It’s Friday. That’s my only excuse.
Picture a train. It is composed of coal cars, the very coal cars James Hansen used as a metaphor harkening back to the Holocaust.
The coal cars are full–100 tons of coal in each and there are 100 cars to the mile. It’s a very long train. It stretches from Albuquerque New Mexico to Anchorage in Alaska.
The energy we get by burning all the coal in this train equals one quadrillion BTUs. We call it a quad.
Now picture 54 of these trains lined up side by side, each filled with 38 million tons of coal, each stretching from Albuquerque to Alaska.
And you can start your weekend on either an optimistic or pessimistic note–is your glass half-empty or half-full?
If you want to look on the bright side of life, you can make those 54 trains disappear. In fact, we did. That’s how much energy the world got last year from renewable sources–hydroelectric power, wind, solar, biomass and biofuels.
If being of good cheer is too much for you today, don’t worry–be gloomy. Once those 54 trains are magickally disappeared from the landscape, you have an unobstructed view of the 480 Infinity Trains that we used last year that were provided by sources that were not renewable.
Whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, have a good weekend.