A Walk Through Our Houses by Nancy Radke

Before the heat of summer sets in, let’s take a walk through our houses and get rid of everything that comes from petroleum. If your children are out of school, have them join in with you. They can count an item even if just a small part has any.

To begin with, that is the source of all our plastics. So the TV remote goes as well as those cell phones, the hair comb and brush and dryer, toothbrushes, water bottles, fans, furniture and fake leather, flooring, wastebaskets, piano keys, artificial joints, almost all the kids’ toys including the stuffing in the toy bears, storage boxes, bags, computers, fountain pens, insulation covers on wires, those cute refrigerator magnets, the clock on the wall, wall switches, counter tops… and that’s just a start. Our cars are made of plastic now, even the bumpers.

We had some of these items when I was a child, but not many—only those that could be made from wood or metal. They took a long time to make and were very expensive. My tea set from occupied Japan was packaged in a cardboard (wood product) box. I have a lot of wood and metal items because I got them before plastics developed very far.

Plastics Outside our Houses

Next let’s go to things that run on petroleum products. Cars and trucks and airplanes. Lawn mowers and chainsaws. Also all your farming equipment, including tractors that can’t plow while dragging an extension cord. Trucks hauling everything everywhere in our country. Without the trucks, your shelves are empty. Amazon comes to a standstill.

Fertilizers and weed killers (made from petroleum) are all having their prices skyrocket right now, which the farmers have to pay for now. You get to pay in the fall when the farm produce gets to the market.

And of course, heating and cooling. California already has electrical blackouts, which will hit on the hot days and I assume more often if we get rid of our dams which are a major green source of electricity. They can last 100 years. The turbines run slow enough the fish swim through them. The other sources? Coal. Nuclear.

Windmills are expensive (last 10 years or less), unreliable, make a loud noise, and kill our birds. People are realizing that you cannot live without petroleum, so currently we are importing it from Venezuela after closing down our sources, which we have in abundance.

Plastics make our life more comfortable, as long as we are aware of the chemical dangers in some, not all, plastics. New plastics try to avoid these dangers.

In the comment area, give us your list. I bet I missed a lot. Please note, my blogs are always my own opinion and not that of all of the Authors’ Billboard members.

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About Nancy Radke

A USA Today bestselling author, Nancy Radke grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch in SE Washinton State. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade. She learned to ride bareback at age 3 (Really! It was a common practice.) and when she got off or fell off, she would pull her horse's nose to the ground, get on behind its ears, and the horse would lift its head so she could scoot down onto its back. Nancy spent most of her childhood exploring the Blue Mountain trails that bordered the ranchlands. She and a friend once took a trail that turned out to be a two day trip. They always rode with matches and pocket knives, so made camp and returned the next day. These long rides worried her parents, but provided plenty of time to make up stories. Her first novel was set in the Blues, and is entitled APPALOOSA BLUES. TURNAGAIN LOVE was the first one published. It rated a four star review from Affaire de Coeur. Scribes World said "Turnagain Love has some fascinating twists and turns, unexpected complications, and charming scenes." It is light and humorous. Nancy currently has over 30 books written, both modern and western. All her stories are sweet and wholesome.  View website

2 Replies to “A Walk Through Our Houses by Nancy Radke”

  1. There’s no need to throw out existing plastic because it’s already been made and you might as well use it. In fact, if you throw it out, you lose the future value of its use. Before plastic, people’s buckets leaked, their food wasn’t packaged well, and their health care suffered.

    We need plastic tubings, fittings, sterile wraps, etc. for medical equipment and sanitation. Without plastics, we’ll all go back to the days of Clara Barton where people died of sepsis and gangrene. I’m not sure how you insert a stent without plastic or put in an IV or infuse chemotherapy.

    Without fertilizers, 90% of us will die because we can’t all live off the land as hunter/gatherers or subsitence farming with manure. As for electricity and the grid, don’t the entire system need plastic insulators to wrap wires? I’m sure those monstrosity windmills are made of plastics and aren’t solar panels covered with plastic?

    Plastics are a miracle to anyone time traveling from the nineteenth century. In my book, Kitty, It’s Cold Outside, my heroine marvels at this magical material. I think it’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater to throw away everything plastic. We were given a gift in petroleum and most of us would not be alive now if not for petroleum. I remember worrying that the world would run out of oil, not people sitting here saying we shouldn’t use it while their very existence depended on it. It would be like banning oxygen because they create fires.

    Anyway, California is the worse example. Shutting down dams in the middle of a drought. Shutting off power because solar and wind are intermittent and can’t keep up with demand. And then forgetting that they are emitting more carbon than “counted” by the massive forest fires caused by shutting down the logging and timber industry, while using water that they didn’t save/store because of decomissioning dams. Not to mention shutting down their few remaining nuclear power plants. I guess they really do want us to go back to the days of Clara Barton.

    Note: windmills and solar panels are net energy negative from soup to nuts. You have to add in the mining costs, the transportation of rare earth, the construction costs, the maintenance costs, and the recycling end of life costs [all paid by petroleum] to balance against the meager energy they eke out to the detriment of the environment over large swaths of land. Same with electric vehicles [count from the mining of minerals for their batteries until the end of life recycling of those toxic materials]. I would say petroleum has been not only self-sustaining but enabling of all of these fairy-tale technologies that make certain people feel good but are net-negative on the earth’s energy balance [a luxury we can no longer afford].

    Of course, my opinions are only my own and I did a lot of research into this since riding in my brother-in-law’s Tesla in 2014 and thinking it was the bees knees. 🙂

    • My feelings exactly, Rachelle. For those of us who lived in a world before plastics, we can only shake our heads at some of the directions people are going now. Also, the earth makes oil by pressure, and new oil is being made constantly. When Mt. St. Helens blew its top, it made fossils overnight as well as new oil.

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