Monday, March 07, 2005

Peak Oil, or 'Peak Oil'?

While doing the dishes today, I randomly asked myself, "Self, what's the evidence that oil is a fossil fuel?" I remember reading somewhere - I think in New Scientist - that there was a theory that oil was produced by populations of deep crust-dwelling bacteria, extremophiles that ate rock and excreted oil as a byproduct. But I couldn't find the article. Instead, after spending some quality time with google, I found this article attacking the whole concept of peak oil and selling the abiotic theory in its place. The money quote:

The Wall Street Journal article previously cited noted that it "would take a pretty big pile of dead dinosaurs to account for the estimated 660 billion barrels of oil in the [Middle East]." I don't know what the precise dinosaur-carcass-to-barrel-of-oil conversion rate is, but it does seem like it would take a hell of a lot of dead dinosaurs. Even if we generously allow that a single dinosaur could yield 5 barrels of oil (an absurd notion, but let's play along for now), more than 130 billion dinosaurs would have had to be simultaneously entombed in just one small region of the world. But were there really hundreds of billions of dinosaurs roaming the earth? If so, then one wonders why there is all this talk now of overpopulation and scarce resources, when all we are currently dealing with is a few billion humans populating the same earth.

Hmmm. Now how I come I never thought of that?

If the abiotic theory is right - and it does match the observed date set better, given that wells have been known to fill back up again - it throws a lot of things into a completely different light. Suddenly our evil western way of life doesn't look quite so unsustainable. Oil is still finite in the abiotic theory, but in the same way that sand is finite.

Oh, and regarding the actual evidence that oil is produced by fossils: couldn't seem to find that. Seems the theory was presented by some Russian 250 odd years ago, and hasn't actually been tested since. No one saw the point, I geuss. Appropriately enough, the abiotic theory originates with Soviet scientist Nikolai Kudryavtsev, who proposed it way back in 1951.


Blogger The Terminator said...

I like this blog, but I think you should have more about movies. I would be interested in reading some movie reviews.

What are your favourite movies?

8:44 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Sadly, I see few movies. However, there IS a review here ... way back in November, I think. Alexander the (not so) Great (which I only saw because I got a free pass to the preview through my job.)

As for favorite movies ... hard to say. In terms of ones I've seen the most, in no particular order:

The Alien Tetralogy (with Aliens at the top)
Full Metal Jacket
Fight Club
2001: A Space Odyssey

1:44 PM  
Blogger Decadent Leftist said...

OK: Regardless of what i have said in the past (and all the associated mean dickery that has come with it) THIS IS NOT AN ATTACK.


Here it goes:

Oh god. Please start seeing better movies than just sci-fi.

If money's a problem you can go to campus film libraries, the NFB or even municipal libraries and rent DVDs and Videos FOR FREE.

Since you have a kind of nerdy bearing (not meant as insult-i noticed the sci-fi and comic book references) I make the following recommendations. They are fairly accessable for any audience and easy to find in most film libraries:

-Akira Kurosawa's Period(Samurai) Pieces:
"Seven Samurai", "Yojimo", "Sanjuro", "Throne of Blood",
"Ran", "Rashomon" and "Hidden Fortress"(which Star Wars was based on)

- Tartakofsky's "Solaris" and "Stranger"

- Gilliam's "Brazil"

- Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove..."

- Takishi Miike's "Audition" (violent and shocking, but good)

-Scott's "Blade Runner"

These are better than the Alien series AND Fight Club (though Aliens, Alien and FC are good on their own)

IF you want cult stuff, look for the "Lone Wolf and Cub" series AND the GODDAMN BEST CULT MOVIE EVER, i suggest "The Warriors".


7:27 PM  
Blogger The Terminator said...

I haven't seen Aliens or Full Metal Jacket, but Fight Club was AWESOME! I didn't get 2001, I thought that it was boring.

Matrix 1 and 3 were really good, and some parts of Matrix 2 were alright.

I think In Good Company with Topher Grace is the best movie I've seen this year. Scarlett Johannson is a babe.

9:07 PM  
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