THE ENERGY CRUNCH
Sanford Pinna, M.D.
For many years, I would ask myself, as I travelled
with my family around Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia,
“How is it possible that these people are so wealthy?
In the 1930′s they were living in poverty. Then in 20
years after the Second World War they have houses,
cars, every type of appliance. They travel in planes
everywhere and spend money like it grew out of the
Suddenly, it dawned on me. The people of
the West have discovered a gold mine!
It was BLACK GOLD.
BLACK GOLD IS PETROLEUM.
The West was taking gold out of the ground. That
gold was energy. Energy is the source of all wealth.
From 1950 to 2000, that energy was essentially free.
(Energy cost at $10-20 per barrel is insignificant.)
Petroleum provided fuel for vehicles. It heated and cooled houses.
It propelled planes and ships. It produced electricity for
every imaginable device. It could be made into fertilizer
and plastics. Its uses had no end.
With free energy, you have to become rich.
LIFE USING BLACK GOLD
Workers and businessmen of the West could do
no wrong. They built their houses in beautiful wilderness
gardens, far from noisy cities. They built highways and skyways
that were complex and required little thinking to get from here
They built immense buildings, sheathed in glassÃ¢â‚¬”towers
that sprung up towards the sun.
Each city tried to build a higher tower. Contests of high towers erupted across the planet. These contests continue today.
It made one recall the Tower of Babel, where workers,
immigrants from various land, could not speak to each other
because their languages differed.
Yet, none of this could be done with the mere labor
of Western workers. Black Gold, the prime energy, was
used for everything.
THE RIP TIDE STARTS
During this period the Money Managers became greedy
and the workers became lazy.
It seemed like a story out of the Bible.
The Money Lenders sold their business to lands where
the labor was cheap. The workers agreed. They did not want
to work hard. Let the Asians work. We are rich. We will pay
them pennies and go on vacation.
The Money Managers created fraudulent paper packages
made out of mortgages in which buyers and lenders lied repeatedly.
They sold trillions of dollars of these packages to greedy bankers
around the world.
And that led into the Great Economic Disaster.
It was a period of madness.
BUT THERE WAS MORE
Suddenly speculators became aware of three things:
1. Petroleum was finite. It was not infinite. It was running out.
2. The population of the planet was growing larger and richer.
3. Everybody wanted more petroleum.
THE PRICE OF PETROLEUM JUMPED
The people of the world realized that petroleum was really
Black Gold. Everybody on the planet wanted it to build
their houses, their buildings, run their factories and generate
But, like food on a poor man’s table, there was very
little and there were many hungry people.
The price of one barrel of Petroleum jumped to $150.
Governments, realizing that a shortage of Black Gold
would cause chaos and perhaps revolutions, stepped in
and forced speculators out. The price dropped to $50
per barrel. But, now, every day, it is rising back to $100
per barrel and within a few years will be $200, then $300
per barrel. The price of gasoline and heating oil will be
beyond the reach of the average person. Big cars and
big houses will be useless.
THE PEAK OIL THEORY
Throughout history intelligent men have predicted the
future with accuracy. They were always ignored by their
In 1956 a man called, M. King Hubbert, a scientist who
studied geology, the physical formation of the Earth, predicted
that petroleum would peak in the 1970′S and then rapidly
run out. This became known as the Hubbert Peak Oil Theory.
HUBBERT PEAK OIL GRAPH
Hubbert was wrong in his timing, but his reasoning was
correct. Petroleum, like everything in the universe, is finite. There
is one specific amount and no more!
The planet, in history, created petroleum as plant matter
decayed. That period of time has passed and will never return.
What oil there is is being used up. There cannot and will be
LIVING STYLES WILL CHANGE
Our economic and social world, our living
standards, our living style will change dramatically.
Travel is the area where petroleum plays the biggest role.
Airplanes, weighing hundreds of tons, require millions
of barrels of petroleum to provide the energy to fly eight
kilometers above the earth at very high speeds.
As the price of petroleum surges, these flights
will cost many times what they cost today. After a
period of time, they will no longer exist.
Air travel is predicated on liquid fuel that is
cheap. The technology does not exist to change
the type of fuel, except at exceptional cost. Rockets,
using solid fuel, may be used in the future, but the
flexibility of small planes will be lost. It is more likely,
that people will travel on ocean going ships once again.
Cars will have to change in size.
The huge car of the 1990′s will no longer be affordable.
Automotive companies have already recognized this fact.
They are more expensive to construct, to maintain and to
drive. Since the use of gasoline is very inefficient, the
use of electric motors will take there place.
They will not travel long distances, and people will
move closer to their jobs, abandoning their homes in the
HOUSING WILL BE SMALL
Heating and cooling large homes will be unfeasible.
New homes will be smaller and have less amenities. The
old large homes will lose their value and have to be destroyed.
The cost of maintain large homes, like large cars, will
be beyond the ability of the average worker. Maintaining
an empty house is costly and dangerous. They will be
PLASTIC WILL PLUMMET
Plastic is made from petroleum. It is used so frequently
today that it is polluting the planet. It is a scourge,
because people use it and then discard it. It is not
biodegradable, so it floats on the earth’s surface, destroying
plant and animal life.
Fortunately, with the price of petroleum rising, plastic
will cost more. Since it is a poison, people will turn back
to glass which is cheaper and non-polluting.
THE BENEFITS OF THE ENERGY CRUNCH
Things that are free have an unseen price. They
promote irresponsibility and weakness.
Low cost petroleum promoted a life style that
was destroying the planet. It created pollution from
cars and planes and plastics.
People became lazy and turned their work over
to those who had less money.
Petroleum as a low cost energy source was
one of the major causes of the Economic Rip Tide.
People will now be forced to return to nature.