Hundreds of millions of years ago, even before dinosaurs, something started happening here on earth that would benefit humans for generations: Plants, small animals and marine life, algae, and billions of tiny organisms started to die. Unlike today though, the earth was much hotter and it was covered with far more water. When all of this matter died, it would fall to the bottom of the oceans, swamps, and forest floors and it would get covered by dirt and sediment. This process would continue, adding layer upon layer of dead stuff over millions and millions of years.
The result of all this debris being crushed and compacted, as you’ve probably guessed, was oil. An almost unfathomable amount of oil; so much that, along with coal and natural gas, it’s powered our lives and our economies for a century. Over time the easy to get to oil became less abundant while our appetite for it increased exponentially. Realizing this could eventually bring our world to a screeching halt, engineers, scientists, geologists and visionaries set about finding alternatives.
The oil companies, looking out for their own interests, found new ways to extract what was left over from wells long ago capped. Fracking, its impact on the environment still being debated, gave oil a new lease on life.
The Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico is a perfect example of how much oil still remains. Over 3.0 million barrels a day are being pulled from just this one reserve and it’s estimated that 60 to 90 billion barrels of oil are still down there ready to be extracted. This isn’t even including vast reserves in the Middle East, Africa, and in the deepest parts of our oceans.
As amazing as these discoveries and advancements have been, even oil companies are preparing for a new future. We are now in the midst of a revolution not only in oil but across a wide range of alternative energy sources, including wind, solar, battery, hydro, and nuclear.
As consumers we win because we have options. Businesses that invest in these alternatives win because there’s money to be made. And despite the skeptics and conspiracy theorists that deny the impact we have on our own planet by using fossil fuels, it too will benefit because of cleaner, renewable energy. That’s not to say oil won’t have a place in our world for the foreseeable future because it will. And we need it…for now.
Denying what’s obvious and scientifically proven is a dangerous pursuit. Oil, despite the large amounts still available, will eventually be insufficient to meet our demands. It also pollutes our planet which has already had huge implications for all of us.
So even when those with the loudest voice threaten to stop the progress claiming insufficient evidence, while simultaneously being unable to provide any of their own, it falls on deaf ears for a very simple reason: Businesses and consumers focus primarily on facts and because of that businesses will continue pushing forward with all options and consumers will continue exploring and embracing those new options. And even more importantly, doing so will insure we can continue to move forward as a country, a world and as the most advanced civilization ever known.