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OP/ED: Peak oil’s slippery slope

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Old 03-30-2008, 06:28 AM
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iamian iamian is offline
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Re: OP/ED: Peak oil’s slippery slope

Just my 2 bits...

I think some people like to feel as if the "End is Near" ... some people loved to scare people about Y2k... all those people spreading fear back then should be "eating crow" now... but instead they have moved on to new "The End is Near" things... peak oil... global warming... nuclear war ... etc... etc... someone will always think we are on the edge of massive chaos and a global melt down...

I think not.

The concept of peak oil is sound.... I find "The End is Near" version of it is flawed... for several reasons... you have to define economically viable oil recovery in order to define the amount of oil still available to be pumped from a location... as gas and oil prices go up more oil becomes economically viable from the same location... and locations that might not have been economically viable before become so.... even if we can't produce enough bio-fuels to replace our gasoline at its current prices... we can produce bio-fuels... which means we won't run out of fuel... it will just get more expensive... maybe $20 a gallon maybe $50 a gallon... Brazil is already heavily Ethanol powered and still a major exporter of Sugar ... In 2004 hydropower accounted 83% of Brazil power production.....Today a small percentage of the US grid is from renewable energy which could power EVs in a sustainable way... but Renewable energy provides over 70% of Iceland's energy. Over 99% of Iceland's electricity is produced from hydropower and geothermal energy.... The US is just lagging behind in the adoption of RE and it will bite us on the ass thats all.

So to all the doom and gloom build a bomb shelter and wait for the end people I say.... I am glad you try to be more energy independent, and I am thankful for your help in green matters... But I don't agree with you.... I know the doom and gloom can be an effective way to motivate people into action... But I still don't agree with the message...

The most Irony I find is the flip role of optimism and pessimism... I have very pessimistic thought on a regular basis... but since things are never as bad as I thought they could have been , I am 90% of the time in a positive upbeat mood as I am glad and relieved that the horrible things I imagined didn't happen... things could have been much much worse.... the people who expect the best are always disappointed and I find tend to be never negative attitude people... Enjoy the time we have now... be green for the sake of being green... not to save us from a "The End is Near" message... be happy when you get 50 MPG because it is better than 40MPG ... enjoy the new solar power on your roof... not because you will have power after peak oil, not because it pays for itself $ in x number of years... but because it is that much more RE and that much less pollution to power your life style...

Everything and anything can be spun positive or negative... Things can always be worse , and things can always be better...

I would rather live my life positive and happy than negative and stressed... I personally use the method of seeing the worst case scenario and am always pleasantly surprised and upbeat that things are better than they could have been.

In short:
"The Glass Is Half Full."
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:44 AM
300TTto545 300TTto545 is offline
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Re: OP/ED: Peak oil’s slippery slope

Poverty wasn't the question - electricity use was. But just to reply, 90% of the population makes more than $1 a day. 80% may make $10 a day or more and 70% may make $100 a day (I know - that isn't true). But the point is that the curve maybe pretty steep. At $10 a day, you can start using some energy for sure.

My point is that people seem to think that the average person in China is very very poor (ie - living in huts) and I really think that the average person is only very poor. The very poor have electricity in their house....

"At present, the car consumption potential is still great in large and mid-size Chinese cities. Thanks to car price decline and increase of personal income, cars will enter more Chinese families. Experts predict that families with middle-level income will be able to afford cars by 2009. " The market for China was about 7 million new cars for 2006 - roughly half the US number.

Now $1 a day does not equal new car. $10 a day does not either.

Iamian - I tend to agree with you. But it might not be a bad idea to have some plan for the worst. But I also am an optomist and I have a positive upbeat mood most of the time - so I don't agree with you there. If Peak oil is defined as $100 a barrel in 2008, $200 a barrel in 2015 and $500 a barrel in 2020 - that would be a big deal. It hurts economic growth and would change the way things are done. I'm just making choices now to limit that impact. I don't need a bomb shelter for that but I would really like a plug in car....
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:25 AM
Robert Lastick Robert Lastick is offline
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Re: OP/ED: Peak oil’s slippery slope

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamian View Post
Just my 2 bits...

The most Irony I find is the flip role of optimism and pessimism...

Everything and anything can be spun positive or negative... Things can always be worse , and things can always be better...

I would rather live my life positive and happy than negative and stressed... I personally use the method of seeing the worst case scenario and am always pleasantly surprised and upbeat that things are better than they could have been.

