Petroleum is probably the most powerful of all the natural resources discovered by man, is the basis for numerous human activities. It is one of the biggest sources of energy and some of its fractions have been applied as a fuel for many machines that are inconsistent use and its derivatives are applied in making products that we humans use every single day. Hence, it is easy to see how man seems to have forgotten the fact that this is a non-renewable resource and has lost track of its use of this resource. As a result, man has become carefree in its approach to the use of petroleum; drilling off tons of this resource at a rate the earth is incapable of restoring in countless millennia. Humans make use of the derivatives of this resource in quantities that create obvious changes in the earth’s atmosphere. This, in turn, results in countless other problems that plague the entire population of the earth. There is, therefore, an obvious need to pay attention to the conservation of this resource; taking proactive measures to limit the extraction and use of petroleum and it’s derivatives in a bid to save a resource that is dwindling, slowly, but surely.
Importance of Petroleum Conservation
There are multiple problems associated with the excessive use of petroleum in daily activities. Some of the obvious reasons to invest in petroleum conservation include;
- The fact that being a non-renewable natural resource, its continued use will result in it being exhausted. It takes millions of years for the process that results in the formation of crude oil to run its course, so we are definitely using up far more than can be replaced
- Another important reason involves the environmental problems resulting from the use of petroleum fractions and its derivatives.
Why has it been so difficult to achieve?
As mentioned earlier, petroleum has formed the basis for numerous human activities, therefore making it one of the most demanded natural resources. If the world supply of petroleum was cut off this instant, the results would be catastrophic as, within days, even hours, most of the world’s business enterprises, schools, hospitals, factories would shut down as power plants would be unable to generate electricity. This is why it has become so much of a challenge to curb the excessive use of petroleum; simply because we have become too dependent on oil.
Benefits of Petroleum Conservation
Within years of taking active steps to reduce the extraction and use of petroleum and its products on a global scale;
- Air pollution, water pollution and even land pollution will reduce significantly. The standard of living of people the world over will begin to return to normal and even improve as they will begin to invest in more efficient and environmentally friendly forms of energy.
- In the long run, global warming will reduce, the earth’s atmosphere will begin to heal from the years of damage done to it, while the earth is allowed to slowly replenish its reserve of this resource.
How can this be achieved?
One of the simplest and most effective ways of rapidly reducing people’s dependence on petroleum is simply to increase the cost of using it. Increased taxation on petroleum extraction as well as on the use of its products will prompt the users to source for other means of generating energy and power. As a result, this will turn the attention of energy production companies to turn their attention to these alternatives. Coupled with the enlightenment of the public about the effects of our overdependence on petroleum, this will prove to be a powerful tool in conserving this resource.
It may not be easy to implement the changes needed to achieve these results, and it would be unwise to expect such changes immediately. However, when people are aware of the effects and alternatives, it will help them to put their everyday choices into perspective. The consequences of man’s activities involving this natural resource are too weighty to be overlooked and as such, preventive and corrective action must be taken to fix this problem. While it may be difficult to achieve, it is definitely possible, and indisputably necessary.