Mann vs. Fox

To the editor: For your edification, Ms. Fox, when I attended high school, Earth science was not a subject taught. Freshman-year science course was biology, soph was physics, junior year was chem, and senior year was organic chem. Math consisted of algebra, plane and solid geometry, trig followed by the calculus. The primordial dead-dinosaur (fossil) theory of oil formation is just that, a theory, unproven but taught in lieu of thinking. The Bakken and Brazilian oil finds bring to mind another name. Worth remembering: Dr. Thomas Gold. The Austrian-born astrophysicist, who died in 2004, was a renowned maverick in the science community, a brilliant rogue whose anti-establishment proclamations were often proven right. What does Gold have to do with the recent Brazil oil find? In 1999, Gold published a book titled The Deep Hot Biosphere that postulated that coal and oil are produced not by the decomposition of organic materials, but in fact are abiogenic nonbiologic that is, the result of tectonic forces; i.e., deeply embedded hydrocarbons being brought up and through the Earths mantle and transformed into their present states by bacteria living in the Earths crust. The majority of the worlds scientists scoffed at Golds theory, and fossil fuel remains the accepted descriptor of oil. Yet, in recent years, Russia has quietly become the worlds top producer of oil in part by drilling wells as deep as 40,000 feet far below the graveyards of T-rex and his Mesozoic buddies and their jungle mulch piles. See: http://blogs.motortrend.com/6245781/editorial/is-the-earth-producing-more-oil/index.html This is considerably more current than the stuff you spouted about the Soviets and the 1950s. Nevertheless, even there, no one ever proved them wrong. I quote your letter to the Eagle: The worls deepest borehole is about 6 miles below that, heat and pressure destroy drilling equipment. From above, drilling wells as deep as 40,000 feet comes out to be over 7 some miles. You do the math. Once more I quote you: I wonder whether Mr. Manns enthusiasm for these expensive and massively pollution-intensive oil reserves would be as high if they were located in the Champlain Valley. Of course I would! It would do wonders for the moribund tax base in Vermont. A couple of refineries to produce gas here in Vermont allow people like you to buy local. Isnt that one of the often regurgitated mantras? The benefit to the poor and downtrodden is immense. Theyll be able to afford a job since the commute finally would be affordable. Reduced welfare roles, paying for their own health care and housing what a win-win situation for Vermont and its residents. In the interests of full disclosure, I would cheerfully hold the collective head of the Vermont Legislature to the ground so that we can drill right through their deaf ears for that first local oil strike in lemme see the beautiful Town of Addison; yeah, right in the middle of Dead Creek. Ed Mann, Waltham

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