Oil consumption in the United States is at 20.7 million barrels
per day, most people do not realize that a barrel of oil equals 42
gallons. This would convert our 20.7 million barrels per day usage to
869,400,000 gallons per day, or almost 3 gallons per man woman and
child in the USA.
China our nearest competitor in total consumption uses 6.4
million barrels per day, which converts to 268,800,000 gallon or
approximately .2067 gallon (less then a quart) per man woman and child.
The United States has almost 300 million people while there are
almost 1.3 billion Chinese people. The United States uses 3 times as
much oil yet has less then one forth the population .The world is not
able to support consumption at the rate we in the United States blow
I was employed by Uncle Sam in the late 70’s early
80’s. One day while sitting on an aircraft carrier during high
speed running I calculated ship fuel consumption. This did not cover
the aircraft flying around, just the propulsion of the vessel, we were
moving at approximately 11 feet per gallon. Worked on tankers carrying
crude out of Alaska in the late 80’s feet per gallon was under 60
and container ships in the early 90’s at about 75 feet per
gallon. The rates of usage are not sustainable.
They have vehicles in Europe that get over 70 miles per gallon
yet we keep burning up fuel. It really is inexcusable. The size of the
holes in the earth with all the resources that are being sucked out
must make it look like Swiss Cheese underground.
There are solutions to our over consumption habits but they
would require a fundamental shift in our thinking (like we are
privileged, we deserve everything). We need to shift to solar
power as soon as possible, this will necessitate educating the people
about the engineering aspects involved, it really isn’t that
complicated and can be done throughout the United States fairly easily.
Unfortunately the big oil companies hold extensive patients on
Solar technology and are only interested in making lots of money
instead of playing nice in the sand box. Solar could be run on
average 360 out of 365 days per year in Western Washington with the
technology that was around in the late 1980’s. The recent
advances in solar power have been incredible.
P.S. We also need to quit wasting water, average daily
consumption in the USA exceeds 50 gallon per person. The rates of usage
also are not sustainable.