Bernie Sanders Should Thank the Oil Industry that Saved the Whales and So Much More

Bernie Sanders tweeted the following:

Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused.

Bernie should take the time to investigate how many lives have been saved as a result of fossil fuels. The automobile eliminated horse pollution. Can you imagine what our streets and highways would be like if we were still using horses or transportation? See my article about the Good Old Days.

Over the years I have saved puzzles and riddles and learned a few close-up magic tricks to use as illustrations to make specific points when I speak on various topics. They’re great warm ups for a new audience.

One very old riddle carries the title “Who Am I?” It goes like this:

God made Adam out of the dust,
But thought it best to make me first.

So I was made before the man,
according to God’s Holy plan.

My whole body God made complete,
without arms, or hands, or feet.

My ways and acts did God control,
but in my body He placed no soul.

A living being I became,
and Adam gave to me a name.

Then from his presence I withdrew,
for this man Adam I never knew.

All my Maker’s laws I do obey,
and from these laws I never stray.

Thousands of me go in fear,
but seldom on the earth appear.

Later, for a purpose God did see,
He placed a living soul in me.

But that soul of mine God had to claim,
and from me took it back again.

And when this soul from me had fled,
I was the same as when first made;

without arms, legs, feet, or soul,
I travel on from pole to pole.

My labors are from day to night,
and to men I once furnished light.

Thousands of people both young and old,
did by my death bright lights behold.

No right or wrong can I conceive;
the Bible and it’s teachings I can’t believe.

The fear of death doesn’t trouble me;
pure happiness I will never see.

And up in Heaven I can never go,
nor in the grave or hell below.

So get your Bible and read with care;
you’ll find my name recorded there.

The above riddle is said to have been written by a woman in 1890 in response to a challenge by a man in Philadelphia who said that he would pay $1,000 to anyone who could create a puzzle that he could not solve. As the story is told, he failed to identify the five-letter answer.

The answer: The whale.

“Whale” appears four times in the King James Version translation of the Bible (Gen. 1:21; Job 7:12; Ezek. 32:2; Matt. 12:40). More up-to-date translations translate the Greek word κῆτος in Matthew 12:40 as “great fish.” Liddell and Scott’s A Greek-English Lexicon remark: “any sea-monster or huge fish.”

For our purposes, it’s this stanza that’s the key:

My labors are from day to night,
and to men I once furnished light.

Thousands of people both young and old,
did by my death bright lights behold.

Prior to the refining of oil pumped out of the ground, whale oil extracted from blubber and other parts of whales was used in oil lamps and to make soap and margarine, and only the well-to-do could afford it. Did you know that “The first African-Americans on Martha’s Vineyard were indentured servants, runaway slaves, and whalers. They came for the oil”? (Town & Country)

This all changed with the efforts of the early oil producers.

We need to remember that oil, actually tar, saved Noah (Gen. 6:14) and his family and the infant Moses (Ex. 2:3). The builders of the tower of Babel used “pitch” to waterproof their “ark” in case there was another flood (Gen. 11:1-4).

Does Bernie Sanders know how many products that billions of people use every day are made from petroleum? Tin addition to gasoline, the following is a partial list of around 6000 items:

All plastic is made from petroleum and plastic is used almost everywhere: in cars, houses, toys, computers and clothing. Asphalt used in road construction is a petroleum product as is the synthetic rubber in the tires. Paraffin wax comes from petroleum, as do fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, detergents, phonograph records, photographic film, furniture, packaging materials, surfboards, paints, and artificial fibers used in clothing, upholstery, carpets, and carpet backing.

Solvents, Diesel, Motor Oil, Bearing Grease, Ink, Floor Wax, Ballpoint Pens, Football Cleats, Upholstery, Sweaters, Boats, Insecticides, Bicycle Tires, Sports Car Bodies, Nail Polish, Fishing lures, Dresses, Tires, Golf Bags, Perfumes, Cassettes, Dishwasher, Tool Boxes, Shoe Polish, Motorcycle Helmet, Caulking, Petroleum Jelly, Transparent, Tape, CD Player, Faucet, Washers, Antiseptics.

