Fueling Change - A Little Conservation Goes A Long Way

The UK consumes 1.5M barrels of oil per day, over and against the United States’ mammoth habits of oil consumption—clocking in at 18.55M barrels per day. That puts British oil consumption at roughly 3.2 liters of oil per capita, versus the 9.5 liters of oil consumed by the average American.

Some would say that the reason the average British citizen’s carbon footprint is so much smaller than the the average US citizen’s has to do with an early introduction of Petroleum revenue tax in the immediate aftermath of the 1973 oil crisis. The PRT has no analog in the US Tax Code, and higher prices at the pump over the past 40 years may well be responsible for creating an entirely different cultural and economic attitude towards petroleum in Britain.

Further parliamentary intervention into the British economy’s level of oil consumption is traceable to the 2008 Climate Change Act, which makes it Secretary of State’s duty to ensure that the net UK carbon account for all six Kyoto greenhouse gases falls by at 80% against the 1990 baseline by 2050.

However, in light of the fact that—according to the Climate Change Committee’s most recent report—Britain’s carbon consumption has actually gone up since 1990, despite offshoring carbon emissions and enhanced industrial efficiencies, it’s hard to imagine how we’ll get back on track to meet our commitments to the international protocol.

Breakthroughs in technological innovation may be the only way, realistically speaking, to alter our present course. New sugar and algae powered fuel-alternatives are exciting—ostensibly nullifying their own carbon emissions by converting an equal or greater amount of carbon into oxygen during their life-cycle. Sebastian Thrun’s now classic 2011 “Driverless Car” TED Talk offers up a future free of traffic jams, increasing across the board by roughly 15%, and increasing fuel-efficiency in cities by a great deal more than that.

But these solutons—it seems like there’s one per month—seem to be encountering difficulties scaling up.

Verizon Wireless offers an interesting infographic today about the struggles and opportunities of reducing oil-consumption in the present tense, underlining the positive effect that using GPS and fleet management systems has had on the transportation sector in the United States.

Presented By Verizon Networkfleet

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Thomas Kennedy .

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