The list of things, some of which consisted of oil and its by-products, was endless: aspirin, cameras, golf balls, car batteries, carpets, fertilizers, glasses, shampoo, glue, computers, cosmetics, detergents, telephones, food preservatives, footballs, Insecticides, suitcases, nail polish, toilet seats, tights, toothpaste, pillows, soft contact lenses, tires, pens, CDs, sneakers – anything you want and somehow it turned out to be -127-
or made using petroleum. Boy, boy, were we addicted to that stuff. We drank something from a plastic bottle and threw it away. We were able to move a liter of gasoline to buy a liter of milk, and even that was still in a plastic bottle. Your grandmother received presents every Christmas, most of which were made of plastic and lay under a plastic Christmas tree made to look like a real one. And yes, you’re right, we even packed our trash in plastic before throwing it away. Anne Coulter Moore: How did people get the idea of BURNING oil in the first place? Why burn something that you only have a little of? Did people burn diamonds back then? Michael Moore: No, they didn’t burn diamonds. Diamonds were considered valuable. Oil was also considered valuable, but no one cared. We just turned it into gasoline, put electricity on a spark plug, and burned the stuff wherever we got the chance! Anne Coulter Moore: What was it like when you couldn’t breathe anymore because the air was so dirty from burning gasoline? Didn’t that show you that nothing that comes from oil is meant to be burned? Perhaps nature wanted to tell you with the stench: “Don’t burn me!” Michael Moore: Oh, oh, that stench. It was nature’s attempt to tell us something was wrong. What did we think Anne Coulter Moore: Yes what? -128-
Michael Moore: Nothing, nothing at all. Anne Coulter Moore: But it poisoned you. And you didn’t have breathing stations like we do today. So what did you do? Michael Moore: People just had to swallow it and breathe the dirt. Millions of people got sick and died from it. Since no one would admit that it was air pollution from burning fossil fuels that was making it difficult to breathe, doctors said we had asthma or allergies. For you, a ride in an automobile is something you do in a museum, but back then most people “commuted” twenty, thirty, or even fifty kilometers to work every day.