There are many reasons why it is important for us to cut back on the amount of oil we use. The extraction, processing and consuming of oil have immense impacts on both local and the global environment, human health, and social justice.
The most well-known negative impact that oil consumption has on our environment is carbon emissions. Almost everything in our world runs on fuel derrived from oil, and when we burn these fuels they release carbon dioxide (and other greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere. Significantly reducing our dependency on oil would likely result in a significant reduction in carbon emissions, and could ultimately halt the effects of climate change.
And oil’s influence on climate change is not the only negative effect it has on the environment. Extracting oil from the ground is a very messy process, and can seriously disrupt the local ecosytems by clearing vegetation, tearing up the ground, introducing heavy machinery, and polluting the air, land and water supplies. The transportation and refining processes can also have tremendous environmental impacts, including oil spills and the creation of toxic byproducts.
Oil companies are also frequently accused of displacing local human populations around drilling sites and exploiting foreign labor, which raises serious ethical questions concerning human rights.
Not only that, but oil is a finite resource, and even if we didn’t care about its impact on the environment or human lives, eventually we would run out of it.
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