Life Without Oil is NOT AS SIMPLE AS YOU MAY THINK as renewable energy is only intermittent electricity from breezes and sunshine as NEITHER wind turbines nor solar panels can manufacture anything for society.
The demand for fuels to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of more than 50,000 jets for the military, commercial, private and the President’s Air Force One, and the more than 50,000 merchant ships that move products throughout the world are also manufactured from the supply of crude oil.
Today, there is a lost reality that the primary usage of crude oil is NOT for the generation of electricity, but to manufacture derivatives and fuels which are the ingredients of everything needed by economies and lifestyles to exist and prosper. Energy realism requires that the legislators, policymakers, media, and the investment community begin to understand the staggering scale of the decarbonization movement.
Pervasive ignorance about crude oil usage and divesting in the oil and gas industry could do irreparable harm to the industry, as well as inflict supply shortages and soaring prices upon consumers for the lesser number of products manufactured from crude oil, to meet the growing demands from society. Constraining crude oil supplies to meet growing demands guarantees shortages and inflation on society.
Looking back less than 200 years, we had a decarbonized society with no coal fired power plants, no natural gas power plants, and the Beverly Hillbillies had not yet discovered oil. It’s easy to see how civilization has benefited from more than 250 leading-edge, hydrocarbon processing licensed refining technologies used by the more than 700 refineries worldwide that service the demands of the eight billion people living on earth with more than 6,000 products made from the oil derivatives manufactured out of raw crude oil at refineries. None of these products were available to society before 1900.
Escalating climate change pressures are strangling capital flows for oil and gas producers, driving up the price of gasoline, electricity, and home heating. World leaders and the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) movement that are setting policies to rid the world of fossil fuels, have short memories of petrochemical products and human ingenuity being the reasons for the world populating from 1 to 8 billion in less than two hundred years shown clearly in the United Nations graph.
The current fossil fuel infrastructure is less invasive than mining for the exotic minerals and metals required to create the batteries needed to store “green energy”. In developing countries, these mining operations exploit child labor, and are responsible for the most egregious human rights’ violations of vulnerable minority populations. These operations are also directly destroying the planet through environmental degradation. The 2022 Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations – Helping Citizens Understand the Environmental and Humanity Abuses That Support Clean Energy, does an excellent job of discussing the lack of transparency to the world of the green movement’s impact upon humanity.
Crude oil is virtually useless, unless it’s manufactured (refineries) into oil derivatives that are the basis of more than 6,000 products in our daily lives that did not exist before the 1900’s, and the fuels to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of more than 50,000 aircraft for military, commercial, private and the President’s Air Force One, and more than 50,000 merchant ships, and the military and space programs.
With today’s technology to work and educate remotely, via virtual connectivity, we should reallocate resources to get people out of the cities and back into rural areas. It’s time to focus on adaptation, conservation, and resource efficiency. Systems need to be re-balanced, natural, and symbiotic, rather than parasitic, and we need to subordinate technology rather than allow it to rule us. Oil is a magic substance when used correctly and burned cleanly, but it can be the death of us all if used poorly.
Climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, between 2030 and 2050, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress. However, efforts to cease the use of crude oil could be the greatest threat to civilization’s eight billion, and being mandated to live without oil and the more than 6,000 products and the various fuels manufactured from oil will necessitate lifestyles being mandated back to the horse and buggy days of the 1800’s and may result in billions, not millions, of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths trying to live without the fossil fuels that are now benefiting society.
Both climate change, and life without oil, may be devastating to the global economy, but which is the lesser of two evils?
The world needs to REDUCE not ELIMINATE crude oil and reduce its footprint as much as practical and possible, as that may truly be the only plan that will work to save most of the world’s eight billion residents.
This article originally appeared at The Heartland Institute
- Ronald Stein
- Ron Stein is an engineer who, drawing upon 25 years of project management and business development experience, launched PTS Advance in 1995. He is an author, engineer, and energy expert who writes frequently on issues of energy and economics.
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June 15, 2022