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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2012 at 04:22
 
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Which is why better systems should be in place.
 
We are planning to build a couple of nuclear facilities ourselves since we already burn 2 milion barrels every day on oil fired power plants like the one I work in. According to people more familiar with reactor design the current third generation of reactors which is almost universally used is outdates since they have been in service since the 60s, well before modern computerised systems appeared.
 
Fourth generation reactors (Gen IV) are much more efficient, much more safe and with higher power output and much lower radiation. The problem is expense. These use graphite and molten salt for cooling. These and Gen V (onlt theoretical) are probably the only real alternative to fossile fuels which have a finite supply.
 
Al-Jassas
 
We have seen a similar pattern historically. Those at a certain point in time will think the technology they have created is impressive, and far more functional than what was had before. And of course it is, but it is far from perfect, just a segment on a long line of development. Indeed, fast fowarding just a relatively short way will make said technology look quaint and outdated. So it goes.
 
Engineers love to think they have thought of all possibities, and their product is a shinning example of human potential. And perhaps it is, but the essential point is that the universe is complex, and we have seen time and time again how our elaborate plans can be swept away by forces at yet still larger than our imaginations.
 
But let's take the nuclear option at face value for the sake of arguement. New reactors are safer (relatively so), and so many are built. What will be world look like in 50 or 75 years? Safer may mean only 5 more Chernobyl's rather than 15, if we accept that perfection is not possible. What might the cost be of having to relocate a major city, with all its people and industry away from a contaminated area? Will people be wishing that they had gone for windmills and turning off the lights at 9pm?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2012 at 04:20
What is reported in articles that refer to hundreds of years' worth of gas, etc., is correct, but there's a problem: reserves are not the same as what is technically recoverable, which is smaller. That in turn is not the same as what is eventually extracted due to lower energy returns (e.g., the deeper the oil, for example, the more energy needed to get it, which is subtracted from the energy obtained from what is extracted), which is smaller. That, in turn, is not the same as what is eventually extracted, which is even smaller.

For example, the EIA reports that all oil and gas reserves in North America will add 6 million barrels a day (mb/d) to global oil production for the next twenty years. That is good news. The bad news is that in order to maintain global economic growth, oil consumption has to go up around 1-2 mb/d a year, which means that increase for the next two decades can be wiped out in three to six years.

We can use other sources of energy for some needs, but overall global mass manufacturing and mechanized agriculture are heavily geared towards the use of oil, not only for energy but even for petrochemicals, which is critical. (Most do not know this, but even renewable energy is dependent on oil, especially for the manufacturing process of various components. And the energy returns for other sources is often lower.)

The IEA argues that overall we will be increasing oil and gas production worldwide by 9 pct for the next two decades. But energy demand has to go up around 1 to 2 pct a year in order to maintain economic growth.

To make matters worse, the increase is based on the assumption that conventional oil production (i.e., not shale, gas, etc.) will not drop, but it has been doing so historically. That means we face not only increasing demand but also decreasing conventional production. Multiple organizations have been warning of a major oil crunch soon. You will find links to their reports (plus a few who argue otherwise) in my web log:

http://ralfyman.blogspot.com

To make matters even worse, we have been looking only at production, and not production per capita, which is more logical, as production might actually not be going up if population is also increasing. Based on that, according to BP, per capital oil production peaked...in 1979.

To make matters even worse, if we look at resources overall (not just oil but minerals and others), then we are already at overshoot given the current world population. That is, our global ave. ecological footprint is around 2.7 global hectares per capita but biocapacity is only 1.2 global hectares per capita. And the ave. ecological footprint has to keep rising in order to maintain economic growth while biocapacity has to drop because of increasing population coupled with environmental damage (including global warming).

Finally, does it still get even worse? Of course. We face a global recession that may be permanent because our global capitalist economy is based essentially on increasing debt needed to support increasing production and consumption of goods. The first is leading to one credit crunch after another. The second will lead to a resource crunch which will make a credit crunch look like a walk in the park. And coupled with increasing production and consumption of goods is significant levels of environmental damage with results including global warming.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2012 at 10:48
A great post ralfy- welcome to the forum.
 
