Welcome to The End Of Oil?
The question mark is the most important part of the title, because the pages here will represent an ongoing debate, and a 30 year historical archive.
There are very strong cases to be made for the option of abandoning all fossil fuels for energy and transport use. Anyone who denies this has perhaps never lived in a polluted city, or had loved ones who have suffered from sicknesses such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or pneumonia.
At the same time, if all fossil fuels were banned right now, economic hardships would ensue and the majority of human lives will be much harder. For example, domestic energy bills would go through the roof, and millions will not be able to travel to work. Banning oil, gas or coal would also close the door (or at least be a disincentive) to technological developments that might create solutions to the problem of pollution.
If all side products of the burning of coal or oil could be captured and used for something beneficial, where would be the downside? That could be weighed up against the bird deaths from wind turbines, and the dangerous and environmentally unfriendly rare earth extraction for the materials used to create solar panels and batteries.
You see, the fossil vs renewable debate isn’t cut and dry, and anyone who is firmly in one camp or another could be viewed as closed minded or uninformed.
Without knowing the future of technology, we can’t decide if something should be heavily subsidised or banned. There are simply too many unknown unknowables in the equation.
The End Of Oil? will be an impartial record of the current state of affairs in global energy. Over the next 30 years, you’ll see factual and persuasive articles on both sides of the debate.
If you’re reading this in 2047, you can judge us on how we did. How far off our early predictions were. Are you living in a world of perfectly clean coal? Or 100% solar? Or a technology yet to be invented in 2017?
The person writing these words, right now, will remain anonymous for the time being. I publish articles elsewhere in my real name, but I don’t want this 30 year experiment to be tainted by any opinions of my background.
We will welcome guest authors from both sides of the debate, and they can be anonymous or public, both choices are fine.
Most importantly, we want the articles and ideas here to stand alone and be subject to scrutiny on their own merits.
I believe that the scientific truth remains the truth whether promoted by a captain of industry, a scientist, academic or even a lifelong unemployed protester. Facts are facts, and science is our guide.
I might work for an oil company, or be the inventor of the next generation of battery storage technology. I might be a pimply teenage keyboard warrior, or a professor of physics. None of these personas will affect the march of progress, or the impartiality of this website.
Some tech genius might ‘out me’, or if you contact me through the website I might write back as myself. It’s not that I want to be secretive, it’s more that I have a 30 vision for this website, and want it to contribute to humanity in the best way possible.