One of the main arguments against the use of fossil fuels for energy is that it is a finite resource. Granted, yes, it is technically a limited resource, and at some point, we could potentially use up all of this resource; however, there is much more oil beneath the surface than most people realize.
Experts and scientists have been claiming for decades that we will soon deplete the earth of its oil reserves, leading to catastrophic economic collapses and the end of energy as we know it. The problem is, predicting exactly when we will run out of oil is like predicting when alien life forms will visit—no one truly knows.
Here’s the good news.
With the way the free markets work, chances are that if the supply of oil decreases, resulting in higher prices, entrepreneurs have an incentive to find innovative ways to locate and extract more oil to make a profit. Because of this, more oil is discovered and extracted, resulting in a more abundant supply and worries put at ease.
Also, because nobody knows when we’ll run out of oil, most likely we won’t deplete the supply until centuries down the line. Before this happens, entrepreneurs will have found new substitutes for oil that are cheaper and may provide additional benefits. We’ve already seen this happen over the last few decades with a reduced reliance on oil and fossil fuels for electricity generation in favor of more efficient and cheaper sources such as coal and natural gas.
If the day ever did come where supplies of oil were proven to be nearing depletion, rising prices would practically force entrepreneurs to find new energy resources to keep their companies afloat and profitable.
In fact, the only things really threatening energy production and innovation are government regulations that could block these innovators from mining, exploring and developing new technologies to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel-based energy.