Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oil On The Brain

Title of an interesting book. I heard the author, Lisa Margnelli, interviewed today on KUOW's show called "The Beat."

Interview is still in KUOW Radio archive for The Beat, February 20 07. It's about half way through that hour long show.

Pictured on right is drilling rig I saw off southern California coast during my 2003 bicycle tour.

She talked about how much our oil economy is driven by the consumer.

Following the pipeline all the way from filling stations striving to keep the customer happy to gas truck drivers "doing what it takes" to make sure the station remains stocked. She met one driver who wore shorts in the truck because gas spilled on one's leg is better than gas soaked pants. That can turn one into a human torch.


Then there's the refineries. There's all that effort placed in cracking geological formations to get out the increasingly hard to tap reserve.

She even visited some oil exporting nations such as Iran, Nigeria and Venezuela. In Venezuela, she described one woman who was waiting in a cardboard hut for over 20 years for her promised benefit of a new house from government oil revenues.

The interview describes it much better than I. It's quite interesting.

Of course the conclusion involved trying to use less oil. She mentioned things like tele-commuting, more efficient cars, car-pooling.

I would add to this the story of my lifestyle. I've never driven a car! Bicycling, walking and public transit has met that the only time I "filled up at the pump" was for a lawn mower. That was part of a lawn mowing job I had in college.

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