Yes, We Protest Shell Oil with Products Made from Oil. Duh. Now Join Us.


Saying: "No one is trying to be sanctimonious about it..."

Indicates he should look up the meaning of 'sanctimonious' ("making a show of being morally superior to other people.")

Because few things are more showy than paddling out in a child's toy for a screed of righteousness.
The butthurt is strong in this one.
" It's not about blaming or shaming or telling people they can't live their lives. It's about telling Shell they can't lock us into this catastrophe any more."

Yet they're trying to tell Shell how to live their corporate life, hrmm?
Look, you fool, the reason they're hypocrites is because they're buying up discretionary items made by oil. Shirts, or whatever mandatory product made by slave labor, is different because of their necessity. Kayaks and cars, are discretionary items that these people could easily go without but choose not to. Because they're hypocrites. How is this not obvious to you?
I occasionally find myself feeling scornful of the movement because of this perceived hypocrisy. But I also acknowledge that there's really no way to be an active member of modern society without consuming and using petroleum and the products it creates. So I try to push that thought out of my head and recognize that it's a straw man.

But I do take issue with the "no one is trying to be sanctimonious..." statement. That's probably the primary source of my annoyance with this issue/movement. I still do not understand why Shell deserves such a large share of the scorn. They are providing a product that we all want and that we all continue to buy. They are providing it directly as a result of our demand for it. We all want oil and we all want it cheaply. And on top of that, it seems like most of us prefer it comes from a sandy place, far, far away, where brown people without basic human rights or fair wages are responsible for getting it out of the ground and onto ships bound for our shores.

Finally, the definition of sanctimonious: "making a show of being morally superior to other people." Sydney Brownstone: "Chill walk back. Can't help thinking: Jesus Christ, shouldn't people be angrier about this?"
Plastics aren't made from oil, they're made from gas or naphtha.

Thanks for weighing in @1, it's always good to have a white supremacist's opinion.
Some kayaktivist named Ansel Herz says, "If someone—or, say, the planet—is getting beaten up with a baseball bat, is it immoral to use a baseball bat to fight back?

If someone-or, say, Shell-is getting beaten up by kayakivist, is it immoral to use a baseball bat to fight back?

Just using Anselhole's argument. Ansel would cry "FOUL" if Shell took action against him. Why, because he's a CRY BABY.

There are no Kids here. And we will NOT dispense with this pernicious meme.
It's the same simple-minded mindset that would negate everything Al Gore has done because he has a big house and flies places. It seems like a lot of young people are especially susceptible to this sort of thinking - along with angry old white guys.
@3 I should cut off your hands, and don't you dare tell me not to. I should be able to live my life the way I want!
I am starting a petition to ban all Hydro-Carbons and their derivatives from Seattle city proper.

Why should the rest of the world risk its life, and work hard for a living, so Emerald City Ingrates can spit all over it?

That's an utterly specious argument. I don't think a single person in those kayaks would deny that petroleum is a useful chemical with an uncountable number of legitimate uses. That's not the point. Making an object like a kayak which can last for 50 years and serve several families or dozens of people is very different than burning gallon after gallon of gasoline to drive your Humvee to the 7-11. The fight is not against all use of oil as a resource. It is against destructively drilling for more and more and more oil to burn indiscriminately and irresponsibly.
Or, to sum up the article, state a simple fact and refute the imbecilic comments here: There is no such thing as ethical consumption within capitalism.

It is against destructively drilling for more and more and more oil to burn indiscriminately and irresponsibly.

Then show me one person in that group willing to fight for Hydrogen.

Because we already have the technology to produce plastics from natural gas without oil refining.

If we switched to Hydrogen we would not need petroleum either for fuel or for plastics and other by-products.

But you will not, and they will not, fight for Hydrogen.

The reason is they are not in search of a real solution.

Because this is not a real protest for the environment.

This is a political charade to exert pressure on a competitor, maybe get mau-mau some more money from Shell, or get someone's bread buttered.

@6: And Safari's dictionary says naphtha is "a flammable oil containing various hydrocarbons, obtained by the dry distillation of organic substances such as coal, shale, or petroleum."
@, Chop Away! Ha-Ha!!
@11, Chop Away! Ha-Ha!!
The "environmentalist" driving the 1976 pickup comes off as the biggest hypocrite here. The pollution coming out of that thing in one trip to a pointless protest is 100X what a modern vehicle puts out in a year of driving. Enjoy your unburnt hydrocarbons, everyone!
No, they'd rather have the protesters make their kayaks from the skins of animals already endangered by climate change: polar bears, sea lions, etc.

