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Peak oil theory

#501 User is offline   zoiX 

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:51 PM

If this were in fact true the government wouldn't just be sitting back waiting for it to happen. The lack of global urgency about this and the fact that the article was written buy a 25 year old californian lawyer somewhat relaxes me.

#502 User is offline   DrWu 

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:58 PM

Governments are doing something about it: Controlling the supply, for one.

They're also sneaking through increasingly urgent energy conservation plans under the guise of climate change.

But obviously, you mean new technology. Feel free to add some ideas -there's quite a few about.

I think the most promising ones are other peakable natural fuels, so we'll be mostly ok until the gas shits itself too.

#503 User is offline   DrWu 

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:30 PM

QUOTE(JoeyBananas @ May 8 2004, 16:32) View Post

oil just broke the $40 a barrel mark!!!!!


Now, when you read this, doesn't it make you feel a bit...weird?

#504 User is offline   Deadly Chicken 

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 11:32 PM

QUOTE(DrWu @ Jul 27 2007, 07:35) View Post

You probably can't be arsed reading 34 pages or whatever this thread is, but it's been mentioned here.

The self replenishing model is interesting - but there's not much evidence about the source of the oil. The magma\earths crust thing sounds good, but there's no evidence is there? And on the contrary side, the super-massive fields in SA and the Middle East do not seem to be replenishing. You also have to remember that fields are rarely in production until there actually is no oil left - they stop producing when it's not economically viable to do so. Now that the oil market is sky high (and has been for ages and is getting higher) , lots of old fields declared barren are suddenly economically viable again.

The whole conspiracy-conspiracy is interesting though, It's worth a look - peak oil, or the scarcity of oil, is definitely a profit increaser.


Yeah I figured it would probably have been higlighted already, but I cant remember and I didnt want to re read everything.

The one thing I don't get its how can it be stated that oil forms over millions of years from fossiles, when that is completely unproovable ? Its like saying all water arrived througha black hole 20 million years ago.

Not somethig anyone can test.

or saying

if you have pressure on say a car over 1 million years you can push it through a brick wall.

I can mamke a computer model that simulated that happening. but I cant actualy proove it at all.


#505 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:16 PM

It's not 100% provable, I think we've had this discussion before about science in general though and it's been stated that it's not actually possible to prove anything 100%. There are degrees of probability though. Clearly oil came from something and the current evidence strongly points towards the production of oil (and other fossil fuels, e.g. gas and coal) from the decay of organic matter, trapped in an air-tight environment with high temperatures and pressures, over millions of years. Evidence exists to support this theory and none has so far been produced that would refute it (this is basically how the scientific method works).

There's not so much evidence for the adiabatic oil theory, which is one of the reasons why most people in the industry don't accept it.

#506 User is offline   Fat Wangkhar 

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 05:00 PM

Follow the money, and the social controls.

Who benefits from 'Peak Oil'? Who benefits from an 'undending war' on terror?

Its all linked, all predicted, and all very depressing.


Besides, SAfrica did pretty well under the emargos last century.

http://www.southafrica.info/doing_business...ture/energy.htm


#507 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 05:40 PM

I think people also underestimate just how inefficiently modern industrial societies use their resources and just how big the scope for improvement is. Basically we waste a lot of because they've just been so cheap that we've not really had to worry about it, we just pay the extra expense, shrug and carry on. But if the cost of energy + resources starts to rise dramatically then there's likely to be a massive increase in efficiencies across the board. True this won't happen straight away and will take several years to start to take effect (infrastructure upgrades, habit changes etc) but it will make a difference. Really we could use somewhere between 1/4 and 1/10 of the primary resources that we currently do without making massive changes to our lifestyles.

#508 User is offline   DrWu 

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 07:35 PM

1/4 and 1/10! 1/10 is rather outlandish, 1/4 is doable without a significant financial hit for the well off, I would think.

The problem with your argument is the continuing development of the developing world, China, India, etc. You think they're going to willingly pay more for energy? And why should they? As we get more efficient and energy savvy, the developing countries consume more and more anyway, negating any effects we might have through less usage.

