Would The World Grind To A Halt If We Stopped Oil Excavations Tomorrow?

Would The World Grind To A Halt If We Stopped Oil Excavations Tomorrow?

We’ve almost reached a make or break time in human evolution. First we learnt how to make tools and fire with the gifts mother nature had given us, then we worked out how to create electricity, and now we’re about to use the last of our oil supply….or are we? After speaking with a number of representatives and experts on both sides of the fence, it would seem our oil reserves are slightly larger than most mainstream media outlets would have us believe. In fact, just the pockets we’re mining at the moment, there’s enough to satisfy the world’s addictions for at least enough fifty years. On top of this, there are bound to be more pockets of oil and gas still lying undiscovered. Does this mean the whole drive towards renewable energy is a little premature?

Not necessarily. You see; we have to remember that old and gas isn’t just sitting around underground without a purpose. While it would seem with our current understanding that it has no real uses, mother nature tends to make very few mistakes, and so perhaps we’re overlooking something. Either way, there has been a massive debate around renewable energy for some time, and so we’re going to take a quick look at that argument. Many campaigners believe oil and gas drilling should be stopped immediately, but as you will see throughout the course of this article, that could seriously affect economies all around the world, and it’s very possible many industries would grind to a halt.

To make things a bit easier to understand, let’s consider all the benefits of both energy solutions before discussing how a sudden stop in oil production could drastically affect thousands of companies…

The benefits of natural oil and gas:

  • Abundance –  As you just learned, natural oil and gas is still very much abundant all over the world. This means production costs are actually very low, and drilling companies have the potential to earn significantly from its sale. Still, this won’t be the case forever, and so those environmental campaigners may well have a point.
  • Infrastructure already in place – If we moved over the renewable energy sources, an entirely new infrastructure would need to be built to produce and deliver this kind of power. That would cost hundreds of billions of pounds, which is money most companies simply don’t have to invest.
  • Can be used to power almost everything – While you could use renewables like wind or solar to power your car, this really wouldn’t be very efficient, and it would mean your vehicles would have to travel considerably slower when driving down the road. Petrols and diesels made from oil and natural gas can power almost anything, as most of the technology we have today was originally designed with this type of fuel in mind.

The benefits of renewable energy sources:

  • Less pollution – While the construction of wind turbines and solar panels will cause some small amounts of pollution, once they’re in working order, this soon stops. With oil and gas, you’ve got the problems caused by ocean spills, the dangerous chemicals we add to the atmosphere with combustion engines and much more. So, if our sole ambition was to save the planet, this would be the way to go.
  • Availability – As we’ve discussed, we will run out of naturally occurring oil and gas at some point in the next century, and so it should be seen as a positive that renewable sources of energy will never become depleted. So long as the world is spinning, and the sun remains at a safe distance away from the earth, we’ll always have enough wind and light to power everything we could ever want.
  • Price – After devices like solar panels have been purchased, it doesn’t cost a penny to harness renewable energy. This is probably one of the reasons why the oil and gas industry are trying to put the move off for as long as possible. Once every household is able to produce their own power, there simply won’t be any business left for those companies to take.

So, as you can probably see from all that information, there are logical and rational benefits to both sources of power and fuel. However, if we were to simply make the switch tomorrow, many different companies from many different countries would collapse, and this would obviously put millions of people out of work.

For instance, firms like Ausenco that specialise in the design and construction of pipelines for this industry could find a significant quantity of their most valuable clients go out of business. All the thousands of rig workers would need to find alternative employment, and even your local petrol garage would shut down within a matter of weeks.

With that in mind, we need to look at ways of combating this and making the transition a little more bearable for all the people involved. This is best done through a move many call the “tip-toe”. Basically, the transition needs to occur over a number of years starting with one oil application and moving to the next until renewables have taken over.

So, firstly, it would be a good idea to restrict non-renewable electricity to private homes. This can be done without ill effect if solar panels and all the other equipment needed is supplied to homeowners free of charge. Then, we should limit the amount of vehicle petrol and diesel in production to encourage people to purchase new, hybrid models. While these do still run on electricity, there’s nothing stopping us from creating this on windfarms. You get the picture, right?

I believe the correct term would be “softly, slowly, catchee monkey” which basically translates as “he who takes his time, is he who wins the race”.

Now you know a little more about the reality of the situation, we hope you won’t get too convinced by the arguments put forward by environmental activists. Yes, we do need to move away from non-renewable energy, but if we do it too quickly, the global economy will collapse.

Thanks for reading!

Image Credit : Flickr

Editorial Team
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