The Petroleum Engineering Handbook Sustainable Operations by M.I. Khan and M.R. IsIam
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The Petroleum Engineering Handbook Sustainable Operations by M.I. Khan and M.R. IsIam

Nature is perfect, both in space and time. To understand this perfection, one must use the science of intangibles. The premise underlying such a concept is that Nature operates and Humanity detects the tangible effects and formulates a response. However, the response has to take into consideration the role of processes within Nature that have up to now remained inaccessible to our capabilities of detection or measurement and hence “intangible” - either because of where we are looking, or because we become fixated on only certain tangible aspects that can maximize a financial return in the shortest possible time.

The hubris of the contemporary scientific and engineering enterprise resides in its bedrock belief that we have dealt with everything of importance and done all the heavy lifting necessary once we have identified all tangible features. However, a little reflection discloses that the tangible aspects of anything do not go beyond very small elements in space, i.e. As approaching zero; and even a smaller element in time, i.e. At = 0 (meaning, time = “right now”).

Some blame seemingly infinite corporate greed for the mess that we are in today. Not that corporate greed cannot be damaging, but, even if corporate greed is infinite, so is the Universe, and we are thus still left with no answer to the question: why this sustainability crisis? There is enough water, air, soil and fire to go around, each element being regenerated through nature’s ecosystem.

Each element is recycled and in these processes of recycling, each element enriches itself to make it more suitable for some portion or aspect of natural existence, all of which eventually contributes to the welfare of mankind. This beneficial endpoint derives not from humans being some “superior species”, or “on top of the food chain”, but only from the condition, and to the extent, that humans have the ability to think (Homo supiens means “thinking man”) and make use of natural processes.

This act of thinking, if driven by conscience (science of intangibles), should help us avoid harmful natural products. This awareness should at the same time invoke processes that enhance the natural processes, in order to achieve greater quality of life for all. Innovating science along this line, and engineering solutions to problems accordingly, opens some exciting and compelling prospects. Many of the obstacles built into present-day corporate arrangements could be countered and even shed in the most industrialized countries.

Humanity generally would be enabled to counter and shed many other obstacles built into present-day systems of political and economic governance found throughout all countries on this planet. Let all those who remain skeptical about or lack confidence in this overwhelming power realise that this is “an idea whose time has come”: from grasping reliable knowledge of scientific truth, consider what happened in the wake of Galileo’s insistence 350 years ago that the Earth revolves about the Sun.

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