For decades now, oil has often been vilified and bedeviled by just about everyone from progressive environmentalist organizations to the mass media, but the fact is, without oil, we would be in a very sorry state and many of the so called “green energy options” that now are hovering somewhere in the future would be nothing but mere “pipe dreams!”
It's time we take a reasonable and rationally informed look at the massive benefits that we have derived from oil over the past hundred years. Only then can we truly come to sincerely value and appreciate what oil has done for us over the years and even lately, as we enter the era of so called “Green Energy!”
First of all, oil has proven time and time again to be the most versatile and energy dense resource we have yet to discover and learn to effectively utilize. This opulent source of relatively inexpensive energy has single handedly come to define our culture, technology, lifestyle, jobs, food and along with all of these vitally significant facets of our existence, our very lives themselves.
Fact: Without the reliable and consistent existence of “cheap oil,” the entire planet would have starved to death decades ago. Gasoline is the keeps the farm running, from the plows, tractors and harvesters to the gas powered conveyor belts used to process and inspect the food.
It's fossil fuels that power all those convoys of trucks that daily bring our food to market, the same oil that is also a primary ingredient in many of the most efficient and affordable fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that have consistently kept the crops growing heartily and prevented them from being devoured and devastated by hungry pests.
So, over the same period of time that the human race grew from 1 billion people on Earth to over 6 billion, it was precisely this highly reliable and relatively inexpensive energy source that provided us with the opportunity to so drastically improve and multiply the yield of our farming efforts. If it were not for oil, we never would have been able to successfully feed a planet that's population has multiplied exponentially in the past 100 years.
Fact: Fossil Fuel has provided us with the necessary energy needed to “globalize” trade world-wide. Not only has trade effectively taken place around the entire planet, but it has done so quite profitably for all concerned!
Once we regularly talked about 2nd and 3rd world cultures, incapable of raising the capital to improve and modernize their infrastructure. Now, with oil fueling numerous societies around the globe into the modern world, we are witnessing “fast and vast” growth spurts in construction, technology, science and medicine from South America to Africa and from the Pacific Islands to Eastern Europe.
Fact: With this growing trade and infrastructure building and renovation comes the added benefit of an equally “globalized” job market. As construction and manufacturing move more consistently into those areas of cheapest labor, with shipping costs so cheap thanks to a reliable supply of gasoline over the years, areas once known for squalor and poverty are now creating jobs, improving life styles of their citizens and competing on a global and more level playing field.
Fact: It is through our research and experimentation with learning how to most efficiently utilize oil that we discovered the wonders of “plastic!” Do I actually need to list all of the various industries, products and services that prominently feature plastic? Just stop for 30 seconds and look around you right now, do you see plastic being utilized as a basic building block of your modern day world?
From the alarm clock that woke you up this morning to the car you will drive home in this evening, from the multi-media electronics that bring the world to you on a daily basis to the toys your kids play with, plastic is a vital part of our lives. If it wasn't for our usage of oil, there would be no plastic to even consider. Also, numerous oil derivatives are the major components of a wide array of medicines, make-ups and other chemical products
Fact: Inexpensive fossil fuel provides cheap energy to drive our cars, SUV, trucks, RV's, motorcycles, jet skis, and other off-road vehicles as well as run our lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers and hedgers.
Fact: Oil has completely changed our world and our lives. What would the decline of inexpensive oil mean to us? Let us consider the term “Peak Oil.” By definition, ‘peak oil” is the point in time in which the world produces the most oil it can produce. That means after “Peak Oil,” it's all downhill slide from that point on.
If we have, in fact, reached that point, and many say that we have, then what we truly need to do is determine to develop a much stronger sense of respect and value for oil as an energy source. Perhaps oil, like anything that comes cheaply, was once taken for granted and not shown the deference that it deserves, but that attitude will not stand. If we are to survive into the next century, we need to come to a much deeper and more sincere respect and appreciation for what oil has and will continue to do for our lives.
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