Thursday, July 28, 2005

2005 Chinese Steel Output: 343,000,000 tons

Chinese steel output this year is expected to exceed 343 million tons.

I realize that's a big damn number to get your hands around, so let me put it in individual terms:

If you were standing on a perfectly flat surface, and a weight dropped on your head and flattened you enough that your surface area (both sides together) equated to approximately 462 hectares, the weight that dropped on your head would be approximately 343,000,000 tons. (assuming that the human body can be accurately modeled as a perfect sphere of meat at standard temperature and pressure, discounting quantum effects, damping and rolling friction.)

Another way to look at it:

If you were standing on a perfectly flat, perfectly rigid beach in Taiwan, and a perfectly rigid 50-ton Chinese-made Type 98G Main Battle Tank rolled over your head, you would be dead in approximately 0.1 seconds. (Employing the same assumptions as above.) Subsequently, China could manufacture up to 6.86 million new Type 98Gs in the following year without running out of steel.

The output from all NAFTA countries combined is not expected to top 130 million tons in 2005. For purposes of comparison, that weight would flatten you to only 181 hectares. On the other hand, a 70-ton M-1 Abrams MBT would crush your skull in less time than the Type 98G, so we still do have some bragging rights.


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