Day by Day



03 February 2006

In and out...



It's a fact, what goes up must come down, aside from my hairline. The flows of petroleum through the United States and Canada are staggering. The United States alone consumes (uses up) 19.66 million barrels per DAY! This is a whopping 1 billion gallons every day.

The lion's share of this insatiable appetite is found in our transportation sector. More than 2/3 of our oil is used for gasoline.

Holy cow.

Forget the arguments for reinstating nuclear power (although I think it a valid pursuit), the resultant reduction in oil usage would be a pittance. Converting dense population areas to all electric powered transit, supplied by nuke plants would have a huge impact!



But that's not all of the problem, we source our oil from all over the world, a substantial amount from the mideast, but not all. Could we function as an economy without the mideast input?

Yes, but not very well.

Remember the oil embargo of the 70s? We were consuming a third of the oil at the time, but still in the same ratios from various geographies.

So what?

So, the left's mantra about no blood for oil is actually true. Our reliance on Iraq for oil is negligible. Thus we have actually shed no blood for oil. Oil moves regionally and Iraq is much more closely tied to Europe and Africa.

Now blood to prevent zealots from killing us...I will shed for that.

So what should we do? Change our dependence upon petroleum for transportation. This means technology and automakers who understand that the product they sell must meet the needs of the consumer. While oil is still plentiful, and it is, no one is going to give up their gasoline car for a limping electric powered coupe which costs twice as much and maybe three times as much to maintain.

Where to start? Start with fleets. Any freight or centrally managed fleet can be converted to alternate fuels and not become crippled by a lack of refueling infrastructure. Many city bus systems have a large natural gas fleet, and yet this is at its heart still part of the petroleum chain.

The United States is the most innovative nation on the planet. If we can design a palm sized device which can recieve videos from anywhere in the globe, we can build a non-petroleum fueled automobile.

7 comments:

G. Marock said...

CD, here is my e-mail to CNN re: the Mohammed cartoon flap: Dear CNN, Let me get this straight, you refuse to publish a mild cartoon depicting mohammed out of 'respect for Islam,' yet, on May 27, 2000, you didn't hesitate to publish Chris Ofili's 'The Holy Virgin Mary' which depicts Mary as a collage of Elephant crap and vaginas. I have already seen the cartoons and am already of the opinion that CNN is a hypocritical farce of a news agency. My point is: how will your readers and listeners who watch only CNN be able to judge for themselves whether the cartoons justify burning down embassies and threatening to chop people's heads off? I guess they will just have to trust CNN that the cartoons are super offensive, or go to a real news website. What an utter disgrace.

Citizen Deux said...

No kidding, see Scoot's post on the Constitution...rambling but with some solid points

Scootmaroo said...

Yes, it was a bit unfocused and rambling...but remember, I was trying to create a connundrum...but I think that was the point. Kind of like your hairline. Remember, the loss of hairline can be reversed just like the loss of oil flow....plugs!

sonicfrog said...

I don't think we'll make much progress reducing oil consumption until there is a huge crisis. Remember, it took TWO oil crisiseses to get Americans to start switching to the smaller, better designed, better built, more efficient Japanese cars. It's not that we are any more stubborn than anyone else, it's that we've had it better than anyone else.

Global warming isn't a good enough reason either. The ultimate negative effects are too obscure and not immediate enough for the average Joe to see and experience. Only a punch in the capitalist gut will cause a major immediate change in consumer habits.

All that said. we are slowly changing our collective consumer habits in positive ways. Hybrid and small cars sales continue to increase; I believe the reign of the mighty SUV is drawing to a close (I'm not an anti-SUV guy either - if you have a family, you need all the room just to stow the child car seats the law demands you use). More and more people are getting solar heating and / or electric systems installed on their homes.

PS. Scrap Kyoto. It was nothing but a money grab to feed Europe's cauffers while doing little to actually move away from CO2 producing sources of energy. The the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is better because it funnel fuel toward innovation instead of beaurocracies.

Citizen Deux said...

Frog, nice post. I concur on Kyoto wholeheartedly. The shift is occurring. Only when the options are simple, cheap and well built will we change.

Interesting to note that Honda has essentially cancelled it's foray into the full size pickup market due to low consumer demand...

Scootmaroo said...

also, do you think the trend in homebuilding will switch away from Mcmansion back to small mid-century ranch due to the high cost of heating?

Citizen Deux said...

No, heating is too small a portion of the fuel flow diagram.

I also don't really know what a McMansion is. Is a 4000 square foot 4 bedroom 3 bathroom house a McMansion?