By Letter to the Editor on November 28, 2019.
Littering of the environment incites campaigns against plastics. However, remove all oil products from modern society and we will have a shabby world. Not only will most of your car’s interior trimmings be gone, but also all asphalt roads, asphalt shingles on roofs, home heating, garbage bins, plastic bottles and containers in pharmacies, hardware and grocery stores; most carpets, upholstery, clothing and backpacks; and the painting industry will be without paint and gear.
Hospitals will not have plastic bags and tubing for drips and bladders; no rails for beds; no syringes; no bottles and bags for pills; no computers and screens; no protective overcoats; no foam-rubber mattresses and coverings; no bandage strips; no insulation for electric wiring; no medical gloves; and no garbage bags.
Seventy per cent of rubber used globally is made synthetically from oil. If oil products are banned from Earth, our cars will be without fuel, tires, hoses, wipers, door-sealing and lubrication. Electric cars need these, too. People will go to work on foot or bicycle.
“No, no!” you say, “We will shuttle with electric vehicles without drivers. We’ll call a number on our cellphones, and the nearest public car will pick us up.” Ah, but your phone will be without casing and electronic board; you will stand with a spoonful of copper and lead in the palm of your hand.
And where will the electricity come from? They will have to cover most of Earth’s land surface with solar panels and giant wind chargers to supply enough clean power for homes, industry, business and transport. Apart from the negative esthetic effect, think of the hazards to birds and benevolent insects like bees and butterflies.
Yes, we should seriously try to decrease the burning of fossil fuel, reducing pollution and climate change; but we will not be able to go without useful oil products like those mentioned above.
Dear Oilsands, thank you for providing in so many ways. You are part of our natural resources, gifts from Mother Nature. And we are willing to share.
Jacob Van Zyl