- Politics and Social Issues»
- Energy Issues
Oil Supply Soon Dry
Every day Pelicans die of plastic bag suffocation. Birds get entangled in this waste product with no useful function except saving a few pennies at the expense of clogging storm drains and killing wildlife, including whales that die because their blow holes are stuffed with a plastic bag.
The product used to make these bags is petroleum. It is a diminishing resource everywhere in the world. In seven years or less the last of the oil will begin its inexorable final flow from the ground and make its last major impact on an over-stressed planet. In several years a scarcer and harder to refine gallon of gasoline will be over $15. a gallon. In seven years, whole coastal regions will be wiped out by rising tides. Animals on the northern slope will have begun the process of extinction.
the burning of ethanol, soybeans, grass, sod, wood, and wood by-products to make those plastic bags and other worthless doo-dads will also diminish, along with great swatches of the irreplaceable rain-forest and wetlands that have, through osmosis and green growth, held back the effects of carbon dioxide from hummers, jet-skies, lawnmowers, industry, jet-planes, and yes-ethanol-85(now ethanol15). It has been shown in the lab that the consequences of depending on ethanol are dire. Using a foodstuff in place of feeding hungry people is not sustainable. It is also more costly and damaging to produce than oil itself.
Sure, there is already a reusable bag movement which many say is already to late to do much good. Mom and pop and old hippy bags with flowers and peace signs are appearing in stores: "Plastic or paper," sneers the checker as you get through the hoards of hoarders out shopping. "none" says I," triumphantly, " I brought me own burlap," thank you. Just doing my wee, pathetic, and possibly late part.
Why is there is there so little government policy towards what could be the final blow to the planet earth? Cynically speaking, I suppose the oil companies have an interest in keeping it quiet. Most oil and gas journals agree the tipping point* is about seven years from now, and also the point when gasoline will begin to accelerate grossly in price and cause world panic..People will hoard gasoline in every imaginable place, in homes, sheds, garages, even in the backseat of the family roadster, some will explode accidentally, thus solving the problem of one or more hopeful commuters.
Solar is so much more efficient than ten years or even three years ago as new technology emerges to replace older, inefficient panels that were costly and difficult to maintain. Now solar companies install and maintain installations so that the owner never has to worry about anything except maintenance.
China is already ahead of the U.S. in Solar power, buying turbines from GE for wind energy production, and creating huge hydro electric dams that have displaced millions of former farmers to cities, built at the rate of about one a month to house workers for the thousands of projects going on there. The housing, transportation, hospitals, light rail, high rises and the myriad other services such as food and entertainment, police and judges, required to make cities work is raising standards of living exponentially. They have a plan.
nations and industry seek to solve the total energy problem, scarcity, global warming, oil wars and terrorism, diminishing land and supplies of fresh water, too little research, too late. Nuclear power presents some serious questions about its ultimate use as an alternative fuel. What will terrorists do with the fuel they steal? It takes thousands of years for nuclear waste to decay. Where is it safe to bury?
coal is dirty, costly to clean, plus the process produces environmental heat and water problems in-itself. Sure there is oil in the sands in Canada. But the process lays waste to water and soil. It makers a mess to clean the sands of oil deposits. In an oil and gas report last year, CNS Gas lamented the cost of extracting oil from sand and their stock prices reflected those costs.The US has oil deposits buried beneath the Rockies in ice. The allied costs to extract? Prohibitive. There is talk of moving great heaters into the ground to melt the ice! Any geologist can predict that this will cause earthquakes.
There is a great supply of Geo-thermal energy but where is the research, the incentives, the leadership? One day of sunshine can produce 500,000 days of earth demand for energy. Why do we drag our feet on this great power? They say the winds in the Dakotas blow enough to more than power the needs of the U.S. energy demands. Where is the master plan? Where is the seed money and the tax incentives? Sun and wind in abundance is too costly? Nonsense. It is nearly too late to consider the price. Whatever it is we must be prepared to pay it.
The changing economy will provide thousands of workers to tackle these problems and get them rolling within a few years. Meanwhile, natural gas is a good alternative to the eye burning, cancer causing fumes from gasoline fueled hogs. Californians go berserk over a cigarette smoker while sitting in smog drenched automobiles gasping and hacking and you don't hear a peep. Politics aside, Ms Clinton has some great ideas for getting our people working on the energy solution, while reducing our insane dependence on shaky political regimes for oil. Even Saudi Arabia has contracted to make use of the abundant sun for its future energy needs.
Our president, showing his usual presence of mind about U.S. prestige, pleaded with OPEC to increase the production of oil. Mr President. they can't increase it anymore than they have. They are running out of oil. Geologists predict that the great Saudi oil fields have been over-estimated and that they are almost dry. Why does the entire world know this while the great power with greatest spying agency knows nothing? Go to the energy section at Borders or any other book store. There are at least ten on the subject, Five will be fiction, the others non-fiction. They will all agree on one thing. Oil is finite. The climate is changing. In the end it won't matter what caused it. What matters is we know a problem exists and we choose to ignore it.