THE OIL SHORTAGE!--What It Means to You! DFO938 29/9/80
--By Father David
1. PTL! TYJ! GBY! THIS IS SEPTEMBER 29, 1980, & PROMPTED SO OFTEN, AS USUAL, BY A QUESTION FROM OUR DEAR LITTLE MARIA!--In her womanly way & wiles, she wanted to know how the oil shortage was going to affect her--besides the obvious ways that it's going to affect all civilisation. She wanted to know what else we were going to be short of besides oil, gasoline, gas & so on.
2.--PARTICULARLY HOW WOULD IT AFFECT PLASTICS & RELATED ITEMS MADE FROM PETROL, petrochemicals & so on, & what other items should we expect to be soon in short supply due to the oil shortage?--What should we buy now & try to stock up on now in preparation for a shortage of such materials caused by the oil shortage? Well, PTL, it's quite an interesting subject as you get into it, because it has a lot of related subjects.
3. BUT TO BEGIN WITH, I SUPPOSE YOU KNOW THERE IS AN OIL SHORTAGE NOW & probably a worse oil shortage coming. Until the recent Iraqi-Iranian War, the West's daily consumption of oil for its various multitudinous uses was approximately 20 million barrels per day. This has already been reduced by 20% to 16 million barrels a day by the Iraqi-Iranian War.
4. ACTUALLY, UNTIL THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION & BEFORE OPEC, THE WEST WAS USING ABOUT 25 MILLION BARRELS OF OIL A DAY, when the Iranians were producing as high as 5 & 6 million barrels per day. But immediately upon the onset of the Iranian Revolution, the ousting of the Shah & so on, Iran's production fell first to 4 million then 3 million then 2 million & last, less than 1 million as Khomeini's regime has destroyed the country & its economy.
5.--AND NOW THE IRAQ-IRANIAN WAR HAS PUT A COMPLETE END TO IRANIAN PRODUCTION & IT'S DOWN TO ZERO! Before the War, Iraq was producing approximately 3 or 4 million barrels a day, & that's now down to zero since the oil facilities of both countries have been virtually totally destroyed; not only the oil wells & pumping stations, but the World's largest oil refinery at Abadan & the oil ports.
6. THREE OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST OIL PORTS FOR EXPORTING OIL WHERE THE SUPER TANKERS HAVE TO COME & PICK UP THE OIL--the Iraqi oil port of Basra & the Iranian oil ports of Khorramshahr & Kharg Island--which at one time together exported nearly 10 million barrels a day, are now down to zero!
7. SO ACTUALLY, CONSIDERING THAT THE WEST'S TOTAL CONSUMPTION BEFORE OPEC & KHOMEINI WAS AROUND 25 MILLION BARRELS A DAY before various nations began to conserve their oil consumption before the War, the loss of nearly 10 million barrels a day between Iraq & Iran means a total loss of about 40% of the West's oil!
8. SO THE WEST HAD ALREADY LOST ABOUT 20% OF ITS OIL DUE TO KHOMEINI & OPEC & other factors, & now of the remaining 20 million barrels a day it has again lost another 20% in the 5 million barrels a day that Iraq & Iran were still producing.
9. SO THE WEST'S NOW DOWN FROM LITERALLY 25 MILLION BARRELS A DAY TO 15 MILLION BARRELS A DAY.--Actually about a 40% loss of oil since those happy carefree days of the one-dollar-a-barrel oil, which is all they were willing to give the Arabs for this very cheap black sticky dirty substance a mere 10 years or so ago, before the various Arab-Israeli conflicts turned the Arabs strongly against the West for backing Israel & they started cutting down their production & raising their prices.
10. SO OIL HAS NOW GONE UP FROM ONE-DOLLAR-A-BARREL IN THE GOOD OLD HAPPY DAYS OF YORE--& even less than that when I was a child, about 50 cents a barrel!--It had gone up even before the Iraqi-Iranian War to $35 a barrel, & during certain shortages had hit $50 a barrel! So God knows what it will hit now that we've lost another 20% of the Gulf's production!
11. THE WESTERN & RICH INDUSTRIALISED NATIONS, ALONG WITH JAPAN, CLAIM THEY HAVE A RESERVE EMERGENCY STORAGE OF ABOUT 3 MONTHS or 100 to 110 days that they can get along without any importation of oil whatsoever, or any production or exportation of oil countries. But what are they going to do if they all get embroiled & all the oil, or the larger percentage of it, is cut off, only God knows! Right now with the Iraqi-Iranian War they've lost another 20%, making a 40% drop since over 10 years ago!
12. WHAT IF THE STRAITS OF HORMUZ SHOULD BE CLOSED BY SOME SUPER TANKER'S SINKING, SABOTAGE, SHELLING, WAR OR WHATNOT?--As you know, it's a narrow channel which passes between Iran & Oman, the toe of the boot of the Arabian Peninsula which looks like it's kicking Iran in the side, if you look at the map.
13.--IF THEY SHOULD LOSE THIS STRAIT & IT SHOULD BECOME CLOGGED OR TOO DANGEROUS TO PASS THROUGH, THEN THE WORLD WILL ALSO LOSE ALL OF THE OIL PRODUCTION FROM THE OTHER ARABIAN GULF STATES such as the World's first & largest producer, Saudi Arabia, who produces 9 or 10 million barrels a day; & the others producing most of the rest of the West's oil that comes out of the Gulf.
14. THE WORLD'S NEXT LARGEST PRODUCER IS VENEZUELA & THEN THERE'S NIGERIA & OTHERS. Of course Russia & China produce almost all their own oil & have to import very little. But the U.S. only produces about 40-50% of its total consumption, & therefore has to import about half of its oil from many of these other oil-exporting countries--including Libya, by the way, from whom it imports 10% of its total oil.
15. SO THE WEST'S OIL PRODUCTION IS ALREADY DOWN 40%, & something between 60 & 80% of it passes through the Gulf of Arabia & through the Strait of Hormuz. And if the West should lose that Gulf & the oil from the production of its Oil States, the West is going to lose somewhere between 40 & 60% of its total consumption of oil!
16. IT HAS ALREADY LOST ABOUT 40% OF THAT--NEARLY HALF--OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS, & now stands a chance of losing the other 40% or so from the other Oil States by the complete closure of the Gulf at the Straits of Hormuz if the War widens any at all or anything else happens which could endanger the jugular vein of the Gulf's oil passing through the narrow Strait. So, the World's supply of oil has already been cut down considerably & is rapidly being cut down further.
17. THE ARAB STATES WERE ALREADY THREATENING TO REDUCE PRODUCTION BECAUSE OF NO ACTION BY THE WEST ON FREEING THE PALESTINIANS from the oppression of Israel & giving them their own independent state, which they certainly deserve. OPEC was already threatening to cut the World's supply further simply by cutting their own production further, & you can't much blame them! They have very good reasons for it.
18. FOR ONE THING, THEY DON'T REALLY NEED ALL THAT MONEY THEY'RE GETTING, & another thing, the oil gets more valuable the longer it stays in the ground.--The scarcer it is, the higher prices they can get. And also, it's their one weapon they can really use effectively against the West for refusing to put the screws on Israel to give the Palestinians their freedom.
19. SO THE RICH INDUSTRIAL WORLD OF THE WEST IS CAUGHT IN A REAL OIL JAM, the vice-like grip of a World oil shortage, when virtually its entire civilization, industry, economies as well as political structures depend on cheap oil! This is a bit of the background of the oil shortage to prepare you for what's coming.
20. WHAT AN OIL SHORTAGE HAS MEANT TO THE AVERAGE AMERICAN OR EUROPEAN THUS FAR IN THE PAST HAS BEEN THE MERE INCONVENIENCE of finding gasoline for their autos in short supply, & having to line up at the gas stations & take their turn for what little they could get. Some also found that it was difficult to get heating oil for their furnaces, & some folks in the U.S. during the past oil shortages have found their homes & buildings getting a bit chilly.
21. THE EFFECT OF THE OIL SHORTAGES OF THE PAST ON THE GENERAL PUBLIC HAVE SIMPLY MEANT A SHORTAGE OF FUEL OILS FOR HEATING & A SHORTAGE OF GASOLINE FOR TRANSPORTATION & diesel transportation, with some electrical shortages caused by shortage of oil for the electrical turbines which generate electricity in many areas, which are fueled by oil rather than atomic energy or hydroelectric energy--meaning dams with water behind them that the pressure of the water coming out through the dams operates great electrical turbines which generate electricity.
