Oil – The Fuel that Doomed Us
Adolf Hitler spoke of an empire that would last 1000 years. Even though the allies destroyed Hitler’s dream of National Socialism after 12 years, I laugh at the prospect of any Civilization that could last 1000 years. The Nazi machine was fuelled by what our modern Society is based on: Oil. Millions of lives were waged for this precious resource during the Second World War, and now the war over the last of it has started again.
The fact is Oil will run out during the first half of this Century. Economists, Geologists, and Doomsayers have spoken the truth of how we will lose the abundance of cheap, plentiful oil in our lifetimes for nearly 70 years, and now we near our fate. The energy Crisis that looms in the 21st Century is one of many modern taboos. We would rather just ignore the problem, and leave it to the men at the Top, but I’m afraid the men at the top only have this solution:
“The solution is to pray. Under the best of circumstances, if all prayers are answered there will be no crisis for maybe two years. After that it’s a certainty.”
Those were the optimistic words of Mathew Simmons, George W. Bushes Energy administrator. You can’t deny the fact that cheap oil is running out, and will run out very soon.
But who cares? It just oil after all. Sure, I can get by without it. I don’t care if I have to walk a few Miles to School/Work everyday. So what, we can get by without it fine.
The fact is Oil is the lifeblood of western Civilization. The ink you are reading these words from is made with it. The paper your reading it from was either manufactured using oil, or was at least transported using the cheap, abundant fuel. The seat you are more than likely sitting on was made from chains of polymers, extracted from crude oil.
You can’t go 5 minutes without using something that needed oil to produce/Transport.
The majority of transport is made using petroleum products, and in our busy lives, we would never be able to cope with transport by foot, or alternative means. No other fuel can produce even a fraction of the energy needed to power the supposed “Solution” of electronic cars. The majority of our goods come from “Sweatshop” countries such as China and Malaysia, and oil is needed for their transport to our comfortable homes. Expect a radical drop in the number of DVD players given as presents for Christmas, when we reach the oil peak.
If it’s not for Transport, then it’s for production. Petroleum fuels make up a large proportion of the energy supplied to our homes, and a lot more is used in the workplace.
In the last few decades, there are a growing number of products being made using cheap plastics. The computer I am currently typing this on is made out of many petroleum plastics. None of these things would be possible without the abundance of oil.
Finally, and perhaps most worryingly of all, we are highly dependant on oil for food production. Over 75% of the worlds population has become dependant on crops that are grown using Chemical fertilizer, or pesticides that require oil or gas to produce. Thanks to massive increases in the population over the last century, it has been necessary to fertilize otherwise infertile land, using Chemicals created using oil produce. What do you expect to happen to the approximately 4 Billion people who need Fertilizer grown crops in order to survive?
By now, you must have realised that Modern Society is in no way possible or sustainable without Cheap, Abundant oil.
The question in your mind by now must be how long do we have to prepare before our chief resource is depleted? Well, if you ask the scientific Community, not all that long”¦
For our civilization to function as it does now, Oil must not only be in supply, but it must also be cheap. When oil is plentiful, it is cheap, when oil is running out; it gets continually more expensive until it eventually runs out. The price of the commodity will “Peak” at the point that coincides with the point at which 50% of the worlds supply has been used up. After that, the price of oil will continually increase.
20 years after the oil peak will hit, the production and price of oil will be what it was 20 years before the “Oil Crash”. Big deal? Well the worlds demand will have grown massively in that time, and will be much greater than 40 years earlier.
So when will this oil Crash be, you say? Well, the most realistic reports claim that the oil peak will happen this decade, however we will not know when the oil peak will have hit until around 4 years afterward. It may well be so that the oil peak happened in the year 2000, and we have not realised it.
If we do suffer an oil crisis this decade, then we are in serious trouble. Our demand for oil production is drastically increasing. This is mainly due to China’s efforts to modernise, and increasing population. The world’s oil reserves will be depleted within the next few decades.
But then again, we obviously don’t have to worry, as there are plenty of alternative sources available, right? I’m afraid again this theory is incorrect. There is no source of power that can provide any where near the amount of power we require to sustain this way of life.
