it sort of melted and emitted horribly toxic smelling fumes. This plastic flag that would not burn illustrates a problem that the United States is going to come face to face with very soon. This said problem is that most everything in this modern world that we live in in some way relies on plastic and other petroleum based products. The supply of petroleum on this earth is by no means infinite, and we are actually starting to run out. The United States must move quickly to ween itself off of petroleum, because one day there will not be any left and then there will be no other choice than to live life without the black gold that is everywhere and in almost everything in this world.
America's addiction to oil is much like a cigarette addiction; once you rely on cigarettes and get used to having them throughout your day it seems to become nearly impossible to live without them. Everything, from having a cup of coffee in the morning, to the topper on a big lunch you just ate, and to drinking with your friends at night, becomes difficult to deal with without those harmful fumes in your lungs. This is the case with oil as well. Everything from the plastic coffeemaker that brews your coffee, to the car you drive to your favorite lunchtime cafe, and to the electricity that powers the neon lights and stereo at the party you go to, becomes seemingly impossible in a world without petroleum. The experts do not all agree on when the world will hit peak oil production; some say we hit it five years ago and others say it will not be for another fifteen years. Either way, once the world hits peak oil production the supply will slowly diminish, and that is when the world will have to change.


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