ANOTHER : “MAN CAUSED” GLOBAL WARMING ??? COAL compared to the size of the planet and other stuff.

Posted on Fri 05/26/2017 by


By T. L. Jenkins

This is about comparing human activity to the size of the planet and is the fifth in a series about why humans may NOT be affecting global climate from the use of fossil fuel putting CO2 into earth’s atmosphere. Previously here, crude oil was compared to the size of the planet and now—well, coal is compared in the same way.

How coal is looked at here, as was crude oil previously, is not the usual way coal is discussed. 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.


If it were possible to spread the annual world coal production evenly over the planet, it would be roughly 2,150 times thinner than a dollar bill. and so thin it couldn’t be seen as an “oil” slick on water.


If you’ve read the previous 2 articles here on “CRUDE OIL”, then you know what the preceding paragraph is getting at.

If you didn’t catch those articles, you might think knowing how thick a years worth of coal spread over the planet would be—well, you might think it’s just cool trivia.

So, OK it might be neat trivia, but trivia for it’s own sake is just incidental.


It’s very difficult for people not to believe the climate-change witch-doctors as those shamans dance around their sacred “climate-change” ritual fire throwing their flash-powder of “catastrophe” into the flames. But then, when we see all those autos bearing down on us on the interstate, see those huge factories and power plants looming over the landscape and people everywhere we go, how could we not believe the warmists dire proclamations of doom? But those things are local realities only. They blind us to seeing the larger reality—the whole planet at once.

Forget about how the warmists do their voodoo dance around the sacred fire, rattling their string of bones, intoning their visions of death and destruction when they tell you how many tons of CO2 all those automobiles produce in one year, or how many millions of tons of CO2 a power plant cranks out in one year—those are the monsters conjured in the smoke from their ritual fire, aimed to dazzle you with the witch-doctor’s omnipotence. Forget about the sea of people you see around you every day, or the rivers of autos you encounter on your drive to work. Again, those are local realities—not global realities.

The only way to know the truth is to look at fossil fuel consumption as a whole and forget how it’s dispersed throughout the infrastructure.

The way it’s done here was chosen to get away from the myopic view of the local realities of all those people and machines buzzing in our heads, making us believe humans are everywhere on the planet putting all that “pollution” into the air.

Humans are just a tiny fraction of the ecology of the planet. If you caught the first, and other articles in this series, you might agree. Nevertheless, it’s heresy for not buying the warmist’s dogma of climate change caused by burning fossil fuels and to think humans are so insignificant to the balance of nature. The human-hating asinine “environmentalists” who, in their fallacy and fantasy of man-caused global warming, arrogantly want to instruct the “little people” that they (the little people) are “flat-earthers” and “climate-change deniers”…Such towering intellect! …They might as well be saying : “You’re stupid!”…(A true case of the pot calling the kettle black—in one man’s opinion) We “flat-earthers” could as easily and more accurately say of “warmists” they believe in fairies and watch way too much TV and get their news from “Disney” shows. (there are no such things as singing penguins) … They think human’s every move is destructive to the planet and wish we’d all go away (except for themselves). They see themselves above the fray of humanity—a separate species, but who, in their all-knowing arrogance still don’t seem to get the very simple concept of the connection between fossil fuels, or energy sources of any kind, and their convenient light switch, and are content to have that convenient light switch at hand but would, in their ignorance, deny that same privilege to others by opposing affordable energy and even oppose a power line going through the forest to “save a tree”…makes me sick…..

Oh, sorry. I suppose it’s bad form to insult a potential “warmist” audience when trying to convince them of the error of their thinking… (But, it’s hard trying not to take those shots)… 🙂

Anyway, getting back to the subject….


The current annual world production of coal comes in at about 8.6 to 9 billion short tons. (A “short” ton is 2,000 lbs. Many sources for this article list “tonnes” as units of measure, which are metric tons and equal to 2,204 lbs., should you want to do your own research.) Current production may not quite be there to 9 billion tons, but close enough for this article…See *Note

In the year 2000 annual world coal production was about 5.1 billion short tons….57% of current production

Way back in 1980, nearly 40 years ago, world production was about 3.8 billion short tons, or 42% of current production

See where that’s going?

The diminishing production and burning of coal (and oil) going back in time, becomes even less relevant to the impact on the atmosphere.

At the turn of the last century, around 1900, worldwide coal production was a fraction of current production at about 926 (M)illion tons—or 0.93 (B)illion tons. That’s only about 10.3% of today’s, 2017 production.

