THE ENERGY CURSE : OIL BEYOND THE GHG DEBATE
Oil is the key natural hydro carbon which provides fuel for efficient living . A large quantity of global energy at 39 percent or virtually two fifths was generated from oil in the year 2004 (Global , Nd . Oil runs power plants , automobiles , aero planes and generators which contributes to productivity in industry , eases travel and provides resources for human development . A world without oil today is unthinkable . Yet oil is not the gratifying boon that it seems to be . There are many blights that man [banner_entry_middle]
‘s excessive use of oil have created amongst which global warming pollution due to vehicular emission , acid rains , accidents at oil rigs and marine oil spills are the major forms (Ramage , 1997 . Taking just two of these issues global warming and oil spills will indicate that oil is perhaps the worse long term silent killer on Earth Carbon dioxide is the commonest greenhouse gas (GHG ) a large quantity of which is released due to consumption of oil in its various forms . There have been no disputations over rise in carbon dioxide emissions though many do consider the argument of damage due to GHG flawed . The deleterious side effect of GHG is global warming . It is said that due to green house effect , the earth ‘s lower atmosphere has risen by 33 degrees Centigrade . It is expected that the rise in the coming years will be from .1 degrees centigrade to .2 degrees centigrade every decade as against .3 to .6 degrees Centigrade over the last century (Gordon 1993 . While natural GHG is controllable , that arising from the excessive use of oil results in enhanced greenhouse effects which cause disproportionate damage . Rise in temperature has been attributed to rise in sea levels , extreme weather and climate change leading to grave loss of life
The other major curse of oil is marine oil spills which are occurring with cyclical regularity . Whether it is Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound in Alaska or Braer Spill in Shetlands , the transportation of oil by tankers and shipping is a major hazard (Patin , 1997 . The amount of oil spill has been estimated between 120 thousand tons to 260 thousand tons with the best estimate at 150 thousand tons (Oil in the Seas 2002 . This has led to damage of major portion of shore lines , loss to marine life which in the case of the Exxon Valdez leak alone saw 36 ,000 migratory birds including 100 bald eagles and a large variety of other types of marine life been killed . During the Kuwait Gulf War of 1991 240 million gallons of oil was run off deliberately in the sea by Iraq causing one of the greatest disasters due to oil spill . This spill caused maximum damage to marine habitat in the Gulf including a large number of wetlands and mangrove swamps (Popkin , 1991 . Oil spills as a weapon is thus another dimension of this resource curse
However all is not lost . There are many stringent… [banner_entry_footer]
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