This is about why humans may NOT be affecting global climate and may help you see how puny the nature of burning fossil fuel actually is and how little impact humans actually have on the planet.
The only way to know the truth is to look at fossil fuel consumption as worldwide consumption at the well head or directly from the entrance of the coal mine—not how it’s dispersed throughout the infrastructure of the planet.
This is not meant to argue as to whether CO2 levels have risen, causing the earth to warm—or not. ‘Don’t know, ‘don’t care, just that it is not “man-caused.”….But the “warmists” or “environmentalists”, or whatever term they or we have chosen to describe them, have managed to get themselves all in a knot wringing their hands over burning fossil fuels, and want the rest of us to get in the same knot so they can have their wind farms. (Which scar and mar the landscape with towering wind turbines and kill bald eagles and other little birds.)
They must be conflicted about that.
Speaking of “environmentalists” perhaps “environ” should be removed from in front of that description and just call them “mental” What’s particularly bothersome are those tongue-clickers who, while shaking their heads at the “disgrace” of the big oil companies, still avail themselves of all the products produced with crude oil and use those products copiously….
For example : You may have seen the news from Seattle not too long ago of several dozen idiots in their kayaks protesting oil drilling out by some oil platform.
Really? In their kayaks made of petroleum? (Possibly the same people who protest the killing of animals [a renewable resource] for their leather etc. and that being so, they don’t buy anything made of leather.)
That being so or not, they would then be wearing shoes and belts made from petroleum and wearing their cute little spandex outfits made from petroleum, and sip their bottled water from containers made from petroleum, and go home riding on tires made from petroleum on the road made from petroleum, then open their refrigerators made from petroleum to get a nice snack of organic tofu and soy milk brought to them by trucks using petroleum, and use a thousand other products made from petroleum under their shingled roofs made from petroleum, then sit down and watch themselves protesting the drilling of petroleum on a TV made from petroleum and call their friends on their cell phones made from petroleum to brag about themselves and their “protest”………..They are truly wonderful, brilliant people!…They know they are!…..Just ask them…. If there was no fuel for transportation they couldn’t stop at “Starbucks” on their way home to congratulate themselves on their protest by having that latte brought to them on trucks using petroleum bearing those delicious coffee beans. If there was no fuel for transportation to transport food around the world—billions of people would die. (even them)
Oops. Sorry! Off point there for a sec… 🙂
This article is about comparisons, so I guess you could say that the above paragraph was about comparing common sense to…well, not common sense, but this is actually about comparing the use of crude oil and other stuff to the size of the planet..
CUBIC VOLUME OF OIL
Humans use about 32 billion barrels of crude oil every year.
Put all that oil in one place and it would make a huge pile of oil!….about 1.22 of a cubic mile of oil. That would be a cube measuring about 1.07 lineal miles (5,649.6 ft.) per side. It would occupy an area of earth of about 1.1 of a square mile..
Various estimates put a barrel of oil ranging anywhere from 250 pounds per barrel (5.95 pounds per gallon) to 307 pounds per barrel (7.3 pounds per gallon). Seven pounds per gallon is used here. . There are 42 U.S gallons in a barrel of oil at about 7 pounds per gallon so a barrel would weigh about 294 lbs. Making 32 billion barrels weigh about 4.7 billion tons.Weight is important to know when it comes to figuring how much carbon is burned to produce “carbon” dioxide (CO2)
There are many variables for the different grades of crude from sulfur content to water, to the weight of a given barrel of crude etc. Gasoline e. g. has a carbon content of 85% . The actual average carbon content of a barrel of crude may come in differently. Just know a barrel of crude oil is not 100% carbon, and burning carbon is what produces CO2. But we’ll save that for another day
Not all of a barrel of oil is used as fuel.
Roughly 20% to 35% of a barrel of crude is never burned. A portion of a barrel is used to make thousands of products which are used daily such as plastics, and the hundreds of thousands of miles of roadways used to get back and forth. Other things are also removed from a barrel of crude such as water and sulfur. Though it could be as much as 35% or more of a barrel of crude is never burned, 20% is used here.
If you reduced 32 billion barrels by 20% to account for oil never burned it would come to about 25.6 billion barrels, and that would be what is actually burned annually.