Some points to ponder: Growth can be a slippery measurement. It supposedly is about value produced, and hence can mean improvements in technology that are generally beneficial to all. Future conditions may boost the demand for electric cars, or wind turbines, for example, and that may increase GDP, but this is not consumption purely for its own sake. Some growth may actually ease energy problems. On the other hand, much of growth in the world is just as you suggest, the production of knick knacks and disposables simply for the pursuit of profit.
 
Certainly much will depend on the rapidly rising expectations of those formerly in the third world who now demand a middle class life style. On the other hand, here in North America we waste energy like there is no tomorrow. Despite the more widespread acceptance of environmental imperatives lately, much in this part of the world is still geared towards maximum energy use. Communities are still built centered on auto use, without significant transit, without sidewalks. Florida has scoffed at the prospect of high speed rail, and is building new eight lane freeways. An honest conversion to energy conservation would forego massive amounts of oil and gas consumption. And some of the big oil producers are no better. Places like Saudi Arabia subsidize fuel, promoting high consumption.
 
A North American lifestyle may be too big a footprint for the earth, but a Thai or Portuguese one may be liviable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2012 at 21:59
Thanks!

Unfortunately, even the ave. footprint for Thailand or Portugal might be too high:


I also made a mistake. Biocapacity might not be 2.1 but even lower: 1.8. The ave. footprint will have to be equivalent to that of Myanmar, which is less than 1.8.

Also, as mentioned earlier, the biocapacity will drop further as global population increases and environmental damage takes its toll on resource availability. And as citizens in many countries vie to meet one or more basic needs while the middle class tries to hold on to what it has, then the ave. footprint will also increase, making the gap between the two more pronounced.

Finally, as more members of the elite and of governments become more desperate, then military forces may be employed to control local populations and to seize various resources, thus making the global situation more unstable.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2012 at 01:32
i need y'all's opinion. A friend of mine in Singapore blows the whistle on a lot of far eastern Drilling companies in China, Malaya, Vietnam, Laos, former Burma, and Singapore. Anyways, he always said not to try to contact him or his family if he doesn't contact me, and to start worrying if there is a long time between contacts, and he hasn't been contacting anyone in the past few weeks. Should I go to Xiang Gang to see if he's there, or Singapore? Or should I just wait to see if he's just not contacting anyone?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2012 at 10:14
Originally posted by ralfy ralfy wrote:

Thanks!

Unfortunately, even the ave. footprint for Thailand or Portugal might be too high:


I also made a mistake. Biocapacity might not be 2.1 but even lower: 1.8. The ave. footprint will have to be equivalent to that of Myanmar, which is less than 1.8.

Also, as mentioned earlier, the biocapacity will drop further as global population increases and environmental damage takes its toll on resource availability. And as citizens in many countries vie to meet one or more basic needs while the middle class tries to hold on to what it has, then the ave. footprint will also increase, making the gap between the two more pronounced.

Finally, as more members of the elite and of governments become more desperate, then military forces may be employed to control local populations and to seize various resources, thus making the global situation more unstable.

If there is one sure thing we can say about trends, it's that they will diverge from their course at some point. There is a mass movement towards urbanization today, for example, and although problematic in some ways, this does relieve pressure on the remaining landscape, and it also makes resource use more efficient. It's much easier to transport and supply services to people in a compact area. Population trends have also not behaved as expected. In many countries, even former fast growing third world countries, population has now fallen off, and the world is expected currently to level off at a not too armageddon like 10 billion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jul 2012 at 04:25
It's possible that lower birth rates might be due to increasing prosperity, which in turn negates resource savings due to lower birth rates.

A good example of prosperity affecting resource consumption is the U.S., which has less than 5 pct of the world's population but needs up to a quarter of world oil production to maintain a middle class lifestyle.

Similar trends are emerging elsewhere due to a growing global middle class. For example, in 1984, per capita meat consumption in China was around 20 kg per annum. By 2004, it had reached around 50 kg.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2012 at 12:09
Originally posted by ralfy ralfy wrote:

It's possible that lower birth rates might be due to increasing prosperity, which in turn negates resource savings due to lower birth rates.

