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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:53 AM
Original message
Freedom and the price of oil
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/702370a8-e8db-11dd-a4d0-00007...

We have another energy crisis upon us. I remember the last one, caused by the Opec oil embargo and subsequent price rise in 1973-74, and the apocalyptic mood-music it provoked about the end of oil, and of civilisation as we knew it. It coincided with a particularly dark period in British industrial relations, culminating in two miners strikes, the imposition of a three-day working week and rotating power blackouts. There was something quite romantic, for me as a 15-year-old schoolboy, about parsing Virgil by candlelight, but I suppose it was rather a grim time for most adults.

Our current energy crisis is less immediately dramatic but more ominous in long-term outlook. The price of oil has fluctuated wildly in the past year, tending to obscure the arguments about whether we have in fact reached, or come close to, the moment of peak oil predicted by geoscientist M King Hubbert. But even if oil, by some miraculous dispensation, could be extracted indefinitely from the earths crust, we would still have an energy crisis, or a fossil fuel crisis. We are choking in our pollution, dangerously overheating the planet, and we have not yet come up with a reliable, consistent, safe and clean source of energy.

Of course there are those who maintain that nuclear energy is clean and safe, and that carbon capture and storage will solve everything, but the former argument remains contentious and the latter technology in an embryonic stage.

Writing at the time of the first energy crisis in the 1970s, the maverick Catholic priest, historian and ecologist Ivan Illich exploded the whole idea of energy crisis. Both the problem and the solution, according to Illich, were to be located not in the earths crust but in the mind of man.
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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:33 PM
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1. At the risk of harping. I have been personally tried to limit my impact
since then. My first car was a Torino with a six cyl that got 24 mpg, but my dad had a VW 412 2dr coupe that I mostly drove because it got more than 30, 35 on the road.
I have always tried to buy least packaging products..we are even better at it now our veggies don't come packaged, they come from the garden.
Even city dwellers can do some veggies in a pot on the window sill with a plant light the new flouro plant lights use about 30 watts for a 150watt equivalent bulb 2 for a tomato plant in a 80$ hydro kit from somewhere like fifthseasongardens.com I think i have that correct. It also eats up ya neighbors when you show up in feb with fresh tomatoes!
We just passed our second anniversary at our start up eco farm. Even with only one growing season behind us we are still eating from the garden. I put up 20 quarts of tomato sauce last summer, 15 quarts of pickles, several pints of blackberry syrip (low sugar)squash sliced w/seasoned flour laid out on cookie sheets to freeze then stacked in a container..we have fried green tomatoes and squash in winter.
This summer we have plans to install a solar water heater and start on radiant underfloor heating that will take load off the heat pump. Adding insulation under the house in the attic space. I have already plugged holes for pipes under the sinks and bathroom fixtures, gaskets in switch and outlet covers 8 or 10 of those equals having a window open several inches.
I cook in pots with lids, at low heat, preserves vitamins as you only need a couple table spoons of water in most veggies, and saves about 30% on the power used. I also use a toaster convection oven for meats of 5 pounds or less, another 40% savings over using the big oven.
I take advantage of solar heat gain in winter and keep hot sun out in summer by layered mini blinds, with roller blinds inside from them then insulated black out curtain liners, we have cut our power consumption for heat/cool by about 30% there too. or overall 100.00$ per month on the power bill. CFL bulbs in every socket that will take them including the range hood. The fridge and freezer lights I have not found cfl or leds that fit there yet. We will continue buying LEDs as the CFLs die off, LEDs last 10+ years and use about 10% of the electric an incandescent does and about 70% of a cfl. which is not a big savings over CFL but its something.
We had to replace the dying, dying daid minivan last year so we bought what we could get, a Nissan Versa 35+ mpg, and that is going fast enough to get a ticket..can't keep it under 70mph. Keep it tuned and the tires inflated just one pound under makes almost 2 mpg difference, same with the pickup 2 pounds under in the tires makes a 3 mpg difference on it.
I think we are closer to oil failure than anyone wants to let on. Other wise why would the oil cos be so het up on goin after the shall oil in the Canyonlands, at the head of the Colorado river by the national parks of Grand Canyon, Arches canyons and the Oilsands of Alberta?
We intend to be nearly fossil free fastest, within ten years at anyrate.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. ! and ?

I cook in pots with lids, at low heat, preserves vitamins as you only need a couple table spoons of water in most veggies, and saves about 30% on the power used. I also use a toaster convection oven for meats of 5 pounds or less, another 40% savings over using the big oven.


We have a combo convection/microwave, and veggies get microwaved unless we're doing a stir-fry.

The fridge and freezer lights I have not found cfl or leds that fit there yet.


CFL wouldn't be too good in a fridge anyway, they don't work as well in the cold, and are not optimal for very short on-times like that. LEDs would totally rock though.

We use CFL or LEDs throughout the house except for the refrigerator and the bathroom.

The new LEDs are over twice as efficient as the ones available just a year or two ago.

Keep it tuned and the tires inflated just one pound under makes almost 2 mpg difference, same with the pickup 2 pounds under in the tires makes a 3 mpg difference on it.


Am I misunderstanding you here? By most accounts low tire pressure makes you burn more gas.




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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. My mistake I keep the tire pressure correct. I made a mistake and did not start
I made a mistake and did not start a new sentence with Just one pound under.
Thusly.
Keep it tuned and the tires inflated. Just one pound under makes almost 2 mpg difference, same with the pickup 2 pounds under in the tires makes a 3 mpg difference on it.


I have a microwave too, and use it when appropriate the toaster/convection uses less power than my microwave does on lower or single element settings.
I have a kill-o-watt type meter the toaster will used only 600-800 watts compared to the 1000 and 1200 watt settings on the microwave. Unless I am making pizza then I hit 450 for 20-30 minutes using both elements @ 1400 watts total which still uses less than the 3000 watts the range oven uses.

I steam either in a covered steamer basket over a pot with a 1/2 c water or direct cook in a pan with abt 2-3 tablespoons water or broth, other method of steaming that takes 10-20 minutes for most fresh veggies, depending on the veggie. slow cooking like I do does preserve the texture, color and vitamins.
I like stir fry too, but hubby does not.
I never boil them, the only thing I ever boil is hard boiled eggs or pasta/noodles.
Fresh greenbeans do not work well in a microwave, I do not like they way they taste or the texture of fresh veggies nuked.

I have not found the right leds to replace the light in the fridge and the deep freeze yet.
One is a bayonet type and the other is 2- C-7 screw in bulbs, leds are directional and they don't point 90 degrees to the side which they would have to do to light the interior.
I realise CFLS do not work well at low temps and the space where the bulb part is too small to accommodate the coil lamp or the longer tube type.

We have CFL floods for the outside lights, when its 40 degrees they take 2-4 seconds to warm up when it is 30 the take 5-6 seconds, when its 19 they take about 10 seconds to reach full brightness, but they are not left on all the time anyway. We live out in the woods and lights are only turned on when we expect company or when the dogs are out, so it is not really an issue.
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