Hell, these reactionaries would prefer the protesters make their kayaks from the skins of do passenger pigeons or dodos, except, ya know...
Ansel, you had me until the sanctimonious (c). If you are serious about engaging more people in this, then spending your time arguing with the people calling protesters hypocrites is not where you need to start. It's the people who haven't really thought about how they can get involved, and need an invitation to join. Using precious attention span with the latter group to rail about how idiots are idiots just makes you sound juvenile, and the majority of people aren't looking for a new juvenile buddy to listen to or take action with.
Why is it that those who actively want the planet to burn, baby, burn! object to the use of stuff that might in some oblique way contribute to that?

Hell, you hypocrites should be warming your hands at that bonfire.
@Thrill Killer
"live their corporate life"? I dont think that makes sense. Drilling for oil in the arctic is not just some guy "living his life man...."

I think it is pretty silly to say that anyone should never ever use oil or their stance against risky oil exploration practices are null and void. I don't have to refuse to use anything made with electricity to think that a nuclear plant in Seattle is a bad idea. These protestors are not against society, they are against specific types of energy extraction given the very bad projected impacts. That's totally reasonable, and you don't have to be some hemp-wearing commune-living hippie to hold those views.
I love the argument of "you aren't allowed to care about X because you do Y" when it relates to things like the environment or capitalism. The only people allowed to care are those that have completely shunned all semblance of modern living, do not use currency, do not drive a car, etc. What an ignorant way to view the world.
Here durf, indeed. Yes. Drilling in the arctic is a near guarantee of ecological catastrophe. But you need understand that at some point YOU have to make the sacrifice.

Here's a good analogy. The War on Drugs: You know why the war on drugs fails? Because people want drugs. And every intervention by the government on drives UP the price of drugs making more profits for dealers.

You wanna know why we have global warming and oil spills? Because YOU want products made of oil and you want cheap energy and nearly everything you do drives production of more oil - or - drives up the price making more money for oil companies.

So, Ansel. The fact is you and nearly everybody else in this country, want somebody else to make all the sacrifices. And sorry, but no, you can't have it both ways. And it is an irony worth noting and understanding.

I guarantee you that the number of protestors would dwindle down to near zero if, in order to protest, they had to sign a a deal that they'd have to use zero petro-chemical products or that those products cost 10X more. That's what you're asking. Eventually.

But today you get consume, consume, consume, as much as you want and then drive your Subaru, don your rubber wet-suit, paddle your plastic Kayak, and wave your plastic banner and the means of production of all that shit - and you want THEM to stop. But you keep buying and wanted this shit cheap.

Oh yeah, Hannibal Lector here and his hypocrite buddy reactionaries are on the sane and reasonable side.

Wow, I had no idea so many Stranger readers worked for Shell.
That argument holds for an end product like recreational drugs, but not for oil. The entire economy runs on oil. There is no way "political consumerism" has a hope of reducing energy demand enough to cut oil out. The reason people do stuff like this, is that drilling for oil in the arctic *in specific* is a really bad idea for almost everyone. Also people feel like we should get energy from someplace else. To strain your drug war simile, its like asking people to switch from bath salts to indica. They still get to get high, but it won't kill them or their friends.
TRANSLATION: You brushed your teeth this morning with a plastic toothbrush, YOU ARE THE BIGGER CLIMATE CHANGE CRIMINAL THAN SHELL OIL.

If you really want to save this planet, youd go back to your granpappy's old fashioned ivory toothbrush!
I was going to say "good luck without petroleum in modern society, but at least one person beat me to it.

Instead, I'll comment about the unfamiliar names I see here (not that I have a thorough working knowledge of all of us SLOGgers). I'm suspecting there are a couple of trolls and/or gentrifiers in this thread.
The kayaktivists resemble the Seattle I have known and loved for nearly 25 years more than people who point out this paradox and call it hypocrisy.
Yeah seriously. All of a sudden Slog feels like yahoo comments
@ 28, it's not about the arctic specifically, so much as the arctic is the fight that was brought here. If we get a heads up about fracking equipment there'd be a similar protest.
Yeah, his drug analogy skipped the "logic" part of analogy.

