Monday, September 3, 2012

World CO2 Production

After my other posts on CO2 production over the life of a car, I began to think about the total macro impact of oil consumption on the whole world.

CO2 Produced Per Barrel Of Gasoline Burned:

19 pounds of CO2 are created by burning a gallon of gasoline. 

= 42 gallons per barrel * 19 pounds of CO2 
= 798 pounds of C02 produced per barrel
= 362.7 kilograms of C02 produced per barrel of oil. 

World Oil Consumption:

Yearly, how much CO2 is created in the atmosphere by burning oil? First, what are the numbers for oil consumption? From The Economist, and using the numbers from:

Over 80 million barrels of oil is now consumed in the world each day. 

World Daily Oil Consumption:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

At Constant Consumption - Not

There are a lot of reports coming out lately that say we have 100 or 500 year supply of resource x, y, z, and especially oil "at current consumption". Which really means, at the current rate of consumption. Say, n units per year. It also assumes that the n units of consumption per year will remain constant, and never change. Which of course is not realistic at all, as the world population grows and demand for oil and everything else increases.

As Dr. Albert A. Bartlett notes in "The Most Important Video You Will Ever See", this totally ignores the fact that consumption rates are going up exponentially.

In finance, there is the "Rule of 72". It's a simple finance rule to determine how quickly money will double at a given compound interest rate.

72/interest rate = years required for the money to double

We can use the Rule of 72, for some quick calculations. If you have a population growth rate of 7%, in ten years, the population has doubled. And in 20 years, the population has quadrupled! If your city's sewer system in inadequate now, think how bad it will be in 20 years!

I was thinking about this, and decided to model it in Excel. Just how much remains, and how quickly does it run out? It's amazing how fast things do run out.

Even if there is only a 1% increase in consumption, the "500 year supply" will only last 181 years!  Less than half the time of the original 500 year prediction.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Book Review: Financial Times Briefings - Sustainable Business

A few months ago, I read at the book:  Financial Times Briefings - Sustainable Business, By Brian Clegg.

It is a book aimed at executives on incorporating sustainability into their corporations. Not unlike a financial analyst's primer on certain new technologies for investors.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hummer Versus Prius

There was a rumor that was circulating a few years ago. I recall it being on the internet, but not in the mainstream media.

It went, that because a Toyota Prius used lithium batteries, and that mining lithium caused so much environmental damage, the Hummer was actually better for the environment over the long term. Really?

A number of writers have since clearly disproved this. See their valid analysis here:

However, I did my own simple analysis. It was not difficult at all. The hardest part is finding the correct numbers.


Prius - Weight Of The Battery:

How Much Gas Do ICE Vehicles Burn Up Just Idling At Red Lights?

Further to my previous post on CO2 in Evs and ICE vehicles, how much gas is burned over a car's lifetime idling away at red lights and stop signs? And then accelerating up to speed again?

A Honda Accord gets approximately 25 MPG in city driving, and 31 MPG on the Highway


Assume 25 MPG for a Honda Accord in city driving.

200K miles / 25 MPG
= 8000 gallons of gas in the car's lifetime

8000 Gallons * $4.00 per gallon:
= $32,000 for gas in the car's lifetime

$32,000 / 200,000 Miles
= 16 cents per mile, just for the gasoline


Assume 31 MPG for a Honda Accord for highway driving.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Electric Vehicles Vs Internal Combusion Engine: Total Cost Of CO2

Further to the Total Cost of Energy for a vehicle, how much CO2 do Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)  vehicles make, versus Electric Vehicles (EV)?

The total weight of C02 that an ICE vehicle emits into the atmosphere over 200K miles is at least 50 times the car's weight! Wow!

On CO2 emissions, electric vehicles easily beat internal combustion engines, usually by orders of magnitude.

How MUCH Carbon Dioxide Does Your Car Produce?

So, how much CO2 do ICE vehicles produce over their lifetime? First, consider how much CO2 is produced by burning a gallon of gasoline.