22. ACTUALLY, HYDROELECTRIC GENERATION OF ELECTRICITY IS PROBABLY THE SAFEST & MOST NATURAL MEANS OF PRODUCING IT. The production by atomic energy is probably the most dangerous; but at the moment, the production by fuel oil is the most threatened & in the greatest jeopardy. I had a rather pleasant time this morning thinking back on my own early days as a child when oil was not the World's major problem, neither atomic energy, nor atomic bombs!
23. IT WAS VIRTUALLY A PARADISE ON EARTH THAT WE WERE LIVING IN THEN, ALTHOUGH WE DIDN'T REALLY REALISE IT, not threatened by total collapse of our civilization through either oil shortages nor atomic warfare, but merely a few little explosive World Wars going on, made dangerous only by ordinary bombs & guns loaded with normal dynamite or TNT.
24. THESE WERE NORMAL EXPLOSIVES THAT IN MASS PRODUCTION & USE COULD DO A LOT OF DAMAGE, but nothing compared to what the atomic bomb or the present oil shortage could do to Western civilization--not to speak of Japanese civilization as well--nor what an atomic war could do to the whole World in general!
25. BECAUSE IN THE EARLY DAYS OF THE AUTOMOBILE WHEN I WAS A CHILD--principally the Model T Ford developed by dear Henry Ford as a cheap car for the common man--oil was plentiful & gasoline too. Virtually all the oil which the Americans or the U.S. used within the U.S. for its autos & so on was produced in the U.S. by its own great oil fields of Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, California, Texas & so on.
26. HOWEVER, THE BOOMING INDUSTRY OF THE U.S. WHICH DEPENDED UPON OIL SOON OUTGREW, IN ITS GREED, ITS LOCAL INTERIOR U.S. SUPPLY & had to search elsewhere for additional oil by oil exploration in a good many other countries--pioneered largely by both the Americans & the British & some other European countries--until they found oil in a good many other places in the World, particularly in the Persian Gulf area, called also Iranian & Arabian.
27. I CAN REMEMBER EVEN AS A YOUNG MAN HOW LARGE ADS WERE APPEARING ON THE "MEN-WANTED" AD PAGES IN THE NEWSPAPERS for men to work in the Persian Gulf oil fields at phenomenally high salaries, all expenses paid, housing supplied & all the rest, if they would just be willing to leave their families & go to the Persian Gulf to work in the oil fields.
28. LATER THEY EVEN PERMITTED THEM TO TAKE THEIR FAMILIES & PAID FOR THEIR TRANSPORTATION & their housing & everything to get oil technicians--men who knew about oil & how to pump it & how to refine it & so on--into those remote & desolate & strange areas of strange people with a strange tongue, many of them in almost the hottest hells on Earth where the temperature reaches up in the 50 degree Centigrade or 130 Fahrenheit, & where today all of the barracks for the oil workers have to be completely self-contained & air-conditioned.
29. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN MOVIE THEATRES, LIBRARIES & EVERYTHING, BECAUSE MEN CANNOT STAND TO GO OUT IN THE DESERT EXCEPT TO WORK, & they need to come home to something pleasant to relax in. They also normally cannot stand to work more than from 2 to 3 weeks under those conditions, & then they give them a week or two off. So they get anywhere from a quarter to a half of their time off if they're willing to work under those very difficult conditions at very high salaries.
30. THEREFORE THE PRICE OF OIL HAS GONE UP FROM THE EASY DAYS OF 50-CENTS-A-BARREL WHEN I WAS A CHILD for U.S.-produced oil consumed within the country, to a dollar a barrel in the cheap old days before the Arab-Israeli wars & other such things & oil shortages & whatnot; to the present 30-35 dollars a barrel which is still not actually as much as it's really worth, as both the Arabs & the West know!
31. BUT DUE TO SOME STRONG MEASURES OF CONSERVATION & SOME MODERATE EFFORT ON THE PART OF THE GREATEST OIL CONSUMERS TO CONSERVE & NOT BE SO WASTEFUL, the West's consumption of oil has now fallen--instead of increasing every year--has fallen from about 25 million barrels a day to 20 million barrels a day; & now because of the recent war, the amount has fallen to only 15 million barrels a day!
32. THE EFFECT OF THAT ON THE WORLD--PARTICULARLY THE WESTERN WORLD--IS YET TO BE SEEN, but it will be drastic, since the U.S. Government & Carter said that if the supply fell below 8, 9, 10% that they would have to have gasoline rationing in the U.S. & various kinds of oil & fuel rationing & it would be very serious. Well, it's already fallen not only 10%, but 20% since he made that statement!
33. SO THAT WILL DEFINITELY MEAN GASOLINE RATIONING IN THE U.S., & PROBABLY THROUGHOUT EUROPE AS WELL VERY SOON. Even if the War is ended soon, it will take many months to restore the oil facilities, wells, pumping stations, ports, refineries & so on; not to speak of the ship channels for the super tankers to go in & get it!
34. SO THERE IS A VERY SERIOUS OIL SHORTAGE ON IN THE WORLD, BELOVED, & if you didn't know it before, now you know, as I just told you how bad it is!--Supplies having fallen from 25 million to 15 million barrels within just the last few months, actually mostly within the last year or two. So you say, "Well, so what?--What does that mean to me?"
35. WELL, YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT IT'S GOING TO MEAN A SHORTAGE OF GASOLINE for your car & for your business & a shortage of diesel for your heating & your trains & planes & ships--which will mean a tremendous cut in transportation, including a shortage of materials transported by diesel-powered engines, which means ships, trains, trucks, planes, etc.--all of'm!
36. IF THE SHORTAGE BECOMES VERY SEVERE & THE WEST'S WAR MACHINE CANNOT OPERATE because the shortage becomes so serious, it may even precipitate the Oil War in the West's last desperate effort to secure the oil that it needs to survive in its present rich, industrialised condition!
37. BUT LET'S SAY THAT HOPEFULLY THAT SERIOUS AN OIL SHORTAGE WILL NOT OCCUR IN THE NEAR FUTURE, that perhaps the Iranian-Iraqi War can be solved & stopped & those facilities begin to be rebuilt & the Saudi-Arabian, Kuwaiti & Bahrainian supplies saved & continue to be shipped, etc.
38. JUST WITH THE PRESENT REDUCTION OF 10 MILLION BARRELS A DAY WHICH HAS BEEN LOST ALREADY FROM BOTH IRAQ & IRAN--five million barrels a day which we already pretty well survived, & the latest additional 5 million barrels due to the War--it'll mean a considerable shortage of oil throughout the World.--Even if the War goes no further & if no further oil production is harmed & the present Gulf's oil production remains at around 15 or 16 million barrels a day, this is still almost half of what it used to be.
39. SO THIS IS BOUND TO MEAN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF SHORTAGES IN WORLD SUPPLIES, which will not only affect your gasoline & your heating oil & the transportation of essential goods such as groceries by truck & train, but also the passenger transportation by plane to various places in the World.--Which means considerable to our family who are scattered through nearly 100 countries around the World & depend largely upon plane transportation to get back & forth--as well as trains & buses & autos & so on!
40. THE PRESENT STATE OF THE WORLD'S OIL SHORTAGE, DUE TO THE IRAN-IRAQI WAR, WILL CONTINUE IN A FAIRLY SERIOUS STATE & will undoubtedly--as I've already said--mean gasoline & oil rationing for transportation, heating & so on. Some homes in the U.S. even burn diesel oil to run their air-conditioners to cool their homes in such very hot desert countries like Arizona & New Mexico, Texas & even California & Florida. So the Americans who are used to lots of good central heating & air-conditioning are going to get quite a shock when they can no longer have it, or have very little of it.
41. EVEN BEFORE THE IRAQ-IRAN WAR, DUE TO THE OIL SHORTAGE & THE NECESSITY OF LOWERING CONSUMPTION IN THE U.S., they had to cut their consumption by Presidential order to a Winter temperature of not more than 65 to 68 degrees which is plenty cold, brother! And the cooling of buildings in the Summer was ordered to be not lower than 80 degrees, which is plenty warm for buildings & homes!--At least a lot of Americans will think so when they're used to heating their homes up to 72 & cooling them down to 68!
