the public may be excused for remaining clueless about the deep shit we're in on the oil front. in the onslaught of articles about plucky new ways of replacing oil, (or in the case of the article below, a 'new old' way) no one's doing the math. or the science or the grunge-work of figuring out how this transition from one economic life-force to the 'next' is going to work. why haven't we used natural gas for fuel before? how much do we need? deep in the article are a couple of figures:

This fuel currently amounts to a minuscule portion of total global fuel production, with Shell operating the largest such plant in Bintulu, Malaysia, a pilot operation with output of about 14,700 barrels a day. Overall global oil production, by comparison, is more than 80 million barrels a day.

that means that the pilot gas-to-liquid program produces less than 1/5000 of current global oil usage. never mind. with our good ol' american can-do spirit, where there's a will there's a war.


A New Old Way to Make Diesel

By SIMON ROMERO
Published: January 18, 2006
RAS LAFFAN INDUSTRIAL CITY, Qatar NY TIMES