Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

32 posts / 0 new
Last post
BT-Hugh's picture
BT-Hugh
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 3
Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

In 17a you show the following graph:

So, when transportation will (or has to) shift to alternatives, like hydrogen and electricity (from solar-, wind- or wave-energy), then a substantial part of your oil-graph (up to around 50% or 70%) will become available for products (like the mentioned plastics and fertilizers). Please explain why you don't see (or mention) that as a viable option?

Off course the energy-companies would like to postpone that moment of switching to other energy sources as long as possible, but that's another discussion. 

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Because there are no renewable sources of energy that can get anywhere near replacing the energy density of oil.  To give you an idea of the scale of the problem, in one year approximately one cubic mile of oil is produced and utilized.  To produce the equivalent amount of the energy provided by oil in one year using renewables would take:

- 104 coal-fired plants running for fifty years

- 32,850 wind turbines running for fifty years

- 91,250,000 solar panels running for fifty years

- 52 nuclear power plants running for fifty years

- 4 "three gorges" hydroelectric dams running for fifty years 

So, it would take 50 years of all of the renewable sources above combined just to produce the same amount of energy oil gives us in one year.  This is why people are concerned about peak oil.  

Even if we were able to find a combination of renewables that could make up for oil, those renewables would be producing electricity.  Our current transportation infrastructure runs on liquid fuel (oil).  It would take many years and billions of dollars to transform that infrastructure into one that runs on electricity, and to switch out the entire gasoline-based car fleet to a 100% electric fleet.  Furthermore, we do not currently have the technology to make trucks, planes or boats run on electricity. That is a major problem because these vehicles account for 63% of transportation oil use. 

You may wonder about liquid renewables like biofuels and hydrogen.  Biofuels are the least energy dense of all of the renewables.  In many cases it takes as much energy to produce them as you get back from them.  In other cases, the amount of land that would be needed to produce sufficient amounts of fuel would be 2-3x the amount of existing cropland we have in the US for food cultivation.  Hydrogen is not an energy source; it's an energy storage medium.  Hydrogen has to be made, usually with electricity and water.  Electricity generation consumes energy.  So, hydrogen will not solve our problems either.

In short, to answer your question, we cannot simply switch over to electricity for all of our transportation needs and use the remaining oil for plastics and fertilizers.  That kind of transition would take decades to implement and technology that isn't even invented yet (in the case of boats, trucks and planes).  Another question is where we will get the billions or trillions of dollars needed to make such a transition in the midst of a global economic depression.  Most of the solutions proposed for energy ignore the fundamental reality of economy - and vice versa.

 

Xflies's picture
Xflies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 19 2008
Posts: 157
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

actually that's not entirely true switters... electric buses have been used for a long time and many taxis have made a simple switch to natural gas.  Current battery technology has car batteries recharging in 20 min's and being able to run for 100-150 miles.  Just look at tesla.com and you can see some of the fastest sports cars ever made are electric!  The US should definitely take advantage of this shift in trend to the electric car.  There are several benefits:

1.  Current baseload generation would not change and any incremental demand can be easily satisfied by natural gas fired generation.  This means the US will be able to take advantage of the energy arbitrage between oil and gas if this incremental demand in electricity was made to fuel transportation needs.  This savings is absolutely huge, only a few months ago, the oil/gas ratio was over 15x and the energy equivalence is around 6-7x.

2.  North America has the best electricity infrastructure in the world!  There's a plug everywhere.  The average driver goes less than 100 miles per day anyways.  The changing to natural gas transportation is much more difficult and there it would cost billions to put up the infrastructure required ie. natgas fuel stations etc..

3.  These electric cars can be made as a virtual battery and when cars park into their homes during peak hours, they can actually feed the grid with electricity, reduce volatility, reduce electricity costs and the cars can recharge again at 2am.

4.  When you factor in emmision costs, the savings of going to electric using natgas power generation creates an even greater incentive...

