Okay, so you read that headline and said, Wait a minute, cats and iPhones don’t use gas. And you would be right – and wrong. Well, not according to us but according to Exxon Mobile’s “Outlook for Energy,” where they note that in the year 2040 we will still be heavily dependent on liquid petroleum fuels because there’s just a lot of energy packed into a gallon of gas. In fact, a single gallon of gas will charge an iPhone once a day, every day, for 20 years. Whatever else our scientists and governments do, Exxon Mobile figures show that in 2040 world demand for “liquid fuels” will be 30 percent more than in 2010 even though the world population will only increase by 25 percent (to 9 billion people) during that same time frame. Beyond just using gas in our cars, our iPhones and for that matter our entire technology arsenal depends heavily on oil.
Here is what the report actually says: “Many familiar elements of modern life would not exist without the plastics, chemicals and fertilizers made from oil and natural gas.” Here is what the report probably means: From the plastics in our iPhones, to the plastic for their packaging, to the fertilizers that grow the food for our cats, it all goes back to oil. And by now we know that well-fed cats are essential to the making of cat videos, which we all agree is what keeps YouTube interesting. Hence, without oil, viral cat videos will disappear and we will all be sad. Of course, Exxon agrees there will be much research into alternative fuels but ultimately all roads will lead back to the issue of efficiency. No fuel is lighter, energy-dense and portable as oil, so in order to prevent any sadness from the absence of cat videos we will need to keep the petroleum flowing.