Did the aliens all run out of gas?

is there no one out there?

{image from the Hubble Heritage Project}

It’s amazing just how interlinking life can be when you think about it. As well as the fact that when oil, gas and coal run out we’ll have no choice but to stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, this great article links peak oil and global warming to another large-scale problem – The Fermi Paradox.

It’s an interesting article to ponder, particularly in relation to mankind’s future. Is the reason we can’t see any evidence of alien life out there because they all ran out of resources before they could get off their own planet?

[Edit – another good article on the subject here – thanks to Tom James and Sentient Developments for that link! The original article seems to be having server trouble but this alternative is just as interesting.]

4 thoughts on “Did the aliens all run out of gas?”

  1. This is a similar argument to that made by John Michael Greer in an article here:


    (via Sentient Developments http://sentientdevelopments.blogspot.com/).

    Greer basically argues that technological advancement may be limited over the coming decades and centuries by the increasing expense of oil and the difficulty in extracting it.

    From Greer’s essay:

    “Progress, however, isn’t simply a matter of ingenuity or science. It depends on energy sources, and that meant biomass, wind, water and muscle until technical breakthroughs opened the treasure chest of the Earth’s carbon reserves in the 18th century.”

    Oil and other fossil fuels are a boon to humanity, and have been largely responsible for much of the recent increase in global wealth and happiness.

  2. The DailyScare site seems to be down at the moment, apologies if we overloaded your servers guys!

  3. This is a reiteration of Richard Duncan’s Olduvai Theory that he first presented in 1989:

    “The Olduvai theory states that industrial civilization (as defined by per capita energy consumption) will have a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years (1930-2030).”

    Richard has spent the last couple of decades reworking M King Hubbert’s equations on oil production country by country, sector by sector. The latest figures I’ve seen show that world oil production has plateaued and peak may have occured in the summer of 2006. See theoildrum.com for more.

  4. I think this falls into the “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” camp. The free lunch we expected from fossil fuels has come back to claim payment, with interest, in the form of climate damage.

    It makes one wonder if we’d known at the outset, and had added the price of mitigation of carbon to the cost of producing oil and coal, we mightn’t still be hunting whales for their blubber.

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