Imagine what world coal production might have been at the start of the “industrial revolution” over 200 years ago.

Keep in mind, some warmists claim global temperatures began to climb at the beginning of the industrial revolution (attributing that to humans)….That was at the end of the 18th century, over a hundred years before the calendar turned to 1900 when humans took that 0.93 billion tons of coal just mentioned, out of the ground—and 70 or 80 years before the first barrel of oil was taken out of the ground in 1859.

If you look at it in these terms then, when warmists claim CO2 levels and global temperatures began to rise at the beginning of the industrial revolution—and claim it as “settled science” that it’s human-caused global warming (at least “I” can) gain a mental picture of them picking their nose and scratching their butts, doing that rapid eye blinking when they get an idea, then looking squinty-eyed off into space sagely proclaiming their gospel. It’s not hard to imagine they have an image ping-ponging around in their heads of all those nasty factory smokestacks that were puffing all that soot into the air back then. Remember, in 1900 there were only a few cities clogging their air with all that coal dust, but that leaves most of the continents and the vast oceans void of humans that weren’t suffering that local air. Even today the continents and oceans remain mostly void of humans. (Not to be repetitious if you read previously, but human construction occupies less than 3 tenths of one percent of the surface of the planet and all humans on earth would fit in the crater of Mt. St, Helens) But the ping-ponging persists in the warmist’s heads, and that’s where they must’ve gotten the idea of global warming. (when the fairy-dust was sprinkled over their heads.)….

Oops! Damn, did it again….Sorry (again)….’Can’t help it….

You’ve no doubt gotten the idea by reading to here that citing the thickness of coal spread over the planet portends to show the irrelevance of burning coal, and that it’s not just neat trivia.

So, getting to current annual world coal production :

Again, that would be about 9 billion short tons.

If 9 billion tons of coal were spread over the whole planet (197,000,000 [million] square miles), the most it could possibly be would be roughly 0.000002 (2 millionths) of an inch (.05 microns) burned daily. Again, that’s roughly 2,150 times thinner than a dollar bill. and so thin it couldn’t be seen as an “oil” slick on water.

It would be INVISIBLE…..

That’s repeated for emphasis.

If you still haven’t seen the point of that piece of trivia, then here it is :

Imagine the amount of CO2—or “smoke’ of any kind that would come from a layer of coal 2,150 times thinner than a dollar bill spread over the entire planet and burned that way. If that burned, you’d not likely be able to see any smoke as it burned, maybe not detect the odor of it’s burning and would likely dare stand on it while it burned. Since we’re using mental pictures here, take out a dollar bill and imagine it ‘s thickness sliced into over 2,000 slices…

Just in the first 6 miles of atmosphere alone, where most of the weather occurs on our planet, there are 1.2 billion cubic miles of the air we breath. Can you possibly imagine coal 2,150 times thinner than a dollar bill spread over the planet and burned that way could even remotely affect the first six miles of our atmosphere in any way?

If you can imagine that, could you possibly imagine it would have any effect on the 62 miles of atmosphere over head? How about even the first 10 feet? There are 12.4 BILLION cubic miles in 62 vertical miles of atmosphere.

That same question was asked in the articles here on “CRUDE OIL” and if you read those I’m sorry to repeat it here—’just getting anyone who didn’t catch those articles up to speed.. Also some of the same observations made about oil. If you didn’t read those, then I guess there’s no need for apologies!

Why can’t it be thought of that way? After all, the warmists claim CO2 is affecting the atmosphere ALL OVER THE PLANET. Not only on the land we occupy, but the vast forests, deserts and plains where people don’t live and over the oceans, the Arctic and Antarctic too. That’s where the imaginary, invisible layer of coal would also be burned. If it was burned daily that way, spread over the planet, it would release the exact same amount of co2 as if it were burned in power plants throughout the world in hundreds of thousands of different places ….Well no, that’s wrong; since it would burn without the various emission control devices employed to mitigate emissions, it would release more co2. All the same, the only difference it should make is the understanding that the amount of coal burned by humans every year has no effect on the planet.


Although 9 billion short tons is what is taken out of the ground annually worldwide, not all of that is burned and not all of what is cited (2 millionths of an inch burned daily) is actually burned, so it would be even thinner spread over the planet!

