Monday, December 03, 2012

Whether You Excavate It or Pump It or Frack It Out of the Ground, It's All Fossil Fuel

We get all sorts of stuff out of the ground and it's all lethal, every BTU of it.   Some of it, for example natural gas, is less lethal.  Some of it, heavy crude and coal, is especially lethal.   But, still, burn enough of any of it and you consign civilization as we have known it for 3,000 years to extinction.

We're discovering new reserves of Civilization Eradicator all the time.   China, heavily dependent on imported oil and coal, is about to get into fracking Big Time.   The United States and Canada are already heavily into fracking.   You could even say we're "Mother Frackers."   And coal?  Oh yeah, baby.   We dig coal, we really do, and then we either burn it ourselves or ship it as fast as we can to Asia so they can make the crap that lines the shelves at Wal-Mart.

Bitumen.   Makes no sense.   The last Albertan who understood the perils and pitfalls of the Athabasca Tar Sands was recently buried with full state honours.   Shhh, keep this on the QT, but there's a reason Alberta is still running in the red despite this supposed underground gooey windfall.

And now we're licking our lips in anticipation of getting at massive reserves of oil beneath the Arctic sea bed just as soon as our massive fossil fuel consumption clears away the rest of the Arctic sea ice.   Christ boys but we're gonna be rollin' in it then.

Oh sure, climate change is the greatest threat ever to face mankind.  There, okay we said it.   Now, let's move on.   Those fossil fuels aren't going to bring themselves out of the ground.   That's hard work, so hard that we can only do it with generous government subsidies and enormous fossil fuel industry tax and royalty deferrals.  But let's not get bogged down in details.  It's fossil fuel, isn't it?   And that makes us rich, doesn't it?   And that may hurt our grandkids, even make their lives living hell, but you can't look to the future and take care of business in the present.

And we may be on course for 4 degrees C of warming by 2100, perhaps even 6 degrees, but 4, 6 those are little numbers, single digits, nothing.   And besides, do you think you'll be around in 2100?  Don't be silly.

The 21st will be the Century of Fossil Fuels if we stay on our current course.   With the reserves we already have on the books and all the new fossil fuels we're uncovering we have four, maybe five times as much as we need to truly bake this planet.   At least some of us will get rich doing it.  Let's get cracking, er, fracking.

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