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Book Review: Oil, The 4th Renewable Resource by Shawn Ali

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Oil, The 4th Renewable Resource by Shawn Ali debunks the myth that oil is not a renewable resource. The book explains that although there is a sufficient supply of oil, prices go up because less oil is refined.

Ali believes that oil companies set prices under an oligarchic model of price competition. Under the Peak Oil assumption, production increases until the supply of oil is exhausted and production ceases.

Hydrocarbons come about at great depths and fill newer reservoirs at shallower depths. Any area with hydrocarbons has greater deposits with deeper drilling according to Ali. About 10 to 20 million bbl of oil were pumped out in the last three decades, yet oil reserves keep on increasing.

Coup oil was patented by Luther and Atwood in March, 1853. At this time, Atwood, Gessner and Merrill were making oils from coal. Their invention proves that the million year biogenic process was incorrect. In addition, Gold proved that hydrocarbons are abiotic. Oil is abiotic and found in igneus rocks. And so, the hydrocarbons are not running out. In fact, commercialization is just beginning.

Ali states that natural gas and coal are in great abundance. In fact, natural gas is the most abundant hydrocarbon on earth. Ali believes that deeper digging will yield much greater deposits of oil and natural gas. The transformation of coal or natural gas to crude oil is accomplished by the Fischer Tropsch process.

In addition, Ali indicates that Saturn’s orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on earth. This fact seems to contradict the basic assumption that Saturn has little or
no biologic material.

The logistical problem is that a technology like nuclear fusion may be required to travel to Saturn. Once on Saturn, new materials must be in place to acclimate to the environment where lightening bolts can be up to 10,000 times stronger than those on the earth. Harnessing the enormous power of Saturn’s lightening would be a herculean scientific task with many complications like the huge vibrations generated and new materials strong enough to withstand the release of energy.

Oil, The 4th Renewable Resource by Shawn Ali is an excellent scientific resource for showing that earth’s energy resources are not as finite as once believed. In addition, solar energy is the upcoming champion of all renewables.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.
  • I appreciate that, I install solar for a living and I built an EV. The energy density of renewables and of storage technology are significantly lower than that of hydrocarbon based fuels, I’m not saying that it can’t be done, but society is going to look *very* different.

    I can’t wait til those folks at ITER crack fusion that will be the biggest event of the millennium, but in the meantime…

    Our whole economy and standard of living are based on high energy density fuels and in theory an energy return greater than 5:1. A transition away from refined petroleum products is inevitable as the renewability of oil does not happen fast enough, either biotically or abiotically. I agree that there is evidence for abiotic oil in certain deep, selected pockets of specialized, water filled rock but these are not the dominant mechanisms which bring us the petroleum industry of today which underpins life as we know it.

    I’m not dismissing that our rich energy mix and ingenuity won’t give a great number of people a smooth and safe ride down the energy curve.

    What I am dismissing is that unconventional sources of oil and limited evidence of abiotic theory is somehow going to accomplish a reversal of the trend.

    I’m also dismissing the notion that there is a vast conspiricy to keep abiotic oil theory under wraps.
    You seriously think that we would be facing off against Iran, or that we and China both are expanding our strategic petroleum reserves, or that the western world would make a bloody land grab to open up Iraq … if abiotic sources of oil existed in significant quantitie, were scalable
    and commercializable ?

    Either they don’t exist or there is significant drawback to developing them at current market price,
    either way the effect is the same.

  • The total energy mix minimally includes things like coal gasification, wind energy, electric and natural gas
    powered vehicles, solar energy, ocean wave energy, natural gas, the evolving nuclear fusion technology and oil.

  • The phrase that would demolish this books whole idiotic premise is Net Energy Benefit. The net energy obtained from oil wells has been precipitously declining for 100 years. Unconventional sources, kerogen, coal to liquids: good luck. Sure, there is enough oil til the cows come home, but it will never be cheap and support the level of economic activity (and energy waste) which supports our society as is today. This is what peak oil theory is about, not “running out” of oil. Something will change, be it positive or negative, our current trajectory using oil is unsustainable.

