Peak Oil...Everyone Should Read This

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Postby Dr. Steve Anarchy » Feb 11 2004 06:02:40 pm

j-o-h-n wrote:Unlike a circuit breaker, it is not instantaneous.
Neither is the price spike. Which is why the earlier we transition away from subsidies, the less painful any transition will be.
j-o-h-n wrote:We don't exactly have a nuclear-powered tractor infrastructure sitting around on hot standby.
You're right, but that's because it is so far off from economic feasibility that it's a non-issue. It's not even in the ballpark.
The point is to nudge oil to its natural price factor, where as supply steadily dwindles, the price will slowly but steadily increase. It's not going to simply "crash" if it actually has a correspondance to supply (which subsidies distort, as price is less directly coupled to supply). As price indicators slowly push oil up, investment in alternative infrastructure looks better and better. The very point of this however is gradual change, not a total crash.
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Postby Super Duper Soldier » Feb 11 2004 06:04:52 pm

I just want clean energy. Is it too much to ask for Hydrogen fuel-cell buses for Cy-Ride?
They have them in Germany, and we beat them twice, why must we be technologically inferior to them?
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Postby Shuft » Feb 11 2004 06:13:59 pm

Dr. Steve Chaos wrote:
j-o-h-n wrote:We don't exactly have a nuclear-powered tractor infrastructure sitting around on hot standby.
You're right, but that's because it is so far off from economic feasibility that it's a non-issue. It's not even in the ballpark.

It is called nuclear power plants with electric tractors. As batteries get better, the electric car will not be a joke. We have alternative methods of generating electricity.
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Postby Dr. Steve Anarchy » Feb 11 2004 06:16:20 pm

Shuft wrote:It is called nuclear power plants with electric tractors. As batteries get better, the electric car will not be a joke. We have alternative methods of generating electricity.
Right, but if you've looked at the numbers, nuclear power isn't even economically competitive without heavy subsidy, namely because of liability and disposal costs. It pains me too, being a nuclear physics person, because I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for fission. Still, at this point, not economically competitive.
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Postby Terminator » Feb 11 2004 06:41:15 pm

unixly person wrote:
Russ wrote:I've long held that in the next 20-30 years, something MAJOR will happen that will basically destroy the US as we know it. Be it robotics taking over all the service industry jobs, oil collapse, internal civil war, whatever - I don't see the US lasting in it's current state in 50 years from now.

Robotics will eventually create massive unemployment. People will be left to personal diversions - tennis, music or whatever - and we'll be left to enjoy ourselves out of necessity. Or perhaps by then, bigotry will be so long gone that solidarity will prevail. In either case, capitalism will be rejected due to unemployment, because the unemployed will have nothing to sustain themselves.


In approx 75 words, you've summed up what I wrote in roughly 3200 words or so here. Congrats on summing up "The Inevitable Dilemma of Capitalism." :)

unixly person wrote: Anyway, laissez-faire capitalism hasn't been employed for a very long time now. Only the libertarians want it, and republicans are too weak to vote libertarian. It's not coming back. And that's A Good Thing.


<insert usual capitalist vs. collectivist arguments>

Personally, I liked Dr. Steve's article. :) And while as usual I disagree that some variant of capitalism resembling laissez-faire is a Bad Thing, I'd agree that we are highly-unlikely to ever see it come back... Politicians think they alone have more qualification than the combined qualification of the billions of people they rule such that (supposedly) they are better at making decisions of "what is needed."

Even though people *generally* tend towards stupidity, there are obviously very sharp people spread out amongst the masses who don't fit that generalization, which makes the politician's assertion of greater qualification both arrogant and ridiculous, but...

unixly person wrote:Something major will happen, but we'll go on. Even if we fight WWIII, we'll still have some sticks and stones to fight WWIV with, right?