There is a certain percentage of a ton of coal that is not burned, which is used for other products. Thousands of different products have coal or coal by-products as components : Soap, solvents, dyes, plastics and fibers such as rayon and nylon. Coal is also an essential ingredient in the production of many other products. Count also the inert minerals in coal that aren’t burned : Thus, the actual amount of coal burned would be less than 9 billion tons and the thickness of coal spread over the planet would also be reduced accordingly. The number cited above (0.000002”) could be at MOST, the amount of coal burned daily around the world, but no good answer could be found as to what the un-burned percentage might be so for now we stay with 9 billion short tons. But further on is an estimate of what it might actually be…

If 9 billion tons were spread over the planet all at once (not reducing it to daily usage and not factoring in coal that is not burned) (using 40 cubic feet as the standard for the volume of one ton of coal) it would be 0.00073 inches as to what would cover the planet. That is still roughly 6 times thinner than that dollar bill. Imagine the minuscule amount of co2 even that would release into the 62 miles over our head if that burned all in one day. The earth would have a full year to scrub even that out of the atmosphere. Again, that is the absolute maximum it could possibly be.

When put in the context of a planetary scale, standing next to that huge factory burning all that coal it may not seem all that ominous.


If you were to put the 9 billion tons of annual world coal production all in one place, you could make a really big pile of coal! Make it into a cube of about 2.46 cubic miles at most, using 40 cubic feet as the standard. (Sounds big, huh?) (But only if you stood next to it)…(a local reality only) The cube would measure 1.35 lineal miles (7,128 lineal ft.) on a side. It would sit on 1.8 square miles of the earth’s surface. It would nearly fit into the crater of Mt. St. Helens….

The source of all co2 (and smoke of any kind) from burning fossil fuels comes from smokestacks. Since this is all about comparing human activity to the planet, if you were to combine all of the sources (smokestacks) burning coal, the smokestack required for the 2.3 cubic miles of coal just discussed would be 1.8 square miles in area. That’s the area the cube would occupy on the surface of the planet. And the smokestack would be 1.5 miles in diameter. That would be the maximum size of the smokestack because it was necessary to overestimate the volume. That’s all the coal burned annually worldwide. Imagine that smokestack (1.5 miles in diameter) compared to the planet of 200 million square miles. That’s only slightly larger than Mt. St. Helens crater. Mt. St. Helens crater is one mile across…..

BUT WAIT! (Again) 🙂

That’s probably way over-sized too. It was taking a ton of (crushed) coal to be 40 cubic feet, deferring to a larger estimated size since there was no good data on what a one ton SOLID piece of coal would measure, and logically a solid ton of coal is smaller than crushed coal.

The estimate of 40 cubic feet for one ton of coal is over estimated but some smart individual could probably zero in on a more precise estimate of what a solid ton of coal would measure by finding what a cubic ton of iron or some other material would measure, even carbon for example since carbon is the component of coal making up, on average, about 50% or less of a ton of coal, and extrapolate atomic weights of both…But that’s way too much for this article. The largest estimate was put forth to demonstrate that no matter how big that pile of coal was, it’s still of no consequence to the planet… Over estimating to the largest size possible was trying to give the “warmists” a break and at the same time short-circuiting them from claiming the numbers were manipulated to minimize outcomes. Thus, the estimate of 2.46 cubic miles came from estimating that one ton of crushed coal would occupy 40 cubic feet. (This article is not “scientific” so estimates are allowed).

Here’s how that estimate got here :

The volume of coal was determined by what was recommended for a coal bin used in a residential setting holding crushed coal, and those recommendations were sightly over-sized to conveniently hold the coal. Those recommendations were : 35.cubic feet per 1 ton of bituminous coal and up to 40 cubic feet for anthracite coal, which is the least used coal. Again, those recommendations were slightly over-sized to conveniently hold the coal. Coal used in this way is in variously small pieces, creating spaces between pieces. There was no data on what an average type, solid one ton piece of coal would measure, but since a solid 1 ton piece of coal would logically take up less space, it would logically be south of 35 cubic feet, bituminous coal being the most common. (again, since this article is not scientific, we can surmise) Anthracite coal, the least used coal is the densest of all types of coal so would likely take up even less space than bituminous as a solid ton.

