Crude Oil Crisis
The modern world survives on a steady diet of energy that is obtained from a wide variety of places and is used in an even wider variety of ways. The undeniable dependence of our modern culture on energy has both positive and negative effects on the world we live in. While our lives get more convenient, the environment is suffering. While technology is used to improve the quality of life, our non-renewable energy resources are depleting. The double edged sword that is our energy reliance is a constant compromise between what the world wants, and what the world has. While solutions to these problems are difficult to enact, the world must be wise in the way that it consumes and uses the energy resources it has.
It is estimated that 98.16 quadrillion Btu of energy are used in the United States each year, the vast majority of which comes from non-renewable resources such as crude petroleum oil, coal, and natural gas (EIA, February 2005). This is particularly true in the United States where these three sources account for roughly 87% of the energy we use. The energy source that is most widely used is petroleum, which is primarily used in transportation, particularly of automobiles. The world relies on the use of automobiles to an excessive amount. Business transportation, product transportation and shipping, personal commute, and personal leisure are all aspects of the modern world culture that necessitate the tremendous use of petroleum. With these great benefits, however, come great problems.
One of the most pertinent and pressing issues in all of politics is concerned with the problem that this energy source is running out (On the Issues, February 2005). The source of all energy is the sun, which gives plants the energy they need to live, which essentially gives animals or other organisms the energy to live. This living matter is then converted into crude oil, which is formed deep within the earth over the course of millions of years with extreme...