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Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

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View Poll Results: The lack of cheap energy in your lifetime....
won't happen 2 12.50%
will continue to cause recessions 3 18.75%
will cause deep recessions like this one 5 31.25%
wil cause depressions 3 18.75%
will cause a post-industrial era, survivalists 3 18.75%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-18-2009, 04:19 PM
Chuck Chuck is offline
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Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

"For the first time, the well-respected Energy Information Administration appears to be joining with those experts who have long argued that the era of cheap and plentiful oil is drawing to a close. "

http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/071126_PeakOil_dl-vertical.jpg
Tara Lohan - HUFFINGTONPOST - Sept 17, 2009

Note: Not Peak Oil, but Peak Energy --Ed.

Do you know how to make shoes? Can you build a house? How about grow food? Do you have a doctor and a dentist in your circle of friends?

These are the questions that Andre Angelantoni thinks you should be able to answer in order to plan for the next 10 to 15 years. Angelantoni believes there are radical changes ahead for our society -- and no, it's not the rapture he sees coming, but a post-peak-oil world.

Simply put, peak oil is the point when the world hits the maximum rate of petroleum extraction, and after that, production begins to decline. Since the calculations of geophysicist M. King Hubbert, Ph.D., in 1956, there has been speculation about when (and for some, if) the world will hit its peak production of oil.... [Read More]
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:53 PM
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

I don't really think that a lack of cheap energy caused this recession. Rather, the expense of energy leading up to the recession was a symptom of the underlying conditions (investors gone wild) that were the cause of the recession. That's not to say that it won't happen in the future, just not this time. But at the same time recessions tend to be rapid contractions of economic activity, and their causes can usually be traced to a specific trigger. I doubt that there will be a "Lehman Brothers of energy" because of the way the energy market works. Instead I think energy prices are likely to be sort of like a sea anchor, constantly tugging against economic growth.
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:46 PM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

The Europeans have had much higher-maybe 2.5x- energy costs that we have . They didn't have a recession until this recent rip off recession.

We will just use less-conservation/efficiency-and use different sources. Wind electricity is about what-7 cents KWHr-5 cents more than coal?? So an average family will pay $1.50 more per day for electricity??That isn't exactly an "end of civilization as we know it" price increase.

It won't be that big a deal.With lucK we can get some decent paying jobs returned to the USA building/maintaining wind farms.

Charlie


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Old 09-18-2009, 05:57 PM
99LeCouch 99LeCouch is offline
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

This is the US we're talking about. We aren't going to see a change in thinking among the population until there's $4/gallon gas again, grid-supplied electricity is $0.10/kwh, and heating bills are through the roof. when a months-long cold snap envelops 3/4 of the country. Then, and only then, will Mr. and Mrs. Joe Average drive sedately to China-Mart for CFL's, sweaters and blankets. And start making more energy-efficient choices in general.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:31 AM
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

I'm currently two thirds of the way through James Howard Kuntsler's book, "World Made by Hand" and it is a real eye opener. In short a combination of peak oil, devestating nuclear attacks on Los Angeles and Washington, DC and a devestating influenza pandemic have reduced the United States to a pre-industrial age with many people scrambling to learn farming skills, old trade skills like carpentry, leather making and so on and with lawlessness and division with in the now dis-United States but with pockets of stability in smaller towns that have access to water through gravity fed aquaducts from reservoirs outside of town. The easy motoring lifestyle is dead. Even bicycles are not viable because of the lack of spare tires. Travel by foot, horse and boat account for all transportation and it is slow. Traveling 15 miles takes 5 hours.

On the upside where agriculture flourishes a rich culture thrives and people work from dawn to dusk. The food is healthy and organic is the new normal.
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Old 09-19-2009, 09:59 AM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

There really is nothing new in respect to doomsday literature.

Everyone has probably seen "Things To Come" a mid 1930's scifi movie based on a HG Wells story "The Shape of Things To Come." In it-part 1- war and plague create a post industrial society-war lords etc. Part 2 is s super industrial/science age.

