According to Kiplinger’s Magazine, “Our country consumes almost one-forth of all oil produced, or 24.5 barrels per person annually.” If we were to compare that with other countries like China or India, we would notice a stunning difference. China consumes an average of 1.8 barrels of oil per person per year while India uses a single barrel of oil per person per year. What if these other countries began to demand more barrels of oil per person per year? What if the oil fields we have been drilling from cease to produce more oil? These are two questions we must seriously ask.
I bring this up because I believe we need to take a hard look at how much oil we use. I am not suggesting that we toss out our cars and walk everywhere (though we probably would not be as fat as we are today). What I am suggesting is that we need to be better stewards of the raw materials we have in order that we can use them more efficiently. I myself am a great consumer of gas. On average, I drive somewhere between 13,000 – 16,000 miles a year. When I have the opportunity to drive with other people, I usually would rather drive by myself. The more I think about that, I realize that I am wasting gas that can be saved by driving with other people. What if we all took the opportunities to drive with other people? What if, instead of driving by ourselves all the time, we drove with other people? How much gas would we really save? What if we used other forms of transportation when and if we are able? What if we used the train or the bus to go places? What if we took the time to care about saving our gas by using different forms of getting from point ‘A” to point “B”? I wonder what that would look like.
In conclusion, I would just like to say that I am at the forefront of this challenge. I wish I had a quick-fix answer to our gas usage. And, even though we are taking steps to move away from the need of oil, we must look at our situation now. Do we really need to drive by ourselves? Can we use other modes of transportation like a bus, a motorcycle, or a train instead of using our cars all the time? I did not get into the issue of the types of cars we drive here – but what if, instead of driving cars that only get 11 miles to the gallon, we choose to drive cars with better fuel emissions? There are a lot of things we can do to make the issue of oil issues less of an issue. We need to think creatively about how we can save our gas – at least for now.