It appears to me that people such as scientists, be they scientist of nature or scientists of medicine, in fact irellevant of doctrine, use such huge and ultimately useless numbers as a way of backing up their often outlandish claims. Look closely at that referenced article and then try to understand the underlaying ideology behind it. Do you reach the same conclusion as I do?
My conclusion of it is that to claim such outlandish figures against something that is not ultimately measurable makes the effort used to collate and process such data utterly futile. The commonman, and woman, cannot comprehend such huge numbers. This has been, err, scientifically and mathematically, proven so why do these people persist in producing such huge figures? They do it because their ultimate goal is to garner ever more money from Governments the world over. They are not aimed at Joe and Jane in the streets. So one has to wonder why the BBC produces such articles.
I suppose the BBC's aim to to educate and inform (yes, yes, I know they often do not get the mix right but let us forget that for now) and by producing such articles they are doing exactly that. But, that does not help Joe and Jane comprehend such numbers. So, ultimately the article is wasted material on the intended target audience. Wasted because as ones brain struggles to comprehend such huge numbers what follows is not stored in ones brain.
We are seeing such figures on a daily basis now with the banking mess that is hitting the world's countries but that does not help the common person to comprehend such numbers. Instead the common person who walks and works in the everyday street simply ignores the numbers and tries to carry on as they always have carried on never caring about such numbers.
Madness. It is all unadulterated, unmitigated madness.