Posted by: David | June 11, 2008

Light, Sweet Crude

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

This oil will be the death of us all. And isn’t that just perfect? What is that black ooze but the death of æons past? The carbonaceous remains of organisms perished and buried by the unimaginable cataclysms of the ages.

Here’s my theory. Yes, it’s a crackpot theory. Crude oil lubricates the geologic substructures of our planet. We’ve pumped out billions and billions of barrels (1 barrel = 42 US gallons) and burnt it into the atmosphere (where else is it gonna go?). We know what THAT is doing to our climate. But what about all those empty underground caverns from which we’ve pulled the crude? The earth is now getting squeaky! When the earth squeaks, buildings fall down. We sure are a dumb species aren’t we?

This concludes crackpot science for today. Papers due next week. If there is a next week. 🙂



  1. Crapstack flyby! Look out! (I’m not listening/reading, hands over my ears/eyes)

    How nice of you to use that phrase C! Thanks 😀 In this case the flyby is not flying by, but right into our faces. Perhaps this post should also be included in the “Preachy Crapola” category.

  2. But of course, you might have something. What goes around, comes around.

    Nicely put. It’s going and coming around on a geologic timescale. I guess. We’ll see what happens. I think that the world is supposed to end today. I’m glad we had this chance to blog.

  3. Forty… two?

    The world is gonna end so soon…

    Bloody vogons!

  4. There had to be a use for it to be there in the first place.

    I’m not so sure. That almost sounds like religious thinking. Unless its use is to provide a way for us to wreck the planet and exterminate ourselves … I think utility is an effect rather than a cause. Provocative comment B&G 🙂

  5. This sounds just like one of my own crackpot theories! I now have to figure out how to fit it into my “the earth is an egg” theory. Hmm…

    Hi birdpress and thanks for your comment. 🙂 I like that egg theory! Is it hatching or are we making an omelet?

  6. Instead of death, there could simply be a return to traditional civilization : smaller production, smaller supply radius, more defined neighbourhoods, an economy closer to subsistence, though maybe not in Europe and Asia, but in all the countries that are not yet densely populated. That is : a move opposite to that “globalization” that the US have been advertising as unavoidable.

    Here the truckers are striking. Yesterday a little bar owner in Madrid said she had to close down because she used to get chocolate from Barcelona and milk from Galicia. No suppliers for 400 miles around! A few years ago the people in the little towns around Madrid were obliged to kill their cows because they could not supply milk according to Europen Community technology standards.

    Anyway, I don’t believe that life can change that much without war enforcing the changes.

    (I am late with my tax declaration. I have to say goodbye to the world. There are 125 pages of fine print to be read. Two years ago I turned things over to a lawyer and he left them in a mess.)

    Good luck with your taxes cantueso. Thanks for your lucid commentary. The war thing seems to be our final solution to everything. Guess that’s the “light, sweet” part of it all.

  7. You know, a dozen years ago, scientists at the National Institute of Standards & Technology and the University of Illinois discovered a huge cloud of vinegar at the center of the Milky Way. If our Earth is indeed winding down to a cataclysmic finish over oil, we may just be entering our Salad Days.

    Holy crap that is really amazing! I never heard about this galactic vinegar! Thanks vermonter! If only I’d known of this before I published my crackpot theory. Please don’t tell any of my friends in the Nobel Foundation. I thought surely my salad days were behind me. I thought surely god does not play spice! [sorry that was awful]

  8. OH VTer! Salad Days? oh yes

    Ain’t she a hoot?

  9. VTer – that be scary.

    It IS scary. One naturally wonders what kind of vinegar it might be at the galactic center. Balsamic perhaps? How will that go with light, sweet crude? What about the garlic? Who will rub the salad bowl with garlic?

  10. Why you gotta scare me like that blog-dad? *sigh*…well if we’re not gonna be around for much longer anyway, I might as well maximize my whorishness…thanks for the tip! 🙂

    Don’t be scared. Death is not the end, but just another doorway. Like birth, only at the other side of the stage. And I think you mean maximize your slatternliness, unless of course you charge money for that. Then whorish works. So you’re welcome! 😀

    P.S. The apocalypse is all my fault. Sorry about that!

  11. I think with that vinegar in the Milky Way there will be cheese rather than salad. Cheese, and a lot of it. I hope they make it Emmenthaler, which is that Swiss cheese with the big holes.

    Uääää, Vermonter, what happened to your stories. You have not written even one in about three months. What about the Emperor of China who had a nightingale? Or the poor scientist whose shadow took off and was going to marry a princess? Unfortunately these are already written.

    (This is an echo of a story I read yesterday by Cela who as a kid decided that he wanted to become an inventor. He and his buddy held secret meetings to decide what they were going to invent and ended in a huge disappointment : they realized that all the great things had already been invented .)

    I think that is my favorite cheese in the whole universe cantueso. 😀

    Let’s please don’t rush our dear vermonter. How do you know she hasn’t written “even one”?? It’s summertime here and I’m sure she’s letting her story vat get good and foamy. I trust that you’ve seen her new blog? It’s called The Day As-Is. There you can find that same thoughtful eloquence you are missing.

  12. I did not know the Vermonter had a new blog. I just went and looked, but I have had 3 hours of income declaration this afternoon, and now I am cross-eyed. Also mentally. I wish I could go out and shoot somebody.

    Well when you’re done with your taxes, please enjoy vermonter’s other blog. I’m sure you will. I’m sorry about your tax problems. Are your taxes complicated because of being self-employed? I’m sorry that is really none of my business. Never mind … Good luck and God Speed on your tax declaration cantueso! 😀

  13. I mean I could not understand what I was reading. In Spanish there is still the former and the latter, and I could not figure out a key sentence. Imagine me sitting for nearly one hour trying to figure out a sentence using mathematical extremes to find out what was meant.

    I’ve had similar experiences trying to decode my income tax forms back when my daughter was still in college. There were special allowances made for families of college students, but it was a bit tricky. The math was rather convoluted, but it saved us few hundred dollars in taxes.

  14. I have a story. Very funny. Listen.

    The Spaniards are somehow either not racist or so blunt about it that it does not create tension anywhere. You hear workers attack their Islam comrades calling them “eh, moro! it’s prayer time!” Or you hear a reporter on the radio say with indignation: “But this guy, WTF? is he a Jew?” Or in carnaval they dress up as Africans, and I won’t enumerate how, because it would sound offensive. But immigrants here live well (partly maybe because of that spooky sudden wealth that invaded the country).

    Now the Spanish Olympic team went to China and (I don’t know in what presentation) they had to stand there all lined up for the photo, and they all with their hands pulled their eyelids sideways the way children here imitate the Chinese and so smiled into the Chinese TV cameras. They meant it as a friendly gesture! Sort of “when in Rome do as the Romans do!”

    And the World was Shocked. And the Embassies started exchanging missives.
    And the newspaper came out with big headers : “¡NO ES RACISMO!”

  15. It has just occurred to me that maybe you can see the photo is I copy the link location :

    That picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. But I think I get the thrust of your comment. It reminds me of what I was telling you elsewhere about how my best friend and I used to make fun of his father’s thick German accent. It was funny to my friend and I and was never intentionally cruel. We often did our silly little comedy bits in this German accent.

    Well, when we bought the house we live in the seller was also a man of German ancestry and had an accent. In one of our conversations I accidentally slipped into a fake German accent and immediately regretted it- I could see that he thought I was mocking him and there was no way I could possibly explain to him that it was actually an involuntary gesture of friendliness …

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