I just don't get the whole argument really. If the peak is, for the sake of argument, at current usage 2015. That's 8 years - even if in those 8 years we somehow as a world consumer group manage to become twice as efficient, that still puts the peak at 2023. And that doesn't figure in the increase in total usage that we experience year on year due to demand.

Anyway, the whole point of peak oil, at least to semi-reasonable doom mongers like myself, is that it's not about a total lack of energy, it's the rather grave effects it will have on a world economy that is completely based on oil, it's price, value and scarcity.

No, the peak is coming (it has to, unless it self replenishes) and it can't be stopped, it's too late. We can lessen the collapse somewhat I agree, which is exactly what's happening now with all this climate bollocks, but we can't stop it happening. Tin hat is donned.

Tea is ready, wil reply to Wang in a bit.

#509 User is offline   DrWu 

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 08:23 PM

QUOTE(Fat Wangkhar @ Jul 30 2007, 17:00) View Post

Follow the money, and the social controls.

Who benefits from 'Peak Oil'? Who benefits from an 'undending war' on terror?

Its all linked, all predicted, and all very depressing.


Besides, SAfrica did pretty well under the emargos last century.

http://www.southafrica.info/doing_business...ture/energy.htm


Before I reply, can I just apologise for some nobbyness towards you about 3 years ago in this thread. I re-read it all a few nights ago and I was a bit arsey for no reason, so apologies for that.

Who do you think benefits from Peak Oil? Obviously short term, higher prices = profit for oil companies. This isn't as big an issue as it seems though - How much of the worlds oil is produced\owned by business - Shell, Exxon, for example? Well, Shell produces less than 2.5 million barrels a day, whereas it's estimated that Iraq has 250 billion barrels of provable. The world produces about 85 million barrels a day, the Ghawar field in itself produces 5 million + a day. The oil companies, whilst powerful, are nowhere near as powerful as OPEC and oil producing states. Are you saying it benefits business or states? Maybe both.

Who benefits from an unending war on terror? Presumably again you mean business - arms dealers, manufacturers etc. Unless you're going really conspiracy. I mean, just how global elite are you going? And what predictions are you talking about? I find all this stuff interesting Thumb2.gif so please elaborate if you can.

The SA stuff is interesting, I admit.

http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/2005/0...ca-anomaly.html is interesting although biased (what sites aren't, one way or another?)

Although, having said that, although SA didn't actually collapse economically, did it experience substantial growth? And the EROEI of coal is about a third of oil, the conversion to diesel is very messy (and still requires oil) and, let's not forget, coal is non-renewable also. I don't really see coal as anything other than another spring that can ease the landing, it's not a savior by any stretch and using SA, in the midst of Apartheid and in a different global climate that today, to illustrate how the world will react post oil peak, seems a little optimistic to me.

#510 User is offline   Deadly Chicken 

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 10:28 PM

wasn't there a law at some point making all oil transfers and sales have to happen in US Dollars.

Then at some pont before 911, Iraq ( Saddam) decided to change that, and made all his oil accounts, in Euros.

Funny that, also funnt how when 911 happened Bush said something like
"of course we are going after Saddam .... err .. I mean Bin Laden"

If all sales of oil from saddam had to be in US dollars, Then every single sale of oil makes teh Federal bank money ( as they loan every dollar they make out with interest .. and are not part of the US government ) So they were very unhappy about Saddams move and seeing as they pretty much control the country ( seeing as they loan all teh US government its money also .. at interest )

They make more money than any "Oil State" and they control the US government. So thats where the money leads to. Thats why its fun to look into all sorts of conspiracies because they ARE there in some form at some level and to some degree. How deep does the rabbit hole go biggrin.gif

#511 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 10:57 PM

QUOTE(DrWu @ Jul 30 2007, 19:35) View Post

1/4 and 1/10! 1/10 is rather outlandish, 1/4 is doable without a significant financial hit for the well off, I would think.

The problem with your argument is the continuing development of the developing world, China, India, etc. You think they're going to willingly pay more for energy? And why should they? As we get more efficient and energy savvy, the developing countries consume more and more anyway, negating any effects we might have through less usage.

I just don't get the whole argument really. If the peak is, for the sake of argument, at current usage 2015. That's 8 years - even if in those 8 years we somehow as a world consumer group manage to become twice as efficient, that still puts the peak at 2023. And that doesn't figure in the increase in total usage that we experience year on year due to demand.

