Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why Oil Will Be With Us for a Long Time

In a remote village beyond an unnamed hill, where the last road ended miles ago, a man picks up an earthenware bowl. He pours some refined oil into it – maybe vegetable oil, maybe palm oil. Into the oil he inserts a cotton wick, then puts a match to the wick.

That lamp will shine all night long.

That villager could never have gotten the same result with solar or wind – not yet, anyway. Until we find a source of energy that combines the convenience, cost and potency of oil, we'll never give up on the black gold.

Yes, I understand oil has its drawbacks. But society has decided that oil's pros outweigh its cons. The scales will continue to tip that way for quite some time.

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