This I Believe

Kenneth - Inverness, Illinois
Entered on May 18, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: environment

I believe that the complete depletion of oil will initiate the betterment of the environment and mankind as a whole. Our dependency on oil causes such self-perpetuating problems as mass pollution and dependency on militant governments. It has been shown through international conflict that our involvement with foreign governments purely on the basis of their oil reserves causes anti American sentiments. It has also been shown that the carbon compounds produced by gasoline fueled automobiles have caused such problems as urban air pollution and depletion of ozone, causing global warming. This dependency on oil and oil-derived substances worsens America’s relationship with other nations, and humankind’s relationship with the environment.

The oil dependency of both American consumers and businesses has created an incentive for an unnecessary heightened military presence in counties such as Iraq. The polarization of militant forces in opposition to our involvement characterizes how these countries feel about our involvement. Our government officials have created (or perpetuated) falsehoods to excuse our intervention in such situations. One may remember the claims made by the Bush administration that the Iraqi government undoubtedly has weapons of mass destruction. Not only has the power of oil turned foreign nations against us, but it has turned our representatives into liars.

Fuel-efficient cars are supposed to be the future of the automobile industry, they are supposed to have taken the place of “gas-guzzlers” in American life, but they have not. Why not? Because it simply is easier and currently cheaper to buy oil than to switch to more fuel-economical vehicles. This is destroying our environment. Reports claim that global warming due to “greenhouse” gasses will cause catastrophic climate changes that even now we are seeing signs of. What is the only thing that keeps Americans behind the wheels and unregulated industry consumption of fossil fuels? The presence of oil. No matter how detrimental it is to our environment, Americans will still not adhere to policies restricting industry and automobile consumption of these environmental poisons. Perhaps if we no longer had these fossil fuels (oil included), we would have to abandon our polluting lifestyles for something more environment-friendly.

Lastly, the lack of oil could cause a switch for the better of the American (and global) economy. The need to develop vehicles that were not dependent on gas would drive the creation of jobs and new businesses for this adaptation. A more efficient mass transit system (such as those seen in Europe) would by necessity come into being, effectively reducing gridlock and travel times. Perhaps this new travel system would cause our employees to spend less time in transit, and more time enjoying the things they prefer. Surely, only the betterment of society could result from complete depletion of oil, perhaps only after a frugal adjustment period (which could be curbed if we started adapting now). For those who believe that oil drives the economy and even our mentalities, they are correct, but it doesn’t have to be this way, this I believe.