42. SO THE AMERICANS HAVE ALREADY BEEN FEELING THE PINCH FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS with these heating & cooling limitations & with some gasoline shortages & filling station lines waiting for your petrol, & truck strikes due to diesel shortages & the truckers demanding more fuel for their trips of transporting your goods, particularly perishable foods, etc.
43. WITH THIS DIESEL OIL CUT-DOWN NOW YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TROUBLE HEATING OR COOLING OR EVEN GETTING YOUR GROCERIES! There's going to be shortages of almost everything on the store shelves as well as in the gas stations & means of transportation. There are going to be, in other words, not only transportation shortages for passengers, but transportation shortages of goods which are going to seriously affect your consumption of these goods, & particularly--the most crucial & vitally essential--groceries!
44. SO AS WE HAVE WARNED THE FAMILY FOR YEARS NOW, YOU HAD BETTER BE SOMEWHAT INDEPENDENT with a supply of survival food that will last you anywhere from at least 2 weeks to a month in case of, for example, atomic war & fallout. Or some are even stock piling up to a year's supply to survive even greater emergencies--which will seem greater, in a way, because they may be sooner than the atomic war--& that's the oil shortages, which will perhaps last even longer as they lead up to the War, & the difficulty of obtaining these various necessities of life.
45. THE AVERAGE ECONOMIST SAYS THAT THE MOST NECESSARY THINGS THAT A MAN NEEDS ARE FOOD, CLOTHING & SHELTER, you've heard that all your life & throughout school. First of all food, & then they say clothing & then they say shelter. God turns it around a bit & says the only two things you really need are food & clothing; you can even live without shelter!
46. AS ST. PAUL SAYS, "HAVING FOOD & CLOTHING THEREWITH BE CONTENT". (1Tim.6:8.)--Which means you don't even have to have shelter to be content, you can even live on the grass under the trees if you have to! And if some of you want to see the almost frightening picture of a World without oil, you should see that gruesome, horror film called "Quintet"! The most horrifying part about it was not just the gory violence, but a life in a frozen World where the snow & ice are deep outside & there's virtually no heat inside except for a little wood that they managed to scrounge & pick up here & there!
47. SO THE PROSPECT OF SUCH A WORLD CAN BE SOMEWHAT ASTOUNDING AS WELL AS FRIGHTENING IF YOU'RE NOT TRUSTING THE LORD. And the threat to your most vital necessities, such as food, is very serious, because now most people do not live on a farm where they produce their own, or a South Sea island where they can pick it off the trees, or an African or South American jungle where they can find it on the trees or the ground like the Garden of Eden!
48. MOST PEOPLE IN THE CIVILIZED WORLD, PARTICULARLY THE RICH INDUSTRIALISED WEST LIVE IN CITIES FAR FROM THE SOURCES OF FOOD, not to speak of clothing. The clothing which you may now have probably will continue to last you as long as the duration of any such emergency, God willing, providing you're well-supplied with both Summer & Winter clothing--but what about your food?--That will be a very serious shortage, & you had better have some stock-piled for a brief emergency or even an extended emergency.
49.--NOT TO SPEAK OF YOUR WATER, MOST OF WHICH TODAY IN MODERN CIVILIZATION IN THE WEST IS PUMPED BY ELECTRICITY from distant sources. Therefore your water will fail in the city & in the towns when the lights go out--which they will if the oil shortage gets serious enough, particularly if there are not sufficient hydroelectric dams & atomic power generators--so that can be very serious!
50. AND AS WE'VE ADVISED YOU BEFORE, LIFE IN THE WILDERNESS CAN TURN OUT TO BE THE SAFEST LIFE IN THE WORLD beside some natural water source & natural sources of food, not to speak of clothing, if trouble should last for years; & with no need for transportation; & with materials available for building your own shelters of wood or grass or palm fronds or whatever such, as most of the Third World lives in already.
51. IN FACT, MOST OF THE THIRD WORLD ARE ALREADY LIVING SO PRIMITIVELY ON THEIR OWN LITTLE FARMS & plots of ground & with little or no need for transportation & not even knowing what electricity is like, & of course, no automobiles--growing their own food, making their own clothing & building their own shelters out of nearby available materials--life will go on in the Third World virtually as it always has, & likely as it always will to the end, hardly changed at all!
52. NEITHER THE OIL SHORTAGE NOR COMPLETE STOPPAGE OF OIL, NOR AN ATOMIC WAR WILL HARDLY CAUSE A NOTICEABLE CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES except for possible fallout from distant atomic-bombing warfare sources. So actually, the meek shall definitely inherit the Earth! (Ps.37:11; Mt.5:5.) Because when the not-so-meek & the proud & the violent have destroyed themselves & a third of the Earth, as the Bible predicts (Rev.8)--then the meek & the poor, who live in areas which are not going to be bombed & which are little, if at all, affected by oil shortages or food shortages or clothing shortages or housing shortages, will continue on.
53. "THE POOR WE HAVE ALWAYS WITH US (Mt.26:11) & will continue to be with this World as long as it lasts, until Jesus comes, when everything then will be different & there will be peace & plenty & love for all. But that's a different story & not in this particular study.
54. SO WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE EXTREMES OF EITHER END, life now or after the War in the wilderness of the 3rd World with plenty of food available, either being grown or stockpiled by you, & even your own clothing stored & plentiful to last you a few years; & your shelter, your little caravan or tent or even home-made from the local woods & palm fronds after the War.
55. WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE EXTREME AT THIS MOMENT IN THIS PARTICULAR WARNING, OF THE END RESULT OF ATOMIC WARFARE, destruction of so-called modern civilization & return to savagery & return to native-type living in the wilderness or on the farm, but we're talking about the interim period between now & then.
56. AS THE OIL IS NOW ALREADY SHORT & WILL BE GETTING SHORTER, HOW IS THIS GOING TO AFFECT YOU IMMEDIATELY?--Not only with gas-rationing & fuel-rationing & less heat & less cooling & less transportation immediately, as it shall within a few days undoubtedly, due to the present small Iraqi-Iranian War & the present considerable cut in oil supply, another 20% drop in the World supply.
57. HOW IS THIS GOING TO AFFECT YOU IMMEDIATELY, BESIDES YOUR AUTOMOBILE OR YOUR PLANE FARES or a shortage of various groceries on the shelves of the supermarkets due to shortage of diesel fuel for the trains & the trucks & ships, which will be an immediately-felt effect & serious. But how could it affect you if it should be somewhat alleviated by a quick end of the war & a temporary partial restoration of these oil facilities & supplies?
58. WHAT OTHER ITEMS COULD IT BE THAT YOU'RE ACCUSTOMED TO HAVING IN PLENTIFUL SUPPLY & using without thinking of the source, what would it be like without them? What other particular type & sort of supplies that you use in your daily living are apt to be affected by a continued, prolonged--even though fairly moderate--oil shortage?
59. WELL, OF COURSE, MANY OF YOU WISE ONES, SMART ONES, EDUCATED ONES WILL PROBABLY IMMEDIATELY GIVE THE OBVIOUS ANSWER, & THAT IS WHAT? (MARIA: PLASTICS!) Plastics! Right!--Plastics & petrochemicals derived from oil. We little realise, & particularly you young ones little realise, how much plastics have affected your daily living & your comforts & conveniences & some things you even consider your necessities!
60. BUT CAN YOU IMAGINE THE DAY, AS I CAN WHEN I WAS YOUNG, WHEN THERE WERE HARDLY ANY PLASTICS AT ALL? You say, "Well then, you survived without'm, we can survive without'm!" Yes, I don't doubt that you probably can, because the plastics that we use are mostly tools & utensils & various kinds of daily items about the home which are derived from oil, such as the petrochemicals & the plastics & hydrocarbons & so on.
61. BECAUSE, YES, I CAN REMEMBER A DAY WITHOUT PLASTICS, OR ALMOST NO PLASTICS. The things which man now makes largely from plastics--his vital tools for farming, house-building, weaving of cloth & fabrics for clothing & even weapons for the waging of war--were originally made of three major materials which are found easily & naturally throughout the World: Wood, stone & metal.
