It won’t be an exaggeration to say that oil drives the modern economy. Countries that are rich in oil reserves have changed their fate in just a matter of decades.
While crude oil is a type of fossil fuel, refined oil is of much more importance to human beings.
However, when it comes to oil spills, they are considered ecological disaster that has a huge impact on society.
The financial impact of oil spills is in billions of euros. In addition to this, the indirect effect is even worse. As a result of these oil spills, tourist areas are badly affected.
The influx of tourists in such areas reduces drastically. This causes problems for the local people as well. A recent oil spill in Sri Lanka is an example of such an incident.
This article delves into the details of oils spills and discusses the various solutions we can have in terms of renewable sources.
Causes Of Oil Spills
There are several causes of oil spills. Some of these are:
– Oil spills during oil tanker filling. This occurs mainly due to the lack of responsiveness of staff performing the duties;
– A drilling operation if gone wrong can also be a major cause of oil spills;
– Sinking oil ships can leak a tremendous amount of oil into the oceans;
– Leaking oil pipes also cause oil spills.
Consequences Of Oil Spills On Ecosystems
Here are two major ways in which oil spills harm the ecosystem:
– Oiling & Fouling
When oil is spilt, it forms a thin layer on the surface of the water. This is because oil does not dissolve in water. As a result, birds that come in contact with such oily water immediately develop a thin layer of oil on their wings.
This renders them unable to fly and as a result, they become easy prey to predators.
The oil also produces a foul odour which makes it exceedingly difficult to live in the surrounding area.
– Oil Toxicity
Oil is poisonous to marine life. When this toxic material enters the bodies of fish and other species living in the seas, it has hostile effects on them.
Upon consuming such fish, these harmful chemicals also enter the human body. This can lead to various types of diseases including cancers.
Major Oil Spills Recorded Recently
Here are some of the major oil spills that have taken place in the recent past. While the image shows the US and its surroundings, oil spills are a natural phenomenon.
As evident from the picture, oil spills keep occurring from time to time. Thus, it is high time that we consider the negative impact of these spills.
How Can We Prevent Oil Spills?
This brings us to the most important question of how to prevent these oil spills from happening in the first place. Some of the steps that can be effective in this regard include:
– Ensuring the implementation of proper standing order procedures so oil spilling during filling can be reduced;
– Timely maintenance of oil pipelines can decrease the chances of oil spills;
– Oil carriers need to be properly monitored to lessen the probabilities of accidents.
Switching Over To Renewable Energy Sources
The most important way in which we can reduce oil spills is to reduce the usage of oil in the first place.
If we switch over to renewable sources of energy, we will require lesser oil. This will automatically reduce oil transportation and thus the overall impact on society will be reduced.