The Popular Culture has been pushing for Decades that the worst thing for the Environment is Crude oil, while ignoring the fact that Crude oil is made by nature, not by man. Humans might use it for something, but so does nature. Matter of fact Crude Oil (or Petroleum) is even part of the food chain, there are many different Species that have Crude Oil on their natural diet in the world's oceans.
Tube Worms, crabs, clams, mussels, microorganisms and a vast majority of sea creatures that live in and around the darkest deepest portions of the world's oceans normally live in and around natural volcanic vents that seeps out tons of Petroleum, methane gases, minerals, toxic acids and chemicals coming out of these vents and crevasses in super-heated water, in total darkness, without any sunlight. All eat Petroleum and the other toxic chemicals as well.
Many Oil companies harvest these oil eating microorganisms to help in oil spill clean ups, while popular media tells us they are using genetically engineered micro-organisms to clean up, or Franken Bugs. Which is not the case, the crude oil companies are not yet technologically advanced enough for that.
In a study made in 2003 by the National Research Council found that 600 Kilotons of crude oil seeps out naturally and consumed by these sea creatures, while other crude oil run offs from human sources made up 47% and came in second at 480 Kilotons, or 38% of the total.
And in Last place in Petroleum release was the Deep Horizon Drilling Rig released 38 Kilotons annually, or 3% of the total.
HOW CRUDE OIL SAVED THE WHALES
For thousands of years man had been gathering this natural oil from open tar pits for waterproofing wooden ship hulls and for outdoor torch lighting. Unfortunately, it wasn't very good for indoor lighting because it made some nasty black smoke that would fill your home fast and was unbreathable. So, for thousands of years man had to use oil lamps, lanterns and wax candles, who's oil and wax sources came from the blubber of marine animals like Whales, Orcas, walruses and seals.
Unfortunately, this went on for thousands of years as these magnificent creators were slaughtered for their oil and wax properties. And almost brought them to extinction in the mid 1800's. By 1857, the height of the whaling industry there were about 1 million whales killed every year with their rotting carcasses washing up on shores and beaches everywhere.
The Sperm Whale was the pride catch of any whaling vessel, as one Sperm Whale could produce 55 barrels of whale oil and 3.5 tons of whale wax.
With only about 10 years left before all the whale species were about to be hunted into extinction, in 1854 a miracle happened, Abraham Gesner discovered how to extract Kerosene from coal and crude oil, and in 1857 Michael Dietz invented the Kerosene Lamp. Thus, the early name for Kerosene was Coal Oil.
One of the byproducts of kerosene is paraffin wax for candles, which means that kerosene could completely replace the killing of whales as a cheaper less environmentally destructive source for indoor lighting and indoor cooking.
In the early 1800's whale oil costed about $2 per gallon compared to Kerosene which was only 7 cents per gallon. A huge savings that very quickly destroyed the global whaling industry, while saving the whales.
Within the next 6 years the whaling industry came to a screeching halt as a clear majority of the whaling industry went out of business, as greater and greater access to Petroleum became available. Only countries that didn't have access to Petroleum kept whaling. But those numbers dropped as the 20th century even had more improvements into greater access to Petroleum, using more advanced drilling tools and techniques.
HOW CRUDE OIL SAVED THE ELEPHANTS
Petroleum played a vital role in bringing us into the 20th Century and 21st century as we also learned how to make plastics in the late 1800's to replace Ivory, thus permitting laws to be written to prohibit the hunting of elephants into extinction as well.
Plastics also made it possible to insulate wires which made electric motors, electric generators and transformers possible. So, without plastics made from Petroleum byproducts we could not have electric cars, electrical appliances and transmit electricity over great distances using AC current.
HOW CRUDE OIL IS SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT
Today we can make countless millions of different products from Petroleum which used to be made by killing many different species of plants and animals. The more things we can used crude oil for, means there will be fewer species threatened by human needs and wants.
Petroleum and all its byproducts are used to make kerosene (Jet Fuel and indoor heating oils), gasoline, diesel, propane, butane, waxes, hydrogen gases, Helium gases, Plastics, Synthetic Rubber, paints, lacquers, varnishes, dyes, medicines, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, insulators, wire insulators, bullet proof Kevlar, etc.,... literally millions of different products can now be made from crude oil.
In addition, oil companies can provide some of the best paying jobs in the world. While preventing us from living in the stone age.
Even all of the Green Energy products like solar panels and wind mills still need plastic insulators made from Petroleum to control the direction of current and prevent bundles of wrapped wires from shorting out, like in Wind mill generators and transformers for solar panels that must convert noisy AC solar power into DC and then back into 60Hz AC through inverters and transformers.
You even need plastic insulators in electric motors for electric cars to prevent the bundle of wires on the turning shaft from shorting out. Your electric motor burns out if these conductive wires short out when the insulation breaks down, or if the insulation is missing. The intense magnetic fields in an electric motor want to push those wires together and short out the bundle, but it is that insulation that prevents that.
By Edmund Williams
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