If you've watched the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the headlines - Biggest in History - you may also have wondered what it means. Just how big is big?
One comparison that resonates is, at its peak, it was the size of the US State of Kansas. This is approximately the same size as the State of Victoria in Australia, just under half the size of European France and twice South Korea's land mass.
It's also spawned a few comparisons. What if BP had spilled solar panels instead of oil calculates it would be enough clean energy to power the USA, Central and South America for 25 years. The oil, as opposed to solar, is enough energy for less than one day's power demand. The BP spilled solar panels post also calculates costs.
Clearly solar power, on its own, is not the full, comprehensive, alternative to oil. The Rocky Mountains Institute in 2007 looked at how to Win the Oil Endgame. It documents how USA (and by extension world) oil dependancy can be ended - profitably, securely and equitably - within decades. It demonstrates viable effective alternatives to oil.
Picture: BP Oil clean-up