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Resources are limited. Energy resources which are most effective, such as coal, oil and petroleum are scarce and countries all over the world are searching for alternative methods to replace them. But in the meanwhile, there are many disputes over this fossil fuels. One of these is the north pole. This area, also referred as the arctic has 90 billion barrels of oil, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids in 25 geographical areas. Barrells count as 100 to 200 litres of substance. An average (midpoint average x quantity of barrels) of this would be 150 x 9,000,000,000= 1,350,000,000,000 litres of petroleum. This debate is causing conflicts because the north pole is divided in 6 zones, these consist of USA, Canada, Russia, Iceland, Denmark and Norway. All of this petroleum is not equally divided and it causes debates between countries which aim to realizing which part is from who. The Canadian Arctic was explored in the 1970s and the 1980s. One very important fact to consider is that this oil drilling in the Arctic is causing damage to the ice pillars. This is one of the main causes of overflooding of the seas which affects the cities which are found in a neutral height of land. Greenpeace has started a campaign which is called Save The Arctic. In the following essay I will address 3 points of view which this problem generates: economic, social and environmental.
The economic advantages about drilling this oil are huge. This is because it would be a minimum contrary to the arab oil industry. The arabs control this industry due to the fact that almost all of the oil in which the world runs, in found in their territory. So when they rise the price of oil, the price of stuff such as plastic and car fuels rises. By getting oil, other countries would start to export and it would be a direct competition to the Arab market. This would make the excess of supply cause prices to fall. This could show superpowers against each other in the battle to make a economical benefit out of this. Another thing which drilling oil provides is jobs, economically this is a huge input because it provides an economical base for people in a country. Also it affects other jobs indirectly, such as lawyers, engineers and accountants. Oil industries help economically countries through taxes, for example, Canada’s oil and natural gas industries paid 15 billion dollars to federal, provincial and local governments in the form of taxes annually from 2013 to 2016. This money helps the countries economy and it is used to pay services such as the teachers wages and used also to build hospitals.
The main economic disadvantages are that the process required to dig out this oil are very expensive because it is covered by ice. This is because a pit needs to be installed, which penetrates the ice and another machine to suck the oil up. Once this is finished the oil is divided into a process called distillation of oil or cracking. This process works with the particles of oil and divides them in their uses. This is a very expensive process because it needs huge amounts of heat to dissolve the oil. In addition, in the Arctic the machinery that is used to carry out this process is not found and it needs to be taken all the way up there and this is not a cheap process neither.
A positive environmental aspect of this is that natural gas reduces oil dependence until we find an alternative to fossil fuels. Another positive aspect of this oil drilling is that when the ice is penetrated water is often found and sometimes oil pits are found in the water, this creates pits in the bottom of the ocean that when cleared create coral reefs. The function of the coral reefs is to provide shelter to many fish. To add, oil drilling reduces the pressure of oil reservoirs underground, which greatly reduces the amount of hydrocarbon seepage – and the amount of methane gas in the atmosphere. Scientists theorize that increased drilling operations could continue to benefit aquatic and atmospheric conditions.
As I said before, the oil in the North pole has to be extracted from ice and when this happens the ice pillars are destroyed and sent to the ocean, these, when melted cause flooding. Moreover, this drilling causes pollution, the apparatus used for oil drilling free an arrangement of damaging air pollutants, including methane, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. These pollutants can form a haze, or smog, in the air and are a direct consequence to the formation of acid rain and the deterioration of the atmosphere which contributes directly to the greenhouse effect and climate change. There are 96,000 active oil and gas wells on public lands, and pollution from these well not only contribute to climate change, but also have been linked to asthma attacks in children and worsening respiratory disease. In six western states, nearly 74,000 people are threatened by pollution emitted from wells, tanks and pipelines. In addition, oil spills, have very harmful results in the Arctic territory and its marine reach. To add, there are various local species in the North Pole that are affected, or could be affected, from the consequences of oil drilling. These include polar bears, snow geese, wolves, ravens, arctic foxes, gulls, porcupines, musk oxen, shorebirds and seabirds, and caribou. As pollution directly affects animal issues, when people search for oil drills they send radio waves to the ground which if they find oil, these radio waves will come back, these seismic vibrations cause problems in the Arctic fauna. These vibrations make animals move from their migrations patterns, this is the case of the polar bears, who are scared and react this way. Oil drilling can produce negative effects in the flora of the North Pole. Plants can be severely affected by seismic vibrations by affecting their growth. In addition, the process of oil drilling affects directly the soil which later causes direct consequences for plants drainage.
The social positive aspects of the oil drilling in the North Pole is that it creates jobs and it supports people economically. When people have money, they are happy and the quantity of jobs created can be massive so many people can be happy. This shows progress as a society because the living standards can increase when new hospitals are built, or houses are made more resistant to the low temperatures. The fact that jobs are being provided also helps the economy of the state/country/province because it has a direct impact on the daily life of people. Having money grants you access to services such as transportation, housing, studies (if needed) and medical assistance. It would even create more jobs to people in charge of building roads leading to the pits which are not built yet.
The negative social aspects are that a debate over countries can be caused because if the USA or any other country can counter the Arabs in selling oil and this generates a conflict between these countries. Another thing that happens due to oil and gas drilling is that oil spills can happen. This can affect people directly because people who live in the north pole are the ones who are usually live in harmony with nature. The fact that nature is being severely affected by the greenhouse effect, which is a direct consequence of drilling oil can get people mad. In addition, oil spills affect people because they can breathe contaminated air. In the Arctic, where fishing is a very used resource to feed people, fishermen, seamen and ship workers can be directly affected by oil spills. To begin with, fishermen and local ship workers can lose their jobs because of the amount of fish killed due to oil spills. Also, their health conditions and of all the people who live in coastal communities can be affected by this. Another negative aspect is that there is land in the north pole which contains high amounts of oil that does not belong to any country. This will create tension between countries who want to exploit the resources in order to get a bigger financial result out of it.
In conclusion, I believe that oil drilling in the north pole is causing conflicts. This is because it is directly proportional to the greenhouse effect which affects everybody in the world and it also affects negatively the health of people who live in this areas. Although I do think that the Arctic can provide vast quantities of fossil fuels which run the Earth I believe that it is much more important to take care of what we have than to think about what could have been. Because the Earth will not continue to be the same if we keep deteriorating it by consuming everything it provides, so we need to prevent getting involved into stuff like this which can deteriorate the atmosphere, the marine life and the human life just to get an economic result out of it. I am aware that drilling all this oil out will generate a healthy competition between the countries which control the oil but it will also generate a debate between them because they all want to sell at the highest price possible.
It must be taken into account that this research is finite and it needs further information in order to produce a complete conclusion.
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