Getting Off of Oil in 2014

Well gang, we made it through another year.

I have a feeling 2014 will be another good one.

May it be filled with music and fine coffees, good times with your friends, families and neighbors, opening your mind to new experiences and ideas, helping your community, fairness, peace and love. An “Extreme ’14,” as our friend Andrew over at Smoopy’s says.

Christmas sure makes us stop and think about what a tremendous grip everyone’s addiction to oil has on today’s society.


Think about it. He who controls the oil controls the world.

I’m not just referring to the dinosaur bones burned in the family wagon to get you and yours to your visiting.

I mean the plastic toys, tied up with plastic ties, shrink-wrapped in plastic, bought with a plastic card and taken home in plastic bags.

You know where plastic comes from, right?

The days of the sturdy wooden or metal toys are long gone. This is the 21st century. Progress!

And what do you think all that fuzzy, cozy, fleece is made from? Pajamas, house shoes, Titans hoodies, fleece pullovers, lounge pants and the like all have that cozy Christmas feel to them, but if the tag says “polyester,” understand where that comes from. Look it up. It’s much simpler to walk into the store, swipe your card and walk out with a shirt than to shear a sheep or pick some cotton. Improvement!

After the Christmas dinner, piles of Styrofoam plates and Solo cups spill out of trash cans all over this great land. The china lasts too long; we need something a little more temporary.

The fake plastic trees decorate rooms all over, reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Where does all that plastic come from? Where does it go?

At least we don’t eat oil, right?

Well, I bet a lot of your ingredients were packaged in plastic, and if they originated thousands of miles from your dinner table, they sure required a lot of oil to get there.

Hey, maybe this is the best, most convenient way. I’m not an expert, just an observer. Without making further judgment here or calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the way the entire world works, I’ll simply say this: be aware. The largest transfer of wealth in history is largely about plastic items and gasoline. You vote with your dollars and your consumption affects everyone.

And I bet, Middle Tennessee, that if we try hard, we can produce what we need right here, without any begging and pleading, to keep the oil, plastic, polyester—or anything, really—coming.

Just please, please, keep on importing the coffee, chocolate and cinnamon, and I think I’ll be just fine.


About the Author

Bracken, a 2003 graduate of MTSU’s journalism program, is the founder and publisher of The Murfreesboro Pulse. He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, graphic artist and business partner, Sarah, and son, Bracken Jr. Bracken enjoys playing the piano, sushi, Tool, football, chess, jogging, spending time in his backyard with his chickens, hippie music, climbing at The Ascent, bowling, swimming, soup, tennis, sunshine, revolution, defiance and anarchy. He can cook a mean grilled cheese, and can fry just about anything.

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