The volume of that oil would amount to 0.97 of a cubic mile—.a cube measuring 0.99 lineal mile per side ( about 5,230 ft. per side ) Basically, one cubic mile. It would sit on the earth covering 0.98 of a square mile. At 7 pounds per gallon it would weigh 3.76 billion tons. If you were to imagine the smokestack required to burn that 0.97 cubic mile of oil, it would have an exhaust opening of 0.98 of a square mile (the area the oil sits on) and have a diameter of just over a mile across. (When it comes to finding the possible worldwide CO2 emissions from annual oil usage, 25.6 billion bbls. Would be it.) That is important to know so as to eliminate all the confusion of how much CO2 one auto or power plant produces in a a year. That is :The amount of CO2 produced throughout the infrastructure of the planet can be determined from the one smokestack instead of chasing down every power plant or automobile.
THERE’S WHAT WE PERCEIVE FROM OUR FRONT DOOR…Then there’s the reality :
A cubic mile of oil sounds big to us tiny humans— BUT as a comparison, if you looked at the earth from space you’d be looking down on half of the planet and 100 million square miles of surface for the side you could see, and only one of those miles would be the imaginary cubic mile of oil. Could anyone pick out “one” in a hundred million, let alone the nearly 200 million square miles of the entire surface of earth? Imagining one cubic mile of oil all in one place on the planet should help to put into perspective the pitifully tiny scale of human activity on the planet. It would burn as a square mile of oil at the rate of 15 feet per day.Compare that to the one mile horseshoe shaped crater of Mt. St. Hellens. Could you still believe burning oil has any effect on global climate?
The Exxon Valdez and Gulf spill combined (regardless of how the hype played out in the media) are infinitesimally small and insignificant compared to the planet….(That should put the “Greens” into seizures 🙂
* See note : Here’s a quote we found, and the consensus seems to be across most sources we looked at, that the numbers of wildlife killed were these : ”How many animals died outright from the oil spill? No one knows. The carcasses of more than 35,000 birds and 1,000 sea otters were found after the spill, but since most carcasses sink, this is considered to be a small fraction of the actual death toll. The best estimates are: 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 killer whales, approximately 12 river otters and billions of salmon and herring eggs.” .
That is dire indeed! The oil made it up stream against the flow tens or hundreds of miles to the salmon spawning grounds!—and 22 killer whales? (Over 2,000 whales of all types are hunted [killed] annually.)
……Wait…. What? “Most carcasses sink?” Someone reading this may want to correct me on this, but to my best knowledge, oil floats—at least the oil any bird may have come in contact with. Wouldn’t oil soaked carcasses float? To my best knowledge, rotting carcasses bloat with the gas of decay and surface even if they originally sunk. And to my best knowledge, any seabird floats on water even without the benefit of oil-soaked feathers; as do otters—What were those“best estimates” again?… Birds were killed? And ….otters died? How many harbor seals, bald eagles, killer whales and river otters were actuallyfound?…Those numbers seem to have been omitted in the report…Only the imagined numbers (“best estimates”) were cited…. It seems glaringly evident the author wanted to list the “high” numbers imagined—making the numbers sound as dire as possible while skating by the actual numbers found of harbor seals etc.
But even the “imagined” numbers of animals killed are insignificant on a planetary scale, or even compared to every day life. (Not to minimize the death of a seal, my “green” friends).
: As a comparison : In one state alone—Arkansas, 700,000 mallard ducks were taken (killed) in the hunt. In the U.S nationwide between 16,000,000 (million) to 18,000,000 ducks and geese are harvested (killed) annually. Compare that to “35,000 birds and 1,000 sea otters” that were actually found or even the imagined “250,000 seabirds”
In our state alone, nearly 23,000 deer were harvested (killed) in the annual deer hunt. The state with the highest number of deer-vehicle collisions is Pennsylvania, with an estimated 115,000 collisions in 2013 causing $400 million in damage. Approximately
58,000 U. S. soldiers and up to 3.9 million total casualties on all sides died in Vietnam. Joseph Stalin killed 20 million of his PEOPLE during his communist rule, plus another 20 million of his soldiers in WWII. Mao Tse-tung was responsible for 45 million of his PEOPLE being killed in the communists “revolution” and said the death of those people was worth it to achieve his communist goals, and 55 million people died as a result of WWII.
Really? 12 river otters? And some how oil made it up stream against the flow to kill “millions” of salmon eggs? Honestly, it sounds like an attempt by the so-called and self-described “environmentalists” to lead us down the garden path.
