One moment they stand as sentinels over the landscape and then they disappear, only to reveal themselves anew. Wind farms hidden by fog and juxtaposed against a backdrop of petroleum derelicts pumping crude oil into tanks. Fascinating harmony.
As we attempt to ween ourselves from fossil fuels, evidence abounds that this is actually occurring. Our electric utility company puts out an info letter with each bill. This last one stated that over 35% of our energy is now derived from wind and solar. Progress is being made, however, it will still take decades before total energy production comes from non-fossil fuel sources. America is behind other nations in this department, but we are also much larger then those nations going 100% non-oil.
This gives me mixed emotions. I know the need to clean the air we breath and all the ramifications that are attached to this statement, but I also recall it was oil that helped propel the industrial revolution and has been the energy source which produced almost everything that exists from a man-made perspective.
I will miss the reciprocating engine which powered the first automobiles, then the turbine which allowed air transportation to be a viable source available to most everyone. From trans-Atlantic ocean liners to narrow-gauge railroads to everyday transportation, petroleum has played a huge part in man’s lives and the advancement of most cultures. Hybrid cars are becoming more abundant and pure electric cars will one day be the norm. Coal for power plants vs nuclear energy is still a big issue among many countries.
Iceland is the only country I know of where modern mechanized life exists without petroleum. This island has lots of water, geo-thermal energy, and wind to harvest, and the Icelanders have put all of it to good use. Perhaps there are more to do so?
Before I ramble on further, please thank God for fossil fuels and man’s ingenuity to substitute other energy sources for them. When you turn the key in your gas or diesel powered vehicle, ride a bus, or fly across vast distances, please remember that it is petroleum that is taking you there.
As I recently viewed the landscape from Kansas to Texas and back I saw change. Best get used to it for it is a good thing…even with mixed feelings. BTW, I will miss drag racing!