On Simple Living

Recently I wrote a blog in my other Blogging Site on World Oil Supply and Consumption Patterns. This has  interesting statistics comparing developed countries with the developing countries. Without going into too many details, I will just give you some startling figures relevant to this Post. Given below are the per capita consumption of  Oil in 2010:

USA: 22.6 BPA(Barrels per annum)

EU: 15.4 BPA

China: 2.5 BPA

India: 1 BPA approx

Look at the gap in consumption levels. Isn’t it startling?  It reflects the fundamental differences in lifestyles, cultures and societal values. The western civilization is built on excessive greed, exploitation and wasteful uses of energy. It can be easily proved that most of the consumption in America is discretionary in nature and for mere pleasures. In contrast the developing world is struggling to use oil for their very basic development needs to feed their poor. The history of Greed of the American Oil Entrepreneurs dates back to the year 1750. American traders chased and hunted Whales in deep Sea for the sake of the whale oil. Whales were killed to extract oil and wax for lighting up candles and illuminating streets in America. The result was  that Whales  almost became extinct. This madness continued until  Edison came up with his invention of the electrical light bulb around 1880 and mercifully whales survived as a species.

American thirst and greed for energy did not stop at that. The dreams of cheap oil were ignited by  the discoveries of  Oil in Texas (the famous Spindletop) and later in Pennylvania. The subsequent stories of  how America and  Britain exploited Arab Oil by creating division in the Middle East is all too familiar.

The problem is that an entire civilization has been built on wasteful use of energy. Now any attempt to reverse this will be painfully slow and cause tremendous economic and social misery. Entire society got addicted to a lifestyle based on wasteful consumption of everything including energy.

Thanks to this greed, today the world is facing two major crises – one relating to global warming and the other related to dwindling oil supplies. How are the Americans reacting to it? They have used more advanced technologies in the recent years and discovered cheap sources of Natural Gas called  ‘Shale gas & oil’. The technology to extract gas from Shale Sand is known as HYDRO FRACKING, which I have described in some detail elsewhere. What are the consequences? No One knows how it is going to affect natural resources like water. So many chemicals are being used in FRACKING without much knowledge of consequences on ground water pollution and ecological damage.

Unfortunately, the developing countries are also falling into the same trap by following the western model of development. By all means we must use technologies. But this should be  only to serve our basic needs. Ultimately there is no substitute for Simple Living, advocated by our scriptures !

Published in: on September 16, 2012 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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