Warner Pacific College
July 22, 2014
Science Method That Has Influenced Western Culture
This particular topic has a magnitude of variations that has impacted every American in a way that the question should read, “What science method hasn’t influenced western culture!” We have grown so incredibly fast these last few decades with science breakthroughs that choosing one is very difficult. From reaching the moon and traveling in outer space to DNA discovery, all of this in my short life period but we are required to choose one. I believe one major scientific discovery was oil, or actually the refinement of gasoline. Gas has transformed a once quiet unassuming nation into the greatest industrial anarchist and richest nation to ever exist. I am speaking of the United States, the fundamental partner in the western culture progression.
(Inventers.com) describes gasoline as “Gasoline produced by distillation, the separating of the volatile, more valuable fractions of crude petroleum.” As our culture progressed and increases of efficient motors were introduced, complex chemical scientific processes were necessary. One such process was “defined” as cracking. One such type of process was called Catalytic cracking. (Dictionary.com 2014) defines cracking as “The reduction of the molecular weight of hydrocarbons by a catalyst, accomplished in a petroleum refinery by a type of chemical reactor.” I am unaware of the exact science of how cracking is performed but having been employed in refinery plants in the south, I have observed how complicated the chemical process can be. Cracking or refinement of gas has impacted many of us. It has allowed us to drive cars that deposit much less hydrocarbons in the atmosphere and provide for cleaner breathable air. Refinement aka cracking of oil has provided fuels that deliver humans with everyday routines they have been accustomed to and rely on. We have come so accustomed to gas that even with the shortage of oil we still need it! Americans and the western culture have become overly reliant on fossil fuels, gasoline in particular. Our glutton dependence on gas has transformed this nation into a culture of petrol thirst. We need gas to sustain our everyday lifestyle. Our existence as we know it, without gas, would not survive our present day lifestyle or as a human race. Imagine if we lost the ability to utilize gas as a daily commodity, our society, as we know it, would come to a polarizing standstill.
The impact of gasoline, and the science that aided in its creation, had a profound impact on our society. Imagine what our world would be like without gas? Would you drive a horse to your office? Would you walk to work? Would we go back to a society of hunters and gatherers? We can only imagine. What is our future? (Post carbon institute 2010) describes what is required, “Lloyds Insurance and Chatham House issued a report called “Sustainable Energy Security: strategic risks and opportunities for business”, which argued that “energy security is now inseparable from the transition to a low-carbon economy and business plans should prepare for this new reality.” We need to prepare now for the ultimate ending of fossil fuels and transform the science to a sustainable society.