The electric car is seriously the answer... everyone should be writing to their gov't reps to have them look into it further.  The only argument I've seen is the issue of reverse metering but that's ridiculous... they're saying that it is impossible to credit residential customers with reverse electricity flow from their cars to the grid... duhhhh, since when can a car's battery supply all of the power a home will use?  Never... the car batter will basically help to reduce the home's hourly demand but it will never be in a position where the home is supply the grid with power... it will just use less. 

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3125
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
It remains true that the only way to substantially reduce our dependence on fossil fuel in the short term is a massive conservation program.
Xflies's picture
Xflies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 19 2008
Posts: 157
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
Interesting you mention that... Chris should be made aware of this as well... I own a natural gas storage company and we keep track of demand.  What once was thought as having an inelastic demand curve, our energy needs have definitely shown price sensitivity.  In fact, the demand destruction you've read about in gasoline exists in power and natgas consumption.  We are monitoring an incredible trend where demand destruction peaked in August at 5.8 bcf per day!  That's an absoutely huge number.  This demand destruction comes from basic things like conservation, and an increase in the general awareness of how we use power.  I find myself reminding the kids to turn off lights when they exit a room or monitoring the use of the dryer instead of just putting it on a timer that over dries the clothes by hours.  As prices have come off and we move into more of the traditional demand season for gas, the ability to control discretionary power consumption changes and this demand destruction has fallen to under 3.7 bcf/day but that's still a pretty big number. 
switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Xflies,

I don't disagree that we need an immediate shift to EVs.  However, such a shift would take years to fully realize (a minimum of eight years to switch out the consumer fleet on a "crash course"/WWII scale effort), and the infrastructure would take even longer to build out.  

Yes, some buses can run on electric but large multiple axel trucks, which form the backbone of our distribution system, cannot.  Nor can boats, which are responsible for long-distance shipping of goods, or planes, which move people and goods around the world as well.

Where will the money come from for all of this repurposing?  How about the political will?  Right now both candidates are mindlessly promoting domestic drilling, in spite of reports indicating that offshore/Alaskan drilling will at best give us a few more months of oil in ten years time.  This is a clear indicator of where public consciousness is on the issue of peak oil and its consequences.  People either unaware or in complete denial.  They don't want to give up their car trips and will support just about anything to maintain business as usual.

What we need far more than electric cars is a complete restructuring of land use.  The suburban sprawl which has necessitated personal car use must end.  Period.  Switching to EVs will not solve the problem.  We must dramatically reduce our car use by encouraging telecommuting, restructuring zoning laws to allow more mixed-use neighborhoods, improving public transportation, making cities more bicycle friendly, and revitalizing urban areas.  This is the only viable long-term solution. 

Xflies's picture
Xflies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 19 2008
Posts: 157
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
well resolving issues of suburban sprawl is going to take a lot longer than 8 years and a lot more money.  It won't take 8 years to get more EV on the road.  There is no immediate infrastructure need as the off peak generation capacity in electricity is huge and can on the load of cars charging at night.  If you want immediate impact, give customers and incentive to go buy EV cars just like you get credits for improving your energy efficiency at home ex. solar panels etc..  Trucks can go to natgas directly and those engines and trucks are already on the road.  The infrastructure required to fuel a fleet of natgas trucks is nothing at all and most large truck stops have natgas stations at them already.  If you convert cars to EV, you'll get an incredible impact within a few years.
Quercus bicolor's picture
Quercus bicolor
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 456
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Two more things to consider; 

