This year (2010) alone, we've lost lives in coal mine and oil rig disasters and gas line explosions. The Gulf of Mexico has become a nightmare: lives and jobs lost - ways of life gone. What (more) is it going to take to drive us to wean ourselves off of our dependency on fossil fuels?
One barrel of oil is needed to produce 42 gallons of gasoline.
97 percent of transportation fuel currently comes from crude oil.²
In order to continue at today’s pace, we’ll have to increase our world supply from 80 million barrels a day to 120 million barrels a day by 2030.
The U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet (automobiles, pickup trucks, SUVs, vans and small trucks) currently consumes 150 billion gallons (550 billion liters) of gasoline a year, or 1.3 gallons of gasoline per person a day. If other nations burned gasoline at the same rate, world consumption would rise by a factor of almost 10.²
The number of vehicles worldwide, now 750 million, is expected to triple by 2050, thanks largely to the expanding buying power of customers in China, India and other rapidly developing countries.²
While only 3 percent of America's electricity is generated using oil, it supplies virtually all of our transportation needs. We own only 2 percent of the world's reserves, but we use 25 percent of the world's oil. If we could wean ourselves off of internal combustion engines, we'd have no further need for foreign oil. This will require going with all-electric vehicles.
We Americans love to drive our cars. All told, we own more than 242 million road vehicles - nearly one vehicle for every person in the country - and we travel 12,000 miles per vehicle each year. Virtually all of these vehicles are powered by petroleum-based fuel.³
Driving is part of the American way of life. While we represent 5 percent of the world's population, Americans use more than 33 percent of all oil consumed for road transportation. And as other countries adopt our lifestyle of freedom and mobility, the demand for oil is increasing.³
In the early 70's, over half of the globe essentially didn't use any oil. Today, everyone is hooked on trying to create a society that looks like ours. Other people want to live like us: they want cars and a nice house, air conditioning and refrigeration. And why shouldn't they?
Daily use of petroleum worldwide:
53 million barrels a day for transportation overall
29 million barrels a day for land transport for people
19 million barrels a day for land transport for freight
5 million barrels a day for air transport for people and freight²
So what will happen when the world runs out of oil? We're told that we've got about another 50 years before this happens, but there are many reasons to believe otherwise. There's a lot of speculation and disagreement on the topic "peak oil", but one fact is not debatable: oil has a very finite supply.
The United States was the biggest producer of oil for over 100 years and no one thought we'd ever peak.
Suburbia is already in trouble. The whole concept behind suburban life is that you commute to work 30, 40, 50 miles. That's only viable if you have cheap gas. The massive farms that feed the world are worked by internal combustion vehicles.
In the absence of fossil fuel, how many people can the world support? Many people believe 1.5 to 2 billion people. Our planet's current population is now approaching 7 billion people. So again, what will happen when the world runs out of oil?
The reality is that no single solution that has been proposed will lead to a decrease in U.S. gasoline consumption or achieve U.S. energy independence. Eliminating 12 million barrels a day of oil imports from our daily lives is not plausible.³
Until now: by replacing our deterioration highway infrastructure and crumbling power grid with the Solar RoadwaysT, we'd create a system that will support the recharging of all-electric vehicles. Using all-electric vehicles will eliminate the need for internal combustion engines. The removal of internal combustion engines eliminates our need for oil.
Electric cars have actually been around for a long time. They've just never been very practical, due to the fact that they have to be recharged and there has never been an infrastructure for that. The Solar RoadwaysT allow electric cars to recharge at any rest stop or business that has a parking lot made up of Solar Road PanelsT. Drivers can recharge their vehicles while eating at a restaurant or shopping at a mall. And with what we're currently paying at the gas pump, I think the conversion may be more acceptable to the American car owner than we may have thought imaginable!
Summary: we can't wait any longer to find a replacement for oil, which is rapidly disappearing. Our dependency on oil has long been a matter of national security and we don't want to wait until it's gone to decide what to do next. We have the technology to solve this problem in a relatively short period of time, which may be all we have left.
"A Crude Awakening - The Oil Crash" 2007
Directed by Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack
Co-directed by Reto Caduff
"A Climate Repair Manual"
By Gary Stix
Scientific American, September 2006
"Western Journey" - the magazine for AAA members
By Amy Myers Jaffe and Kenneth B. Medlock III
"Society ignoring (peak oil) is like the people of Pompeii ignoring the rumblings below Vesuvius." ~ James Schlesiger, former U.S. Energy SecretaryPlease join our fan site on Facebook. It's the best way to keep up with our current news.
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