...and 3 or 4 arms, 2 heads, and 6 eyes once the radioactive fallout gets done w/ us... Like that fish on the Simpsons... :P

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Postby 8MnOah » Feb 11 2004 07:11:20 pm

j-o-h-n wrote:Ethanol is a net energy loss - takes more energy to produce than you get out of it. I suspect biodiesel is as well.

Well yeah, so is everything. 100% energy effeciency isn't so much possible.
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Postby Dr. Steve Anarchy » Feb 11 2004 07:16:08 pm

8MnOah wrote:Well yeah, so is everything.
Not true. What he's talking about is getting more energy out than is required in actual production costs - that is, refining it into a usable fuel. Normal fuel sources yield some net energy gain in terms of usable energy even after the costs of refining.
What's not being said is that the energy of the system is greater than when you start (a violation of the second law of thermodynamics), but simply that the cost to put it into a form which produces usable energy costs less than the energy it puts out for a normal fuel.
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Postby ahab » Feb 11 2004 07:18:56 pm

It takes 10 gallons of petrol to make 7 gallons of ethanol.

Why not just use the 10 gallons of petrol instead of burning it to make the ethanol?

(greatly simplified, but you get the point)
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Postby Dr. Steve Anarchy » Feb 11 2004 07:24:01 pm

Exactly.
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Pesto wrote:
Parsnips wrote:Parsnips - Knowing more than Kazan about everything for eternity.
You sure do set the bar low.

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Postby 8MnOah » Feb 11 2004 07:34:38 pm

Dr. Steve Chaos wrote:
8MnOah wrote:Well yeah, so is everything.
Not true. What he's talking about is getting more energy out than is required in actual production costs - that is, refining it into a usable fuel. Normal fuel sources yield some net energy gain in terms of usable energy even after the costs of refining.
What's not being said is that the energy of the system is greater than when you start (a violation of the second law of thermodynamics), but simply that the cost to put it into a form which produces usable energy costs less than the energy it puts out for a normal fuel.

Ahh, money, I always forget about that. Yeah that makes sense then.
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Postby Russ » Feb 11 2004 08:40:42 pm

sometimes it hurts wrote:I just want clean energy. Is it too much to ask for Hydrogen fuel-cell buses for Cy-Ride?
They have them in Germany, and we beat them twice, why must we be technologically inferior to them?


Because CyRide barely has enough money to keep everything running. We're contracting CIT for some runs because we don't have enough busses as is. We're buying up cheap busses from PACE & such because we need more.

If someone provides money for it, I'm sure CyRide would *love* to.

-=Russ=-
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Postby j-o-h-n » Feb 11 2004 09:46:27 pm

Dr. Steve Chaos wrote:
j-o-h-n wrote:Unlike a circuit breaker, it is not instantaneous.
Neither is the price spike. Which is why the earlier we transition away from subsidies, the less painful any transition will be.
j-o-h-n wrote:We don't exactly have a nuclear-powered tractor infrastructure sitting around on hot standby.
You're right, but that's because it is so far off from economic feasibility that it's a non-issue. It's not even in the ballpark.
The point is to nudge oil to its natural price factor, where as supply steadily dwindles, the price will slowly but steadily increase. It's not going to simply "crash" if it actually has a correspondance to supply (which subsidies distort, as price is less directly coupled to supply). As price indicators slowly push oil up, investment in alternative infrastructure looks better and better. The very point of this however is gradual change, not a total crash.

I think that was the guy's point - that's what we should do - it just isn't what's going to happen.
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Postby grace » Feb 11 2004 10:37:10 pm

the article doesn't take count of technologies like the fuel cell, which is estimated to give forth 3-4 times as much mileage.

i'm of the opinion that SHOULD it get to that point, the third world nations will be toast - other countries won't be able to send forth surplus foods, and massive starvation will commence - and india and china might have some problems feeding their billions... but the us and western europe will probably be ok. living like today? no. but alive, and when it comes down to it, that's what matters.
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Postby Dr. Steve Anarchy » Feb 11 2004 10:57:12 pm

bruja wrote:i'm of the opinion that SHOULD it get to that point, the third world nations will be toast - other countries won't be able to send forth surplus foods, and massive starvation will commence - and indiana and china might have some problems feeding their billions...
I never knew we had a third-world state in the union. :-P
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You sure do set the bar low.

