Monday, October 01, 2007

Abiotic Oil - Gaia's fruit after all?

This is the latest (and, to my mind, clearest) statement about the origin of Oil - it ain't a 'fossil' fuel at all, according to those contararian Ruskies. It's a natural product, created deep within the Earth and slow-erupted up into the crust. Where it can be found by following geological signs, but just not the ones the Western scientific world tends to use.

All this rather does blow a big hole in Peak Oil theories, and indeed in any theory which treats oil as a finite resource. According to the Asia Times article (and I guess, to the book behind it) by F. William Engdahl, the Russians have followed an abiotic-origin theory since Wegener's time - the 1930's. They find oil where Western geological wisdom says there shouldn't be any.

So cars, SUV's and other devil-spawn are going to have four energy sources in future:

1 - oil, the natural, Gaia-created product of the deep
2 - hydrogen - and note the recent breakthrough in making this directly from plant starch
3 - electricity - I'll have a Wrightspeed, please
4 - Liquid fuels with similar energy density to petrol, from biomass

Who says that science isn't fun? Or that it can't save us (yet again - remember that hysterical old ninny Paul Erlich, anyone? "The edge of the crisis - we describe our first encounters with the age of scarcity and outline the greatest threat in the immediate future: the food crunch" - chapter One heading from "The End of Affluence", 1974).

I'll take Science over State of Fear, any day.