Here’s a wild idea: let’s just stop the stupidity

Common sense might actually be senior to hysteria (who'd have thought it, eh?)

Intro by Watchdog

This is a very interesting perspective on fossil fuels.

They have played a VERY important role in the flourishing of our civilisation and creation of the standard of living we take for granted.

It might well be that it is time to take another leap forward and develop new sources of energy, plastics and so forth. But if we are going to do that we need to do better than inane puerile slogans such as “just stop oil” (what total numpty came up with that one?) and having what appear to be escaped mental patients vandalise works of art .

We need to ensure we have WORKABLE alternatives in place and ready to fill the considerable void simply abandoning fossil fuels would create. As things stand, the twerps spraying paint on public buildings in order to discredit the environmental movement would, if we were daft enough to let them have their own way, impoverish and even kill millions.

What if the ancient Carboniferous forests hadn’t created the oil and gas fields we exploit for fossil fuels?

By Luis Villazon

Published: Sunday, 30 October 2022 at 12:00 am

The Industrial Revolution was largely powered by coal. Wood and charcoal were used as fuel, and to smelt iron. But even before then, in the 16th Century, wood was already becoming scarce in Britain when the population was still under 10 million.

Trees are slow to replace and take up a lot of land area. Wood also has only half the energy density of coal, so you need to burn more of it. Political power probably would have shifted towards Russia, Canada and South America with their huge areas of forested land.

Without coal and oil, early chemists would have faced the much more challenging proposition of synthesising long-chain hydrocarbons from ethanol or vegetable oil. Plastics and synthetic rubber would not be developed until much later and would probably have been too expensive to use for toys and disposable packaging.

>Worse, natural gas is an essential ingredient for the production of ammonia fertilisers. Without them, the world would need four times as much agricultural land to produce the same amount of food, which would sharply limit population growth.

Electrical power would still be perfectly possible; wind turbines and hydroelectric dams were already in use in the 19th Century and could have been developed to fulfil all our needs. But electronics without plastic for insulation would be very challenging.

Computers, if they existed, would be large and primitive.

Atmospheric CO2 would still be at pre-industrial levels, but smog and soot would be an even bigger problem as vast amounts of wood were burned for heat, cooking and industry. This could even lead to climate cooling, by blocking the sunlight from reaching the surface. The limited land area might result in more wars for territorial control, but they would be fought with muskets and cannons since petrochemicals are also a vital ingredient of high explosives.

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About Steve Cook 2197 Articles
Director, UK Reloaded

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