The Abiotic Petroleum THEORY With all due respect, Windswept, there hasn’t been a lot of evidence to support the Abiotic Petroleum Theory that you quoted Dr. Gold in supporting. You said “… How is something so vital to life on earth (everything that is actually "green" requires a constant, unending supply of carbon dioxide to exist, all animals and humans supply it in a beautiful circle of life) assumed to be dangerous, or something we should reduce? Is there a more benign naturally-occuring substance on earth than carbon dioxide?” The debate isn’t about whether or not carbon dioxide is a vital substance for life, or even how benign it is to individual organisms. The entire debate over carbon dioxide is how is it changing our climate and how are these rapid climate changes affecting life on our planet. The greenhouse-effect, the melting polar ice caps, the slowing down of the oceanic conveyor, El Nino, and rising sea levels have NOTHING to do with how plants use carbon dioxide, but everything to do with the environment where we and these plants live. You said: “Any why should we not use oil? It's a naturally-occuring substance, too (only uptight Westerners still believe oil is the remains of dinosaur-era organic matter). One day our kids will scoff at the cartoon of the dinosaur they used to put on the gas station sign. "Fossil" fuels....Sheeh!” Well, not just uptight Westerners, but the vast majority of all scientists too. Besides, the Abiotic Petroleum Theory did not argue that hydrocarbons were NOT created from organic matter, but rather that Abiotic Petroleum COULD occur naturally without the help of organic matter. In other words, it wasn’t a debate of one theory replacing another, but rather, the theory that there were TWO sources of hydrocarbons here on earth, one being biologic and the other being abiotic. The late Dr. Gold and many Soviet scientists in the 50s through the 80s theorized that hydrocarbons could be created abioticly and not biogenic. At this point, none of their theories have been substantiated. In fact, science is 99.99999% confident that, so far, 100%, or ALL of the hydrocarbons discovered here on earth have a biologic origin. With that in mind, obviously, the prevailing view among geologists and petroleum engineers today is that oil is a biogenic process—meaning that it is dinosaur-era organic matter—a fossil fuel. So far, absolutely no evidence has been found on earth for the contrary so I wouldn’t bet on school children scoffing about oils not being biologic. (If you would make that bet, email me later because I have some other bets for you to make that would offer far better odds than 99.99999%) The scientists who do believe in the Abiotic Petroleum Theory concede that at this time, there are absolutely NO naturally occurring abiotic petroleum reserves known to exist, let alone, being used to supply our modern world's current energy demands. So, no matter what theory of oil development you adhere to, there is no question about oils current limited supply and that burning hydrocarbon fuels are causing significant environment change. Until these theorized naturally occurring oils are discovered, then the press’s “conventional wisdom” is correct in saying that the world IS running out of oil. There’s no question about the presence of Carbon in the solar system—in fact, it’s the fourth most common element in the universe. The vast majority of all carbon found on earth today was already on earth when the earth was created so many billions of years ago. No organism on earth creates carbon, but rather, simply borrows it. Carbon exists on our earth in many different forms—including the quite pure forms of carbon in graphite and diamonds. Carbon is also a major component in limestone, dolomite and marble. It would be far more appropriate to say that “Gold theorizes that …” not “Gold claims that…” since Gold never substantiated any of his theories. He did present a lot of ideas why he believed his theory—which have since been refuted to not support the APT. However, to be fair, since the theory came out, other hypothetical circumstances needed for abiotic petroleum to occur are now known to exist, but, so far, this in no way proves the Abiotic Petroleum Theory to be true. At this point there is more evidence for Aliens and the Chupacabra than the Abiotic Petroleum Theory. I doubt any prudent oil executive would bet money on the idea that “If you’ll drill deep enough anywhere, you will find natural gas. It may not be in commercial quantities every time, but more than likely it will be.” Las Vegas would give you far better odds than the APT theory, yet it still doesn’t make Las Vegas a good bet either. However, I’m a strong believer in free enterprise, so I would suggest that you raise some capitol and find out for yourself. After all, if you were correct, it would make you the wealthiest man alive.