A good example of prosperity affecting resource consumption is the U.S., which has less than 5 pct of the world's population but needs up to a quarter of world oil production to maintain a middle class lifestyle.

Similar trends are emerging elsewhere due to a growing global middle class. For example, in 1984, per capita meat consumption in China was around 20 kg per annum. By 2004, it had reached around 50 kg.

Yes, this is so. A modest 10 billion might make it, but a California style 10 billion won't, barring some unforeseen development.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2012 at 03:32
You can store wind and solar (and other forms of energy) as carbon neutral methane , made from water and air (or other sources of carbon). Germany already have a plant up and running.  You can then use the methane directly or use it to make electricity.
 
 
What is past is not necessarily settled.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2012 at 03:37
Other pointers to the future:
 
1. Infrared energy panels are being developed. These can capture the heat energy leaving the planet after dark.
 
2. I think small scale wind energy has a lot of potential as well.
 
3.  Aerial wind energy may be harnessed. There are already aerial wind turbines in use, but in the future they may be sited in the jet stream, a constant and dependable source of energy.
 
4.  We may be able to mean down energy from solar satellites.
 
5. Low energy unclear reactions (LENR energy) - previously known as cold fusion - is making a lot of progress. NASA has filed a patent application for this new form of energy. Both DARPA and the EU Directorate of Research and Innovation have confirmed they consider it is a real phenomenon.
If LENR can be commercialised it will probably replaced all forms of energy generation.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2012 at 10:38
Why make vehicles expensive with big batteries and complicated machinery when you can supply the electricity from the roads? -
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jul 2012 at 12:54
Why not both? The Alydro technology was though for achieve autonomy. In fact, gasoline buses replaced electric trains and trolleybuses precisely because they had greater autonomy. Alydro is the possibility of a revenge on gasoline.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jul 2012 at 08:26
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Why not both? The Alydro technology was though for achieve autonomy. In fact, gasoline buses replaced electric trains and trolleybuses precisely because they had greater autonomy. Alydro is the possibility of a revenge on gasoline.
You aren't confined to the electric roads. The electric roads top up your vehicle's battery.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2012 at 05:13
As shown above concerning ecological footprint, we have been at overshoot even with 7 billion people. The gap between demand and bio-capacity will grow even worse, especially with population increase and a growing middle class.

We cannot end gasoline use easily because of petrochemicals, as well as manufacturing and mechanized agriculture which are heavily dependent on and geared towards the use of oil. It will take several decades for the transition to take place, but we don't have that time. Worse, the IEA states that we should have started the transition at least a decade ago.

All other sources of energy generally have lower energy returns, are still dependent on oil, and require other critical resources (including fresh water). If we use these other sources, it will not be because we choose to use less oil and have business as usual. It will be because we are forced to use less oil (due to peak oil) and will be forced to cut down heavily on much of what makes up a middle class lifestyle, more so given increasing resource and energy demand worldwide plus environmental damage.

By "middle class lifestyle," I mean a car (gas or electric), a furnished home, modern conveniences from malls to vacation spots, and corporate work that will pay for all of that. This type of lifestyle cannot be sustained unless, according to the IEA, we find the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every seven years.

That's not going to happen.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2012 at 06:23
Originally posted by ralfy ralfy wrote:

As shown above concerning ecological footprint, we have been at overshoot even with 7 billion people. The gap between demand and bio-capacity will grow even worse, especially with population increase and a growing middle class.

We cannot end gasoline use easily because of petrochemicals, as well as manufacturing and mechanized agriculture which are heavily dependent on and geared towards the use of oil. It will take several decades for the transition to take place, but we don't have that time. Worse, the IEA states that we should have started the transition at least a decade ago.

All other sources of energy generally have lower energy returns, are still dependent on oil, and require other critical resources (including fresh water). If we use these other sources, it will not be because we choose to use less oil and have business as usual. It will be because we are forced to use less oil (due to peak oil) and will be forced to cut down heavily on much of what makes up a middle class lifestyle, more so given increasing resource and energy demand worldwide plus environmental damage.

