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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by eclipse, Sep 28, 2006.
Seems to be the big fad these days for docu. producers.
I just watched "The End of Suburbia" Quite good docu on the same topic.
i watched the end of suburbia. though the content is compelling, and they were pretty much preaching to the choir, i did not think it was very well done.
perhaps the cartoonish approach in parts was a very conscious artistic choice, so i guess that's fine (though i feel they should have played at the top of their intelligence, so to speak), but it was fairly badly assembled. maybe i'm just too used to good technique, but i do think it would have been worth their while to hire a real editor.
Shoot, at first glance I thought you watched the end of Suburbia.
there are times when my aversion of capitals confuses things. to be clear: i watched Suburbia in its entirety.
"Suburbia" you linked to has the line, "Wake up and smell the coffee man, they're .... " something something something......
I was a teenager, and it was the first time I'd heard the phrase. Of course it's everywhere... when did that phrase kick in?
So what's happening peakniks? Did this trailer for the award winning "A Crude Awakening" do it for you? Do you think it looks better produced?
It's been screening at movie festivals everywhere, and it's by a fairly senior European journalist.
Lastly, was EOS accurate, or do you think there is something they have overlooked? Are you guys and gals coping with this knowledge? Does it occupy your day?
Do you feel like shouting at the TV every time you see a car add? I know I do... and it's not just because it's an add. I see a car add, and I'm yelling stuff like.....
"You STUPID morons! How are people gonna FILL that beast you're selling!??? When oil hits $250 dollars a barrel because the market has realised there just ain't gonna be any more, what your customers gonna do!? And WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT LETTING THIS ADD GO TO AIR!???"
Sorry, but I get emotional about this. I find the current "business as usual" vibe entirely appalling... but am keeping my eye on the Australian Senate. Click on my www.eclipsenow.org and read how the Aussie Senate found FOR an early peak, AGAINST oil alternatives being able to run what we are running, FOR massive social and economic disruption as a result, and FOR redesigning our cities and upgrading public transport.
Those findings had me both ecstatic ........
and rather frightened.
After 2 years of campaigning, it was like... "YES!!!!!!!!!" and then....
"Oh no.... I wasn't mad after all. It's real."
From some discussion about the awl bidness on another site, this URL got mentioned:
It's not all that long. Lotsa good points; some were new to me. From a Google search on Matthew Simmons, it looks like he has some impressive credentials.
One comment I found interesting was that Simmons believes that the whole Peak Oil thing will come to outweigh Global Warming as an issue for the 2008 elections. Makes sense; there's more immediacy.
The way it looks to me, we'll always have transportation fuels, but the cost will continue to rise. Mining of oil shale or the tar sands, plus transportation to refining centers, plus the cost of the refining--"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money." Nothing new about that...
So, higher costs for transportation means changes in "where" is desirable insofar as where to live with respect to where to work. If the Old Farts get discouraged from using all those Bluebirds and travel-trailer rigs, that's a big change in tourism and transportation services. All manner of such relatively small items is just more of plus + plus + plus = Big changes.
The Old Farts might not be using their Bluebirds anymore but that doesn't mean they're going to stop spending money. It might mean they buy a cabin somewhere and furnish it, pay taxes on it, etc. What it does mean is that the camp grounds and Bluebird salesmen aren't going to be making a lot of money. The spending is just being shifted around.
Higher gas prices would also encourage wiser land use and more efficient urban planning. Portland, OR has gotten a lot of flack over the years for its "urban ring" but with the cost of gas and Portland's efficient MAX system, I'm sure a lot of the whiners are better off than people who live in other cities where urban planning and mass transit have taken a back seat.
Agreed, Ugg. One item of change could well be this national penchant for "Five acres, five miles from town" that often is more than five miles out.
I agree with all of the above, except that the difficulty of achieving all of this in a post-peak world has not been emphasized. America has vast regions of exurbia that are far larger than anything we have in Australia, and yet even the Federal Government is now admitting that retrofitting for a post-peak world is going to be very difficult indeed.
The Australian Federal Senate committee stated....