62. TODAY IN OUR MODERN DAY, MANY OF THESE ITEMS WHICH USED TO BE MADE even when I was a boy from wood & from metal & even stone, are today made from the petrochemical products of oil, predominantly & pre-eminently plastics.
63. WHEN YOU THINK OF ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS IN LIVING, AS WE HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH IN THE MATTER OF CAMPING & CARAVANING, your caravan is largely made of plastic. A good many parts even of your towing vehicle are probably made of plastic from its exterior to its interior & its upholstery & even the gears in its engine & many of the mechanical parts are today made of plastics.
64. SO THERE COULD BE A GREAT SHORTAGE SOON OF AUTO PARTS & CARAVAN PARTS, NOT TO SPEAK OF TENT PARTS!--Because today most tents are no longer made of natural fabrics such as they were in the early days of man, such as skins & wool & horse hair & goat hair & cotton fabrics, but most tents today are made of the plastic fabrics or the synthetics such as nylon.
65. SO TENTS WILL ALSO BE IN SHORT SUPPLY UNLESS THEY ARE MADE OF COTTON, which some of the cheaper ones are, usually some type of coated or saturated, permeated cotton to make them water-proof. But if you're even down to the most absolute essentials such as a sleeping bag & a few cooking utensils, you'll even find that these are going to be affected by the oil shortage, & therefore the plastic shortage.
66. YOUR SLEEPING BAG IS PROBABLY MADE OF SYNTHETICS & YOUR COOKING UTENSILS ARE FREQUENTLY MADE OF TEFLON OR NYLON COATED METALS & their handles mostly of plastics; & the handles of the pots & the pans & the utensils, knives & forks & so on often made of plastics. And some of you, if you're getting by surviving on the cheapest of all--plastic plates, plastic knives & forks & spoons & bowls & glasses--these will disappear, & you'll be going back to the old things that they used to have when I was a kid before the day of cheap plastics & their discovery or invention.
67. WE CAN EVEN MENTION GLASS AS BEING AN EARLY FORM OF MATERIAL THAT MAN USED, first of all no doubt as jewelry & as adornments.--Pieces of glass found in the Earth, as well as precious jewels & gems. But also man learned to melt the glass & fabricate it into various jewelry as well as ornaments, statuary & even utensils such as you probably have in your home at this very moment: Glass glasses, or tumblers as some call them, & glass pitchers.
68. YOU MIGHT EVEN HAVE A CERAMIC-LINED REFRIGERATOR OR A GLASS COFFEE POT OR GLASS PYREX COOKING POTS which will stand oven heat & heat on the stove. But even these were quite new when I was a child, when they developed this first type of glass that you could use for a boiling pot of coffee water or boiling vegetables or baking foods in the oven, glass which would withstand heat. I don't even know how it was made, perhaps with some type of new metal alloys or something to make it strong & durable & to make it resist differences of temperature & extreme temperatures.
69. SO YOU MIGHT SAY THAT MAN'S EARLIEST FORMS & TYPES OF MATERIALS WHICH HE USED FOR MAKING THINGS THAT HE NEEDED, from tools to cooking pots to arms & weapons & so on, were wood, stone & metal--such as iron & brass & so on--& later glass. The making of glass is a very old art for ornaments & beads & so on, & the glass industry was well-known in Egypt even thousands of years ago.
70. AS YOU KNOW, GLASS IS OBTAINED BY THE MELTING OF SILICA OR SILICON MATERIALS SUCH AS ORDINARY SAND, beach sand--certain types of beach sand particularly being more desirable than others. As I recall, certain very white clear sands in California on some of its beaches & deserts was very desirable for the making of very clear clean glass, whereas other beach sands are somewhat coloured & yellow & brown.
71. ANYHOW, SOME OTHER ANCIENT MATERIALS FOUND IN THEIR NATURAL FORM WHICH HAVE NOW BEEN ALMOST TOTALLY REPLACED BY PLASTICS ARE IVORY, AMBER & ANIMAL HORNS. Horn materials were still very common when I was a child, such as horn-rimmed glasses & tortoise shell glasses. Tortoise shells & animal horns were still being carved into various forms for useful materials when I was a child.
72. AND MICA IS ALSO ONE OF THE EARLIEST FORMS OF NATURAL MATERIALS WHICH WERE USED FOR THINGS WHICH ARE NOW MADE OF PLASTIC. Mica was made into various paints, wall paper, roofing, oil, artificial snow for your Christmas tree & a very famous tile which in America goes by the name of Formica--probably no longer made of mica at all, but probably also made of plastic.
73. AND IN THOSE EARLY DAYS OF TENTS & AUTOMOBILES WHEN WE TRAVELLED THE OPEN ROAD IN THE UNITED STATES FROM COAST TO COAST, our tent had what they called isinglass windows. It's a kind of a dull, flexible plastic-like type of window, since they had no plastics then, which was a little hard to see through but was somewhat transparent. And although flexible, the more sun it got the more it would harden & discolour & get more brittle & crack & break & flake & crumble.
74. THIS ISINGLASS WAS MADE OF MICA, A MINERAL THAT IS MINED FROM THE GROUND in a number of countries such as Canada, the United States & I believe Brazil & Finland, something like that. But this mica isinglass--probably named after some Jew who invented it, Isinglass--was used for tent windows. You didn't have big ones then, just a small one usually in the door--or one in the back or sometimes the side, so you could look out & see the bears & the wild animals or whatever it was attacking you or your camp or food!
75. OF COURSE THE FIRST HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGES BEFORE THE DAYS OF THE AUTO HAD GLASS WINDOWS--not isinglass, but glass.--Regular glass windows such as the glass we use today; only today we use various forms of glass & Plexiglas & duraglass & shatter-proof glass & so on, required in most countries for automobile windows. Most of the auto glasses contain a layer or two of actual plastic now to keep them from shattering & becoming dangerous in any type of auto accident.
76. IN THOSE OLD DAYS OF MY CHILDHOOD I CAN REMEMBER THAT OUR OLD MODEL-T FORD TOURING CAR did not have a hard top nor glass windows, but a folding fabric top made of a sort of an oil-coated canvas, known in those days as oil-cloth, which I think is still somewhat used today, but now coated with plastic--nevertheless an oil derivative, by the way.
77. THIS FOLDING TOP WAS SORT OF LIKE A TENT ON VARIOUS KINDS OF BRACES that folded back like some of your sports cars still do with tops that fold down; only in those days we had to pull them up & put them down by hand. Now they even have them operating by motor, automatic! Just push a button & the top lifts up; push a button and the top flips down!
78. THIS WAS ONLY A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD TO PROTECT YOU FROM THE RAIN. It did not protect you from the cold, as both sides of the car were wide open! So they began to develop what they called flaps--like your tent flaps--top flaps which were buttoned or snapped just like some of your tent parts are snapped together by these grommets & metal snaps.
79. THESE WERE SNAPPED ONTO THE EDGE OF THE CAR TOP & THEY HUNG DOWN WITHIN THE CAR & were snapped onto the doors & insides of the car--sometimes the outside, depending on how you wanted to shed the rain--& kept both rain & wind out & cold as well. But of course, in an automobile you don't want to be completely shut in so you can't even see out.
80. THE WINDSHIELDS, OF COURSE, WERE MADE OF GLASS & WERE CLEARLY INVISIBLE OR TRANSPARENT, so that the outdoors was clearly visible through the windshield providing it was clear.--And sometimes that was my job, to clear it in case it was raining or snowing. They developed windshield wipers, but they were not automatic nor motor driven nor vacuum driven as some of the old cars were, but they were often hand-driven & sometimes child-driven!
81. I USED TO STAND BESIDE MY DADDY & WORK A LITTLE HANDLE that came inside the car from the windshield wiper outside when it rained or snowed, & I would push that back & forth to keep his vision clear. But when they developed the side flaps for cars they wanted some way to see out as well, & so they developed a new type of flexible transparent mica called isinglass you could barely see through.
82. SO THE EARLIEST FLEXIBLE CAR WINDOWS USED ON THE POP-TOP CARS WERE MADE OF WHAT WAS KNOWN AS ISINGLASS, a not too clear, transparent flexible material resembling plastic, made of a natural mineral called mica, which is rather difficult to mine as it's very fragile & delicate & very difficult to work with & would probably be extremely expensive today.
