Posted on December 18th, 2011
[DISCLAIMER – This article in no way advocates continued long term use of fossil fuels. It exposes continued long term extraction for the tyranny of the drunken monkey and immoral practice it is, and elucidates consequences not even generally considered. It also reveals existing interim solutions on the road to healthy change]
The drilling for and extraction of oil, one of the products of ancient sunlight, has been with us for thousands of years. From ancient China and oil for lamps, to today’s gasoline and the automobile.
The specific weight of oil varies from place to place, generally 8 barrels equal a ton.
Since 1848 the demand for oil has continued to grow. “The 2007 world statistics for the period between the years 1960 and 2007 show extraction of 952,231,600,000 barrels for that 47 year period.“1 Major extraction and use began around 160 years ago.
Between 1960 and 2007 we removed oil with a mass of approximately 119,028,950,000 tons. A mass that no longer bears weight as a solid. That does not take into consideration extraction before 1960
It’s impossible to estimate the weight of wood fiber materials burned and never replaced.
“Coal is another carbon fuel of obvious weight and mass. Current World coal consumption is about 6.2 billion tons annually.”2 “Recent fossil fuel consumption was 4.7 times the level in 1950,”3 and it now accounts for 77 percent of world energy use. According to the Energy Information Agency, it is believed that demand will increase by 50% by 2030. As mass, that’s equivalent to hundreds of billions of tons of solid turned to gases.
“The calculated weight of the Earth is 5.978 sextillion metric tons, or 5,978 followed by 18 zeros. But the latest measurements show the true weight is actually 5.972 sextillion metric tons.”4
The constants used to calculate the weight of the Earth was off or so they say. The force of gravity, shown as the capital letter G, is a little tricky to measure. Scientists have come up with many different numbers, and each one gives us a different number for the Earth’s weight. Here I’m more concerned with the unimaginable weight loss over time.
“The butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. Small variations of the initial condition of a dynamic system may produce large variations in the long-term behaviour of the system. So this is sometimes presented as esoteric behaviour, but can be exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position.”5 This is real science!
We are turning huge amounts of matter into gases over a long period of time. An old sailor and past mentor once referred to it as removing Earths ballast. Unlike greenhouse gases or ozone depleting contaminants that can be reduced or replaced. These changes of mass caused by our consumption in search of a better way of life can only be creating long-term irreversible imbalances.
The Economic and Political mire of our times is so fixated on it’s own self centered concerns, I believe it’s capacity to perceive the big picture is clouded. We have entered a new geological age, the Anthropomorphic age, An age when we should be balancing our needs with the needs of the planet, with a determination to halt the ravages of past abuse. We have a small window of time to collectively work together improving world approach to resource use and creation of a foundation for a new long lasting economy, improving the health of our planet and going forward foster healthy growth. We need to further develop and use zero-footprint technologies, and harmonize with the natural order.
Knowing it’s only a matter of time and there are no “snap fixes” to put things on a healthy path, are we going to let things go until abuse associated factors make it impossible.
Breaking our addiction to combustible materials will not be immediate.
Transitioning will take time! Continuing the same path we are on is insanely suicidal.
First and foremost we must stop damaging the planet. Fortunately technologies already exist that can make that possible. All that is lacking is the will to use them.
Interim technologies exist that will allow us to transition away from further environmental habitat damage by extraction. An American from Philadelphia has created a process called TDP, (Thermal depolymerization) that in minutes does what takes nature 1000s of years to do, turn waste and even sewage into oil.
Consider the end to end cost of 323 million dump truck trips to move 12 billion tons of waste yearly to landfills in America alone. The agricultural sector creates 6 billion tons of waste yearly. Using the TDP process the agricultural waste alone could be converted into 4 billion barrels of light oil per year. That’s what the US imports per year. Considering all the other available waste, that leaves a convertible waste surplus possible without any extraction. This proven technology is currently being used in Carthage Missouri to daily digest and process 200 tons of turkey waste and turn it into fuel oil.
TDP Explained, Turning Waste Into Fuel
Depending on the time of year 60 to 80 percent of CO2 emissions are created by the transportation industry. SOLUTION – THE COLD EXTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE – A car that runs on air being developed by a number of R&D teams (see also The Air Car link in the blogroll).
The Air Car by MDI Enterprises
A Short History of Oil
- “347 A.D. Oil wells are drilled in China up to 800 feet deep using bits attached to bamboo poles.
- 1848 First modern oil well is drilled in Asia, on the Aspheron Peninsula northeast of Baku.
- 1849 Distillation of kerosene from oil by Canadian geologist Dr. Abraham Gesner. Kerosene eventually replaces whale oil as the illumination source of choice and creates a new market for crude oil.
- 1850 Oil from hand-dug pits in California at Los Angeles is distilled to produce lamp oil.
- 1854 First oil wells in Europe are drilled 30- to 50-meters deep at Bóbrka, Poland.
- 1858 First oil well in North America is drilled in Ontario, Canada.
- 1859 First oil well in United States is drilled 69 feet deep at Titusville, Pennsylvania.
- 1878 Electric light bulb invented by Thomas Edison eliminates demand for kerosene, and the oil industry enters a recession.
- 1885 Oil burners on steam engines in the California oil fields, and later on steam locomotives, create new crude oil markets.
- 1886 Gasoline-powered automobiles introduced in Europe by Karl Benz and Wilhelm Daimler creates additional markets for California oil. Prior to the automobile, gasoline was a cheap solvent produced as a by-product of kerosene distillation.”6
- OPEC, Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Energy Annual (EIA), annual reports 2007, and the International Energy Database 2007. ↩
- Coal, Wikipedia the free encyclopaedia ↩
- Increase since 1950 based on sources cited in note 1; share of total global energy use calculated by Worldwatch with 2000 data from EIA, World EnergyOutlook 2002 (Paris: 2002), pp. 410–11. ↩
- Windows to the Universe® ↩
- Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia ↩
- San Joaquin Geological Society ↩