Thursday, March 08, 2007

"Oil: Protecting the Earth from
Renewable Energy for 148 Years"

That is the title of Mac Johnson's opinion piece in Energy Tribune and it demonstrates some logical historical realities:

"In the environmental Dark Ages before the discovery of oil, man’s energy needs had to be extracted from the living world. Whole continents were deforested in the quest for firewood. Priceless wetlands were strip-mined for peat. Bees were robbed of their wax to make candles. Even when millions were starving, valuable animal fats and plant oils were rendered into fuel to illuminate the homes of the rich."

"Alas, it appears those times may soon return as environmentalists, politicians, and the media push for man’s energy needs to be met once more by the limited capacity of field and fjord. But for one brief moment in man’s planet-killing history, oil was there to carry the burden that man would have otherwise hoisted upon the bowed back of nature. Just look at what oil did for the whales."

"Together with coal, oil opened up an unimaginable quantity of energy that came from outside the contemporary natural productivity of the Earth. For the first time, societies could grow far beyond the biological energy limits of their landmass. Wealth skyrocketed. Food supplies were no longer diverted to energy needs. Populations blossomed, and yet man’s energy-motivated environmental depredations fell significantly." [...]

"But the exercise demonstrates the burden fossil fuels have lifted from the environment, and how accustomed all six billion of us have become to eating. Even the paltry efforts toward already subsidized biofuels have had an impact. The U.S. demand for ethanol has helped drive the price of corn tortillas beyond the reach of some impoverished Mexicans, precipitating calls for price controls and export restrictions. Unfortunately, the competition between mouths and motors can only increase, and the demands placed on our living planet can only get worse as the second age of renewable energy dawns prematurely."

So... 'big oil' has saved the whales, has preserved our forests and natural beauty, has helped provide food for billions, AND has helped keep at least a handful of Mexicans in Mexico.

Exxon-Mobile for President, 2008! Halliburton for Veep! (Of course, George W. Bush would have been named CEO of Exxon-Mobile and Cheney CEO of Halliburton.)

Eight more years! Eight more years!

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