Posted by: David McKay | May 14, 2014


I have been gone a long time from this blog – many adventures while living in a garage in a forest on an island in a sea…

Now I am back in a connected world and have been slowly noticing a lot that is going on, from the massive stream of humanity on the highways to the exhausting sound of lawn maintenance equipment in the neighborhood; from the stories of a friend who traveled the world seeing humanity crawling all over the planet, but who also stood on Easter Island seeing the night sky as it was meant to be seen.

Oil and gas. That’s all we are these days. It’s all about the oil and gas.

From the television that is always on I hear about early forest fires and the Santa Anna winds in California. The 350th month in a row of above average temperatures. The polar ice cap melting. I constantly look at the gas gauge in my car wondering how empty it will get before I fill it up again, and if I will be able to afford it.

I am intensely interested in the fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. The Koch brothers are all over the news right now (the Daily Show is what I call news – one place of many that I am drawn to for information). The grocery stores are just going nuts with the plastic bags – I see them blowing in the wind and sticking on trees and fences everywhere there are trees and fences for them to get stuck on. The straws are being shoved down our throats. An old woman at the convenient store ahead of me in line yesterday bought three York peppermint patties and the cashier asked her if she wanted a bag and the lady said yes! C’mon!

It’s all petroleum based. Our entire way of life, our entire way of destruction is driven by petroleum. Life once existed without it. For thousands and thousands of years. Tens of thousands…

And for what? Are we all comfortable yet? Are we all taking it easy because plastic makes everything convenient and simple?

We are just making it worse. We are addicted – as a culture – to gas and oil and plastic. It is now a world culture. Very few people are not being affected by this problem. A lot of us struggle to get enough of it. Like these men in the Gaza Strip:

IPS: Desperate Gazans Turn Plastic Into Fuel

A man and his sons built a device to turn plastic into fuel on their roof, desperate for it because the Israeli blockade severely limits Gaza’s fuel supply. Yes! Turning plastic back into a petroleum that can then be used is brilliant. It is a crude device, and it is not the first one that I have heard about, but it is a creation that is, in my eyes, attempting to make life better. Right now, on that roof, it is making life better for those men and their families. What choice do they have? They are being controlled by another country, another class of people.

I see a parallelism between Israel/Palestine and the wealthy elite and the rest of us in this country. We are being controlled in almost every way now by petroleum based products. It is in the stores, our homes, our transportation. We are dependent upon it. Our way of life would collapse without it. We are tearing up the planet to find more. We are killing anything that gets in our way – everything that gets in our way.

There is another parallelism in this story:

“Ordinary fuel is not readily available due to high prices, and this makes us look for locally produced fuel that helps us to overcome the energy crisis and relieve us of an economic burden,” Shadi Abu Samra, 35, from Al-Shati refugee camp tells IPS.

The United States has turned to domestic sources to relieve us of an economic burden (or so they say). This is from the Huffington Post 05/14/14: North Dakota Oil Well Still Leaking Crude, Gas And Fracking Fluid Days After Spill. This is just what those men are doing on their rooftop, but on a massively larger scale.

Those men in Gaza are desperate and they see no other choice. Is that the same for Denver-based Emerald Oil, the company responsible for the spill in the article? Are the CEOs in that company desperate for their bonuses?

Again from the IPS article:

In harsh conditions where survival is a struggle, not many are thinking of the environment, or even of long-term damage to their health.

The CEOs of those oil and gas companies, the politicians in their pockets, the billionaires who take and take and who give so little in return are not struggling for survival. What are they so scared of, that they have to rule with such a tight fist? Why are they so disconnected that they cannot see how their actions are killing us?

Some walls need to be broken down, I think.

Thank you, IPS, for reporting news that is actually interesting.

And thank you for reading. Take care of yourselves. Try to make a difference for the better, whatever you are doing out there.

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Reimagine.






  1. Welcome back, David! I just finished reading ‘Oil and Honey’ by Bill McKibben – interesting backstory of the Keystone XL protests and then the divestment movement intertwined with life as a beekeeper on a farm – if you haven’t read it, I think you’d enjoy it. Divestment is something I’ve recently been learning about and hope to learn more…seems very promising. And then we need to get the money into sustainability. Lots of smart folks out there – it can be done! I keep thinking about how many people don’t even have this on their radar, so education is another huge piece. Thanks for the great post! Love to your adorable family – hope you are all doing well back East!

    • I love bees! I will most certainly check that book out. It’s nice to be back… and connecting again with great people like you.

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