Cars are an interesting thing. On the one hand, they are loved by people in a lot of ways. They get us around, allow us to do errands with ease or see the country from its roots. They let us express who we are and who we want to be perceived as in public. Cars are, in many ways, a reflection of society. This is nothing new to those who read this blog regularly, I have said that car mirror society before. But this is cars at their best and brightest. Cars are also one of the most reviled inventions in history. They clog our streets, pollute our air, and cost us billions of dollars a year to buy, insure, and maintain.
Interestingly, this dichotomy exists with the key motivator or automobiles as well, gasoline. Gasoline, the crude oil based fuel that provides the motive force for virtually every car in the US and many cars abroad has enjoyed a love/hate history with society. On the one hand, it has consistently provided us with a cheap, powerful, and plentiful source of (literally) bottled energy with which to make our cars run. On the other hand, gasoline produces pollution and drains the world of its oil reserves at an alarming rate.
For the next few days, I want to look into how gasoline has helped the car grow, adapt, and thrive. Beyond that, it is worth considering how gasoline has also limited the automobile and pushed it to find alternative means of propulsion.