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2008-08-05 10:48  来源:     我要纠错 打印 收藏   

 A World without Oil.

  1. Have you ever stopped to think how your life would change if the world ran out of oil? Take a look at your day. The roof of your home is probably made waterproof by an oil product, bitumen. The same product is used for the road surface outside your home. Before you leave to go to work or school, just examine your surroundings. Is the room warmer than the cold air outside? Oil, or electricity from oil-fed generators may be keeping you comfortably warm. If you are comfortably cool in a tropical climate, your air conditioning unit may also depend on oil-fed generators.

  2. In the kitchen and the bathroom you will probably see some plastic fittings such as tiles and working surfaces; polystyrene cups; curtains made from synthetic materials; disinfectants and detergents. All owe their origin to the oil known as petroleum (Latin/Greek 'petra', rock, and Latin 'oleum', oil), found deep in the earth. Look inside the medicine cupboard for more petroleum products, medical paraffin and petroleum jelly. Cosmetics such as face creams, lipsticks and hair preparations are often based on petroleum.

  3. When you're out, notice the fields and gardens. Fertilizers and insecticides made from petroleum can improve crop production. Recently protein feeds for animals have been developed by growing yeast in a petroleum based stock. As you head for your bus, train or car, all of which use petroleum products in the form of fuel to move them and lubricants to keep them in working order, take a look in the mirror. What are you wearing today? A polyester shirt or dress, nylon socks or stockings, and acrylic sweater-a raincoat of PVC (polyvinyl chloride)? All of these are based on petroleum products.

  4. Scientists predict that the world's known oil resources will run out early in the next century. But long before then the world will have to decide on its priorities. Can we afford to use so much of our limited petroleum supplies for private motoring? Should airlines compete on similar routes allowing planes to fly long distances with empty passenger seats? What alternative energy resources can be developed?

  5. There is an old English saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention," which means that when you are faced with a need you will discover some way of fulfilling it. Already scientists are proposing some fascinating solutions. There is one suggestion that the wheeled traffic and the footsteps of crowds walking the streets in major cities could generate energy. One company has presented an idea in which metal strips inserted in pavements and roads operate fly wheels by means of a piston action using hydraulic fluid. They say the human and wheeled traffic in a busy city center could provide enough energy to light the streets of an entire town or power the heating system for a hospital or school. Some people are developing sophisticated versions of the windmill. Engines can run on alcohol, so surplus sugar cane could be used to produce energy. An air ship powered by energy from the sun has been suggested. Such "sun ship" would have a large enough surface area to carry the enormous number of solar cells necessary to move any appreciable load. Such "sun ship" might travel at over one hundred kilometers an hour. In such circumstances, of course, the tropical parts of the world would have a head start in the race to find new energy sources.

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