One might ask the question as to why it has taken the Shell oil company over thirty years of experimention in Colorado to realise that there is no profit in trying to extract blood from stone, or oil from shale.
An article just published on Resilience.org and originally on Resource Insights relates how Shell has pulled out of this fracking business to find better ways to spend its research dollars. Chevron another big player made the same decision last year and this now leaves only Exxon Mobil who only got into the field last year to keep trying to make it pay. I guess being the new boys on the block, it will take Exxon a while to come to the same conclusion.
If there ever was a time that it should have been beneficial (profitable) to perform fracking in shale it is now, when crude oil prices have been at their highest levels ever over the last three years and with no sign of that abating, in fact just the opposite.
The basic lesson from this is that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can replace the energy that we currently get from crude oil extraction. Nothing. No technology. Not nuclear (fission or fusion), biofuels, coal seam gas nor any of the so called renewables. Nothing.
So in order to maintain our current lifestyle… No! Wait! Stop there! Just hold on a cotton-picking minute. There is no way that we can or should even want to maintain our current lifestyle. Not if we want any sort of lifestyle at all. Read the latest IPCC Report or any number of other documents warning of the perils that face us. So let’s just forget about that and think about what we are going to do, how we are going to live without oil or coal or gas to power our societies. How do we reorganise ourselves into viable small scale local communities and practice Simple Living. That is what it boils down to. That is what should be the burning question of the day. That is what should be occupying the thinking and processes of our governments, as well as how they can successfully shut themselves down, peacefully and gracefully, before the taxes that keep them going dry up altogether.
Can you see that happening? Hmmm… I wonder if…