Tuesday, February 24, 2009

10 reasons why we should switch from oil to renewable energy as soon as possible

I wrote this list, please pass it on if you find it interesting or want to educate others!

1) Of the top 10 Petroleum exporters, 2 are actively hostile toward the US (Iran and Venezuela) and 3 (Russia, Nigeria and Algeria) aren’t exactly allies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum#Export). Oil has propped up dictatorships from Latin America to Africa to the Middle East (http://archive.peacemagazine.org/v14n3p08.htm).

2) Saudi Arabia, the world’s top exporter, has been linked to multiple terrorist attacks on the US, including 9/11, and is the source of Osama bin Laden’s wealth (http://www.iags.org/fuelingterror.html).

3) On a similar note, the US is by far the world's largest importer of petroleum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum#Import) and consumer of petroleum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum#Consumption). Wouldn't it be great if all that money we spent on oil went into the US economy instead of #1 and #2 on this list?

4) The number of jobs in the oil and gas industry is approx 400,000 (http://www.petrostrategies.org/Learning%20Center/People_Who_Work_in_the_Oil_and_Gas_Industry.htm). The number of jobs in renewables is currently in the millions, and expected to increase by anywhere from 8 to 20 million jobs in the next 20 years (http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2008/09/report-global-green-job-market-expected-to-explode-53686)

5) The burning of oil (not to mention coal, natural gas, etc) has been linked to a sharp increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere and is considered by many in the scientific community to be the leading cause of global warming (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686).

6) Oil is largely controlled by OPEC (OPEC consists of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Venezuela), an organization that doesn’t have US interests at heart and can dictate oil prices. These radical shifts in price negatively affect the US economy (http://www.iags.org/costofoil.html).

7) Oil spills are one of the many environmental hazards of oil production, releasing millions upon millions of tons of oil into the world’s oceans, killing marine life, destroying coastline and costing billions to clean up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills).

8) The emissions that come from cars, trucks etc burning oil (not to mention coal from power plants) are extremely bad for your health and have been linked to a range of illnesses and deaths (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/medical_notes/336738.stm).

9) Plastic, which is made of petroleum, has been linked to a variety of health problems (http://www.ecologycenter.org/factsheets/plastichealtheffects.html), is barely biodegradable (it takes thousands of years to breakdown and leaches chemicals when it does) and accounts for a growing percentage of total landfill volume. It also has other unintended environmental consequences: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Trash_Vortex

10) Petroleum is a finite resource, and at current rates of consumption, is expected to run out by the end of the century (http://www.geotimes.org/nov02/feature_oil.html). Even if it doesn’t, as oil supplies get lower, prices will skyrocket and oil-related conflicts could increase dramatically.


Paula said...

Great list,Owen. Renewables are so clearly superior that it's a testament to the power and influence of the oil industry that they are lagging so far behind in investment and implementation.I'm optimistic that things are beginning to change, however, and spreading the word as you've done here can only help! People need talking points when they are faced with naysayers.

chris said...

Hey, Owen,

My name is Chris and my wife and I currently live and work (until we get laid off) in San Francisco. We've been sitting over a map of the world, blank sheets of paper and an excel document with projected money we will be spending and of course, not earning.

Nevertheless, we were considering the peace corps but on of our friends have done it. We are also considering just putting things in storage and moving somewhere abroad and figuring it out. My family is from the Philippines, but I was born in Michigan and randomly came across your blog doing a search on 'bahay cubo' for another project I'm working on.

Anyways, it would be great to hear your two cents on the application process, applying as a couple and the overall experience and recommendations you may have! I hope all is well and welcome back...

Chris Nogoy crafthouse@gmail.com