This is a pure guess, so don’t go jumping up and down saying how wrong it is—if you disagree, use your own numbers, but since bituminous is the most commonly used worldwide for all uses, it’s probably safe to say crushed coal, considering the recommended size of the coal bin was slightly over-sized to conveniently hold the coal would be less than 35 cubic feet—say 33 cubic feet for crushed coal. Considering a solid ton would be even smaller than that and factoring in coal that is used in making various products and thus not burned AND for easy math, we use 30 cubic feet per ton for what is actually burned worldwide annually. A case could be made for smaller still, but you know—easier math and easier reading as well….. The error to the larger size (40 cubic feet) was to make the point that even the exaggeration pales to the planet and was again, deferring to the “warmists” since there’s no good answer as to what percentage of coal is not used for burning and no good answer as to how much an average one ton solid piece of coal actually measures. Just know the actual volume of 9 billion tons would be somewhat smaller than 2.46 cubic miles

Here’s what it might look like though if a more realistic volume was used and not giving “warmists” a break : Reducing everything to 30 cubic feet. would make it 1.8 cubic miles.….(Don’t get confused between the 1.8 square miles cited above for the larger estimate, and the 1.8 cubic miles here) Even 1.8 cubic miles sounds big standing next to it, but as pointed out previously in an article on oil, if you looked at the earth from (way up in space) and could see the whole planet at once, you’d be looking down on one half of the planet. Since the planet contains nearly 200 MILLION square miles, you’d be looking down on the nearly 100 million square miles of the side of the planet you could see. Could ANYONE pick out ONE in 100 million, let alone the nearly 200 million square miles of the whole planet ? …’Doesn’t sound nearly as big looking at it in the context of the planet, don’t you think?…

The 1.8 cubic miles cube of coal, using 30 cubic feet as the standard would be 1.22 lineal miles per side (6,442 feet per side).It would occupy 1.48 square miles. The smokestack required would be of that area and be 1.36 miles in diameter. A 1.8 cubic mile of coal spread over the planet would be 0.00032” (13.4 times as thin as a dollar bill before it was reduced to daily usage.) Burned daily it would be 0.0000009 of an inch—4,777 times as thin as a dollar bill burned daily…

This next section combines coal and oil. It’s understood some readers may be repelled by all the numbers throughout, but there is no help for it when making the comparisons….But I know some readers may dig the numbers too!

Putting oil previously and coal today together (using the smaller estimates—but not the smallest possible) Oil would measure 0.97 cubic mile and coal would be 1.8 cubic miles totaling 2.77 cubic miles. The area of earth they’d sit on combined would be 2.46 square miles,

Combined, spread over the planet their thickness would be 0.000296 of an inch for oil and 0.00032 of an inch for coal for a total of 0.000616 (6 ten thousandths) of an inch before reducing that to daily consumption, and that’s still 7 times thinner than a dollar bill. Burning that all in one day instead of every day for a year would be insignificant to the planet—don’t you think? And the planet would have a full year to clear even that from the atmosphere…..

Burned daily the combined thickness would be (Oil : 0.0000008 of an inch) (Coal : 0.00000009 of an inch totaling 0.00000089 of an inch and that is 4,831 times thinner than the dollar bill.

The smokestack required to burn all the coal and oil in one place would be 1.77 miles in diameter. Compare that to the one mile horseshoe shaped crater of Mt. St. Helens and the 200 million square miles of the planet. It would be puffing out the smoke from a years production of coal and oil that is burned worldwide and be puffing out 65.8 million tons of co2 on a daily basis and 24 billion tons annually. But that estimate could also be easily down graded as well. That’s based on the probable carbon content of each. Warmists claim humans produce up to 40 billion tons of co2 annually from all sources including such things as deforestation. (No mention of what might be growing in the replaced forest, such as crops or regenerating forest which would be using the CO2 they claim the “forest” would no longer be using.)

If you read the previous articles on this topic you would have read that a smokestack combining all the autos (tailpipes) and factories burning fossil fuel throughout the world—that is to say, all the fossil fuel burned annually worldwide would require an exhaust opening of about a 2 mile diameter, and the 2 mile smokestack would be just 0.00000139% or one MILLIONTH) of the earth’s surface and be putting it’s co2 “pollution” into billions of cubic miles of atmosphere….. Possibly, or even probably the smokestack would be smaller than that, but more on that in another article. That is including other forms of fossils fuels—but, since the estimates were over-sized for reasons explained, the 2 mile diameter stack is put forth here. …If you’re reading this you’re obviously intelligent, curious and interested in this subject and it would be no surprise to find an individual who’d want to refine those numbers down further, but again the numbers here are just to make the point.


There are other comparisons to be made in the future, but the summer weather is too good to pass up so there’s no telling when that will be, but here are some thoughts.

