ALBERTA / Economy / The Wedge

Impossibility : Living Without Oil


From the early days when oil gushed up from the bowels of the earth, geologists have pondered its eventual depletion; yet, this miraculous liquid continues to be harvested worldwide and supply the demand.

Theorists have prognosticated its limits expecting the world to reach “peak oil.” Yet, new methods beyond conventional drilling, such as shale and oil sands have added longevity to this liquid gold. And new fields are still being discovered in the far reaches of the earth and here on our continent.

Oil is the only substance on earth that catapulted civilization into an unprecedented era of prosperity and comfort. Over 95% of products made today emanate from petroleum by-products. Look around you. Almost everything in your proximity has been made from or touched by oil–even the clothes on your back.

What’s in a barrel of oil?

Meanwhile the green movement maligns the very substance from which they live and thrive daily. The computers they use to produce their models, the vehicles they use to travel to their conferences, the food on their banquet tables would not exist were it not for oil. Alternatives themselves, wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen, also require oil for their production and installation.

And then there is the matter of transport: automobiles, trucks, trains, ships and aircraft.

Can the world replace gas (a by-product of oil) for personal transport and transition to electric by 2035? Can the electrical grid bare the load? The questions are ostensibly self-evident. Notwithstanding, the batteries require scarce rare minerals and oil derived petrochemicals key to their production. So, the answer is no. Removing combustion vehicles from the roads will send people back into the 19th century and build a great trade for horses and buggies–and arrest progress at the hands of an immobile labor force.

There may be a slow release from the teat of oil with other biofuels and alternatives; but, in the immediate future this would achieve no more than relieve the demand a trifle.

Write a Happy Reply !

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s