Software Creation is very dependent on oil. Our computers, keyboards and printers are made from plastic. Our cars use gasoline to get us to work. Furthermore, almost everything in our modern civilization depends on oil. Global oil production will peak any time from now. Will end of oil cause crash of our civilization? I was always worry about this 🙂
New Scientist assures that governments, technology and biology will rescue our civilization.
- 70% of oil is used for fuel; petrochemicals are only 3.4%. Technology, government regulations and social trends are actively influence reduction of oil usage for energy and fuel. Sweden, for example, plans to be independent of oil exports by 2020, using no oil for heating and halving its transport fuel consumption.
- The new breed of biorefineries is using biomass to produce biofuels and bio-based chemical products. The biomass could be supplied by anything from corn, sugar cane, grasses, wood and soybeans to algae. For example one company is converting turkey guts into oil and fertilizer. By 2025, the US Department of Energy wants 25% of industrial organic chemicals to be delivered from biomass. There are already 120 ethanol refineries in US.
- Biorefineries are more profitable at smaller scales than conventional petrochemical refineries, because they operate at lower temperature and pressure, so they are less complicated to build. However, it is still difficult to compete with some oil-based products.
Therefore, life will continue after oil is over. Proactive thinking, society and government involvement could significantly reduce impact, especially considering that solutions correspond with fighting global warming.