Using Oil is Good for the Environment

Scientists at Chalmers, Sweden, are investigating the economical and environmental effects of a system that would decentralize the petrol market making it possible for everyone to have a container of fuel ready at home to pump your car with. The idea is to extract carbon dioxide from the air through a simple process of electrolyze in a small machine, like a microwave oven that everyone can keep in their homes, that produces oil. This means that the  net carbon dioxide emissions will amount to zero. All CO2 taken from the air returns to the air and the ecosystem is unaffected. The machine is very simple and removes a lot of the middle-men, including the whole process of getting the oil from the earth to the car tank, making the system economically sound. All it requires is electricity, which can be powered from environmentally friendly sources. Essentially, the car will be powered by electricity.

Using oil is not bad for the environment in itself. It’s just carbondioxide, a common gas in the atmosphere. However, putting more CO2 into the air by digging up old dead organisms and burning them changes the balance of gases in the atmosphere and makes the surface climate warmer because CO2 sucks up energy from the suns rays. Of course, it is possible that with more CO2 in the air, the blue-green bacteria that eat CO2 and shit out oxygen, more so than the rainforests, will become more abundant. Even so, the whole oil producing system and burning it is not flawless. One problem I see is that burning oil produces other waste products and pollutants, and the system for burning oil in cars is not very efficient energy-wise, however neither nuclear plants nor solar energy technology are very efficient either. When trying to figure out what is environmentally friendly there’s a  lot of related processes that need to be considered. We often ask the question: What is sustainable?

In nature, oil and gas are produced from animals and plants in a process that takes millions of years. It’s like compost. So, although it’s renewable, the renewal takes so long that our consumption of oil is millions of times faster than nature’s production of oil. Roughly half the earth consists of silicon. It forms compounds with many different elements and make up rocks, sand, dust, mountains. It’s abundant and easily accessible and mainly used to stand on. All the organic materials, animals, plants, bacteria, soil, oil and so on, are just a thin layer on the crust of the earth. The rock beneath is just something for life to exists on top of and there’s more of it than we can dream of putting to using.

Silicon can be used for solar panels and just like there’s more silicon in the earth than we can spend, the sun produces more energy per second than the total energy use of all humans throughout history. It’s just a matter of accessing it. The deserts are perfect for this. Taking the silicon from there and putting the solar panels there will have the least impact on life and will offer a lot of sun. Were we to move off the planet, the same can be applied to e.g. the moon and Mars.

So, that solves the question of trapping energy, then it’s just a matter of distributing it. Batteries are of course nice, but they’d have to be made out of environmentally friendly materials. And in the case of cars, there are so many cars that it’d be very costly, in terms of both money and time, to transform society to hold only electric cars. The system proposed by the scientists at Chalmers is a cheap compromise that would satisfy the car industry. However, the biggest obstacle is the oil industry, because economically it is the biggest industry on earth.

Lastly, I’d like to say that it’s probably a good idea to keep the energy systems apart from nature. Nature in this case meaning organic materials, which means life. There’s no need to use crops for fuel, we can leave them out of the system. We can leave life alone, if we want to.


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4 Responses to “Using Oil is Good for the Environment”

  1. Says:

    i love tanner

  2. Anonymous Says:

    didn’t we forget solar panels are made with petrochemicals…

  3. enleuk Says:

    Let’s say that there is only one kind of solar panel and it uses petrochemicals (which is not true, in fact just a few weeks ago I met a physicist trying to build solar panels using a Gallium compound), I highly doubt that a solar panel would use up the same amount of petrol as the combustion engine does for the same amount of energy. In fact, you’d probably only need a really thin layer for the panels and it will stay there for many years whereas you burn gallons of petrol per hour using a combustion engine, not to mention the CO2 and dangerous compounds produced.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    This is inappropriate.

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