The Oil Crisis and Alternative Energy Ideas

Essay by lunau_77College, UndergraduateA+, May 2003

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Fuelled by Greed: The Oil Crisis and Alternative Energy Ideas

According to a study done for Environment Canada, a large oil spill can be expected to hit in or near Canadian waters every one to two years. The question of who's to blame for these oil spills, is often answered improperly. Considering that most oil is intended for the use in our vehicles, an ad from Greenpeace, quoted by Gordon and Suzuki (1990), pointed the finger rather precisely. Under the picture of the Exxon Valdez's captain, a caption read: "It wasn't his driving that caused the oil spill, it was your's." Our consumer society, which is driven by economic gain, often leads to the detrimental effects of oil production in our world today. Despite alternatives to oil, our affluence, obliviousness to alternative energy, and extreme dependence on this energy source allow economic greed to further the depletion of this precious fossil fuel.

We live in a fast paced society that is preoccupied with affluence. This contributes to the depletion of our oil reserves day by day. Most of the oil that is produced is intended for use in the transportation sector - cars, trains, airplanes and buses. In North America, we are used to getting where we want to go, when we want to. As a direct result of our affluence, owning our own vehicles allows us to succumb to the convenience of making any number of stops on our own route, on our own schedule. Due to the convenience of our affluence, we over use the precious commodity of oil.

A study done for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) revealed that even if public transit were easy to use, cheap, and efficient, people wouldn't give up their cars. The survey found that most of those who didn't use public...