25, 5, and 2: Three Great Reasons Not to Buy a Hummer

This evening I watched an extraordinary documentary titled A Crude Awakening (which can be found at Amazon here), and in the film three numbers jumped out at me:

  • 25
  • 5
  • 2

And what do these numbers represent?

  • 25 is the percentage of the world’s annual oil production that Americans consume
  • 5 is the US percentage of the world’s population (actually, it’s even less than that; 1 out of every 22 people on Earth is a US citizen) 
  • 2 is the estimated percentage of the world’s remaining oil reserves to be found beneath US soil.

Given theses numbers, and the rapid rise of China and India in the global economy, it doesn’t take an economist or petroleum geologist to tell you that our country’s consumption of fossil fuels is completely unsustainable (even if global oil production was not peaking, which it clearly is). Here are those numbers again:

  • 25% (US consumption of annual global oil production)
  • 5% (US population as a percentage of total global population)
  • 2% (US share of estimated global oil reserves)

Let those numbers sink in. Political and economic turmoil, cultural upheaval, wars, and rumors of wars are in those numbers. Here’s a segment from the A Crude Awakening  documentary:

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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