Putting the cat among the pigeons

Following this week’s rant about the Shell ad, I decided to do a little background reading on what the doomsday scenario looks like for our depleting oil reserves. I was looking for a reliable estimate of how much oil is left (40 to 50 years, apparently), but I also found quite a lot of seemingly credible authorities (example) arguing that oil is not a fossil fuel (formed from the decayed remains of dinosaurs etc) and may actually be produced by the immense temperatures and pressure deep within the earth’s core.

I’m not saying I’ve decided to add ‘oil denier’ to the ‘man-made global warming denier’ moniker I so cherish, but I do find the idea intriguing and well worth looking into further. Is it plausible? Could it be that oil is a naturally-occurring mineral, or is filling your gas tank little more than (dinosaur) grave robbing? What are the implications of oil being a renewable resource? The first one that springs to mind is that people like me who dare raise such a possibility are liable to get ‘whacked’.

I’m going to look into this further, and hopefully find enough evidence to make up my mind one way or another. Ah, sweet library – will be great to see you again!

What about you folks? Am I nuts, or have I hit something you’ve wondered about yourselves? Would be interested to know what you think.

In case you’re wondering, my main motivation in writing this is how much it pisses me off how people think that repeating their opinion / belief over and over again makes it factual. Case in point is this whole ‘man-made global warming’ thing. I know we’re all being told over and over (and over!) again that we’re the cause of the recent ice age drawing to a close (not sure what ended all the previous ones – must look into that), but where is the credible, irrefutable evidence? ‘Al Gore said so’ just doesn’t do it for me, I’m sorry, and repeating it ad nauseum won’t change my mind – but it may get you a black eye. Think for yourselves, people!

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2 Responses to “Putting the cat among the pigeons”


  1. 1 mouse June 22, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    I think that might refer to methane as there is some data that may indicate it is formed by high temp and pressure

  2. 2 Stuart Parker June 23, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Mouse, you obviously didn’t read/understand my post or the source article I was referring to. I’d encourage you to do so, because this is really important.

    Oil’s outlandish price increases of late are based on a widely held doomsday scenario which sees the wells running dry sometime this century. I’m not saying that it’s not true, but I do say that we shouldn’t discount the possibility of an alternative scenario. There are many great reasons for this (intellectual curiosity being one of them), the least of which being that if we do indeed have a seemingly unlimited supply of the stuff, regulation/education to ensure responsible use is going to be much more important. Why? Because the way I see it, we’ll never find and commercialise clean alternatives to the internal combustion engine while there’s plenty of black stuff pouring out of the ground. Am I anti-oil? Hell no! Am I a greenie? No way! But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy clean air and water.

    We can only make good decisions based on good information, and I think it’s time we took our heads out of the sand and examined this oil supply situation in the ligh of day, rather than relying on century-old misinformation.


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