Examine the claim that the world is too dependent on oil

YES: Many aspects of human interactions today depend on the adequate sourcing, supply and distribution of oil, to the point that minor disruptions at any stage paralyze or greatly reduce our capacity to function effectively.

  1. Most of our energy supply comes from the use of oil to generate electricity and even the most minor disruption in oil supply causes harmful changes in the price of oil, energy markets and global finance.

  2. The environmental hazards associated with accidents involving oil, such as tanker spillages, are often underestimated and ignored by the international community as everyone falsely assumes that such accidents only happen to other countries and can be easily contained to their immediate locality.

  3. Despite its imminent depletion in the next 50 years, many countries continue to utilize oil as their main energy resource rather than invest in the research and development of cleaner and more efficient energies.

  4. The majority of our economic and industrial activities remain powered by oil-generated electricity, and emphasis on sustaining economic growth at all costs pressurizes many countries to continue their dependence on oil.

NO: A range of societal developments and actions by stakeholders have reduced our dependence on oil, with potential benefits to our long-term well-being.

  1. Disruptions in the supply of oil and their accompanying shocks to the global economy are factored in by many oil producing countries, which have committed to binding international trade agreements that raise production of oil to adequate levels in such cases.   

  2. The international community recognizes environmental hazards associated with the production, transport and storage of oil, taking adequate measures through international safety codes, emergency response procedures and collaboration with oil companies to minimize the negative impacts of such accidents.

  3. Governments in more countries today have undertaken significant levels of research and development into alternative energies, as they are pressurized by their increasingly informed citizens and civic society leaders.

  4. Increasingly, the drivers of our major economic and industrial activities such as multinational corporations (MNCs) and entrepreneurs have recognized the limitations of oil-dependent businesses and initiated programs to move operations away from such models, replacing them with sustainable alternatives.