American Lifestyle: Representing 4.3% of the World’s Population and Consuming 20.2% of Petroleum
By Maxim Nikolenko
This is the estimate for the first half of 2017 from the data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In volume terms, from January 1 to June 30, the United States consumed on average 19,707,000 barrels of ‘liquid fuels’ per day, according to the data from (EIA) graph. This represents a growth of 274,000 barrels from the 19,432,000 consumed in the first half of 2016.
EIA is predicting average oil consumption to top 19,900,000 barrels per day in 2017, while a steady growth is forecasted to continue in 2018.
The consumption is unhinged by a growing industry of renewable energy and the Paris Climate Accord signed by the U.S. in 2016. The results of Trump’s resignation from the accord will only be seen in the near future.
Certainly, the fossil fuels industry is far from declining in the United States. Back in 2012, the country consumed 18.5 million barrels of oil per day, with the figure rising to 19.4 million in 2015 and now topping closer to the ‘historic’ 20.8 million barrels per day consumed in 2005.
Apart from rising, the consumption levels are already unprecedented in comparison to the rest of the world. If we combine the daily figures, a total of 17.6 billion barrels were devoured globally in the first half of 2017. The United States consumed at least 3.56 billion barrels or 20.2% of the total amount, amidst the fact that it represents just a tiny fraction of the global population.
According to the latest data available, the population of U.S was estimated at 323.1 million in 2016. The Same year global population topped 7.5 billion, which means the largest oil consumer now represents just 4.3% of the global population.
America has been known to the world as a major consumer of natural resources. I had encountered numerous articles on the subject. Even the so-called mainstream press has been demonstrating comparative interest on climate change and protection of the environment, though the empathy is usually short-lasting, and overwhelmingly focused on criticism of a single individual; now it is President Donald who occupies the White House.
The mainstream answers to the grotesque climate policies of Donald Trump and the Republican Party are presented through individuals such as Elon Musk, the man whose current wealth is estimated by Forbes to exceed $15 billion. Apparently, the corporate answer to the corporate-driven problem emblems a shining light for the ‘sustainable future’ of our planet.
Of course, little attention is taken on the environmentally-destructive Western culture of mass consumerism and promotion of the fundamentalist market doctrine.
Virtually invisible is the suffering of millions, inflicted by the insatiable appetite of American Empire. These millions represent the 95.7% of those who were not born in the United States, and an overwhelming majority of humanity who was not born in the so-called Developed World.
It is perhaps unsurprising that American levels of consumption would bring apocalyptic results if replicated everywhere in the world. For instance, in 2016, the United States consumed a total of 7.19 billion barrels of petroleum. If this figure is distributed evenly amongst 323.1 million people, then every single American would have consumed 22.25 barrels of oil.
If every single person on the planet consumed a similar amount in 2016, then the global crude reserves would have shrunk by 166.8 billion barrels. According to the CIA chart, the combined volume of all proven oil reserves worldwide exceeds 1.6 trillion barrels. With American-style appetite, they will be depleted in 10 years. Indeed, there will be no oil in 12 years and 6 months if Rystad Energy is correct and the global deposits actually contain 2.1 trillion barrels.
This is why in reality the world consumed 35.4 billion barrels of petroleum in 2016. Of course, an overwhelming share of it was used by the upper 20% of humanity.
Retaining minority-control over the resources practically means an economic plunder of the majority of mankind.
The wars of American Empire had already resulted in deaths of millions of people in oil-rich Iraq, South Sudan, and Libya. The Empire also partners with the most authoritarian governments such as the world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, a country who is waging a barbaric war on the 28 million men, women and children of Yemen, of course, with weapons made in the U.S.A.
The latest acquisition project of Washington is aimed at Venezuela. The regime change policy sought against the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro would restore the corporate ownership of countries’ vast oil reserves, numerically the largest in the world.
Indeed, this is how the corporate machine maintains control over the world’s energy resources, while its Imperial house secures the ‘20.2% consumption share.’