Voices of the Community: Bakersfield Green Challenge | Community voice
If you’re a former local newspaper editor, current energy writer, or other green supporter, we’ve read your articles, feel your passion for your cause, and think it’s time you do more than just write about what you think others should sacrifice. As you are in favor of stopping all oil and gas production in California to save the planet, now is the time to act. How about January 1, 2022 for just one month, putting your money where your mouth is? Don’t be intimidated, there are three levels of this challenge depending on your courage and determination.
Beginner-level challenge: On paper, California currently produces 33% of its electricity from “renewable” sources. Don’t worry, we’re already among the worst in terms of reliability and the highest electricity rates in the country, on top of having the most expensive gasoline of any state. It’s time to set foot on the ground! Immediately on January 1, 2022, you commit to reducing your electricity consumption by 66%, without a doubt. Remember that this is only the beginner level. In addition, you agree not to use any form of oil transportation – don’t be a hypocritical beginner. You can use electric transport even if it is powered 66% by conventional electricity. You can still use all other petroleum products at this level. This easy pledge will certainly attract thousands of takers.
Mid-Level Challenge: This is where those who really want to embrace the change you proclaim are coming come in summed up. Not only will you not be using any petroleum transport, but you will not be using the vast majority of petroleum products. Here is a tiny list of things that you briefly give up: asphalt roads, water carried by PVC or other plastic pipes, electric cars currently configured because they are made from more than 50% of the product. oil tankers (tires, pipes, interior, fenders, dashboard, airbags, wire covers, seat belts and all other plastics, etc.). But wait, there’s more – toothbrushes, cosmetics, candles – unless they’re made from beeswax, batteries, wrap or plastic bags, solar panels (they require a incredible amount of energy to extract, process, manufacture, transport and install, and mainly comes from China where coal is the predominant energy source).
OK, crybaby, you can use solar panels, but only if you’re not connected to the evil grid – remember, you can’t subsidize PG&E which is still dependent on oil. You will not eat foods that have been grown using commercial fertilizers (made from natural gas) or that have used petroleum-based equipment to plant, process, transport, or package. Your recreational activities must take second place for this challenge: no tennis shoes, rackets, surfboards, wetsuits, football cushions, baseball helmets, all synthetic clothing, backpacks, kayaks or paddles, skis snow or water sports, inner tubes, rubber rafts, parachutes, most balls, archery or climbing gear, rain gear, tents – you see the picture. You can still live in your home at this level, you just can’t use the majority of your equipment. It can get a bit chilly, so wear your hand-knitted woolen sweater, but it can’t use any color from petroleum-based dyes.
Advanced Level Challenge: Consult your doctor before continuing this one: In addition to all of the above, you will really be showing non-believers who the boss is. You will not live in any shelter that is fabricated or constructed using petroleum products, including electricity. This leaves several options: 1. Cellar. 2. Hut constructed from clay, dung, snow or wood, but cannot use any tool made from any form of electricity. If you’re smart you can use rocks to craft tools or build your own smelter, but check the burn days as it takes a significant amount of wood to melt the ore and turn it into metal. I strongly advise against avoiding this, but the vast majority of pharmaceuticals, including current COVID vaccines, use petroleum products in the vaccine. If you have taken these vaccines, you have injected a petroleum product into your body. Proceed with extreme caution when gambling your life and the lives of others for your beliefs.
There you go, your Bakersfield Green Challenge. Please write to the journal after January 31, 2022 and let us know how easily you fared on your quest for 31 days without oil. The beginner level can correspond to the Internet. Intermediate level can use paper or preferably homemade papyrus and naturally sourced ink. The advanced level must be submitted using hand-carved stone tablets.
Jeff Vaughan is a geologist in Bakersfield.