Friday, January 9, 2009

$1.2 Trillion by any other name...

On January 7, Forbes reported the following:

"According to a report released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the U.S. federal deficit will reach $1.2 trillion in 2009."

How do YOU spell 1.2 trillion?

(a) 1,200,000,000,000
(b) One Trillion Two Hundred Billion
(c) One Point Two Trillion
(d) 10001011101100101100100101110000000000000 - binary
(e) 1176592E000 - hexadecimal
(f ) FB9T0LXC - base 36
(g) Roman numerals? They do not go that high.
(h) I tried scientific notation, but the blog service does not do superscripts.

Another way of looking at it that may be easier to understand for tree huggers, the mathematically challenged, and members of Congress, is to consider how much forest it would take to have 1.2 trillion leaves.
According to Wisconsin County Forests, "It depends on the tree's species and age, but a mature, healthy tree can have 200,000 leaves."

1,200,000,000,000/200,000 = 6,000,000 trees. That is, 6 million trees would contain approximately 1.2 trillion leaves.

And, according to Wilderness and Waterslides:

"...on average, a typical hectare of this Adirondack forest has 638 trees of various sizes. "

Now, a hectare is about 2.5 acres, so an Adirondack acre would have about 255 trees. 6,000,000/255 = 23,529 acres of forest would have about 1.2 trillion leaves.

Imagine if all of those leaves were dollar bills! Anybody wanna go for a hike?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Or maybe we can just melt down the contents of Fort Knox into dubloons, and rain them down from helicopters onto the townsfolk of America. Those who aren't killed in the bombardment can keep whatever they can fit in their pockets, or auction them off on ebay, or whatever.