Week 7 – Task 3

Argument: Can alternative energy replace oil?


  • According to author Richard Heinburg a transition to renewable energy would improve the quality of life and would result in a stable climate. “It would probably take at least 3-4 decades and will fundamentally change the way we live” (Heinburg). Although it would be a long process, it’s beneficial for everyone. “Energy transition is not optional. Delay would be fatal” (Heinburg)
  • This would stop the amount of oil related disasters, such as oil spills that have a negative effect on the natural environment. According to Paul Andrews’ ‘BP- where did it all go wrong?’ BP have been fined for burning polluted gasses, hazardous substance dumping and have had numerous oil spills. One of the worst being the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.



  • In claire Valenti’s ‘Crude Oil’ it discusses that crude oil as an energy source has provided social-economic development in most oil producing countries (Valenti 89). However, not only does oil provide energy it’s derivatives include; gasoline, diesel kerosene, jet fuel and asphalt. As well as petrochemicals used in plastics, insecticides and fertiliser.
  • In ‘Why renewable energy cannot replace fossil fuels by 2050’, Robert Lyman discusses that the financial costs of building a 100% renewable energy world are enormous. However, that land area needed to accommodate these sources of energy is an even bigger problem. To meet only 8% of the UK’s energy needs, 44,000 offshore wind turbines would need to be built. This would cover an area of 33,700 km2.



Works Cited:

Andrews, Paul. “Environmental Record”. BP- Where did it all go wrong. AUK Authors, 2010

Heinburg, Richard. “100% Renewable Energy; What we can do in 10 years”. YES! Magazine, 26 February 2016, http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/life-after-oil/100-renewable-energy-what-we-can-do-in-10-years-20160222

Lyman, Robert. “Why renewable energy cannot replace fossil fuels by 2050”. Friends of Science, May 2016, https://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Renewable-energy-cannot-replace-FF_Lyman.pdf

Valenti, Claire. “Crude oil production; It’s environmental and global market impact” Crude Oil: Production, Environmental Impacts and Global Market Challenges. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, 2014.


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