Call For Conservation as Oil Prices Mount

Posted on February 6, 2010 in Business and Economy

Abhirup Bhunia:

Just as oil and its uses find application in every walk of our lives, its conservation should be an integral part of our lives too. Dearth of oil has already been felt and soon its death will follow if we don’t get our skates on. The population and subsequently the demand have multiplied but the production fails to match up and somehow remains the same.

Strangely despite organizing various awareness programmes including implementation of mass media like advertisements, they have not impacted the people and that very clearly brings out the ignorance of people about the crucial role that oil plays in our lives. The majority of the people do not have any inkling that almost very activity or appliance is reliant on oil directly or indirectly.

According to one of the Energy Information Administration studies, petroleum serves almost 40% of the world’s energy requirements. With the explosion of population, the demand for energy has risen and that has resulted in fallout between production and consumption. In fact the latter surpasses the former by a definite margin. The world energy consumption has been growing by 2.4% or more per year. It is only due to this that the oil prices are rocketing.

When put together, the whole idea of conserving oil to secure the future seems to be an uphill task but the moment small steps are taken by every individual the challenge becomes easier to confront. Energy conservation refers to the wise and effective use of energy and the absolute elimination of any kind of wastage. Before talking of larger methods let us examine the great extent to which conservation is in our hands. When not needed, all electrical appliances should be switched off, though the practice of this technique has been pleaded many a times, little change is observable.

If the distance intended to cover is little, it is preferable that one walks instead of taking the car, that way some petroleum is conserved. Reusing and recycling is a major way of conservation, since it is quite obvious that the moment we tend to purchase something unnecessarily we contribute to loss of resources and energy. Instead of picking global products, settling on local goods is a viable option to conserve energy, given that a large amount of fuel is wasted in transportation of the goods from international markets.

When it comes to apparels it is best to try and lessen the purchase of synthetic clothes as its production comes with a lot of oil consumption.

Coal is perhaps the most feasible substitute to oil, and that is what countries like the United States, China and India are looking to explore soon. Saudi Arabia and Russia are two of the major producers of oil or petroleum. The consumption of oil in India and USA are almost thrice the production and for India this can be accredited to overpopulation without any shilly-shallying. Taken as a whole, the world’s consumption of energy at the moment is huge and the ever growing demand is least likely to be fulfilled, moreover the production falls short of the consumption.

It is believed that the poverty stricken who already have no access to energy and the millionaires are the two factions of people who will not actually suffer. Alternative sources of energy which are natural and renewable include tidal energy, solar energy, wind energy and geothermal energy but the feasibility of putting these into operation is an uncertainty and implementing these on a large scale is too much to achieve at this time of exigency.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports, barely 0.9% of world’s energy demands are fulfilled by all these sources taken together. Coal for this reason is the strongest possibility of replacement, and a fair amount of contribution is already being made by coal. Even though it’s difficult, natural sources of energy as mentioned above will have to chip in and act as a feasible energy resource in the days to come. This could also obviously assure a greener and less polluted world as no contamination comes with these sources unlike oil.

Coal has a serious role to play in the upcoming years since oil will seize to be the primary source very soon. On any given day petroleum cannot be perfectly replaced with a substitute considering the efficiency of oil, and this is the biggest reason to conserve it. We can only be hopeful and optimistic that some other source of energy in the years to come can be deemed fit to serve the world as resourcefully as petroleum. Till then the best efforts to conserve oil should be on. Whether it is an organization or an individual, whatever little is possible for each one of us, it is best to keep endeavoring until the day comes when oil conservation falls under the daily routine.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.