[Disclaimer: I know this post comes a bit late. But, its better late than never… :) ]

When the fuel hike was announced, people reacted harshly.. for obvious reasons.. Right from petitions to bandhs, we tried it all…!

It may sound strange… but I am somehow in favour of the sudden fuel hike. The reason for the fuel hike may be varied… but, I take this as a wake-up call – a reality check!

Lets get down to the basics first. Fuels, or more scientifically fossil fuel, is a non-renewable energy resource.

Origin

According to the biogenic theory, petroleum is formed from the preserved remains of prehistoric zooplankton and algae which have settled to the sea (or lake) bottom in large quantities under anoxic conditions. Over geological time, this organic matter, mixed with mud, is buried under heavy layers of sediment. The resulting high levels of heat and pressure cause the organic matter to chemically change during diagenesis, first into a waxy material known as kerogen which is found in various oil shales around the world, and then with more heat into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons in a process known as catagenesis.

Terrestrial plants, on the other hand, tend to form coal. Many of the coal fields date to the carboniferous period.

Comparative figures:

  • 1 litre of regular gasoline is the time-rendered result of about 23.5 metric tonnes of ancient phytoplankton material deposited on the ocean floor.
  • The total fossil fuel used in the year 1997 is the result of 422 years of all plant matter that grew on the entire surface and in all the oceans of the ancient earth.

Consequences of price rise

  • A need to search for renewable and alternative sources of energy like solar power, hydropower etc.
  • Less usage of fossil fuels and hence it will last longer
  • People resorting to more ecocnomic ways like car pooling, using company buses, etc. It is a pain to see thousands of cars during a traffic jam in Bangalore and all occupying one, at max two people!

Believe me, this price hike is a blessing in disguise. It is going to prepare us better for a world without fossil fuels!!!