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Postby Santa » Feb 11 2004 11:19:12 pm

Dr. Steve Chaos wrote:
bruja wrote:i'm of the opinion that SHOULD it get to that point, the third world nations will be toast - other countries won't be able to send forth surplus foods, and massive starvation will commence - and indiana and china might have some problems feeding their billions...
I never knew we had a third-world state in the union. :-P
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Postby Dr. Steve Anarchy » Feb 12 2004 12:05:36 am

santa wrote:
Dr. Steve Chaos wrote:
bruja wrote:i'm of the opinion that SHOULD it get to that point, the third world nations will be toast - other countries won't be able to send forth surplus foods, and massive starvation will commence - and indiana and china might have some problems feeding their billions...
I never knew we had a third-world state in the union. :-P
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Pesto wrote:
Parsnips wrote:Parsnips - Knowing more than Kazan about everything for eternity.
You sure do set the bar low.

Pokaris wrote:This is a capitalist country not some hippie commie love in.
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Postby grace » Feb 12 2004 01:25:10 am

ugh.. can i blame brain fart due to massive amounts of statement of purposes?? please?
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Postby 8MnOah » Feb 12 2004 01:31:51 am

santa wrote:
Dr. Steve Chaos wrote:
bruja wrote:i'm of the opinion that SHOULD it get to that point, the third world nations will be toast - other countries won't be able to send forth surplus foods, and massive starvation will commence - and indiana and china might have some problems feeding their billions...
I never knew we had a third-world state in the union. :-P
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Postby floor punching mummy » Feb 12 2004 02:02:30 am

man, conspiracy types annoy me.

"it's all there! it's just not being reported in BIG MEDIA!!!"

fucking wankers.
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Postby Negatron » Feb 12 2004 10:08:40 am

Russ wrote:I've long held that in the next 20-30 years, something MAJOR will happen that will basically destroy the US as we know it. Be it robotics taking over all the service industry jobs, oil collapse, internal civil war, whatever - I don't see the US lasting in it's current state in 50 years from now.

-=Russ=-


yeah, they say that what goes up, always comes down, in one way or the other. I agree with you, the shortage in oil energy is definetly going to change the world. I think the industrialized countries like the US and the EU are going to suffer the most from it, since they have everything running on energy: food production, transportation, global economy...etc The third world countries are gonna be less affected since people are more likely to live off the land. So what I think is gonna happen is the superpowers won't need to give excuses to go to invade, they'll just go ahead and do it, since their survival is gonna be at stake.
I always thought the world as it is today was going WAY too fast, electronic gadgets, instant news, transportation, telecommunications, jobs, buildings, population, WMD.. everything is growing fast. It's about time we slowed down a bit.

sometimes it hurts wrote:I just want clean energy. Is it too much to ask for Hydrogen fuel-cell buses for Cy-Ride?
They have them in Germany, and we beat them twice, why must we be technologically inferior to them?


because the US has been working hard to get a firm grip on the energy (thus oil) industry, and they wanna make as much money out of it as possible.
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Postby ape » Feb 12 2004 01:05:51 pm

Don't worry guys. My country can pump oil for the next 100 years :)
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Postby Gen » Feb 12 2004 01:56:03 pm

bruja wrote:i'm of the opinion that SHOULD it get to that point, the third world nations will be toast - other countries won't be able to send forth surplus foods, and massive starvation will commence - and india and china might have some problems feeding their billions... but the us and western europe will probably be ok. living like today? no. but alive, and when it comes down to it, that's what matters.