  1. At what point will demand for battery raw materials outstrip supply?  Can we really make enough electric vehicles to make a substantial dent in oil use for transportation?
  2. Can we really handle the increased electric demand?  Wind and solar have problems of being available intermittently.  I'm in the business of forecasting wind power output on an hourly basis.  As the amount of wind and solar on the electric grid increase, there will be major grid management issues to resolve.  The alternative will be regular large scale power outages (blackouts).  There are other possibilities, but all non-renewables will eventually run into the same issues as oil.  Perhaps new nuclear technologies have some possibility of getting a lot more energy out of the available fuels, but I'm not sure they are up to the job of replacing all of the energy in that cubic mile of oil.
Steve
Xflies's picture
Xflies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 19 2008
Posts: 157
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
nukes take too long to commission and wind will never be a large part of the grid.  In fact, during the brownouts in England, one of the steps they took was actually to take off wind power from the system because it was too volatile and it made it difficult to predict baseload imbalances for planning purposes.  The electric demand from cars can definitely be handled during off peak hours.  The material required for making those batteries is an entirely different issue but I would definitely look at specific niche battery manufacturers as a good investment (ALTI).  Toyota is way ahead in the EV market and has made millions of Priuses (sp?) and I haven't heard of them mentioning any battery supply issues.  We could always strip down those old golf carts Tongue out
Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3125
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

I heard an interview with T. Boone Pickens last night on 60 Minutes.  We've all heard about his huge investment in wind power in Texas' panhandle, but I wasn't aware that he is also investing heavily in natural gas, with a goal of switching our entire truck fleet to gas (as I recall) by 2020 or so.

The question I have is what would be the advantage of that except we have huge reserves in country and wouldn't have to import it.  Is there any advantage of natural gas in terms of emissions?  Would it be less costly than diesel or gas?

BT-Hugh's picture
BT-Hugh
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 3
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Because Chris was right that Hydrogen isn't a alternative energy "Source",it is indeed a transportation-medium. So, also switters is probably right for the other sources, i read somewhere that the solar-energy on the earth-surface is extremely  huge. (See: California solar thermal plant?). A good year ago it was already mentioned that a mere 92 sq. miles could power the USA (electricity).

So with the sun as energy "source" and hydrogen as the transport medium for transportation, where would that get us?

(ps. indeed there probably aren't enough resources to build a million/billion big batteries for electric cars) 

http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/991/

 

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Okay, let's have a reality check here.  The OP on this thread was wondering whether we couldn't just use electricity instead of oil to run our transportation infrastructure and then use the remaining oil for plastics, fertilizer, etc. and thus avoid any kind of shortage.

I agree with Xflies that we should move towards electric cars as fast as possible, and that if we do that, we will surely save some oil in the process.  However, I have not seen one credible estimate that we can replace our entire fleet of automobiles with EVs in anything less than 8 years.  Can everyone you know afford to buy a new car?  Who would buy their used gasoline cars if it became too expensive to own them, or if the government started offering subsidies for new EV purchases?  There are so many obstacles to doing this quickly I don't even know where to begin.

The proposal to shift our trucking fleet to natural gas would be funny if it wasn't so sad.  Recent estimates indicate that natural gas will likely peak ten years after oil peaks.  If oil is peaking now or has already peak, which many serious geologists believe, then that means NG peaks by 2020.  Switching over to NG gives us another few years at most.  More disturbingly, what are folks going to use to heat their homes if trucks are using up all the NG to drive our products and food all over the continent?  Finally, a move of trucks to NG prevents longer-term solutions from being aggressively developed.  It's typically short-sighted bad policy designed to make a big profit for a few folks, including T. Boone Pickens. (As a side note, there's a proposition on the California state ballot that frames itself as a "clean energy bill", but is just a boondoggle paid for and sponsored by Pickens to sell a lot more NG).

Xflies has not addressed the fact that boats and planes cannot run on electricity, and nor can trucks.  NG is not a solution for the reasons I've mentioned.  

While automobiles can and should be EVs, it will take a long time for that to happen on a very large scale.  In the meantime, it's highly likely that we will experience shortages as oil depletes and the price rises.  Unfortunately, the economic impacts of those shortages will probably mean less money left over for investment in renewable technology and infrastructure.

