Week 5: Energy

10 Mar

During this week’s lectures we discussed peak oil in debt. I didn’t really understand what peak oil was beforehand. Of course I heard the phrase mentioned several times in the media. I thought peak oil meant that oil supplies were running dangerously low. In fact it means that we’ve only used up half the oil available in the world. Maybe this is the reason why many countries put renewable energy development on the long finger.

With the demand for oil ever increasing and production decreasing, the value of oil has skyrocketed which effects our economy disastrously. This, of course, is on top of the financial meltdown we have to endure, which means that quick recovery is made even more difficult. The developing world has vastly increasing its consumption of oil in the last 20 years.  Countries such as China and India are booming and it will be very difficult to convince them to develop more green economies, when it was mainly the first world that has caused most of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere.

The following pie chart shows the reliance of oil, coal and natural gas of the world’s economy.

In my opinion, we need to change from using these fossil fuels to  much more renewable  energy sources. And the sooner we begin this change the better. All our economic and social systems are based on oil and fossil fuels. We need oil for everything, weather it’s the food we buy in the supermarket or the clothes we wear, oil plays a vital part in it’s production and transportation. It’s going to be a difficult transformation but a vital one. The current path is simple unsustainable. The process of change is going to be very long and expensive and should be taken more seriously by many countries who are currently reckless in their energy usage.

We also discussed the positives and negatives of fracking in Leitrim. I’m think we should continue with the project. Although we should be trying to get away from fossil fuels and moving towards a greener society, the economic benefit will out weight the negatives I believe. It will create jobs in a time where it seems every second young person is emigrating. Also the financial benefit could be invested in renewable energy projects and research.

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