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The Necessity of a Greener Future

By David Holmes on October 29, 2009

According to the non-governmental organisation, Global Witness, renowned for uncovering the so-called ‘blood diamond’ trade in Africa, the world’s fascination with and reliance upon oil is set for disaster. After two years of investigation, Global Witness has released its ‘Heads in the Sands‘ report, detailing the coming struggles facing humanity in the context of oil supply and demand.

In particular, the report highlights the facts that global oil production had ceased to grow between 2005 and 2008, production has outstripped new oil discoveries since 1984 and the biggest year of new oil discoveries was back in 1965. Added to these unsavoury facts, Global Witness argues oil reserves such as those found in Canada’s tar sands simply will at best yield only enough oil to plug the gaps left by depleting resources worldwide.

Of course, as oil production continues to grow, the depletion of existing resources can only escalate. Thus, according to the Heads in the Sands report, the global production of oil will sooner or later be notable for its declining output, declining new discoveries and increased demand. Unfortunately, these points lead to higher prices and, worse still, global oil shortages. Worryingly, conservative estimates produced by the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggest by 2015, there will be a gap between the supply and demand of oil of some 7 million barrels per day, which is approximately 8% of the anticipated global demand. In other words, the world is fast running out of oil.

Nevertheless, the major oil companies are continuing to spend vast sums on finding new sources of oil, which may never be found according to Global Witness. In a world that is already thought to be heading for climatic catastrophe due to the use of non-renewable forms of energy, it would seem, one way or another, oil will soon be relegated to history.