Saturday, December 23, 2017

Earth Gifts 1

This is the first of two essays on the wonderful
bonuses we have received from the earth.


All life lives off the gifts of the earth.  Processes of the earth have given us the chemicals on which life lives and breathes.  Life shares in a wonderfully complex interaction that has been here from the beginning.

The world of humans has used these gifts of the earth for sustenance and for materials from our beginning a few hundred thousand years ago.  Since the advent of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, our use of our co-travelers and the material resources has grown and accelerated.


Fossil fuels are the legacies of ancient life, across time combined with earth pressure and earth heat.  Concentrations of the earth materials we use are also contributions of geologic forces – water, volcanoes, continental plates, pressure, time and heat. 

These many gifts allow us to play and live.



We use fossil fuels in many ways.  Look around you. Almost every thing you touch has a history of fossil fuels.  From the computer, to the truck that transported it, to the road the truck drove on, to the chair you are sitting on.  Fossil fuels infuse our life.  They provide our food from farm to process to store.  They provide our clothes.  They are the life “blood” of our world at present.

In 2015 we used
million tonnes of oil
and oil equivalent

An energy servant is a hypothetical replacement of human energy by fossil fuels.  One barrel of oil is the equivalent of 8.6 years of human labor.


- this is the approximate number of energy slaves used globally in 2015 using fossil fuels.  This does not include hydro, nuclear or “renewables”.

The original term was “energy slave”.
I think this disparages the horror and
ugliness of slavery.

How Much Oil Have We Used?
According to John Jones from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Engineering as many as 135 billion tonnes of crude oil have been extracted since commercial drilling began in 1850.

How Much Natural Gas Have We Used?
The world's first industrial extraction of natural gas started
at Fredonia, New York, United States, in 1825. By 2009, 66000 km³ (or 8%) had been used out of the total 850000 km³ of estimated remaining recoverable reserves

Cubic Kilometer (km3) is a metric unit of volume equal
to the volume of a cube with sides of 1 kilometer.

66000 km³ of natural gas equals 66000000000000 cubic meters
This equals 1,508,804,280 tonnes of oil equivalent.

If we compare the 2015 contribution of fossil fuels to installed solar energy farms or wind energy farms, it gives an indication of how large an area would be needed to equal this contribution of fossil fuels in one year.



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