Andrew Revkin, If It Wasn’t For Black Carbon Nobody Would Be Prosperous Enough To Buy Your Music

I see New York Times science journalist Andrew Revkin has applied his musical talent to record and release a song criticizing evil black carbon:

I’m still trying to figure out people like Revkin. They constantly rail against the very things that make their lives pleasant, safe and fulfilling. To me it’s as rational as hating African-Americans, yet loving jazz and blues music to death. Makes no sense!

They want everybody else to stop using carbon, yet seem to immensely enjoy the benefits the black stuff brings. Society today without the petroleum industry is like an ice cream cone without ice cream. Without lights, we’re back in the dark ages.

If you don’t like carbon, well then don’t use it. Don’t use any fossil fuel, don’t use anything made of plastics, and don’t buy from any vendors that use plastics or carbon fuels…i.e. like hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, food processors, airlines, taxis, etc.. We’d all love to see you yourself live without plastic and petroleum first, i.e. bathing in a cold river, running around, donning a piece of hide, eating bugs and berries filled with parasites, and squatting over a hole to do your biz.

Man used to live without carbon fossil fuel, and it really sucked. They lived to be about 20 – on average!

Anyway I hope you like the music, I like it. But a Neil Young he’ll never be.

I’ll buy his CD (minus one song), but only after he says thank you to the petroleum industry, who made it possible for him to compose and produce the music in the first place. We all live in this world together, and it’s time people start appreciating everyone else’s effort. Stop being idiot ingrates.

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UPDATE: Andrew left a reader comment, which I repost as follows (my emphasis):

I’ve got to differ with you on this being a song about evil. It describes clearly all the stuff carbon does for us (“it’ll spin your wheels, it’ll nuke your meals, it’ll turn your night to day..”) and the downsides (greenhouse buildup, the occasional oil war). I did shift the lyrics a few years back to take out “Satan.” That resulted in some jabs (appropriate). I explained why here (and I think this constitutes the “thank you” you talk about): http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/qa_andrew_revkin.php?page=all [F]olk music is a plastic and evolutionary process. Originally, it said, “Satan came along and said, ‘Hey, try lighting this.’ He opened the ground and showed us coal and oil.” And, you know, I thought a lot about that. I probably approached the song initially in the voice of your traditional, Bob Dylan rabble-rouser. And now I look back, and I think, you know, it’s not Satan; it’s normal. It’s just us. So I changed it to, “Someone came along and said, ‘Hey, try lighting this,’” which is much more human and real. And as many of my free-market, blog-commenter friends would say, look at all the benefits that have come from burning fossil fuels.”
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/liberated-carbon-itll-turn-your-night-to-day/.

 

31 responses to “Andrew Revkin, If It Wasn’t For Black Carbon Nobody Would Be Prosperous Enough To Buy Your Music”

  1. JP

    “Man used to live without carbon, and it really sucked.”

    This is not true, all organic matter, including trees, contains carbon. Ever since man mastered fire, he has been burning hydrocarbons.

    What changes with coal, petroleum, natural gas, etc, is the concentration of burnable resources, as well as the energy produced per unit burned.

  2. DirkH

    O/T Looks like Prokon is finished.
    http://www.fr-online.de/energie/windkraft-prokon-prokon-steht-vor-der-pleite,1473634,25861758.html
    Aggressively marketed 8% interest rate bonds in German public transportation for years, collected 1.6 bn EUR and invested in wind parks. Characteristics of the end of a Ponzi scheme; investors get out their money, Prokon runs out of liquidity.

  3. Andy Revkin

    I’ve got to differ with you on this being a song about evil. It describes clearly all the stuff carbon does for us (“it’ll spin your wheels, it’ll nuke your meals, it’ll turn your night to day..”) and the downsides (greenhouse buildup, the occasional oil war). I did shift the lyrics a few years back to take out “Satan.” That resulted in some jabs (appropriate). I explained why here (and I think this constitutes the “thank you” you talk about):
    http://www.cjr.org/the_observatory/qa_andrew_revkin.php?page=all

    [F]olk music is a plastic and evolutionary process. Originally, it said, “Satan came along and said, ‘Hey, try lighting this.’ He opened the ground and showed us coal and oil.” And, you know, I thought a lot about that. I probably approached the song initially in the voice of your traditional, Bob Dylan rabble-rouser. And now I look back, and I think, you know, it’s not Satan; it’s normal. It’s just us.

