Oil and Automobiles.

Here in my car, I feel safest of all.

Or not.

Here in the west we are all very reliant on our automobiles. Whether that be a Jaguar or some Russian rust bucket. We use them for everything, getting to work, getting the shopping, taking the kids somewhere or just for cruising about. We simply could not exist without them, or the trucks that move things where they need to go. I recently read in Wired magazine that trucks in the US account for 4.3 percent of total vehicles, drive 9.3 percent of all the miles but consume 25 percent of all the fuel burned. Crazy figures, we need our motor vehicles as much as we need oxygen.

But times are a changin’. We are told relentlessly of global warming, the coming shortage of oil, not to mention congestion of the roads and cities. Car manufacturers are slowly changing their ways. Hybrid cars like the Prius and full electric cars like the Volt, are slowly creeping in. My parents have just bought a new Ford Focus, which has a highly efficient, three cylinder one litre engine, which my dear father says sounds like a V8. But is this enough? Could more be done by the manufacturers? Well the manufacturers don’t choose the fuel. They just use what is easiest and most abundant to them. If we could make wood really small and efficient to burn (OK that is kinda fossil fuels) then I’m sure we could have wood burning cars. Which would be far more renewable than oil.

As I’ve pondered this these last few days, I’m not sure the manufacturers are the ones to look to here. The people we need to look at are the oil suppliers. These highly un-diversified companies are intent on finding and exploiting the Earth’s oil reserves, for profit. Let’s not beat about the bush here. There is a direct correlation between the burning of fossil fuels, polution and the resultant change in environment. Oil companies are literally making huge profits killing the world. Why are we not forcing them to invest that money in to new sustainable energy solutions? I don’t mean free ones. I’m sure we would all happily pay the price of gas, although perhaps of gas fifteen years ago, to enable us to drive cars or fly in planes, have electricity and any and all of the other luxuries of the modern world. But wouldn’t it be great if that energy didn’t result in us leaving a tired knackered Earth to our children?

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