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Burying Truth Under Bedrock?

©04 The Media Desk

        Today the Desk tripped over something. Just a note on a news site that referred to an obscure article by a little-known scientist that struck up the Desk's curiosity.
        It went looking for the article, which pointed to another article. Which led to some conference notes which lead to a professional paper. Which made the Desk UNLEARN something that had been preached as truth in every classroom it had ever sat in since about the second grade.

        Coal and gas and oil are products of dead dinosaurs and ancient fern trees falling into mud, decaying, being buried by silt then oppressed and compressed until they changed into what we dig up now. Either that or shallow seas full of bright green seaweed and proto-whales that filled up full of dead seaweed and proto-whale poop and turned into Jed Clampett's oil.

        Since your High Test gasoline is based on the mortal remains of a Bracheosaur, there will never be another gallon of gas to replace the one you're pumping. That quart of 10-40 is all that is left of a whole school of lobe-limbed fish, so treat it with some respect.

        Well. Not so fast.

        It seems there has been a totally heretical idea floating around various scientific communities for almost a generation, and now, well, it is being backed up by some actual discoveries and hard data. Not to mention a few core samples.

        In the 1980's a deep drilling effort in Sweden brought up core samples of bedrock and granite from Four Miles Deep. There was "oil in them thar rocks".
        Recently off the coast of Vietnam an oil field in 'basement rock' was found and tapped and is producing over three hundred thousand barrels a day.
        Same is true for a formation north of Australia near Bedout that is being investigated as a meteor impact crater.
        Not to mention the deep oil sands of Canada.

        Could it be that Petroleum is NOT of the same origins as Coal? That it is NOT a 'Fossil Fuel' after all?

        Let's look at some science.

        Nobody disputes the existence of complex hydrocarbons in space. Methane is a primary component of the atmosphere of Jupiter and Venus, as well as some gas clouds in deep space. Carbon chains are one of the things looked for on other worlds as evidence of past life, or of current primitive life. Like on the moons of Jupiter.
        To even suggest the clouds of Saturn were produced by the same organic process that supplies Earth with most of its atmospheric methane ("cow farts") would produce embarrassed giggles from academic types. No, that methane had to be produced by some chemical process other than the digestion of well chewed cud. Which is perfectly reasonable and rational.
        But when it comes to Mother Earth, it seems rationality falls by the wayside and all hydrocarbons on our planet must be Trilobites and ancient moss preserved for our use and abuse.

        If it is even just a Theory that just maybe crude oil is the byproduct of a natural process deep underground, like leeching gold out of quartz, why can't that be taught as a 'theory' just like evolution or global warming?
        It does make some loose kind of sense when you think about it.
        Diamonds, pure carbon, were formed miles underground in volcanic vents under pressure and temperatures akin to hell's own pressure cooker. Why couldn't oil, mostly carbon, be produced under somewhat more mundane processes? Nobody is suggesting that some ancient critter dropped a walnut down a volcanic vent and, over time, it became a diamond. That carbon occurred naturally deep in the Earth.
        Yet to even openly consider that the oil found in places where the sun never shone and no Ichthyostega ever waddled through the muck came from something other than a deceased Ichthyostega is treated as heresy. Debate is frowned upon, and those that write long winded papers about it are ostracized by 'serious' academics.
        In fact, other than a few almost in passing mentions in other articles, and a couple of crackpots, there were very few discussions of the issue to be found on the web. The topic is still out there, and investigation is ongoing on some isolated fronts. But it is something like trying to find hard information on the Viking expeditions to central Canada.
        Is it just because the idea that oil is a result of a natural process of the planet that is ongoing and potentially renewable on a planet-wide scale is so politically incorrect or that it runs counter to 'conventional wisdom' and everybody's fourth grade textbook, or maybe some combination of them all?

        "But Everybody Knows…."
        Everybody Knows.

        The Earth is the Center of the Universe and the Sun and Stars orbit it.
        If Man were Meant to Fly….
        Witchs make cattle sick and cause weevils to attack crops.
        Space Shuttle Launches cause hurricanes because it puts fire up in the sky.

        Everybody knows.

        It seems to be more credible to say that if a given 'fact' is something 'everybody knows' that it is only a matter of time before it is proven wrong.
        And barring people being burned at the stake for teaching something that isn't party line, maybe someday somebody will get the chance to "Make a Significant Contribution to the Sum of Human Knowledge" on this matter.

        In the meantime, you can read the USGS paper by Thomas Gold yourself at:
        And more HERE including a paper about the Subterranean Methane Release Hazard to Aircraft.

        Or do a web search for "nonbiological oil"

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