May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
Read the mainstream media and you’ll quickly realize that we are running out of everything; oil, water, gold, coal, uranium, trees, etc. What is forgotten in practically all of these cases is that we’ve been through this before. Again this is an issue that would benefit (what wouldn’t?) if there was a greater knowledge of history. In Great Britain in the 1860s, there was a Peak Coal crisis fuelled by the writings of a man believed that Britain possessed just a few more decades worth of coal and thus needed to pay off its debts before running out of its most precious resource. Unhampered, the free market always supports the most efficient possibility meaning that energy sources, like everything else, would change over time. Before coal it was simply wood or dung. Afterwards we had oil and its derivatives with shale gas being its latest and possibly greatest form.
While we’re on the topic of oil let us also remember that vast areas of Alaska, the Dakotas, and Canada hold massive amounts of untapped oil reserves. Also to consider is the idea that oil is probably not formed in the manner assumed by conventional science (over millions of years under great pressure) but comes from the Earth’s crust and is abiotic rather than being a product of dead animals and plants. It is important to note that Peak Oil would generally favour the Big Oil companies rather than harm them.
With regards to the other resources noted above, two things can be mentioned so as not to make this post into a book. The first is that we are never going to run out of most of the resources in any real sense of the word simply because they are all present under the oceans. The market, seeing that these resources are not so readily available on land would signal that it would be time to mine them from the seas. And like with any other innovation, after some investment and experimentation, there would again be a steady and cheap supply of whatever we may need. At this point you say that this would cause much pollution and destruction. This can be answered with a question: surely not more destruction than is caused on land?
The second point that should be made, and this will tie in with the above, is that the free market along with private property can easily find an answer to all our problems. As an example I give the elephants of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) vs those in Kenya. In 1978, Kenya banned the hunting of elephants; populations plummeted. In 1979, Rhodesia made elephants the property of those on whose lands they were traversing; populations exploded.
Something that no one owns, no one will care about.