83. YOU SAY, "WELL, SO WHAT? WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN TO ME ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE OLD DAYS?"--Well, the most important thing it means to you is that you may soon be using these same products we used then, when the oil-derived plastics disappear! We may have to go back to these old-fashioned natural materials, & there are a good many of them which we survived on without plastics & virtually without oil when I was a child. Isinglass was one of them for flexible car & tent windows.
84. ANOTHER VERY IMPORTANT THING WHICH BEGAN TO BE MADE OF ISINGLASS, believe it or not, was this thin transparent mineral in small round wafer form as thin as a calling card for the diaphragms of telephones for both speaking & hearing. The early diaphragms of all the early telephones when I was a boy were made of isinglass mica. We kids used to have fun opening up the mouthpieces & looking at them.
85. AND OF COURSE IF YOU DIDN'T HAVE THAT THERE TO RATTLE & VIBRATE WITH THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE, & be transmitted also to the earphone which rattled & vibrated also according to the varying electrical current caused by the sound of your voice so that you could hear the sounds reproduced in the telephone, there would have been no telephones without mica isinglass. So that may surprise you to learn how dependent the World was in those early days on these primitive natural materials, not synthetic plastics.
86. "SYNTHETIC" OR "PLASTIC" HAS EVEN BECOME A COMMON TERM FOR SOMETHING WHICH IS PHONEY OR AN IMITATION OF REALITY, & certainly modern synthetics & plastics are phonies & imitations of natural fibers, minerals & materials to which we may have to return if the oil goes, & with it the plastics! So don't belittle it!--Don't knock it!--You may soon be using these things again when the oil & the petro-plastics are gone, if the World survives that long!
87. ONE OF THE WORLD'S EARLIEST FORMS OF NON-PETRO-PLASTICS WAS CELLULOID & later cellophane. It was made from the cellulose content of plants, casein of milk & natural fabrics such as cotton, which is 91% cellulose & a very cheap source of it. These non-petro-plastics were very common when I was a child, & virtually the only forms that we knew besides isinglass, & were developed late in the 19th century about 1870, over 100 years ago.
88. THEIR MAJOR USE OF CELLULOID WAS FILM--movie films, camera films & various types of thin sheeting which today would be made of some kind of petro-plastic. Celluloid was in very common use, used for combs, the handles of brushes, the handles of tools, making of billiard balls, buttons, sunglasses, etc.
89. I CAN REMEMBER MY SISTER RAVING OVER A BRAND NEW SYNTHETIC WHICH CAME OUT WHEN SHE WAS A TEENAGER: RAYON, A NON-PETRO-PLASTIC FABRIC. She got her first pair of beautiful long rayon stockings! Up to that time they had made the long sheer stockings for women out of silk--very beautiful & somewhat transparent--but now they made a cheap fabric from plant cellulose called rayon, which was very cheap & plentiful, & the women's stockings began being made of rayon, their panties of rayon, bras of rayon & finally even slips & dresses of rayon.
90. THERE WAS ONE GREAT DRAWBACK & DIFFICULTY WITH RAYON, particularly the rayon stockings, which I can remember my dear little sister sitting there weeping over when she was ready to go out & discovered that the calamity had happened!:--The catastrophe had occurred, & her only pair of best new synthetic rayon stockings had developed a long "run" as they were known!
91. THE SLIGHTEST SNAG OR ALMOST A TOUCH OF A FINGER, & CERTAINLY A FINGERNAIL ANYWHERE ON THESE STOCKINGS WOULD CAUSE A TINY HOLE, & because of the way they were woven, a tiny slit called a run immediately unravelled in both directions toward the toe & toward the top of the stocking, & the poor stocking was made almost unusable!--At least by a ladylike girl who didn't want people to think she was too poor to buy another pair when they were already pretty cheap! The slightest snag made a long streak down her leg in both directions!
92. OF COURSE WE BOYS DIDN'T MIND; WE WEREN'T LOOKING AT THE STOCKINGS ANYHOW!--We were looking at the legs!--And the higher we could look the better! And sometimes when this calamity happened the girl would suddenly raise her skirt in a kind of automatic involuntary reaction to see how far the run had gone up the stocking, & we had a pleasant charming view of a pretty leg higher than usual, since girls in those days were not accustomed to exposing their legs above the knee!
93. BUT RAYON HAD ANOTHER SAD DRAWBACK, WHICH WAS THAT YOU COULD NOT USE A HOT IRON ON IT! Some of the girls first discovered in trying to iron their early dresses that the moment you touched it with a hot iron it melted & developed a great hole! You couldn't even wash them in hot water or with a strong soap!--Strong soap, hot water, hot irons, snags, almost any little thing would cause the poor fragile rayon fabric to just go to pieces!
94. SO IT WAS NOT VERY STRONG & WAS VERY IMPERFECT FOR THE MAKING OF THESE THINGS, BUT THEY WERE VERY POPULAR AS THEY WERE VERY CHEAP!--Much cheaper than silk materials which had to be imported from China & places like that. So they became very popular & extremely cheap & widely used in America until the Second World War, at which time they developed that marvellous new miracle synthetic fabric called nylon, a plastic made of oil!
95. THEY USED TO SAY THAT GIRLS DURING THE WAR IN EUROPE WERE WILLING TO TRADE THEIR SEXUAL FAVOURS FOR A PAIR OF NYLONS or a chocolate bar, when food was scarce too! Later the price got a little higher after the War, such as an air ticket to America! But anyway rayon was an early cheap synthetic. Sunglasses too, as you can imagine, were pretty imperfect, made of this new cellulose synthetic.
96. AND MOVIE FILM, WHICH WAS FIRST MADE OF CELLULOID, WAS VIRTUALLY EXPLOSIVE, SO HIGHLY INFLAMMABLE! If the film would suddenly stop or get jammed, it would immediately burst into flame just from the heat of the projector bulb, & the whole projector would be immediately destroyed--& often the theatre in which it was being used! Besides smoking, this was one of the greatest sources of theatre fires in those early days, the sudden explosion of the celluloid film, which immediately caused the projector itself to virtually explode & catch the theatre on fire!
97. WELL, THAT CAME TO AN END WHEN THEY FINALLY DEVELOPED FIRE-RESISTANT OR SO-CALLED FIRE-PROOF MOVIE FILM, actually made of some other new plastic material which had a very slow burn. If you ever noticed your film getting stuck in you projector, if you had a very hot bulb, it might only just simply scorch the film, or a slow round brown spot would develop on the picture & you'd see it gradually spread on very slow-burning film.
98. THIS CELLULOID WAS VERY COMMON IN FILM & MANY OTHER PRODUCTS WHEN I WAS A CHILD & WAS ONE OF THE FEW NEW PLASTICS. As I say, it was common in the combs, brushes, tool handles, buttons, camera film, sunglasses, rayon clothing, etc. Nylon, a new type of plastic derived from oil, pretty much took rayon's place. But what I'm discussing right now are plastics which existed before petrochemical plastics derived from oil.
99. SO, DUE TO THE OIL SHORTAGE, YOUR NYLONS WILL DISAPPEAR & your synthetic fabrics will disappear, & you may find the world going back to rayon again & celluloid film--very inflammable & explosive--& celluloid buttons & billiard balls & such things made of non-petro plastics.
100. THEN I CAN REMEMBER THE ADS WHEN CELLOPHANE FIRST APPEARED--another new plastic which was the first very thin sheet-plastic--& various foods began to be wrapped & packaged in this very very thin type of celluloid called cellophane made from the cellulose of plants & milk & so on. Even building materials were made from it called cellotex, a fiber-board for the inner-wall materials of houses.
101. IN FLORIDA THEY EVEN USED IT FOR THE ONLY WALLS OF SOME BUILDINGS, such as the little cottage we told you about that was out back of our house during the hurricane & by a miracle didn't blow away! It was literally almost cardboard & very very lightweight, & it was only a miracle of God that it didn't blow away! That cottage was made of cellotex, which is another cellulose derivative.
