The plummeting price of fossil fuel has made certain industries quite profitable due to decreasing production and delivery costs. It also marginally helped car owners in certain parts of the world, even though the actual fuel price has not decreased as much as crude price. That is due to the fact that the cost of transforming crude to fuel (refinement, transportation) has not changed that much.
Unfortunately our reliance on fossil fuels may end up being much more costly in the long run than any short term gains. Here’s an article that explains why the situation is the way it is while also highlighting one of the worst effects of the worldwide drop in oil prices: collapsing oil-depending economies whose fall hurts millions of people:
The damage to the ecosystem is not that hard to quantify either. The sudden release (in geological terms) of all this energy that nature has stockpiled for millions of years^ is destabilizing the delicate balance of the atmosphere and oceans. The planet will rebalance itself, but the 99% of the Earth’s population that doesn’t afford shelter from the extreme weather conditions coming our way will pay a steep price for the shortsighted goals blindly followed by corporate leaders. United States’ withdrawal from the Paris accord^ encourages these dangerous practices and may set a very regrettable precedent.
And if the destruction of societies and ecosystems is not enough reason for developed countries to think twice about burning these fossil fuels so fast and greedily, how about money lost due to the exaggerated focus on private transportation? Traffic jams are very expensive:
But who knows, I’m not ruling out the possibility of this industrial spurt spawning a scientific solution to the coming predicament. It’s a risky bet to make. I’ll always wish for the best while preparing for whatever I find likely to happen next.