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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit
    #3928727 - 03/17/05 02:09 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

There was another recent "peak oil" thread, but I believe it got sidetracked. I want to ask people some blunt questions and I wanted blunt replies.

"Peak Oil" is the theory that we are running out of oil and that this will cause dire problems. Because of this and because of increasing worldwide demand for oil, we will find ourselves with less and less available oil. It could become very expensive. Because it could become very expensive, our entire economy could take a big hit or collapse. After all, our economy runs on oil. All of our plastics are made from it, all of our vehicles run on it, and a lot of our stuff is transported with it.

The more doomsday "Peak Oil" people seem to imply that there could not possibly be any way to replace oil and the oil dependent infrastructures that we have. Our standard of living will evaporate. There will be resource wars, starvation, and anarchy.

The more optimistic "Peak Oil" people think that we will be able to invent ourselves out of this problem.

What do you think on this subject? Why do you hold your specific opinions?


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3928763 - 03/17/05 02:16 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

We'll be fucked simply :shrug:

We'll get over it and eventually give credence to old speculations of alternate energy sources eventually.


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #3928777 - 03/17/05 02:20 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

You don't think it is possible to get our energy from other sources? You don't think it is possible to ween ourselves from an oil dependent economy? You don't think it is possible to make oil from other things?

You don't think that we human beings will be able to come up with a solution to this problem? We humans are pretty smart. When we are faced with a serious problem, we usually find a way around it.

Think about all of the companies that deal in energy. They make a lot of money because people in the modern world want and need lots of energy. You don't think they examine the future to see what the trends and realities will be? Don't you think it is probable that they know of the "Peak Oil" theory and that they are determining ways to deal with it? These companies want to continue making profits. If society collapses or the economy goes down the shitter, they won't make any money. Energy companies have a lot of brainpower working on problems like this. I have a feeling that the second oil gets a tad bit too expensive, they'll roll out something else that will satiate our energy desires and keep us living in modern comfort.


Edited by RandalFlagg (03/17/05 02:36 AM)


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3928784 - 03/17/05 02:26 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

^ i doubt very much that bubbas' gonna give up his hummer without a fight..even if it means WWIII...


--------------------


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3928798 - 03/17/05 02:32 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Oil is still way too cheap right now to develop viable alternatives. In inflation adjusted prices, we paid around $90 a barrel at some points in the 1980s. Gas is cheaper than people think, even with incredibly expanding demand.

When the time comes, the market will answer the call. In fact, the market is already working on it and spending billions.

Imagine what life will be like 100 years from now. I believe in technology. In the last 100 years things have gone incredibly well. Look back 200 years and people were living in absolute shit.

Today poor people in America have problems with obesity. Poor people own homes and have cars and cable TV. People like to concentrate on the gap between the rich and poor because it makes good copy.

Maybe those same people should focus on the gap between the poor vs. the poor 50 years ago, 100 years ago, and 200 years ago. Poor people rock in America today comparatively. We have never seen a better time to live in poverty. WOO HOO! Poverty rocks!

Before Oil we used to use Whale Oil for lighting lamps. People thought that the market would crash with expanding demand, but the market found an alternative in crude oil.

People used to complain that deforestation would lay this country bare, but we have more forests now than we did 50 or 100 years ago.

People have been complaining that oil would run out for over 30 years. But every decade through increases in technology we find ways to access more and more oil. And our use of oil has become incredibly more efficient. At this point, we are going to run out of uses for oil before we run out of oil, just like we ran out of uses for the whales we used before oil.

The tar sands in Canada have incredible amounts of oil in them. Reports state that they are the 2nd biggest reserve and hold a backseat only to Saudi Arabia. We have just begun to be able to harness the power to access them efficiently. We better tap them while the gettin is good, because if those Canucks sit on them too long they will be worthless.

