I was visiting with a friend recently and we were talking about the “good old days” which we recalled to not always be so good. But I ventured that without electricity, we would be back to the old days overnight. How would we survive? I still have a barn with milk stanchions. I still have an old work harness and even a wood beam turning plow along with a few other horse drawn work tools…but could I really survive out of my garden and with an old milk cow and few chickens? I don’t know. But the generations before me did.
I was actually born before electricity came to our farm. We had coal oil lamps (I still have one myself.) We had no air conditioning, no generators, and still plowed the garden with “Pet”, our horse, until I was in school. We drew water from the well (again, I have a pulley and well bucket so I could get water…) and cut firewood for heat. The electricity in 1950 and that today was predominately generated from fossil fuels. Coal, oil, and gas are used to generate most electricity in the world. Relatively small amounts are generated by hydroelectric plants and nuclear plants. Solar and wind account for virtually nothing. If all the solar and wind generators shut down tomorrow the world would hardly notice. Yet people seem to still delude themselves into thinking that a few more windmills and solar panels will replace the entire oil and gas industry.
Lithium is no panacea. It explodes. It burns. 60 years from now we will laugh at the idea it was going to be the energy storage system of the future. Yes, just like in 1955 when we were talking about atomic engines in cars.
Not once is the oil company given credit for making your lives better. In fact, apparently the oil companies not only need to supply the consumer with profit free oil but they expect them to spend their profits not for the shareholders of the company but to find some alternative to oil and gas to literally replace themselves. I am addicted to oil. I am addicted to air-conditioning, central heat, warm showers, and tires that run 60,000 miles.
The new energy source of the future may not even exist in the minds of mankind today. It will develop when necessity forces people to think outside the energy box we are in. Oil companies should not be reviled for doing what they do best.
Uncle Pat wasn’t addicted to oil. He was addicted to horses. He never learned to drive. Think how much fun it was to run into town on a rainy day in December with a north wind of 40 degrees…