Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

I gotta love me some petroleum.

Once upon a time I got into an argument with some knobhead at some executive dinner that I had reluctantly attended due to good will to my ex-wife and all that. To be fair I had been getting on quite well with Mr Knob. We were seated next to each other and the evening had been fair but passable until he asked me what I did for a living.
I told him that I worked in offshore oil & gas.
For some reason this didn’t go down so well, the reason being that he was a knob. He got all uppity and condescending, and began preaching to me that I worked in a horrible industry and how could I live with myself and a bunch of other putdowns and insults, all delivered with a supercilious smirk. It took all my control not to punch in his smug face.

‘Look around this room’, I said to him. We were on the top floor of one of the best hotels in Melbourne. The view was spectacular and we were in the best room of the establishment. There were around a hundred guests seated at large round tables enjoying delicious tidbits and copious amounts of expensive booze in anticipation of what would prove to be a handsome meal.
‘What do you see?’
He mentioned the obvious ad then I told him that he was incorrect. He smirked and inquired as to the correct answer.
‘The correct answer,’ I said with rising annoyance, ‘is petroleum. Just about everything that you see in this room is made from petroleum. The furniture, the lights, the energy for the lights and the heating, everything in this room comes from what we get out of the ground three miles under the ocean floor. The entire hotel is made from petroleum.’
He smirked again.
‘Your clothes are made from petroleum. So is your phone, your hair gel, and the toothpaste that you used to brush your teeth. As well as your deodorant, the car that you came here in, your glasses, and your watch. In fact, the average Australian uses over 200 petroleum products by the times they arrive at work every day.’
He smirked some more in his total ignorance and then made some more disparaging comments about what I was saying. At that point I told him that he was a fuckwit and we refused to speak to each other for the rest of the evening. His wife and mine were best friends. Oops.
This very article was made possible for you to read because of petroleum. You’re welcome.

Or even better, how about this wonderful video?

Keep in mind that this took him 103 days. That’s life without petroleum.

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9 Comments

  1. Sasha Hrongmitts

    Reading this makes me want to go buy a two-stoke motorcycle and run it through an Earth Day parade.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz0XsRbygig

  2. Allen

    That and the companies that produce it. I had a consulting gig with one of the majors for a few years. I invented an odd bit of technology or two for them. I must say a few crumbs from a vast feast can be quite filling. I just laugh at people like that guy, when they ask what’s so funny I tell them they’re too dumb to get it.

  3. Someone

    There are some things we need to do better environmentally here across the world, but I’ll never worry about CO2 being one of them. You might ask him what size home he lived in as well and ask why it is not smaller. He in effect, demands pollution by using these products. The medical field would be a lot less sanitary without disposable plastics.
    I do wish we could do better by not having these dead zones from fertilizer runoff and plastic needs to be disposed of at the landfill at a minimum and not in the ocean. Some parts of the US are being paved over and not allowing for the natural runoff to soak. But such is the price of ‘duh-versity’ and other social issues.

  4. TechieDude

    Way back when, I had an interview for Shell in New Orleans. It was probably the best day I’ve spent interviewing for a job, ever. At one point they explained where all the crude goes when it’s refined. Up to that point, I had no idea. It was pretty cool. They’d use every molecule, if they could.
    Two things struck me when I was there. First, they didn’t want a drop to leak from the pipelines. If the pipeline leaks, They lose product, and they have to fix it, and that’s expensive. Second was the very cool network between the oil rigs. It wasn’t there so the roughnecks could surf for porn. It was there to monitor every aspect of the pipelines and production. Because if it they have to stop the flow, the printing press stops printing money. And it’s hours before it’s moving again. (Clue: It’s not tap water, it doesn’t flow when it’s cool.)
    I’ve had the misfortune to see what happens when the money press stops printing in the medical field. The executive spaz-out that happens is something to avoid at all costs.
    It’s sad and disturbing to run into pinheads such as these that have zero idea of what is involved to deliver first world services. I ran into a dude at a dog park that works for the municipal water authority. They spend something like $13M / Year for electricity to pump clean water. That’s not inclusive of the energy and effort it takes to handle the dirty water.
    When I get into a discussion with a dickhead that thinks in lefty talking points, I steer him to electric vehicles, since they understand nothing of how anything works. Then I start hitting them with questions asking them if they think ruining poor countries environments, and putting their children to work in the mines was worth their salved ego for climate change.
    Truth is, battery manufacturing (and disposal) are far, far more damaging to the environment than petroleum.
    Here’s another funny thing to hit them with. I’ve worked for a medical lab, and had medical facilities as customers. You know what’s in the basement of these places? Big-Assed Diesel generators. So when there’s a brown out, or even if the grid is stressed (like it would be today where I live) you know what happens?
    They fire up the locomotive sized generators. If his mom or wife needed medical attention, he’d be grateful they were lit up.
    I work in data centers all the time. You know what they have? Big-Assed Diesel generators.
    So when there’s a brown out, or even if the grid is stressed (like it would be today where I live) you know what happens?
    They fire up the locomotive sized generators. You think he notices? That fact he doesn’t shows that the system is working.
    You know what’s sitting outside every cell tower?
    Diesel generators.
    So when there’s a brown out, or even if the grid is stressed (like it would be today where I live) you know what happens?
    They fire up the diesel generators, So nob can connect to Tinder.
    Everything about that nobs world is provided by Petroleum.

  5. You know what they had sitting outside the Fukushima reactor? Big-ass diesel generators. To pump the coolant if a tidal wave hit the reactor and they lost reactor power.
    Doh! Too bad they didn’t put them in watertight containers. Diesel generators are the second best thing to come along, right after nuclear reactors.
    All built using petroleum products. Drill baby drill.

  6. Post Alley Crackpot

    “… we refused to speak to each other for the rest of the evening. His wife and mine were best friends.”
    You’re a much nicer person than I am.
    “… When I get into a discussion with a dickhead that thinks in lefty talking points …”
    You’re also a much nicer person than I am.
    I stay calm, cool, and collected, and promise my “new friend” that I’ll bring him something special from my line of work. (“Oh, it’ll be no trouble at all!”)
    In your case, I’d have suggested the biggest black dildo made out of 100% Pure Black Crude that you could find in the gayest part of the gayest city you happened to be travelling through.
    Which naturally you should give to his wife as a gift wrapped with expensive looking wrapping paper in a box that looks like it should be holding whisky, but isn’t.
    After all, isn’t it the thought that counts? 🙂

    • Al Jahom

      … and ‘for him’, a much needed pot of vaseline.
      Perfect.

  7. John Calabro

    The guy is a real idiot. I bet he doesn’t understand where his food comes from.
    Does he drive a car, catches public transport or fly? People like that should be sent to the 3rd world

  8. Aristonicus

    The energy contained in one barrel of oil = energy of 25,000 man hours of human labour.
    There is no substitute for this at the present time.
    At times I like to scare my friends and family with one of those old peak oil documentaries like “A Crude Awakening” when they start going on about ‘the environment’.

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