Anyway, the whole point of peak oil, at least to semi-reasonable doom mongers like myself, is that it's not about a total lack of energy, it's the rather grave effects it will have on a world economy that is completely based on oil, it's price, value and scarcity.

No, the peak is coming (it has to, unless it self replenishes) and it can't be stopped, it's too late. We can lessen the collapse somewhat I agree, which is exactly what's happening now with all this climate bollocks, but we can't stop it happening. Tin hat is donned.

It depends on who's work you place most trust in. A lot of work on increased resource efficiencies has come out with figures in the 75% reduction area without many changes to lifestyles, it requires much more integrated planning and government intervention though. The 90% reduction would obviously be harder and would mean adapting Western societies to be less consumer driven. It wouldn't mean going off to live in caves though, worst-case scenario would be a level of consumption similar to your parents/grandparents had when they were younger (e.g. a level of consumption comparible to the 50s/60s). It would mean consuming quite a lot less, they would be job losses and ressessions etc but it would hardly be the end of the world. It wouldn't even be permanent, societies would adapt and get their energy from somewhere else, probably a combination of nuclear and renewables, plus lots of biofuels (this is happening already anyway). At worst I foresee a decade or so of relative hardship, yes this would suck but the collapse of civilisation that many Peak Oil advocates seem to believe in is not at all realistic IMO.

This post has been edited by TheRobster: 30 July 2007 - 10:59 PM


#512 User is offline   DrWu 

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 11:16 PM

I find this very doubtful. How could I possibly live a life that consumes 1/4 of the energy it does now in the next 10 years? Never mind 1/10.

What you're saying is really a bit of nonsense, isn't it?

#513 User is offline   Fat Wangkhar 

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 08:30 AM

QUOTE(DrWu @ Jul 31 2007, 00:16) View Post

I find this very doubtful. How could I possibly live a life that consumes 1/4 of the energy it does now in the next 10 years? Never mind 1/10.

What you're saying is really a bit of nonsense, isn't it?


?

Just buy 1 tenth the crap you do now. Buy a car that lasts for 20 years instead of 2. Wear a cardi and slippers instead of racking up the central heating. Shower every 2 days instead of twice a day (or in some of your cases once a month instead of every 2 weeks tongue.gif )

Fairly straightforward I should think, realistically.

QUOTE(Deadly Chicken @ Jul 30 2007, 23:28) View Post

wasn't there a law at some point making all oil transfers and sales have to happen in US Dollars.

Then at some pont before 911, Iraq ( Saddam) decided to change that, and made all his oil accounts, in Euros.

Funny that, also funnt how when 911 happened Bush said something like
"of course we are going after Saddam .... err .. I mean Bin Laden"

Thats why its fun to look into all sorts of conspiracies because they ARE there in some form at some level and to some degree. How deep does the rabbit hole go biggrin.gif


Indeed and funnily enough the Iran Oil Bourse (http://en.wikipedia....nian_Oil_Bourse) was first announced in 2005... just when we started to kick off on it. Heard much about Iran lately?




Perhaps the greatest conspiracy theory is the one about how easily the powers that be - the great corporate heads, the politicians and their advisers, have managed to convince the bulk of their populace that they in no way collude or plan together to further their interests or those of the state. If they do not, what exactly are we paying them for? And how do they maintain their positions?

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/...es/Backdata.pdf

Interesting to see how our holding of US$ has dropped since 99...

#514 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 09:11 AM

QUOTE(DrWu @ Jul 30 2007, 23:16) View Post

I find this very doubtful. How could I possibly live a life that consumes 1/4 of the energy it does now in the next 10 years? Never mind 1/10.

What you're saying is really a bit of nonsense, isn't it?

