Friday Forum: What do we use oil for anyway?
I have been getting into a lot of good discussions about the nature of oil. As an engineer, I know that oil is a substance we will tend to always find a use for. Oil gets used in a myriad of ways, particularly when we consider transportation and plastics. So many things find their origins in petroleum through creation of petrochemicals. I thought surely our demand for gasoline would not be the only way to shape our demand for oil. Surely our never-ending love affair with plastics would shape our holistic demand for oil.
Or so I thought.
Digging deeper into the uses for oil shows that roughly 10% of oil goes to plastics. Ten whole whopping percent. Our stores, filled to brimming with an incredible array of plastic products, represent ten percent of our collective thirst for oil.
Oil also makes up a significant portion of asphalt. Miles and miles of road paved. Millions of potholes being filled. The fact that I cannot drive around right now without encountering roads being resurfaced makes visible our demand for asphalt. Three percent. Again, an incredible three percent of our collective thirst for oil.
Regular, normal gasoline? Forty-six percent. The stuff that we put in our cars to get us around. Forty-six percent. And I thought we had a complete insanity when it came to our use of plastics in everything.
I’m curious. What would need to happen to reduce your demand for gasoline?