Fossil fuels for fossil thoughts By Rand Clifford

Dandelion Salad

Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Rand Clifford

Part II

Petroleum might be the most insidious thing that ever happened to mankind. The ultimate power and control drug…so many things were made too easy by underground oceans of energy waiting to be exploited, offering in turn an easy way for the ruthless to exploit millions of people, reaching even far into the future. Petroleum presents a crucial test of mankind: If you are clever enough to exploit the the resource…are you wise enough to avoid destroying Earth’s life-support systems with it? The cleverness is no problem; as for the wisdom, it’s becoming clear that may be our fatal deficit.

Petroleum’s cheap abundant energy has fueled marvelous achievements, but it seems there is often a side dark as crude—one of the most portentous being the great overshoot of Earth’s carrying capacity for humans that threatens to redefine the very concept of humane in the crudest terms. It gets back to ruthlessness nourished by petroleum, and the vast power of an elite minority over the rest of humanity. As an exhaustible resource, petroleum sets great demands on wisdom to save us from handling population overshoot the same way as lemmings—which appears to be what we are being steered toward. One world government…New World Order—gigadeath, if not by nuclear Armageddon, or global warming’s starvation and disease, then…? If the elite do not consider global warming a population-reduction ally, why have they spent so much wealth denying the problem, instead of funding realistic countermeasures years ago, when global warming became obvious to climate professionals?

The first commercial gusher, drilled by Edwin Drake in Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1859, set the stage for the kind of monopolizing Big Oil would exemplify. A mere 31 years later, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil owned or controlled 95% of all domestic oil production.

“Competition is a sin,” is an enduring Rockefeller quote. He was absolutely ruthless in killing off competition; now his descendants are leaders in the push for a one world government—next stage in the war on competition…

And DuPont…in its annual report to stockholders, 1937, the DuPont company gloated over “radical changes” regarding the federal government’s conversion of taxation authority into a tool for forcing acceptance of “sudden new ideas of industrial and social reorganization”. Witness the voice of corporate America proclaiming that after massive farm foreclosures of the Great Depression, farmers were inhibiting America’s industrial progress. “They should move to industrial cities so farmland could be consolidated into huge agribusinesses controlled by corporations—along with all other means of industrial production. Farming should be primarily for food….” These biocidal designs were further elaborated when DuPont’s president, Lammont DuPont, proclaimed: “Synthetic plastics find application in fabricating a wide variety of articles, many of which in the past were made from natural products. The chemist has aided in conserving natural resources by developing synthetic products to supplement or wholly replace natural products.” By no coincidence, 1937 was also the year that congress strangled America’s hemp industry with the illegal Marijuana Tax Act. It didn’t matter that tax laws were meant solely for raising revenue, not molding behavior or crushing competition: The industrialists were solidly in control. Many of our gravest problems today are a direct result of their continuing rule—their lust for profit overpowering sustainability and killing competition.

As comprehensively biocidal as petroleum and its enormous empire of petrochemical synthetics have been, Cannabis hemp offers exactly the opposite. Instead of creating a tiny elite so powerful they are on track to unleash WWIII as a stepping stone to establishing total control over whatever is left of humanity and the biosphere after their planned 90% reduction of human population, hemp promises to empower farmers, workers, consumers—essentially, the People, while throttling the psychopathic elite by spreading the wealth around.

If hemp had not been banned over 70 years ago to protect profits of Big Oil and its petrochemical synthetics empire, plus many other powerful industries such as timber, paper, and cotton; and competition from chemurgy in general had not been stifled by ruthless manipulations (chemurgy is a branch of applied chemistry focused on using agricultural raw materials for industry), the biosphere could be in far better health—that includes you and me.

A classic example of industrialist profit trumping all other considerations is the lead pollution of America with “Ethyl”. Octane rating is the measure of a fuel’s resistance to ignition. Gasoline’s poor octane rating causes damaging engine “knock” from pre-ignition. Alcohol fuels have a naturally high octane rating, and it was proven in 1921 that a 30% alcohol-gasoline blend cleanly solved the octane problem even in higher compression engines. However, alcohol taking that big of a bite out of gasoline consumption was a cardinal sin to Rockefeller and Standard Oil. That same year it was discovered that tetraethyl lead also curbed engine knock. Standard Oil, DuPont and General Motors maneuvered to profit enormously from leaded gasoline. In 1923, leaded gasoline went on sale in selected markets, inciting protests from scientists that eventually led to suspension of sales pending a Surgeon General’s conference. Lead is a very poisonous neurotoxin that impairs learning, and can be fatal. Lead Industries Association was formed to counter “undesirable publicity”, backroom deals involving tons of cash no doubt followed, and in 1928 the Surgeon General gave tetraethyl lead a green light. By 1930, 90% of all gasoline sold in America contained tetraethyl lead. In 1948 the US filed suit against DuPont to break up the “largest single concentration of power in the US”, main target being DuPont’s $560 million investment in General Motors. In 1952 the Justice Department antitrust suit against DuPont focused on anti-competitive association between DuPont, General Motors, Standard Oil, and the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation. Guess who came out on top…?

