One of my vices is that I love to watch American college football games. Last weekend, I noticed a number of new commercials describing “eureka” moments in which everyday people discovered a new fact about “new natural gas” that turned them into believers that it is a fuel for the future. One of the commercials in particular begged some questions for me.
Unfortunately, the site where you can watch the commercial is a Flash based site, so I cannot send you a direct link to the commercial and I cannot figure out how to embed it here. So you have to bear with me and follow the instructions to find it. Go to www.newnaturalgas.org and watch the introduction for “America’s New Natural Gas: Cleaner, smarter energy” on the deep blue background. Once the introduction has stopped playing, click on the link to “Commercials”, then click on the thumbnail photo of a young mom holding a little girl.
Play the commercial and listen carefully to the words.
Can you count to 100, honey? One (mom tries to help little girl point up one finger, little girl resists and laughs)
Okay, this could take a while. One. . .
Then, there is a flash of white text that says, “American has more than 100 years of natural gas and the supply is growing.”
That little episode made me think about how my very literal daughter might have reacted if I had said something similar to her when she was just slightly older and had already developed good math skills and a questioning attitude. Here is how I imagine that conversation going.
Me: Can you imagine, 100 years of fuel left?
My Daughter: How old is grandma?
Me: She’s 90, why?
My Daughter: Because that means my children will still be alive 100 years from now.
Me: Hmmm. Good point
PS: My grandmother was 97 when she died; my great grandmother was 101. I figure I am just now reaching middle age. Having 100 years worth of natural gas – if we continue to use it at the same rate as we do today – is just not a comforting thought. It is certainly not worth a eureka moment. That stuff is incredibly valuable as a raw material for a wide range of important products; how selfish can we be to continue burning it up so rapidly that it may all be gone when our grandchildren are still relatively young and spry?