Every now and then something really hits home.

A friend who runs an oil company mentioned, in passing, that while his company’s total reserves would keep the world going for just eight hours it will take the earth 40000 years to replace them. This struck home.

We are worried about carbon emissions and climate change while we should really be looking at the bigger picture. The earths fossil fuel reserves have enabled a step change in the evolutionary process – in as little as 250 years the global population will have increased 10 fold – thanks, in large part to cheap energy, but once this is used up mankind will have to wait another 40000 years for it to be replaced – that is the next 100 generations – so we owe it to them to use this precious gift wisely.

The pace of change continues and we are rapidly learning to use renewable energy sources. As a result of one passing comment I now look at my use of fossil fuels differently. I am worried about climate change but I also think about those future generations who will look back at us today and think how could they have been so wasteful of this precious resource?