What's Oil For?

What's Oil Really For?

It's a fair bet that oil wasn't put on this earth to fuel cars. It was here long before there were cars though it may not be here when the cars are gone. There sure was a lot of it. Mother Nature spent a lot of energy producing it. It's hard to believe that it didn't serve some useful function.

The earth is a very symbiotic neighbourhood. Everything is here for a reason. There are no useless hitch hikers on Earth. It would seem logical that oil enjoyed a working relationship with whatever else was in its vicinity.

There are food chains and eco pyramids in place everywhere. Weather patterns and tides and seasons. Each leans on the other to create the natural world we know today.

I don't know much about oil but I can speculate. As far as I know oil takes a long time to form. There was once an awful lot of it. Seems our earth's belly must have been practically saturated with the stuff. Why was there so much? What did it do? Using the theory that everything on earth has a use, then the oil must have been doing something. Was it lubricating the tectonic plates? Or was there already a broken eco pyramid that had allowed this huge build up? Did the dinosaurs die so quickly that their bodies piled up and began forming this colossal reservoir of oil?

Not so long ago there was an explorer who discovered an orchid in some dark jungle. Its flower cup was so deep that no known insect could help it pollinate. It's a well known fact that moths help pollinate orchids. Many orchids have a specially adapted moth that can perform this tricky task. The explorer could not figure out how this orchid could multiply. He speculated that a moth with an extraordinarily long slender beak must exist to perform this task. So he kept watch for a very long time till finally one night he was rewarded. Sure enough his mystery moth appeared out of the dark with a bill like a fencing sword and did the deed. My point being that the there did exist a symbiotic relationship that the explorer was able to speculate based on other case studies.

In the modern periodic table there are boxes reserved for elements that have not yet been discovered. Scientists know they exist because there are gaps in their mathematics. Mathematics apparently never lie.

So oil: what does it do? Or more to the point what was its job on Earth that it's no longer doing? Why was there so much? In nature when a predator is removed from the food chain, herbivores tend to prosper. This happened in Scotland when the wolves and bears and wild cats were removed, the land became overrun by deer (and crazy Scotsmen) who in turn overgrazed the land that had in turn been laid barren by the industrial revolution. What would prey on oil? Did oil have a predator? Fire?

 Nowadays, due to the eternal movement of the continental plates, much of the Earth's oil is under sea beyond the natural reach of fire. Without the predation of fire, has oil continued to mass produce on its own faster than it can break down. Was oil the very basis of life on the planet? Was it life at its crudest form ready to seep into the soil at a pre ordained trickle rate? I guess now is the time to face the argument that perhaps man is now the only real predator of oil. He may well be but why would he wish to make it extinct? Is it a symbiotic relationship? No it's not.

In a hunter/prey relationship, how fast is the hunter? Just fast enough… sometimes. How fast is the prey? Not fast enough… sometimes. In the mankind/oil relationship, we have a one sided genocide in the favour of humanity. In mankind's case we (the masses) generally have only a casual gas pump relationship with oil. Yes it makes our societies run but this is probably only a passing phase of history. "This is the tail end of the Petroleum Age." Kind of like the Stone Age, Iron Age etc. The oil will run out. It's simple arithmetic. When will it run out? More simple arithmetic. What will happen then? There will be some chaos then the world of men will focus elsewhere or we'll all kill each other and we'll revert back to the Stone Age. In truth, most of us don't care about oil. Even those who think they do. It's a background noise. This being the case then it must be said that man and oil are currently involved in an economic power issue within a species. However it does affect other parallel food chains and eco systems. Drilling and spilling. Refining and storing. Shipping and trading. All of these activities displace flora and fauna world wide. Hopefully the oil will run out soon. It may be the best news this planet's had in centuries unless of course all that oil was actually doing something useful that no one wants to talk about. That might be bad news. Perhaps oil is a barrier?

Are what it is and where it is linked? Was oil a volatile liquid wall that existed between the surface and the furnace at the planet's core? Was it absorbing the inner heat and keeping us cooled? Is global warming in fact coming from our dysfunctional underground heating system? When you think on it, our little crust of life is in a precarious place. A tight spot. Right below our feet we have an inferno. Hovering in the sky above us there is another one. A few degrees difference in our atmospheric temperature would wipe us out. Or maybe the underground oil fields caught all the rock and dirt that must inevitably filter down gravitationally towards the Earths core. The oil would have absorbed them like digestive juices and somehow returned them slowly to the surface as crude oil. Without the help of the subterranean conveyor belt of oil, the earth would have eventually consumed itself. (In fire of all things).

Of course I do not have the answers but I am at least asking questions. The last few years have finally seen a surge of comprehension of the inter relations between every species on Planet Earth. But oil remains a mystery. I can't help wondering if we are afraid to look at the damage we may have done as our leaders pillage for fossil fuel. We fear to peel off that bandage from our poor festering wounded planet. What's underneath? Will it be healthy or will it be gangrene? Will it be too late?

Our leaders make us share the guilt of this raping. They claim they drill to pacify the public demand. It is a circle of abuse. Kids follow their elders' examples. Each generation sees the Earth only as it is: not as it was. The age of the electric car will coincide exactly with the last drips of oil being wrought from the Earth. But we cannot ignore the injuries done to this one solitary habitable planet.

We need a pre-op leader who will take charge immediately and save what he can. Right now our world leaders are business men. They live for profit. It's what they do. They can't help it. Clearly though a business man cannot also be a leader of people because he is consumed foremost with his profits and not for the well being of planets. That's all very well but they need rules to work by. Let them make all the profit they want but they must earn them without harm to the people or planet. You'd imagine that would be easy. But it seems not. Just look around at the wreckage of our home world. This is a galactic disaster.

I imagine that the business world should be relieved to have someone set rules that could define the game. Imagine a football match with only vague regulations and no referees; it would be madness. With a set of business rules that were strictly enforced, the economic game could become far more interesting and participants might even enjoy it more. Right now the corporate mentality is, "If I don't drill/mine/build it, then someone else will." This only hastens the end.

Even as I write, there is an oil spill disaster in the Caribbean. But oil business goes on as normal elsewhere. The countries around the Arctic Circle are looking North to drill more oil. Meanwhile, environmentalists are shouting about the rising sea levels and melting glaciers. Unfortunately they are too easily denounced by the oil men's media outlets as crackpots. Our leaders' stupidity is stunning. They want to drill in the national Wildlife Refuge. Canada has strip mines dredging sludge for crude oil. It's an area so big that it's visible from space. Oil is heading for extinction. Has it no rights as an endangered substance? What can fill that void? ……...

But I digress……... ……Perhaps that vast oil reserve of the pre industrial age was intended as an emergency atmosphere in the event of a fatal worldly disaster. It could be unleashed into the dying atmosphere killing just about everything but putting a protective coating around the planet like paint on a fence post. Over time this black skin would shrink back smaller and smaller till life would once again find itself contemplating its future in a puddle of goo.

Right now we live in a world grown frail and fragile. Our planet is a crossword puzzle with one wrong answer that was inserted early on. It would have been wiser to erase that mistake right then and there but we continued down the junkie path till the answers began to correspond less and less and they finally dried up. Eventaully the puzzle lay undone. There was a solution though. Simply go back. Erase the mistake. Continue on the proper path. I think we all know this but are either afraid to make the commitment or we're frozen like a deer in a headlight.

 Oils well that ends well.


Ever wonder about that asteroid belt we pass through every year. It looks to me suspiciously like debris from a planet that got blown to bits.