The world reportedly uses 40,000 gallons of oil every second to keep the globe a-whirring. But what would this river of Texas Tea look like? The amount of water per second that flows down India's Jog Falls.
Harry at Harryhammer's Blog decided to put global oil consumption in visual terms. Harry first calculated the amount of oil the world uses per second:
According to David O'Reilly the CEO of CHEVRON, the world currently consumes oil at a rate of about 40,000 US gallons per second. He says, "the scale of the energy system is enormous."
So, I did some math.
1 barrel of oil = 42 US gallons
1 cubic meter = 264.172052 US gallons
According to the 2008 World Fact-book, the world currently consumes about 85,270,000 barrels of oil per day.
85,270,000 barrels per day x 42 US gallons per barrel = 3,581,340,000 US gallons per day = 149,222,500 US gallons per hour = 2,487,042 US gallons per minute = 41,451 US gallons per second.
Next, Harry compared world oil consumption per second to the flow rate of waterfalls. Jog Falls in India - with its 153 cubic meters per second - nearly synced up with this amount.
What's even more unfortunate is that the flow rate* of Jog Falls is still slightly less than world oil consumption. Harry also encourages readers to "imagine [the waterfall] on fire with black smoke billowing into the air" to truly appreciate the horror of this statistic. Depressing.
*Of course, Harry worked backwards from average annual statistics, and the water output for Jog Falls likely differs during monsoon season, but hey, it's a striking visual.