Hide this

Peak Oil, Part 1: Alternative Energy and Government

What will happen to life on earth when the Age of Oil ends? What will happen to life on earth when the Age of Oil ends?

“One thing is clear: the era of easy oil is over. What we all do next will determine how well we meet the energy needs of the entire world in this century and beyond.” David J. O’Reilly, Chairman & CEO of Chevron.

This popular perception says, “Sure, we might be running out of the stuff, but there will always be another energy to replace it.”

We live in what many call the Age of Oil. Characterized by the discovery and exploitation of petroleum some 150 years back, the Age of Oil represents the ‘big bang’ in history that precipitated contemporary civilization – industrialization, transportation, technology, and 6.8 billion people. The Age of Oil unequivocally relies on cheap and easy to find oil (the technical term being “conventional oil” reserves) to literally fuel virtually all aspects of life, from eating to drinking, electricity to manufacturing. We collectively assume that oil will always flow out of Earth in great abundance. And indeed, every human alive today was born into the Age of Oil and doesn’t know otherwise. But what if this oil, a finite resource, begins to run dry? What would happen to the edifice of global industrialized civilization that is constructed from and for petroleum? If we today live in the Age of Oil, and we are soon to run out of oil, what age will we transition into?

Alternative Energy

Well, this is exactly what experts are saying: we are running out of cheap oil, and fast.

If the many graphs out there depicting the ominous end of cheap oil are correct (as we’ll address in Part 2), we are standing, at this very historic moment, on the edge of a dangerous precipice. And there isn’t so much as a mention in the mainstream media or the like.

I’ve decided to write the two parts of this article backwards – instead of addressing the technicalities of Peak Oil production first, which is usually done to establish that oil is, in fact, in decline, I address the usual fundamental mindset people have when confronted with the issue. Most reactions, if you are not familiar with the analysis of peak oil, tend to automatically dismiss the problem based on their faith in government intervention or some alternative energy that will, over night, replace all fossil fuels. This popular perception says, “Sure, we might be running out of the stuff, but there will always be another energy to replace it.” It is a disposition that works for many people … “Let the government take care of it, I’m sure they have something worked out.”

Unfortunately, we can only wish reality was so simple. Governments are entrenched in all sorts of multinational business, and have a vested interest in maintaining the oil status quo (uninterrupted profits for the corporations). If you don’t believe me, watch the documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?

The problem with placing blind faith in a non-existent or highly futuristic alternative energy source is simple: our infrastructure, the cornerstone of society, is constructed for the sole purpose of fossil fuels. Even if we, say, converted the some 800 million internal-combustion-powered vehicles on this planet to electric power, how would we manufacture those vehicles? Or build the roads for them to drive on? How would we extract those metals from the earth without oil? According to National Geographic, there are seven gallons of oil in every tire.

Governments are entrenched in all sorts of multinational business, and have a vested interest in maintaining the oil status quo.

This is the fundamental infrastructure problem with alternative energy sources, and the scientists largely agree. Even if we discovered a 99 percent efficient, zero emission, and highly abundant renewable energy source, which has yet to be found, we would still have to build the new infrastructure from oil – and some scientists speculate that there isn’t even enough left to do that. If government really cared, it might be too late to fix the problem... they couldn’t do a damn thing about it anyway.

So, you might be thinking, “Well there has to be more oil out there somewhere.” And this is a half-right statement. I will address Peak Oil in part 2, and pose the question: is Peak Oil really happening, and how can we know for sure?

Read Peak Oil, Part 2 - click here.

Read Peak Oil, Part 3 - click here.

Follow Us:

Think our swelling cities can withstand climate change? Learn about it here.

Interested in ways you can help fight against global warming? Read this article.

Need hydroponics answers? Get in touch with our grower guru, Erik Biksa.

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2011



To create link towards this article on your website,
copy and paste the text below in your page.




Preview :


Powered by Rosebudmag © 2020
Follow Rosebud Magazine on Twitter Check out the Rosebud Magazine Facebook
Share this article with your friends, family and co-workers
Who Killed the Electric Car? You won’t believe the story.
Last modified on Saturday, 01 September 2012 10:53

© Rosebud Magazine, 2010 - 2018 | All rights reserved.

Login or Register

LOG IN