Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A handful of diesel...

Recently, I was watching a heavy bulldozer move huge chunks of building material from one side to another effortlessly. The size of the material was like - to do this with people, it would have taken about 40-50 people, all puffing and panting to complete.

It is one thing that we have built the machinery to accomplish this. But the core power for this activity came from a handful of diesel. This handful of diesel and the labor of 40-50 people - the comparison seemed very disproportionate.

I had to keep mulling on this until I realized something: This handful of diesel came from a million years of activity inside the womb of planet Earth. It is just that we have organized this extraction, production, transportation and eventual consumption life-cycle to such an extent it looks trivial.

If petroleum takes a million years to produce - and we are consuming like a million liters every day, we are eventually going to run out of this and the machines are going to be twiddling their thumbs. Well, even that needs diesel. I understand this is why we are turning to the Arctic for petroleum - which I have a feeling will be a stupid decision among the long list of stupid decisions we have made in the course of history.

It doesn't take much to see we will run out of petroleum in the Arctic as well. Petroleum is the blood of planet Earth. Much of the raw power that we derive from it is the planet's power - and we ought to treat it with some discretion and respect.

It is time to turn to a proper renewable source on a war footing - and along with that scale our activities in proportion with what's available.
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