Believe it or not, those "gentrifiers" you speak of are 100% genuine legal residents of Seattle. Now. Today. Not 25 years ago.

And so are these "hipsters" and "brogrammers" and "woo girls" and all the other words older people use to describe younger people walking around the neighborhood like they own the place.
I love Shell, I love Oil and everything it provides me. I do not care about "The Environment".

Out of all of the "protesters" at the port. What percentage of them is this their first Arctic Drilling protest? Ooh..Arctic drilling is BAD!

Arctic Drilling has been going on since about 1968. If they cared, they should've cared a longtime ago. And not because a drill rig is here.

Out of all of the protester at the port. What percentage of them would protest Arctic drilling for the first time if the Polar Pioneer never, ever showed up?
Amen @11. We almost completely rely on oil for transportation (i.e. jobs) and yet we have almost no interest in sustaining that relationship. Should we find ways to wean ourselves off oil or double down and put all our eggs in one basket? It's not up to consumers to develop an alternative fuel source, only corporations and governments have the necessary capital.
@25 for the Big Win.

If you cared about excessive oil use, you'd line the streets daily in a Critical Mass mode, blocking Earth-fuckers in SUVs, pickups, et al. But NOOOOO, a kayak cluster-fuck just shows what effete narcissists you are.
Liberal here, commenting to fellow liberals: where is the passion AND action to demand realistic changes to the law and capitalist economic manipulators to move the needle on replacing the ginormous number of American jobs directly related to, or dependent on, oil? Crickets, cuz that's a lot less glam than doing ring around the platform.
Ok, so how many times was Ansel knocked around and hit without a bike helmet on before all the "herp derp" stated coming out in his speech ?
its more "feeble" than "pernicious".

@25 that's a lot of nonsense. This problem will only be addressed through concerted political action. Individuals are powerless alone. Demonstrations like these are how political movements gets started.
@34, you know why I accuse some people of not being from around here? Because this city (& The Stranger) used to be a progressive place. The brogrammers and woo-girls in particular have changed this place for the worse, and it often shows in comments threads. As for the hipsters, they're neutral IMO. They are who they are with much help from seattles contribution to our culture.
Many of the new arrivals should have been directed to Bellevue.

How self-aggrandizing would you have to be (or ignorant of history, alternately) to believe, in 2015, that you're starting political opposition to Big Oil?
This protest is one of the best things I've seen in awhile. You don't have to be free from imperfections to have a grievance and to act on that grievance. I hope this is just the start and that we do expand to more civil disobedience.

I mean, is there anyone on this thread that thinks our modern society is heading in the right direction? You may not have a fire for climate change but the protest movement needs practice to get established when your hot issue arises society will be ready.
This meme is a dishonest, pointless distraction. Ignore it. The deniers will say anything and do anything to pull the conversation away from the actual issue at hand. Keep the focus on the need to move away from fossil fuels, not on how to exist and protest without using fossil fuels today.

I much prefer a city that changes over the years, and a city where the entrenched older population has not managed to completely stamp out the freedom of migration that the young enjoy (and deserve).

You might be happier in a small town (a nice liberal one, of course); you don't seem to have the appetite for humanity's variety that a genuinely urban environment requires.
Yeah, I'm really buying the "I'm liberal but I'm really worried about the oil jobs."

Uh huh, sure, and the buggy whip manufacturers were also really concerned about ther workers, yup, back in the 19Th century, that was their real worry.

Also, too: y'all climate change apologists might take a gander at the development of biomass plastcs, not all of which are biodegradable or dependent on fossil fuels for production…

Dollars to donuts it's not the oil companies or their dipshit hypocrite apologists involved in that revolution, but the hippie environmentalists, and ya know,.real scientists and not science deniers.
God Slog is a dumb place to live.
Theres only one thing thats going to help the environment, reducing oil consumption. Theres two ways of doing this
1) Educate people about the real cost of our out of control oil consumption and ask them to reduce their consumption.
2) stop tax breaks for oil companies and start taxing the hell out of oil.

The problem with this protest is I don't know what they want other then for the problem to go out of the sight of seattle.

Ps having a 67 chevy and being anti oil does make you a hypocrite cause it shows you don't give a fuck about your own oil consumption. Having a kayak doesn't make you a hypocrite.
The entire economy runs on oil. There is no way "political consumerism" has a hope of reducing energy demand enough to cut oil out.