For example, warmists claim that all the CO2 humans produce is upsetting the PH level of the ocean. They claim at least half of the 40 billion tons of CO2 humans are responsible for stays in the atmosphere, (a highly dubious claim) so 20 billion tons is taken back out of the atmosphere by the flora of the planet and oceans. If that were so, most of the 20 billion tons reabsorbed CO2 would likely go to plants, the remaining to the ocean,, thus the oceans likely would take up nowhere near 20 billion tons.. One gallon of fresh water weighs 8.35 lbs. One gallon of water is 0.133681 of a cubic foot. Comparing the WHOLE 40 billion tons of CO2 claimed by the warmists, compare that to how many gallons of water in the oceans. How much do the oceans weigh compared to 40 billion tons of CO2?…It goes without saying the ocean weighs far, far more than 40 billion tons… How many cubic miles of water would 40 billion tons of water equal? How many cubic miles of water in the oceans? How many square miles of ocean? (The planet is 71% water in area)

All those comparisons easily appeal to common sense without giving exact numbers. The point is of course : Can 40 billion tons of ANYTHING stand up to the size and volume of the oceans to have even the slighteast effect? But as just mentioned, half of 40 billion tons stays in the atmosphere according to warmist, never to return to the ocean and of the other half, one would have to believe most of that does not go to the ocean, but is used by the flora of the planet for growth. What does common sense say about that?

How about comparing 40 billion tons of CO2 the the 5.8 QUADRILLION tons of atmosphere, or the cubic volume of CO2 gas to the 12.4 billion cubic miles of atmosphere?

Then there’s the claim by the warmists (and vegans most likely) that the methane from the rear ends of all those cattle is detrimental and contributes to “global warming”…All the cattle on earth would fit into the crater of Mt. St. Helens. …Yeah, that’s true. To prove that, find the volume of an average cow. Not too many exceed 1,500 pounds and there’s maybe a billion cows on the planet. As noted previously, all the humans on earth (6.5 billion) would occupy just 0.01 (one tenth) of a cubic mile and fit in the crater of Mt. St. Helens.

There are many more such comparisons worthy to be made, all of which are very telling, putting “human-caused” global warming to the test (and to rest)—but that’s only one man’s opinion of course…. The hope though is, this has given at least one reader who may have had doubts something to think about.

*Note :

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.


Once again as previously : “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”.


World annual production of coal : 9 billion short tons.

One ton of coal has a cubic volume of 40 cubic feet. (Generous estimate) (or 30 cu. ft.)

To find the cubic volume of 9 billion tons of coal multiply by 40 cubic feet in one ton of coal.

That equals 360,000,000,000 (360 billion) cubic feet in 9 billion tons of coal.

To find how many cubic miles that is, divide 360,000,000,000 cu. ft. in 9 billion tons of coal, by the number of cubic feet in one cubic mile. (5,280 ft. x 5,280 ft. x 5,280 ft.) = 147,197,952,000 cubic ft. in one cubic mile, divided into 360 billion cu. ft. = 2.46 cubic miles.

That’s a cube 1.35 lineal miles (7,128 lineal ft.) on a side. (1.35 lineal miles x 1.35 lineal miles x 1.35 lineal miles) = 2.46 cu. mi. It would sit on 1.8 square miles of the earth’s surface. (1.35 lineal mi. x 1.35 lineal mi.) = 1.8 square miles.

The cube would measure 7,128 ft. on a side and would be that tall. (1.35 lineal miles x 5,280 ft. in one mi. = 7,128 ft.)

As stated, the cube of coal would sit on 1.8 square mi. of the earth’s surface. Cut 12 inches off the top and place it next to the cube and together they would occupy 3.6 square miles. Do that for the entire …7,128 ft. (…1.8 sq. mi. x 7,128 lineal ft.) = 12,830 square miles of coal in a 12” layer.

Once again, divide the 12 inch layer in two to make a 6” layer and that would double the square miles to 25,660.8 sq. mi. Continue to halve the thickness and double the area until the area of the planet is reached (197,000,000) sq. mi. and the thickness of coal would be a sickly 0.00073” covering the planet. That’s roughly 6 times thinner than a dollar bill. Divided by 365 days, that would be 0.000002 (2 millionths) of an inch (.05 microns) burned daily. And again : That is the actual amount (?) of coal burned daily all over the planet in thousands and thousands of different places.

If you can imagine coal spread evenly over the planet like that, you possibly can imagine how puny the amount of CO2 that would be released into the atmosphere when it burned.