I Love Oil

Copyright © 1992, 2011 William Mego

I love oil. Sweet, light, crude. The teeming primordial life of the shallow sun-warmed seas, entombed for thousands of millennia, just waiting for me. Now I sip from those delicious black pools and release the energy stored there so I, like the myriad organisms that lived so long ago, can feel the warmth and use the power of the ancient Sun.

I love oil. I have built my life around it. It carries me along broad highways, across vast waters, and high into the air. Oil has allowed me to build towns where they should never be, where they would otherwise starve in desperate isolation. It has allowed me to construct whole communities entirely devoted to sleeping, recreation, and leisure.

Oil is my liberty. Because of oil, I am free to move, to travel anywhere I wish. Oil has allowed me to scatter myself across the continents, until there is no place so remote that I may not be found or so pristine that I cannot change.

Oil brings me food and goods from the most distant of places, and lets me play wherever I wish. There is no region too exotic for me to explore, no depth that I cannot penetrate. Oil lets me look down on the highest soaring eagle, and race past the fastest of the great cats.

When other planets turn their backs upon the Sun, their faces are dark. Not mine. Every town can be seen, and every road. The night map blazes gloriously outward, returning some of that stored sunlight to the dark and empty space that was its original domain.

My war machine feeds on oil. My tanks, with their thick hides that would put to shame the great armored lizards of antiquity, lumber across the very sand that overlies their food. My planes buzz in the air above them like hornets defending their nectar. Because I love oil, it is therefore reasonable and just that I honor and cherish it, and defend it from the pretenders that would displace it from its station.

My cars will run on no other fuel. I will not permit that. They are persuasive, but I am cunning and practiced. If the issue is cost I will argue safety, if renewability I will argue efficiency, if pollution I will argue convenience, if maintenance I will argue cost. Ignorance and indecision may be my wicked allies, but I feel no remorse, for I love oil.

The fuels from grasses and grains are my most treacherous adversaries, but I am not without defenses. I can tax and confound them. I can dismantle their refineries and limit their distribution. You see, I control the process. I can make them talk cost without politics or pollution. I can make them talk efficiency without maintenance or distribution. I can make them talk redesign without renewability. I make the rules.

Even the energy of the atom no longer threatens me. In this realm, truth and perception have never been allied. Unreasoning fear, corruption, and bureaucratic ignorance and indecision have served me well. Now, innovations are met with suspicion, and minds are closed. I was not fair, but this is love- one of the two activities in which being fair is not required.

I do not want to use the Sun from now, but the Sun from then, from ancient times. Solar energy is for dreamers, idealists, and technocrats. I have only to say that it simply costs too much and that oil ... well, oil is cheap.

It has been laughably easy, dissuading those who would depose oil. Even the most serious of my challengers has been foiled by a simple picture of a burning dirigible airship.

My love of oil has not been without cost, and my devotion has been sorely tested. You see, I do not possess much of my beloved fuel; I must buy it from people who are trapped in the sands of medieval times. But, for me, no sacrifice is too great.

I will sacrifice my wilderness, and the creatures it contains. I will sacrifice my spawning grounds, my beaches, my estuaries and my gulfs, all for love.

Though I am mighty beyond description, my passions betray me; I will humble myself for oil. I will compromise my dignity, my rule of law, and my honor. I will fight and die in place of those who despise me, who censor me, who disrespect me, and whose customs violate the very principles upon which I am founded.

For I so love oil that I will sacrifice the lives of my trusting children to an endless tradition of conflict and hatred, a tradition that cannot be ended except by destruction so massive that I cannot comprehend its effect upon the world.

I could use my wealth to cure, but I will not. I could use it to educate, cleanse, and rebuild, but I will not. I could use it to create the finest art and literature, works that would mark this time for centuries to come, but I will not. I will use my wealth to buy oil, and I will watch it burn away into the air, where it will turn the climate into my mortal enemy.

And should my monument someday lie, as did Ozymandius', ruined upon a barren plain, and some visitor pause to wonder why I, with all my powers, did not accomplish more, let him read the inscription chiseled into the statue's base. Then he will understand, for those words will be "I loved Oil."