That's exactly the point. Which clearly don't understand.

There IS no replacement for oil. Not that will sustain a consumer economy like we have. But very few people, you, Ansel, the protesters stop to think what that means. You're completely entitled and don't stop to think about what you're willing or will need to sacrifice to get what you want. Shell is only one small part.

Sure. Drilling in the arctic is insane in terms of potential devastation to wild life etc.

But it's a drop in proverbial Global Warming bucket in comparison to the slow motion suicide you participate in every day with out thinking.

And sorry but yes consumers DO have to change their patterns first. Consumers can't fix it but they can provide political cover to kickstart institutional changes.

Governments do not lead. And corporations sure as shit don't lead. But people DO. Protesting is great but it won't stop global warming.

Enough people have to be willing to no longer participate in the status quo of the oil driven consumer economy FIRST to provide a tipping point for Government to take action. Are you willing to have your taxes triple? Are you willing to pay 5-10x more for shit? Because THATS what has to happen.

So. You have to understand the sacrifices you'll need to make. And I think just blythly climbing in a kayak or driving your Suburu should be recognized as entitments you don't automatically deserve. The things you want come with a price.

Well, the oil lobby is out in full force today! Shows where the money is, I guess.
Obviously, it's not hypocritical to protest the insane rate at which we consume petroleum. That's like saying that advocates for a slower speed limit shouldn't drive cars.
Most advanced countries get by on far, far less petroleum per unit of virtually anything produced than do we.
We are unwilling to do so because our Republican overlords are bought and paid for by the oil industry. I mean, you can't make up the fact that in the last Republican administration, both the President and Vice President were oil company executives, and their signature foreign policy objective was to invade the Middle East to ensure control of other people's petroleum.
And although the protest is aimed at Shell, we have a legitimate right to say that we don't want our public port to be an instrument for the wonton drilling and consumption of every last drop of petroleum on the planet--wouldn't it be ok to leave some of this incredibly useful stuff to our great-grandchildren? Is it really imperative that we burn every barrel of it before John Boehner dies?
Right-wingers left sanity along time ago in favor of Limbaughesque bluster. (Thrillkiller: there's a difference between Arctic drilling and Arctic offshore drilling. Make a note of that.)
Btw this protest movement was "started" 40 years ago. And protests have achieved jack shit in 40 years. This isn't like Civil Rights or even anti-war protests. You can't use the same tactics.

Oil consumption and production has only accelerated and oil industry profits have only gone up for 40 years. What's the definition of insanity again?

We've (including me) been protesting for 40 years... and at this point we have to start sacrificing or changing how we consume or all the protests in the world will continue to do nothing.

In fact consumers buying Prius's or Volts have more to avert global warming than any protest ever.

@10: Hydrogen is a storage medium, not a source of energy. People don't "advocate for hydrogen" in the same way that they don't advocate for batteries. Hydrogen must be produced, usually by electricity. Electricity can be made by solar and wind power. Hydropower can be used to balance the variability of solar and wind power, but is not available in many parts of the country. I expect that if, as many clean energy advocates are pushing for, we move to renewables such as solar and wind power, hydrogen would become a logical storage medium. It's probably possible within 50 years to cover the Dakotas with windmills and develop a hydrogen distribution network as robust as our gasoline distribution network. Summary: advocacy for solar and wind = advocacy for hydrogen.
The Tu Quoque Fallacy, perfectly illustrated.
@tkc: Between 1975 and 1985, average passenger vehicle mileage doubled from about 13.5 mpg to 27.5, while fuel economy for light trucks increased from 11.6 mpg to 19.5. I guess you call doubling auto efficiency in 10 years "jack shit." I don't. Keep up the pressure.
@ tkc
The economy runs in oil because it needs energy, and oil is an easy place to get it. People don't have a way to reduce their energy consumption that only targets oil, asides from their cars. But even reducing use won't switch the energy to greener sources. Only overtly political actions have a hope of reducing oil dependence in the USA. That why people try to bring political pressure and get electeds involved
@10: Are you possibly aware that hydrocarbons make up a substantial chunk of living biomass?
@13: Top five reasons why the hydrogen economy will not pan out:

@51, there IS Offshore drilling in Alaska. I found it. So can you.
@55 that's exactly what I was saying. Read what I wrote again. Nobody was protesting for more fuel effiency.

