By the numbers

An Earth Day 2013 index

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(16)

rebecca@sfbg.com

77: Years before climate scientists say the Sierra Snowpack, the state's largest reservoir, could dwindle to half its historic size. [Source: Fact Sheet, California Air Resources Board]

2,500,000,000,000: Barrels of "produced" wastewater generated by onshore oil and gas wells in California in 2011.

[Source: California Department of Conservation]

2,294: New oil and gas wells drilled in California in 2011.

[Source: California Department of Conservation]

565: Gigatons of carbon that can be burned before global average temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius, the ceiling target established by the Copenhagen Accord to avert the worst consequences of global climate change.

[Source: 350.org]

2,795: Gigatons of carbon held in reserves by the world's oil and gas companies, which would emit five times the "safe" amount of carbon into the atmosphere if burned.

[Source: 350.org]

$26,200,000,000: Annual profit reaped by San Ramon-based Chevron last year — the oil company's second-highest profit ever earned.

[Source: San Francisco Chronicle]

$1,000,000: Approximate amount Chevron was fined by state regulators for the Aug. 6, 2012 Richmond Refinery fire, which resulted in about 200 hospital visits due to exposure to toxic fumes.

[Source: LA Times]

656,576: Miles of waterways, representing 55 percent of all rivers and streams in the U.S., ranked in "poor" condition in the EPA's latest assessment, meaning they can't support healthy aquatic life.

[Source: US EPA]

13,144: Miles of U.S. waterways where fish are not safe for human consumption, due to high levels of mercury.

[Source: US EPA]

16: Inches sea level is expected to rise in the San Francisco Bay by 2050, according to climate change scenarios.

[Source: Bay Conservation and Development Commission]

55: Inches sea level is expected to rise in the San Francisco Bay by 2099, according to climate change scenarios.

[Source: Bay Conservation and Development Commission]

234,167: Metric tons of greenhouse gases Pacific Gas & Electric Co. reported emitting in San Francisco in 2011, from natural gas distribution.

[Source: U.S. EPA]

195,061: Acres of pine or fir forest it would take to absorb PG&E's 2011 San Francisco greenhouse gas emissions, assuming CO2 absorption for one year. (Roughly 6.5 times the land area of SF.)

[Calculation based on California Air Resources Board million metric ton equivalents]

$500,000,000: Estimated San Francisco Employee Retirement System holdings in 81 fossil fuel companies including Chevron, BP, Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum and Arch Coal.

[Source: SFERS]

Comments

How long have people been predicting "peak oil" and it hasn't happened?

About 50 years.

Yet the discovered but not yet tapped energy reserves are now GREATER than 50 years ago.

Sobering, huh?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 6:07 am

The cost per unit of energy is increasing as per the peak oil thesis, such that extraction on the downside of the curve is only economically feasible under a much higher cost structure and with much greater environmental damage at exploration and production time.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 7:29 am

efficiently now than 50 years ago. A car that did 15mpg in the 1960's now does 40mpg.

Meanwhile we have found more reserves of energy than we have consumed.

We will all be driving cars in 100 years time - guaranteed.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 8:47 am

Demand is rising faster than supply can possibly rise even with fracking and tar sands that require prices > $US60/bbl to be economically feasible.

Nobody is going to be driving much on any road that is < 2m ASL within 25 years if fracking continues to proliferate.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 9:02 am

for 50 years now and have been proven wrong at every turn.

We'll see more fuel efficiency, more hybrid and electric cars, maybe even smaller cars. But we will never see less cars in our lifetime.

Eventually nuclear fusion power will render fossil fuels redundant, looking further ahead.

You're a dinosaur.

Posted by anon on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 9:20 am

What do you care, fuckface, you'll be gone by the time that the shit hits the fan.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 9:33 am

What matters now is that people do not give in to partisan, self-serving scaremongering.

Posted by anon on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 9:56 am

Yeah, fuckface, the debate will be settled on the SFBG comments section once and for all.

Posted by marcos on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

people who have no impact on the real world.

I'm just here for amusement. What's your excuse?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

You called Marcos a dinosaur, then you whine about abuse.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

Point being that his views are archaic and outmoded.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

Regarded "archaic and outmoded" thinking, that type of criticism has been leveled at established thought since time immemorial, but those who have sought to discard established thinking were sometimes simply interested in finding a benefit for themselves by it.

Mankind's several wrong turns are rarely considered, but represent a majority of human existence in one sense -- and yet, we individuals often seem disposed to continue presuming our existence is on a charmed branch of humanity that can never fall in the wind.

Posted by lillipublicans on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

always matched and surpassed irrational paranoia about energy.

The naysayer NIMBY's and negative nabobs were wrong then, and you're wrong now.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

We...are...doomed...

Posted by TrollKiller on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 11:50 am

Everything is rotten, so let's get happy.

Meanwhile I'm taking my gas-guzzling classic car for a spin. Make me stop!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 17, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

Gas prices or traffic-jams will make you stop.

Posted by TrollKiller on Apr. 18, 2013 @ 5:58 am

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