By "middle class lifestyle," I mean a car (gas or electric), a furnished home, modern conveniences from malls to vacation spots, and corporate work that will pay for all of that. This type of lifestyle cannot be sustained unless, according to the IEA, we find the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every seven years.

That's not going to happen.

You can run a car on natural gas (methane) as easily as petrol/gasoline.
 
There is plenty of gas around for the next few decades while we find another solution.
 
I don't think there is going to be an apocalyptic end here, more an awkward transition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2012 at 12:14
We don't need more gas. Keep that to the chemical industry. We should bury that old technology of the internal explosion and diesel motors! It is unbelievable that people still thinks that outdated technology has a future.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2012 at 00:47
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

We don't need more gas. Keep that to the chemical industry. We should bury that old technology of the internal explosion and diesel motors! It is unbelievable that people still thinks that outdated technology has a future.


I don't think it has much of a future, but on the other hand there is no pointing in claiming hydrocarbons are about to run out when that is not the case.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2012 at 02:37
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

You can run a car on natural gas (methane) as easily as petrol/gasoline.
 
There is plenty of gas around for the next few decades while we find another solution.
 
I don't think there is going to be an apocalyptic end here, more an awkward transition.

Sadly, this issue isn't simply about running cars but a global manufacturing base and mechanized agriculture that are heavily dependent on oil, not just for energy but even for petrochemicals.

There is "plenty of gas," but as pointed out earlier, it is too deep or not the same as light oil. In short, we do not have "decades" to deal with this problem. For more details, read the reports linked to in my web log at

http://ralfyman.blogspot.com

The issue isn't an "apocalyptic end" but the effects of lack of oil, and not just "an awkward transition" but a very difficult one. I've explained all of these in greater detail in previous posts, so I hope you don't mind if I don't repeat myself.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2012 at 02:40
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

We don't need more gas. Keep that to the chemical industry. We should bury that old technology of the internal explosion and diesel motors! It is unbelievable that people still thinks that outdated technology has a future.


We actually need a lot of it to maintain global economic growth, more so given a growing global middle class. Again, I explained this in a previous message. Also, whatever technology we will need to replace oil will ironically still require oil for various components. Worse, given a global capitalist system, better technology will mean increased consumption.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2012 at 14:51
Oil itself it is not the problem but burning it to generate mechanical power. Of course, oil can be used to make lubricants, plastics, chemical products, etc. But burning it is a sin.
And, economics is sort of irrelevant. We all know the people that makes the world progress are inventors, scientists and engineers.... not economists.


Edited by pinguin - 04 Aug 2012 at 14:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2012 at 23:23
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

You can store wind and solar (and other forms of energy) as carbon neutral methane , made from water and air (or other sources of carbon). Germany already have a plant up and running.  You can then use the methane directly or use it to make electricity.
  

My understanding is that you still need various minerals for the whole electrical infrastructure, petrochemicals for appliances and other products that will be used in the infrastructure, not just for the components but even for the manufacturing process.

As I pointed out earlier, although it is possible to re-tool manufacturing and mechanized agriculture to use the min. amount of oil, it will take decades to do this, and according to the IEA, we should have started at least a decade ago.

What makes matters worse isn't just the fact that we need oil for the global economy to continue running, but because of lower energy returns from other sources of energy, we will have to increase usage of other resources just to maintain global economic growth.

According to the IEA, we need the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every seven years just to keep that going, and the energy source to be used must provide petrochemicals.

That simply won't happen.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2012 at 23:25
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

Other pointers to the future:
 
1. Infrared energy panels are being developed. These can capture the heat energy leaving the planet after dark.
 
2. I think small scale wind energy has a lot of potential as well.
 
3.  Aerial wind energy may be harnessed. There are already aerial wind turbines in use, but in the future they may be sited in the jet stream, a constant and dependable source of energy.
 
4.  We may be able to mean down energy from solar satellites.
 
5. Low energy unclear reactions (LENR energy) - previously known as cold fusion - is making a lot of progress. NASA has filed a patent application for this new form of energy. Both DARPA and the EU Directorate of Research and Innovation have confirmed they consider it is a real phenomenon.
If LENR can be commercialised it will probably replaced all forms of energy generation.
 

