We’ve slogged through many years of daily news about the oil industry globally, nationally and locally. We’ve read of myriad deals among corporations and nations eager to acquire wealth by supplying us with the oozy remains of long-dead dinosaurs. We’ve cringed at every “spill” (you gotta hand it to whomever co-opted that relatively benign word so it’s used irrespective of the volume of oil released), and we’ve been horrified at the huge blowouts such as BP’s famed 3-month gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.
Lately, we’ve experienced fracking, that lightly regulated practice of dumping exotic mixes of toxic chemicals (usually vaguely identified) and millions of gallons of precious water deep underground in an effort to force out oil and gas. We’ve also learned to fear the long-time object of America’s affection, the trains, as they began hauling volatile crude in tanker cars prone to rupturing when derailed, threatening horrendous conflagrations such as the one at Lac-Mégantic in Quebec.
But, cheer up, folks! In the midst of all this negativity comes what just might be the first rays of a brighter (in more ways than one) and better future for a world burning itself up by flagrant production of carbon and on the verge of extinguishing its most imperfect species, us. Three impressive publications on this subject were just released by three impressive institutions in the first three days of this month.
Brief summaries, appetite-whetters, follow: