Monday, August 6, 2012

The Future of Oil and the World’s Dependence on It

How much time do we have before oil will run out? According to experts in about 50 – 100 years we will have to find alternate sources of energy other than oil, because it will no longer be available then. It is evident now that countries are willing to go to great lengths in securing oil supplies and reserves if it deems that it is in its best interest to do so, some even would go to war because of this. China for one is over militarizing the South China Sea in order to bully and claim territories, that under the United Nations international laws, they have no legal claims to. Just like the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly’s Islands near the Philippines for example; they have sent dozens of their powerful Navy ships to deny the Philippines any access to those regions, because underneath those islands lie a huge oil and natural gas reserve that will supply much needed energy to the country for 50 years or more.

Right now the tensions soar because the Americans are helping their ally the Philippines in reclaiming what was rightfully theirs. Experts fear that too much US presence in the area could drag their military into an unwanted war with the Chinese. Fortunately, all parties involve would deal with much diplomacy and not having have to resort to conflict, which will do no good to everybody. Oil has been the planet’s primary source of energy since its discovery back in 1859 and it’s alarming to know that we have not found a viable replacement for it. As of today we are consuming over 88 million barrels of oil every day and this number is expected to increase every decade, meanwhile oil reserves are slowly grinding down to a halt until there is no more.

There is no future for oil because it derived from dead plants and animals that lived 60 – 100 million years before we got here. But if you want to get technical, then all we have to do is wait a hundred million years before we can dig up oil once again, and those will have come from the people, animals and plants that are existing now. Not a very nice thought to ponder isn’t it? It’s almost disgusting having to burn your relatives’ remains to fuel your “high-tech” vehicle, but that is the truth. We base our society on an inefficient economy and we need to think of a better way to harvest energy before it’s too late.

At the moment we’ve been able to harness the energy of the sun by using solar panels, we’ve also enhance wind power through our wind mills; we’ve also created Lithium Ion-based electric vehicles as well as a hybrid vehicle that use both gas and electricity. But we are still far from replacing oil with a clean and reusable energy source. Some say that bio-diesel is the key and that it is the most preferred liquid fuel source that has the same output as petrol, when it comes to gas-to-mileage ratio. Hopefully research and development will be funded to look into it, so that in 10 or 20 years from now we will be able to replace oil with it.

Here is the documentary made by National Geographic entitled “Aftermath – World Without Oil” from YouTube:

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