What about renewable sources such as wind, solar, and wave/tidal power? Well at the moment, these produce a collective percentage of less than 14% (11% is generated via Wave and Tidal power, which have little means of expansion, the other 3% are generated via solar and wind turbines) of the worlds power, and with a prospected energy crisis expected in the next two decades, we are unlikely to adapt our economy to produce 100 fold of its current energy output in that time. The American and European governments receive Millions in funding for their election campaigns from oil interests such as OPEC, how would it look if the government were to quickly abandon oil as their main energy source? We are unlikely to adapt vehicles that we need for transport in the short time we have left. These sources of energy are also highly dependant on weather conditions, and once we have depleted our oil reserves, expect very unpredictable weather conditions, that would not be suitable to sustain our demand for energy.
“New Energy Forms” such as Fusion, or Hydrogen as a potential “Magic Bullet” are more fiction than realistic fact. The scientific community admit that this form of power is still decades off realistic results. Again, with an expected crisis in the next few decades, we will not adapt in enough time to avoid the problem.
Nuclear power would probably be the most plausible solution to the problem, as it already produces nearly a quarter of the worlds power supply, but Uranium is also a exhaustible resource, and would be only a short term solution. However, we would need over 1000 reactors to produce enough energy to solve most of the demand in America. There is one other major problem with Nuclear power; a massive amount of oil is required to mine and produce usable uranium.
This is similar to the problem of all of these “Solutions”. They all require oil to construct/implement. With the price of oil expected to increase dramatically, the longer we wait to start major production of these, the worse. There may even not be enough oil left to produce any of these things.
The biggest problem of all is however, no matter how many new forms of energy we find, none can adapt to make fertilizer, Pesticide, or plastics. We need all of these to sustain our way of life, and most importantly of all, get enough food to eat.
The men at the top know that this is going to happen, and are now getting desperate to find a way to prolong the inevitable disaster. The war on Iraq has removed U.N. sanctions, which may have bought us as much as until the end of the decade, but after that, with increasing oil prices, we will face an economic crisis.
When bacteria are placed in a vat, with a food source, the bacteria will continuously consume the food. The seeming abundance of food prompts the bacteria to increase their population, in which case, the food source is used up at an increasing rate. This is what the human race has been doing during the last 10,000 years. In the last century, the population has increased nearly 3 times its size, due to the discovery of chemical fertilizer to grow crops. The frightening last stage of the bacterial development is, that after the population has increased to an unsustainable level, and the food source is eventually used up. Then the bacteria experience what is known as a Die Off.
With our energy source being used up, we face a worrying organic trend. When a organism expends its energy source, its population is usually massively reduced, usually about 90% of the population die as a result.
With our leaders becoming desperate to prolong their positions, and oil drastically running out, expect War, Famine, Disease, Political uprising, and mass starvation in the 21st Century. I know it’s hard to believe, but the human race has seen the effects of this on a smaller scale on Easter Island, where a similar Die Off occurred.
The human race has seen Dark ages such, as we should expect, in our history before. The Roman Empire, as strong as it was, ended succumbing to simple barbarians, now it is time for our Civilization to face the same regression.
How can we hope to avoid this? As a whole, we cannot, only prolong it. We will see many wars over the next few decades; such as we have seen in Iraq lately, each will buy us a few years each. As an individual, we can only hope to survive the catastrophe, and hope to live until the rise of sustainable Civilization afterward. We may be able to do this is several ways:
Â· Grow your own crops, and try and become as self-Sufficient as possible. Â· Switch to a Vegetarian Diet. Â· Learn various survival techniques, such as martial arts, In order to defend yourself, or your property. Â· Begin storing essential supplies, such as food, Fuel, etc.
This may sound like the most terrible thing you have ever heard, and it is. The population is set to reduce drastically in the future, and civilization will no longer be what you know it as. The world is about to become a much harsher, and difficult place.
Some would see this as something good however. Is this the end of something bad perhaps? Perhaps a new beginning for mankind? Perhaps those who survive the catastrophe will be educated by the event, and will create a more sustainable community, where we will not allow the same to happen again. Or maybe humankind is doomed to repeat the same process, over and over again.
The best thing we can do is to prepare ourselves for this inevitable disaster, but we must also strive to educate others to the fact that this is a very real threat to our very existence.
Visit the Anti-Thesis Forums if you want to discuss this issue. Be sure to visit “The Compromise”. Thank you, and Good Luck.