Blood of the Urt
The first law of Thermodynamics, put simply, states that matter and energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only changed from one form to the other. Plant matter turning into carbohydrates when processed by gastrointestinal systems, sunlight turning carbon dioxide and earth minerals into stored carbohydrates in photosynthesizing plant life, and gasoline internally combusted turning into carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and a number of other noxious gases are all examples thereof. The average human body can live four to five weeks without any nutrition, depending on bodily reserves (stored fat), the average deciduous tree goes four months without receiving any nutrients from the soil or the sun as they stay dormant through the winter. The average car can’t go anywhere with no gasoline. One cup of oil has the work capacity to move one thousand pounds one thousand feet, straight up in the air. That same cup of oil, if left alone, will never become anything other than oil; it can sit in storage containers for decades without degrading (it has been in the crust of the earth for thousands of decades without change), it can spill into waterways leaving black streaks in the water, and black stains on the rocks for years afterward. Oil is the wonder drug of modern civilization; cars, busses, trains, planes, shipping all obviously run on oil, however, hydrocarbon byproducts of it are also, necessarily, used in all pharmaceutical production, all synthetic agricultural fertilizers, all plastics, and lubrication in all modes of industrial production. Oil was only able to be used systematically after 1859 when Drake built and fired up the first oil derrick in Titusville, Pennsylvania. This was essential because in 1852, a new way to derive kerosene from oil was discovered, and with the seas being fished out of inexpensive whale oil once used in lamps, cheap kerosene took its place. For a while, oil was plentiful everywhere, America had large reserves under her purple mountains and fields of grain, the North Sea oil fields kept Britain and Europe fueled and on the move, while in Arabia, the sheiks left their oil alone as they kept traveling across the desert on camelback.
The energy crisis of the seventies in America was not one based upon the information that the entire world was running out of precious oil, but that America had tapped almost all economically viable domestic supplies. That was when the gasoline at the pumps began to come from foreign suppliers. America tapped into the Gwahar oil field in the middle east as it set up foreign relations in and with nations like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emerates, Kuwait, Qatar, and the rest of those desert nations created by western offices to fill their gluttonous hunger for oil, while at the same time satiating the sheiks’ hunger for money, possessions, influence. The need for oil during and after World War II sparked a worldwide hunt for oil fields, until almost all were found. Right now, the largest oil field in the world is the Gwahar Oil field in Saudi Arabia, with an estimated 71 billion barrels of oil still in reserve. Today, that field has ten million barrels of sea water pumped into it just to keep the pressure high enough so that the oil will keep flowing, but the oil that flows out is also about half saltwater. Oil fields are like pressurized tanks under the surface of the earth. There can only be so much pressure released from the underground tanks before the energy it takes to pull the oil out is greater than the energy in the extruded oil. It’s like using two barrels of oil to produce one, which of course is neither cost effective nor efficient. Oil sands and oil shale only get three barrels of oil for every two produced, and that’s only at the largest, most efficient open pit oil mining operations. World production of oil has hit a ceiling, which has come to be known as ‘Peak Oil’, after which world production starts a downslide that is literally irreversible, this is what happened during the energy crisis of the seventies in America; domestic oil fields had reached their peak production and have been on a steady decline since. Now, all the international oil fields that drive the globalized economy are slowing down production as decades of oil dependency have been chugging down millions of barrels of oil. It is not going to get better. Gas will get more expensive before it gets cheaper as developing countries develop dependant on petrol products, and more developing people want more developed gas burning gadgets, and more of the beloved everyday objects and acts that rely so heavily on black gold.