The Age of Oil Comes to an End

The Age of Oil Comes to an End

Dan Meyers

It goes to war for oil, it hurts the environment using oil, and it destroys our marine life losing oil. America, you are addicted to oil. Consuming 20,680,000 barrels a day, you have won yourself first place in the international oil drinking contest—a shameful achievement and your thirst can’t be quenched. Despite its menacing existence in America’s economy, little has been done to free the U.S. from this harmful vice. Is an intervention necessary? The war in the mid east’s purpose has largely been attributed to gaining oil, but with the recent oil spill safer alternatives are on everyone’s minds—and rightly should be.

Spilling over 4.1 million barrels into the Gulf of Mexico, the BP oil spill is considered one of the largest oil spills of all time. In just three days the oil slick spread over 580 square miles damaging any aquatic life it encountered. Although BP is largely culpable, the consumer is also at fault here. The individual is demanding and willing to pay so much for oil that its only natural BP would rush their job. The spill is thought to have been preventable considering the foolish BP managers received sufficient data that informed an imminent blow out. Such negligence is unacceptable. Drilling may be getting safer with advancements in technology, but proper safety regulations still must be enforced especially when both human and animal lives are at stake.

Along with the eleven men that were killed, marine life also had to pay its toll for the oil blowout. Fish’s lungs filled up with toxins, breeding was disrupted, oil was mistaken for food and the food chain crumbled. Even birds could not escape the oil’s massacre as the weight from the oil on their wings caused them to drown. It should come as no surprise that America’s addiction is killing the animals because it is also killing our earth. Whether we are spilling it into our oceans or burning it in our cars, oil is a destructive substance. Every time a car revs its engine it is adding to the mass of greenhouse gasses accumulating in our atmosphere warming our globe. In a few decades or so parents will have to explain to their children why the earth is burning like an egg in a pan due to these harmful chemicals while oil companies sit on golden thrones. It’s a dismal look into a possible but not definite future. This is why America must wean itself off its addiction. This is why America must seek healthy alternatives.

Considering the limited oil supply is dwindling, it is only natural that the future lies with reusable energies. Sun and wind are two forms of energies that have emerged successfully. They differ from oil in that they don’t emit harmful toxins into the environment and are free. True, the wind turbines or solar panels would be expensive to set up but they clearly have their benefits. Replacing fuel with sun or wind energy will make up for the high installation cost. Just one turbine or panel can help reduce dependency on fuel-run generators. For cars, electric engines are replacing dependency on fuel engines with cars like the hybrid. The car is efficient and healthy for the environment. With technologies always advancing these reusable energies will get more cost efficient and effective.

Naturally, it is unreasonable to ask for America to quit oil, cold turkey. As of now it’s more convenient and plays too large of a role in our economy for it just to disappear over night. A gradual change must occur and the weight of this change will be put on the consumer. Next time you’re going to buy a car, buy a hybrid instead of that Hummer you had your eye on— you’ll save money on gas plus help our environment in the process. Try conserving heat energy around the house or purchase yourself a solar panel, consumer. It is important that America starts putting its money in the right hands; the hands of the future, not the oil and blood stained hands of the past. The oil binge has gone on long enough, its time for an intervention.