Oil has its pros and its cons – so let’s take a look at both in this balanced blog
- High Energy Density: One of the higher energy densities comes from oil. That means just a small amount of oil is able to produce a high amount of energy. That makes it quite useful since its high energy density is what makes it the preference choice to use as fuel in cars.
- Easy Availability and Infrastructure for Use and Transport: Oil is distributed widely to nearly every area of the world. There is also an enormous infrastructure for transporting oil to other areas via tankers, pipelines and ships. That means oil is available all over the world.
- Critical for a wide range of Industries: in addition to Transport, oil is also a crucial component is a broad range of other industries. It is hard to think of another commodity that plays such as an important role as oil does in so many different products, ranging from medicines, cloth, Vaseline, etc.
- Easy to Refine and Produce: Oil isn’t too hard to produce although a majority of low cost locations have been depleted already. Oil is now being mined off of tar sands and coasts in seas. Also, Oil Refinery Technology is oil and mature, implying that it is fairly easy to obtain valuable products such as petrol and diesel. There’s plenty more of it too as BP have found a shale gas basin recently according to Fircroft.
- Reliable and Constant Power Source: Oil, unlike wind and solar energy, is able to product power 24/7 and is very reliable. Also, oil engines are very reliable to work with and a mature technology.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG): A major disadvantage of Oil is it releases Carbon Dioxide that has been stored for millions of years within the dead bodies of animals and plants. That transfers the Carbon Dioxide from the Earth into the Environment which causes Global Warming. Global Treaties have been unable to place a Cost on it, although individual countries are attempting to account for it via Cap and Trade and Carbon Taxes.
- Pollution of Earth and Water: Oil spills have resulted in massive amounts of pollution being dumped into water bodies from oil supertankers. That has result in the deaths of thousands of fish and animals each year in addition to devastating local ecology. Billions of dollars in damages and losses were caused by the BP Oil Spill and small Oil Spills continue to occur to this day.
- Growth in Violence and Terrorism: Oil gets drilled in places with some of the very worst dictatorships like African countries and Saudi Arabia. Oil money goes into these despots hands to the tune of trillions of dollars. It has given rise to growth in terrorism and violence as oil money has been used for funding these organizations. Osama Bin Laden was from one of the Saudi’s richest families. Oil Money also works to suppress protesters.
- Emission of Dangerous Substances such as Acid Rain, Carbon Monoxide and Sulfur Dioxide: Oil Plants emit dangerous substances like Sulfur Dioxide which can cause Acid Rain and health hazards for the surrounding population. Although emission of the dangerous substances has been reduced by modern equipment, they are still quite harmful to human beings.
- Results in toxic and very harmful materials being produced during the refining process, with Plastic being one of the most dangerous substances: Oil is a mix of hydrocarbons and traces of sulfur as well as other compounds. When Oil is refined it results in harmful gases being produced such as Plastic and Carbon Monoxide.