Tonight, just right after my 10K run in the park – something that I now do not often do – I went to the nearest supermarket, Perekrestok, which is a huge Russian chain.
There is a big parking lot just outside it. Lots of cars. Expensive, middle class, some shabby…
Among those cars, I’ve noticed a futuristic thing, cherry color. Nice lines. What could this be? – I wondered.
It was… a Tesla. Wow…
Some future among the today’s grey reality, a glimpse of California in an autumn Moscow.
Wind of change…
Calm down. Oil is far from to be finished. Right, the age of fossil resources is slowly coming to its end and that Tesla is a symbol of it.
But just a symbol yet. Those electric cars are not so ecologically friendly as some vegans might hope. The lithium battery production is kind of bad for the ecology…
Sure, in 30 years from now, you won’t probably see gasoline running cars but… I’m not sure. Yes, you might drive a nice electric vehicle in London or Munich.
But what about mighty V8 trucks? Built for business, construction, other real things. Those beasts need an instant torque to move with some heavy loads. If some electric thing could do it for the same budget, then let me now. So far, I’ve seen only nice designs and big ecological statements.
Well, we will see it in next five years if technology will find a solution.
P.S. I’m not even discussing lots of other things where oil is useful, from moving great ocean-going ships to producing synthetic cloth. To me, the Age of Oil is far from over. Yes, I’m not trying to be politically correct. I want be straight and I don’t think that oil itself is this bad.
P.P.S What if tomorrow some smart ass would say that electricity is bad for some reason? Like, it might harm or even kill somebody? You’re ready to get back to the Stone Age because of somebody’s naive but good-hearted intentions??? I am not.
Planet first, oil profits last .
While steam chugged along happily to satisfy the bulk of 19th century energy needs, it was oil that really fuelled the next 100 years. You would have thought that the 21st century would bring a whole new energy system, especially in light of climate change. Yes, you could argue that clean-energy industries are gaining some momentum, particularly when Covid-19 sees oil demand fall by 20% or more, and the price now at rock-bottom.
We all know renewable energy is healthier, more politically stable, with less economic volatility, so why isn’t the new order with us yet? What’s stopping it, and will the world reach that point in time to avoid destroying the planet?
I’m not confident. America is the world’s top producer of oil, and its gobshite president doesn’t even believe in the science of global warming, because it suits him and his oil barons not to. I wonder whether Dean will vent his spleen on that one.
But oil is still more copious than was previously thought, so it will be lack of demand rather than lack of reserves which may bring diminishing production of the disgusting black barrels. That’s of course assuming most countries agree that reliance on oil needs to stop, and pretty damn quickly. Will they? What will be the short term consequences, apart from saving the planet? Which country will have the guts to go for it, with its implications of massive job-losses in the fossil-fuel industry, for instance? I find it hard to think of many nations that will do what’s right. There’s simply too many corrupt fools in power at the moment.
And changing to renewable energy still requires raw materials. These are available around the world, but the problem is that they are often produced in a manner which can do great damage to the local ecology, and there’s also the problem of how to get them to the marketplace within the time constraints that rapid weaning-off oil demands. It’s not a geological shortage, it will be a massive financial paucity.
Don’t even start me on what Britain might be able to achieve in the next few decades. Our present government is so busy messing up both dealing with the pandemic and with Brexit, I doubt whether replacing oil with clean energy even registers on their “give-a-fuck-o-meter.”
There is no doubt where the world’s priorities lie: the planet and its inhabitants should be at the top of every list, and profits of the fossil industry should be right down the bottom.
Our priorities as a society should be people and planet, not the profits of fossil capital. There is a window of opportunity here – as we hopefully, eventually, recover from Covid-19, let us not go back to normal. There should be absolutely no place for oil in the coming decades. If the world messes up, I won’t be around to witness the carnage. But my kids, their kids, and the following generation will have to face it, and that leaves me with a very, very heavy heart.
The Hypocrisy of It All
First, let’s get real: you are reading this on a screen; a screen made from oil. Oil made the modern world possible… period. Like most people with a brain, I also want to see less carbon based energy smoking our planet. You think oil is polluting: Can you imagine a world with coal fired cars?
I dislike the hypocrisy of Greta Thunberg and co. She will not fly across the ocean because planes burn fuel, so she takes a sailing ship. Wearing water-shedding clothing for her crossing, looking at wall covered with water-proof paint, while using a computer to keep in touch, she remains confident she is saving the planet by not using oil. I know she means well… she really is sincere.
It’s not that I’m pro big oil… I dislike those guys much, much more than the Greta’s of the world. You would think these big multi-nationals would be at the forefront of wind & solar. Nope, they are going to fight it every step of the way. Wall Street money trumps all and they don’t care about anything beyond the quarterly dividend.
The rise of electric cars will not spell the end of big oil, not by a long shot. We are swimming in oil based products and that will not change for decades to come. Some marketing firms are touting plant based plastic bottles ; that’s a lie and means nothing to the environment. The truth is, right now we really don’t have any alternative to oil and that’s not about to change.
Think about this: if the price of oil drops it will cause the price of plastic bottles to drop. That means it will become even more difficult to replace the stuff.
I was surprised to learn that recycling plastic really isn’t a thing. Now some people are working on making buildings out of recycled plastic. That would be great because a single building world need tonnes of the stuff and it lasts forever. I have this vision that a thousand years from now there will be these plastic buildings from ancient times. People will admire our plastic craftsmanship and consider it likely that that large building over there was used to worship a God. Most likely it was a Walmart.
No matter, people will come from all over. Plastic based tourism, complete with little plastic trinkets sold in little stalls. The massive hover ship will disgorge thousands… we hate those guys, they ruin our town and give nothing back. They spend no credits and eat back onboard. And would you just look at this place? They left trash everywhere;
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