All of these will be used not because we want to replace oil but because we will have no choice, and because these sources and the infrastructure which depends on them still require petrochemicals, then they will be used to meet basic needs. Business as usual in the form of a middle class lifestyle is not sustainable.

Overall, we can even see resources in terms of ecological footprint. Our ave. footprint is now 2.7 global hectares but our biocapacity is only 1.8. That means we are in overshoot for the current population, which will still increase. More on this was explained in a previous message.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2012 at 23:39
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

A news update. It seem aluminum will be the end of gasoline:

http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/green-living/aluminium-fuel-for-alydro-4355423/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+zmescience+%28ZME+Science%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

See this picture:



This is an example of what happens when energy returns and petrochemicals are not considered. It is as if the 900C of heat, the freshwater which will become critical in the future, the petrochemicals needed for the passenger vehicles and other components needed to maintain a middle class lifestyle, and the various mineral needed for the whole system will come from nowhere.

In general, even with the use of other sources of energy, in order to maintain a middle class lifestyle for most human beings, which includes a passenger vehicle for each household, we will need the equivalent of at least one more earth.

The best illustration for this is the U.S., which has less than 5 pct of the world's population but must consume up to 25 pct of world oil production to maintain a middle class lifestyle. That includes oil for around 250 million passenger vehicles (or more than one for each adult U.S. citizen), food that has to be transported hundreds of kilometers, and a JIT system that will allow for only around two weeks' worth of food and medicine across the country to keep inventory costs low.

If the whole global population wanted something similar, we would need around three or four more earths. More on this was explained in a previous message.

Of course, the global middle class (which makes up only around 15 pct of the world's population) might argue that the other 85 pct can't get what they want. The bad news is that in a global capitalist economy, the 15 pct are able to pay for their middle class lifestyle only by selling more goods and services to the other 85 pct. With that, we should expect exponential increases across the board, as seen in money supply and resource use. For example, one recent factoid reveals that 50 pct of the oil that the human race has consumed took place from 1985 to the present, or less than 30 years out of 150 years that oil has been used. One ExxonMobil report reveals that more than 80 pct of our oil come from fields that were discovered before 1980, which means we are now desperately using up oil from older fields and new discoveries do not have enough (oil discoveries peaked backed in 1964).

Given that, it is inevitable that we will use other sources of energy to stay afloat, but very likely, given incredible constraints in world population, the demands of a global capitalist system, damage to resources caused by pollution and global warming, what might be a permanent economic crisis due to incredible levels of money supply, and the likeliness that the world's elite will refuse to see much of their wealth (composed of paper and numbers) vaporize, then the transition will not be very pleasant, and whatever energy and resources are acquired will very likely be used to meet basic needs.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ralfy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2012 at 23:42
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Oil itself it is not the problem but burning it to generate mechanical power. Of course, oil can be used to make lubricants, plastics, chemical products, etc. But burning it is a sin.
And, economics is sort of irrelevant. We all know the people that makes the world progress are inventors, scientists and engineers.... not economists.

From what I know, there is no other source of energy that is like oil, especially given petrochemicals, which is critical for industrialization.

Economics might be irrelevant only if one sees science and technology in a vacuum, which is, of course, unrealistic.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2012 at 02:21
Originally posted by ralfy ralfy wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Oil itself it is not the problem but burning it to generate mechanical power. Of course, oil can be used to make lubricants, plastics, chemical products, etc. But burning it is a sin.
And, economics is sort of irrelevant. We all know the people that makes the world progress are inventors, scientists and engineers.... not economists.

From what I know, there is no other source of energy that is like oil, especially given petrochemicals, which is critical for industrialization.

Economics might be irrelevant only if one sees science and technology in a vacuum, which is, of course, unrealistic.

