The most important scientific breakthrough you probably never heard of

If this post in Watts Up With That? is correct, an inadvertent, serendipitous scientific discovery is responsible for reshaping the modern world of geopolitics to America’s advantage – and nobody noticed.

Fracking is usually credited with being the critical technology for the reshaping to which I refer: the rather sudden conversion of the United Sates from a huge net energy importer to (currently) self-sufficient, and clearly heading toward a major net energy exporter. This is far more than a simple balance-of-trade issue, through that is very important. It even transcends the millions of jobs and economic prosperity that has blessed the United States. We and our allies are now almost free of the economic extortion of oil exporters that started in 1973 with the first oil boycott, gas lines, and soaring prices. Russia, which depends on hydrocarbon exports (oil and gas) for nearly all of its hard currency, no longer will be able to bully its European neighbors with threats of cutting off natural gas exports during winter, as it has done in the past, once the logistical supply lines now planned for sending American natural gas to Europe by tanker are in place.

Saudi Arabia is cozying up to societal reform and even to Israel because it no longer can throw its weight around in world energy markets as it formerly could. Venezuela’s declining oil exports no longer can cause lines at gasoline stations.

But according to Ronald Voisin writing in WUWT, fracking was only half of the technology revolution that has remade the modern world. It was satellite sensors orbited to provide data on volcanoes that accidentally and unexpectedly revealed where the oil deposits are found, enabling not just fracking but the discovery of vast new oil fields globally. Best of all: This new satellite data reveals that North America is where most of the world’s hydrocarbon resources are located.  Read the whole thing, but this is the essence:

A couple decades ago an international team of volcanologists arranged for the tag-on launch of [a satellite with] a first generation orbiting gravimeter in order to study volcanism (the legitimate auspicious being pure scientific endeavor). While that intended function was successful, a much more important capability unexpectantly came to pass. Subsequent generations of these devices showed exactly where and to what extent natural gas, oil and coal were located as they have revealed progressively higher resolution images of Earth’s deep interior. Several more generations of these devices are possible and this explains the recent substantial increases in estimated recoverable oil and gas and coal for that matter. Meanwhile, fracking and horizontal drilling have enormously reduced the costs and surface-area-impact of fossil fuel recovery. (snip)

…the USA was not just lifting-the-kilt on North American fossil fuels. We came to understand the global distribution of them. We came to know who had what, just what fossil fuel reserves existed in the Middle East, Russia, China, as well as with Friendlies, such as Europe, Australia, Canada, and Mexico. This information has enormous geopolitical significance…possibly the greatest geopolitical significance of any human discovery ever.

Despite the fantasies of greenies, oil and gas are the lifeblood of world power and of most economic activity. With this knowledge and the abiity to exploit it, the United States carries far more weight than it did ten years ago. 

If this post in Watts Up With That? is correct, an inadvertent, serendipitous scientific discovery is responsible for reshaping the modern world of geopolitics to America’s advantage – and nobody noticed.

Fracking is usually credited with being the critical technology for the reshaping to which I refer: the rather sudden conversion of the United Sates from a huge net energy importer to (currently) self-sufficient, and clearly heading toward a major net energy exporter. This is far more than a simple balance-of-trade issue, through that is very important. It even transcends the millions of jobs and economic prosperity that has blessed the United States. We and our allies are now almost free of the economic extortion of oil exporters that started in 1973 with the first oil boycott, gas lines, and soaring prices. Russia, which depends on hydrocarbon exports (oil and gas) for nearly all of its hard currency, no longer will be able to bully its European neighbors with threats of cutting off natural gas exports during winter, as it has done in the past, once the logistical supply lines now planned for sending American natural gas to Europe by tanker are in place.

Saudi Arabia is cozying up to societal reform and even to Israel because it no longer can throw its weight around in world energy markets as it formerly could. Venezuela’s declining oil exports no longer can cause lines at gasoline stations.

But according to Ronald Voisin writing in WUWT, fracking was only half of the technology revolution that has remade the modern world. It was satellite sensors orbited to provide data on volcanoes that accidentally and unexpectedly revealed where the oil deposits are found, enabling not just fracking but the discovery of vast new oil fields globally. Best of all: This new satellite data reveals that North America is where most of the world’s hydrocarbon resources are located.  Read the whole thing, but this is the essence:

A couple decades ago an international team of volcanologists arranged for the tag-on launch of [a satellite with] a first generation orbiting gravimeter in order to study volcanism (the legitimate auspicious being pure scientific endeavor). While that intended function was successful, a much more important capability unexpectantly came to pass. Subsequent generations of these devices showed exactly where and to what extent natural gas, oil and coal were located as they have revealed progressively higher resolution images of Earth’s deep interior. Several more generations of these devices are possible and this explains the recent substantial increases in estimated recoverable oil and gas and coal for that matter. Meanwhile, fracking and horizontal drilling have enormously reduced the costs and surface-area-impact of fossil fuel recovery. (snip)

…the USA was not just lifting-the-kilt on North American fossil fuels. We came to understand the global distribution of them. We came to know who had what, just what fossil fuel reserves existed in the Middle East, Russia, China, as well as with Friendlies, such as Europe, Australia, Canada, and Mexico. This information has enormous geopolitical significance…possibly the greatest geopolitical significance of any human discovery ever.

Despite the fantasies of greenies, oil and gas are the lifeblood of world power and of most economic activity. With this knowledge and the abiity to exploit it, the United States carries far more weight than it did ten years ago.