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Transcript of Oil Timeline
Deemed the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill was a result of a the explosion of Deepwater Horizon, a BP drilling rig, on April 20th 2010. The explosion released approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil and caused extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats. Drilling RIg Explosion in Gulf of Mexico Damages from the process of extracting oil A drilling rig in Alaska Arctic Refuge drilling controversy:
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a controversial issue. While digging oil in this area could greatly help the economy, and lower America’s dependency on oil imports, there are concerns over the effect it may have on the ecology. As of 2011, Obama has suggested more drilling needs to be done in order to increase oil production and decrease oil prices. Oil prices are another big concern. As with most commodities, prices for oil are volatile, depending on supply and demand, which geopolitical factors can affect. 2008 Oil Crisis In July 2008 oil prices reach a peak of over $147 per barrel due to geopolitical concerns over war in Iran. Buyers were concerned over Iran’s missile test, and suppliers were unable to convince them that they would properly be able to deliver oil. Hubbert Peak Theory In 1956, M. King Hubbert developed the Hubbert Peak Theory which states that the production of oil will increase due to the discovery rate, after reach its peak point, and then decline because of resource depletion. Predictions for peak oil production are from as early on as 2006 to more optimistic predictions of 2020, which means the search for alternative energy sources is a priority. Hubbert's prediction of global oil production rates OPEC OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, aims to stabilize oil prices and sustain the supply of oil that is distributed today. OPEC owns two thirds of oil reserves around the world, and controls more than half the oil exports; even so, OPEC’s goal to sustain oil is not a permanent fix. 2045 2050 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 Due to rising sea levels, the Carteret Islanders, of Papua New Guinea had become the first official refugees of climate change. Now, the Carteret Island has completely disappeared, going underwater. Due to the oil crunch, US have increased its production of ethanol as an alternative. While this has helped to some degree, global food prices have risen due to the large amount of land needed for crops. Large amount of land needed has also resulted in deforestation, therefore more CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere. As a result of global warming, temperatures have risen by a global average of 1°C. This has caused problems around the world- Africa has become completely ice-free for the first time in 11,000 years, melting glaciers in the Himalayas has caused massive flooding, and Kansas, Nebraska and several other states in the US are affected by dustbowl conditions similar to the 1930’s. The agriculture and economy in these states have been greatly affected, only worsening the damage to global fuel and food prices. China’ economy continues to boom, and the developments had caused its power requirement to increase drastically, including oil.
The biggest refugee crisis in world history is created because of torrential flooding caused by rising sea levels, extreme weather and melting glaciers. Tens of millions of people are displaced from their homes in Bangladesh. Conflict erupts along the border between Bangladesh and India as people try and evacuate the country. Relief efforts are ineffective due to the scale of the disaster. Carteret Island in Papua New Guinea dustbowl-like conditions "ethanol pump" Flooding in bangladesh Population growth has increased, with over 8 billion people on Earth, and 1.5 billion people in India, its population official greater than China's. Our ecological footprint has become so large; it requires the equivalent of two Earths in order to sustain itself. Natural resources are becoming scarcer, and energy requirements have reached a peak. Climate change has only grown worse, with carbon dioxide emissions now over 40,000 million metric tons. Governments of many MEDCs are beginning to tax more on petroleum and car usage in order to encourage ethanol use, and lower dependency on Middle East. This has sparked major problems in LEDCs, where overpopulating countries such as India are suffering from lack of basic resources such as clean water and food, causing severe malnutrition, not helped by the fact that they have to share potential food with cars. Oil in the Middle East has been declining for the past 20 years, and it has now become apparent that it is past its peak oil production. Western countries have injected their money into research for alternative energy rather than oil, resulting in great turmoil in the Middle East, which is slowly slipping into poverty. Due to global warming, the arctic is now completely ice-free during September. Map of the Middle East A band aid has been put on the crisis of water shortage due to overpopulation and climate change. Floating “energy islands” are becoming fairly common. Each island obtains power through wind turbines and solar energy, and produces drinkable water through flash-evaporating seawater. Each plant can provide 600 million liters of drinkable water per day, meeting the energy demands of 250,000 households per day. A technological fix, MEDCs are free to use up its water resources again, until the next major crisis, while LEDCs continue to suffer of water shortage. The global population has now reaches 8.5 billion, and global average temperatures have risen by 2°C. The arctic is now free of ice for several weeks a year. Global food and water shortages are increasing. While MEDCs can afford energy islands, LEDCs are still suffering. Climate change has deeply affected farmlands and forests, turning them into deserts and displacing tens of millions around the world. Meanwhile, research in alternative fuels is going well, however demand for fuel far outpaces supply, therefore it is still very expensive. With people more concerned about preserving remaining oil than putting money in the economy, we fall into another recession. Rising global temperatures has created unlivable conditions in many countries around the world. Millions of climate refugees have no place to go, the population continues to rise and natural disasters have become even more frequent. As a result of global warming, Wildfires have tripled in some regions in North America, causing visibility to decline, and damage to health. Deforestation and droughts have caused 45% of the Amazon to be destroyed. Our biodiversity has been completely destroyed, thousands of species on the brink of extinction including Indian elephants, polar bears, and many more. The world is in deep recession, which has caused severe depression, poverty, and an increase in suicidal rates. Hexagonal shaped "energy islands" World Population has reached its peak Wildfire Actions It has become clear that we have passed peak oil production. In an attempt to preserve oil for its future needs, OPEC countries have stopped drilling oil, and are supplying less oil. Therefore, oil prices have risen.
