Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why maths is fun

Hey, Nanok! There's some oil here! Greenlandic dogs. Photo: DN.

According to a recent piece in Times Online, there might be a whole shitload of oil off the coast of Greenland. 50 billion barrels, their sources claim.
That's a lot of goop.
Nowhere does the piece mention what 50 billion barrels actually means.
But if you know your maths, you know we're talking about the equivalent of seven years of US consumption. Or less than two years' worth of global use. Provided, of course, we don't produce more babies than dead people and somehow manage to avoid increasing our consumption of oil. Oh, and these numbers also rest on the provision that all the oil down there in that icy sea is, for some bizarre and unpredecented reason, extractable.
Norway just cut it's estimation of the amount of oil in the Barents Sea with 20 percent. So let's imagine the claims about oil off Greenland are exxagarated, too. And that only some of it is extractable. And that population increase and the desire for increased economic growth leads to a greater demand for oil.
You get my drift.