21 June 2008
World cement production
Click image to enlarge, if the implications are not obvious at low magnification. This is a graph that should knock your socks off. Based on data from the USGS, it depicts billions of metric tons of cement produced by each country.
"Cement is mainly used to make concrete, and is sort of the "active ingredient" in concrete - it is combined with sand and gravel in roughly fixed proportions. So cement production can be considered a rough proxy for the total amount of construction going on in a country."
Graph and text from The Oil Drum, which to my knowledge is the single best website for threaded discussions of energy issues, especially petroleum-based energy, but also other energy-based industries. The people who post and discuss seem to be mostly technology professions, so it's heavy with data to substantiate assertions. Worth a visit if those general topics interest you.