What can we do?
More so than any other country, Americans love to travel in their personal vehicles. We own 30 percent of the world’s vehicles while we have 4.5 percent of the world’s population. Our country uses 25 percent of the world’s petroleum, of which two-thirds is imported.
The cost of gasoline in America is about half that in Europe, primarily because of the difference in taxes (in some countries, taxes are more than half of the cost of the gasoline). For our passenger vehicles and light trucks, our average miles per gallon is 16.7, with the average licensed U.S. driver covering 15,000 miles per year.
Of our new personal vehicles sold each year, cars make up half and trucks, SUV’s and vans the remainder. In this area, parking lots reveal that two-thirds of the vehicles are SUV’s and light trucks. Presently, the amount of petroleum produced each day has remained steady for over 32 months at 84 million barrels with little surplus capacity. This lack of extra capacity means that if there is an interruption in oil from one of the key oil producing countries, prices are likely to shoot up as demands remains constant while supply shrinks.
Since the first oil well in Titusville, Pa., in 1859, humans have extracted a trillion barrels of petroleum. Conservative estimates suggest that there’s about that amount of petroleum in existing reserves. (We are at the peak of the oil supply curve as the production of petroleum has been fixed for nearly three years.) Few significant discoveries of conventional oil have been made in the past few decades.
At our present rate of consumption, we will extract our second trillion barrels in only 33 years! If the cost of petroleum rises only 10 percent a year, the price will double every seven years! So by 2015, petroleum will cost $230 per barrel! 2022 will see petroleum at nearly $500 per barrel. Then by 2029, the price will be in the vicinity of $1000 per barrel! If the price of gasoline grows proportionately, then you can expect gasoline in the United States to be about $25 per gallon in 2029; this is the same price that some of us in small vehicles fill up gas tanks every week at current prices.
What can we do?
- Bob Doyle - Astronomy
Early morning lunar eclipse this Tuesday
For the first time since 2011, our area may see a total lunar eclipse as the moon will pass through the Earth’s deep shadow.
Here’s a fine guide to new Cosmos series
This columnist recommends the new series: “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” presented on FOX on Sundays at 9 p.m. and on the National Geographic channel at 10 p.m. on Monday and Friday evenings.
Which species is truly the most successful?
When the question of success is raised, most of us think of lavish homes, sports arenas, cars or stocks owned.
Earth’s climate keeps changing, but why?
Earth’s climate has been subject to change, long before humans walked the Earth. Why should the climate change?
The Earth is a dynamic planet, subject to the shifting of the crustal plates (which can lead to increased volcanic eruptions), the advance and retreat of glaciers and changes in the Earth’s motion about the sun (Earth’s axial tilt and the varying ovalness of the Earth’s orbit).
History book starts from the beginning
There is a new world history book, using a great variety of graphs. It is the collaboration of an Italian graphic designer, Valentina D’Efilippo and British journalist James Ball.
Their book is “The Infographic History of the World,” published this year by Firefly with ISBN – 13: 978-1-77085-316-4.
New ‘Cosmos’ debuts on television tonight
Now that our clocks are on daylight saving time, today’s sunrise and sunset are coming about an hour later than yesterday. Yesterday’s sunrise was about 6:38 a.m.; today’s sunrise is about 7:36 a.m.
What do these vital measurements mean?
A while back, I wrote a column on how the U.S. has firmly held onto British units that the British themselves have abandoned (inch, pound, quart).
Here’s an up-to-date guide to the universe
There has been a surge in beginner’s books about the universe. The number of probable exoplanets (planets orbiting other stars) grows by several dozen each month.
People and pet food have lots in common
In our house reside one dog and three cats. I found Chapter 2 in Mary Roach’s “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal” very interesting.
‘Guide’ helps us to relate to our planet
Some regard humanity as the most intelligent species and therefore the masters of the world.
- More Bob Doyle - Astronomy Headlines
- Early morning lunar eclipse this Tuesday