June-July 2014

The BAKKEN OIL BUSINESS JOURNAL is a high-gloss, full-color magazine with a targeted distribution that gets our Advertisers in front of the RIGHT EYES in this industry. Direct mailed to Companies in the Bakken with bonus distribution at Energy Shows.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 64 of 75

Read online @ B A K K E N O I L B I Z . C O M / d i g i t a l - j o u r n a l 65 Today, as most people know, we're locked in a battle over climate change, a battle that boils down to a fight about the impact of combustion on the atmosphere. The question we're asking ourselves is this: By burning oil, gas and coal are we increasing the level of certain atmospheric gases enough to change the course of life on earth? One side says yes, and believes the change will lead to the extinction of humans. The other side says no, the burning poses no credible threat to life and also claims the expanding use of oil, gas and coal will continue to lift billions of people out of poverty. However, pundits are trying to answer the question by looking forward and predicting what lies ahead. Analysis of all kinds has been undertaken to support the claims of both sides. But the analysis of the doomsayers is based on computer models that are supposed to predict how atmospheric and climate changes will affect every aspect of life. Is this possible? Not likely. There's no evidence to support the claim that humans know enough to develop a model that takes in everything needed to see the future of the planet. If there were, we'd have already succeeded with a much simpler task – predicting stock prices. Or the weather. Satellite coverage of the planet and a better understanding of winds and storms has improved our short-term weather predic- tions. We now have a reasonable notion of what's ahead for the week. Or maybe two weeks. But that's about it. A whole season? Not a chance. Nevertheless, the obvious limits and shortcomings of our predic- tive powers haven't slowed down the doomsayers. They say the percentage of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increas- ing and soon we'll reach a tipping point, a point of no return, after which humans should expect to suffer and die. Sounds grim, however, we've been at these suspected turning points before. Around 1800, one of the world's most renowned economists, Sir Thomas Malthus, said humans were on the verge of mass star- vation. He theorized the human population was increasing at a faster rate than the food supply. Soon, he said, we were going to run out of food and famine would spread. At that time the estimated population of the planet was one billion. Today we're at seven billion and it's projected that by the middle of this century the global population will reach almost 10 billion. Thus, we can say that Malthus missed by a mile. But why did he miss? He missed because he failed to account for the impact of tech- nology. Specifically, the advances in agriculture. He didn't fore- see that human inventiveness would increase crop yields beyond all expectations. That's not to say no one starved to death in those days or after. In fact, starvation has plagued humanity relentlessly, most no- tably in Africa. However, due to increasing prosperity in other parts of the world, those wealthy nations have nearly eliminated the abject poverty and mass starvation that had afflicted many African nations by providing them with food and basic life-sus- taining services. As we know, these days, the force that stands in the way of lift- ing the poorest nations out of deep poverty is their own govern- ments. Inefficient and corrupt. Exploiting their citizens and fail- ing to deliver the basics necessary for a developing society, such as clean water. One way or another, the wealthy nations of the world have given an enormous amount of support to the poorest. What's enabled the wealthy nations to act so generously? In a word: Energy. Prosperity is built partly on access to and efficient Energy Energy Rich, Poor ➤ continued, pg 66 By CHRIS BISCHOF Renae Mitchell -

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of BAKKEN OIL BUSINESS JOURNAL - June-July 2014