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#8215 - 04/27/08 01:46 PM the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak
letusprey Offline
stranger


Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 10
Loc: sailing vessel
Something I've been concerned about for over a decade, and it seems that no one in the mass media is willing to discuss this. The fact is that we (as a planet) have used more crude oil, natural gas, etc. than is left, and obviously, we have garnered the easiest to obtain stuff first, leaving the most difficult to obtain energy sources for last.
Since this site is about the most thoughtful on the web, I would like a discussion re: the ramifications entailed within the fact that cheap energy is gone for good.
The elephant in the room is that fossil fuels comprise the basis for all chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, and transportation networks worldwide. The fallout should be obvious: disease, starvation, and the end of unsubstainable living arrangements such as suburbia, condos, etc.
An excellent book is out on the topic:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0802142494/bookstorenow57-20

"The Long Emergency"
James Howard Kunstler

I wonder how the "entitled" generation will react to the end of strip malls, cars, suburbia, grocery stores, air conditioning, electrical infrastructure, and readily available food supplies.
I noted with chagrin the other day when the big lot stores have started to limit the amount of rice one can purchase in a visit. It seems to me that the beginnings of the long emergency are upon us, yet there is NO discussion. As Kunstler says, we are "sleepwalking into the future."
I have a sailboat paid for. To be able to travel to anywhere on the planet without the need for fossil fuels seems to me to be the only security available.
When the children go hungry, and there is no fuel for the BMW in the garage to take you to a non-existent job 30 miles away over broken roads and fallen bridges, what will the yuppies do to each other?
I do not want to see this happen.
Any thoughts?
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#8224 - 04/27/08 05:55 PM Re: the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak [Re: letusprey]
LUCIFERIFIC Offline
active member


Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 629
Loc: CA
Its probably a matter of perspective, and one's current understanding of where oil comes from. Oil will never run out:

""Itís been trendy for 30 years to predict the end of the Age of Oil. Our economic leaders, automakers included, have been planning for a gas-free generation for decades, more earnestly than ever now. But what if oil is constantly being created by the Earth as a natural productóthe gift that keeps on giving us modern society?

Thatís the interesting, if not widely held, theory put up by Dr. Thomas Gold and Dr. J.F. Kenney, research scientists (and brought to our attention via Autoblog.com). Gold and Kenney have theorized that oil isnít as finite a resource as we have been led to believeóand that new oil is made when methane from the Earthís interior hits steam and condenses into hydrocarbons, i.e., oil. Decayed life forms, they say, simply couldnít generate the amount of oil in todayís proven reserves ó 680 billion barrels alone in the Middle East.""

Read the rest here:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/blog/?p=175

Even though our oil may never run out because its not as finite as thought to be; our world is still going to hell in a hand basket. Partly do to consumerism, over exploitation of natural resources, over population, pollution... well, you already know about this stuff.

Before we killed them all off, these Native Americans had this belief that Gold were like the veins of Mother earth, acting like Chi Meridians to conduct Vital Cosmic Energy to feed her; and that Oil was her blood. They believed that if you extracted the gold and oil, you'd kill Mother Earth... *crazy people*...

Kayla


Edited by LUCIFERIFIC (04/27/08 06:00 PM)
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#8225 - 04/27/08 06:00 PM Re: the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak [Re: letusprey]
Nemesis Offline
senior member


Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
The "entitled generation" is slowly being replaced by the "green generation", and it's not only made up of young people. Clever marketing schemes have made "going green" trendy, and where "organic" and "natural" foods and goods consumed daily were once the province of celebrities and people with wads of cash to spend, are now within the grasp of the average consumer. It's a bit like reducing the price tag of a Prada or Fendi purse. Used to be only the wealthy could afford to have them, now that they're more affordable (still expensive, but still attainable), they're being snatched up by a broader range of women from across the economic spectrum.

As for the lack of real concern over the global food crisis, when has the US ever really had to suffer? Even in dire times (during the Depression and the World Wars), we still have a huge landmass on which we can grow damn near anything we want. The chunk of the North American continent we currently possess has virtually every kind of climate in the world: desert, semi-desert, tropical, subtropical, grasslands and plains, mountains, swamps, hardwood forests, even the rocky New England coast for some of the best seafoods. We might see an increase in prices for certain foods, but this country is rich, where even the poorest of our citizens can be richer than the wealthy of poor countries. A few cents to us is not a matter of eat or starve as it is for many countries. I'm not concerned in the slightest.

