Poor Farming Practices
What do you suppose will happen if a farmer plants his crops on a hillside? Rains might wash away the soil, right? Elsewhere, we showed you a picture of the Mississippi River and all the dirt that it contained. Where do you suppose that dirt came from originally?
Running Out of Oil?
How do we know how much oil there is in the world? We do not know for certain. We can, however, make estimates. These estimates are based on:
You could estimate oil fields by making small drill holes to sample it. However, boreholes yield very narrow samples and may drill right past substantial deposits of oil. Size of a potential oil field is best determined by blasting sound waves into the soil and recording the echo. Oil beneath the surface will reflect sound waves differently from echoes from rock. Complex computer analysis of the echo data in three dimensions provides an estimate of the three-dimensional size of pools of oil beneath the surface. This technique is known as three-dimensional seismography.
We know we are running out of oil, but estimates of the time left vary enormously. Regardless of how much time we have left, we need to find new sources of energy. We need to do that now, even if we have enough oil, so that we can stop polluting our air and water with car exhaust and gasoline refinery wastes.
As for preventing oil spills in our lakes and oceans, we know how to do that just from observing how oil spills in the past have occurred. We just need to: