Recognition & Awareness
|Petroleum is the most vital
component of the global manufacturing machine. In the United States
seventy-one percent of transportation is fueled by petroleum, twenty-three
percent of Industrial production requires petroleum, five percent of
residential and commercial energy use is from petroleum, and one percent of
the Electric Power generated is from petroleum generated power plants. All
in all, petroleum makes up over thirty-seven percent of the total domestic
energy consumption (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2011).
It’s important to note how essential petroleum is in producing enough food to support the global population. “It is estimated that the earth could support between one and two billion people if we did not apply mass production concepts to growing food and then ship the resulting crops long distances to population centers” (The Zen of Oil, 2012). Agriculture is practically entirely dependent on reliable and affordable supplies of petroleum for cultivation and pumping water, for fertilizers and pesticides, and for processing, storage, distribution (Church, 2005). Many of the pesticides used in commercial farming are particularly harmful to one’s health. “Studies of people with high exposures to pesticides, such as farmers, pesticide applicators, manufacturers, and crop dusters, have found high rates of blood and lymphatic system cancers; cancers
|of the lip,
stomach, lung, brain, and prostate; as well as melanoma and other skin
cancers.” (National Cancer institute, 2010). The general population, exposed
to lower doses of pesticides, is also at risk.
Many people don’t realize how many of the products they use on a daily basis are derived from petroleum. The following is a short list of some of the products that are made at least partially from oil or petroleum: Roads, Fertilizers, Pesticides, Household cleaners, Cosmetics, Perfumes, Soap, Deodorant, Vitamin Capsules, Paint, Trash bags, Clothing, Telephones, Pillows, Toothpaste, Antihistamines, Plastic, Candles, Speakers, Umbrellas, Trash Bags, Heart Valves, Roofing shingles. As the price of petroleum increases, these products will be more expensive to produce, and as a result, more expensive to purchase by the consumer. Aside from the economic costs associated with oil based products, there are significant implications about how consuming these products, in particular those that you put on or in your body, may negatively affect your health. The danger is that petroleum is considered a refined plastic. It will never decompose in your body or in nature. Using petroleum year-after-year, in the long-run, will inevitably inhibit the skin's ability to rid itself of toxins.
Cancer Trends Progress Report - Pesticides. (2010, April 15). National Cancer institute: Cancer Trends Progress Report – 2009/2010 Update. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from http://progressreport.cancer.gov/doc_detail.asp?pid=1&did=2009&chid=91&coid=913&mid=
Church, N. (2005, May 1). Why Our Food is So Dependent on Oil | Energy Bulletin. Energy Bulletin. Retrieved March 7, 2012, from http://www.energybulletin.net/node/5045
Total Energy - Data - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). (2011, October 19). U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Retrieved March 9, 2012, from http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/annual/index.cfm
The Zen of Oil - Part 1 - Not So Evil. (2012). Solar Energy Companies. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from http://www.solarcompanies.com/fossil-fuels/the-zen-of-oil-part-one