No it could be done, at least towards the lower end of the scale, say a reduction to 1/4. Remember I'm talking about societies as a whole, not just for example your car or your house. I'm not suggesting that you drive 1/4 as much or get rid of 3/4 of your electrical appliances. I'm talking about the way our whole society functions from an economic point of view, everything is focused on short-term gain at the individual person or company level. There is massive wastage and little integration. For example, energy generating companies make money by selling more energy because this is the way the market is currently set up, there is little incentive to conserve energy because this would hit their profits. But some utilities are changing how they operate (mainly in the US) and are now selling energy services rather than energy per se. This allows them to still operate at a profit but sell much less actual energy. I know from my own work in the water sector that households could cut their water use by about 1/3 with little problem (just don't flush the loo when you've been for a piss), and if using systems such as water recycling/rainwater harvesting could cut their use of mains water (and all the associated energy and resources consumed to deliver it) by about 50%, most businesses could do better with reductions of between 50-90%. But of course they don't, because there is no incentive at the moment.


A lot of work in this area has been done by L. Hunter Lovins and Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, granted some of their ideas seem unrealistic but they are able to point to actual case studies were companies have made huge efficiency gains, often with an ultimate financial gain, not a loss. So it is possible to do a lot better than we are doing. There is currently no incentive for most people or companies to try, that's the main reason why there is currently little change, but that would soon change if Peak Oil became a reality.

Some books on the subject include Factor 10, Factor 4, Natural Capitalism, The Ecology of Commerce, Cradle to Cradle. If you want to read one I'd start with Factor 4, it's a good introduction, if a bit dated now. You can get a second hand copy for about a tenner though:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Factor-Four-Doubli...e/dp/1853834068

This post has been edited by TheRobster: 31 July 2007 - 10:29 AM


#515 User is offline   Automatic_Sheep 

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 09:51 AM

fast moving into the realm of foundations of our global economy & society as far as feasability is concerned. It's not just about incentives to use less ressources when you consider that, atm, our world works on the basic principles of consumerism and permanent growth. Think I need to think a bit about the leap that has to be made from the idea of permanent growth to reduction as also being profitable and possibly causing growth, but differently (any linkage here?). Unless the basic model is changed, i.e. money making doesn't matter anymore (yeah right)...

#516 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 10:35 AM

It's not about reducing ecomomic growth, I think that even most (realistic) environmentalists have given up hoping that the world will try to halt economic growth as it seems so unlikely, and in a lot of cases would even be undesirable. For example, how can we in the West ethically deny growth to the developing world when the general quality of life there is so much lower than here?

It's about resource use and the fact that we could still continue to have economic growth and a high standard of living but use much less resources to achieve it. Like I said, if you read some of the books on the subject (Factor 4 etc) they highlight the potential for massive cuts in resource use whilst boosting productivity and in some cases enhancing, not curtailing, economic growth. But it would take a change in the mindset of how people view resources, we'd have to start thinking in a much more holistic fashion than we currently do.

#517 User is offline   Automatic_Sheep 

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 01:09 PM

totally agree with your first point, that's what I was working from. I'll be taking a closer look at stuff like "different" sustainable growth when I go back to uni in a month, looking forward to a change in pace there!

Concerning the necessary changes in mindset I'd agree with you. Spinning this further a bit though, my (admittedly pessimistic) view on human nature doesn't allow for a general change in mentality without some nearly cataclismic events (economic, enviromental or whatever)

#518 User is offline   TheRobster 

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 01:36 PM

Well people are generally reactionary in nature so I'd agree that it would take some pretty hefty shocks before major changes would be enacted on a wide scale. It's as much about time as anything, as long as we (society) have a reasonable amount of time to adapt then there's a good chance that we will. This applies to most major potential "disasters" such as climate change and also of course Peak Oil. If/when it does occur, the speed at which is happens will be crucial. If the pessimists are right and it's very quick (say it becomes a big problem almost overnight) then the adaptation process will have to be that much quicker and also much more painful. If it happens slowly over a period of years then societies will have much more time to adapt and adjust. Personally I don't see the overnight catastrophe scenario being that likely, I think a slower evolution towards a less carbon-intensive world economy is more likely. Although it may still cause a lot of economic hardship I don't see it being the end of the world as we know it.

#519 User is offline   King Phil 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 01:54 PM

Well this came to pass, didn't it? Surprising how much more fucked the world got in 2 years tongue.gif


#520 User is offline   DrWu 

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 10:23 PM

I think you've misunderstood the premise if you think that by now things will have "come to pass" !

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