Also, Venezuela has been though a strike and production has been limited. I think they are our #1 foreign supplier. At some point they will resume expanding capacity. Iraqi oil has been disrupted, but in the next decade they are gonna let the river flow. Russia has had Putin try to take over the entire oil industry, and it has hurt the flow substantially. Also, near the Caspian sea countries are just starting to get the infrastructure to pump oil like madmen.

I predict that at some point in the next decade all of these factors will reverse because of competition and the need for the revenue. At some point in the next ten years I predict that Oil will be half of the barrel price that it is today.

I also predict that it is time for another beer.


--------------------
Tastes just like chicken


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3928813 - 03/17/05 02:43 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)


Oil is still way too cheap right now to develop viable alternatives. In inflation adjusted prices, we paid around $90 a barrel at some points in the 1980s. Gas is cheaper than people think, even with incredibly expanding demand.


The "Peak Oil" doomsdayers seem to be absolutely sure that there is no possible way to supplement or replace our current and future energy needs with non-petroleum resources. I think they are not taking human ingenuity into account.


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Invisiblez@z.com
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3928823 - 03/17/05 02:53 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
What do you think on this subject? Why do you hold your specific opinions?



Oil will not suddenly run out. We will experience gradual price increases in oil as it becomes more expensive to get to and find. During this time (assuming there is no government interference) we will gradually find ways to use less and become less dependent on it. It will most likely hurt the economy temporarily, but I believe that we will recover. Our best bet is to get the damn government out of the oil business.


--------------------
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3928830 - 03/17/05 02:56 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

I would agree with that my friend. Technology doesn't progress gradually, it progresses exponentially. We can't even begin to imagine what is on the next horizon. Every young scientist is standing on the backs of Giants. All they have to do is tweak it a bit or even discover something by accident.

100 years from now, young kids probably won't know what oil is.


--------------------
Tastes just like chicken


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3929483 - 03/17/05 09:56 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

As of right now I would give us a 50/50 chance of pulling through Peak Oil without any loss of our current standard of living.

It really all depends on how quickly we reach the peak. If we already have reached the peak, as I've seen some estimates suggest, I would drop those chances to 20/80 against.

With the rapid industrialization of the third world that is going on right now, we are going to see world oil usage go WAY up over the next 10-20 years. This alone will put a lot of pressure on the oil market, and if we happen to peak during this time I think we will see the worst case happen: collapse of multiple economies at the same time. That would put a big dent in the search for alternative energy sources, as research is heavily dependant on funding (and thus a good economy).

As far as alternative sources go...there is certainly nothing in existence right now that could hope to compete with oil as an energy source. If fusion was already, TODAY, a viable energy source we would be fine. As it is I doubt we will see fusion power become common soon enough to offset peak oil.

Now, this certainly does not mean "dooms day" for the human race. I think at the VERY worst we will lose a good portion of the humans currently alive (perhaps as many as 4/5 of the Earth's population) due to agricultural dependance on oil.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3929593 - 03/17/05 10:38 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Necessity is the mother of invention....and she's gonna come calling

And we shall respond, obviously crude substitutes could be gained from mass hemp production, bio diesel etc....but not a full substitute by any means of the imagination. No where near I would imagine...however these things may plug one part of the gap for which those kind of materials are needed.


Quote:

Think about all of the companies that deal in energy. They make a lot of money because people in the modern world want and need lots of energy. You don't think they examine the future to see what the trends and realities will be? Don't you think it is probable that they know of the "Peak Oil" theory and that they are determining ways to deal with it?




Yep - and that's probably why they are not dealing with it...or at least putting off dealing with it even if they know how. Reason being - Money and power structure. Oil and fossil fuels are currently quite literally power (energy/electriocity etc) as well as metaphorical power (the power of one (wo)man over another).

"He who controls the spice, controls the universe!" - Baron Harkonnen

In our world that spice has been oil and those that sit atop the fonts from which it spews become the most wealthy and powerful people, because power flows from those wells. It flows through the bottle necks of certain companies, governments and individuals.

