Several giant petrochemical companies have recently published important Papers. They are the world's experts regarding petroleum and natural gas. The experts at Mobil Oil recently said (November 2019) that ALL of the petroleum on or in the Earth will be completely found and used up (burned) by the year 2040.. The experts at BP (British Petroleum) agree, but they think that all of the petroleum will be gone by the year 2045. The experts at Exxon agree with that 2045 assessment. The experts at OGJ (Oil and Gas Journal) also think that it will be ALL GONE in 2045.
No one seems to have thought that through.
There are already about 4 billion cars and trucks on the roads. There will be many more by then. At least 2 billion of those vehicles are daily on the road now, burning up gasoline, diesel, or other fossil fuels.
AFTER we have completely burned up all the petroleum (in 2040), just where do you and those billions of other drivers intend to get your gasoline? Your vehicles will forever be parked.
IF you still work in 2041, how do you intend to commute to work every day?
Moreover, if gasoline has gotten so rare by then, just how do you expect to afford to buy available gasoline at maybe $1,000 per gallon? Will you ever have to, or want to, or be able to, go to any store, to buy anything? Except for walk-in and bicycle traffic, will there be enough customers to make sense trying to run any store?
This all seems to suggest that after the year 2041, society might revert to the very small town format of the middle 19th Century. A "school" might be limited to a one-room schoolhouse with a dozen students and one schoolmarm. A "village" might only support one shoemaker and one carpenter and one mechanic, and everyone might have to rely on bicycles.
How could any Agri- Biz companies produce food for a million people (or then haul that food to distant customers)? A local farmer might instead grow tomatoes for the residents of that village.
It's hard to think of ANY businesses that could grow to the scale of modern mega-corporations. A few computer-centered businesses might be possible.
The concept of LIFE might become extremely different, and only 20 years from now!
Yes, this all sounds ridiculous. Separate from our current Global Warming concerns and other important subjects, could this all even be possible? The petrochemical companies USED to provide USABLE information in their annual Reports (such as the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (published in June of every year)). They used to actually tell us just how much remaining petroleum and natural gas and coal still exists. They eventually must have realized that too many people were understanding their data! So, about 15 years ago, they changed their presentation of the information where it is now necessary to put a lot of effort into getting the true information out of them. For example, even by 2007 and their 2008 Report, they never actually tell us how many years any more! They give us pretty bar graphs where we need to know enough to know to bring a ruler to the computer monitor! On Page 43 of their 2008 Report, there is the following bar graph (displayed below) Specifically look at the GREEN bars (which represent petroleum and they are the smallest bars in each graph). And look at the right hand bar which represents the WORLD. The vertical scale on this graph is in YEARS, and each 100 years of supply is a horizontal line across the graph. Depending on the size of your computer monitor screen, you need to do some measuring and calculating. I measure that World - green pretty bar and get 42.7 years remaining of (green) petroleum and 60.9 years remaining of (orange) natural gas. I also get 133.6 years remaining of (gray) coal. THIS data was generated by BP experts in 2008.
(graphic bar chart from page 43 of the 2008 Report of BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
From the 2010 Report of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (published in June of every year)). The pretty bar graphs required us to know enough to bring a ruler to the computer monitor! On Page 43 of their 2010 Report, the bar graph I measure that World - green pretty bar and get 46.7 years remaining of (green) petroleum and 62.8 years remaining of (orange) natural gas. I also got 119 years remaining of (gray) coal. THIS data was generated by BP experts in 2010.
If we look instead at the 2018 Report, on Page 15, (examine below the 2018 Report), with different measurement and calculation, I get 50 years remaining of petroleum and 67 years remaining of natural gas. They also break it down now by continents, where North America (green) has 29 years of remaining petroleum and Europe (blue) only has 11 years of remaining petroleum. Some of these bar graph analyses are also confirmed by BP's own experts who added their own comments below their graph.
Of course, no one can predict the future. The petrochemical experts recognize that we might FIND some giant new field of fuel at any time, and they certainly are always trying to do that. But they also recognize that there are constantly even MORE people living on Earth, all of whom burn fossil fuels as fast as they can. So there ARE variables both ways regarding to predict how the future might proceed. The predictions of those petrochemical experts are the best they can come up with.
(graphic bar chart from page 15 of the 2018 Report of BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
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