"Increasing walking, cycling and public transport use in cities is a worthwhile goal for a number of reasons, regardless of predictions about the oil future. If there is a long term rise in the price of oil, it will be all the more necessary." 5.21
"However we should not underestimate the difficulties involved. Vast areas of post World War 2 suburbia have been designed on the assumption that most travel would be by car, and with the aim of making this easier. The effect has been to make travel in any other way more difficult, as activity centres disperse to sites distant from the public transport network, and the environment for pedestrians and cyclists is degraded by traffic. In these areas existing public transport routes do not serve many travel needs, and existing services mostly function as welfare for people without cars, with a very low proportion of total trips (less than 5%)." 5.22
eclipse, that final paragraph surely applies to a bunch of the U.S. I've never understood how people could endure the lengthy commutes that I read about. 50 or 60 miles, one way? I didn't like a ten-mile commute but for the quality of home life on the old family ranch near the edge of Austin, Texas.
A partial solution, it has seemed to me since the early days of the Internet, is that office people who don't interact much with the public could work at home and communicate via computer. I know that with today's systems, much of my own work (civil engineering design and cost estimating)--and that of co-workers--could easily have been done at home. Go into the office maybe one day a week, for FTF meetings, whatever.
Yep, the internet is only going to get more important hey?
I just read Greg Palast's "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy". He doesn't agree with your doomsday scenario at all. He does agree that oil will become more expensive but Iraq's oil has barely been tapped and Venezuela is sitting on as much heavy oil as has been used since time began.
I would highly recomment that you read it, if for no other reason to get an opinion of other left-leaning people's view on oil.
It's not at all what the Geologists are saying.
The senate basically found for an early peak, starting some year soon.
The geologists have been looking for oil for 150 years... they know what they are doing.
The discover trends are not good.
Basically, we have not found enough oil to replace the oil we are burning for 25 years, and now the ratio is 6 burned to every 1 found. Discovery itself peaked about 40 years ago... and has been declining ever since.
If visually it looks like all those disoveries pre 1965 will last us a long time, don't forget that they have to allow for the downslope of Hubbert's peak. They have to satisfy future demand. Many geologists were early peak skeptics now turned true believers when studying these facts.
1965 was year we found the most oil we ever will. Logically it follows that after finding the most oil you ever will comes the year you will burn the most oil you ever will, and then the pressure changes in the oil field, more water has to be injected, blah blah blah and you end up with "peak oil". 2008 to 2010 seems to be the best guess so far. Get ready for the last oil crisis, and oil at $200 per barrel (low.)
Ugg, probably the least important thing about oil is the political views of left or right. Those views may affect what's done as the availability declines and the price goes up, but it has damn-all to do with production.
World consumption is 85 milion barrels per day (bbl/d). Venezuela's production is 3.5 million bbl/d. Iraq's production is subject to Sunni-Shiite fighting. Nigeria's output is subject to serious political unrest and guerilla warfare. Islamic politics make reliability a problem insofar as oil from the underbelly of Russia.
Look: There are trillions of barrels equivalent in the tar sands and oil shale. The problem is the cost and infrastructure to get it and refine it into transportation fuel.
Question for anybody or all: What are you gonna do about your life, your future, as transportation fuel costs go toward $5 or more per gallon? What will be the effect on your job or lifestyle?
Like the saying goes, "May you live in interesting times." Well, it seems to me that we surely do...
I fill my Civic up about once every 5-6 weeks so even at $5 a gallon it wouldn't hit me too hard. Where my wallet would really be hit is from all the surcharges that would suddenly appear on everything I buy. I can't imagine what fresh vegetables and fruit would cost in Alaska during the winter.
Because tar sands and oil shale potentials have already been factored into the mining and extraction equations, and the Hubberts peak still goes into serious decline (3% to 5% pa on average), we are not looking at $5 per gallon (I have trouble thinking in American prices being an Aussie) but more like $10 per gallon, or there-abouts. Most of the geologists I have been speaking to don't care about tar sands simply because by 2015 with billions of dollars of extra investment they are expected to produce about 3million barrels a day? So what? Annual decline would eat up that 3mbd in about 2 years. Also, natural gas is in decline in North America and what heats up the tar sands? What about all the fresh water needed to cook up the tar sands sludge and turn it into petroleum? Estimates of trillions of barrels of oil from tar sands are pure mythology because they don't take into account the other "ingredients" in production.
I'm happy for Canada's economy, really I am, but their ecology is being mucked around by tar sands at today's production levels.... not that ecology will limit the rate at which big business mines those tar sands. Bankruptcy due to "peak gas" will probably do that. Even if they stay in production, the tar sands are no "silver bullet" simply because it's going to be physically impossible to extract enough oil to offest world depletion rates.