I am no scientist but it seems to me the way forward will be via either nuclear fusion or water cracking - or both. Now as I said mother is the necessity of invention and although there are a few hopeful developments in both these fields necessity has not driven the human imagination far enough yet; especially because of the current status quo of the oil related global power structure and the attachment (through habit) of people in general that has to be broken to our current paradigm. Most people find it hard to think outside the box, and people like GWB and supporters do not want to.

So going back to the money and power being made out of oil - that will be irreplaceable for those who dominate this energy market. Both fusion and water cracking will herald in a new era of virtually free power. Aside form the set-up costs and device maintenance there will be virtually no cost to produce energy...what will this do to the global power structure? It will destroy the status quo.

That is why those who currently rule the world are so desperate to keep society addicted to the black gold and to keep themselves atop that pile. Because if we moved to virtually free energy then that will literally reshape the power structure of the world. Reliance on the current system will be gone, reliance on the current fossil resources will be gone - people will be able to take control of their own energy needs and they will not need the current shepherds of society. They will not need a shepherd - it may well be 'power to the people' quite literally....and also metaphorically, because if one can generate one's own power....well then :smile:

The entire economic system will crumble as people move forward with their new found freedom - I mean if your neighbourhood could all chip in to a device that might cost each family a couple of thousand dollars and then suddenly the whole neighbourhood has no more energy bills - what then? If one owns ones own house with a garden then one needs no work, one can feed oneself and have all the energy one needs. Of course a part time job may be useful and the economy will still need to function but it will be markedly different because the pressure will be off. Of course enterprise and trade will still flourish and those with devoted passions will continue to focus on them, in fact each will be able to persue their dreams more easily.

Generally speaking this will mean the death of huge energy corporations, the death of their whore the current form of government and the rise of a new economic paradigm where communities can be much more self sufficient and in no need of huge unwieldy governments.

Globalisation as we know it will perish and the globe will be much more unified in a web of communities that interact and trade, in effect a much more pragmatic globe, a solid globe where the networks are strong and independent enough to avoid the possibility of massive global collapse that we have now from huge monoculture interdependancy that makes many slaves through circumstance.

This will be no utopia - a pragmatopia of real flesh and blood people, with real desires, goals, challenges and problems awaits.

A new world awaits - bring it on  :cool:


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: trendal]
    #3929671 - 03/17/05 11:05 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Peak oil theory implies that the costs of production of certain types of liquid fuel will begin to rise before the end of this decade.

However, there are two important points to consider when considering the likely economic impact.

First, costs of production for the highest volume producers (Saudi Arabia) are presently only a smallish fraction of the price paid on the world markets. They might pay $5/barrel to produce oil, and then turn around and sell it for $50/barrel. If their costs go up to $10 or $15/barrel, there is no guarentee that they'll just pass those costs on to the consumer.

Second, there are alternative fossil fuels that can, for a price, be processed into our needed resources. The "oil sands" of Alberta, for instance, have huge reserves (over a trillion of barrels) of bitumen, and Venesuala has over a trillion barrels of "extra heavy oil". It's more expensive to get the bitumen out of the ground than it is to get light oil, and then it's far more expensive to produce gasoline from bitumen than it is from light sweet crude (the $50/barrel shit).
Here's a link on these two deposits:
http://www.worldenergy.org/wec-geis/publications/reports/ser/bitumen/bitumen.asp



So, I don't think that peak oil means the inevitable gradual strangulation of the world economy. However, it does mean that gasoline prices will go up long term, and this is bad news for the economy.

