Sunday, May 11, 2008

Crude Consumption.... An Mass Media Mis-Propaganda

Everytime, there is rise in the price of the crude oil, all the media rants about the increasing consumption of Oil by developing nations like India and China and their huge apetite for the hydrocarbons. The responsibility of price rise without any justification is put squarely on these countries without providing any facts or figures supporting for it.

First of all, we need to understand that while comparing between any two entities the parameters need to be selected very carefully. It is rightly said, "Statistics are like mini-skirts, which reveal too much while covering vital things" The parameters of statistics are of utmost importance. As when defining whether a country is developed, developing, under-developed or undeveloped, the criteria used is either PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) per capita GDP or even plain vanilla PCI(Per Capita Income) in a single currency, to get an proper comparative idea, the same technique needs to be used while determining the consumption of crude oil by various states.
The basic argument used by all media is that more than 30% of the increased consumption of oil is cornered by the countries like china and India. But is that info pr0per to confer that the consumption of these countries is very high? Is increase in consumption the only parameter to judge it? Absolutely not... The absolute consumption of the oil is also important as compared to the increased consumption. Then there is a question, the total till date consumption of oil by all the countries? These developed countries have been guzzling oil at an alarming rate for past few decades. Had they not consumed at such an alarming rate, we would not have faced crisis situation today. countries like US would always like to point a finger which is not directed towards them. Who is going question them?

What is the consumption of these so called oil guzzlers? How much oil do developing countries consume as compared to other western countries and US?Now to understand better lets look at some figures:
  1. US was consuming 20.5 million barrels of oil per day in 2006. While India was consuming 2.5 million barrels of oil and China was consuming 7.2 million barrels per day.
  2. The US consumption is more than 8 times of India. That means 1% increase in oil consumption is equivalent to 8.5% increase in consumption of India.
  3. India's total consumption of oil is equal to US's 1 1/2 months oil consumption.
  4. India's population is more than One Crore (i.e. one Billion) while US population barely exceeds 300 million that means India has three times more population to support than US while consumption is one-eigth.
  5. If we convert those consumption figures to per capita, then we could say that India's per capita consumption is 4% as compared to that of US.
  6. The Per Capita consumption of energy by US is 68.81 barrels per person per year while India's consumption is 2.18 barrels per person per year. that is more than 33 times!!!!!
Where are these facts when Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency talks bull shit whilst saying that "The rapidly growing appetite for fossil fuels in China and India is likely to help keep oil prices high for the foreseeable future - threatening a global economic slowdown,"

Have they ever gone through these figures? Do they know how much is one barrel of oil?

One barrel of oil is equivalent to around 160 litres. that means a US citizen consumes about 11,000 litres of oil and oil equivalent per day!!!??????? Consider the mind boggling figures when I say 300 million population of US means 3264,000,000 litres per day i.e. about 3.2 billion litres per day. That is 1,191,360 million litres per year !!!!!!

These figures are completely mind boggling. I personally feel that there is huge mass media mis-prpoganda being done about the oil consumption by countries like India. Completely irrelevant data (no false) is being fed to general public and then completely baseless inference is being drawn.

In this world where in a democracy, Media is considered to be fourth pillar of democracy, I feel the Indian media should vociferously try to present a correct picture to the Indians and the world. Mass Media was used as a weapon even in the days of second world war and later in the Cold War Era...

I warn all of you to not fall victims to this propoganda. Try to question the data and analyse it before drawing any conclusion from it. Even Indian leadership should take effort to present correct picture all the citizens. Complete facts should be presented and then the person should be allowed to draw the conclusion. Do not accept the conclusion drawn by others. (especially western media)

Though concerned about the Global climate change, the developed countries like US have outrightly refused to decrease the emission of GHGs (Green House Gases). They rant about developing countries food consumption has led to increase in food prices. Do they know how much they consume or how much food they waste? (that would be another post to discuss about)

Our Foreign Policy should include mass media propoganda as to increase awarness about the issues and mis-conception. They should take help of this powerful force which could help to change the opinion of the general public and allow to take the right decisions.

1 comment:

Uma said...

that's an excellent post! Loved your blog!