The world uses 88 million barrels per day. What does that look like? Picture this many 55-gallon steel drums
1 barrel is 42 gallons
a steel drum is 3 feet tall
a mile is 5,280 feet
the circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles
first convert 42gal barres into 55gal steel drums. (Only because everyone knows what a 55gal drum looks like)
(88,000,000bbl x 42gal) / 55gal = 67,200,000 steel drums of oil are consumed each day
Lay those 3 feet tall steel drums on their side and stack them end to end as if making a pipeline of drums. How many miles long will 67,200,000 drums stretch?
(67,200,000 x 3ft) / 5280 = 38,182 miles
Since the circumference of the earth is 24,901 ,miles the daily consumption of crude oil would fill enough steel drums capable of stretching 1 1/2 times (1.53 times) around the earth....every day. 38,182/ 24,901 = 1.53.
In one year you could encircle the earth ~560 times with steel drums. The US consumes 25% of that oil.....
And people want to believe...Obama when he said: yes we can go to advanced biofuels and get off imports with in 10 years. Sure we can...and I have a bridge I'd like to sell.
But here's an even bigger problem that politicians aren't talking about with regards to oil. In the IEA World Energy Outlook 2008 the International Energy association calculated the decline rate on existing conventional oilfields. They used 800 of the world's largest fields in production and calculated their annual decline rate of 6.7%. Their conclusion was that the global oil industry needs to find and put online 4 new Saudi Arabias by 2030 simply to keep oil production at it current capacity (to offset the decline). However, to meet the the increasing demand from developing countries and expand economic growth the IEA estmates 6 new Saudi Arabias worth of oil needs to be put online. That's a new Saudi Arabia, roughly, every 4 years needs to be put online. Think that's going to happen?
How many people (esp young college people) who even bothered to read this far have a clue what I just wrote? Here's the problem, too many clueless voters know more about Snooky than how the gasoline (and every other oil-based product they use) gets from the field to their markets.
Officially, the IEA states conventional oil production (the cheap stuff) peaked in 2006. The volumes of oil to replace the declining conventional stuff will come from unconventional sources such as Offshore Deep Drilling, Tar Sands, and Shale Oil (and Shale Gas). It's doable but it's going to be a lot more expensive to the consumer since the cost of drilling and producing these wells cost a lot more...and that cost has to be passed along to the consumer in the form of higher gasoline and petroleum product costs..or those well won't get drilled.
In short, I expect the cost of living for my kids and grandchildren will go more and more to energy costs. I've told them to expect to live in smaller houses, travels less, ect. IOW over time I expect a declining economy and not a growing one capable of funding the National Debts.