Essay: Era of Cheap Oil Is Over Forever

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¶ … era of cheap oil is over forever. We need to learn to live without it and to rely on alternative, renewable sources of energy. With global demand rising and available supplies shrinking, higher and more volatile prices and shortages could provoke the end of suburbia. The era of cheap, abundant oil is indeed coming to a close and unfortunately paradoxically, the fight against climate change could be in very deep trouble. According to James Schlessinger, peak oil theories are correct and the world oil supply has reached a maximum and will fall off dramatically and demand will outstrip supply. According to Jeroen vander Veer, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, after 2015 easily accessible oil and gas will not keep up with demand. Citibank feels it will be 2012. Whichever is correct, this does not give us much time to cure our addiction to energy and our need for a more exotic "fix." This transition to other forms of energy such as wood to coal and coal to oil were gradual, but the oil peak is abrupt and will bring revolutionary results (Hertsgaard). Unfortunately, the pressure to find quick fixes could jeopardize efforts to mitigate global warming and pollution.

Everything from mining tar sands to nuclear energy is being posited to pick up the slack. The cost of such alternatives in terms of pollution cleanup (especially with regard to nuclear energy) may make such alternatives uneconomical and could cause an economic downward spiral even worse than the present one once the hidden costs are considered. Ironically, our imagining living without oil could make our lives without it worse by bringing on more extreme alternatives to oil. A more gradual transition could be brought about by crash development programs to develop solar, wind and other types of energy. Conservation could put off the day of the oil peak and facilitate a more gradual transition so that we will not have to rely upon the more extreme energy types such as nuclear energy. Unfortunately, the scenario that the author may be painting of a world without oil and oil products may be a radioactive wasteland.

Ironically, the construction… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Essay:

APA Format

Era of Cheap Oil Is Over Forever.  (2010, November 28).  Retrieved December 8, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Era of Cheap Oil Is Over Forever."  28 November 2010.  Web.  8 December 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Era of Cheap Oil Is Over Forever."  November 28, 2010.  Accessed December 8, 2019.