The real cost of oil

I filled up my truck the other day and will be going in for counseling. Ive always taken oil for granted but I think the recent surge in prices will change that. Anyway, here are a few things I have learned recently about oil…

According to US gov’n statistics the US pumps 6 million barrels of oil from the ground each day and imports another 14 million barrels.1 Most of it is burned in one form or another while the rest is turned into synthetic products that eventually make their way into our landfills… It’s kind of ironic that this precious black liquid that we are so reliant on is all that is left of another world whose remains were compressed and trapped in rocks far beneath us! LOL, ok that is depressing, but this is even more depressing… from the National Post,

To California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s delight, Ontario joined the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) last week. FP

What is the WCI? According to the Post the WCI proposes to limit the use of fuel produced using carbon intensive methods such as those used in the oil sands. This might be ok for California which stands to protect its own industries but it isn’t any good for Canada, or Alberta. Ontario, a soon to be have-not province, is signing on too legislation that would cut off (or at least reduce) the 500,000 barrels of oil a day piped from the Alberta oil sand’s. This hurts all of us.

As I understand it, part of the WCI is the increased use of ethanol. So rather than burn bituminous oil (oil extracted from tar) found in the oil sands, Ontario will burn more corn instead. But corn is in short supply these days and could never replace conventional oil anyway. (never mind the ethics of burning food to satisfy our insatiable demand for energy) Thankfully, there is a ready solution. Ontario can increase shipments of oil from their friends in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia. Nice! McGuinty is a genius.

But what does this mean really? William Ellard states the facts clearly:

  • The US consumes 25% of the world’s oil, with only 4% of its population.
  • The US will send $700 billion dollars out of the country per year to buy oil.
  • Projected over the next 10 years, the cost for oil imports will be $10 trillion — the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind.1

This transfer of wealth is not going to our friends. Take a look at the top 10 oil exporters (wiki) (2006 statistics):

1. Saudi Arabia – 9 (million barrels of crude p/ day)
2. Russia – 7
3. Norway – 2.8
4. Iran – 2.7
5. Nigeria – 2.15
6. United Arab Emirates – 2.4
7. Kuwait – 2.3
8. Venezuela – 2.1
9. Algeria – 1.84
10. Mexico – 1.5
11. Libya – 1.5

16. Canada – 1.1

Although Canada is a relatively small player, we account for 17.1% of the US imports and are the largest supplier of petroleum to the US.2 But look at how much oil comes from unstable, undemocratic Islamic republics. I count 7 out of the the 11 (including Nigeria). Russia and Venezuela could also easily be included with the others as morally unscrupulous regimes. Are we really willing to transfer an unparalleled amount of wealth to these nations in order to meet a CO2 cap that has questionable environmental benefits in the first place?

Where does all the money go? I really don’t know… but it would be interesting to find out. Maybe someone reading this can fill me in. All I know is that at current prices Saudi Arabia’s revenue from oil exports is well over 11 trillion and is about on par with the GDP of the entire United States.3 This is the same Wahabi fundamentalist regime that supplied 15 of the 19 Sept 11 hijackers. This ought to be a cause for real concern.

It seems to me that we cannot develop our oil sands fast enough. They provide a reliable supply of oil in the short run and reduce our reliance on oil from unstable, undemocratic Islamic states. The oil can be transported by pipeline rather than by ship which offsets some of the increased energy used in extraction. And most importantly, the money spent on oil stays in our economy where the tax dollars can be used to develop alternative energy solutions and public transportation. If McGuinty and his cronies maintain their present, unrealistic course of action, our children will pay for it and will pay dearly.

The book

Just got back from camp. I have yet to get my pictures downloaded but I will try to put up a few later on…

I have just been reading some about the Israelites failure at Mt. Sinai. They grew impatient with Moses and chose to melt down their jewelry to form a god. Though they still called this god, Jehovah, it was a reversion back to a form of worship they they would have been accustomed to in Egypt. I think it is interesting that Jehovah did later give them something legitimate to melt their jewelry into and that the Israelites gave so whole heartedly that Moses had to ask the people to stop giving. But this story of failure comes first.

Moses, as a mediator, pleads to take the punishment for the sin of the people…

Moses went back to the LORD and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin– but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” The LORD replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.

Moses asks to have his name blotted from ‘the book’. Rob and I were talking about it the other day as to what was meant by ‘the book’? This is the first reference in the Bible to a book in God’s possession.

Keil & Delitzsch have some helpful insight,

This expression founded upon the custom of writing the names of the burgesses of a town or country in a burgess-list, whereby they are recognized as natives of the country, or citizens of the city, and all the privileges of citizenship are secured to them. The book of life contains the list of the righteous and ensures to those whose names are written there, life before God, first in the earthly kingdom of God and then eternal life also, according to the knowledge of salvation, which keeps pace with the progress of divine revelation, e.g., in the New Testament, where the heirs of eternal life are found written in the book of life (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 3:5; 13:8, etc.)… an advance for which the way was already prepared by Isa. 4:3 and Dan. 12:1. To blot out of Jehovah’s book, therefore, is to cut off from fellowship with the living God, or from the kingdom of those who live before God, and to deliver over to death.

Moses request that God would blot his name from the book of the living is similar to the Apostle Paul’s pleading in Romans 9:3. Paul wishes that he might be accursed from Christ for the sake of his brothers.

I can’t think of making such a prayer and really meaning it. K&D put it well again,

It is not easy to estimate the measure of love in a Moses and a Paul; for the narrow boundary of our reasoning powers does not comprehend it, as the little child is unable to comprehend the courage of warlike heroes. Bengel as quoted by Keil and Delitzsh

These men truly and deeply cared for the people that God had placed under them. But it was Jesus who did became a ‘curse for us’. This love is truly incomprehensible but then, how much do I really consider it? Paul says that to know the love of Christ is to be filled to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21