  • I thought about exactly what you said Igor. I think that the issue deserves a full length article on the work
    of Thomas Gold. Shawn Alli’s book has some coverage of Thomas Gold but there is much more out there.
    When time affords, I am going to look at some of his stuff and maybe write an article.

  • Igor

    “Abiotic oil” is a contradiction in terms. If it is ‘abiotic’, how can it be oil, since oil is biotic? That is, it is based on biotic lifeforms.

    Furthermore, the center of the earth is an incredibly hot nuclear reactor, whose powerful forces tend to destroy light gases such as hydrogen and oxygen that are essential to petro-fuel. NOT to create such elements.

    I’m afraid that such notions as ‘abiotic’ are the result of fashion-mongering rather than science.

  • It’s more about grids than airplanes, Dr.D. But I figured you’d be interested.

  • Cindy, I do occasionally watch Colbert but missed Dr Sadoway.

    My computer keeps telling me to download the latest Flash Player even though I have done, so I’m unable to watch the TED talk but will Google him and his battery and see what it’s all about. I’ll get back to you.

  • Here is another reference on Thomas Gold.

    Thomas Gold, recently deceased, was a pre-eminent scientist who studied deep earth geology and planetary composition. President for many years of the National Science Foundation, Thomas Gold did a great deal of work publicising the abiotic theory of oil formation.

    The Abiotic Theory is a very interesting one to me, as it seems to be a better explanation of occurrence than what we currently are taught, and would explain the massive amounts of continental shelf oil.

    The summary of the Abiotic Theory is that oil and coal are formed from natural occurrences in the Earth, not from biological origins.

  • Hey Dr.D,

    Do you watch Colbert? If so, did you see MIT’s Donald Sadoway’s Liquid Metal Battery?

    Here is his TED Talk on it: Donald Sadoway: The missing link to renewable energy

    Here he is on Colbert.

    Not incidentally, this is a demonstration of how non-private, non-competitive invention can be superior to the claimed advantage presumed exist exclusively within business model of competition being a superior road to invention. He invented this with mentored students in service of humanity. He says his method of the battery’s invention is “a blueprint for inventing inventors”.

  • Here is the reaction of Shawn Alli(author)

    First off, I’d like to thank you so much for all the work you’ve done in reviewing and blogging about the book. I’ve been looking at the blogs as well and found that it’s generating some controversy and going against pre-conceived notions of peak oil and fossil fuels. That’s excellent. I’d say let it play out in the harsh world of blogs.

    Shawn Alli

  • Igor: People are asking questions about my background and making snide comments when I don’t give them answers. I don’t volunteer this information as you quite correctly suggested is the protocol.

    There are a number of people on this site who won’t even provide their real names. The background is on Amazon because the site invites reviewers to include the information. By now, my name is known anyway from prosecuting patents in the United States Patent Office and obtaining copyrights in the United States Copyright Office.

  • I like how Joe always tells people to check out Amazon, as if they are some independent source of people’s background info instead of what it is, a general store where he posted the info people ask about.

    Reverend El Bicho, Universal Life Church

  • Igor

    @21-Joseph S. Maresca: Zing is not masquerading as a “Doctor”, as you are. And he’s not parading an irrelevant title as a qualification to speak on science, as you are.

    “Zing Zing- What are your qualifications? ”

  • Igor

    I researched non-biogenic subsurface hydrocarbon generation more than 20 years ago and it simply doesn’t hold up, even though it’s an interesting theory. Without organic processes there is simply no way to find the requisite oxygen and hydrogen.

    As for Joe, the utter bogosity of his scientific pose is revealed (aside from his extreme naivete about science) by using his bogus title, since in the USA scientists don’t show their titles and honors when publishing. The work is expected to stand on it’s own.

  • zingzing

    dr. joe, sorry, but you don’t get to tell people what to talk about, but you know that. someone (igor) asked you what you were a doctor of, so i got curious. now you’re being evasive. (and don’t tell me that constantly pointing me to the same info that does NOT contain the answer i seek isn’t being evasive.) so now i’m especially curious. where is this supposed college, and why can’t i find any info on it other than a registrar’s number? (and boy-howdy, are YOU all over the internet… yeesh.)

    and i went to a well-known state university, but i’m not the one splashing my credentials around, doctor.