For example :
TWO years after the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in 1991 : “an inter-agency survey estimated only 1.4 km of shoreline were estimated to be heavily oiled. By 1992 (after three years) the estimate of heavily oiled shoreline was only 0.2 km. After 3 years of unprecedented efforts to clean the polluted beaches and subsequent surveys showing declining contamination, it was expected that natural processes would disperse any remaining oil.” THEN, in 1991,eleven years after the Exxon Valdez spill using a “new set of standards” by another group : “Our survey results indicate a total area of approximately20 acres of shoreline in Prince William Sound are still contaminated with oil. Oil was found at 58 percent of the 91 sites assessed and is estimated to have the linear equivalent of 5.8 km of contaminated shoreline” You may wonder if you like what “contaminated” may mean.
As you can see, it went from “0.2 km” 3 years after the spill way up to “5.8 km” “contaminated shoreline” eleven years after the spill….How did that happen?
You may also wonder if you like, what the “new set of standards” were and what both groups agendas were and in the second survey, what “still contaminated” may mean. Did they turn over a rock and find a few drops of oil and sagely say : “Yup, still contaminated!”?
Set that cube of oil (0.97 cu. mi.) next to a mountain.
Mt. St. Helens ( just ONE among the vast number of mountains on the planet) has a footprint of roughly 36 sq. mi. and a volume of roughly 20 cu. mi. for example, (that’s my own estimate and someone reading this may want to do their own calculation) Compare that to the imagined 0.97 cubic mile of oil which has a foot print of just under a square mile. That is offered only for scale. There’s been arguments back and forth about whether humans or volcanoes emit more CO2…We don’t mean to argue the merits as to whether volcanoes or humans emit more CO2… Again, ‘don’t know, ‘don’t care.
(But as just nice to know) There are approximately 20 volcanoes erupting on planet earth at any given time 365 days a year. There are 50 to 80 active volcanoes each year and about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide. Those are the ones we know about. The number of sub-oceanic volcanoes are unknown, but considering nearly three quarters of our planet is under water, well….use your imagination.
For more scale for our cubic mile of oil though… It could fit inside the 1 mile wide horseshoe-shaped crater of Mount St. Helens which was 1.8 miles high before the eruption (nearly twice the height of our imaginary cubic mile of oil) and lost 0.7 of a cubic mile of it’s top from the eruption—nearly the volume of our imaginary cubic mile of oil. You may recall from the revious article on “AREA”, all the people on the planet would fit in a cube of 0.1 (one tenth) of a cubic mile. All the people on the planet would fit inside the one mile horseshoe shaped crater of Mt. St. Hellens as well.
Does this begin to add up to humans not having as much influence on the planet as it would seem? Whether this adds up or not, that’s left up to your own judgment. Hopefully, the next time you see that big smokestack puffing all that smoke into the air, you’ll remember that, that is a local reality and not a global catastrophe., but at the very least, hopefully this has given you something to think about..
Once again as last time : “You can skip over this last section if you don’t like numbers—this is only for those who want to see how the numbers cited came to be….But be warned, it’s written with someone in mind who’s numbers skills are lacking and can’t add “their way out of a paper bag”. 🙂 If you’re interested enough to read this in the first place you probably don’t need these spelled out, so please be patient or skip it.”
The annual world production of oil is 32 billion barrels.
There are 42 U. S. gallons in one barrel of oil.
One U. S. gallon is equal to 0.133681 cubic feet x 42 gallons in one barrel = 5.614602 cubic feet in one barrel of oil (Or : 1 cubic foot = 7.4805 US gallons x 5.614602 cubic feet = 42 gallons in one barrel of crude).
5.6 cubic feet in one barrel x 32,000,000,000 barrels of annual world oil production = 179,200,000,000 cubic feet (179.2 billion cubic feet in 32 billion barrels) divided by the number of cubic feet in one cubic mile.
To get the number of cubic feet in one cubic mile multiply the number of feet in one lineal mile by itself three times : 5, 280 feet in one mile x 5,280′ x 5,280′ =147,197,952,000 cubic feet in one cubic mile.
179.2 billion cubic feet in 32 billion barrels divided by 147.2 billion cubic feet in one cubic mile = 1.217 cubic miles in 32 billion barrels (1.22 cubic miles) The cube would measure 1.07 lineal miles on every side.(5,649.6 lineal ft.) (1.07 miles X 1.07 miles X 1.07 miles = 1.22 cubic miles.) that is the entire world annual production before removing 20% for oil never burned.
Since you’re reading this, you have access to the internet and sources of information weren’t cited because there are so many big numbers in this and other articles, and citing sources would only serve to confuse things. It’s simple enough for readers to look things up to their own satisfaction. Not only that, you’re invited to use whatever larger or smaller numbers you come up with to compare with the numbers cited here if there is any doubt of them.