102. BUT THE CELLOPHANE WAS QUITE A NEW INNOVATION BECAUSE FOODS BEGAN TO BE WRAPPED IN IT, particularly I remember crackers & cereals, to keep them fresh & from getting soft from moisture & dampness. And one of the most popular early radio commercials & signboards commercials was a little brief commercial that went like this:
103. THE LITTLE BOY IS HOLDING FORTH A CRACKER TO THE POLLY PARROT IN THE CAGE & he's saying cheerfully to the parrot the old saying, "Polly want a cracker?"--And surprisingly the parrot answers back: "Is it wrapped in cellophane?" So they were advertising cellophane for everything, & of course you didn't want anything like unless it was wrapped in the latest totally clear transparent cellophane.
104. BY THE WAY, THAT WAS A NEW THING TOO, THAT IT WAS TOTALLY CLEAR & TRANSPARENT & you could see exactly what was inside in this new type of plastic. This also was made from cellulose, which will still be around apparently as long as man exists, thank God! As we've said, it's a natural fiber made from plants & principally cotton, which is 90% cellulose, & even from the casein of milk!
105. THIS IS WHY THE INDIANS OF ARIZONA USED TO PAINT THEIR ADOBE HUTS WITH GOAT'S MILK, because when it hardened & dried, only this casein or cellulose coating was left, covering the mud blocks with a coating which amounted to being wrapped in cellophane--or celluloid--& completely water resistant & water-proof! It would shed the rain & the water for years to come, just from being painted with milk, the residue of casein remaining after the milk dried--which is another form of cellulose--a building being therefore wrapped in cellophane!
106. SO WHEN THE OIL PETRO-PLASTICS ARE GONE, YOU MAY BE VERY THANKFUL FOR ISINGLASS & CELLULOID & CELLOPHANE AGAIN! Even if you do develop runs in your stockings & your projector bursts into flames! Another pre-petrochemical plastic, pre-oil plastic, was known as Bakelite, developed in 1909 by Mr. Bakeland, after whom it was named.
107. BAKELITE IS A VERY HARD, WHAT THEY CALLED THERMOSET PLASTIC MADE OF VARIOUS RESINS FROM TREES:--A wood product which could be heated to a very high temperature to make it liquid, or viscous, & then could be molded into any desired form, which when it hardened would stay hard more or less forever.
108. IT COULD NOT BE REHEATED & REMADE MALLEABLE, MOLDABLE OR PLASTIC AGAIN, but would stay that way, you might say, forever. It was also very difficult to burn, by the way, as were most thermoset-type plastic materials.--Not an oil or petrochemical plastic, but rather a resin plastic made of natural resin which ordinarily comes from trees & from wood or its sap.
109. AND I CAN RECALL THAT I HAD A LITTLE BAKELITE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT--RATHER REMARKABLE & UNUSUAL IN THOSE DAYS--a little mouth harp which played a roll of paper music by turning a handle in it. You put the mouthpiece in your mouth & you blew, the handle would turn the paper full of little holes arranged in musical form over the holes of the mouth harp in front, just like a player piano!--Bakelite plastic!
110. ALUMINUM WAS ANOTHER MATERIAL WHICH WAS FAIRLY NEW & BECOMING VERY POPULAR WHEN I WAS CHILD. Although it had first been invented or developed or separated into a pure form of the metal in 1886, it did not come into very common use until some years later about the turn of the century. Aluminum is one of the commonest materials on the face of the Earth & the most common metal ore in the world! About 8% of the Earth's crust is composed of aluminum, normally found in an ore called bauxite.
111. HOWEVER IT FIRST WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO SEPARATE ALUMINUM FROM OTHER MATERIALS & PURIFY IT until a method was developed by electricity. It takes a lot of electricity in the aluminum smelting plants, which virtually requires a cheap hydroelectric electricity in order to make it practical to mine & refine & work into various metallic materials.
112. SO IF HYDROELECTRIC POWER REMAINS, THAT IS ELECTRIC POWER GENERATED BY WATER--which is probably the only kind of electric power that could remain after the oil shortage or the end of the atomic plants--you may have to be going back to aluminum too in its much wider use that was prevalent when I was a child.
113. ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES OF ALUMINUM WAS THAT IT WAS A VERY SOFT METAL, very ductile or malleable or moldable, easily molded into different forms. You're quite familiar with some of them, particularly aluminum kitchenware such as pots, pans, aluminum utensils, eating utensils, etc., which I have warned you against. Dr. Koger was very much against them since they react quite violently against certain types of chemicals such as acids, vinegars, etc., & therefore become toxic in this form & cancer-inducing.
114. NEVERTHELESS, ALUMINUM KITCHEN UTENSILS ARE STILL QUITE POPULAR & VERY CHEAP--the cheapest probably of all which can be used on an open fire. It's also used in paints, toys, electrical wire & in the manufacture of aircraft, being a very light metal. Most of your modern airplanes' exteriors--or the skin of the plane--both fuselage & wings--are usually made of this very lightweight & easily formable metal called aluminum, which the British, by the way, call al-u-minium!--Ha!
115. SO IT WAS STILL NEW EVEN WHEN I WAS A BOY & EXTREMELY POPULAR DURING THE DEPRESSION AS A VERY CHEAP METAL for your necessary pots & pans & cooking utensils. And when I was a boy in the depression, nearly everything we had in the kitchen was made of aluminum.--And nearly everything else that today would be made of petro-plastics was made then of either Bakelite or celluloid or cellophane or isinglass.
116. THEN, I'LL NEVER FORGET ATTENDING THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR 1939!--Not the one in the '60s but '39, just before World War 2. That summer my mother & I went to the New York World's Fair & there we saw demonstrated for the first time, by Dr. Irwin Moon, some of these amazing modern new petroplastics made from oil derivatives.
117. THEY COULD BE VERY CHEAPLY MADE BECAUSE THE PRICE OF OIL WAS VERY CHEAP THEN--A DOLLAR A BARREL--& could be made of what had formerly been the hydrocarbon wastes produced during the refining of oils & diesel oils & gasoline & so on, & which had previously simply been thrown away & wasted. But now from this material--which you might say was virtually free--they were going to be able to make a whole new world of materials!
118. HE WAS DEMONSTRATING THE NEW THINGS THAT WERE GOING TO BE MADE OF PETRO-PLASTICS, & ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WAS SYNTHETIC RUBBER--particularly during the war years to come. Natural rubber had to be produced from trees in tropical climates--far across the ocean in most places--& was difficult & expensive to get. And in some ways it was difficult to refine & to vulcanise--the process invented by Mr. Goodyear to make his tires, raincoats, boots & many other things.
119. NOW THESE NATURAL THINGS WOULD BE REPLACED BY SYNTHETICS:--SYNTHETIC RUBBER, dyes, drugs, ammonia, fertilisers, plexiglass, Teflon, various miracle fabrics like nylon & even epoxy glue, as well as many necessities such as the lenses for your glasses, dentures for your teeth, gears for automobiles & machinery, & the laminated coatings & fiberglass for the boats. These were to be made from either coal or petrol & their various derivatives such as benzene, alcohol, butane & so on.
120. DR. MOON HAD A SAMPLE ROOM CONSTRUCTED AT THE FAIR SHOWING ALL THE VARIOUS DIFFERENT TYPES OF THINGS IN AN AVERAGE HOME which would in the future be made from petro-plastics, everything from utensils in the kitchen to fabrics in the living room--rugs, upholstery, decorations--to the fabrics in the bedroom--curtains, drapes, nylon sheets, synthetic blankets, rugs & even parts of your mattress, as well as some various parts of your bed & your furniture.
121. THESE PETRO-PLASTICS WOULD NOW REPLACE THE WOOD & THE METAL & THE OTHER ORIGINAL PLASTICS WHICH WERE MORE EXPENSIVE, harder to get & harder to work & higher in price when sold. They would be more easily obtainable, cheaper, easier worked & fabricated, & therefore sold much more cheaply on the market. He told us that almost everything in your home would henceforth in the future be made of petro-plastics.
122. AND IF YOU WILL LOOK AROUND YOU IN THE VERY ROOM IN WHICH YOU ARE SITTING YOU WILL FIND ALREADY ALMOST EVERYTHING WITHIN VIEW IS MADE OF PLASTIC!--From the wallpaper on the walls to the paint on the ceilings, the tile on the floor, the rugs on the floor, some of the tables & furniture standing about on the floor, trays, the case of your radio & your television & your video & the lampshades!
