Energy is in the news again, with everyone having an opinion on what should be done with Fossil Fuels. Some Democrats have entered a “Green Bill” that would pretty much abolish a lot of fossil fuel industries, and abolish the use of fossil fuel using mechanization down to aircraft, trains, cars, and any other mode of transportation other than light rail. Even fossil fuel created electricity would be ended so that would kill any Light Rail use. And everyone is taking a side on it; either pro or con. But – they are missing the main issue. Do you want to lose what you currently use in your daily life?
So, why is oil so critically important? When was it first used? What was its effect on growing societies and industries? Let’s take a trip back to our ol’ grammar school days and remember that little instruction on the British Industrial Revolution that started around 1760, that’s right, before the American Revolution. Steam was the main force for large machine movement; however, the invention of the machine rotary movement without human or horse power was a huge leap in manufacturing. Coal was the first industrial energy sources to produce needed Steam Power. And big ship Whaling Fleets brought the Whale Oil used for early lubricated all those machine parts. Ocean whales were providing the blubber oil to keep the first industrial revolution going and in fact it was whales that provided the 2nd industrial revolution ticking on schedule as well. Yankee Whalermen provide a lot of whale oil to America and to Europe and once.
Yet, Oil was piped in bamboo pipes in China for use in 600B.C. Think of that. Oil has been around for a long time.
Whale Oil was king for a short period, but this was a living source and it soon began to price itself out of use as the Whale populations grew sparse. Whaling fleets had decimated the source populations almost to the point of extinction. Petroleum was far cheaper and had more uses. Two things took place to save the whales from extinction. Kerosene was discovered as a byproduct of a new energy source to replace whaling oil in oil lamps for lighting homes and for heating homes. Remember, coal and wood was used for heating homes and offices long before electricity and oil, or natural gas. Now, bed rock oil became a direct and serious competitor to whale oil. Petroleum oils worked far better with rotary machinery too. Demand seriously increased as several industrial revolutions took off.
In the early 1800’s everything changed in America. It was the 19th century of discovery. Yankee trade and the British Empire went into serious industrial mode. Machines of all kinds were invented and rotating engines demanded both a power source and something to grease the wheel of those machines. Oil could be delivered in different viscosities for different demands. Oil became big over night.
All sources of energy were used in the 1800’s, but oil finally overtook coal and wood in 1919, the height of Great War production and the Petroleum never looked back. Oil has been king for some hundred years and it has worked its way into every facet of life all around the world.
So, some want to save the planet with getting rid of oil products and production? What does that that really mean for you or other people?
It means getting rid of just about everything you currently buy and use in your daily life. From clothes to everything computers, from music to sporting equipment, from nail polish to many medications, from simple hand lotion to slacks, dresses, and cotton-Blends and all the machines that make that stuff for you. You lose golf balls to shaving cream, from sun glasses to toilet seats, rubbing alcohol to antiseptics, electric tape to duck tap, and telephones to cameras, housing insulation to tires, and finally disposable diapers to soft contact lenses.
This is just the tip of the ice berg of products “YOU” would lose without Oil and petroleum. This energy discussion is far more about everything in our lives, than just talking about the use of gas and diesel vs. electric cars or public transportation.
The Green Bill is not very well thought out, at all. Support for it is just grand-standing, because it’s unfeasible in the extreme. It would automatically bring a world-wide economic depression the likes we have never known, with violent upheaval just about everywhere.
The end game is this: People like their stuff! And they aren’t going to want to throw it all away. Not unless you want to go back to hunting animals for fur to wear and cutting down the forests for fuel and your only warmth. People want food and clothing.
Society can’t go back to move forward. A new energy source will first have to make it known and be not only reliable, but demonstrate it can out-perform petroleum usage. It may have to be invented or at least discovered. So far, hopes in this direction have not materialized as hoped.
Until then, petroleum it is.