Oil- ain’t never gonna run out, right??

There has been some debate recently on whether or not the world will eventually run out of oil. Back in the early 2000’s, the world was in fear of what was labeled “the end of the oil age.” Reports were saying that the world had reached Peak Oil, or that we had consumed most of the oil within the Earth’s crust, and now the quantity remaining would dwindle rapidly until we had consumed it all.

But recently, thanks to new techniques like hydraulic fracturing, we’re able to get more oil out of the ground and into our gas tanks. With this advancement, the supply of oil has sharply increased and we are now hearing that the world will not run out of oil.

Quite a different story than what we heard just over a decade ago. So which is it? Will we run out of oil or not?

The short answer is yes; at the current rate of consumption (93 million barrels per day) the world will most assuredly run out of oil. Anyone who says differently has their own agenda and is not relying on reason or science to base their conclusion. Like this guy…

His argument may make sense, but disguising a lie within false economic principles, while convincing, is still a lie.

Oil is a nonrenewable resource, which by definition means that once we use all of it; it’s gone, for good. I could go into what oil is and why it’s a nonrenewable resource, but instead I simply supply this link and you can read up if you feel so inclined.

History has shown us that with the increase in technology we also see an increase in energy consumption. The two are interrelated and with the sharp jump in technological advancement in the past decade we have seen the same jump in energy consumption. We hear a lot about the advancements in engines and motors that now cause fewer emissions, but with the rapid increase in energy consumption, we are still seeing higher levels of energy use which leaves us with the highest emission levels we’ve seen in four decades.

The real question is not if we will run out of oil, but how long should we be using it. The fossil fuel that is pumped out of the ground and into the atmosphere by our engines and kerosene lamps (I’m looking at you people from 1896) is simply not good for the environment- we all know that. Yet we fail to be motivated to make necessary changes for a variety of reasons- explained well in this video.

The issue is not if we will run out of oil, but rather that we simply cannot afford to use it at the levels we currently do for much longer. While we have a more diverse selection of energy options than ever before, from wind to solar to hydroelectric, fossil fuels still dominate by a large margin. This excessive use continues to have adverse effects on the environment, many now irreversible.

But as we continue to advance in our knowledge of how to use renewable energy sources the prospect of relying less and less on fossil fuels becomes more realistic. A future most would probably agree is an encouraging one.

References

BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/14RCDJGGVbf64qP1s4dwz98/what-happens-if-we-run-out-of-oil

How Stuff Works

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/run-out-of-oil.htm

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