Taking Stock: Absurdly Large Numbers
Any reasonable fact can be obscured by picking units of measure which virtually no one can grasp. Example: The length of a football field is (exactly) 914.4 Giga-Ångstroms. That's 914 Billion Ångstroms! The calculations:
(According to myth, the yard was defined to be the distance between Henry I's nose and his thumb.)
One credible estimate of the ultimate amount of conventional (pumpable) oil on the earth is 1,750 Gb (billion barrels). What does that mean?
1,750 Gb, the estimate of all the conventional oil that there ever was or ever will be, is less than the amount of sunlight that hits the earth in one 24 hour day.
Some people say that "solar" is a diffuse, insignificant source of energy. How long would humanity survive if we had only oil to heat the earth?!
1,750 Gb of oil is equal to 67 cubic miles. The (conventional) oil already consumed globally, plus all the oil yet to be consumed, could be fit into a cube slightly over 4 miles on a side!
One cubic mile = 26.2 billion barrels
one cubic kilometer = 6.28 billion barrels
If spread over the entire surface of the earth -- land and oceans combined -- 1,750 Gb of oil would constitute a layer 21.5 mils thick -- about the equivalent of a spark-plug gap!
On the other hand, the USA population consumes its entire weight in oil every week!