123. THE CLOCK CASE IS ALSO MADE OF PLASTIC, THE VIDEO TAPES, THE AUDIO TAPES & TAPE RECORDERS & PLAYERS--even the cover on that dictionary over there!--The covers on all your so-called paperbacks are actually plastic backs, paper coated with laminated plastic!--You can tell I'm obviously sitting in the bedroom!
124. THE FLASHLIGHT'S MADE OF PLASTIC, FILE CASES MADE OF PLASTIC, PLASTIC GLASSES & CUPS sitting about our room here made of plastics; the lampbase made of plastic, file folders made of plastic, letter folders made of plastic, glasses made of plastic, intercom made of plastic, calculator made of plastic, perfume bottles & various vitamin bottles made of plastic, the talcum powder bottle made of plastic, your pens & pencils & knife cover, scissor handles & wastebasket!
125. ALMOST THE ONLY THING I CAN SEE IN THIS WHOLE ROOM THAT'S NOT MADE OF PLASTIC IS A METAL FRAME for a little side table here, & an umbrella standing against the wall that happens to have a wooden stock! The binoculars case is made of plastic--& undoubtedly being a cheap Japanese make, the lenses are made of plastic as well! The barometer made of plastic, hydrometer made of plastic, thongs made of plastic, sandals made of plastic, my clipboard on which I do most of my work made of plastic with only a metal clamp; scotch tape made of plastic, etc.
126. WELL, THERE'S JUST HARDLY ANYTHING IN THE ROOM THAT'S NOT MADE OF PLASTIC except the light bulbs & one or two floor lamp posts & a couple wooden pieces of furniture!--But even these have plastic handles & plastic feet & plastic parts of the drawer & plastic upholstery & one is covered on top with plastic tile.
127. SO YOU'RE LIVING, BELOVED, IN A PLASTIC WORLD JUST FULL OF PLASTICS!--And although they're so useful & they were so cheap & so plentiful & so easy to get & use & make & sell for almost every purpose imaginable for almost every kind of material from the clothes you wear almost to the food you eat--at least it's packaged in it--one of the worst things about the stuff is it's almost indestructible!
128. IT WILL NOT NATURALLY ROT OR DECAY LIKE ALL OTHER NATURAL MATERIALS THAT GOD HAS MADE IN THE WORLD, so that when they got too old or broken or no longer useful, they would get themselves out of the way by rotting or decaying & going back to dust--from dust they were, unto dust they did return! (Ge.3:19.)--But not petro-plastics!
129. PLASTICS DON'T RETURN TO THE DUST BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T COME FROM DUST!--They came from the petrol in the ground--that black-gold oil which has become supposedly the greatest blessing in the World, but now one of its greatest curses if it has to go without it! Most natural materials that God made, particularly organic materials of course, but even many mineral materials actually crumble & decay.--The metals will rust or corrode until finally there's nothing left of them, & the wood will rot & the stones will crumble!
130. SOME OF THE FEW THINGS THAT GOD MADE WHICH WILL NOT CORRODE, RUST, CRUMBLE, ROT, DECAY or deteriorate with age & time, are the most precious gems in the World & the most precious minerals & metals such as jewels & gold & silver!--That is one reason they became so precious, because they were so lasting & almost indestructible!
131. GLASS, FIRST MANUFACTURED AS FAR AS WE KNOW BY THE EGYPTIANS, ALSO COMES UNDER THAT CATEGORY as being a material which will not rot or corrode or decay & is almost indestructible as the precious gems & gold & silver!--Which is why glass is pretty precious, too, as you'll find out when you go to replace a broken window for your car!
132. WHICH REMINDS ME, DON'T PARK YOUR CAR IN A DARK HIDDEN PLACE WHERE IT CAN'T BE SEEN & WATCHED OVER BY SOMEBODY, or thieves think it's being watched over, or you may suffer such a broken window as one of our folks did recently when they parked the car too far away. But that is one enemy of glass--is that it is easily broken & shattered--& breakage of glass about the house is quite common. So that's one way it gets destroyed.
133. BUT THE PETROPLASTICS WILL NOT ROT NOR DECAY & THEY'LL HARDLY EVEN BURN! When trying to burn them, as you've noticed, they will first melt & run down into the grate or grill or your incinerator or fireplace & really mess things up with a gooey mess; & even if you do finally get them to actually burn, they will belch forth a filthy black smoke with a horrible stench that is actually poisonous, toxic, dangerous & even be deadly!
134. THE BURNING OF PLASTICS IS VERY DANGEROUS BECAUSE THEY NEARLY ALL GIVE FORTH A DEADLY FUME OR SMOKE OF SOME KIND, & this is why fires in homes & hotels & department stores have been so very dangerous in recent years.--Because most of your house is made of plastics or filled with plastics, & so are the hotels & department stores. So that when they do catch on fire & start to burn, you're more apt to die of the fumes first & quickly--just of breathing the smoke--than you are of ever getting even near the flames or being burned by the fire!
135. THE QUICKEST WAY THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE DYING NOWADAYS IN THESE HOTEL FIRES, club fires, home fires & department store fires is just by simply breathing the smoke & the fumes of the burning petro-plastics & which kills them almost immediately & perhaps more mercifully before the fire ever gets near them & before they die a painful, torturous death in the flames! But death is death, & it still can be very suffocating & asphyxiating & quite deadly.
136. AND UNLESS YOU WANT TO DIE & END THINGS QUICKLY, I SUGGEST YOU DON'T BREATHE ANY KIND OF FUMES OF BURNING PLASTICS, not even from your own fireplace or your own incinerator or your own trash barrel outdoors. Be very sure that you have plenty of ventilation when burning plastics & that you do not take one whiff of those deadly black fumes! Some of the fumes are not even black or coloured in any way & can still be just as deadly!
137. SO WATCH OUT WHEN YOU'RE BURNING THE TRASH IN YOUR INCINERATOR, YOUR WASTE BARREL OUTDOORS OR YOUR HOME FIREPLACE WITHIN--which is the most dangerous place to burn it because of the fumes.--At the very least they can make you pretty sick. So the disposal of plastic waste is becoming one of the World's primary pollution problems, & the World's becoming polluted with these plastics because there's no natural way in which they can be disposed of other than by burning.
138. SOME HAVE ADVOCATED THE RECYCLING OR REUSE OF THE PLASTICS by grinding & re-melting & re-forming again as some plastics can be. But others are not possible to re-form, such as thermoset plastics which once they harden are there forever & can hardly even be burned, much less melted or re-molded. So the plastic cans & bottles that are filling the World today, as well as aluminum cans & bottles & beer cans & so on, are becoming a menace & a hazard to health & the countryside & the rivers & the lakes & even the oceans.
139. THE WORLD IS GETTING FILLED WITH PLASTICS MADE BY MAN, unnatural substances created by man's devilish practices & processes of reforming God's original materials into something He didn't make & which man has made for himself. It has been in some forms a blessing, but in the end analysis, a great menace & danger & threatening the World with an enduring form of almost indestructible pollution!
140. WELL, WE HAVEN'T TIME TO GO INTO YOUR LIVING ROOM & NAME ALL THE THINGS THERE WHICH ARE MADE OF PLASTIC, much less your kitchen & all the things there which are made of plastic--which are probably most items in & on the room & its surfaces, floors, ceilings, walls--the works!--But I believe I could safely say that most of the ductible, malleable, workable, formable, moldable materials used by you today are petro-plastics.
141. BECAUSE OF THEIR ORIGINALLY VERY CHEAP ORIGIN IN PETROL OR CHEAP OIL & ITS WASTE PRODUCTS, & their very easily workable materials to make all of these various items, & their great durability & even strength, so that gears of plastic will last longer & wear better than gears of steel, many parts of machinery are now being made of plastic rather than of iron or steel. Certain forms of hard thermoset plastics are more durable than iron or steel themselves, & the synthetic plastic fabrics are far more durable, stronger, wrinkle-free & so on, & less in danger of damaging than some of the natural fabrics.
142. SO MOST OF THE MATERIALS & ITEMS IN YOUR HOME ARE MADE TODAY OF PLASTICS. Everything, as I said, from your wall, floor, ceiling coatings to the very clothes you wear on your back: The stockings on your feet & the shirt on your back & the pants on your you-know-what, girls, as well as most of the pretty costume jewelry that you wear!
