Mandating Social Changes To Achieve Net Zero Emissions Is A Fool’s Game – OpEd


World DEMAND for the products and fuels made from fossil fuels that did not exist before the 1800’s is GIVING dollars to oil producers to increase SUPPLY, then claiming the suppliers are then causing climate change.

Thanks to all the products and fuels human ingenuity has been able to develop over the last 200 years, after the discovery of crude oil, the world has populated from 1 to 8 billion. Today, crude oil is the basis of our materialistic society and the lifeblood of our civilization. 

Looking back at the history of the petroleum industry, it illustrates that the black cruddy looking crude oil was virtually useless, unless it could be manufactured (refineries) into oil derivatives that are now the basis of transportation fuels and for the oil derivatives that are the basis of products, such as silicon based semiconductor chips, plastics, lubricants, and medications, that are essential for supporting modern lifestyles. 

The few wealthy countries of the United States, Germany, England, and Australia representing about 6 percent of the world’s population (509 million vs 8 billion) are mandating social changes to achieve net zero emissions. 

As a reminder, we had a net-zero emissions society before the 1800’s when there was no fuel-based transportation of cars, trucks, planes, ships, militaries, or launches into space, and no coal-fired power plants, no natural gas power plants, and no crude oil to be manufactured at refineries into usable products. 

Before the 1800’s there was nothing that needed electricity such as iPhones, computers, and data centers, that are all made from oil, that now need electricity to operate.

The wealthier developed countries may not be cognizant that 80 percent of the 8 billion on this planet, which is more than 6 billion on this earth, are earning less than $10 a day, may never be able to enjoy the materialistic living styles of those in wealthier countries, nor ever own an automobile.

Those developed countries have come a long way from the zero emissions society that existed before the 1800’s when: 

  • There were no iPhones, computers, or data centers.
  • There were no coal fired power plants before the 1800’s.
  • There were no natural gas-powered plants before the 1800’s.
  • There were no nuclear power plants before the 1800’s.
  • There were no products for heating, cooling, or irrigation to prevent weather related fatalities and injuries before the 1800’s.
  • There were no tires or asphalt to support transportation infrastructures.
  • Life expectancy was short, as life longevity was about 40 years of age before the 1800’s.
  • When people were born, they seldom traveled more than 100 miles from their birthplace before the 1800’s.
  • There was no medical industry before the 1800’s.
  • There were no electronics before the 1800’s.
  • There were no transportation infrastructures before the 1800’s.
  • There were airplanes and thus no airports before the 1800’s.
  • There were no cruise ships nor merchant ships, other than sailing vessels before the 1800’s.
  • There were no military ships or planes before the 1800’s.

The more than 6,000 products  that are based on oil, are being used for the health and well-being of humanity and the generation of electricity did not exist a few short centuries ago.

In two short centuries since 1800, we now have more than 50,000 merchant ships, more than 20,000 commercial aircraft  and more than  50,000 military aircraft  that use the fuels manufactured from crude oil.  

The more developed countries are continually seeking:

  • Smaller, faster, and greater capacity of their iPhones, computers, and semiconductor chips.
  • Larger and faster planes and ships.
  • Greater access to space exploration.

Before we accuse big oil for us not having a zero-emission society, we need to ask ourselves: “How dare WE in the wealthier countries continue to increase our demand for the products and fuels manufactured from crude oil, that makes OUR life more comfortable?”

Without a replacement for those petrochemical derivatives manufactured from crude oil, phasing out oil would phase out the Medical Industry, Militaries, Transportation, Communications, and the Electrical Power industries, none of which existed before the 1800’s.

Sarcastically, or more realistically, these are a few boomerang impacts of a society less addicted to the fuels and products from crude oil: 

  • Without oil, a significant loss of billions of lives of the 8 billion on this planet from starvation, diseases, and weather-related fatalities because of shortages of food, medications, and products, and a reduction in transportation infrastructures, that are all based on the components made from fossil fuels!
  • Without oil, we would drastically reduce the homeless population as all the tents and sleeping bags utilized by the homeless are all made from fossil fuels! The homeless will need to live like the cavemen in a non-materialistic society like that in the pre-1800’s.
  • Without oil, we would drastically reduce the unfunded pension liabilities associated with those that retire early from business or start collecting Social Security in their mid-60’s, and collect pensions well into their 80’s, as few people would live beyond their 40’s!
  • Without oil, a smaller number of colleges would be needed because there would be no need for doctors for hospitals, or engineers for infrastructure development, as those hospitals and various infrastructures are all based on the components made from fossil fuels!

Climate changes may impact millions, but without fossil fuels and the infrastructures and products we have today that did not exist before 1800’s, we may lose BILLIONS from diseases, malnutrition, and weather-related deaths.

Eradicating the world of crude oil usage would ground the 20,000 commercial aircraft, and ground more than  50,000 military aircraft in the world and leave the 50,000 merchant shipstied up at docks and discontinue the military and space programs! 

“Big oil” only exists because of the wealthier countries being addicted to the products and fuels that are manufactured from fossil fuels that makes OUR life more comfortable?” 

Reducing the demand for the products and fuels manufactured from crude oil will end the fossil fuels era! Are we ready to revert to the zero emission society that existed before the 1800’s?

Please share this information with your friends to encourage energy literacy conversations at the family dinner table.

Ronald Stein

Ronald Stein, Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California.

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