What If the Oil Runs Out?
Commonly referred to as the black gold, oil is used in almost every aspect of human life to serve various functions. Chemically, oil is hydrocarbons that were formed millions of years ago when organic inclusions sank into the earth and due to the temperatures in the crust they were cooked Adelman 30). Since its discovery, oils has continued to serve human beings various purposes such as the production of energy for heavy machinery, planes, and ship. Oil is also used in the pharmaceutical industry as excipients in the manufacture of many drugs, and it is used in agriculture, fabrics and plastic manufacture. Due to the above factors, if the world was to run out of oil, mass panic, and chaos will be nothing but an understatement. It will mean an immediate end hold for civilization people, as a result, people should be very afraid of the imminent day because at the rate of consumption, it is soon becoming a reality.
According to international energy statistics, on a daily basis the entire world's oil usage is approximately 91,000 000 million barrels per day. Since the period when man gained access to this essential commodity, he has built his entire economy on it, just like an addictive drug, the society has grown to be fully dependent, and it is evident that not even a single day would normally go without oil. Scientific evidence indicates that oil was formed during the Jurassic period that dates back to about 150 million years ago following the death of ocean and earth creatures and as they were being superheated by under high pressure, oil was formed. Currently, oil is situated in the dome-reservoirs beneath the surface of the earth although another thicker form called bitumen often finds its way to the earth surface. These dome reservoirs are not equally distributed across the world. The major mines are located in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. The member countries exporting oil have identified themselves and called the organization OPEC which is an acronym for organizations of oil exporting countries.
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Perhaps those who should worry most when the world oil runs out are the global consumers of oil such as Russia, China, the United States, Japan and several countries in the Eurozone. Their general oil consumption far overpass many states, especially in Africa. To them, it will be more the just panic because almost all the systems have been integrated and make use of electricity and petroleum. For a start, electricity would go off within days because the trains that are at times used to deliver coal to the plants run on diesel that is a byproduct of oil. Additionally, with limited or loss of coal plant, the hydroelectric power system would shut down in weeks because they engines depend on oil for lubrication. As Douglas Fraser state in his article, the time is fast approaching for global users. The developing countries will not be spared, a majority of their imports such as medical equipment are transported by planes and ship. Additionally, with the integrated globalization and regional trading which has created a specialization, such countries will have to endure what they produce in surplus without any means of attaining what is scarce. No sector will be spared, the information sector for instance too depending on electricity that is generated from oil or water. Even alternatives all such as geothermal are all in one way or another linked. Human resource to manage the machines would have to be carried from their areas of residence and without efficient transport system they would remain stranded.
The most obvious thing for those who will manage to survive is that the society, in general, will slowly start to reconstruct. Global security will no longer be a very serious concern for the United States as in the case today because stealing will be revolutionized and be confined to remote and rural communities. The likes of the Al-Qaida and ISIS will only terrorize their areas but for a short time before they run out of fuel and resort to fitting among themselves. Technologically, oil technologies that were abandoned will start to reappear as pre-oil are will be slowly making its way. Civilization would date back to at least 400 years back because human beings have sophisticated their lives. However, an important concern would be nature balance. For instance, because human beings have destroyed organism because of globalization, some of the animals that allowed for easy survival have been tamed and killed and plants of medical important pruned. Perhaps even when the world goes back due to drying of oil wells the entire society might still not survive because of unbalanced food chain and ecosystem. It would be the end of the world and humanity. Worse of all is that human being would only blame themselves because they failed to make use of alternative and opted for the easy way, the status quo.
When oil dries out in the world that will mean a significant end of trade because there would be n means of transportation for the commodities. Essential and perishable products such as fruits and vegetable foods will no longer be transported because people will have to resort to the old ways of suing canoes to find their way across the sea and this would take months just to cut through two continents. Additionally, considering the threat levels at the sea with very minimal or weak defenses against dangerous sea creatures, the fate of the sailors will be hanging on a balance. To an extent, it might also cause political and territorial fights because the government will not be able to enforce the laws and its policies because of limited or no transportation. The society, in general, will, therefore, be in turmoil as those with ill motives will have their chance and destroy the lives of the innocent. It is for this reasons that the international community need to look at the bigger picture and avoid burying their heads in the sand because when the oil dries out it will inconvenience everyone.
It is said that approximately a trillion barrels of the essential commodity remain, this amount will not vanish in a day, and instead, it will become harder and very expensive to buy it. Alternatives such as gasoline diluted with ethanol will begin to hit the market so as to keep the prices at a considerable price. In such a case, electricity dependent cars prices will attract considerable attention to offset the prices. Oil based pharmaceutical products will also decline greatly and so will be the case with plastics. As demand continues to increase yet the supply is declining, recycling and lack of therapeutics will all be the course of the day. Those who will be having oil in stock will charge it for prices that suit them until their stock finally wears out and everyone s on the same boat once again. In general, drying up of oil will mean general increase in prices of almost everything because, in one way or another, they are all connected because petroleum is required for them to be transported.
With all this knowledge, it would be expected that the stakeholders would start looking for the alternatives so as to reverse the trend. However, another major point of concern is that, is it possible to revert to other alternatives such as coal, natural gas or even both of them. Another consequence that will result from this is the increasing change in climate and pollution. Already the world has been hit by pollution as is shown by the increasing sea level and dangerous weather patterns. If people resulted to coal to power the heavy locomotives, with the heavy fumes and the noise, it would accelerate pollution and global warming. The result of which humanity would be doomed after a short while because with increased carbon content and depleted ozone layer, harmful rays from the sun will penetrate and cause serious disorders such as skin and blood cancer. Alternatively, humanity would be doomed in general if the world runs out of or even when it opted to coal as an alternative.
Perhaps gas energy will serve better. In the United States, for instance, Fracked gas is undercutting oil and coal in the United States. The reason as to why it has been favored is because it has low emission and is considerably cheap. Additionally there will be a need for tougher regulations than the Kyoto Protocol and many others. It is evident that many countries especially those enjoying veto powers still continue to release carbon monoxide into the atmosphere beyond the agreed amounts. The European nation and other international environmental institutions will need to ensure that all the regulations are met. Asian countries have also taken center stage because their oil consumption is also on the rise and similar measures also need to be taken by the government. Perhaps another effective measure that many countries could adopt to counteract the looming reality if for countries to invest in nuclear energy. However, with existing research indicating concerns in its safety and cost effectiveness for developing countries especially in Africa where the existing revenue cannot support the cost of its construction. African countries will still be exploited due to the monopoly that has been created organizations such as OPEC.
The present and the future generation, therefore, needs to get ready for the time when oil is not the king commodity so that when the actual draft falls humanity it will be less painful. Rather than destroying all the industries and returning to the pre-oil era, modern business needs to devise interventions that would cut the over dependence on oil and have another commodity in its place. The sooner these alternatives are introduced, the better it is for everyone. Solar panels, nuclear technology, biofuels and tide power should take effect and more money pumped into nuclear research. Though it looks expensive and risky at the moment, it would help a great deal when the actual day finally down on us and the entire world is left with little or no oil energy. Inability to access essential service such as hospital due to lack of transportation media and battle for survival that can turn brothers against each other because of the limited resources. The future of the world, therefore, lies for everyone and especially the world leaders and major countries such as the United States, China, Russia, Japan that have continued to exhaust oil field instead of investing heartedly in the alternative power system. The future also lies with scientists who have put an effort in finding the best solution because with the current pace, oil is soon drying and this will create chaos and conflict everywhere in the world.
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