Kevin Kelly writes:
Crude oil is almost $140 per barrel.
By now you’d think we would know where it comes from.
No one really knows. The conventional wisdom is that oil descends from algae from eons ago. Lots and lots of algae. Unimaginable mounds of dead algae in quantities no longer found on this planet, pressed, and cooked into hydrocarbon liquids. Thus: fossil fuel. Others, notably the Russians, have an alternative theory that oil comes from non-biological carbon compounds deep in this planet, like the methane oceans we find on other planets. In this scenario oil is a planetary phenomenon. Indeed this abiogenic oil could still be forming in the earth. Thousands of Russian papers supporting this view have still not been translated. The American astrophysicist Thomas Gold also advocated a similar idea (which may or may not have been influenced by the Russians) in his book “The Deep Hot Biosphere : The Myth of Fossil Fuels”.
This reminds me that we have made only the most esoteric of references to Thomas Gold.