I don’t know much about how engines work so I decided to read an Engine Builder’s Handbook. I have been learning a great deal, especially about the inputs necessary to make an engine run efficiently. For example: “The best air/fuel ratio is called stoichiometric, which translates to 14.7 pounds of air for every one pound of fuel… If you consider that air weighs about 5 one-thousandths of a pound for each gallon at standard temperature and pressure and gasoline weighs about 6 pounds per gallon, 1200 gallons of air must flow into an engine for every gallon of gasoline. Hmmm…

My Jeep has a 20.2 gallon fuel tank, consequently, I need ~24,240 gallons of air to flow thru my engine per tank of fuel. (Assuming my Jeep is stoichiometric.) That’s a large volume of air. What does it take to make a gallon of gas? 98 tons (~196,000lbs) of prehistoric, buried plant material. Therefore, each fill up of gas in my Cherokee requires ~3,959,200 lbs of prehistoric, buried plant material. My Cherokee has the aerodynamics of a brick, so I frequently go thru ~24,240 gallons of air and ~3,959,200 lbs of prehistoric, buried plant material. To reassure myself that my Jeep isn’t wasteful, but rather a temperate machine, I just think of the excessive depletion of natural resources due to an Escalade.