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Peak Oil [List Edits]

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Open Edit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 11:02 PM
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Peak Oil
Edited on Thu Apr-27-06 12:31 AM by skids
"Peak Oil": The point of time when global oil production levels cannot satisfy further demand. Also used to describe the economic havoc expected to result.

Why has the term "Peak Oil" earned itself so much attention lately, whether on MSM, blogs, books, or video? The peak oil scenario as painted by most sources does not present an attractive future for much of mankind: The inability of petroleum to continue fueling western civilization's appetite for consumer goods, easy transportation, and plentiful food may soon present itself as the single biggest problem we have yet had to face.

There are two divided camps in the Peak Oil debate: traditional economists, and petroleum geologists (along with the collected followers of both). The economists seem relatively unconcerned about the peak, preferring to remain confident that as petroleum becomes increasingly difficult and costly to extract and refine, alternatives will neatly step in to fill the gap. The petroleum geologists, however, understand a fundamental underpinning of Industrial Age economics: petroleum has existed not simply as another replaceable commodity for the past 140 years, but as the source of wealth itself.

Some of the questions remaining are:

1) - How real is the threat of peak oil; is it a near-term or long-term issue, is it really a problem we need to be concerned about, or is it an invention of Big Oil or BushCo?

2) - Do viable alternative energy solutions exist that may eventually replace petroleum, even if only to a degree? How much value can hydrogen, solar, wind, biomass, and other technologies offer? Has nuclear become the new "green energy", with coal the only other near-term alternative?

3) - What can be done by the individual, both to lessen the demand for petroleum and to adapt to a new low-consumption/low-energy lifestyle? Is living "off the grid" desirable, or even possible?

4) - Our current president and vice-president both issued statements several years ago calling the energy issue of utmost importance. Vice-President Cheney conducted high-level meetings with energy industry representatives behind closed doors. Many have termed the invasion of Iraq a "war for oil", and some believe other oil-rich nations may be at risk for similar actions. Has the pursuit of oil become an end-game race for our government?



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The exact objectives of this thread are somewhat unclear. Are the "remaining questions" rhetorical, or is it the objective of the thread to provide answers to them? Where do we put policy and political implications? Please clarify.

-- skids

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"Peak oil" when demand exceeds supply. Or when production peaks. Or when it's half gone (or half left).

When discussing "peak oil" you have to separate it into "peak discovery" and "peak production". Discovery peaks before production and since they relate to each other you can extrapolate production peak time from discovery time.

Discovery in the USA peaked in the 1910's and production peaked in the 1950's.

World discovery peaked in the 1960's and world production is peaking right now.

It's interesting to note that the growth of population of the 1st world peaked almost exactly with the oil discovery peak.

"" How real is the threat of peak oil; is it a near-term or long-term issue,""

very real, near term and long term

Oil formed during the Carboniferous period over a period of about 200 million years, under conditions that have not re-occurred since then. We've used up about half of it in 100 years.

"" is it really a problem we need to be concerned about""

as concerned as practically possible. Life as we know it is based almost entirely on oil, especially farming. The current level of world population is almost totally based on petro farming.

"" Do viable alternative energy solutions exist that may eventually replace petroleum, even if only to a degree?""

They surely exist, we haven't found them. Nothing we know of is as concentrated, as plentiful and as economical as oil.

"" How much value can hydrogen,""

not a source, only a transfer

"" solar, wind,""

very viable, not concentrated enough to fly jets though

"" biomass,""

limited because current farming is petro based

""and other technologies offer?""

We need a program like the manhattan project, unlimited dollars and scientists. And even then it's going to be tough.

"" Has nuclear become the new "green energy",""

not even, unless your referring to the color of the victims. It's just as finite as oil and the waste hasn't been figured out. And you still can't fly a jet.

""with coal the only other near-term alternative?""

We will probably fall back on coal somewhat. More tech needs to be developed to make it cleaner.

""What can be done by the individual, both to lessen the demand for petroleum and to adapt to a new low-consumption/low-energy lifestyle?""

Buy a hybrid, install fluorescents, install motion sensing switches, tellecommute, the list goes on.

""Is living "off the grid" desirable, or even possible?""

definitely on both questions especially in sunny or windy areas.

"" Vice-President Cheney conducted high-level meetings with energy industry representatives behind closed doors.""

to divide up the spoils before they even went to war

"" Many have termed the invasion of Iraq a "war for oil",""

many reasons, but oil was/is the primary one.

"" and some believe other oil-rich nations may be at risk for similar actions. Has the pursuit of oil become an end-game race for our government?""

this isn't "our" government, they stole their way into office. It's an end-game for the evil insane Pnac'ers.

Kalun D

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