That’s what I suggest you take before reading Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction. Talk about depressing, I’ve barely read one chapter, a prologue and the preface — freshly added in 2009 — from Terry Tammien’s expose on how petroleum damages the health of our planet and ourselves and I already feel the need to lock my medicine chest and hide all the sharp objects. Among the interesting tidbits so far:
Petroleum was listed by the Geneva Protocol on Air Pollution as the largest single source of air pollution worldwide.
Exhaust fumes have all the nasty particles of cigarette smoke (except one); diesel fumes cause 125,000 cancer cases each year and more than 8,000 deaths in So Cal alone (four times than the amount of car crashes.)
In the past 10 years, Americans have added 10 pounds to burn an extra 350 million pounds of jet fuel per year.
That 98% of the world’s plants and animals became extinct before the awn of industrial man.
And that we’re in the middle of the planet’s sixth ‘mass extinction’ that could see half the earth’s plant and animal life by the middle of the century.
That’s just a random sample from at least 50 little passages I’ve starred or squiggled so far. And I’ve still got another six chapters, including one on drilling where I just glanced down to see that “a single exploratory [offshore] well dumps approximately 25,000 pounds of toxic metals….[and] …the USEPA and oil industry agree that more than 1 billion tons are discharged annually…. And that they are entirely unregulated.”
Screw the Ginsus. One more sentence like that, you’ll find me dead in the garage with my car running. But then from what I’ve read about exhaust fumes, I’m already committing suicide just by breathing.