I believe that the world economy is in good shape long term (no massive die-offs from peak oil), but I'm less confident about the American economy. The reason for this is that the American economy is in fundamentally poor shape, with enormous amounts of consumer, corporate, and government debt, plus entitlement obligations and an aging population (this last is true in most of the developed world, and imigration from Mexico helps us a bit). As the price of oil goes up, we'll be less able to pay for it than, say, the Chinese. All our military might won't get us oil when the Chinese will have good money to pay for it, and we'll be mortaged to our eyeballs.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: phi1618]
    #3929715 - 03/17/05 11:20 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

It's not so much the price of gasoline that concerns me, as the price of food. Oil and petroleum products are used at EVERY step in modern food production: fuel for the tractors, fertilizers for the field, fuel for the trucks to transport the food, and chemicals for the packaging to put the food in. Any increase in the price of petroleum could have a drastic effect on the end cost of foods, as the cost must be absorbed at each point in the production line.

With food (and fresh water) being THE fundamental necessity for us to live, it is the one thing which we cannot give up. If food prices begin rising, we have NO choice but to pay more to get the food we need...and that means less money to pay for all the other things we like to have in our lives. People will stop buying other things so that they can still buy their food, which leaves the people selling the other things with even less money to buy THEIR food with, so they buy less other things, and so on.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: trendal]
    #3929834 - 03/17/05 11:54 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

This is absolutely true. Petroleum products, and energy from fossil fuels, are needed at every stage of production for every product we consume, including food and fresh water.

However, as light sweet crude and light sour crude become increasingly expensive (and this is what we're talking about), the price of gasoline will rise more than the price of heavier petroleum derivatives.

This is because gasoline is a very light fuel that requires a low sulfur content. Farm equipment, fertilizer, transportation, etc. is more dependent on heavier fuels like diesel and kerosene than on gasoline, and these fuels are easier to extract from heavier, less pure feeds - like light sour crude (which is considered by peak oil) and bitumen and extra heavy crude - which only see limited use today because of their costs of production.

In other words, while gasoline is less critical to our survival than heavier fuels, it is the main concern when talking about the economic impact of peak oil because it will see the most dramatic increase in price, because it's harder to find substitutes for light crude oil in its production.


So, we can expect to see the prices of foods at the supermarket increase relative to incomes due to peak oil, but this change will be smaller than the price change of things dependent on gasoline.



In any case, you Canadians will all become as rich as Saudi princes from your tar sands. Unless Alberta decides it never liked the rest of you commie bastards anyway, and secedes.


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3929841 - 03/17/05 11:56 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

it's a question of whether or not we build initiatives and incentives
for new science.

though, to do that, you first have to admit the problem, which, in and
unto it self, could cause some of the hysteria that the peak oil dooms
dayers say is inevitable.

I don't think it will deteriorate into some mad max fantasy world, but
things will get tough before they get better.


--------------------
All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3929846 - 03/17/05 11:59 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

The fact is that there are alternative fuels already out there. As the oil supply gets less and less, the cost will rise, and the free market will respond by switching to a cheaper alternative.


--------------------


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: afoaf]
    #3929854 - 03/17/05 12:01 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

fusion/hydrogen/biodiesel tractors (if diesel becomes too expensive)

back to slurry on the fields and widespread 'organic' farming

Its not that tricky

I think the reserves will need to be kept for plastics more essentially, at least until GM means it is easy to fabricate and grow our own biodegradable plastics (already natural rubber and hemp and many other plants are under utilised, with gene tweaking we could grow sheets of plastic like material in the way that scientists curently grow skin for grafting purposes etc).


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: CJay]
    #3929867 - 03/17/05 12:04 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

growing enough corn or hemp for enough biodiesel to supply even
just the needs of california would be a daunting proposition.


--------------------
All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: afoaf]
    #3929881 - 03/17/05 12:08 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Maybe we'll just have to adapt to having more food grown locally, and relying less on big agribusiness.


--------------------


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: afoaf]
    #3929882 - 03/17/05 12:08 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

And, again, would use a hell of a lot of oil to grow it all :wink:


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Peak Oil thread....no Bullshit [Re: trendal]
    #3929887 - 03/17/05 12:10 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

we soon won't need oil though for these purposes


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