Ya woulda thunk that we would have figured out the siren call of oil by now an figured out ways to use less of it an more of the good stuff like solar and wind, but no. Just like Odyssus knew the call of the sirens would kill him and his shipmates, he still just wanted to go see them and get a little nookie-of-death. And no nookie is sweeter than that sweet crude nookie.
Think about it. You hop in your car an go wherever you want to... or can afford to. You go to the grocery store an buy whatever you want to from all over the world... or can afford to. Shipped here courtesy of that lovely oil. An you read on the internets all the time, even sneaking peeks during work although your boss has caught you more than once. Admit it!
Yes, even the internets would not exist if it wasn't for oil. Electricy, remember. Energy for silicon chip manufacture remember! Now it's true that a lot of electricy is generated by burning coal, but that coal was shipped to the power plant using oil. Ha! Betcha you're sorry you argued with me now!
But before modern times, oil was used for medicine and to waterproof boats an such1. All the 'oil' mentioned in the Bible (written in the Mideast, I might add)? Olive oil. Not petroleum. Sorry to puncture that little bubble of yours, mister! Well, not really.
So, what the heck started it all? Who was that first person who said, "Hey! This black sticky stuff doesn't just trap animals2, it burns! Ouch!
Honestly, I don't know for certain, but it seems to have started in the United States and loads of money was involved. Since then, it's just kind of snowballed an nobody seems to be able to stop that big black sticky ball rolling at high speed down on us all. Sure, people have tried. In the 1970's, the U.S. gov't even funded research into alternatives. But Ronnie Reagan3 took care of that pesky little idea.
But you know we're having all these tensions an wars and stuff in the Mideast is oil. An in the back of our minds is the thought that maybe we should cut down on the oil guzzling. That maybe that would help things be a little less tense in the Mideast especially. But do we do anything about it. No.
It's like that diet you swear you are going to start tomorrow or the exercise program you signed up for but stopped attending after a session or two. Exactly. It's hard. It's inconvenient. We're gonna have to be forced into it with big men dressed in leather wielding whips4.
1. Even in place of cement in buildings.
2. See Le Brea Tar Pits
3. Before he changed his mind since it turns out that the DOE is also responsible for making and testing nukes! But he succeeded in killing all the alt energy projects.
4. Kinda like this.