Thursday, September 23, 2010

When the saints go marching in

Cairn Energy has hit oil in the Arctic region, which is being touted to be holding 20-50 billion bbls of black gold under its snow white blanket.

Other giant oil hounds, sitting at the fence, have sniffed the blood and soon they will be on it. But challenges are many in this hostile and risky zone. Transportation of oil is seen as the major hurdle in the iceberg infested waters. Besides, there is little or no room for error in this bio-sensitive area.

But such is the craving for this resource that despite all the hazard and peril, they are out to get it from anywhere, anyhow. The fact implies two things:

1. Exponential growth in demand for energy resource
2. Lack of promise shown by alternate and renewable resources at current oil prices.

Talking of renewables, China is world leader in development of renewable energy resources. China's first offshore windfarm has already started generation, while USA is still in the planning stage. China is way ahead in solar tapping with its technology and material requirement. 98% of the rare earth metals, which are important constituents in production of alternate energy resources, are exported out of china, which has abt 60% of the rare earth reserves.

Toxicity, cost, material, unreliability etc are some of the road blocks in development and usage of these energy resources, therefore leaving conventional resources indispensable. However, predicting future from here is as unimaginable and unthinkable as human civilisation's journey from stone age to space age. But one thing is sure, the society would have to go through radical changes if the soap has to go on and on. As envisaged by some sage, the correction must come from change in human reproductive, consumer and cultural behaviour, before the sun refuses to shine or the moon turns red with blood.


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