Resolving suburban sprawl will certainly take a long time, but that's no excuse not to start.  It's time to start considering and implementing long-term solutions, not applying band-aids that are designed to prolong business as usual for as long as possible (while lessening our chances of thriving or even surviving down the road).  

I recently read an estimate by AAA that a large percentage (can't remember the number) of the fuel used by cars is consumed by cars idling in traffic during peak rush hours.  That means that something as simple as allowing people to telecommute 2 days a week could save ENORMOUS amounts of oil.  This could happen much faster than changing to EVs, becaus the technology and infrastructure is already there. 

 

 

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
[quote=BT-Hugh]

Because Chris was right that Hydrogen isn't a alternative energy "Source",it is indeed a transportation-medium. So, also switters is probably right for the other sources, i read somewhere that the solar-energy on the earth-surface is extremely  huge. (See: California solar thermal plant?). A good year ago it was already mentioned that a mere 92 sq. miles could power the USA (electricity).

So with the sun as energy "source" and hydrogen as the transport medium for transportation, where would that get us?

(ps. indeed there probably aren't enough resources to build a million/billion big batteries for electric cars) 

http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/991/

 

[/quote]

It might end up getting us somewhere.  Right now, the technology isn't there.  Lots of really smart folks have looked at this and come to the conclusion that solar and wind will only replace a small fraction of the energy provided by oil, unless a huge breakthrough is made that we haven't considered. 

What people often forget, as well, is that manufacturing solar panels is a very energy intensive process that requires large amounts of oil and technology.  If this energy is included in the EROEI calculations (Energy Returned on Energy Invested), the numbers for solar drop into single digits (i.e. less than 10:1).  Consider that the EROEI for light crude in the early 1900s was about 200:1. 

Xflies's picture
Xflies
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 19 2008
Posts: 157
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

the issue of whether or not people can all afford new cars is a good one but I'm not suggesting we will be 100% EV in less than 10 years but a million cars at a time especially for the troubled car companies would be a nice lift.  Conservation is definitely key and it is clear that we have seen overall demand destruction with a rise in prices as gasoline demand dropped by more than 10% this summer.  Unlike Oil, natgas discoveries are on a different path.  There have been huge discoveries of unconventional natgas who's costs are definitely higher but we're only talking about $7/mcf which would still translate in gas equivalent prices 50% of where they are today.  Consumption of oil and that horrible process of refining crude into gasoline would drop and we should see natgas prices rise while oil prices fall.  The effects of this will ripple down and benefit countries like the US who imports so much crude.  The obstacles aren't that great... if you're going to buy a car this year, buy an EV car... no big obstacle there.  If the gov't has enough money to print for TARP, and they're even considering bailing out the auto companies, than I"m sure they could reach deep and come up with something especially when it helps to solve their energy dependency.  Switching to EV's is not that complicated... the solution could take time but it's the simplest, most effect one out there.  Changing consumption habits is definitely key and together it will make an impact so if eveyrone does their small part, it will help trememdously.  I think everyone should still embrace the EV car while at the same time trying to conserve but the gov't won't respond unless they hear from their constituents.

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2008
Posts: 458
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Ah my friends, the common urge to plan society never ceases to amaze me. Is there anybody realistic enough to admit  they know llitle about what they presume to know? I've been reading neo-Malthusian predictions of all kinds for decades. They're as bad as the Christians who are waiting for the world to end. There is plenty of money out there looking for energy. If the economics are there, they'll come to market.

It makes me cringe every time I see that word should. It implies government should get involved. Those morons can't even do something as simple as balancing a budget though they should. Politicians love stuff like this because it gives them an excuse feed their corporate friends like Archer Daniel Midland, famous for diverting corn from food to alchohol. If we ever do have energy shortages, you can be sure it's because government has been screwing around where they shouldn't.

Mass hysteria about running out of fossil fuels is based on the idea that there is a fixed quantity of fossil fuel based on the prehistoric life forms that ever existed. Well there is a convincing case that (abiotic) oil and gas  are naturally occuring from all the methane trapped deep below, coming to surface.  http://freeenergynews.com/Directory/Theory/SustainableOil/ Nobody has any idea how much oil is available deep below.

