Pharmaceutical drugs are made from petrochemicals

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Pharmaceutical drugs are made from petrochemicals, which are derived from fossil fuel. Now that explains one reason why people who use them experience nasty side effects.

Oil is composed of organic material, most of which is derived from floating planktonic plants, including green algae, and from single-celled planktonic animals. The organic debris settle to the bottom of lake beds and oceans, where it was preserved from oxidation by stagnant water. After burial, the plankton was converted by heat and pressure into oil and gases, later to be used as source beds. Much of the oil deposits were formed in the late Jurassic period, more than 150 million years ago, in the tropical regions near the equator. The source rocks then migrated, with shifts in the platetectonic movements of the continents, north and east to the Middle East, the North Sea, Siberia, and other northern areas. The oil deposits in the United States date back to the Permian era (230 million years ago), and the oil in Venezuela was formed in the Cretaceous era (90 million years ago).

We heat our homes and businesses with fossil fuels, run our factories with fossil fuels, power our transportation with fossil fuels, light our cities and communicate over distances with electricity derived from fossil fuels, grow our food with the help of fossil fuels, treat sickness with pharmaceuticals made from fossil-fuel derivatives, store our surpluses with plastic containers and packaging made from fossil fuels, and produce our clothes and home appliances with petrochemicals. Virtually every aspect of modern existence is made from powered with, or affected by fossil fuels.

Industry is the second-largest user of oil in the United States, at 23 percent of the total. More than one-fourth of the industrial oil is used as chemical feedstocks. Petrochemicals are used to make thousands of products--from television parts to pharmaceuticals.

The Hydrogen Economy, Jeremy Rifkin

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