It's climate change dynamite!
Muskegon, Michigan - Did you know that a tonne of oil contains ten times the energy of a tonne of TNT? Ten times! It is a remarkable statistic isn't it? And it goes a long way to explaining why we are so dependent on the stuff.
Fossil fuels are a biological and geological miracle - an incredibly condensed form of sunlight. That was explained brilliantly in a programme that happened to be on the day I left on this trip.
We all know the process. Over millions of years plants captured the light of the sun, locking away carbon in their bodies. They rotted away and - if the geological conditions were just right - were cooked up into oil, coal and natural gas; into fossil hydrocarbons.
What we often fail to appreciate is just how extraordinary the concentrated energy fix delivered by fossil fuels is.
Think about oil, for example. You can drill a hole and pump out vast quantities of this incredibly energy-rich stuff out of the ground. And what's more you can burn it and it leaves virtually no residue behind. Burn most things and you get a heap of ashes but with oil you get water, some waste gases and carbon dioxide, which until very recently we dismissed as harmless.
The incredible energy density of fossil hydrocarbons is nothing less than the foundation of modern civilization. It is harnessed to power almost everything we do.
Fossil fuels keep our homes warm, whisk us effortlessly to work, let us to fly off to distant beaches, allow us to eat tropical fruit in winter and to buy a new television every couple of years.
Without fossil fuels we would not be able to enjoy the almost unimaginable plenty - by historical standards - that is the hallmark of our society.
We did an experiment on Ethical Man where I had to cycle to power a single 100-watt incandescent light bulb. After a minute or so I was sweating profusely after five I was livid and breathless and that was just to light a light bulb.
Watch the film:
We then cut to my home where I'd got the lights on, a kettle on the go and the washer drier going. My home was drawing 4.8 kilowatts - the equivalent of 48 ethical men cycling. And that's before I'd stepped into a car or onto a plane.
What the experiment very graphically demonstrated was just how much energy is needed for even the most mundane of household chores. And that plentiful, cheap energy is only possible at the moment thanks to fossil fuels.
The problem is that when we burn fossil fuels they release the carbon they locked away over hundreds of millions of years back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and - as we all know - the scientific consensus is that carbon dioxide released by man is a major cause of global warming.
So how can wean mankind off our addiction to the easy energy of fossil hydrocarbons?
That's what we talked about in our meeting at the Laketon Bethel Church last night. It wasn't an auspicious night to be discussing global warming. The temperature was well below freezing, there was heavy snow and a vicious wind was blowing.
We'd have called it a blizzard in Britain and would have turned the heating up, drawn our curtains and stayed in but in Muskegon a decent crowd fought their way through the weather to be there.
We discussed the issue for a while and then I asked the key question: what would persuade you to use less energy from fossil fuels?
The answer is the climate change equivalent of the Holy Grail.
In my next blog I'll tell you what our audience in Muskegon said, but first tell me what you think: what would make you use less energy from fossil fuels?