Large scale agriculture requires some sort of state because the have nots are always going to try to take from the haves. Usually the have nots are nomads-accustomed to short , hard violent lives with very little excess wealth.China built its wall to keep them out-Rome spent HUGE amount of resources pushing those tribes back, holding them at bay etc. Heck, many of the Afghans are practically nomads.The most valuable agricultural product is opium-which would be very valuable when some excess wealth develops to buy it.

I haven't read Kunstler's book, but those pockets better be very well armed."Left over"Guns and ammunition would be around for 50-100 years.Eventually smokeless powder and a way to manufacture primer material would be re-established and the rifles/pistols would become functional again.Plain Blackpowder-I'm not sure where and how easy it would be to get potassium nitrate-charcoal easy to make and sulfur is mined,so it could be traded for,I guess. Pretty sure nitrates are also mined-Chili or Peru-but not sure if we have any in the USA??

Well,I don't think it will happen.

Charlie
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:00 AM
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_tec View Post
Even bicycles are not viable because of the lack of spare tires. Travel by foot, horse and boat account for all transportation and it is slow. Traveling 15 miles takes 5 hours.
During WWII people in distressed regions kept their bicycles rolling even without spare tires. They either made solid rubber tires by stringing together on a cord rubber discs cut from unusable automobile tires or they wrapped the rim hollow with rope or cloth and rode on that.

They can travel faster than 15miles in 5 hours. Even walking, I can beat that pace (I average 4mph when walking).

Back in the 1800's the fastest stage coach lines were averaging speeds of over 25mph on some routes. During the same era, cargo iceboats on the Hudson River were sailing at speeds of over 50mph. On the seas, with a good wind, clipper ships could travel at over 25mph.
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:33 PM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

basjoos,

I wonder what the record was for a China to San Francisco trip with one of those clippers.Or even NYNY to San Fran around the horn.

I seem to remember ships 1500-1492- Columbus- took maybe 90 days to cross the Atlantic?? Could they have been that slow-30-40 miles/d? Of course, they didn't travel in a straight line, but.

Folks get very creative when they have to .In Is Paris Burning(a war movie -I think that was the name)- cars were shown with large gas tanks -natural gas I think-on their roofs.

Modern vehicles could be fairly quickly adapted to run on 95% alcohol,I think. It might be easier with carbs? I wonder if the modern electronic controls would be a big plus or a big minus? Even old fashioned points wouldn't be easy to make, but modern electronics would be impossible to build.

Oh well,
Charlie
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:31 AM
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

Clipper ship speed records:
Hong Kong to San Francisco 33 days
New York to San Francisco 89 days
Shanghai to London, England 91 days
Canton to New York 81 days
New York to Liverpool 12 days
Around the world 133 days

Clippers could travel up to 436 nautical miles/day but had limited cargo capacity so they were used for high value cargos. Typical sailing cargo ships of the day could travel up to 150 nautical miles/day.

Columbus's ships certainly weren't state of the art. They were old, worn out, toredo-ridden ships that Isabella had no other use for.

Some cars in Europe during WWII were converted to burn wood gas. They burned wood, charcoal, or coal under anaerobic conditions and fed the resultant carbon monoxide, hydrogen,and methane to the engine. This conversion added some big bulky tanks to the vehicle.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:44 AM
phoebeisis phoebeisis is offline
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Re: Will a drop in Peak Energy drastically change our lifestyle?

Basjoos-once again you are a fountain of interesting facts/numbers/ practical wisdom.

It must have been that toxic gas mixture in those very large roof tanks.It did seem unlikely that the Germans would have allowed them to use pure natural gas-it would have been much too useful.Wood chips/scraps-much less useful and too heavy to transport.

Wow-89 days going almost the length of the Americas twice. Pictures of those clipper ships show clouds of sail-must have kept the sail makers in business.

Makes sense that Columbus got leftovers.She was happy about the reconquest, but not stupid happy!

Thanks
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