Fossil Fuels And The Tyrants Among Us

     Aspiring tyrants’ hostility to the fossil fuels has a long history. It goes back to the early Twentieth Century at least, and has never lapsed since then.

     Mind you, it’s a political hostility rather than a principled one. The point is power over others. You can tell by this: the rationale for opposing the use of the fossil fuels keep changing. Only the exhortations to move away from them – to restrict and discourage their use, at the very least – have been constant.

     When the automobile began to be a common possession of American families, liberating many previously confined to urban zones for occupational reasons, the progressives of the day trumpeted warningly about the world’s limited supply of oil: “Sooner or later we’ll run out!” FDR was part of that. Yet proven reserves rose steadily, year after year. Only when governments have acted to limit exploration and extraction have they failed to increase, despite steady increases in consumption. People noticed in the most relevant way: as supplies of oil and gas increased, their prices declined.

     The next attack was founded on air pollution. Yes, the larger cities were developing unhealthful “smogs” because of particulate emissions from gasoline engines. Several public figures called for America’s cities to ban the use of autos within city limits. That proved economically infeasible. It also proved unnecessary, as fuel chemistry and emission-control technology rose to meet the challenge.

     Today’s attack, of course, is via the phantasm of “global warming.” The data are explicit: there is no such climatological problem. It’s a pure fiction founded upon inapplicable contexts and tendentious simulations. But Big Lie techniques have been deployed to insert the notion into common discourse. Indeed, opposing it is one way to get oneself targeted for “cancellation.”

     The tyrants’ aim behind these assaults is always the same: to restrict or eliminate the use of fossil fuels. That is: to restrict or eliminate the use of fossil fuels by the common folk. Our elites have no intention of restricting themselves; they’re important. Consider the odious John Kerry’s recent behavior.

     Why are the tyrants so hostile to oil and gas? It’s ultimately quite simple. They seek to reduce our mobility: in particular, our ability to move away from them. They intend that our preference for detached single-family homes be countered by making them too expensive to heat and light. The effect would be to drive Americans into the cities, into multi-family housing. Urbanization, which inevitably imposes shared, politically managed essential services, makes people easier to monitor and control. Another consequence would be to reduce our economic latitude, both as producers and consumers. Large corporations would be the beneficiaries. Compare that scenario with present-day Europe.

     I’ve said it before: when the “problem” keeps changing but the “solution” is always the same, you may rest assured that the “solution” is what the crisis-shouters really care about. Keep that in mind.