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Can we live without oil? Show more Show less
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Oil is a big part of society. It’s used to power cars and produce energy. Although the world relies on oil, oil has a negative rap. When burned, oil creates carbon dioxide. Global warming and the degradation of the global environment is caused by excessive carbon dioxide emissions. Would it be better if society stopped using oil or is it so reliant on oil that it would be too risky to get rid of it?

Yes, we can live without oil Show more Show less

Society is too reliant on oil, and the environment is suffering because of it. There are oil alternatives that would be enough for society.
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Oil and the production of oil are extremely harmful to the environment

Oil is a natural product of the earth. But, the burning of oil and fossil fuels release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Fracking, which is how oil is obtained, releases natural gases. This leads to further global warming and environmental destruction. Therefore, it would be best if oil wasn’t used at all.

The Argument

In the United States alone, 20.46 million barrels of oil were used per day in the year 2019. Most of this oil came from the age-old technique of fracking. Fracking is a method that involves drilling into the earth and then filling it with water, sand, or chemicals at high pressure.[1] Eventually, as the pressure builds up and reaches a breaking point, the layers of rock explode. Then, oil can be easily found and extracted. Fracking is extremely harmful for many reasons. Oftentimes, the chemicals injected into the ground end up poisoning water sources, and many natural gases that have been trapped under the earth are released. To make matters worse, the oil that is obtained has even more widespread environmental impacts. The burning of oil releases greenhouses gases into the atmosphere.[2] These gases trap enormous amounts of solar heat. This causes the temperature of the entire planet to increase. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the earth's temperature has been constantly increasing and now it is threatening many species of wildlife. It is also causing sea levels to rise and glaciers to melt at an unprecedented rate. Stopping the production of oil and moving away from oil is the only way to truly put an end to climate change. Other environmentally-friendly alternatives must be found and used to replace oil.

Counter arguments

Too many people and industries are reliant on oil. In 2018, $2.18 trillion worth of oil was consumed globally.[3] From cars to electricity to clothing, oil is used in just about every industry. The oil industry employs 9.8 million people and accounts for 5.6% of all jobs in the US alone.[4] All of these widespread uses of oil prove that it is the lifeline of modern society. It is impractical for people to simply stop using oil.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The earth would be healthier without oil.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Society would not be healthier without oil.

References

  1. https://www.vox.com/2014/4/14/18076690/frackingsource.html
  2. https://www.wilderness.org/articles/blog/7-ways-oil-and-gas-drilling-bad-environment/source.html
  3. https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/How-Much-Crude-Oil-Has-The-World-Really-Consumed.html
  4. https://www.api.org/oil-and-natural-gas/energy-primers/hydraulic-fracturing/how-many-jobs-has-the-oil-and-natural-gas-industry-created/source.html

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 23 Jul 2020 at 15:18 UTC

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