I've seen several tv shows that go through new concepts in "green" energy management--growing grass on rooftops to cut down on the amount of electricity it takes to cool the building, using wind mills in the backyard or attached to the side of your house, as well as some other interesting ideas that I don't recall right now. Damned inventive, and worth looking into if one has the money to spend.
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#8226 - 04/27/08 06:11 PM Re: the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak [Re: Nemesis]
LUCIFERIFIC Offline
active member


Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 629
Loc: CA
No Nemisis Green is bad. You don't want to go green. We have to evolve with the changing earth; like bugs do to pesticides, and viruses to antibodies. We should embrace pollution, and breath deep. That way you body and your offsprings will mutates to be able to live in such a messed up environment. If you go green and eat healthy you'll just die.

I smoke lots of cigerettes, in time my lungs will evolve into smog gills, i'll grow clear eye lids underneath my fleshy lids to keep the toxic air from burning my eyes... see. Evolve or Die \:\)
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Lux Ex Tenebris
Lux Lucet Ex Orientis


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#8230 - 04/27/08 07:03 PM Re: the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak [Re: LUCIFERIFIC]
letusprey Offline
stranger


Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 10
Loc: sailing vessel
I get your point, and from the site you pointed us toward:

<Pardon - but how does this really matter? Itís a fascinating bunch of unsupported opinions, nothing more. Whether we are making more oil (abiogenically) or not, we (the whole world) are using more and more every single day. It will continue to be in increasing demand and the price will go up, possibly exponentially at some point. This is supply and demand, not price ďgougingĒ or whatever you want to call it. We simply use the stuff up faster than we can get it out. What remains underground may be just half of what we started with (just say, ícause we donít know exactly) and when we try to tap those last reserves we will have to work harder to get it out - using water or other fluids to force it out for example, and the quality will change (ie go down). It will get scarcer and dearer to refine.>

I personally, not being a geologist, cannot state a real opinion, but I do know (from research) that the Saudis have been using seawater to force the crude to the top, and now are getting a mixture of water and crude out. Sometimes more seawater than crude.

I am not buying it, and in light of the current futures prices...
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#8245 - 04/28/08 06:08 AM Re: the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak [Re: letusprey]
Cipher Highwind Offline
stranger


Registered: 04/17/08
Posts: 7
I would have to advise caution on this matter; keep in mind that the discovery and production pipeline introduces a time-delayed element, and with oil going from over-production to supply disruption and increased demand from China, India, and even the OPEC nations themselves, the market does not reply instantly or even in a timely manner to market conditions. Throw into the equation the lack of investment in energy infrastructure, and it is clear that a bottleneck is occurring.

As for the pumping of oil reserves with seawater, this is already occurring with Ghawar. Cantorel in the Gulf of Mexico is beginning to peak.

Keep in mind also that the price of oil is denominated in weak dollars.

It will take time for renewables to come online. Already solar power is economical in Japan, though again there is lag built into the system as it adjusts to changing market conditions.

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#8247 - 04/28/08 08:23 AM Re: the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak [Re: Cipher Highwind]
letusprey Offline
stranger


Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 10
Loc: sailing vessel
OK,

Solar panels are manufactured in plants built with and powered by fossil fuels and which require batteries as storage devices, again manufactured using oil. Hydrogen is a net energy sink- 1.4 units of energy in = one unit out. Ethanol is grown with tractors, again made in factories built using, and then powered by oil. Agribusiness is predicated upon oil, as are fertilizers. Then, here we have hybridized seed stocks which will not reproduce viable seeds for the next years sowing, creating a worldwide dependence upon such as Archer Daniels Midland. (read oil here)
...the transportation infrastructure...pharmaceuticals, refrigerants, the list is truly endless, and this is the issue.

I believe the railroads and gen IV nuclear

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf08.html

would have been the way out, both of which have been largely, if not completely, ignored by the powers that be.


Edited by letusprey (04/28/08 08:29 AM)
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#8260 - 04/28/08 08:17 PM Re: the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak [Re: letusprey]
Octavius Offline
member


Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 557
Loc: Left the party
COLD FUSION is a fantastic option...just not viable yet.
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#8262 - 04/28/08 09:40 PM Re: the end of cheap energy/ we're past peak [Re: Octavius]
letusprey Offline
stranger


Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 10
Loc: sailing vessel
Yes, that is true. Neither is gen IV viable at this point, but not through lack of understanding and technology, but from neglect. All the required technology to achieve and implement pebble reactors exists- what has been missing is the vision and the will to get it done. Tricky DICK and co. make $ off profligate oil consumption. I believe the entire mess can be summed up with two quotes from our (USA) vice prez:
"The American way of life is non-negotiable."
"So?"

These guys are oil men, and know well the situation we are entering into, and I believe, a dim (very) understanding of the ramifications. I think they believe that being "haves" will afford them a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed, but I believe that they do not realize that without all of us serfs out here slaving for a hundredth of a percent of what they accrue, their possessions and place become meaningless.

No matter how much ketchup you put on a Mercedes limo, you cannot eat it.
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