Just how cool is this?

No really, that’s a question.

The Times article: “Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol: Silicon Valley is experimenting with bacteria that have been genetically altered to provide renewable petroleum.

At first I saw that article and was like, “Yippee! Awesome! No more oil fields! No more gas crisis! No more oil spills!” And then it occurred to me.

Why are we trying to find ways to manufacture more oil? Shouldn’t we be working on alternative fuels, like, say, things that don’t burn up the atmosphere, pollute our oceans, contribute to global warming, desertification, and world hunger? It seems to be the same attitude as Bush’s plan to look for ways to provide more oil (even if this means ravaging our disappearing wildlands), rather than looking for ways to reduce oil consumption in the first place. Or like a crack addict, who decides that the way to stop feeling like crap is not to break his habit, but to simply find more crack.

So yeah, it’s pretty cool that this particular oil came out of bacteria’s backsides. But the effect on Nature is the same. So, is looking for ways to continue humanity’s oil-guzzling habits really the best use of our ingenuity? Yes, not having oil would truly suck. The changeover would be incredibly hard. Yes, we would have to completely change everything from our lifestyles to our cities’ infrastructure, deal with shortages, and in general not be able to continue behaving like the spoiled first-worlders that we are. We couldn’t get Jamaican pineapples in January. We could only have two-seater electric cars that drove a max of 40mph. Totally worth continuing to have a planet and a human race for a few more millenia.

So my vote on bacteria-butt oil? Not so cool after all.

One Response to “Just how cool is this?”

  1. gina Says:

    What? No Jamaican pineapples in January? That is a bit much, dontcha think?

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