A quicker trillion barrels

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

Astronomer Bob Doyle writes a weekly science column for the iCumberland Times-News in Maryland, often addressing energy issues. Here’s a startling statistic from his latest column

Since the first oil well in Titusville, Pa., in 1859, humans have extracted a trillion barrels of petroleum. Conservative estimates suggest that there’s about that amount of petroleum in existing reserves. … At our present rate of consumption, we will extract our second trillion barrels in only 33 years!

Note that by “>we,” Doyle means not “we Americans” but “we Earthlings.”