Thursday, June 23, 2011

Moore's Law And The Alberta Oil Sands

Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; but if a thing is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, VI, 19

It truly disturbs the Oracle of Ottawa, to watch at times, various reports on the BBC that those pesky oil sands in Alberta are causing the ascots of my friends in the European Union to get all in knots. Depending on which source you cite, the blob of oil in Alberta is the largest or second largest deposit of oil on earth. The largest deposit of flowing oil is no doubt Saudi Arabia. The largest deposit of oil in one place on Earth is the Alberta Oil Sands! That was of cold comfort for decades in Alberta and Canada. It was like finding out that you had the biggest pile of the finest raspberry jam on Earth, only to be told that the bad news was that it was mixed in with an equal amount of crunchy peanut butter!

Will Prime Mover Technology Follow?

But the media, as it is today, has the most egregious way of getting things all out of proportion! It has only been in the last decade that the daily production has really ramped up. And yes, it is causing a hell of a mess! And that dear citizens of the world is not the only problem it brings! Once upon a time in Canada all the great social advances originated out in the Canadian west! Tommy Douglas was not a Toronto Bay Street corporate lawyer! It is hard to believe now, and most youngsters would laugh at you if you told them that the real Left Wing of political thought was born in the Canadian west! Now the west of Canada is the home of the most base and regressive right-wing Conservatism that this nation has ever known! People start acting right weird as a lot, when you drop too much money on them, too fast!

The biggest mistake that the whole world is making is that this is going to last forever! For the next one hundred years or more the oil sands will be exploited at an ever increasing rate and that all future extraction will be dirtier than today. Well citizens of the world, don't lose any sleep over it! That just isn't the way it is going to happen! What am I basing this insane statement on you ask? Why the writings of Buckminster Fuller and Moore's Law!

Think of the oil sands as the vacuum tube!

One of the most interesting arguments of old Bucky Fuller was the chart of horsepower per pound of a prime mover. For example the Watt steam engine weighed tons and produced less then ten horsepower! Now you have those little turbines that can carry a cruise missile for thousands of nautical miles... It is way more impressive to see it all plotted out on a graph. You really should look it up some time... What dawned on me recently was how that graph was so similar to the graph of Moore's Law! The only difference is the magnitude of the time factor.. (or not!)  So what is the moral of this story you ask? Quiet simply dear reader that in our lifetime we will see the Alberta oil sands abandoned! Along with all the remaining reserves still left unpumped and unclaimed in the Middle East and the former Soviet Union! So if you are employed watching the nut for some very rich people start laying off the core oil holdings now! At the top....

Soon to be a bunch of very unhappy campers!

I shared this story of my little prophecy with the well heeled, spoiled rotten little shit, of some oil shiek that was attending Carleton University a while back. At first he smiled in a condescending fashion, and then his face bled to a pale whiteness of unadulterated panic that truly amazed me! What? Was it something I said?

This isn't going to last as long as you think! See above....

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