Oil and other resources

Oil refinery 01 by Wyatt's Virtual Drifting on flickr

We’ll take a look at the world’s natural resources, with a particular focus on oil.  We’ll watch a couple of videos.  This one on fossil fuels explains where oil, coal and gas come from, and leads into our next section on the importance of oil and how to separate it out by distillation.  This video explains how this works in an oil refinery. We’ll do a world energy audit and look at where the natural resources are and what the alternative energy sources might be.

We will discuss the idea of exponential growth and watch this video by Chris Martenson.  We will explore the idea of peak oil, and how this is different to “oil running out” by watching this video.  We’ll then research which countries have oil reserves, and how much, and discover that according to CIA world factbook, that the Philippines is #65 on the list.

We will discuss the following essential questions:

  • Why have humans become so much more productive over the last 250 years when compared to the previous 250,000?
  • What is peak oil, and should we be worried that some people say we have reached it?
  • What will be the consequence of an ever increasing human population and falling fossil fuel energy reserves?
  • Will developing countries ever realize the standard of living enjoyed by people in developed countries?

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