Every time I read about the energy contained in gasoline I can’t help but be in awe.
It’s so easy to take for granted this amazing source of energy when a few times a month we drive up to the gas station, put $30 worth in and drive off to our destination, be it 1, 10 or even 100 miles away.
I’m 47 years old so that means I’ve been doing this exact thing weekly for, what, 30 years or so.
Every now and again when a hurricane hits we’ll realize the luxury that is gasoline. Remember Hurricane Sandy? People would walk with an empty 5 gallon gas can hoping to be able to get that valuable fuel to run a generator or even get them away from a disaster area.
The recent hurricanes in Florida had people fleeing trying to get out of town to avoid what looked to be a direct him. But the gas supply ran dry due to many factors but power outages is one. Can’t power the pumps to move the gasoline from underground tanks, well, you’re not going to be able to fill your vehicle.
Without gasoline, people were stuck. Some were on highways. Some were unable to leave their homes even when it appeared they were in the direct path of a devastating storm. It was bad for those couple days before the storm hit. Easy to forget now. But during that 48 hour time period before the storm him, I was scared for those people.
So, for all the negativity that surrounds gasoline because of it being a fossil fuel. Also, because it just has that distinct odor that doesn’t go away very quickly if you spill it. Trust me on this! I spilled a small amount of gas inside my vehicle and the smell stayed around for a couple weeks, even driving with the windows down. Was not pleasant.
But even with all that, just remember that without gasoline your life would be a whole lot more cumbersome. Just so we can paint a picture of how valuable gasoline is. If you drove 30 miles in a 30 mpg vehicle you would have burned 1 gallon of gas, correct? 30 miles divided by 30 miles per gallon = 1 gallon.
Picture a gallon of milk. Now replace that milk with gasoline. And there is your visual of how much 1 gallon of gasoline is.
Now, let’s compare the energy consumed by that one gallon of gasoline which moved you 30 miles in a nearly 2 ton vehicle. You could literally have run your clothes dryer more than 7 hours straight and consumed the same energy. Your clothes dryer is by far the largest energy consumer in your home.
You could run your central Air Conditioning for over 10 straight or your microwave for 36 hours non-stop and the list goes on and on.
Think about it again. That one gallon milk jug filled with gasoline could power your whole house air conditioning unit for 10 hours straight!
Tell me that is not amazing.
So, for the record, as we wind down Thanksgiving weekend, I just wanted to share another reason to be thankful. We live in a land of abundance. The energy we rely on is the primary reason for our abundance and every now and again, it’s a good idea to reflect on this and give thanks for how lucky we are.