April 27, 2020

In praise of fossil fuels

In praise of fossil fuels

It’s hard to do in the politically correct “green-is-god” world we live in today, but we should consider ourselves lucky to have affordable fossil fuels at our disposal as a weapon in the fight against COVID-19. 

Oil and natural gas and other hydrocarbons not only help to deliver food to our grocery stores and Amazon packages to our doors. They are also critical ingredients in the products that are being used to fight and contain this virus.

Plastic products come from fossil fuels. While two months ago this may have been a point against them - especially according to the green movement - it quickly became clear that single use plastics are a non-negotiable necessity when it comes to modern medicine. Gloves, masks, syringes, and countless medical procedures in which they are used like CT scans and MRIs, all come from plastics.

If that’s not enough, hydrocarbons are also the foundation of between 80% and 90% of pharmaceuticals. Medicine needs fossil fuels too. 

And don’t worry - those of us who are lucky enough to stay out of hospitals and are able to remain in our homes at this time still have fossil fuels to thank for our modern comforts. Everything from the production, to the packaging, to the transportation of our food relies on - you guessed it - fossil fuels.

Even costly, less efficient renewables, considered sacrosanct by eco-alarmists, can‘t be produced without the help of their dreaded fossil fuels.

Given our extraordinary dependence on the fossil fuels industry, we should add its workforce to the long list of people we must thank for pulling us through this moment in history.

There are tens of thousands of Canadians working directly, and hundreds of thousands working indirectly through the supply chain and related enterprises, who are critical to keeping things running. These employees are working under difficult circumstances in small communities in every corner of this country.

Earlier this month, oil and gas workers penned a letter to the Trudeau government asking for support through these difficult times. The Prime Minister’s support package was far less than was required. The package focused more on pleasing the environmentalist movement that wants to destroy our fossil fuels industry than actually helping sustain it. As if fossil fuel workers were not suffering enough, the federal government continues to make it clear that Ottawa is not on their side. 

It seems cruel. And petty. And awfully short-sighted. We need this industry now, in a time of crisis, but also to sustain our daily lives during ordinary times. While using this resource, often without even realizing it, some of us – particularly the Trudeau government and its green allies, continue to disown it as “dirty”. 

It’s time for us to face the reality: we need fossil fuels. This is not a bad thing. It’s not even a “necessary evil” as some would have you believe. Quite simply, the widespread availability of affordable energy and the many affordable products it guarantees is the clearest demonstration that we live in a prosperous country where citizens can expect a standard of living that is among the highest in the world.

Hydrocarbons are not the enemy. The products and services they enable demonstrate the industrious nature of humanity on its good mission of improving the quality of human life on earth.

Let’s take a moment and put politics and ideologies aside. Let’s thank the fossil fuel industry and all its workers for their indispensable service in our modern world.