Along the lines of 'give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he can eat for a lifetime'...
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB106323428552114700,00.html
There's a lot more to this article, but this quote is already much too long.
As U.S. Food-Aid Policy Enriches Farmers, Poor Nations Cry Foul
Sending Crops, Not Cash, Eases American Gluts, Ignores Local Surpluses
By Roger Thurow in Nazareth, Ethiopia, and Scott Kilman in Genesee, Idaho

Farmer Jerman Amente threw open the doors of his stone-and-concrete warehouse in Nazareth, Ethiopia, to reveal a jarring sight in a country stalked by famine.

Hundreds of white plastic bags, each filled with 220 pounds of wheat or corn, were stacked in neat columns rising to the wooden rafters. The bags, marked with the green, yellow and red stripes of the Ethiopian flag, held local surplus grain, grown on the fertile highlands that have defied the drought choking other parts of the country.

On the narrow blacktop road outside, Mr. Amente has a regular view of another jarring sight: truck after truck carrying other bags of grain from the port of Djibouti. These bags, marked in red, white and blue, contain food aid from the U.S. It has saved countless lives among the more than 12 million people made destitute by the failure of their fields and pastures.

"We really appreciate it," said the 35-year-old Mr. Amente. Yet he says farmers are "sad and discouraged" that the U.S. government buys surplus grain from American farmers and sends it halfway around the world -- one million metric tons already to Ethiopia -- instead of first buying what Ethiopians produce. He estimated that at least 100,000 metric tons of corn, wheat, sorghum and beans, still available after local consumers have been supplied, are languishing around the country in warehouses like his, where some of his own grain has sat for eight months.

But the U.S., the most generous donor, is bound by legislation to send its own homegrown food for aid, rather than spend cash on foreign produce, in all but the most exceptional cases. It is a mandate that supports American farmers, processors and shippers, as well as the world's hungry. And this system, begun with humanitarian impulses in the era of Herbert Hoover, now is shaped as much by business and political imperatives tied to hunger abroad.


Farmers on both sides of the world are fighting to defend their turf. Two weeks ago, a group of Ethiopian farmers and grain traders sent a petition to the prime minister's office, urging the government to seek money from donor nations to buy local grain for food-aid distribution before bringing in more from outside. The petitioners warned that if warehouses aren't cleared out soon, there won't be money to pay for this year's harvest or space to store it. Domestic prices will collapse. Loans will go unpaid, farmers will plant less next year and the cycle of famine will spin on.

As they were drafting their plea, a coalition of U.S. farming groups was sending a letter to the Bush administration urging more food-aid exports. They want Washington to begin donating a minimum of three million metric tons (3.3 million short tons) of wheat a year in food aid around the world, up from the 2.2 million metric tons the government bought from U.S. farmers in the year that ended May 31. "We believe the U.S. government should 'Keep the Food in Food Aid,' " the letter said.
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Postby Terminator » Feb 12 2004 04:10:52 pm

St. Wanger 2K4! wrote:man, conspiracy types annoy me.

"it's all there! it's just not being reported in BIG MEDIA!!!"

fucking wankers.


Black helicopters. Globalist NWO one-world govn't via the UN. HERF guns. 9/11 actually planned by Bush admin., not bin Laden. And, of course, alien anal probes. (just another day at http://www.infowars.com I guess) :)



Seriously though, what about Iraq's WMDs? A year ago, people were saying "Iraq has no WMDs but the BIG MEDIA isn't reporting it!" (personally, I distinctly remember saying Iraq probably had them, but that they still weren't a threat)

But it wasn't until David Kay came out and said the WMDs aren't there that even people like FOX's Bill O'Reilly admitted he was wrong on the existence of Iraq's WMDs.

Most conspiracy theories - yeah, they're bullshit, I agree (although, they make good entertainment :P). But not *all* of them are...

