If we stopped using petroleum today, we wouldn't stop breathing. If we don't stop using petroleum, the children of our children and grandchildren will stop breathing. They will have chemically caused diseases that exist now in the places where there is war.
Petroleum is similar to heroin in that "WE GOTTA GET A FIX MAN!" Extreme addicts will do stupid extreme shit to get a fix. The petroleum will kill us, because to get it we will destroy anything and kill anyone. We have to stop using it, not because it will directly destroy our environment, but because we will... to get our fix.
And petroleum is not really the problem 'drug.' It is resources in general. A dramatic change in the overall philosophy of Man as a species much change concerning nature and our place in it. How we use our planet, how we live, what we are doing in our everyday lives which we consider normal and acceptable, really is not acceptable.
If we were the people in the middle east being bombarded and poisoned by a large aggressor, we would possibly see this more clearly. If we were the farmers in India who were tricked and forced into using industrial seeds that produce engineered food and leave no seeds to save, you might agree. If you were from an African country and all your resources were being removed, and poisons being dumped in your waters and lands, you might agree. If your children were suffering and dying of radiation poisoning, you would be blinded by hatred with a desire to kill your attackers. Imagine...
This is what the rich countries are doing to the poor countries. We are the 20%, not the 99% or the 98%. We are the 20% which are raping, pillaging and plundering the 80%, our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children around the world. They need us now to have a compassion so deep, so strong, so consistent among hundreds of millions people in our wealthy countries that we would willingly sacrifice our technology for justice, for the lives of people, that they can have enough food, a place to live, health, peace. These are our people around the world, not people far away, but people on our planet.
They all have rights. We all have rights. Whether or not we each honor those rights, those right are inalienable, and cannot ever be removed, only violated. Our way of life is indirectly causing the violations of the rights of people, our brothers and sisters around the world. The human rights violations people in wealthy countries complain about are caused by the people in the wealthy countries. That is us.
We are guilty when we do this knowingly, ignorant when we do it unknowingly. Knowing this, we must change, or we are as guilty as those who commit those crimes against humanity. It is us changing the way in which we live that will change this world. If you see each thing you do, and see how it requires resources, then you can know, if you are just, if you are honest, if you care about human rights, how it affects peoples' lives. Consider whether you need each thing, or whether you can learn a new way to live that won't hurt people, won't hurt the Earth, will leave something for your children, then you can see a way to change.
Don't put your economy above the human rights of people. Don't put anything above the human rights of people. Be compassionate.
Daemon A. Bernstein