The young twinkling eyes ready to gulp down information, excited to learn new things, ever ready to expand their horizons with thoughts overflowing out of their head and a mind ready to be moulded so that one day they become successful and happy individuals.
These are the generation of tomorrow, who can not only make a difference but bring about a revolution, bring about CHANGE.
For a layman, the definition of oil might be the thing that makes his vehicle run, the liquid that makes it feasible for food to be cooked or the substance that makes the door hinges stop from making squeaky noises but there are only a few people who think of oil as an inflammable and vicious substance that takes millions of years to be replenished and out of those few there are only a handful who realize that oil is being exploited a lot more than revived.
The need of the hour calls for awareness and people need to be made to understand that oil is a basic resource and needs to be conserved for times to come as everything will come to a standstill if it no longer exists. And I, as a young concerned Indian citizen, can play an extremely influential role in the promotion of oil conservation by adopting various methods.
These methods can be something as trivial as starting a carpool with my friends in the neighbourhood or using public means of transport so that fuel isn’t wasted unnecessarily. Not everyone can afford or has the kind of surrounding to buy a hybrid, but those who have the resources and the environment should definitely invest in one as they are one of the best investments that anybody can make. Something that is even better than a hybrid is cycling. It has many boons such as the fact that it keeps us healthy, fit and is one of those exercises that make our stress levels fall. But most importantly it is a great way of saving oil .In fact for that matter we have been given two feet, so why can’t we cover short distances by walking. Another thing that I would like to put forward is the car mania. Today, the day a child turns eighteen, they feel that it’s automatically time for them to get a driving license made and get their personal vehicle but they don’t understand that they have no right to waste oil and turning eighteen does not make them legible for wasting such an important resource and I as a student can bring forward my point of view amongst my friends and acquaintances. Also, at the same time I can take the initiative of not travelling in private motor vehicles except when it is absolutely required. And even if you do purchase a motor vehicle and use it, you should definitely ensure that you drive slow and have a moderate speed. Also it is highly important to perform regular maintenance on your car. Each five miles per hour you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional ten rupees per gallon of gas. So drive the speed limit—cruise control can help in this effort. Also, keeping tires properly inflated can improve gas mileage by about 3.3 percent. Many drivers will wait on a long line to save fifteen rupees per gallon, but properly inflating tires and obeying the speed limit will realize such savings and take less time.The breakthroughs in engine design and efficient motors can definitely reduce gasoline usage to a great extent. Electric cars are still a long way from a workable solution because it is never mentioned where the electricity comes from that is oil and coal power plants but they too can definitely made better and better. Coming down to apparels, one should always invest in clothes that are made out of natural fabrics like cotton instead of those that are made of synthetic or polyester as they are a by-product of oil and are not skin-friendly, often causing allergies.
Even involvement in politics is a very good way of saving oil. Everybody can have public demonstrations, rallies, non-cooperation movements but not everyone is smart enough to support that political party which has the best green policies so that fossil fuels such as oil are saved and alternative sources of energy are brought under usage. These political leaders are accountable to everybody, even someone as small and unimportant as me and thus need to justify their actions.
Through media I can make an impression on the public by writing articles on conservation of oil for newspapers, magazines or even write a book about the same. Another interesting method is through having famous personalities and celebrities to support the cause as they have a huge fan following who idolize them. But to do this a lot of effort needs to be put in to reach these people but where there is will, there is always a way!
Coal is perhaps the most feasible substitute to oil, and that is what countries like the United States, China and India are looking to explore soon. Saudi Arabia and Russia are two of the major producers of oil or petroleum. The consumption of oil in India and USA are almost thrice the production and for India this can be accredited to overpopulation without any shilly-shallying. Taken as a whole, the world’s consumption of energy at the moment is huge and the ever growing demand is least likely to be fulfilled, moreover the production falls short of the consumption.
It is believed that the poverty stricken who already have no access to energy and the millionaires are the two factions of people who will not actually suffer. This is actually true as the rich have direct control over the resources and the poor have not had a chance to experience them and become dependent on them. It’s the common man and the middle class who will find themselves in the epicentre of the war for oil.
