Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Last Frontier

On earth at least is the "New Arctic". It turns out, not only have oil companies been  publicly denying climate change, while they have been aware of it in their boardrooms, it looks like they have been planning on it. Shorter weaker ice building seasons, combined with warmer ocean temperatures maybe be bad news for life, but for oil exploitation its a boon.

Now, the economic forum in Davos is wrapping up, and among the topics being discussed by the worlds elite and the toothless political body they hoped to walk over, are the rules by which this prime slice of virgin territory to the north of everyone, is to be dressed up and whored out to the benefit of a fistful of multinational corporations. While the actual proven reserves haven't been determined, it is sure to be the largest massive discovery since the Persian Gulf.

I wonder if anyone there even considered the fact that this is the last hurrah for a resource that cannot be extracted at a sustainable rate. The implications that carries for much of our technology; especially in agriculture and medical science, that have become as petroleum dependent as they are important to our society, are disturbing. From drug synthesis in industrial chemistry, to the actual syringes used to administer said drug, almost everything is done with petroleum derived products. The chemical fertilizers, pesticides and the entire centralized distribution system that has replaced the family farm, are so completely integrated with plastics and petroleum products that the average person now consumes more petroleum per meal than the weight of the actual food.

Will we one day face a choice between rationing of petroleum resources? Undoubtedly. Will using a plastic bag today prevent someone from having kidney dialysis someday in the future? Quite possibly. Responsible consumption should be the first and most important consideration for this resources. I know this flies in the face of traditional petroleum distribution methods. Where the idea is to flood as much as the market will bear, and to make as much money as possible for the investors. By having rational conversations about priorities when it comes to how we invest our slice of this very valuable pie, we can maybe come up with a plan for allowing future generations access to some of this resource.

Lets not let this be an excuse for GM to put out a Cadillac version of the Humvee at 8900 lbs.GVW, because if we go down that route, we have truly become, the last, most selfish generation.