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Postby iron fist » Feb 12 2004 08:01:41 pm

Dr. Steve Chaos wrote:I know it pains the lefties to hear it, but price is a natural indicator of scarcity when the market is left unperturbed. In other words, the free market works just fine for regulating supply when you let it.
For example, right now, oil is at an artificially low price to American consumers due to subsidies given to oil producers and refineries in order to keep the price low. The result is artificially low price and hence artificially high demand.
The solution is simple - let the price reflect scarcity. The supply doesn't just go to "zero" - the price starts crawling up as scarcity gets more evident. Voila, as oil prices climb, the price of alternative fuel sources grows more and more economically feasible.
What exactly is the problem here?
Politicians.
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Postby iron fist » Feb 12 2004 08:04:36 pm

This article is pretty biased. It said it costs 13 billion to make a nuclear reactor. That is in fact entirely untrue. The last nuclear reactor built in California cost 13 billion (and I think it was the last), and it cost 13 billion because they had to fight continuous lawsuits from environmentalists that made the project drag on for year (thus also increasing costs) and were forced to make a number of very expensive environmental "improvements" to the reactor that didn't really do much for the environment but make people feel better about themselves. It wouldn't cost anywhere near as much as that to make a reactor if it wasn't for morons. The original estimate of that 13 billion dollar reactor was under 1 billion.
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Postby El_Mono » Feb 13 2004 11:49:33 am

Russ wrote:I've long held that in the next 20-30 years, something MAJOR will happen that will basically destroy the US as we know it. Be it robotics taking over all the service industry jobs, oil collapse, internal civil war, whatever - I don't see the US lasting in it's current state in 50 years from now.

-=Russ=-


To be fair, look at the other side of what you're saying...is any nation's current state the same as it was 50 years ago? Of course the US is going to change over 50 years, but since no one can see the future (not even analysts or Rush Limbaugh!), no one can say for sure what direction that change will be in.
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Postby kc0jii » Feb 13 2004 11:41:33 pm

Did you seriously read that? I'm not sure if I agree with the conclusion of WW3 and or the death of billions of people, but I'm not about to discount it. It is far too logical a conclusion to simply discard. I'm just wondering what can be done to prevent these outcomes. There will most certainly be trouble when the oil runs low, don't tell me there won't be.
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Postby Terminator » Feb 14 2004 01:56:20 am

Somebody give me a good reason *not* to think WW3 won't happen sometime this century.

Think about it -- how many centuries has the U.S. -- or Europe, for that matter -- endured without a major international war? None.

So why should we believe the 21st century will be any different? My greatest hope is that the global fear of MAD will prevent global nuclear war -- just like during the Cold War.

With any luck, the world will continue making small but significant steps towards eliminating the stockpiles of nuclear arms in existence while making sure they don't end up in the wrong hands (that said, with this recent Pakistani leak, that goal may now be impossible. Why the media isn't covering that story more is beyond me).

The problem is, terrorists like bin Laden don't care if they die along with everybody else on the planet, just so long as it's done "in the name of Allah!"

Same goes for dictators like Kim Jong Il. Not for religious reasons, but b/c Kim is absolutely batshit crazy.

Moreover, nuclear weapons materials are becoming increasingly-easy to come by. Call it a byproduct of capitalism's ruthless productive efficiency and a byproduct of communism's failure and an unfree nation's (Russia) failure to secure their weapons against theft and sales to outsiders, not to mention making sure their nuclear scientists are happy enough to want to stay in Russia (to keep nuke-building knowledge from falling into the wrong hands).

When you get right down to it, it's only a matter of time before somebody we don't like detonates a nuke in a location we really didn't want to have nuked... And if that location happens to be anywhere on U.S. soil, that's it. That's the end, unless we can avoid nuking somebody else back -- and public pressure to use the nuclear weapons we've been stockpiling for decades and paying out the ass to not use will be simply *enormous*. After all, what seems more serious than the U.S. getting nuked? Whether our govn't will be able to stand up to that level of pressure and stay levelheaded (if possible) is the key.

And that's just if a terrorist attacks us; if it's a country like Russia or maybe N. Korea, which we know to have > 1 or 2 nukes on-hand, then forget it, we're toast.

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