    So I changed it to, “Someone came along and said, ‘Hey, try lighting this,’” which is much more human and real. And as many of my free-market, blog-commenter friends would say, look at all the benefits that have come from burning fossil fuels.

    1. Kurt in Switzerland

      Andy,

      You’re trying to have it both ways. (Burning carbon is a sin, but it also gives us a comfortable lifestyle, reduces poverty, saves lives, …).

      Your song (and the policies you tacitly support) portray carbon [combustion] as a sort of Damocles’ Sword, whereby its continued use comes with the threat of death and destruction.

      Sure, air pollution is a problem in many major cities. So why not establish and foment best practices? (That would be a “no-brainer”). But the UNFCCC is hell-bent on setting and enforcing quotas to reduce a nation’s carbon footprint (or its per-capita footprint). This is an axiom for believers in Anthropogenic Global Warming, disagreement with which risks unleashing the full wrath of the climate warriors. Don’t go there, or if you do, watch your back side.

      The height of hypocrisy is when climate warriors jet-set the globe, staying in four and five star hotels (at taxpayers’ expense), while exhorting their fellow humans to reduce their carbon footprint “for the good of the planet.”

      Rational people are beginning to see through the charade and are quite rightly disgusted by such behavior.

      Kurt in Switzerland

      P.S. Thank you for focusing on problems of overfishing on your blog (as well as other “real” problems from time to time; but this doesn’t generate quite the interest of a burning or melting earth.

    2. Kurt in Switzerland

      Andy,

      You’re trying to have it both ways, as though burning carbon is a form of Damocles’ Sword. It enables us to do great things, but in doing so we run the risk of death and destruction. You refer to CO2 emissions as wicked, but acknowledge that there are multiple benefits from burning fossil fuels, if only in deference to your free-market friends.

      Why not pursue the no brainer path? Encourage and foment best practices. Focus on actual AIR POLLUTION, not on carbon combustion.

      Instead, you are pandering to the eco-warrior-activist mindset: producing excess CO2 is akin to sinning, which requires that we compensate through taxes, planting trees, or purchasing allowances.

      The UNFCCC is hell bent on reducing the Carbon Footprint of the individual in each developed country to some arbitrary quota. This is an axiom for believers in AGW. Question its validity and you risk an onslaught from the Romms and the McKibbens and their followers.

      The height of hypocrisy is the eco warriors who jet set around the globe staying in luxury hotels, all the while exhorting their fellow humans to cut back. All on someone else’s tab, too! Applies to government negotiators, NGO representatives, pundits and reporters who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.

      Jim Hansen and Christina Figueres both praise China for its progress in addressing climate, going out of their way to criticize the democratic processes from their respective home countries, where so called climate policy doesn’t get implemented in accordance with their wishes. Wonder what their individual carbon footprint is! Figueres’ wardrobe alone would likely clothe a small town. They should both go live in North Korea to learn best climate practices and get back to us after a year.

      Kurt in Switzerland

    3. Jimbo

      Andy,
      The problem with many Warmists is that not one of them knows life without fossil fuels, not one. They take the benefits and attack the providers, this raises my blood pressure no end. Nobody forces anyone to use fossil fuels but it is a part of our lives, it runs almost EVERYTHING – directly or indirectly.

      One way for people to think about the issue is to imagine life without fossil fuels. Maybe later this century viable alternatives and breakthrough innovations (nuclear fusion??) will lessen the grip of fossil fuels, but for the here and now the attacks on fossil fuels are silly and hypocritical. Maybe this is why they call us fossil fuel funded shills etc. It’s not that at all, we just know what fossil fuels do for us and are not prepared (yet) to discard them without VIABLE alternatives.

      “Life After Energy: What if fossil fuels disappeared tomorrow?”
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/07/life-after-energy-what-if-fossil-fuels-disappeared-tommorrow/

    4. Ann Nengo

      Dear Andrew Revkin:

      Several months ago, your blog had a hard-hitting video segment with the following title (maybe partial) page. It may have been one that you used as an introduction piece ? I very much would appreciate a link to it and permission to use it in a classroom setting. It is part of a unit I am working on and I have not been able to find it anywhere. The segment was on mechanized agriculture.

