Believing in Fantasies Can Get You Killed

Anti-pipeline activist Cherri Foytlin—state director of Bold Louisiana and one of the organizers of a new “resistance camp” protesting construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline—has vowed that the activists will “use their bodies to protect their children” if the pipeline is approved.

This is just the latest of many examples of the “protect the children” theme that is an ironic mainstay of the anti-pipeline “Keep It in the Ground” movement. It’s ironic because if these extremists ever did succeed in keeping oil and natural gas in the ground, the children would be the first to suffer the fatal consequences of their absurd philosophy.

Much like faith-healing sects whose strict anti-medical religious doctrines result in countless preventable deaths of innocent children, the anti-pipeline “religion” threatens to harm the very people it purports to “protect.”

Let’s start by thinking globally. It is an unassailable fact that if the activists somehow succeeded in keeping all oil and natural gas in the ground tomorrow, the entire global economy would come to a cataclysmic standstill—resulting in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people worldwide through starvation, lack of medical attention, and the general collapse of civilized society as we know it.

The violence-advocating activist group Deep Green Resistance even prophesized such a dystopian future in their call-to-arms manifesto, which encouraged activists to launch “coordinated attacks on energy infrastructure around the world.”

“The industrial economy would come apart,” they gleefully wrote. “Governments would institute martial law and rationing. … Most existing large-scale institutions would simply collapse … The death rate would increase [and] the human population would decline.”

But if you can’t get your head around global societal collapse, just think about what dangers children would face in their own homes if the activists succeeded in cutting off the world’s supply of oil and natural gas. It would be nearly impossible to “protect the children” without all of the household products that are derived from the petrochemicals that come only from oil and natural gas. For example, you wouldn’t be able to:

Keep them clean without soap, shampoo, detergent, diapers, toothpaste and tooth brushes.

Keep them safe without bike helmets, cribs and high chairs, baby car seats, seat belts, and electric outlet covers.

Keep them healthy without aspirin, Band Aids, glasses and sun glasses, household cleaning products, Epi pens and antihistamines, most pharmaceuticals, and virtually every medical device found in hospitals.

Keep them fed without refrigerators, food preservatives, gas or electric stoves, plastic food wrap, and the entire food production and distribution system (see “collapse of civilized society” above).

Keep them happy without crayons, balloons, most toys, and every single TV, cell phone or tablet on the planet—not to mention the satellites, servers, and electricity that keep the internet “online.”

And if you’re still planning to go petrochemical-free and live entirely on renewable energy, remember that wind turbines and solar panels could not exist without petrochemicals.

Those are the facts. So while it is highly unlikely that the Keep-It-in-the-Ground movement will ever prevail, it is important for every anti-pipeline activist to understand what it is they are advocating when they vow to “use their bodies to protect the children.”