  • This is an example of a comment that is appropriate for this article. Please refrain from clogging up
    the site with comments that do not address this article specifically. I may give the actual author some
    of these comments so that he can respond to them. Meanwhile, here is just one example of an
    appropriate comment for Ali’s book.

    10 – Jeremy Sterik
    Oct 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    The book is about oil being naturally produced in the earth, not pressured cooked biological material.
    So oil is not a fossil fuel that comes from decayed dinosaurs or vegetation. The book shows all of this
    is myth advocated by schools, gov’t and oil corporations. I think there’s a preview of the book
    on amazon.com

  • Here is an example of a portability patent for solar energy. i.e. Folding Solar Reflector Panel and Assembly
    United States Patent 4833571

  • Zing Zing- What are your qualifications? Where can I find them? Mine are in Amazon. (Left hand side)

  • Dr Dreadful

    The problem with solar, wind, tidal and geothermal energy, Cindy, is that they aren’t portable. Yes, you can run homes, businesses, factories, trains etc off them but putting that kind of power source into a portable client like a car, a truck, a plane or a ship is much more tricky.

    I grant you that thanks to oil about 60 years of research into ultra-efficient batteries for transportation has been mostly lost, but still. A long-haul airliner that runs on batteries? Seems a heck of a way off.

  • Zingzing

    The amazon site, joesph? Same info as in your bio here…

  • If the US had gone solar when I was a teen protesting nuclear, we’d have it on every sunny roof by now. Our homes would be running on almost free clean energy. Instead, “your representatives” elected to have the middle class subsidize nuclear power through taxes and pay for our energy besides. Solar would have eliminated a lot of corporate profit.

    We have something called the sun. It can supply all our energy needs safely. But, no, let’s not replace oil and nuclear with solar, let’s instead spend trillions? of middleclass taxpayer dollars to go to Titan and get some more oil so corporations can continue to profit.

    (The wealthy have always been subsidized by the middle class in this and similar ways.)

  • The information is on the Amazon site.

  • zingzing

    nyu is no schlump college, so congrats on that. but where/what is ross college?

  • With regard to Igor’s comment:
    Read Ali’s book, as well as the wealth of patent literature he cites.

  • And let me add to the previous comment:
    BSBA Manhattan College Quantitative Analysis( allied area of Operations Research)
    New York University Graduate School MBA- Accounting
    New York University Graduate School APC- Computer Applications Information Systems
    New York University Graduate School APC- Finance
    New York University Graduate School APC Organizational Development and Behavior
    Passed Certified Public Accountancy
    Passed Engineering in Training Examination- Tests collegiate chemistry, physics, statics, dynamics, electronics, thermodynamics, materials
    Licensed as Certified Information Systems Auditor

    and lastly the PhD at Ross College which fully complies with the U.S. Department of Education laws

  • Zingzing

    Igor, according to his bio, joe’s phd is in accounting, from the apparently ungoogleable Ross college. There’s a Ross college that offers associate’s degrees, and Ross Pre-school, and a ross medical university in the caribbean…

  • Igor

    @11-Dr. Joseph S. Maresca: what is your doctorate in?

    “Coup oil was patented by Luther and Atwood in March, 1853. Then , Atwood, Gessner and Merrill were
    making oils from coal. Their invention proves that the million year biogenic process was incorrect.”

    But coal itself is the product of “the million year biogenic process”.

    “…we will definitely have the capability to go to Titan cheaply.” Says who? Or is that just the dreamy extrapolation of a hope?

    “It’s not really clear how many people
    the earth can support beyond 8-9 billion. ”

    And 100 years ago it was estimated that the absolute maximum population was 1.7billion, and then nitrogen-bearing fertilizer was invented.

    “In addition, fusion energy should be cheaper by the year 2100
    and maybe well before that time.”

    Says who? And why bother with that mess and danger when all the power we need is already available from that big fusion reactor in the sky, and in a benevolent form, too?

