I attended the IPA’s annual H.V. McKay Lecture on Technology in Melbourne last night. Philip Burgess from Telstra was the guest speaker on the topic of ‘Future Proofing’.
He gave an interesting and wide ranging talk that included two reasons why we will never run out of oil:
1. As the price of oil increases, we will find more of it.
2. As the price of oil or any other commodity goes up, inventive people will start looking for substitutes.
He suggested there were all kinds of examples of ‘substitutes’ including: plastic for copper tubing, grain for fuel and aluminium studs for wooden studs in home building.
He also said that we should perhaps strive to use more, not less energy, because it is through the use of energy that we create wealth.