circa 1935: A view of oil wells in California, near Los Angeles. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
circa 1935: A view of oil wells in California, near Los Angeles. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Everyone wants alternative energy — me included. Gas and oil in my car, natural gas heating my home but one day those will be done by alternative fuels. When, is anyone’s guess, but it will eventually happen. Solar, wind, hydrogen and natural gas are the energies of the future. But does that mean drilling will become a thing of the past? I found some interesting oil based facts in a 2008 article from The Devon Energy Corporation.

What Would A Day Be Like Without Oil?

Most of us rise and shine and get ready for work. We shower, shave or put on makeup, brush our teeth and think nothing of it. But none of those things would be possible without petroleum-based products.

A plastic toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, mascara, lipstick, shaving cream, or razor would all be missing from your morning regimen without petroleum.


Without petroleum products you’d be missing a coffee pot, cups, egg cartons and most of your cooking utensils. No refrigerator shelves to hold your food, no sponges to clean up your mess or plastic bags to dispose of your trash, even your non-stick pots and pans don’t happen without oil. Oh, and don’t forget your multi-vitamin.

Going to Work

Your car uses gas for power and oil for lubrication but it doesn’t end there. The majority of the parts of your car would not be possible if not for petroleum. Your dashboard, upholstery, windshield wipers, break fluid, sun visors, mirrors, floor mats, knobs, gear shift all have oil in them somewhere. Even the road you travel on is petroleum-based asphalt. You’ll be driving over painted pedestrian crosswalks, stopping at traffic signs, all made from, you guessed it, oil.

Oil At Work

Linoleum floors, Formica countertops, computers, desks, chairs, carpeting, paint on the walls, wallpaper, oil paintings on the walls, roofing or shingles, and ceiling tiles would be absent were it not for oil. Your cell phone, ballpoint pens, and ink, your calculator, copy machine, printer cartridges all the way down to your wastebasket all contain oil somewhere in their makeup.

Oil And Obamacare

Today’s modern hospitals would be impossible to run without oil. Artificial hearts, prosthetic limbs, hearing aids, anesthetics, and cortisone all come from oil. From floor to ceiling oil is everywhere in hospitals and businesses everywhere.

Home And Leisure Time

Televisions or radios would not exist, as we know them, without oil. Neither would baby bottles, disposable diapers, pacifiers, teething rings, or those cute little stuffed animals. No eyeglasses or contact lenses either.

No golf balls, soccer balls, footballs, basketballs, tennis rackets, diving boards or swim goggles. If you bike or jog you’d have to do it without tires for your bike or the rubber soles on your hiking or running shoes.

Some Final Thoughts

I know this is a lot to think about. So take it easy, hit the sack and rest your weary head on your petroleum based pillow, and curl up under your nice oil based sheets and blankets. Enjoy a good nights sleep. Your cooling air conditioner or fan humming in the background. Get a good night’s sleep and your petroleum based clock radio or alarm clock will make sure you’re not late for work.

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