Oil Trouble

A very old adage says “Once bitten, twice shy”. Yet, we as global citizens and people of the 21st century fail to understand a simple fact; oil is going to be exhausted. It creates pollution and is no longer a viable source of fuel for humanity as a whole.

Warnings have occurred in the past which should have put us on our guard. The 70’s oil crisis for one. Prices then had shot up to $100 an oil barrel and inflation occurred world wide. Economies suffered and heads rolled for it. The US faced a decline in economic growth. There was big talk of how every country in the world would unite in developing renewable sources of fuel that would save the world. Three decades later, we are suffering another economic crisis.

Today oil costs $140 per barrel in the International market. India, the so called new economic wonder is facing 11% inflation and US companies are facing the music in their own country. Again, oil has proven to be the spoilsport in a time when every one was expecting stability. Stability? The Iraq war was fuelled by a desire for control of oil sources. Yet, the US could not escape the oil trouble that has beset global citizens.

I believe that the root of this trouble is the international community’s desire to achieve lofty aims; forgetting basic solutions that can be put into action instantly. What is required is instant action and mobilization of people. Greenpeace activists who have repeatedly tried to knock sense into the G-8 rulers have been arrested, ridiculed and worse, ignored. This is a war that humanity has to fight together. We will have to reinvent ourselves. First, countries like India will have to stop insulating their people from the international oil prices. It is true that this would affect the economy but consumers cannot fill up their cars with subsidized oil and relax. Only when they feel the pinch will they arouse themselves. After this, car companies will have no choice but to bestir themselves to invent something that is less hard on the environment and on nature.

The next step is to bring back old modes of energy usage. The Dutch have the largest number of windmills in the world. Why is it not possible to use the wind in the vast coastal stretches of our country? Solar energy is going begging. How much use of it do we make? A study has shown that the Thar desert can power the entire country if utilized.

I believe that firm action needs to be taken now to avoid even graver future problems. India has the expertise to be a pioneer in this front. Instead of looking to a glorious sci fi time when nuclear energy will save us, the government should look at the two most basic forces of Nature – the sun and the wind. These can be the salvation that we are looking for.

Bio fuel is another source. Planting certain trees can lead to the production of biodegradable fuel that can be used in all kinds of vehicles. We know all this can be done. The time has come to forget elections and political motives for a greater cause. Indian governments seem to be always bent on preserving power rather than trying to ensure stability for the nation.

So, we have to face reality. There is no cover for the people from actual oil prices. More money needs to be allocated for research. Will instant action without political motives besieging it happen? It might just. The people need to be awakened. If the population wants something very badly, they can get it. I am sure that widespread education regarding the problems plaguing us and shooting costs especially can interest everyone in this nation of a billion to take action to bring some sane thought to the world.

Anushka Mathew

[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leejordan/2358587281/]