What would happen if our oil supply were shut off in a day? First, there is transportation. With the overwhelming majority of the oil we produce devoted to powering our vehicles, the impact on getting around would be most dramatic. Price-speculation would begin right away, and long lines would form at gas stations. Soon, we would all be looking for an electric car or converting our vehicles to run on natural gas. But it would not be long before natural gas supplies were also driven to extinction.
Fuel shortage is not the only problem our enslavement to black gold would cause. We also need to keep the lights on and blackouts would soon begin. It gets much worse still, of course, because a world without oil would quickly become a world without all of the products made from petroleum that we have come to know, love and depend upon. The list of essentials that we would soon be doing without is prodigious: medicines, paints, utensils and equipment, virtually all plastics, etc.
Eating would get tougher, too. If no one can truck fresh vegetables from across the country, we might be inclined to go back to basics and grow our own food. Local farmers would become a necessity, not just people who sell us honey at the street fair. It is an interesting thought experiment to picture such a world. Though the scenario is unreal, of course, taken to its logical conclusion, it encompasses so much more. A complete extinction of oil would lead to a rapid breakdown of society, desperation, lawlessness, wars and untold suffering.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) Most petroleum supply goes to producing plastics and medicines.
- FALSE: “With the overwhelming majority of the oil we produce devoted to powering our vehicles, [the impact on getting around would be most dramatic].”
b) If fuel suddenly disappeared, our daily life would be affected but social order would remain intact.
- FALSE: “A complete extinction of oil would lead to a rapid breakdown of society, desperation, lawlessness, wars and untold suffering.”
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text.
a) Give two consequences that a lack of oil would have on transportation.
- There would be problems with transport and we wouldn’t be able to move around easily.
- Petrol prices would increase and there would not be enough petrol for our cars.
- We would need new cars moved by alternative fuels or we would need to transform our cars.
b) What consequences would oil extinction have on our eating habits?
- People could cultivate fruits and vegetables and raise edible animals for their consumption. The consumption of products from the neighbourhood would increase.
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
- a) immediately (paragraph 1) right away
- b) tools (paragraph 2) utensils
- c) collapse (paragraph 3) breakdown
- d) anarchy (paragraph 3) lawlessness
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a) You can save money by growing (grow) fruits and vegetables; it’s actually much simpler than it sounds.
- b) Last year, a research team found (find) signs that the amount of oil left in the world’s reserves has decreased significantly (significant) since the 1990s!
- c) By growing food organically, that is to say, without pesticides or herbicides, you’re not only ensuring the quality of your products, but also growing healthier food.
- d) What would happen if oil ran (run) out in 100 years?
5.- Write about 100 to 150 words on the following topic.
- What should local authorities do to improve transport and mobility in large cities?