Clothesline, Curtains, Food Preservatives, Basketballs, Soap, Vitamin Capsules, Antihistamines, Purses, Shoes, Dashboards, Cortisone, Deodorant, Putty, Dyes, Panty Hose, Refrigerant, Percolators, Life Jackets, Rubbing Alcohol, Linings, Skis, TV Cabinets, Shag Rugs, Electrician’s Tape, Tool Racks, Car Battery Cases, Epoxy, Paint, Mops, Slacks, Insect Repellent, Oil Filters, Umbrellas, Yarn, Fertilizers, Hair, Coloring, Roofing, Toilet Seats, Fishing Rods, Lipstick, Denture Adhesive, Linoleum, Ice Cube Trays, Synthetic Rubber, Speakers, Plastic, Wood, Electric Blankets, Glycerin, Tennis Rackets, Rubber Cement, Fishing Boots, Dice, Nylon Rope, Candles, Trash Bags, House Paint, Water Pipes, Hand Lotion, Roller Skates, Surf Boards, Shampoo, Wheels, Paint Rollers, Shower Curtains, Guitar Strings, Luggage, Aspirin, Safety Glasses, Antifreeze, Football Helmets, Awnings, Eyeglasses, Clothes, Toothbrushes, Ice Chests, Footballs, Combs, DVDs, Paint, Brushes, Detergents, Vaporizers.

Balloons, Sun Glasses, Tents, Heart Valves, Crayons, Parachutes, Telephones, Enamel, Pillows, Dishes, Cameras, Anesthetics, Artificial Turf, Artificial limbs, Bandages, Dentures, Model Cars, Folding Doors, Hair Curlers, Cold cream, Movie film, Soft Contact lenses, Drinking Cups, Fan Belts, Car Enamel, Shaving Cream, Ammonia, Refrigerators, Golf Balls, Toothpaste, Dishwashing liquids, Paint brushes, Telephones, Toys, Unbreakable dishes, Dolls, Car sound insulation, Fishing lures, Motorcycle helmets, Linoleum, Tents, Refrigerator linings, Paint rollers, Floor wax, Shoes ,Electrician’s tape, Glue, Roller-skate wheels, Trash bags, Permanent press clothes, Dyes, Hearing aids, Wading pools, Piano keys.

Image result for oil products list

Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three-and-a-half gallons of oil and more than 250 cubic feet of natural gas per day each! (Source)

If Bernie Sanders ever falls down or has a heart attack, he’ll be thankful that he’ll be taken to the hospital in an ambulance that runs on gasoline than a horse-drawn carriage.

The following is from Burton Folsom’s “John D. Rockefeller and the Oil Industry” that originally appeared in his book The Myth of the Robber Barons.


In 1885, John D. Rockefeller wrote one of his partners, “Let the good work go on. We must ever remember we are refining oil for the poor man and he must have it cheap and good.” Or as he put it to another partner: “Hope we can continue to hold out with the best illuminator in the world at the lowest price.”


The discovery of large quantities of crude oil in northwest Pennsylvania soon changed the lives of millions of Americans. For centuries, people had known of the existence of crude oil scattered about America and the world. They just didn’t know what to do with it. Farmers thought it a nuisance and tried to plow around it; others bottled it and sold it as medicine.


There were few barriers to entering the oil business: drilling equipment cost less than $1,000, and oil land seemed abundant. By the early 1860s, speculators were swarming northwest Pennsylvania, cluttering it with derricks, pipes, tanks, and barrels. “Good news for whales,” concluded one newspaper. America had become hooked on kerosene.


Before 1870, only the rich could afford whale oil and candles. The rest had to go to bed early to save money. By the 1870s, with the drop in the price of kerosene, middle and working-class people all over the nation could afford the one cent an hour that it cost to light their homes at night. Working and reading became after-dark activities new to most Americans in the 1870s.

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