In short:
"The Glass Is Half Full."
I really like the way you look at things, Iamian.

I think I will whip myself up a batch of that. Might just help control the ulcers!
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:18 AM
toastblows toastblows is offline
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Re: OP/ED: Peak oil’s slippery slope

I was relating poverty to energy affordability and usage. I dont believe China's numbers on anything, they have to appear to be a humane and progressing society (which they arent except for the top of the economic ladder) so we keep them as our factory for eveything. Personally i think at least 500 million have no 1 to 1 relationship with electricity. They may have access to it, but they dont possess it to use at free will anytime like a person living in the U.S.

Whatever, when(if) oil ruins the industrialized economy.....people in shacks in the middle of nowhere africa, south america, china, where ever.... will care little to at all. Their life will change far less than mine, so i should probably envy them if these oil doom and gloom stories become reality and not my american dream lifestyle.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:25 PM
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pdk pdk is offline
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Re: OP/ED: Peak oil’s slippery slope

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Originally Posted by iamian View Post
I think some people like to feel as if the "End is Near" ... some people loved to scare people about Y2k... all those people spreading fear back then should be "eating crow" now... but instead they have moved on to new "The End is Near" things... peak oil... global warming... nuclear war ... etc... etc... someone will always think we are on the edge of massive chaos and a global melt down...
Not all "the end is near" messages are created equally. One of the big differences between Peak Oil and nuclear war, Y2K, and global warming is the amount of press coverage. Every time I've mentioned the phrase "peak oil" to someone (someone not from this site) when discussing energy-related matters I get blank stares, and an explanation ensues. Peak oil isn't a widely known or referenced concept, whereas global warming, Y2K, and nuclear war.

They also differ in amount of politicization (global warming and peak oil are more heavily politicized) and most of all the effects and threat level (known, unknown, and perceived). Y2K was a huge perceived threat but on the whole it wasn't much because people did a lot of work to mitigate potential problems and the problem on the whole was limited to a few applications, operating systems weren't really affected, and a lot of the worst case was that the two-digit dates ticked over to 100 instead of to zero (By the way, if you want to see a real computer date problem, check out the Wikipedia reference-linkYear 2038 problem). On the other hand, nuclear war was as much a known threat as it was perceived. Continued nuclear tests after Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed many bad effects of radiation, the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the nuclear arms race to the brink, and the accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island showed the dangers of even "peace-time" nuclear applications. On the other hand, global warming and peak oil are largely unknown threats, and their perceived threat level varies greatly. There's a lot of speculation, backed up by varying amounts of science, but we really don't know what's going to happen in those regards.

My point is that not all messages of doom are equal. Plenty of them are legitimate and it does no good to lump them together.

Quote:
The US is just lagging behind in the adoption of RE and it will bite us on the ass thats all.
But how big of a bite will it be (which we don't and really can't know for sure)? It could be an issue of requiring small changes. It could also require a massive crash program to get renewal energy just to maintain some semblance of our standard of living. I have no idea, but it's not simply "a bite on the ass."

More importantly, since we can directly control this, how much of that bite can we prevent? If we start now, we can afford to play around with competing techs and phase in RE and make it as much of an engineering project as it would be a necessary energy policy. If we wait until our collective ass is bitten we may have to rush and get whatever thing resembling RE looks good right away.

Quote:
Enjoy the time we have now... be green for the sake of being green... not to save us from a "The End is Near" message... be happy when you get 50 MPG because it is better than 40MPG ... enjoy the new solar power on your roof... not because you will have power after peak oil, not because it pays for itself $ in x number of years... but because it is that much more RE and that much less pollution to power your life style...
You, me, and the majority of people on this site will agree, but a great many people out there are bottom-line oriented when it comes to these things (strange considering I know a few of these people who will buy a luxury car or muscle car just so they can have one, and yet claim that hybrids and green energy just aren't cost-effective, but that's a different discussion).

Quote:
Everything and anything can be spun positive or negative... Things can always be worse , and things can always be better...

I would rather live my life positive and happy than negative and stressed... I personally use the method of seeing the worst case scenario and am always pleasantly surprised and upbeat that things are better than they could have been.
I agree 100%, but I'm also a computer scientist, I always have to think of the worst case, and I always have to think of what will happen if I'm wrong (and yes, I'm wrong a fair amount).

In sum, hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and expect something in between.
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