    “All the ingredients will be in place to explore this solar system more thoroughly.”

    We’re already doing that with robots. There’s no need to waste resources and effort to send meat puppets (like Neal Armstrong) to distant places.

    It’s pretty clear that “Dr. Joes” doctorate is not in science. What is your doctorate in, BTW?

  • Also, see below.

    “Coup oil was patented by Luther and Atwood in March, 1853. Then , Atwood, Gessner and Merrill were
    making oils from coal. Their invention proves that the million year biogenic process was incorrect.”

    Much was made of the idea of getting energy solely from the earth. Why go to Titan? Over the next few
    centuries, we will definitely have the capability to go to Titan cheaply. It’s not really clear how many people
    the earth can support beyond 8-9 billion. In addition, fusion energy should be cheaper by the year 2100
    and maybe well before that time. All the ingredients will be in place to explore this solar system more thoroughly.

  • Jeremy Sterik

    The book is about oil being naturally produced in the earth, not pressured cooked biological material. So oil is not a fossil fuel that comes from decayed dinosaurs or vegetation. The book shows all of this is myth advocated by schools, gov’t and oil corporations. I think there’s a preview of the book on amazon.com

  • Dr Dreadful

    If we mine hydrocarbons on Saturn, then it will weigh less… 🙂

    Mr Ali is technically correct that oil is a renewable resource. As we speak, fossils far beneath our feet are turning into the stuff.

    Unfortunately, it’s a pretty slow process. It can take anywhere from several thousand to a few million years for dead organisms to be converted into hydrocarbons, and that’s assuming the conditions are right.

    In contrast, filling a large tanker with a million barrels of oil takes about a day.

  • Igor

    Titan? Why go so far for so little? All the energy we need on earth falls every day on a square in the Nevada desert 90 miles on a side.


  • voice of satan

    lightening – making something weigh less
    lightning – big sparks that come out of the sky

  • The potential energy on Titan boggles the imagination. Besides, Titan may fuel colonization
    of planets throughout the solar system. In addition, the perfection of nuclear fusion will make
    traveling there much easier. To reach Saturn and explore it, we will need vastly improved
    materials capable of surviving such things as lightening 10,000 times more powerful than that
    on the earth.

  • Realist

    If this book is right, why bother to talk about going to Titan?

  • Shawn Ali is making reference to scientific art. For instance, Coup oil was patented by Luther and Atwood in March 1853. There is an important reference to the Fischer Tropsch Process, as well as Merrill’s patent art. All of this art must demonstrate unobviousness in order to qualify for patent protection in this country. Unobviousness is an elusive concept. It means that a person who practices the art in question must not be able to recognize or assemble what has been created from what currently exists in the profession. In addition, the described or new art must be capableof being built by a person in the art of the matter being patented.

    Examples of unobviousness are as follows:
    o the invention successfully employs techniques or processes previously thought to be unworkable
    o it solves a problem never before even recognized
    o it omits an element in the prior art without losing functionality or capability
    o it provides an operative result where before failure was prevalent
    o it solves a long felt or unsolved need
    o it is contrary to the teachings of prior inventions or art

  • Mike Jayhill

    The theory of peak oil is made in the 1960’s by M. King Hubbert who worked for Royal Dutch Shell. Which means he has a stake in advocating shortages, the slow decline of oil production and the increase in profits. Try reading the book before you negate it with a lack of understanding and misconceptions. Another die hard peak oil theorist eh?

  • Pythor Sehn

    I would hardly call this book a “scientific” resource when the author cannot even properly define the theory of peak oil he supposedly is able to debunk. His work appears to be filled with myths, misconceptions, and a sophomoric lack of understanding of anything to do with energy and physics.

  • Earthbound Misfit

    Peak oil — as Inigo Montoya said, “I do not think it means what you think it means.” It does not mean that production increases until resources are exhausted; it means that production roughly follows a bell curve, the highest point of the curve representing the peak of production, i.e. Peak Oil.

    It is the downslope on the other side that keeps thoughtful people awake at night…