What price oil?

June 2, 2010

The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico – the worst environmental disaster the US has faced – raises important questions way beyond whose fault was it anyway?

This is a wake-up call and society needs to look again at the technology and risks we are prepared to take in order to satisfy our addiction for oil?

This reliance comes at a high cost at the best of times when measured in terms of increased pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and subsequently climate change. Add to this the need to go deeper and further into more inaccessible places in order to extract the oil, since the days of easy access are long gone, and quickly the need for us to reduce our dependency is clear.

There is no doubt that this and other well documented disasters will serve to provide better safeguards and improvements in technology in order to minimise the potential of future oil disasters and, at the very least, it will improve the way we factor cost into energy investment decisions. But will it do anything to change our oil habits?

As a result of this oil leak will we go cold turkey – probably not, but should we look for our energy fix from alternatives – definitely yes. How ironic that so much time, effort and resources is going in to cleaning up the mess rather then avoiding the need for it to happen in the first place!

Tracey Daley

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