By 1980 the National Academy of Sciences called leaded gasoline the greatest single source of atmospheric lead pollution. FINALLY…in 1986 the primary phase out of leaded gasoline in America was complete. A 1994 study showed that American blood-lead levels dropped by 78% from 1978 to 1991. So Americans themselves were not running so much on “Ethyl”—were not so impaired mentally and physically by lead in their blood, but the damage done will take a long time to heal…. For a comprehensive time line of the For-Big-Profit! lead poisoning of America and Americans via gasoline, please see: Many thanks to Jamie Lincoln Kitman.

The next profit genie to help keep clean alcohol fuels from getting a serious toehold: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE). While MTBE has been phased out after causing massive groundwater pollution, its harm, too, will last a long time.

Now there are federal mandates regarding blending of ethanol into gasoline. The ethanol is supplied by the outrageous stratagem of corn ethanol (please see The Great Ethanol Corndoggle ) They finally figured out how to allow ethanol into gasoline without changing any cards in the stacked deck of profit, just some minor reshuffling—and at the same time they have polluted the concept of biofuels with the contrived food-versus-fuel controversy. Could this happen in a nation of thoughtful, informed citizens? The chances seem no better than such a nation allowing the ultimate natural resource of hemp to be banned for over 70 years. So what is the current status of Ron Paul’s “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2007″? Comatose in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security for 18 months now. As for “What People Think”, the voting sits at 65% For, 35% Against—another example of our thoughtfulness deficit; could it be that 8 decades of lead poisoning has contributed greatly to this deficit? The dumbing down of Americans might be the most successful federal program of all time, and “Ethyl” surely contributed.

Of all the damage and misery wrought by over a century of massive petroleum consumption, including global warming, ocean acidification and hypoxic dead zones, oil wars, national vulnerability, extreme concentration of wealth and power, devolution of American intellect…perhaps the most strictly criminal because of purity of intent and the vast scope was the crushing of chemurgy—especially hemp. For much more about hemp, please see the 5-part King Hemp series [links below]

Chemurgy is finally showing encouraging signs of a comeback, though without hemp the potential is pathetic compared to With Hemp! Massive conversion to biofuels, such as alcohol from hemp biomass and diesel from hemp seed (just for starters) would have an amazing spectrum of benefits. Corporate media has sown much doubt over biofuels and hemp, but consider who owns corporate media. And, living up to established standards of being the most ignorant, misinformed people in the modernized world, Americans by and large are pushing for expanded oil drilling. Too many times we must have said, “Fill ‘er up with Ethyl!” It is even generally, stupidly believed that higher octane means higher power—when octane actually has nothing to do with energy level: “This stuff is high octane…!” Lead will do that. So will mercury; the greatest source of mercury pollution is the burning of coal in power plants. Fossil fuels for fossil thoughts, and the ending will not be pretty.

Rand Clifford is a writer living in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Mink. Rand’s novels CASTLING, TIMING, VOICES OF VIRES, and PRIEST LAKE CATHEDRAL are published by StarChief Press:

from the archives:

See No Hemp, Hear No Hemp, Speak No Hemp By Rand Clifford (Part I)

Realistically, 9/11 By Rand Clifford

King Hemp Part I: From DEA Deadly Birdseed, Toward Power to the People By Rand Clifford

King Hemp: Part 2: Battle Lines: Natural, Or Synthetic…Life, Or Death? By Rand Clifford

King Hemp Part 3: We Got Mugged, So Let’s Get Hemp Back By Rand Clifford

King Hemp IV: Rope and Dope By Rand Clifford

King Hemp V: Industrial Disease By Rand Clifford

3 thoughts on “Fossil fuels for fossil thoughts By Rand Clifford

  1. Pingback: ‘Major discovery’ from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution (vid link) « Dandelion Salad

  2. I disagree on the biofuels, more specifically corn ethanol. It does nothing but inflate the price of food worldwide and, thus, contributes to starvation on a massive scale.

    But that’s only corn. I like what I’ve read about hemp biomass so far… I’m very impressed. The real solution to the world’s petroleum addiction is to make a multi-faceted approach; use wind, solar, nuclear, hydrogen, and especially biomass together for maximum benefit.

  3. Pingback: See No Hemp, Hear No Hemp, Speak No Hemp By Rand Clifford « Dandelion Salad

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