Environmentalists have a call for people across the globe this Valentine’s Day: “Break up with fossil fuels.” It certainly sounds catchy. Why don’t we look at how romantic a Saturday night date would be following this one simple rule?
First, you’ll want to impress your date and show up in a nice car or wear classy makeup. But if you give up fossil fuels, count those out. Cosmetics use large amounts of petroleum-based products. Meanwhile, cars require gas to operate, so that’s (literally) a non-starter. Even if your car was electric, that wouldn’t matter: The electricity that these cars need is almost entirely generated by using fossil fuels like coal or oil.
On the brighter side—so to speak—the lack of electricity means your dinner will be candlelit, mainly because there’s no other option. But the food won’t be something to remember.
For starters, the lack of fossil fuels to provide transportation means menu options will be limited. It might not be as bad if you’re in a warm climate, but for the folks from the Midwest to New England, food options would be limited in the winter. Perhaps some canned vegetables will have to suffice.
As for flowers? Don’t count on it. About 80 percent of the roses sold in the United States for Valentine’s Day are grown in South America. Without fossil fuels, they won’t make it up here.
Forget about making up for a lackluster date with a box of chocolates, too: 85 percent of cocoa is grown in Africa and Asia, and the remainder is largely grown in South America.
As for the rest of your Valentine’s Day date, it’s hard to see what you’ll do. Movie theaters need power to show the latest flick. Cooking classes would be a bust. A modern play requires electricity, and an orchestra would be tricky—synthetic strings are a fossil fuel byproduct. You could at least serenade your date, assuming your voice is more like Lana Del Ray’s than a karaoke singer fueled by liquid courage.
In other words, “breaking up with fossil fuels” is not a recipe for getting a goodnight kiss.
And for the single ladies and men, you can’t even drown your sorrows away: Modern alcohol production utilizes fossil fuels, from growing grains to bottling.
Why would breaking up with fossil fuels be so drastic and devastating? According to the Energy Information Administration, nearly 80 percent of all energy production in the United States comes from fossil fuels. (Another 10 percent of domestic energy production comes from nuclear energy, which is also opposed by the anti-fossil fuel crowd, despite nuclear energy producing no carbon emissions.)
We need affordable and plentiful fossil fuels to simply power our 21st century lifestyles—which are a big improvement over those of 17th century peasantry.
Fossil fuel byproducts also provide a plethora of consumer goods. Nearly all plastics are made from petrochemicals, and everything from bottled water to iPads uses plastic. Other notable byproducts include paints and synthetic fibers. And even more pertinent for Valentine’s Day, latex and lubricants are also fossil fuel byproducts.
Radical environmental activists like 350.org, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace are lobbying for countries like the United States to dump fossil fuel energy production entirely. Not only do fossil fuels provide thousands of jobs, however, but our entire economy—and our daily lives—simply cannot exist without them.
When it comes to fossil fuels, breaking up isn’t just hard to do, it’s downright impossible.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.