So, when transportation will (or has to) shift to alternatives, like hydrogen and electricity (from solar-, wind- or wave-energy), then a substantial part of your oil-graph (up to around 50% or 70%) will become available for products (like the mentioned plastics and fertilizers). Please explain why you don't see (or mention) that as a viable option?

Off course the energy-companies would like to postpone that moment of switching to other energy sources as long as possible, but that's another discussion.

I can tell you flatly that alternate forms are nowhere close to competitive with fossil sources. The energy companies would be wasting their limited rescources if they tried. What I see missing from this discussion is economics as if economics didn't matter.

Another good read: Confessions from an ex-peak oil believer http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/Geopolitics___Eurasia/Peak_Oil___Russia/peak_oil___russia.html

It's fun to guess what the future holds and play with ideas, but I see no purpose in worrying about it.This is too far beyond our control. As long as the value and economics are there,  my next car will almost certainly be gas driven.

switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
My current car is a bicycle.
Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2008
Posts: 458
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
A bicycle makes a great impression on a date. Laughing
switters's picture
switters
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 19 2008
Posts: 744
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
Funny thing is, it actually does where I live.  That's Berkeley for you. Smile
gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 537
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
[quote=switters]

What people often forget, as well, is that manufacturing solar panels is a very energy intensive process that requires large amounts of oil and technology.  If this energy is included in the EROEI calculations (Energy Returned on Energy Invested), the numbers for solar drop into single digits (i.e. less than 10:1).  Consider that the EROEI for light crude in the early 1900s was about 200:1. 

[/quote]

Solar electric pannels..... well there is often a high ERoEI  claimed for solar electric panels,however if they have such a good ERoEI why is it that you realy only see them go in if there are generous government subsidies ? ( remote off grid uses excepted )

As you mention, EROEI calcs can be miss stated. The best article at explaining this is

http://www.jeffvail.net/2006/11/energy-p...

His claim of an ERoEI of 1 says it all. If it realy had a high ERoEI you could make money doing it ( without needing govt grants ), it would be happening.

Then there is the issue of the finite amounts of rare materials needed to make them.

But BT-Heugh looks like he was on about solar thermal.

 Essentially I believe any renewable energy sources will have to be LOW tech made from very commonly available materials.I have not looked closely at it yet ( compared to silicon cells ) but solar thermal looks good from this viewpoint.

The link he posted was for what looks linke an eminently elegent soluntion. Low wind profile, flat frames with fresnel mirrors, guy wires ( tension structures much lighter = less materials needed ) So far, on the face of it from the website this the design I like the best. ( and my game is engineering.... )

hamish

 

 

 

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2008
Posts: 458
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

That's funny. My son has an easy walk to work in Palo Alto and he works from home. Years ago, he leased a hot car to impress the girls and hardly drove it. Now he has a girlfirend and a cheap second hand car for those rare occassions.

A 35 mile commute on bicycle wouldn't work for me.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3125
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

[quote=hewittr] It makes me cringe every time I see that word should. It implies government should get involved. Those morons can't even do something as simple as balancing a budget though they should. Politicians love stuff like this because it gives them an excuse feed their corporate friends like Archer Daniel Midland, famous for diverting corn from food to alchohol. If we ever do have energy shortages, you can be sure it's because government has been screwing around where they shouldn't.[/quote]

Government should become more involved than they are.  You've obviously fallen for the myth of government bungling and incompetence that the Republicans have been living on since the Reagan admin.  The ugly truth is that government spending on basic research and development produces multipliers many times greater than the original costs and brings useful products to market a lot faster than if such R&D is left to the private sector. 

