Thursday, November 17, 2011

Peak Oil (it's only a theory.... and a bad one at that)

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The theory behind 'PEAK OIL' is difficult for some to grasp. We're all aware of what Peak Oil is. For those few who have only heard the term in the news, or are hearing it for the first time, here is the definition:

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. This concept is based on the observed production rates of individual oil wells, projected reserves and the combined production rate of a field of related oil wells. The aggregate production rate from an oil field over time usually grows exponentially until the rate peaks and then declines—sometimes rapidly—until the field is depleted. This concept is derived from the Hubbert curve , and has been shown to be applicable to the sum of a nation’s domestic production rate, and is similarly applied to the global rate of petroleum production. Peak oil is often confused with oil depletion ; peak oil is the point of maximum production while depletion refers to a period of falling reserves and supply.

That's a pretty scary definition, isn't it?
So, what is oil? The accepted explanation is that it is a 'FOSSIL FUEL'. So, what is a Fossil Fuel?

Fossil fuelsarefuelsformed by natural processes such asanaerobic decompositionof buried deadorganisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years.[1]The fossil fuels, which contain high percentages ofcarbon, includecoal,petroleum, andnatural gas. Fossil fuels range fromvolatile materialswith lowcarbon:hydrogenratios likemethane, to liquidpetroleumto nonvolatile materials composed of almost pure carbon, likeanthracitecoal. Methane can be found in hydrocarbon fields, alone, associated with oil, or in the form ofmethane clathrates. It is generally accepted that they formed from the fossilizedremainsof dead plants[2]by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over millions of years.[3]Thisbiogenic theorywas first introduced byGeorg Agricolain 1556 and later byMikhail Lomonosovin the 18th century.

And, there is yet another explanation for the source of all our precious petroleum, 'ABIOGENIC FUEL'.

The abiogenic hypothesis argues that petroleum was formed from deep carbon deposits, perhaps dating to the formation of the Earth . Supporters of the abiogenic hypothesis suggest that a great deal more petroleum exists on Earth than commonly thought, and that petroleum may originate from carbon-bearing fluids that migrate upward from the mantle . The presence of methane on Saturn's moon Titan and in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is cited [1] as evidence of the formation of hydrocarbons without biology. [2]

So, which theory is the truth? Since I'm no scientist, I'm only guessing. I would like to argue that the ABIOGENIC FUEL theory is the most likely of cases. I'll explain why I feel this way:
In most, (but not all) Peak Oil models, the world reached it's peak oil limit in the mid 1970's. That would mean that sometime during the disco era, the oil fields around the world began to decline.
However, some other Peak Oil models show that we reached a global limit sometime in 2004, (I suppose they had to recalculate since we didn't run out of oil).
Other models still, show that we will reach Peak Oil sometime around 2020-ish.

Let's look at what oil is in:
  • There is an estimated 806 MILLION cars, and light trucks in the world. So, there are at least a few quarts of oil in each of those, not to mention the gasoline/diesel used to run said vehicle.
  • Cosmetics.
  • Plastics.
  • Paint.
  • Food additives.
  • Detergent.
  • Photographic films
  • Candles
  • Dyes
  • Medicines

That's not even a complete list. But, lets assume just for a minute that is a complete list of everything Oil is in or used for; That's a shit load of oil. If oil truly is a FOSSIL FUEL, I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that there weren't THAT many dinosaurs, and plants, and things of that nature to produce the amount of oil we, as a planet has used for the better part of a century. Assuming the Peak Oil theory is correct, and we reach that pinnacle in the mid '70s, wouldn't it be safe to assume we'd have run out of oil by now? Hell, there's only 7 billion people on the planet. 806 MILLION vehicles. Just about everyone in the developed world AND developing world has something made of plastic, rubber, or owns a photograph. By that standard, we would have run out of oil sometime in the 1990's.

Now let us assume that the abiogenic theory is correct. That would mean that we're being fleeced at the gas pumps. That we're being fleeced for the price of oil. Why? Because the Powers That Be know what's going on. Create panic, then create a solution. If you can control a nations oil supply, you control that nation.

At this point it's not about money, or greed; it's about POWER. It doesn't matter how good the mileage is on your car. You still pay $5.00 for a gallon of gas.
Now, on to delivering the predetermined solution to the problem THEY have caused.... High mileage on a tank of gas. Hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicles, (let's not forget, todays electric vehicles are no better than the ones created nearly a century ago).
You go out, and buy your over-priced hybrid, or electric car. Sometimes paying as much as 50% more than it's gas-powered counterpart.
Now you're broke. You can't afford the over-priced car you just bought. You just got laid off from your 6 figure-income job. You're begging for a solution to your problem. So, you take what little money you have left, and go back to school, (that's 100% controlled by corporations, and the Powers That Be). You become even more brainwashed, and controlled, (see Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four').

Just think: All this because the mainstream media, and junk scientists have convinced you the world is running out of oil. Re-read the last few paragraphs. I bet I just described you, or someone you know. So, which theory seems more plausible to you now?

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