The Pushers’ Excuse

excuses Crude oil is not the only pollutant gushing faster than usual into our biosphere these days.

Check out the copious flow of op-editorializing to the tune of “If BP Is Evil Then So Are We All.”

The core thesis of this familiar crapola is the claim that “we demand the oil they are forced to take these sorts of risks to get.”

This, of course, is the same excuse you get from elite war criminals and drug dealers.  It’s purpose is also the same: to prevent careful thinking by spreading the blame to everybody and therefore nobody.  “The people demand ___.  I merely give them what they want.”

But is it anywhere close to true that “we” — meaning all of us, co-equally — have had and do have the same degree of control over the sources of our collective oil-appetite?  Or have “our” corporations, working on behalf of their primary beneficiaries, seized and retained effective command over the large-scale political and economic decisions that determine the petro-intensity of modern life?

I am presently completing a book that argues that the latter is where the body is buried.

But, either way, this is a question that needs real asking and honest answers.

To instead burp out faux-thoughtful poses like “I couldn’t help but wonder how much I should hate myself, too” is to foreclose, not raise, the question, the debate, and, if it’s true that unequal wealth and social power exist, the realistic answers and remedies.

If you care about what’s going on, falling for rote, sponsored verbal gestures of self-blame is actually worse than not thinking at all.