Australia Must Reduce Petroleum Dependence

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Petroleum is a naturally occurring, non-renewable, liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and is often referred to as a fossil fuel. Also known as crude oil, it has the potential to become many end products such as the petrol pumped into automobiles or airplanes as well as industrial and consumer based plastics. Many scientists have warned of the possibilities and repercussions of Peak Oil, but these warnings have been dismissed. Peak Oil is when the rate of Global Oil Production changes from its current increasing trend to an inevitable decline (Robinson, 2004). The North Sea, Alaska and Mexico’s Canarell are major oil fields already in an evident decline. Australia’s Bass Straight reached peak oil production in 1985 and has not recovered, similarly the total oil production for Australia has been declining steadily since 2000 and is expected to continue (Robinson, 2004). Since the Industrial Revolution, oil has become a vital source of energy and production for industries and civilization in general. Therefore it would be illogical to completely cease oil production and rely entirely on other scientific methods, such as alternative energy sources which currently contribute a mere **, as this would have dire consequences. For example, if Australia’s wheat crops were converted to ethanol which can be used as an alternative fuel source, current oil needs would only be offset by about 9% and there would be no bread or wheat to export (Robinson, 2004). However, as oil production levels have evidently peaked whilst the demand grows and is forecast to continue to increase, it is obvious that adaptations to fuel use and efficiency need to be implemented. Australia is already overpopulated with 20 million peo... ... middle of paper ... ...d the financial strains on individuals with rising prices of fuel and other expenses. Works Cited Crean, S. (2010) Petroleum explorations and exports: New Frontiers, accessed 23rd August 2010, http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/news/petroleum-exploration-and-exports-new-frontiers/ Author Unknown, (2007) Economic Impact of Peak Oil Part 3, accessed 23 August 2010, http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2984 Sohn, Mary L. (2010) Fossil Fuels, accessed 20 August 2010, http://www.chemistryexplained.com/Fe-Ge/Fossil-Fuels.html http://www.docbrown.info/page04/OilProducts04.htm http://www.professorshouse.com/your-home/environmentally-friendly/why-recycle-plastic.aspx Robinson, B.W. & Fleay B.J. & Mayo S.C. (2006) Impact of oil depletion on Australia, accessed 22nd August 2010, http://www.aspo-australia.org.au/References/Abstract_Lisbon_Robinson.pdf

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