Fuel efficiency standards improvement was driven by consumer choices, changes in consumptive habits and oil prices. Not protests.

Certainly there was lots of polices activism by environmental groups. But protests didn't achieve those changes.
I think that the point has been lost here. These protests are geared towards stopping future plans of exploiting our arctic resources and turning maybe the only shards of a pristine environment we have on this earth into a polluted disaster. We already have enough wasteland from energy companies to remedy without endangering our most vulnerable ecosystem.

We all have to use fuel and water. As an environmental scientist and a consumer I know that we have more than enough oil to fuel our outrageous consumption habits as a society for many decades to come. If we want to begin to be better stewards of our world sticking up for our rights as consumers and preserving our lands is the first step.
@29 I'd go for a wooden toothbrush. Ivory would killl more whales. But the whales are already gone
@57 man, this is frustrating.

People won't reduce consumption because oil makes energy and products cheap. That's the advantage of oil.

And because we have a cultural and economic entitlement to consume we don't question this. We defer the real costs of the oil economy onto other societies and future generations.

The sacrifice you will have to make is to pay much, much more... for literally everything. If by political action or voluntary action. That's what needs to happen. You need to pay more.

And nobody in this country wants to do that. Nobody wants to pay 10x the cost of their Kayak. As evidenced in this thread they don't even want to admit it's THIER consumption that is driving climate change. It's this outside boogeyman "the oil companies."

They want Shell to cover that cost simply by not producing but that won't work. And every protestor needs to know that.

Nobody wants to make the collective sacrifices we need for real change. We all have too much to lose. We only want other people to do it.

In a democracy change won't come until the people recognize they have alter how they do things or politicians, protests or not, won't make the really hard choices.

Unless your advocating for a dictatorship. Then, sure, a minority of protestors can impose their benevolent will.
@63 I agree. Drilling for oil in the arctic will doom what little habitat climate change won't already destroy. From the perspective of attempting to protect wild places stopping Shell from doing so is noble.

However, I still think making everybody aware of the reality of thier collective participation in what drives Shell to go to the arctic in the first place is perfectly reasonable.
Was this article linked by the Drudge Report or Breitbart? Because this comments section has been flooded by angry, ignorant, right wing, Teabagging assholes. So much hatred for people who actually care about what we are doing to the planet. Ugh.
Wow, all the posters not seen on Slog before seem to be pro Shell. What a coincidence that they all just happened to come across Ansel's and Sydney's reports, and all felt so strongly that they must register and comment several times on EVERY post about Artic Drilling, and ONLY on those posts. What passion too, in speaking out on a subject that doesn't impact them personally. The anti-drilling people believe climate change is real, so they're trying hard to reduce fossil fuels consumption, to keep everything from going extinct, and to save the lives of the 90+% of people on Earth that depends on the oceans for their livelihood. They might or might not be tilting at windmills, but if people don't stand up for things they believe in then no progress can ever be made. We'd still be having slavery and child labor and the frightful indenture system. People would still be shot or sent to penal colonies for stealing horses and bread, and some of you'd still be sharecroppers.
So we know what motivates the climate activists - they believe they're working to save lives, including their own. What motivates those of you who are against stopping the oil companies? Why are you so against switching to renewable energy? You do know that eventually the oil will run out, right? Oil is made from the corpses and carcasses of organic animals and plants buried in the Earth over many millennia, it can't be replenished in human timescale. What will you do when the oil is gone? Switch to other forms of energy, you say? So why not switch now, and keep all the plants and animals and good weather and food and WATER we have now? Why wait till after the mass extinctions and water wars and exotic deadly diseases and millions dead from starvation? You've seen those emaciated sea lion and dolphin pups washing up on the beaches, yes? The Canadian cod is gone FOREVER, Atlantic cod almost gone, the salmon is next, anchovies, herring, tuna, rock fish, shrimps, oysters, clams, mussels, etc.: ALL the fish and shellfish we eat are in big trouble, their populations on the verge of collapse with warmer temps. Just call up anyone who fishes, and ask them how much longer it takes them to get their catch now compared to before. We'll soon see millions more emaciated and starved; only it won't just be marine mammals, it will be HUMANS too. That means YOU, your family, parents, sibs, children, friends, neighbors! Wake up and smell the burning, literally; the wildfire "season" goes year round now, and it will get a lot worse as the world gets warmer. Sure hope you don't have any loved ones that are fighting wild fires, or live near forests; the wind shifts suddenly and you are trapped, and dead, BURNED ALIVE! Do you know who fight most of these forest fires? College students and young adults. Yep, students in forestry and earth sciences, and high school graduates working summer jobs. Is any amount of money and oil profits worth their young lives? Does your right to fossil fuels trump their rights to LIVE?
Not sure it's a great idea to take future planning advice from a guy who chooses a mushroom cloud as his profile picture.
People don't choose to consume because oil makes things cheap, they consume because they like stuff.
The market can push things IF consumers have choices and can vote with their money. And just like voting, not spending doesn't influence the system. But consumers can't choose their energy sources and pathways. You can't phone up city light and say, send me only hydro, I'll pay extra. So that means that solutions have to be found politically, and poo pooing grassroots activism isn't a good way to help out.
I can't speak for others, but I've never said anything like that to anyone. Why did you?
I'm surprised there's any traction to this. Plastic boats are more environmentally "correct" than other materials, easier to transport, and long lasting. If petroleum was only used to create durable goods and less for burned or disposable ones, there would be no issue at all with our oil usage. How many wells does it take to create all the non-disposable plastics in the whole world? The meme is ridiculous.

