May 18, 2005
Peak oil in a nutshell
- The broader economy is predicated on growth.
- The broader economy is built on the assumption of cheap energy.
- The world will not run out of oil for a while, the problem is oil can not be pumped out any faster then it already is and what left is both of lesser quality and requires more energy to pump it out and refine it. Judging by what is going on in Saudi Arabia I would guess that they are at peak oil and by extension so is the rest of the world.
- Alternative fuels and energy conservation are no where near ready for anything close to replacing and/or mitigating the current level of energy consumption.
- If the economies of China and India ramp up then the available oil supplies will be burned through in fairly short order.
- Modern agriculture is almost entirely dependent on oil for transportation, fertilizers and pesticides.
- Suburbs are dependent on oil for basically everything and suburbs usually sit on paved over farmland.
- Most people living in the suburbs currently have virtually no idea how to do things without oil.
- Globalization is running in the opposite direction of what should be done with economies as peak oil (slowly?) takes hold.
Posted by Jeremy at May 18, 2005 12:10 AM Category: Peak Oil
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And in the other nut:
- nuclear material is an exhaustible resource and is (at best) a short term solution with very long term consequences
- bio-fuels cannot be produced in the quantity needed to replace oil without converting virtually all agriculture over to bio-fuel
- it takes a tremendous amount of energy make hydrogen
- nuclear fusion is not yet working, and it seem like there might be significant risks. After all that is what the sun runs on.
Posted by: Rowan at May 18, 2005 12:32 AM
- solar energy requires exhaustible metals and plastics and other materials to collect the solar energy
- fuel cells require platinum, natural gas, etc, more exhaustible resources
- the idea of "renewable energy" is pretty much a myth. the energy itself is renewable, but the resources needed to collect it are not
- no matter what, someday our energy economy will no longer exist.
Posted by: george at May 18, 2005 5:25 AM
What pi**es me off is energy conglomerates will squeeze all the profit there is from oil energy before making the switch and continue the devastation of nature. The best minds once said man could never fly and said again man would never enter outer space and said again man will never walk on the moon and are saying the speed of light cannot be surpassed. I suspect there are viable technologies in place to make the switch already, to what and how I don't know, but profit mongering is not always short sighted. It seeks to ever perpetuate itself.
Posted by: goesh at May 18, 2005 10:54 AM
Once all resources are sucked away from the earth, it probably will not matter. We will have warmed the Arctic enough to cause an ice age; the loss of the earth's bodily fluids could cause earthquakes; or perhaps the Great Spirit will say enough is enough and will just flick us out of the galaxy after causing explosions of magmatic proportions. The survival of all plant and animal species will be threatened with one big blow and it will be every creature for itself.
I am still searching for viable alternatives that will also be viable should all hell break loose and humans have to struggle right along side of all the rest of life for survival. Any ideas out there?
Posted by: Shawna at May 18, 2005 11:08 AM
If your scenario comes true, you will have to be able to protect what little you have. That is not a pleasant subject to talk about or think about, but with the depletion of resources also comes a depletion of reason and compassion and common sense and good will.
Posted by: goesh at May 18, 2005 7:29 PM
Perhaps in some circles, but as we have seen in natural disasters, people do come together. All those things that make us different do not seem to matter. I guess it depends on what people think will keep them alive.
One could store what they have, but in times of disaster, stealing and looting become rampant.
I think there will be both the collaborative effort and the adamant individuals who think in terms of self; not realizing that if we all thought that way, no one would survive.
I hate to be the doomsday speaker, but I do not foresee people changing their course of action. Those I have tried to talk to beyond this circle argue that it is not that bad, or that they do not want to give up their way of life.
By the time we actually get the globe to wake up and smell the disaster, it might be too late. I think we are already past the point where we can prevent disaster. I do think, if people were willing to make dramatic changes beyond just turning down the furnace or turning off the lights, we might be able to delay or minimize disaster. How many do you know who would be willing to give up their mode of transportation for something ecologically smart? Where I live it is not even safe to walk along the roads. I have tried. People zoom by me like they do not have a care in the world.
The manager here said he and his girlfriend were hit just crossing the road in the crosswalk with the walk signal working just fine! His girlfriend did not make it.
Also, so many of us must travel distances to work or family. Riding a bicycle or walking is not an option. Our lives are much to harried sometimes to ride the bus.
Scrutiny comes if one lowers social standards, like a large family living in a small home. Many years ago, it was okay for a large family to live in a one room house. Today, if one tries to live that way, the children could be taken by the state.
How many can imagine not showering every day?
How many remember the father and daughter who were found living in the woods?
And so on...
Posted by: Shawna at May 19, 2005 9:27 AM