A Miraculous Fuel

David Schaengold smacks down Jeff Jacoby's defense of oil:

Even if you don’t care at all about the environmental damage caused by the petroleum industry, however, and Jacoby doesn’t seem to, you should still support efforts to reduce our oil consumption. In fact, the more miraculous and unique you believe the properties of oil are, the more you should support this reduction. It’s true that petroleum combines energy density with portability at room temperature and pressure in a way that no other substance does. It actually is something of a miraculous fuel, and it has powered our economic growth for close to a century now. There’s no fuel that even comes close to replacing kerosene and naphtha as jet fuel. What’s astonishing is that we know that it’s irreplaceable and we know that there’s a quite finite amount of it easily extractable, and yet we continue to use it with utter profligacy. We pave our roads with it. We drink from bottles made out of it. Will we someday be unable to fly across the country because we couldn’t bring ourselves to stop paving over greenfields with petroleum so that our petroleum-gulping SUVs could park in front of our petroleum-clad houses?