Besides, the protests in elliot bay are not "OIL BAD!". They're specifically addressing the expansion of drilling to places where accidents could be disastrous, and addressing expansion at all, really, since we have more than enough cheaply available oil to create all the plastics we need, ever. Why is this hard to grasp? Kayak manufacture is not what's killing the planet.

It's like when people gripe about vegetarians wearing leather shoes -- there's hypocrisy only if the wearers disposed of three pair a day. Fuck, the dim witted masses on social media give me a headache. And slog commenters? Sheesh.
@67 This may just be what the international spotlight brings: thirsty shitmoths

@68 Perhaps it is a concerted effort. What does astroturf smell like when it burns?
God damn. Do you actually read what people write? This bizarre oversimplification and straw manning is just tedious.

We have to consume. We don't HAVE to consume at the RATE we do. A rate a dozen times the rest of the world. We over consume because shit is cheap for us.

And shit is cheap for us because the actual cost is passed to somebody, somewhere, anywhere, else.

Our political establishment shields corporations becuase they get money and because the electorate- just like you - don't WANT to pay real costs and don't want hear that they have to change.

We've grown used to not paying, and we only elect leaders that reaffirm our entitlement. We have to demonstrate to that political establishment we're willing to pay more and to sacrifice our entitlement.

Why is it so impossible for you to admit that you're just as big a problem as Shell. Until you do, nothing will change.

And I'm not poopooing grass roots activism. Activism and protesting are not the same thing. Protesting is literally lowest common denominator and least affective activism. There is an entire range of ways to be an effective activist.

But I'm also not saying "don't ever protest", BTW.
You keep saying that people need to be willing to pay, but that's not how it works. They don't have a choice about the energy sources of the economy. There is literally no shirt for sale that advertises only using renewables.
I just don't know how to respond to you saying that I am as big of a problem as shell. I guess just "nope", and "have you heard of shell? It's an oil company. I'm a guy who lives in seattle."
Don't bother. Too many people are fired up because they can *do* something and feel sanctimonious, and the idiots are out with equal gusto in response. There is a conversation to be had about how the progress, technology, and growth of the last 100+ years were made possible by oil and coal, how that obviously will come to an end, and how we need to deal with that on the macro level, because "micro" action is insufficient in the face of sea change. Go ahead and consume less, but the reality is that products, information, and technology won't be available when the dirty energy runs out. There is also the conversation about how privilege has left us with too many people interested in the arts and the service industry instead of chemistry and physics majors, while also steering those with the ability to succeed in those fields into figuring out how to get consumers their purchases in two days or less, or spend more time starting at their phones.
@70 yeah, you actually can call up City Light and ask for "only clean electricity" to be generated on your account. It's called Green Up!…

Besides driving an electric car charged with clean energy, people can eat less meat and consume less dairy. There's a great deal we can do individually. However, all of these lifestyle choices won't be enough if Shell goes ahead and drills the Arctic for oil which will be exported to Asia and India. Same goes for increased coal and shale oil exports.