As a result, countries are spending more money on alternative energy sources. Thousands of wind turbines plants have been made across Alaska, Canada, Russia and northern Europe. Some European countries now obtain over 25% of their electricity from wind. Solar energy has also made advancements, and with government incentives, the number of homes with solar power are increasing, as they are now affordable to the middle class. Carbon sequestration, geoengineering projects involving strips of algae on sides of buildings, which will absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, are becoming more common, especially in urban areas. Although this is only a temporary technological fix, it helps reduce carbon emissions, and delay the effects of global warming while the world becomes less dependent on oil. Large-scale investments in renewable energy has paid off, as Sweden has now become the first oil free country, no longer using gasoline cars or oil-heated homes. No longer has dependant on foreign oil, Sweden’s economy continued to grow. Other MEDCs follow in Sweden’s footsteps, hybrid cars and solar-paneled housing becoming more frequent. This has caused Carbon dioxide and green house gas emissions to begin decreasing, noticeably lessening the effects of global warming. Wind Turbines geoengineering designs with strips of algae on the sides of buildings Map of Sweden San Francisco is now completely powered by solar energy. California, which used to be the 12th largest emitter of carbon globally, is largely becoming solar-paneled, successfully bringing its emissions levels back to 1990 levels. home solar panels The majority of cars used are plug-in electric or hybrids, as they are smaller and more efficient. With the rising oil prices, and government incentives, the demand for plug-in electric and hybrid cars had increased. Due to the competition in this market, a number of technological advances have been made- allowing these cars to be cheaper, lighter, faster to recharge, and to travel a further distance. New cars have been especially popular in China, where the government has made swift upgrades to both transport and infrastructure. charging point for electric cars Advancements in fusion technology have finally reached a point where fusion power is commercially available. Fusion power plants sustainably reduce the environmental impacts of world electricity demands, without contributing to acid rain or the greenhouse effect. With no chance of catastrophic accidents, only producing a small amount of harmless helium, and no long-lasting radioactive waste, fusion power is the perfect source of energy. Fusion powered electricity is inexpensive, limitless and pollution free. Clean energy is widespread, and fossil fuels have become obsolete. With fusion power dominating electricity needs, as well as solar power and wind power as alternatives. All cars are either electric or hybrid-electric, in which case they use newly perfected hydrogen fuel. solar energy panels Our carbon footprint has drastically decreased over the last 50 years, to the point where global warming is no longer an eminent issue. Sea levels and global temperature have decreased and stabilized. Our population has been stabilized and we manage our resources well and there is no threat of resource scarcity anytime soon. With energy for future years, and no environmental threats, the world is balanced. to make the probable preferbale Large-scale investments in renewable energy and research Governments need to increase expenditure on renewable energy sources that can both, meet the needs of people and will not harm the environment (i.e. solar power, hydropower, wind power)
Transnational companies should begin investing in renewable resources, which will be necessary as oil runs out-providing an environmentally, cost effective alternative should be a priority in the long run
Governments should provide grants to cities and universities to conduct long-term climate research and renewable resources such as hydrogen fuel or fusion power. Mass transit Government should build public transport that is both comfortable and accessible throughout a city, especially in cities affected with severe traffic, as this greatly decrease fuel consumption and carbon emissions
Individuals should opt to use public transports or walk over private transports
Governments should increase taxes on cars, in which case individuals would prefer to use the public transport system Carbon Sequestration Geoengineering projects such as algae strips on sides of buildings or artificial trees can help trap and remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere
While it is not a permanent solution, it will help to alleviate climate change as we work to decrease our carbon emissions Tax Incentives for MEDCs Raise taxes on energy and on carbon dioxide emissions, so that cars emitting no carbon dioxide will be more inexpensive that cars emitting carbon dioxide
Companies producing cheaper and smaller car which use less gas per km should get more tax benefits
Providing tax incentives for more energy efficient housing (i.e. installing solar energy systems or geothermal heat pumps) Resource Scarcity due to
Overpopulation Overpopulation is a growing concern, especially because we are running low on resources such as oil. In order to tackle overpopulation:
Better worldwide access to family planning
Empowering women through education as well as increasing their legal rights in certain countries so that women can have more of a say in decisions regarding children
Tax laws to discourage having too many children Mubina Kapasi 11e The End Bibliography Sustaining Oil for the
Future The UN or an unbiased global organization needs to work to maintain our remaining oil supplies at a stable price and setting reasonable quotas so that countries get a realistic amount of oil as we work towards finding alternatives "China to Be World's Largest Economy in 2025." Chinadaily US Edition. Web. 12 May 2011.
"Future Timeline." FutureTimeline.net. Web. 10 May 2011.
Lynas, Mark. "Six Steps to Hell." The Guardian UK. Web. 12 May 2011.
Morden, Johanna. "San Francisco Targets 100% Solar Energy by 2020." FutureGov. Web. 10 May 2011.
Morton, Adam. "First Climate Refugees Move to New Home." The Age. Web. 12 May 2011.
"Nuclear Fusion." World Nuclear Association. Web. 14 May 2011.
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