The coming oil crash

Well, not really. I was reading Life After the Oil Crash a few years ago, and even hear Matt on Coast to Coast back in September.

For those that don’t know, the site is a doom and gloomer, predicting the downfall of civilization as we know it, because we’re running out of oil. At first, he seemed to make a convincing argument, and mentally I was already preparing for what life would be like if technology scaled back 100-200 years.

But after some thought, I realize Matt has political motivations for saying what he says. I am sure he believes it, but I think he believes it because it

  1. Allows him to promote his pro-abortion stance
  2. Paints mankind as a vomitous wart upon the Earth
  3. Allows him to engage in the always entertaining fear-mongering

Matts argument flows something like this:
Society runs on oil. We eat, drink, sleep, drive, communicate, and live because of oil, and with oil. Since it is running out, society is going to collapse.

He doesnt believe that there will be a technological solution in time, and that we’re pretty much screwed.

I have to disagree with Matt for quite a few reasons, and I happen to think we’ll be just fine.
Here’s why:

  1. Human knowledge is exponential. In 100 years, we’ve gone from first using a lightbulb, to space travel, instantaneous worldwide communication, splitting the atom, etc. When you really consider the technological breakthroughs in the past century compared to the century before that, and the century before that, you see that it is possible that we could have a solution to being dependent upon oil in the next 5-10 years. For instance, today I read about Danish college students patenting technology that allowed them to go 15 miles on 0.35 oz. of Hydrogen. That equates to 450 miles to the gallon.
  2. Not everyone believes that oil is running out. There are quite a few scientists, reliable ones at that, that believe oil is actually abiotic and self-replenishing.
  3. The oil companies would LOVE for you to believe that oil is running out. It valuates their stocks, raises profits, and allows them to give out $400million dollar retirement packages.
  4. We have an energy surplus. In fact, we have such an energy surplus, one of the biggest epidemics in America is obesity. We have so much energy, our bodies are swelling with it.
    I did the math, and right now, the average person burns about 2,000 calories a day. Running for a mile burns 100 calories. That means to run for 40 miles, you would burn 4,000 calories. Let’s say four people running for 40 miles burn about 16,000 calories.
    Now, let’s take one of our more efficient cars that burns at 40 miles to the gallon. A gallon of gas as 31,000,000 calories. That means a car carrying 4 people burns 31,000,000 calories after 40 miles.
    Why the difference? Because cars are terribly inefficient. Technology can and will improve that efficiency. Heck, we already have the technology. We are that technology. All we have to do is find a way to mimic it. (BTW, pardon the incredibly unscientific illustration, but it’s just to make a point). The point is, one atom contains enough energy to keep us going for a while, and we have plenty of atoms.

I will leave with this quote from the man who was the oil minister of Saudi Arabia for 30 years, Sheikh Zaki Yamani: "THE Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil."

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