[quote]I can tell you flatly that alternate forms are nowhere close to competitive with fossil sources. The energy companies would be wasting their limited rescources if they tried. What I see missing from this discussion is economics as if economics didn't matter.[/quote]

This is precisely where government spending on R&D comes into the picture.  The energy companies don't have much incentive to do real R&D on alternatives, the government and the rest of us do.  Plus, peak oil theories rest on known and suspected reserves.  If there were vast oceans of oil out there somewhere, don't you think oil interests would have found them by now?  They've covered most of the earth looking for oil, many places many times over.  I don't feel too comfortable assuming there are large reserves absent some evidence that they actually exist.  To simply give up and trust the questionable notion that there is plenty of oil out there is near sighted and does not take into account the environmental degradation resulting from the oil we are already burning.

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2008
Posts: 458
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

hamish

My company sells materials to the computer chip industry, but in the past year we've see a big increase in sales from the solar industry. As you've noted, the returns are improving. They are ideal in isolated areas. One manufacture is embedding solar cells into roof shingles. The estimated size of the market is about a $billion at present and expanding.

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 537
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
[quote=hewittr]

Mass hysteria about running out of fossil fuels is based on the idea that there is a fixed quantity of fossil fuel based on the prehistoric life forms that ever existed. Well there is a convincing case that (abiotic) oil and gas  are naturally occuring from all the methane trapped deep below, coming to surface.  http://freeenergynews.com/Directory/Theory/SustainableOil/ Nobody has any idea how much oil is available deep below.

I can tell you flatly that alternate forms are nowhere close to competitive with fossil sources. The energy companies would be wasting their limited rescources if they tried. What I see missing from this discussion is economics as if economics didn't matter.

Another good read: Confessions from an ex-peak oil believer http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/Geopolitics___Eurasia/Peak_Oil___Russia/peak_oil___russia.html

It's fun to guess what the future holds and play with ideas, but I see no purpose in worrying about it.

[/quote]

If the abiotic oil theory is true, it is formed slowly and collects in the reservoirs we have found. This could be likened to a lake that started empty and was filled slowly with a small stream. Man comes along and pumps water out for irrigation etc WAY faster then the stream flows. Eventually the lake is empty. Sure it will refill, but only at a very slow rate. 

 Since the 1956 claim by  Prof. Vladimir Porfir’yev of  ""‘Crude oil and natural petroleum gas have no intrinsic connection with biological matter originating near the surface of the earth. They are primordial materials which have been erupted from great depths."" there has been a vast accumulation of empirical data obtained by pumping wells dry. The characteristics of well depletion, are reasonably well understood. If the reservoirs could fill fast, we could not pump them dry. If they fill slowly we are screwed anyway.

 I don't worry about peak oil, I just try and ensure myself, my children, and grandchildren, friends, and local community etc plan ahead so as to make their future as good as possible. This means being prepared to live a low energy life, not being stuck in an non sustainable megacity. 

Go on believing your way, it helps me, as it will mean 1 less person that will be competing for good farmland....  ;-)

 

Hamish

 

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 537
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
[quote=hewittr]

A 35 mile commute on bicycle wouldn't work for me.

[/quote]

 

Get used to it or move   ;-)

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2008
Posts: 458
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Doug says:

Government should become more involved than they are.  You've obviously fallen for the myth of government bungling and incompetence that the Republicans have been living on since the Reagan admin. 

You're off by a billion miles. What government spends, they take from the private economy. This site wouldn't be here if government hadn't screwed up the market economy so bad.

The ugly truth is that government spending on basic research and development produces multipliers many times greater than the original costs and brings useful products to market a lot faster than if such R&D is left to the private sector.  

The ugly truth is that government spending is based on political decisions, not economic decisions. The waste is mind boggling. Don't let the fancy language fool you. Government consumes vast resources with  very little return.

The energy companies don't have much incentive to do real R&D on alternatives, the government and the rest of us do.  

For the simple matter that they are losers. Government doesn't have to show a profit. if they subsidize, say windmills, they have to draw from other resources, ending with a net loss.