Once oil hits $150 or $200 per barrel it doesn't matter whether or not you can still afford it, because I understand most nations have an emergency liquid fuels act for crisis like this. Last Monday I had a meeting with a certain Queensland politician visiting NSW for a TV gig.
He stated that Australia would avoid "Mad Max" because of the emergency liquid fuels act regulating use and making sure the very expensive post-peak oil was given to farmers and agriculture, at a subsidy, which would probably give us time to retrofit infrastructure for a post-oil world. In other words, you and I? We simply will not be allowed to buy the stuff. Unless of course they bring in an oil-trading scheme like the carbon credits scheme. Then as well as buying fairly high priced oil, we'd have an oil "account" card that kept track of our "allowance". Each citizen would receive a balance each year, and if I live off a pushbike, then I can sell my oil credits to other people that need them. This would of course decrease on an annual basis.
There are many reasons such a scheme would be better than the overall international bidding war that will occur as oil peaks. See the www.oildepletionprotocol.org for more details.
Matt Simmons cites a decline of 8% per year in oil production. Scary to think of 3% to 5% as optimistic.
I'm of the opinion that transportation fuels will become "some of this, some of that". Diminishing amounts of oil-based fuels. Alcohol. Conversion of coal. Battery power.
The probable crimp in the US military should be interesting as well. It's the largest single user-group we have, is my understanding from a squib I recently read somewhere.
I've been in a lot of these discussions; pardon me if I'm repetitive: The US natural gas proven reserves are around 8 years worth at present use rates. That could be extended to 40 years but for laws forbidding drilling in various areas. The world supply of proven reserves is estimated at 40 years. Sadly, California's gas-turbine electric generation plants of recent years have accelerated the use of natural gas (as far as one single major user). IMO, given the hundreds of consumer products made from natural gas, it's far too valuable to be wasted on generating electricity.
Roy Leembruggen, the designer of the world famous double decker train, is here in Australia. He's asking the NSW government to get ready to emergency install trolley bus systems everywhere.
As peaknik politician Andrew McNamara says, "We've got to electrify everything" because renewable energy mostly produces electricity.
People put down the French, but I note their electric generating is 76% nuke. The US is somewhere below 20%. Lotsa coal, here, for those who love particulates up their noses. We're adding wind, but just to do windpower in only Texas would require 24,000 of China's latest 7.5MW mag-lev bearing design; over 50,000 for today's off-the-shelf models. Dunno whatcha do when it's calm, though.
I have lots of hope for an eventual renewable energy grid, and love wind because of its high ERoEI. But the solar chimney kicks butt as it's 24 hour base load power... and there's no waste!
Why build nuclear? It's too expensive, too dangerous, relies on a depleting resource, and is too political. Solar chimney's rock.
To save argument: It seems to me that electric generating capabilities aren't all that big a problem. Plenty of off-the-shelf stuff already available. The issues are more about availability of capital and reduction of pollutants.
Transportation fuels are the Big Kahuna of future conflicts, and the critical times are closer than for other world-wide problems. The negative economic impacts that would occur with oil at $100 to $200 a barrel would send the US into batguanoland. Elsewhere as well...
I occasionally wonder just how many people are looking ahead at how their lives will be affected by the coming changes. Their jobs, their lifestyles, their locations, and making it through the "Golden Years".
another issue will be the cost of plastics and other oil-derived products. now they are dirt cheap because they are by-products, but their cost, and that of everything else, will increase dramatically when oil becomes scarce.
I agree with both of your comments.
The geopolitical stuff seems to be very thoroughly treated in the new peaknik doco, "Asleep in America". check out the Utube preview here.
Also, on the plastics I read on www.worldchanging.com that the amount of chemicals America uses, if converted into liquid, would fill a line of petroleum tanker-trucks from Washington DC to San-Francisco and back DAILY!
That must included ALL fertilizers, pesticides, soaps, detergents, plastics feedstocks, paints, varnishes, glues, kevlar ingredients, car-paints, kids plastic toy feedstocks, pink plastic flamingos (very important!) etc.
A bit of drift, about plastics: FoMoCo gets (or used to get) wiring harnesses from Brazil. A service-manager friend of mine had a farmer in a nearly new Ford pickup limp in. Upon opening the hood, "It looked like an explosion in a spaghetti factory." It seems rats and mice dearly love vegetable-based plastics--the insulation on the wiring.