There is no problemn with substituting for oil to my mind.  Longer term LENR energy (previously known as cold fusion) is very likely to take over but even in the shorter term green energy can provide for our needs.  Once you stop using oil for energy what remains can be used as a polymer feedstock, but even there, there is plenty of scope for substitution e.g. through cultivation of plant-based polymers etc.  They don't necessarily need to be produced on existing farmland, we can probably do that in farm towers.
These changes don't happen overnight - we can start now.
What is past is not necessarily settled.
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David Greenwich View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2012 at 02:34
Originally posted by ralfy ralfy wrote:

This is an example of what happens when energy returns and petrochemicals are not considered. It is as if the 900C of heat, the freshwater which will become critical in the future, the petrochemicals needed for the passenger vehicles and other components needed to maintain a middle class lifestyle, and the various mineral needed for the whole system will come from nowhere.

In general, even with the use of other sources of energy, in order to maintain a middle class lifestyle for most human beings, which includes a passenger vehicle for each household, we will need the equivalent of at least one more earth.

The best illustration for this is the U.S., which has less than 5 pct of the world's population but must consume up to 25 pct of world oil production to maintain a middle class lifestyle. That includes oil for around 250 million passenger vehicles (or more than one for each adult U.S. citizen), food that has to be transported hundreds of kilometers, and a JIT system that will allow for only around two weeks' worth of food and medicine across the country to keep inventory costs low.

If the whole global population wanted something similar, we would need around three or four more earths. More on this was explained in a previous message.

Of course, the global middle class (which makes up only around 15 pct of the world's population) might argue that the other 85 pct can't get what they want. The bad news is that in a global capitalist economy, the 15 pct are able to pay for their middle class lifestyle only by selling more goods and services to the other 85 pct. With that, we should expect exponential increases across the board, as seen in money supply and resource use. For example, one recent factoid reveals that 50 pct of the oil that the human race has consumed took place from 1985 to the present, or less than 30 years out of 150 years that oil has been used. One ExxonMobil report reveals that more than 80 pct of our oil come from fields that were discovered before 1980, which means we are now desperately using up oil from older fields and new discoveries do not have enough (oil discoveries peaked backed in 1964).

Given that, it is inevitable that we will use other sources of energy to stay afloat, but very likely, given incredible constraints in world population, the demands of a global capitalist system, damage to resources caused by pollution and global warming, what might be a permanent economic crisis due to incredible levels of money supply, and the likeliness that the world's elite will refuse to see much of their wealth (composed of paper and numbers) vaporize, then the transition will not be very pleasant, and whatever energy and resources are acquired will very likely be used to meet basic needs.

I think this is alarmist. 
 
There is plenty of water on the planet.  Energy can be used to extract fresh water straight from the atmosphere or out of sea water.
 
Pollution free energy is becoming a growing part of the energy scene: wind energy, photovoltaic (solar) energy, geothermal and so on.  Once we perfect Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (energy derived from nuclear reactions that produces no harmful radiation) and other forms of energy (e.g. solar satellites and jet stream wind turbines),  the energy problem will be at an end.   And with sufficient energy we can grow food underground or in farm towers as well as on farmland (substituting artificial light for solar radiation).
 
Plants can be used to create polymers to substitute for oil based hydrocarbons.
 
 
 
What is past is not necessarily settled.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2012 at 05:28
QUOTE=ralfy] 
Of course, the global middle class (which makes up only around 15 pct of the world's population) might argue that the other 85 pct can't get what they want.
[/QUOTE]
If there is no upper class how can the middle class be 'middle'? The mistake is merely a reflection of originally particularly US prejudices under which no-one wants to be called 'working-class' let alone 'underclass', nor do they want to be seen as snobbish 'upper class' by devotees of old-fashioned concepts of a degenerate aristocracy.



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Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2012 at 06:28
US prejudices? The same prejudices are here as well. Ask any Chilean and everybody will say it is middle class... That's crazy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2012 at 07:13
There are also alternatives like using different fuels in nuclear reactors, such as thorium, and burning coal and injecting the effluent underground.
 
Still though, I suspect the suburban lifestyle go the way of the hula hoop before too much longer, as energy becomes more of a focus. It takes huge amounts of energy to commute 100k to work or to do shopping, and bring in services over such distances, compared to living in a '40s style, streetcar neighbourhood. This is already happening to a modest extent in some juristictions. Those that cling to the past will likely have a rougher ride.
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