The United States has the highest energy usage and emissions per capita in the world and has benefited tremendously from a history of energy-intensive industrial activity. Trying to extract monopoly rents through onerous intellectual property regulation such as the TPP and TTIP is counterproductive to maximum emission reduction globally.
Hey Gandhi, what happens to India when the dirty energy runs out?
And how many Priuses, Volts, and Teslas are they driving at that point? This is serious stuff. Small changes like veganism, electric cars, and Shell protests don't change the fact that our existence as we know it, regardless of political persuasion, food choices, nationality, or make of car is unsustainable.
@74, you're missing tkc point. The people protesting shouldnt completely stop using oil, but it would be nice if they actually lowered their own personal consumption by say not driving a 67 chevy. If we really want to solve the problem we need to reduce consumption.

The xl pipeline protesting didn't slow down the amount of Canadian tar sand drilll. All it did was have more oil transported by much more dangerous train transportation. You know what finally slowed the tars sands? Cheap sauadi oil. It made it once again too pricey to mine the tars sands.

So yeah, proteset shell all you want, but until we reduce our oil consumption (either voluntary or by making it way too pricey to produce at the current rate), we are just going to move the problem down the road (at best) or have unwanted side effects (at worse)

You DID bring up India. If you want to escape your choices, change your name and picture. But nothing I've said is unique to India. I'm meeting you where you've put yourself. If you prefer a different conversation, that's in your hands.
It's good, I guess, that the colorful images work to excite the imaginations of these keyboard warriors, even where they're strawmanning up the conversation into something holistic where the protests are actually specific and local . Seems painful, actually. :(

As for all the pearl-clutching over the perceived attitudes of the kayakers -- it'd be so interesting if there was some way to get data on the ages of commenters here. There's so much social angst.
Two things spring to mind reading these comments: we're not going to change the minds of a bunch of halfwits who celebrate the destruction of the Earth and who take personal insult (or payment) and come here to lionize an incredibly destructive corporation and demonize people who care enough to take action.

And 2: it's not them we need to reach.
I think that Seattleblahs must have called up his family and told them to all come and comment on this one.....
I'm not being sanctimonious at all when I sum up the other side's argument as HERP DERP DERP.

Ansel misses what to me is the key point that makes this hypocrisy meme so crazy.

Protesting Arctic drilling is not about being anti-fossil fuels. If anything, it’s precisely because things like kayaks are made out of oil that we need to recognize that oil is an incredibly precious resource that needs to be conserved. It’s precisely because fossil fuels have been the kickstarter for our industrialized economies that we need to realize they don’t exactly grow on trees.

I’d rather be living in a place like Germany where gas is heavily taxed and they’re trying not to run out of the damn stuff than a “Mad Max” dystopia where everyone is fighting everyone else for the last few drops.

And anyone who suggests that we’re not actually running out of oil should keep in mind that it’s taken us, what? a little more than a century? to reach global peak oil when it took our planet hundreds of millions of years to accumulate that oil.

I fear for the future of Western civilization not because I "hate" fossil fuels but because I appreciate fossil fuels--because I realize we wouldn't have our Western civilization without this incredible, accidental geological legacy and all we're doing now is wasting away that legacy. (And notice that I haven't even mentioned climate change.)
@54) Wins the SLOG.
A clarification to my comment @89. I’m not necessarily saying that I would be protesting Shell’s Arctic drilling or that the Port of Seattle should be forsaking that business so that another port can take it. The issues here are not as cut-and-dried to me as the utterly irredeemable coal trains and coal export terminals.

What I am saying is that we need to have policies in place where oil is expensive enough that Shell wouldn’t even bother drilling in the Arctic because the investment doesn’t pencil out. I realize those policies are about as likely to be realized any time soon as Bernie Sanders getting sworn in as president in January 2016.
. . . get a clue! this about preserving the arctic! . . . i'm sure you're aware of shell's track record . . . i expect more form the stranger!
Once I was in the Port Townsend Co-Op and an unshaven-ed guy and his kid cam in wearing basically loin cloths and sandals fashioned by hand from straw and shit. They bought vegetables and put them in a burlap sack and left, on foot of course. I just assumed they were heading back to their tree house in the woods. They smelled like what I imagine a sasquatch's choad smells like. Basically these two are the only humans I have ever encountered in person that have a right to protest Shell by the logic of these fucking morons.
@64 U don't sarcasm well, do you?
Longball @93, so you want all of us to be stuck wearing loin cloths and sandals in several generations?

