Monday, June 14, 2010

The expensive price of cheap oil

The USA is in a state of frustration and anguish about the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The apparent inability of BP to cap the leaking well that is polluting the sea and the coast is definitely a cause for alarm. Helpfully for the Americans, the culprit has the word "British" in its name (though the Americans own 40% of it). It helps deflect attention away from the inability of anyone to tackle the crisis successfully.

America, indeed the whole of the world economy, however must reflect on the cause of this disaster. The blow-out of an oil rig is incidental. The real cause of this crisis is our dangerous over-reliance on fossil fuels, in this instance, crude oil. The USA is the world's biggest consumer of oil which it wastes in an unforgivable way. And it's not just America. The absurdly wasteful use of oil is a characteristic of the way the world economy operates.

We therefore have to move away from our dependence on cheap oil and fossil fuels in general. The real price we are paying for cheap oil will cost us dearly in the long run. Let's hope this lesson is the silver lining in the cloud of the Gulf of Mexico crisis.
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1 comment:

Guava said...

Interesting and truth article..