Can Current Economic Climate Help With Sustainable Development?

March 1, 2009 by Tommy Linsley  
Filed under Sustainable Development

Are you concerned about the negative impact that the oil industry has on the sustainable development initiatives for our Earth?  The world’s out-of-control dependence on fossil fuels causes the oil industry to rape the environment every day.  It’s nothing new that these fossil fuels add to the carbon releases to our atmosphere.  Thus, we are increasing the problem of global warming and climate change.

Now, let’s put a favorable twist on our current economic climate.  Yes, people have lost jobs and businesses have failed due to our current global crisis.  Sad as it is, there are a few good things that can and will come as a result.  Let’s list a few less obvious ways that our current crisis can have a positive impact on sustainable development:

  • Fewer sources of pollution due to industry slow-down of production operations
  • That means fewer employees burning fuel on the way to work
  • The industry plants themselves will use less energy because their operation is reduced
  • These industries will be forced to find more efficient means of production and operation

Pump Jacks
I attended a meeting with a ranking official of one of the world’s top oilfield services companies yesterday.  In particular, he has charge of the United States and Mexico.  (A little insight: just one small office of this global corporation has been averaging between 4-6 million dollars in revenue each month of the year.  He recently laid-off 41 employees at this small office.)  Below are a few explanations he had for a slow down in his industry.  Bad news for his employees; good news for the environment.

  • Drilling rigs accross the U.S. have gone from 2,000+ down to around 1,200.
  • Predictions are that the number of drilling rigs will drop to around 700 in a few months.
  • The bulk of oilfield production is natural gas, not oil.  And, gas production is slowing.
  • As industry operations slow, they use less natural gas.
  • Natural gas storage capacity is at about 95%.  So, no one wants to buy more natural gas.

What does all this mean?  As mentioned, storage capacity is almost maxed out.  Industry, the main consumer of natural gas, has slowed down.  Demand for natural gas is low.  So, those storage facilities have no where to send their supplies.  And, it doesn’t make much sense to produce the gas if there is nowhere to store it.

How is this good news for the environment, you ask?  Short answer: the affected industries will be forced to find ways to cut down on energy use.  Example, one of the many things the above-mentioned oilfield services executive suggested was that employees stop the engine of their trucks when just idling.  That act alone will save millions in his large corporation.   And, the oil industry will naturally turn to exploring alternative sources of energy, because they will want to keep their respective companies profitable.

Sounds over-simplified?  Maybe.  I have faith a lesson will be learned here.

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7 Responses to “Can Current Economic Climate Help With Sustainable Development?”
  1. Josh Maxwell says:

    I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.

  2. Samantha from forex says:

    I can relate to what you are saying..Thanks!

  3. daniel says:

    Now, let’s put a favorable twist on our current economic climate. Yes, people have lost jobs and businesses have failed due to our current global crisis.

  4. Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity. As early as the 1970s “sustainability” was employed to describe an economy “in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems.”[4] Ecologists have pointed to The Limits to Growth,[citation needed] and presented the alternative of a “steady state economy”[5] in order to address environmental concern

  5. Mark Daniel from Six Pack Abs says:

    ndigenous people have argued, through various international forums such as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Convention on Biological Diversity, that there are four pillars of sustainable development, the fourth being cultural. The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO, 2001) further elaborates the concept by stating that “…cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”; it becomes “one of the roots of development understood not simply in terms of economic growth, but also as a means to achieve a more satisfactory intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence”. In this vision, cultural diversity is the fourth policy area of sustainable development.

  6. Rob from Sheet Metal Bending says:

    Economic Sustainability: Agenda 21 clearly identified information, integration, and participation as key building blocks to help countries achieve development that recognises these interdependent pillars. It emphasises that in sustainable development everyone is a user and provider of information. It stresses the need to change from old sector-centred ways of doing business to new approaches that involve cross-sectoral co-ordination and the integration of environmental and social concerns into all development processes. Furthermore, Agenda 21 emphasises that broad public participation in decision making is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving sustainable development.
    Rob@Sheet Metal Bending´s last blog ..Workout Inspiration Part Three My ComLuv Profile

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