Monday, July 09, 2012

Innovating an Entire New World of Energy Resources

Every exciting new tool of exploration, discovery, production, and recovery opens up huge new fields of energy which were previously unknown or inaccessible. What was once impossible becomes the routine.
Take the Macondo field drilled by BP. Yes, a disaster in the Gulf: but also the deepest well ever drilled. Having developed the technology to drill so deeply we have not only discovered one new oil field – we've also discovered a whole new Earth that we can explore for oil. That part of the entire globe that between 4,000 and 5,000 feet below the surface.

Inventing fracking does not mean just extracting gas from Pennsylvania or oil from the Bakken. It means prospecting the whole planet again for such deposits. New technologies mean we have invented whole new planets to explore for resources.

This does not apply only to peak oil or peak gas. There are those out there who worry about peak copper, peak indium and even peak tellurium (an odd one when we use 125 tonnes a year and there's 120 million tonnes in the crust). None of these are geological problems, they are all plain and simple economic ones. _Tim Worstall -- The Telegraph

Worstall is right that problems with oil, gas, and minerals are not primarily geologic problems. But Worstall is wrong when he says these problems are "all plain and simple economic ones."

The problems are primarily problems of limited human imagination & invention, as well as a key problem of bad human government.

Societies with declining demographics ruled by idiocratic governments drowning in an exponential swell of debt, are likely to experience "peak ingenuity." When that happens, even nominally soluble problems begin to pile up and appear unsolvable.

Such problems often grow to acquire aspects of doom, with large quasi-religious followings.

And sometimes phantom problems of the imagination are blown up into monstrous amorphous catch-all entities, the repositories of all human fear. They can even merit entire agencies under the United Nations and national governments, be taught to schoolchildren as part of the required curricula, and be falsely presented by the news & entertainment media as established scientific fact.

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