OK, I realize you and I will be dead by then. Thankfully.
Forgive me if this has already been pointed out, but here it goes anyway.
An old HS chemistry teacher put a great perspective on this argument: we use petroleum as an ingredient in all sorts of products - plastics, pharmaceuticals, etc. It is fundamental to many of our durable goods. It makes no sense at all to burn it for heat and transportation.
On another tack: From my graduate school research, we can reduce our energy use through simple measures, like weatherizing our homes and driving more efficient cars (or not driving and using mass transit), to more than match the amount of oil the Arctic is predicted to contain. But the Federal Government (primarily Congress) and several states reluctantly reward such behaviors through tax incentives - low percentages, constantly expiring and needing reauthorized - whereas the tax incentives for fossil fuel extraction and use are astronomical by comparison. That's just one factor that continues to make oil more economically attractive; not asking extractive companies to shoulder the full burden of their risks is another. The protests are helping shine a spotlight on these issues. To my Left Coast colleagues, keep fighting the good fight!
The ongoing affordability of plastic kayaks and pharmaceuticals made from petroleum is exactly the reason we need to conserve as much of our remaining oil reserves as possible, and KEEP THEM IN THE GROUND.
I don't know what I would do without the Stranger here in Seattle. Bravo.
A good percentage of this comment thread is populated by the same kind of trolls who created the meme in question. There is nothing to be gained from pissing contests w/deskchair malcontents. They don't listen to a word anyone else says, anyway. It's exhausting, and it's a waste.

The point of these demonstrations is almost completely about theater. It shows like-minded people in the flyover states that there are fun, cool people who hate the big oil companies. It is purely symbolic, and its impact can't be quantified. But it is a good thing. I doubt there's much to be gained by overthinking it.

I grew up liberal in the flyover states during the Reagan/Bush era, and loved reading about Abbie Hoffman's guerilla theater tactics - throwing $1 bills on the Wall Street trading floor, levitating the Pentagon, running a pig for President. They didn't accomplish anything tangible, but they did change the way the world thinks by adjusting the knob a notch or two.
Greenwood, when I engage these dorks, they're not really the audience I'm targeting; it's everybody who might be listening in and reading. Others are reading and learning, so while I understand your penchant to see this as a waste of time, taking a broader view, it's not always. Peace.
@95 - Probably the fastest way for us to end up in loin cloths is to keep heating up the planet.

I just reserve the right to have an opinion without passing a purity test that is proctored by people who don't even agree with my opinion.
DC_Rob @96, beautifully and sanely and succinctly stated.

Same for Mud Baby @97, only even more succinctly.

The simple fact that the oil companies are turning to extreme sources like the Alberta tar sands and the Arctic is an indication that, hey, maybe there aren't unlimited supplies of this stuff called oil after all. Hard to imagine, I know.
Sorry, longball @101, but you just painted a black-and-white picture the only alternative to our current trajectory of unlimited consumption is going back to nature. And here in saying you don't want to have to pass a "purity test" you just offered your own purity test.

But hey, keep on standing up for those good and righteous causes.
I didn't read most of the comments above, so forgive me if someone else has said the same, but some things that seem obvious to me are:
1) You can be for preservation of old-growth forests and live in house made of wood
2) You can support our soldiers and oppose ill-conceived wars
3) You can own a gun and support rational gun control laws
4) You can advocate for the ethical treatment of animals and eat meat
5) You can be against arctic drilling and use petroleum products

All of the above apply to me, at least.
@103 - We actually agree, you just misinterpreted what my point was. All Im saying is that by the standard set by those calling the kayakers hypocrites, they'd have to be loin cloth guy in order not to be hypocrites. Its hyperbole. Basically, living petroleum by-product free is an absurd standard for being allowed to be against arctic drilling. In other words loin cloth man is not representative of the only alternative to our current trajectory of consumption. Rather, he is a caricature of the standard set by the people calling the kayakers hypocrites. Did that make sense?
Longball @105, I had to go back and reread your original message. Yes, I did misinterpret it. We do actually agree. Forgive my confusion.
@Ken Mehlman: you've already proved the point that you're a spineless, opportunistic, principle-free bully. Give it a rest. Surely someone who's made millions through the suffering of others has something better to do than trolling Slog.
@60: The first commercial shipment of offshore Arctic oil occurred last year. In Russia.…