Sunday, May 11, 2008

facts, damned facts, and statistics

Weight of Earth: 11,944,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lbs.

Weight of Earth's human population: 1,050,000,000,000 lbs. (assumes 6,000,000,000 humans at 175 lbs each).

Earth's Human Population, as a percentage of Earth, by weight: 0.000000000008791%.

Weight of Mosquito: 0.00000220 lbs.

Mosquito, as a Percentage of Person, by weight: 0.0000012598%

Mosquito-Human Ratio to Human-Earth Ratio: 14,330,346.97%

In other words, the effect that a mosquito has on a Human being, as measured in percentage by weight, is 14,330,347% greater than the effect of the entire population of Humans on the Earth.

These are just some facts, some statistics. They can be used to put some perspective on the idea that the human population has any meaningful effect whatsoever on the Earth other than, perhaps, nuisance.

According to the American Red Cross, blood donors give an average of one pint; and can do so every 56 days. The average person has 10-12 pints of blood in his circulatory system; rougly 7% by weight.

If a person gave 1 pint of blood every 56 days from the ages 17 - 83 (the maximum permitted by the Red Cross), he would have given approximately 479 lbs of blood. If people were mosquitoes, and you were the earth, it would take the entire population of the earth 595,340 years to consume as much of your blood as you might donate, if you were as charitable a person as you were allowed to be, and if the mosquitoes were consuming their weight each and every day for that entire period.
The next time some airhead starts to lay a guilt trip on you for being a human being who uses resources, just put yourself in the Earth's shoes: imagine how devastating it would be if you were set upon by 1/143,303.47 th of a mosquito.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Scott said...

What if the mosquitoes were using machinery?

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I leave a carbon footprint will Algore send his "globull warming police" after me. I mean is a carbon footprint unique to each and every individual? How much does a carbon footprint weigh? I have scraped carbon off of the bar-b-que grill and that was very light. The carbon that flakes off of the inside of diesel engine exhaust is just as light, it also just disappeared into the soil without a trace of it ever being there.

Joel, El Paso, TX

6:31 PM  

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