01 April 2011

Oil is Here to Stay

In a forest of tubes eight metres high in eastern Spain scientists hope they have found the fuel of tomorrow: bio-oil produced with algae mixed with carbon dioxide from a factory.
Almost 400 of the green tubes, filled with millions of microscopic algae, cover a plain near the city of Alicante, next to a cement works from which the C02 is captured and transported via a pipeline to the "blue petroleum" factory.
The project, which is still experimental, has been developed over the past five years by Spanish and French researchers at the small Bio Fuel Systems (BFS) company.

What a lot of experts seem to forget is that everything in the natural world is cyclical.  Oil is formed from carbon-based life forms that have been buried (for the most part) deeply beneath the earth’s surface, and have liquefied because of the heat and pressure.  There is no reason to think that this cycle has to come to an end.  Maybe it has to be synthesized in order to continue, but it doesn’t have to end.  That’s why predictions of the world running out of some resource are so laughable:  They ignore man’s ability to recycle and create synthetic replacements.  They also assume that man is omniscient, but a discussion of this fallacy merits a separate post.

Anyway, the most disheartening aspect of this whole story is that it highlights the sheer waste of all those highly-subsidized alternative energy programs.   Ethanol is energy negative to produce and less efficient in its use, at least as things currently stand.  Solar power and wind power have high maintenance costs and generate relatively low output.  And yet these technologies have received billions in research and production subsidies.   All that was really needed was a way to synthetically produce crude oil, and it appears that we’ve found it.  All the left-wing environmentalist hand-wringing of the past forty years is complete and utter nonsense.

All we need is oil.


  1. This resource alarming is almost as bad as the global cooling/global warming/climate change hysteria. Don't forget the overpopulation theme from liberals. In reality the population has been dropping as people get richer or concentrate on urban areas. The science of evolution seems to be flawed and incomplete as well (in that some of its findings are accurate but many others are a complete waste) but overall its the evolution dogma (aka inspired from the Enlightement) that worries me the most.

  2. @Betty- the general fetishism of science that I find among the leftists is rather concerning, especially when they become dogmatic or alarmist about it. Of course, this deserves a post unto itself (possibly even several).