Plus, peak oil theories rest on known and suspected reserves.  If there were vast oceans of oil out there somewhere, don't you think oil interests would have found them by now? 

You're falling for the hyseria. See my 2 links. They answer many questions. Generally, the oil companies don't need more than 20 years reserves.  So if you read them literally, it looks like we have 20 years left.

I don't feel too comfortable assuming there are large reserves absent some evidence that they actually exist.  

Again, you are making presumptions of which you have little knowledge. One important reason why politics counts more than geology: somewhere around 80% of the oil reserves in the world are nationalized. Which tells me they couldn't be in more incompetent hands. Mexico, for example, is running out of reserves, but they refuse to let private companies in.

To simply give up and trust the questionable notion that there is plenty of oil out there is near sighted and does not take into account the environmental degradation resulting from the oil we are already burning. 

Give up on what? Oil just dropped to $70 a barrel along with consumption. OPEC is talking about cutting production. I saw this same hysteria and finger pointing at the oil companies in the 70s. The premise of your argument is that you and government bureaucrats are smarter than the oil companies. Well, you're not convincing.

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2008
Posts: 458
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

I don't worry about peak oil, I just try and ensure myself, my children, and grandchildren, friends, and local community etc plan ahead so as to make their future as good as possible. This means being prepared to live a low energy life, not being stuck in an non sustainable megacity. 

Go on believing your way, it helps me, as it will mean 1 less person that will be competing for good farmland....  ;-)

Hamish

To each his own. If I had a penny for every prediction that turned out wrong in the past year alone, I'd be the richest man in the world.

BT-Hugh's picture
BT-Hugh
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 27 2008
Posts: 3
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Some thoughts...

- Supply. Even if oil is plenty (which i think it's not), even then demand will grow beyond supply (india, china and other eurasia)

- Polution. in some bigger city's (and even towns) you notice the pollution, some think the smog is unbearable.

- Dependence. The bulk of the oil is not in USA nor Europe anymore, Do we want to be dependent on wars? or goodwill of some other nation (Russia? NewRak/Iran?)

Yes Hamish i'm looking at solar thermal but also at newer technologies for Voltaic-panels. One of the oldest (and biggest) solar stuff is in france (furnace 5000degreesF) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_furnace

At the moment in the Netherlands there is a Solar Week on television by the VPRO (3 part documentary). i'll try and put some clips online with subtitles.

Ray Hewitt's picture
Ray Hewitt
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 5 2008
Posts: 458
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

FYI - He takes a long time to get to his point, but he held my interest. It dovetails nicely with the Engdahl link I posted in #14.

Lindsey Williams - The Energy Non-Crises

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbakN7SLdbk

 

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 537
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?
[quote=hewittr]

If I had a penny for every prediction that turned out wrong in the past year alone, I'd be the richest man in the world.

[/quote]

There are plenty of people out their making predictions. To me they fall roughly into 3 categories

1  Nostrodamus type predictions, horoscopes etc. With so many people making so many predictions  every now and then one will be able to trumpet "see I told you so"

2 Mass media.  Most of theses type of predictions are made based on limited understanding of the subject. Financial advisers pontificating on the markets mainly fall into this group. I often find myself asking, "given what I know on the subject, how in the hell can you reach that conclusion"

3  People who observe and collect data from real events, pay attention to basic fundamentals, and make carefully considered "predictions" . Working off the same data set a number of independent people come to make a similar " prediction " or given the same data set most people would agree that the prediction has a high degree of probability. Chris falls into this category

 

Sure you will make money for 1 and 2 but 3 ?

 

 

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3125
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

hewitt

When I click on the links you provided above, they just take me to this site's home page.  Whazzup with that?

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 537
Re: Oil, 70% for transportation... so essentially exchangeable?

Sometimes you have to copy and paste the link.

Have not worked out why it is that way sometimes. Something fro admin to sort out I suppose.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments