The Elephant in the Peak Oil Living Room

The Elephant in the Peak Oil Living Room

Peak Moment 60: Richard Katz and Dennis Brumm burst the technofix dream-bubble by naming the hard stuff: the lack of sufficient alternatives to oil and gas at the enormous scale needed. Overpopulation exceeding the planet’s carrying capacity. Potential collapse. But wait! they close with ideas for positive individual responses. [www.sfbayoil.org/sfoa]
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20 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Peak Oil Living Room”

  1. (at)bweazel Peak oil is real it has already occurred with US production and will happen again with the new US production being brought on line While it can be Oil itself is not a fuel AFAIK, there is no carbon based raw material that can compare to oil. As in the energy returned with the energy invested. While not as favorable as it once was it's still a good deal in that regard in many cases.

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  2. (at)LightReuse, my information comes from biologists studying animal populations. They've found that animals procreate more when food is abundant. When the food supplies diminish, populations crash. It's also been true in numerous civilizations, and in spades since we discovered oil (and increased food supplies). Population overshoot. Their opinion is that it doesn't look like humans will be any smarter than other animals in overshoot — dieoff.

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  3. Either you do something about population or all of us will perish.
    Life is not going to be worth living if the entire planet is barely
    scraping out a living to simply survive. High populations were okay in agrarian societies and even then there were famines when millions died.
    How many famines and starvations
    does it take before India and China learn from their mistakes?
    The same is true in the USA because of carefree policies.
    60% of the middle east have no prospect of a job.

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  4. (at)peakmoment
    Most important use of oil at the moment is automotive fuel. FT process can be used to convert any carbon containing substance to di-methyl ether.

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  5. Beyond fossil fuel, small, local fuel cells promise to raise fossil fuel efficiencies from 30% to around 85%, extending our supplies even further. Plus, fuel cells can use feedstock that is not fossil fuel.

    The biggest threat to our energy supplies is human; activists are stopping the building of coal-burning electrical plants, banning oil drilling, and redirection research into "renewables" that just, plain suck. (These guys are right about ethanol, though; it's a bust.)

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  6. There's no shortage of fossil fuel. The price of producing crude oil is about to rise so we can use shale, tar, and sand oils, but it will be nowhere near current crude prices. We know of roughly 10 times the oil on the planet than currently shows up in "reserves," and we there's plenty more to find.

    Between oil and coal, the world has hundreds of years' supply.

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  7. For homework tomorrow push your car to work. If you use a very small car, you may be able to push it a few yards. It is time to begin understanding the energy we use.
    It is time to move where you live and use a bicycle. I know it is "unAmerican" but it is what is call reality.

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  8. (at)jjstoney1, Relative to population overshoot: with the surplus energy from oil, humans have produced more food, enabling population to swell to these billions. When there is sufficient food, most humans follow the biological imperative to procreate. Thus, humans were not *thinking* of consequences. Humans seem to be like any animal responding to environmental conditions and their genetic programming.

    How do you live each day, knowing the likely die-off of most humans in the next century?

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  9. (at)bweazel,
    money and interest rates? what?

    Do you realize that the USA was a net exporter of oil until 1970? now we import 75% of our oil from foriegn markets, because we have exausted our oil fields.

    "There are plenty of fields they are just sitting on".

    Okay, name a few, with legitimate links/source.

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  10. (at)bweazel,

    "There is no such thing as peak oil"

    Really, thats quite a statement there guy, perhaps you can explain why there is no such thing as "Peak OIL". I'm sure Geophysicist who work in the oil industry, and who say we have passed peak oil, would be glad to hear what you have to say.

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  11. There are numerous companies that would love to easily and cheaply replace oil. If you know how to, you'll make a fortune.

    Peak oil is simply the same thing that happens to any non-renewable resource that is depleted: at some point it's too expensive to take it out of the ground.

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  12. How do you know that oil production has peaked?

    Are you a geologist who is an expert in underground crude oil reserves?

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  13. Yes, the birth rates in most developed countries are dropping. But that is not true in developing countries throughout Asia and South America. Even if the rate is decreasing, the sheer number of humans is increasing — beyond the ability of earth to replenish resources and handle the wastes–as we see now in the Texas-sized garbage island in the Pacific, nearly extinct ocean fisheries, topsoil loss and more. All those people consume a lot of resources.

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  14. The overpopulation folks are 180 degrees wrong.
    ALL of Europe, Russia, etc, have flat out refused to "be fruitful and multiply", even to the HALF the replacement rate! There is a LOT of liberalism in what the men in the video say, and that, in itself, makes me think they are wrong.

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  15. We have different positions, which I expect not to change. I may not be good at repeating their facts, but I turn to scientists and researchers like I've cited here, as well as on Energy Bulletin, for their research. As well as my observations: locally our Sierra Nevada snowpack has reduced 20%. I think you are looking at local effects (of course towns will flood when built below the floodplain), but not seeing the bigger picture of accelerating increasingly violent weather events.

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  16. My information on oil is taken from Richard Heinberg's Powerdown, where he discusses why oil the role of oil in human history…Look at this from risk management perspective: if my facts are right and we act to reduce GHG, we may avert catastrophic tipping point. If wrong and we don't act, we risk tipping earth's climate beyond survivability for many higher life forms. Do we want to take that risk?

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  17. 1. I'm not talking local climatic affects (tropics/temperate zone). Worldwide, scientists in the IPCC and climatologists like NASA's James Hansen are reporting 0.8 degree rise in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels; sea levels rising, glacial retreat in the Himalayas; arctic seas opening in summer; sea levels rising; record-breaking temperatures and flooding in the UK & US in the past 5 years, and more.

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  18. 1. My understanding from independent scientist James Lovelock (The Gaia Theory, The Revenge of Gaia) is that higher levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases cause the geo-climatic system to destabilize.

    2. Combine consumption x global population (which includes increasing numbers of people aspiring to middle class consumption in the so-called developing countries) = increased consumption, demand on planetary resources, an stress on planetary sinks (for wastes).

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  19. 1. The issue with global climate is not temperatures per se, but with increasing destabilization, bringing more extremes in weather conditions.
    2. The issue is not simply population but consumption of resources.
    3. Oil is the most concentrated portable liquid energy source humans have found. One quart can push your Saab 10 miles. Pretty efficient.

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