Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trouble With Zeros



Math isn't one of my strong suits. I have a problem with very large numbers. Perhaps you can help me.  The LAND AREA of the world is, according to the almanac, an area of about 57,800,000 square miles. That's length times width. 7600 L x 7600W = 57,760,000 sq. miles.

How many SQUARE FEET is that?   7,600 L x 5280 = 40,128,000 feet.  Multiplied by itself 40.128 million feet by 40.128 million feet = 1,610,000,000,000 square feet.

The ENTIRE HUMAN POPULATION is?  About 7,000,000,000 (almanac again). Assuming that each person stands on an area of 2 square feet, the entire population could stand on:

14,000,000,000 square feet. 

5280 ft. x 5280 ft.  = 27,878,400 sq. ft. = 1 square mile.  14,000,000,000 square feet divided by 27,878,400 sq. feet = 

502 ,000 square miles

 502,000 sq. miles divided by 57,800,000 square miles (total land area) = about .00087%

(IF CORRECT) OUR HUMAN POPULATION COULD THEORETICALLY
 STAND ON JUST .00087% OF THE TOTAL LAND AREA

Questions:

    (1) Did I get the math right?

    (2) If human beings have such a little footprint on the
          earth's land area, and obviously an even smaller footprint
          compared to the total world land area, (where 70% or so of
          the total world area is water), is it still logical to assume
          that human beings total use of resources can actually
          affect global warming?  

End . . .


6 comments:

Rain said...

Yes, it is logical to think that and the idea of the total land mass ignores the fact that most of it is not usable for man to live upon. Where man can live in concentrated populations is where most of the carbon dioxide is being produced. Forests do the most good for the environment and much of the earth's land can't grow forests. The worry that I hear discussed the most is that of the usable land mass, that more of that might end up lost to oceans' rising. I think man could be a factor in this. Just think about what one factory can put out in a country that doesn't monitor it, but it also could be a natural cycle that will nearly wipe humans from the earth (as many species have had happen before). Add to it the wars over what land remains and you can see how our population could be much reduced. The whole question with global warming could end up moot if say a super volcano went off and that also happens.

The problem with the Kyoto Accord and most of the recent attempts to do something about carbon dioxide is that they don't deal with developing nations and China was putting out a lot of pollution (which I hear is lessening as they find their own air quality being deteriorated so much they have to change).

Greybeard said...

I heard the same thing about China, Rain.
I heard they held some sort of "Big deal" Athletic event there recently and they had to virtually shut down all the industry in Beijing for several days in order to clear the air enough so athletes could breathe.
When the games were over, they went back to business as usual.
They have central planning there...
Control of people is more important than people themselves.

The Grey Geezer . . . . . . . said...

Rain . . Don't you have a sneaking suspicion that many of these green folks have an agenda of some kind that has nothing to do with preserving the planet? I, for one anyway, am convinced that several of the green proponents are flat out frauds. Al Gore quickly comes to mind.

The recent disclosure that his movie "An Inconvienient Truth" simply and purposely lied about the facts that supported his thesis, is weird. His often stated contention "that man made warming endangers the planet" ended the debate isn't true either.

More recently the Climate Research Unit of The University of East Anglia admittedly conspired to "adjusting the facts to fit an agenda". What in the world was THAT all about?

I am convinced by history that the earth undergoes constant changes including temperature changes. If the experts agree that modern technology proves we are on a warming cycle I can accept that without undue panic. The cycle is likely to swing the other way some time in the future.

If human activity is indeed creating chemnicals that are trapped in the atmosphere, and if the result is that more heat radiation from the sun gets through to the earth's surface, then it obviously follows that we should pay attention. At this point I don't believe there is a proven scientific basis for the conjecture.

If it's still a "maybe" why are we listening to Gore and other fear mongers. Let's study and prove the actual impact of the human presence.

There is no question in my mind that we are polluting the atmosphere. When I first arrived in Los Angeles (from Minnesota) I couldn't believe the smog. Eyes teared and itched. You couldn't see down the block. It was awful.

Now pictures of Bejing, Tokyo and other metropolitan areas look just like L.A. used to.
Diligent work by the A.Q.M.D. (Air Quality Management Department)over the years has made a terrific positive improvement. In L.A. (only) but not in Northern Minnesota where there still is no problem.

Interesting don't you think?

Rain said...

I think that most scientific evidence is that man is putting out carbon dioxide which is contributing (at the least) to climate change. What that will mean is more uncertain. It's not really debatable (except by those paid to do fossil fuel positive studies) that it's happening but to know what it means. The logical thing to reduce use of say gasoline is a tax using that to research new energy approaches, but this carbon trade thing seems like a scam to me.

I heard one person say Gore has made his fortune off this but that's not true. He made it off investing early in Google. I have no idea what he has made off these carbon exchange things but to me they make no sense.

The recent climate summit had some nations commiting to paying nations with forests but that are in poor countries that the rest of the world will help them out for not cutting say the Amazon rain forest. To me that makes sense. If the big forests disappear, we may find a very different planet

Ingineer66 said...

They did the same thing for the Olympics in Sarajevo Yugoslavia. They banned private cars in the down town area unless you were a top party member or a VIP. You can do that when you have an iron fist communist rule of a country and there is a soldier with a Kalashnikov on every corner. That won't happen here for at least another 15 to 20 years.

Paul B. said...

Every way I look at it, dividing 14B by 27M yields only 502 sq miles needed for the "standing" population of earth. The land area of the U.S. is 3.8M #m, meaning the world population could stand on one percent of one percent of U.S. land.

Or, going backwards, globally: 57.76M #m of land on earth /7B ppl = .00825 #m/person, or 5.2 acres/person.