W: Good morning, Mr. Green.
M: Good morning, Helen. Come and sit down. Um, we were a bit worried about your progress last term. But you've done some very good work recently. And I think it's barely safe to assume you'll pass the course now. In fact, if you can keep up this standard, we could very well be looking at a credit.
W: A credit, really?
M: Yes. As long as you keep up the good work. Anyway, the other thing we need to talk about is your next assignment. Right?
M: And you want to look at the subject of oil.
W: Yes, it's a pretty major issue. I mean, there are millions of buses and cars and trucks in the world, all dependent on oil. And then the airline industry is carrying more and more people around world every year. So you have to consider global warming.
M: Hang on a minute. I wouldn't go into global warming if I were you. That's a huge subject in its own right. And quite a controversial one, I might add. The assignment is only supposed to be 3,000 words, remember? If you're not careful, you'll be writing a 30,000-word thesis.
M: Now let's start with a few basics. Do you know how much energy is actually used for fuel, compared with other things?
W: Yes. I found some statistics. It's here somewhere. Ah, yes. Transportation. That accounts for about a quarter of world energy. Quite a bit less than industry. But it's still a significant proportion.
M: And what is the figure for industry, as a matter of interest?
W: That's almost 45%.
M: And the rest?
W: The other 30% or so goes into buildings for things like heating and air conditioning. But anyway, the main point I wanted to make was that we can't go on relying on oil forever.
M: So you think oil is running out. Have you any evidence of that?
W: Yes, several major oil producers are already producing less.
M: For example?
W: Well, Russia is a good example, and Mexico is another. Apparently, even Saudi Arabia will reach its peak in a few more years.
M: Interesting. Okay. And do you know which countries use the most oil?
W: Yes. 1/3 of the world's oil goes to North America. Worst of all is the USA, which gets through 459 gallons of gasoline per head every year. And Canada isn't far behind, with 303 gallons. Quite a long way after that comes Germany and then Japan.
M: Good. That's very useful data. Now, I suppose the other thing you need to look at is possible solutions in the last section. Any ideas?
W: I haven't really got that far yet.
M: Okay. Well, I think we'd better leave it there. You seem to have a lot of useful information already. And you just need to work out the last section. And don't forget the word limit.
W: I won't. Thanks for the help.