Peak Oil.

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Vintij, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. Vintij
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    Vintij Senior Member

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    <img src="http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/Pictures/EnergyCurveHistory3_op_800x203.jpg">


    This is a graph of the energy blip known as the industrial revolution. A tiny second of energy obsession, specifically with oil as no other energy is manufactured at a fraction of the rate oil is.

    Oil will not just "run out" because all oil production follows a bell curve. This is true whether we're talking about an individual field, a country, or on the planet as a whole.

    The issue is not one of "running out" so much as it is not having enough to keep our economy running. oil-based economy such as ours doesn't need to deplete its entire reserve of oil before it begins to collapse. A shortfall between demand and supply as little as 10-15 percent is enough to shatter an oil-dependent economy

    shortfalls in production as small as 5&#37; caused the price of oil to nearly quadruple in the 70s. The same thing happened in California a few years ago with natural gas: a production drop of less than 5% caused prices to skyrocket by 400%.

    Many experts and scientists, and even Dick Cheney (who is an expert in this field) believe that an 8% yearly decline in oil production after "Peak oil" is not an unreasonable figure. "Peak oil" as you know is expected within 5 years if not happening already.

    So lets do the math

    An 8% yearly decline would cut global oil production by 50% in under nine years after "peak oil". If a 5% cut in production caused prices to triple in the 1970s, what do you think a 50% cut is going to do?

    Most people call this the "post industrial stone age" which I think a little dramatic but its not hard to figure out the major blackouts will occur the second oil production has dropped by 50%. Blackouts are expected around 2012 I believe, thats just an estimate but its not an outragous one. Thats just the US we are talking about. The world figure of half production will occur in about 40 years. The entire WORLDS production is what I just said. Not the US.

    Dont think that its just the gas in your car that will be effected. Approximately 10 calories of fossil fuels are required to produce every 1 calorie of food eaten in the US. Ofcourse that is relative to where you live in the US.

    Im not trying to bring anyone down, Im just advocating what hubbert did in the 50's. He rightly predicted a decline in the 70s, and a peak production in the 90s-00s. Its going to happen people, I think its time to get someone in office who will fund research on alternative energy sources. Thats much more important than anything we have going on right now, from climate change, to war, to gay marriage, to immigration. None of that will matter if we cant manufacture renewable sources of energy, or at least another form of fossile fuel.

    Nuclear fission is what we use now and its used in china alot, but FUSION is the key to our long term survival. Research must go into FUSION on a federal level. I think its about 50-70 years in our technological future before we come close to that type of mass fusion, but why not start now? Its basically the holy grail of natural renewable energy.
     
  2. BaronVonBigmeat
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    BaronVonBigmeat Senior Member

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    Fusion is nice and all, but Fission reactors exist here and now, and can provide nearly limitless power for centuries to come if need be. Free markets can adjust as the supply of cheap oil dwindles out. The question is how much will they be hampered by bad government policy. For example, severe licensing restrictions on nuclear plants, or property tax disincentives which effectively punish railroads for upgrading to electrified rail.

    And anyway, the problem isn't a lack of energy per se; it's more like a lack of portable energy. Or portable/cheap/compact/can be refilled in 5 minutes energy, to be exact. Fertilizers and plastics and other hydrocarbons can be synthesized from nothing more than water and carbon, denser cities and electrified rail can solve the transportation problem, etc. And we still have coal-to-diesel technology, which has become cheaper in recent years, not to mention the unbelievably vast stores of methane hydrate trapped in the deep ocean.
     
  3. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    The enviro nuts would go into seizures if we actually did what they want and stopped using oil and switched to the only real current solution, nuclear energy.

    What I love is the insistance on useing electricity... umm where do you think it comes from? Most comes from... wait for it.... wait for it.... OIL. Or even worse, from a nutters point of view COAL.
     
  4. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Electric powered cars are probably the biggest argument for using electricity, as you put it. That does away with internal combustion and the need for gasoline, but it still doesn't do away with the need for that same oil that you (not YOU, just in general) were trying to do away with needing. The plastics, the pleather, the lubrication for moving parts, they all require that SAME OIL.

    No matter what, our lives depend on oil. It will never go away. There is an infinite need for raw petroleum. And as long as this is the case, the most dominant country in the world will always be chasing it.

    I don't know if Peak Oil is a myth or not...haven't looked into it a whole lot...but if it is, it's a damn good one to use for the justification of chasing it.
     
  5. Vintij
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    Vintij Senior Member

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    Peak oil is not a myth, It will happen and everyone agrees that our oil is not a renewable source of energy. It is a fossile fuel, those dont last forever. Therefore peak oil will happen.

    Its not so much of eliminating oil all together, because your right, oil is used sparingly in other industries but most of it is used for making gasoline to power cars and city's. The idea is to use it efficiently enough in cars, so that all these other industries can last for hundreds of years using oil, without shortages. Its the oil in our cars and our power plants that is being consumed at an alarming rate. All we have to do is stretch it out, not eliminate it all together.
     
  6. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Ever read the consumption rate of oil used to power supertnakers and other large ships? Shall we revert to sail? Maybe we can make electric powered ships. No one is ever gonna go along with commercial nuclear powered ships.

    As for electricity... something like 4 percent comes from water, another equally small part from wind, the vast majority comes from coal and Oil ( fuel type) powered plants.

    We need to build Nuclear power plants to replace the fuel plants we have now. And we should cut back on coal as well.

    The idea that electric power will safe us is ignorant of the reality of WHERE the electricity comes from. Same with the idea of using FOOD sources for alternate fuel. If we use the food for fuel, it is not available as FOOD.

    Now hybrids are getting smarter. The ones that use the brakes to recharge the batteries is great, as long as your not doing any long distance highway traveling, in city you will always be repowering your batteries and at NO cost in another fuel.

    Solar power needs to get more efficient as does wind and Sea power. It takes a lot of money and time to get these techs into a real profitable condition so that they can be used efficiently where they are able to work.
     
  7. Vintij
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    Vintij Senior Member

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    I agree with you about becoming more efficient in solar and wind/hydrogen. The problem right now is we dont have an efficient fuel cell to power these things. We have fuel cells right now that will eliminate any chance of making a profit due to the cost of manufacturing them on a large scale. Right now we cant do that, but we will be able to with a smaller, more effieciently powerd fuel cell for hydrogen power, and solar solar power. As well as nuclear.
     
  8. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    Yup, the tech is not refined enough. Not enough money is going into it. The Power Companies are not interested in funding it, nor is big oil. The Government is inefficient BUT they can provide money and provide a major boost in research and improving the technologies.

    I am not for bigger Government but some things are simply to obviously of a National Security issue to ignore. This is one. Funding should be encouraged by any means possible for Solar, wind, sea and improved Nuclear power. As well as research into making a usable fuel from non food vegetation.

    It takes years to build power plants and systems. Nuclear works now and is safe, it should be hot tracked and be replacing the oil, gas and coal power plants everywhere possible.
     
  9. DeadCanDance
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    DeadCanDance Senior Member

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    I am not for bigger Government but some things are simply to obviously of a National Security issue to ignore. This is one. Funding should be encouraged by any means possible for Solar, wind, sea and improved Nuclear power. As well as research into making a usable fuel from non food vegetation.

    Reagan fans and republicans laughed at Jimmy Carter for the past 30 years, when he suggested this.

    I guess we're all on board now - better late than never. :lol:
     
  10. Semper Fi
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    Semper Fi VIP Member

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    And 40 years ago the M16 was a space weapon. And 250 years ago owning slaves was no big deal. Ideas and opinions change as necessary and as time marches on, what's your point?
     

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