      “Now and into the future, our challenges are going to be finding enough to fuel industrialized economies and pull developing countries out of poverty without overheating the climate ….

  4. Lance

    ….But a Neil Young he’ll never be….

    Neil is doing a tour of Canada right now, raising money to fight the Oil Sands developement…he’s not welcome here in Alberta…!!

  5. DirkH

    Nice music and voice actually; lyrics make it more of a collector’s item for the CO2AGW believer though.

  6. handjive

    I sent an amended verse for his song to his dot earth site:

    Liberated carbon, it’s what made my guitar
    Liberated carbon it’s what made my car
    Liberated carbon it turns my night into day hey hey
    Come on and liberate some carbon
    So everybody lives better today

    The comment was deleted.

  7. Mindert Eiting

    Carbon is the most remarkable element of the universe and CO2 and H2O the most remarkable compounds. Without these no life. The anti-carbon movement is anti-life. Apparently, this suicidal movement also needs some music but without life no music.

  8. DICK R

    The scientific ignorance of the ecolunatics never ceases to amaze!

  9. Buddy

    Brought to you by the lovely fossil fuel companies:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/beijing-air-pollution-dangerously-high-levels-21550795

    Next thing you know, they will start paying blogs to post pro fossil fuel articles:)

    1. DirkH

      That is not an argument against fossil fuels; otherwise Germany would have similar problems. But we have clean air. So you are bringing an argument in favor of flue gas scrubbing yet you THINK it’s an argument against fossil fuels.

      Dirt cheap Chinese fossil fuels have brought you your shiny cheap solar panels.

  10. John F. Hultquist

    I realize neither song lyrics nor warmists have to make sense but “nuke your meals” seems a stretch. When trying to communicate it is not a good idea to send the reader’s mind off to contemplate things that are unrelated or tenuously related to the subject. Misdirection is a fine strategy when writing fiction.

    1. Kurt in Switzerland

      John,

      “Nuke your meals” is argot for microwaving.

      Kurt in Switzerland

      1. John F. Hultquist

        Yes, I know, but microwaves in my unit are powered by falling water – not fossil fuels. Building the dam, the grid, and the microwave oven did require such fuels but thinking of the chain of events causes me to miss the next line or two of the lyrics. Besides, food irradiation is done and thinking about that leads one further away. I know, don’t over think this stuff. Why didn’t he just write “Grill your meats” that expresses an immediate connection?

  11. Buddy

    Who are all these “warmists”? Aren’t a LOT of the scientific articles that are peer reviewed…written by scientists that don’t believe that warming is caused by fossil fuels (by man)?

    Funny you should ask:) In the latest look at peer reviewed literature published over the last 13 months from November of 2012 through December of 2013….. there were 2,258 articles (written by 9,136 authors).

    Only one article, by a single author in the Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences, rejected man-made global warming. ONE. (see link at bottom of page)

    I know what you’re thinking: “So there IS a chance”……:)

    http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/01/08/why-climate-deniers-have-no-scientific-credibility-only-1-9136-study-authors-rejects-global-warming

    1. Kurt in Switzerland

      Buddy,

      Why do you parrot such a silly article from DeSmogBlog?

      There is nothing to be gained by doing a search on key words and ascribing some scientific credibility to a paper containing those key words which tacitly agrees with AGW or not. Same goes for counting up papers.

      The ONLY papers of merit in trying to understand AGW are those which attempt to ascertain cause and effect, i.e., those dealing with attribution.

      That a majority of climate scientists working today accept the axiom that CO2 emissions are “bad” is no surprise. Taking the opposite stance would severely reduce your chances of publication (not to mention even obtaining funding)! This is a case of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

      The real (and only) question is the following: “To what extent are human CO2 emissions driving climate on earth?”

      THAT answer is outstanding.

      Kurt in Switzerland

  12. John F. Hultquist

    Buddy needs to catch up. I suggest going to Jo Nova’s site http://joannenova.com.au/
    and find near the upper part of the left column the booklet “The Skeptic’s Handbook.” This is somewhat dated now (2009) but the first few pages might help a person such as Buddy.
    The point is we have moved beyond the simplistic. A newcomer needs a little time to catch up but spouting nonsense over and over will get you ignored.