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Peak Oil

Viewing 15 posts - 226 through 240 (of 281 total)
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  • #343632

    gramarye
    Participant

    Well, this is a slightly different issue: We’re now talking about industrial society’s use of resources affecting the environment rather than industrial society actually running out the resources necessary to maintain its industrialization.

    To that, I’d first ask: How “near” is “near future?”

    If we’re talking about populations, technology, and ecology in 2111 or 2211, then we should reasonably expect the technology of that day and age to be just as far ahead of where we are now as today would appear to someone dropped into this time period from the year 1900. Earlier, even, because the pace of technological growth is exponential, not linear.

    In a hundred years, it’s quite possible that we’ll have the ability to mine the deep crust and upper mantle for resources, and the ocean floor. Ecologically unsustainable mining of the ocean floor might be an issue, but less so when we’re going miles below the water table into the deep crust.

    In another 100 or 200 years beyond that, we may well be mining asteroids, at which point all ecological concerns vanish. In space, you can pollute as much as you want; the entire radioactive output of the entire world’s combined nuclear arsenals detonated at once wouldn’t even measure as a rounding error in the amount of radiation hitting any atmosphere-less body in the solar system.

    #343633

    sirlancelot
    Participant

    I’m not sure why people went off on a tangent, but the peak oil issue is a reality. As I have a relative (an engineer currently in S.E. Asia) who works in the oil industry and is familiar with oil exploration technology, his opinion is worth far more than mine. His view is world oil production was exceeded by global demand some time ago. Whatever undiscovered oil reserves exist, any recovery faces high costs, enviromental issues and complicated technology. For example, there are probably oil reserves in Antarctica but under ice sheets. Is it worth exploiting? Probably not worth the costs and enviromental damage.

    We have yet to find a cheap energy source that compares to oil, and, does not create serious enviromental hazards.

    In the 19th century, civilisation exploited whales for their oil, and demand nearly wiped out the species. We then switched to petroleum (coal, oil and natural gas). We cannot maintain our current standard of living and also 7+ billion people even with adequate oil supplies. I would not count on a scientific breakthrough to save us. As was Rome went, so do we.

    #343634

    gramarye
    Participant

    It’s not as much of a tangent as you think, as you tacitly acknowledge with your last paragraph regarding technology finding a viable replacement for oil as supplies dwindle and new reserves get more and more expensive to bring to market. You may disagree about how much promise technology offers, but it certainly seems that you agree that it’s the central question determining whether peak oil presages the downfall of industrial civilization or will simply be one more in a long series of paradigm shifts in production and consumption over the last 500+ years.

    #343635

    JayR
    Member

    This is why we cannot afford to use Nuclear energy.

    [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks#p/u/48/IJ9Wxmwab0M]http://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks#p/u/48/IJ9Wxmwab0M[/url]

    The reactors are constantly overworked past their operation life and regulators are lax and in bed in with the industry they are regulating.

    #343636

    rus
    Participant

    JayR said:
    This is why we cannot afford to use Nuclear energy.

    [url=http://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks#p/u/48/IJ9Wxmwab0M]http://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks#p/u/48/IJ9Wxmwab0M[/url]

    The reactors are constantly overworked past their operation life and regulators are lax and in bed in with the industry they are regulating.

    Seems like that’s an argument for more reactors ( to replace the aging ones ) and better regulation / regulators.

    #343637

    JayR
    Member

    More reactors is just kicking the can down the road. One day we will have another accident here in the U.S. because its been proven that our regulation is piss-poor even for something as sensible such as reactor safety.

    I’m not going to wait for another nuclear disaster to happen in the U.S. before I fight against nuclear energy.

    #343638

    Tom Over
    Participant

    How do we fight against nuclear energy ?

    #343639

    Tom Over
    Participant

    Please answer the following questions. Thanks again. (1) On what do you base the assumption that technological advancement in the next 100 years will be on par w/ that of the previous 100 years ? (2) The technological advancement between 1900 and 2000 far surpassed that of any previous 100 year period. Why might that be ? ///// (3) To what extent is technological advancement the result of having energy dense fuels; and (4) to what extent has technological advancement been the means for discovering and developing those fuels ? (5) How wise is it to expect technological advancement to solve our energy problems when those advancements in and of themselves depend on fossil and fissile fuels ?

    #343640

    cc
    Member

    TomOver said:
    You assume technological advancement in the next 100 years will be on par w/ that of the previous 100 years. The technological advancement between 1900 and 2000 far surpassed that of any previous 100 year period. And why might that be ? ///// Technological advancement is by far more the RESULT of having energy dense fuels than it has been the means for discovering and developing those fuels.

    Interesting point, we would probably still be acceptably slaughtering whales if it were not for Edwin Drake in Pennsylvania.

    #343641

    Tom Over
    Participant

    No, there likely wouldn’t be any whales left.

    #343642

    cc
    Member

    TomOver said:
    No, there likely wouldn’t be any whales left.

    Sadly, 5th avenue would probably have been touting the benefits of free range oil circa 1910 (as a renewable resource)…

    #343643

    rus
    Participant

    JayR said:
    its been proven that our regulation is piss-poor even for something as sensible such as reactor safety.

    Well, if you don’t trust the government at all no wonder you’re apparently against all domestic conventional energy production.

    As a side note, check the weather forecast. I believe a plague of frogs is scheduled… I’m defending the government and someone I’m talking to here is saying government isn’t competent.

    #343644

    JayR
    Member

    rus said:
    Well, if you don’t trust the government at all no wonder you’re apparently against all domestic conventional energy production.

    As a side note, check the weather forecast. I believe a plague of frogs is scheduled… I’m defending the government and someone I’m talking to here is saying government isn’t competent.

    It’s more that absolutely no system is 100% failsafe and the ecological and economic cost of an accident involving a nuclear meltdown is too high. It’s not even about not trusting the government. Its already been proven that it’s not doing it’s job properly. That’s fact.

    #343645

    rus
    Participant

    JayR said:
    It’s more that absolutely no system is 100% failsafe and the ecological and economic cost of an accident involving a nuclear meltdown is too high. It’s not even about not trusting the government. Its already been proven that it’s not doing it’s job properly. That’s fact.

    True that no system is 100% free of risk ( nothing is ), but even considering those risks I see nuclear as a viable option given the alternatives.

    Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    #343646

    Tom Over
    Participant

    rus said:
    Well, if you don’t trust the government at all no wonder you’re apparently against all domestic conventional energy production.

    As a side note, check the weather forecast. I believe a plague of frogs is scheduled… I’m defending the government and someone I’m talking to here is saying government isn’t competent.

    I’ve never regarded you as someone taking a position toward government as extreme as Grover Norquist who famously (or infamously, depending on your views) talked about making government so small he could drown it in a bathtub. A quote such as that is more colorful than it is sound policy.

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