"fossil" fuels

Rolf Martens rolf.martens at mailbox.swipnet.se
Tue Aug 6 03:26:18 MDT 1996


Lisa,

On one of the points you made, 05.08, I have consulted
my main source and on two others, on some reflection, it
seems to me I should make some clarifications at once.

1) You wrote:

>Second, if coal is not the remains of plant material, I'm
>curious how all those little twig-like things and leaf prints
>got into my Grandma's coal pile.

My source, Jan Bergstroem: "Gas och olja - kosmiskt eller
biologiskt ursprung?", Lund, Sweden, 1985, does not really
deal with coal but only with those *hydrocarbons* which oil and
natural gas are made up of. And on this, I'll insert:

[2) Yes, you're right that those mustn't be confused with
*carbohydrates*. Which I did! My only excuse for this is that
it otherwise (except for my recently writing a little on fuels)
has been a long time since I had occasion to use my old and
small knowledge of chemistry. Hydrocarbons, that's what I meant,
and thanks to your objection, I'll now get that straight when
later writing a little more on them.]

On p. 8, Bergstroem also mentions such obviously biological
things often being found in coal. And not only in coal but
also in crude oil from the ground have substances of clearly
biological origins been found. "It is therefore understandable
that all hydrocarbons have been held to be the results of
tranformation of dead organisms. This has been one of the
absolute truths during the greater part of this century, an
axiom which - without its being questioned - is repeated in
many textbooks and still today is accepted by most geologists."

He also writes on p. 10 however that "If a Jumbo Jet holds
five passengers from China, this doesn't necessarily mean
that all its passagers are from China", and: "Since there
is oil in reservoir rock formations of sedimentary origins,
this oil - irrespective of its origin - will come into
contact with chemical compounds of biological origins which
there are in the sedimentary rock formations. The oil then
functions as a solvent and picks up some organic compounds."

And, as I wrote, oil and gas have also been found in non-
sedimentary, *crystalline* rock formations at depths of more
than 5 kilometers, which is one important piece of evidence
against the "fossil" theory - more later. How about the
leaves etc in coal then? My book doesn't go into this. But
if that coal originally came fron hydrocarbons, i.a. of the
oil type - which most coal probably does - then they may
be explained in the same manner as that bio stuff in crude oil.

3) You also wrote:

>Meanwhile, you are attaching far too much political baggage
>and suspicion to the hypothesis of biological origin.  I see no
>reason that bio-origin is any more of an argument for scarcity
>than astro-geological origin.  Either way, the planet's not
>getting any more onboard for the foreseeable future, right?
>With respect to 'scarcity' it makes no difference if it's bio-
>or not.

This contains one good point, in that it shows me that my
argumentation in a certain respect wasn't clear enough but
was a little muddled. From the fact of oil's being of cosmic
origin, does it *automatically* follow that it's plentiful?
Not really. This was how I argued though. I should improve
on this and say that the cosmic origin makes it *possible*
that the amounts are very large indeed - which is the case.

Large portions of the entire atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn etc
consist of methane, which Rahul just now also told us people
on this list is plentiful in space in general, too. So because
of that, to begin with, it's reasonable to conclude that
methane - which is the basis of all the hydrocarbons - is not
uncommon on Earth (though ithis planet's composition differs
somewhat from that of Jupiter etc).

And it's a fact (which perhaps isn't known to all that many)
that there are enormous amounts of oil in shales and sands, only
in so small quantities per kg or ton of it that its economic
use is questionable. From great depths however, you can get
very large amounts of concentrated oil and gas too. As I wrote
in a reply to Rahul, we humans will not have a chance of finishing
all that off, even if we try our damndest, before it has long
become outdated in comparison to nuclear fission and fusion,
which gives you 60 000 kWh today, 2.2 milion kWh to-morrow,
and only Marx knows how much more the day after that, of
electricity per kg of matter, instead of those lousy 12 kWh
of heat or 4 kWh of current which you get from a kg of oil -
not to talk of the idiocy - techically speaking - of covering
half of California and all of Denmark with sun catchers and
wind propellers, which is scrap metal with that terribly *thin*
energy coming in only as a small by-product of such, in reality,
reactionary "poverty advertisment boards" which, economically,
contribute towards the present pauperisation of lots of people.

Your other point, that on my "attaching too much political
baggage" to the consistent lying by all media on the origins
of oil etc, was all wrong. The extreme fanaticism with which the
main rulers in the world today are pursuing the goal of making
energy *as scarce and expensive* as they possibly can is
something which it's important to point out to people. You
yourself, for instance, quite mistakenly thought the US
government was "favouring" nuclear energy as late as in the
late '70:s - I hope you learned something from that "AEI on
plutonium, politics atc" I brought. And it's also a fact that
those rulers have been making their a big part of their
reactionary propaganda not directly, as something which all
can see is emanating from them, but indirectly, through the
phoney"leftist" muppets of theirs, something which it's also
very necessary to warn people about.

But enough on that for this time - I've only covered a
tiny part of this subject and this must have gone to several
pages already.

Before trying to write more, I'll also see if I can't find
some people on the Net who have some deeper knowledge in
this field than I - so far - have.

Rolf M.





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