Something that has a lot of potential is the development of alternative sources of energy and alternative fuels that can meet our growing needs and can actually be our saviour but only if they are developed soon so that they can prevents this exigency from getting out of control. These are just not solar and wind energy which are too inefficient to be more than a feel good solution presently but safe nuclear fusion utilizing thorium. There are various other solutions that need to come from the best thinkers amongst the working youth and this kind of beneficial, problem-solution oriented thinking with thorough fact-checked solutions is the thing that can make a difference as the younger adults have fresh ideas that will make them the pioneers of tomorrow once they are brought under utility.
In a country like India, the oil resources are extremely less and 80% of what we use is actually from the oil wells in the gulf countries where the reserves are slowly and steadily diminishing. If we stop to ponder upon all this we will realize that oil is slowly slipping away and we need to stop its wastage from now if we don’t want it to become a myth like dinosaurs. It’s an interesting fact that The United States currently consumes twenty one million barrels of oil per day, nearly twenty five percent of total worldwide consumption. Thus, if supply of oil does drop, only a drastic reduction in U.S. demand can avert a shortfall. This basically means that if supply of oil decreases there will definitely be an extreme rise in the cost of oil all around the globe.
Generators are switched on the moment there is no supply of electricity, and a lot of oil is wasted in their utilization. Oil can thus be saved at a personal level by the replacement of standard incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent light bulb. This simple change can save an estimated 75 percent in lighting costs and also indirectly save oil. Unplugging of electronics such as stereos, televisions, computers and kitchen appliances when they are not in use is also an efficient way of saving energy. Also on should insure that they buy only energy star appliances, which use less energy. In a typical home, appliances and home electronics are responsible for about 20 percent of the utility bill. And the lesser the electricity used, the lesser the wastage of oil. It’s as though the two go hand in hard. Another example of wastage within the four walls of a home would be saving on the 90 percent of energy which is used for washing clothes in hot water. Washing clothes in cold water and drying full loads also using appropriate settings for smaller loads and considering air-drying clothes instead of using the dryer are a sure shot measure to save on electricity and the directly proportional oil. Dry cleaning of clothes is done with petrol and this petrol can be saved by washing the clothes that read washable as petrol too is a limited fuel with unlimited usage. There is a lot more that we can do to save oil in our houses as the maximum consumption or in other words wastage is done in our own households. The Heating and cooling of appliances alone can cause 45 percent of most utility bills. We can save oil in this as well by setting the thermostat as low as is comfortable in the winter and as high as is comfortable in the summer, and invest in a programmable thermostat so that energy is not wasted when the house is unoccupied.
Outside the four walls of the house or to be more particular, in the garden or green area outside the living area of the house proper landscaping is advisable and everybody from someone like me to people who are elderly can look into the same. Planting trees near the house provides shade and can lower cooling costs in summer months. Shrubs, bushes and vines can also provide insulation. Landscaping for energy efficiency can provide enough energy savings to return the original investment within eight years – sooner if oil prices skyrocket which they will with the kind of consumption that is being carrying out presently. I too have adopted this and am sure that this will bring me great results in the near future.
Some of the suggestions require upfront investment, which will be paid back through consequent energy savings. The higher oil prices go, the quicker the payback. And the cost of things like hybrid cars, energy efficient appliances, and alternative energy appliances will be much higher because demand will climb and supplies may become severely limited, with long waiting lists.
But on the flipside of the coin, on any given day petroleum cannot be perfectly replaced with a substitute considering the efficiency of oil, and this is the biggest reason behind why we need to conserve it. We can only be hopeful and optimistic that some other source of energy in the years to come can be deemed fit to serve the world as resourcefully as petroleum. Till then the best efforts to conserve oil should be put in.
Coming back to the main point, oil can be conserved and not only I, but every single person can contribute in its conservation by taking up these various measures. It might be a finite resource but together we can work towards making it an infinite resource for the generations to come. We need to conserve it because it’s now or never otherwise we will end up finding ourselves in a situation where people can be found fighting for each drop and turning into killers at the cost of their humanity for that one last cup of oil just like the recent happenings in Libya had more to do with control over the rich oil resources that the country has than the overthrow of the regime.I would like to conclude by quoting the Great Mahatma Gandhi, “There is enough for everybody’s need but not enough for everybody’s greed.”