Did Oil Really Save The Whales?

If it weren’t for the discovery of crude oil, whales would have been hunted to extinction for blubber. We’ve all heard the argument, and it makes sense from this perspective: For a time, whale fat was the dominant fuel for lamps and material for candles because it was less smelly than tallow and created less smoke. Then, kerosene came on the scene and rendered whale fat obsolete. One point for the oil industry and one point for the whales. However, reality is rarely linear or black and white.  And in this case, the dueling realities…