143. SO A WORLD WITHOUT PETROPLASTICS IS GOING TO BE QUITE A SHOCK TO THIS GENERATION who have been accustomed to them being extremely plentiful, abundant & dirt cheap! But when the oil runs out, so do the plastics, & that will be the end of cheap plastics & plentiful plastics, if not the complete end of nearly all plastics, except those which were becoming useful in my youth & childhood which I've already mentioned.
144. WE MAY HAVE TO GO BACK TO BAKELITE MADE OF RESIN, & CELLULOID & CELLOPHANE MADE OF CELLULOSE & flexible transparent windows made of isinglass! We survived in those days--we never missed petro-plastics because we never had any--& probably you will too! You may not even have those, you might say, natural plastics made of natural plentiful materials such as cellulose or resin or mica--unless you know the chemical processes whereby to purify & fabricate them & make them!--Including aluminum, which is just about the next thing to a plastic.
145. I WOULD SAY ALUMINUM IS A METAL THAT'S ALMOST CLOSER TO A PLASTIC THAN ANYTHING ELSE because of its ductile malleability & easy workability, but it could be very expensive to produce by electricity--& preferably hydroelectricity since water is usually cheap--water-power to generate electricity.
146. BUT IF THERE ARE NO MORE MACHINES WITH PLASTIC PARTS, great hydroelectric dynamos to generate it--& maybe the dams are gone & the waterpower is gone & the atomic plants are gone & the oil is gone--there could be no aluminum too, & maybe no Bakelite of cellulose or celluloid, cellophane, isinglass or any plastics!
147. ALL OF THESE ARE MADE BY COMPLICATED CHEMICAL PROCESSES--highly refined industrial technical processes--which is why they weren't made until my lifetime or shortly before--& took years to develop. These may be completely off the market as well. Oh yes of course, audio tapes & video tapes, these luxuries will probably be some of the first to go!
148. SO DEAR MARIA'S WHOLE IDEA WAS WHAT SHOULD WE BUY NOW BESIDES SURVIVAL FOOD, SURVIVAL CLOTHING, SURVIVAL HOUSING, MOBILE HOUSING--food, clothing & shelter--these being the primary needs of man.--What other materials are apt to go with the oil or with the war--even the atom war--that we may no longer have obtainable, but which we still use a great deal & need, & which perhaps we should also stockpile after our vital necessities are supplied?
149. WHAT OTHER MATERIALS SHOULD WE STOCKPILE THAT ARE PLENTIFUL & CHEAP AT PRESENT, which may be either exorbitant or totally unobtainable in the future? Well, just look around you & look at all those things made out of plastic & decide on which ones you're going to need the most.
150. BEGINNING WITH THE KITCHEN, YOU'LL PROBABLY STILL HAVE YOUR POTS & PANS--which we've recommended to be only stainless steel or Teflon coated aluminum. You'll probably still have your plastic plates & glasses & cups & bowls & saucers & even utensils. Although you won't be able to buy any more, these usually keep pretty well & you don't often run out of them; as well as the tools of your workshop for making things, which you may be doing a lot of, living in the wilderness or on a survival ranch or survival situation when the industrial West is gone & you're living in a Third World situation like they do, having to make your own necessities.
151. IT WOULD BE WISE TO HAVE A GOOD SET OF TOOLS ON HAND OF ALL VARIOUS KINDS which would make it easier to build your house or your furniture or even make a loom for weaving cloth for your clothing if you can't find animals skins. Tools even with plastic handles will probably survive along with you, & you don't usually have to replace them often.
152. THE REFERENCE BOOKS WHICH YOU ALREADY HAVE WILL PROBABLY ENDURE LONG ENOUGH TO LAST FOR THE DURATION, God willing, despite their plastic covers--or maybe because of their good tough plastic covers! Your furniture & furnishings, if you've already got them, will probably last for quite a while--at least till the end--as well as your clothing, if you have supplied yourself sufficiently for both Winter & Summer.
153. YOUR ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT IS USUALLY PRETTY DURABLE & WILL LAST FOR THE DURATION, hopefully, if you still have any electricity. And as I've explained before, if the atom plants are knocked out & there's no more oil-burning electric generators, the only electricity left will be hydroelectricity or hydro-generated, water-generated electricity. But if that goes too,
154. THE ONLY THING ELECTRIC THAT YOU'LL HAVE LEFT WILL BE THAT WHICH IS OPERATING ON BATTERIES, & God only knows how long they will last, unless they are rechargeable by either wind or water!--And wind-driven electric-generating systems are coming back again, which generate power that's stored in large storage batteries, & you may be back to that if you have any electricity at all, 'cause your portable batteries aren't going to last long.
155. IN THE END YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT YOUR TV OR YOUR VIDEO OR YOUR TAPE PLAYER, INTERCOMS OR RADIOS because you'll soon be out of juice! So then you certainly wouldn't worry about the loss of the tapes which are plastic. But at least for the immediate future, I would certainly stock up on audio tapes & video tapes & portable batteries, & even pens & pencils which may soon be in short supply, & anything else made of petroplastics which you think you may need!--The price of them is soon to go sky high with the oil & its shortage, & many of them become totally unobtainable or very scarce to say the least!
156. BUT AS LONG AS WE STILL HAVE EITHER ELECTRICITY OR PORTABLE BATTERIES, LET'S HOPE THEY LAST AS LONG AS POSSIBLE TO OPERATE PARTICULARLY OUR RADIOS, if not our TV's & videos, so we can get the news of the World as it happens!--And you do have at least one electrical generating plant on you property, very likely, & that's your automobile or your petrol-powered vehicle.--But that electricity for your auto battery will also run out when the gasoline or the diesel runs out!
157. SO ABOUT THE ONLY POWER LEFT WILL BE WIND OR WATER OR BURNABLE MATERIALS SUCH AS WOOD & PERHAPS SOME COAL. Coal will become more precious than oil when the oil runs out, so you'd better have a fireplace & stock up on wood for fuel & for heat & cooking! So those are your prospects for a World without plastics!
158. BUT YOU'LL HAVE BY THEN AT LEAST ONE BRIGHT PROSPECT, & THAT'S THE SOON-COMING OF THE LORD!--Because by the time things get that bad & you're living in Third World or wilderness refuge conditions, the Lord's coming shouldn't be too far away!--PTL & Hallelujah!--So you then won't have too long to wait!
159. THEN WE'LL HAVE A TOTALLY NEW & WONDERFUL MARVELLOUS WORLD, totally without plastics, but with peace & plenty for all! Hallelujah! TYJ!--See you then!--In Jesus' name, amen! God bless & keep you all--with or without oil or plastics--till Jesus comes!--In Jesus' name, amen!--Amen? We love you!
160. P.S. WE ALSO SUGGEST YOU SAVE YOUR BOTTLED GAS FOR EMERGENCIES & use electricity while you can: Electric cooking, (hotplates, toasters, coffeepots, tea kettles, heating coils) heating, etc. The new automatic electric "Crock Pots" are excellent one-dish time & electricity-savers, & make delicious meals that don't have to be watched like pressure cookers.
161. THE "CROCK POT" IS A FAIRLY NEW INVENTION combining the very old crockery pot with electric heating & timing that cooks a delicious one-pot dinner on low slow heat for hours without supervision, & is even safe to start in the A.M. & leave all day while you're away!--And you come home in the evening & dinner is done, hot & ready to serve!
162. THE VERY LATEST "CROCK POT" IS VERY LIGHTWEIGHT with a metal Teflon pot inside and a lightweight plastic electric cooker, has three speeds from 30 watts to 150 & automatic electric timer, as well as a cookbook on crock-pot meals!
163. JUST THROW IN THE FOOD, SET HEAT & TIMER, & FORGET IT till dinner hours later!--But it is not for fast-food meals!--But it saves on your time & electrical energy & electricity bills!
164. LIGHT METAL CROCK POTS ARE IDEAL FOR MOBILE HOMES, as they are safer, save space, weight, electricity & don't overheat your caravan, tent or camper & save time, pot-washing & water. Try one! You'll love it! We do! It'll be your second most important pot to your Porta-Potty!--Ha!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family