Global warming deniers piss me off. Not because they are wrong, that’s expected. They are no worse than creationists in that regard. They may be stupid, or deluded, or in it for the money, or just innocent rubes with no critical thinking skills. But they piss me off because of their arguments and how close to home (literally) it hits me.
Now, I’m not going to go into the arguments for global warming. This is a really good place to start: Realclimate.org Those of you actually interested in the science can go there and learn a lot. This post is about what I like to do… ask hard questions and watch the deniers struggle to answer
So, let’s take a little trip shall we. Let’s explore what global warming deniers really want… and why they hate everyone and everything on this planet.
I mentioned that this hits close to home. I grew up and lived in a refinery town for over 30 years. My family members all worked for refineries. I grew up, literally next door to a refinery. The waste gas flares would shake the windows at night.
My high school was across the street from one of the top ten polluting refineries in the US. My best friend had asthma all through school, he couldn’t participate in any sports because of of it. He moved away from SE Texas 16 years ago and hasn’t had an attack since.
My father has a variety of cancers in his face due to refinery work. You see, the full body suits do not cover the face. He has had 50% of his tongue removed due to an unknown cancer. Considering he doesn’t smoke or even drink that much, this is surprising.
So let’s see what global deniers want and why they hate us.
Not in My Backyard
First of all, my favorite argument, which basically boils down ‘not in my backyard’. This is the denier saying how ugly wind turbines are and how solar panels degrade the looks of buildings and the ground. This is what they don’t like:
Now, I’ll free admit that this isn’t pretty. Besides, the turbines are way too close together and not nearly high enough off the ground (though the scale is hard to judge).
This, on the other hand is what the deniers want.
Yeah, that’s soooooo much better. And let’s save the pollution talk for later on (hint: I wouldn’t put my body in any water within 10 miles of this place).
So remember, you guys who live in the mountains and deny global warming cause you got record snows this year… that refinery is what you want. And by doing so, you are saying that you don’t care anything for the people who work in or live near these hell-holes.
Oh, here’s another picture, just to keep you warm at night. And this something that will never happen with wind turbines or solar panels.
Whoops… looks like someone had a little boo boo. But that’s what global warming deniers want. They want the people near these refineries to die slow horrible deaths… or quick ones.
What About Deaths!?!?!?
People die in refineries. There have been 46 deaths in refineries from 1988 – 2004 (according to that one source). Now this only includes direct causes (explosions and fires). It does not include the 15 dead at the Texas City BP explosion. It does not include incidents with fewer than 3 people killed. It does not include injuries (over 100 at Texas City in 2005). It is not international. It does not include deaths related to cancer, asbestosis, or any of a hundred other diseases that refinery employees regularly get. Note that many of these diseases can be applied to the area around refineries as well.
According to this: http://www.wind-works.org/articles/BreathLife.html (and I freely admit that this is a ‘nebulous’ source, but this data is difficult to find. There have been 12 deaths in the US directly attributable to wind turbines. All of them workers in the industry.
What are Waste Gas Flares
I mentioned waste gas flares earlier. Those of you not familiar with the refinery industry don’t know what these are. Here are two pictures.
This is the burning of excess hydrocarbons (and rarely chemicals). Wait, burning excess hydrocarbons? Why would anyone burn this stuff? We need it don’t we?
Yes, we do. However, flares are exceedingly important to the life of a refinery. You see, excess build up beyond the ability of the refinery infrastructure (pipes and pumps) to handle. The excess pressure is dumped into the flare.
If the pressure isn’t relieved through what is basically a giant Bunsen burner, the refinery could explode. Yeah, I’ll take the flare over an explosion, especially since I lived next to a refinery.
Basically, fuel is wasted. The energy of that fuel is wasted. Pollution is generated. Etc.
Some Hard Questions for Global Warming Deniers
How about the toxic fumes that literally stripped the pantyhose of women’s legs as they walked to class (Lamar University)?
How about the river that is so polluted by oil dumping that ships would travel up to kill all the barnacles on their hulls?
Do you want your kids to go to high school across the street from one of the top five polluting refineries in the US (top 10 in the world)?
Have you ever been confined to your house for two days because of an explosion or fire at a nearby refinery?
You want to come with me to my mom’s house and read a newspaper at midnight by the light of the waste-gas flares? How about listening to the windows rattle because of it?
Have you ever seen a car that has parked in a refinery lot for a few years, with all the paint stripped off the hood, top, and trunk?
How about the direct deaths caused by explosions and toxic leaks in refineries?
How about the indirect deaths from cancer, asbestosis and dozens of other diseases?
You want to talk about the billions of dollars wasted when oil tankers ran aground or oil rigs failed and all the wildlife deaths caused by it and the shrimpers and crabbers who couldn’t work because of it?
None of that would happen with wind and solar power. None of it. Everything on that list is preventable.
Oil is disgusting. If you don’t believe me, come stay with my mom for a few days and let’s go on a tour of SE Texas.
It’s not just about global warming. It’s about pollution. It’s about quality of life. It’s about sustainable living.
Getting rid of refineries won’t only stop global warming. It will stop a lot of the crap I grew up with. I wish I could afford a wind turbine. I wish I could afford a pure electic vehicle that could use it.