According to,, the average fuel economy for cars sold in 2005 is about 25.2 MPG (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

"How much CO2 is produced from 1 Gallon of Gas? 1 GALLON OF GAS = 19 LBS. OF CO2. If a gallon of gasoline weighs about 6 pounds, how can it produce three times that much greenhouse gas? The carbon from the gasoline mixes with oxygen from the air. … The eight molecules of CO2 weigh about three times more than the one molecule of octane you started with. That doesn't mean you've violated the law of conservation of mass; instead, you've added the weight of the oxygen from the air to the weight of the carbon from the gasoline."


Burning a Single Tank Of Gas Will Create More Carbon Dioxide Than Most People Weigh! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vehicle Lifetime Cost Of Energy: Electric Vehicles Vs Internal Combustion Engine

Recently I was thinking about the total cost of gas over an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car's lifetime of about 200 thousand miles and ran some numbers on the question. It's a LOT!


Cost of Gasoline Over The Vehicle's Entire Lifetime:

Assume an ICE vehicle's total mileage before it is scrapped is 200,000 miles. Assume it gets 25 MPG and gas costs $4 per gallon.

200,000 mile / 25 MPG
= 8000 gallons of gas in the car's lifetime

8000 * $4.00 per gallon
= $32,000 for gas over the car's lifetime!

$32,000 / 200,000
= 16 cents per mile, just for the gasoline

Over the lifetime of the car, 200K miles, the gasoline to drive it will cost $32,000!

Even if the car runs on average at 35 MPG, the total cost of gasoline for the car's lifetime, is about $22,857! When you think of it, the total cost for gasoline is about the cost of the car itself, and often even more! If you only get 15 MPG, the cost of gas over 200K miles will be $53,333!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Review: The Millionaire Mind

Recently, I read the book, The Millionaire Mind, by Dr. Thomas Stanley, who also wrote the book, The Millionaire Next Door.

The book is the result of his studies of many people with millions in net worth. Their habits. How they got rich.  And for those who want to market to them, their buying patterns.

Sample Size:

Dr. Stanley makes a distinction between millionaires, and deca-millionaires. When the book was published in 2000, the average household net worth over all the respondents was 9.2 million. The average annual household income of the respondents was $749,000.

Top Success Factors For Millionaires:

What did millionaires attribute to their success? 

Ranked, according to the percentage responding Very Important. The percent are those reporting the quality as being either Important or Very Important. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Book Review - The Coming Jobs War

Recently I read the book, The Coming Jobs War. It is written by Jim Clifton, the Chairman of Gallup Corporation, the pioneering survey research company.

He makes many great points throughout the book. What impresses me, is that the conclusions were all developed based on research, and empirical evidence. It's not just another unsubstantiated opinion.

Clifton says that so many companies pay attention to the wrong things. A most critical factor is actually the employees. Looking at the employment issue from the Six Sigma perspective, miserable employees are a "key defect".

"An engaged employee is one who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about their work, and thus will act in a way that furthers their organization's interests"

Clifton writes many pages on how engaged employees are in their jobs, and provides some very interesting statistics: 
28% of Employees are Engaged in their jobs
53% of Employees are Not Engaged
19% of Employees are Actively Disengaged

Even Clifton is surprised. Only one quarter to one third of employees are actively engaged in their jobs! How does this occur? How to determine how engaged an employee is? In their research, Gallup has come up with twelve questions that can accurately predict how engaged employees are:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Matter Of Trust

Recently I was reading the book, The Social Animal, by David Brooks.

It's a fascinating read. He refers to study after psychological study, in an attempt to explain our behavior as individuals. And also society as a whole. It's a fabulous read.

One reference he makes is to the book, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society, by Edward C. Banfield.

Summarizing Banfield, Brooks notes that in Southern Italy, very few people trust anyone outside of their immediate family, or kin. As a result, the businesses in that area, are all, as a result, very small. By contrast, Germany and Japan are safe societies where there is a lot of inherent trust. Accordingly, large corporations can and do thrive in Germany and Japan.

This concept really struck me: to see our lives in terms of trust. I began to think in terms on many levels.

I thought of a long list of people and entities, of who and what I felt I could, and could not, trust.