In a World Without Oil

March 21, 2013
What would happen if all of the oil in the world would disappear all at once? What would we be forced to change about our daily habits? Throughout the last two weeks our class simulated an oil shortage that depicts that very scenario. We learned how dependent we are on oil and one of the possible outcomes of what would happen if the world really did just lose all of its oil. The world really is addicted to oil and would be crippled beyond what is imaginable if the oil would just go away. If we were to sever the need of oil, the world might not run as efficiently, but it would still be able to continue should we reduce or eradicate our need.

The world would clearly be cut off at the legs if all of the oil were to become nonexistent. Not just gas would go away, but almost all of our modern conveniences would too. Some countries depend completely on exporting goods for an economy, and should the oil become used up that industry isn’t the only one to suffer. The countries that are used to the idea of having imported take it for granted. We also tried to figure out which businesses would go bankrupt or continue running. Citizen journalism and other sources of information from the general public would play a big part in keeping the rest of the communities in touch with the rest of the world. Think of what you use in your daily life that is made of or uses plastic, oil, or even some of the foods you eat that have been treated with fertilizer and imagine them no longer available.

It is extremely possible to reduce or even eliminate our reliance on oil. Everyone that gets asked the question “Can we reduce our oil consumption?” replies with something like “Yes, renewable energy sources can sustain our power consumption.” but that is not the case because renewable energy sources account for less than ten percent of the USA’s total power consumption. We can develop new technologies to increase our ability to rely on renewable resources; however, if we would help eachother out a bit and realize that the planet is at stake here, we might make it through the inevitable oil depletion. Electric cars are already existing, some people have solar panels for their houses, and some schools are even using wind turbines for power. But the problem with all of these methods is that they are too expensive for the average person to afford or the location of the building is wrong for any sort of natural power source. But if we actually set aside our differences, stop trying to get an edge over everyone else, and help everyone out if we can we could very easily become a world of peace and prosperity. The third world countries would really have an advantage in getting used to no oil because most of them have yet to develop a dependency on it.

Is our community prepared for an oil depletion? The real question is “Is any community prepared for even an oil crisis?” Really no community can be fully prepared for an oil depletion. The USA is one of the heaviest oil consumers in the world, there’s no way that we will be able to eliminate our oil dependency before it actually runs out. As stated before, unless we can work together we can not get through the oil depletion without losses. It is predicted that riots will take place, looting will happen soon after oil runs out, and the whole organized system of government we have will likely get thrown into a chaotic form of anarchy at the best case scenario. Foreign policies would be thrown out the window, imported goods and supplies would become a luxury if they even still exist, and everything would come from the local area. But you would really think there would be some preparation since the oil crisis of 1973 and 1979.

Clearly the world would be devastated by the oil depletion. Would a world without oil survive? Probably, but would the depletion leave a mark in history. We can get through it without much damage if we do the following: actually help each other, research new alternative energies and improve existing ones, and learn to be adaptable to new problems by giving up what we know will eventually run out or improving it so it can be usable.

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