The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #91008   Message #1730782
Posted By: Don Firth
30-Apr-06 - 04:59 PM
Thread Name: BS: DRILL ANWR now!!!!
Subject: RE: BS: DRILL ANWR now!!!!
Anybody familiar with Signal Hill, south of Los Angeles?

At one time, if you were driving from, say, Pasadena to Long Beach, you passed through an area called (and still called, as I understand it) Signal Hill. It was like driving through a forest. Only instead of trees, they were oil derricks. You know the classic structures: tall, slender pyramids made of wood framing, oil-soaked and black. Thick as trees in a rain forest. As you drove through this area, the smell of oil was overpowering.

Well, a few years back, while visiting friends in Long Beach, Barbara and I had occasion to drive through the Signal Hill area. The oil derricks are gone. No longer a forest of tall, blackened structures reeking of oil. But just about anyplace you look, there are these odd pumps that look like those drinking birds that you used to be able to buy in novelty stores. They look like a miniature version of Big Bird. If you stand them by a glass of water, they lean over, appear to take a drink, rise upright, then lean over and do it again. Only these things were a whole lot bigger than Big Bird. These gizmos are still pumping oil out of the ground.

People had them in their front yards, I saw one in the parking lot of a convenience store (7-11 or something similar). There was one next to a gas station. I commented at the time that "It looks to me like a vertical monopoly. Out of the ground right into your tank." We saw a number of them in a school playground.

The things were everywhere! And although the overpowering smell had abated, it was still there. The air no longer reeked, but it carried a distinct whiff of oil. I imagine the people who live there eventually get used to it, like a fish gets used to water.

I'd rather not think of this sort of thing in connection to ANWR or other wilderness areas. There are not that many of them left.

Buy a bicycle. Take the bus

Hmm. Seattle used to have electric trolleys, the electricity coming from power dams, but the Powers That Be replaced them some decades back with gasoline and diesel buses. I wonder how they feel about that now?

Time to divorce ourselves from oil. It would eliminate a lot of our current international problems and it would cut way down on environmental (especially atmospheric) pollution. There are lots of possible alternatives. But what's probably holding things up is that the power companies a) don't want to change, just on general principles, and b) they haven't figured out a way to run some of the alternate energy systems through a meter yet.

Don Firth