Life Without Petroleum Essays

Okay, so an apocalyptic view of deteriorating cities might be a little drastic… but there are many things that we use in our daily lives without giving them a second thought.

Oil is something that has become a significant part of our lives, and has been so for centuries. But have you ever paid heed to the fact that oil is a non-renewable energy source, and what would happen if this source ran out?

What would our lives be like today if oil did not exist in the first place? Let’s take a look at just several of countless ways our lives would be virtually unrecognizable.

Travel Without Oil

Whether it is your car, the bus, or school van, virtually all of our vehicles today run on gasoline. Without oil, our methods of getting from one place to another would be very different from what we enjoy today.

Electric cars are just now beginning to become a reality, but even today the technology has not matured to the point of offering a viable, practical alternative to gasoline vehicles.

However, the biggest impact would be on air travel, which is entirely dependent on jet fuel. Without petroleum there would be no such thing as boarding an airplane to travel across the country, or internationally. We would largely be confined to the areas immediately surrounding our residence, much as it was hundreds of years ago.

Sail and human-powered boats and ships have existed for thousands of years, of course, but even a modest voyage can take months, and what is today a relatively safe experience would again become excessively dangerous.

Plastics and Manufacturing

Fuel is far from the only practical implementation of crude oil. Whether it is the toothbrush you use every day, the contact lenses you wear, your running shoes, or your favorite clothing, nearly everything is derived from or manufactured using oil products in one way or another.

Plastic is the durable and long-lasting substance that is derived directly from petroleum and life without this single element would be drastically different than it is today.

Moreover, the medical field would look far different than it currently does, as a significantly large number of medical and operational products are derived from plastic. Plastic is used in latex gloves, syringes, sterilized packaging and also comprises the surgical components used in hip, joint and heart operations.

You may see plastic in abundance today. It may even be a biological hazard when improperly disposed of, but soon its prices will rise and the need to recycle it will increase by folds. The cosmetic industry will be rocked, since almost every cosmetic item (in composition as well as packaging) requires oil and oil-derived products.

Impact on the Food Supply

The mass production of food, preservation of food products and packaging is possible because of oil and its numerous byproducts.

Whether it is the heavy machinery that farmers use today to sow, harvest and clean the crops, or the pesticides and fertilizers they use to make these crops healthier and high-yielding, everything is thanks to oil.

The packaging and preservation industry depends abundantly of oil derived products. What food is grown in a world without oil will be more prone to decomposition. There would be no means of preservation or of widespread distribution, which means that every person would be put into a position of fending for themselves and producing their own food.

Without chemical oil-based pesticides and fertilizers, farmers would have to resort to organic farming practices, which would not only make the price of the foods rise tremendously, but also push us to adapt to the different types of meals, depending on the seasons.

The higher food prices have already pushed many to rethink the amount of food being wasted, and in a world without oil, we would have to save every portion of a meal in order to be economical.

From transportation and medical necessities to food production and much more, oil has become an inexorable part of our daily lives. One thing is for certain – life would be much more challenging if our oil were to suddenly run out.

Still Curious?

We have, of course, only scratched the surface of this hypothetical situation. We’re not the only ones who put forth answers to this question, however. For a more in-depth and visualized look at what our world would be like without oil, we recommend the following National Geographic presentation.

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Life Without Petroleum



Life Without Petroleum

What would it be like to live without Petroleum?  Well when you loose the 20th century tool
(Petroleum), the substance that brought us out of the Cowboy and Indian age into the Technology age, you
know there is going to be problems and major changes in the life of every human being and animal in the
world.  Oil has transformed the lives of individuals and the economics of nations.  The discovery of oil
creates wealth:  modern, industrial towns thieve where once there was only deserts and new jobs are
brought to areas of big unemployment.
Just think, no gas for your car, no candles because there is no wax, no fabrics, plastics, and
medicines, and building materials because there are no petrochemicals (useful substances that are derived
from oil.)  So when you wake-up in the morning and you go to drive to work, you find out that you cant
drive yourself because you have no gas and also because you dont have any oil to lubricate the parts of
your car..  And the place you worked at for years that is only about a 30 minute drive from your house is a
5 hour bike trip.
I think that everyone in world is just like smokers and drug attics, but unlike them we are in a lot
deeper than any drug attics or smoker.  What we as a world are addicted to is Petroleum.  The with drawl
symptoms for Petroleum are far worst than you could ever have for any drugs.  We have became addicted
to a substance that we knew we would loose one day, but we always that it would come after we are dead
or we would find something to replace Petroleum, but we never guessed that it would be coming over the
mountain in just a few decades.
But this isn't the end of the world many people say.  We have been preparing for this moment of
the world without oil for many years.  We have already created solar cars and and solar panels for your
house.  So many people would say that we are prepared for the fourth coming events of no Petroleum left
on the Earth.  But I say we still have a long way to go and that we still dont completely comprehend how
much we depend on and are addicted to Petroleum.
Just think about something for a moment, just think about what you use plastics for.  The look
around your room and try to find all the products in your room that are made of or have plastics in them.  I
bet that over 75% of the items in your room are made of or have plastics in them, and think of the same toy
or thing without that plastics, strange huh?  If the world could not produce anymore plastics, we would
have to recycle everything that has plastics in it and not through any plastics away because like I said we
are very dependent on our plastics witch are made from oil.  
Just think back to the oil crush of the 1970s.  During that time everyone went crazy because they
didnt have much oil, and that was just a oil crunch not the extinct shin of oil.  That one event I think
opened the eyes to the world and gave them just a taste of what the world would be like without Petroleum,
and how dependent we are to it.
My thoughts on this issue is that this addiction we have to oil could destroy us at the end.  We
are a world dependent on transportation.  If you want to go somewhere you dont walk or ride your bike,
you jump into your car and drive there.  We are also very used to the distributing process were most of your
food comes a long ways away by the way of trucks, trains, or planes.  Just think how empty your stores
would be without there daily food supply by trucks.  And remember that without gas, those trucks, trains,
and planes dont move one inch.  Without the food being brought in, were would we get our food, we could
still get it from some of the same sources but it would take a lot longer

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Peak oilEnvironmental economicsPetroleum politicsPetroleumFuturologyVegetable oils as alternative energyEnergy crisis

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