Oil crisis special on Australian TV soon

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by eclipse, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. eclipse macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #1
    Hi all,
    any Aussies might want to watch SBS on Tuesday 24th April at 8:30 for a documentary called "Crude Impact" about the imminent decline of oil production, effectively peak and decline of the oil age. The preview can be seen here.

    http://www.crudeimpact.com/page.asp?content_id=9587

    It is followed by a French production, 2013: Oil No More which is part documentary, and part dramatized. It's a lot of fun.

    Anyway, interesting times ahead... especially if oil production is due to decline at about 4% to 8% per annum after 2010 as recent figures indicate.
     
  2. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #2
    i'll be sure to watch

    i've just come back from an Engineering expo, and i've decided i want to work on alternative fuels for cars, and should i do a PhD study, i'll work on making a better battery cell to use in solar cars. We really shouldn't be relying on oil as our primary energy source.
     
  3. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #3
    Agreed.

    Check this mp3 out... about 35 minutes.
    This guy's great-grandfather invented the first ever primitive fuel cell in 1830, and he's been working on it his whole life.

    Interview with Ulf Bossel - Hydrogen vs Electron Economy

    His verdict? Hydrogen will be 4 times more expensive than electric vehicles because of the basic laws of thermodynamics. It takes energy to split hydrogen from water, it takes energy to compress the hydrogen into a liquid for storage on the car, and fuel cells are only about 50% efficient with what's left of the hydrogen energy stored in the car.

    Better NOT to split the water in the first place, and use the initial electrons just to charge a battery.

    My thing is though... is there enough lithium and rare metals to make all the batteries we need?


    This might sound like mad hippie tree-hugger stuff, but ... have you ever been to Glebe in Sydney? Beautiful, walking distance place. There are modern versions that can be integrated into our modern cities.

    I think we'll be safer — for so many more reasons than just peak oil — to design "New Urbanism". Cities are being rebuilt all the time. All we have to do is get the laws rezoned, and then it can begin. In a short period of time we can save an incredible amount of oil. Check this out from my blog....

     
  4. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #4
    So, the revenue stream to the Middle East is going to dry up in my lifetime? Sweet! I'd love to see those countries try to get by on just the income they can get exporting dates and palm oil again.
     
  5. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #5
    Been eating too many woot cookies again eh? :D :rolleyes:
     
  6. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #6
    Yeah, I guess America has been increasingly getting into debt while simultaneously funding her enemies. Yet America could be in a very bad way... "Crude Impact" basically says there could be millions of jobs at stake, geopolitical tension between China and America over the remaining oil, etc.

    Check this preview for another movie called "Crude Awakening" which is also coming out soon.

    This is one of those "Happy happy Joy Joy" subjects. :eek:
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Well, given the decline that's already taken place--North Slope, North Sea, Mexico, Venezuela, Iran, etc.--I don't know why anybody's surprised. The rate of growth in demand is ahead of the rate of growth of new discoveries. Re-entry into old fields is "sorta" coping, right now.

    One scary aspect is that a fair number of awl bidness folks think the Saudis are lying like dogs about their production capabilities.

    'Rat
     
  8. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #8
    The former head of Saudi Aramco exploration would seem to agree.
    On ABC's 4 Corners he basically confirmed that western governments were over-estimating how much is in Saudi Arabia and that they should look at means of reducing oil consumption now. (He blames western governments, even though Saudi Arabia don't let any outsider's in to investigate their reserves... it's a national secret. I guess one cannot bite the hand that used to feed it, so he lays the blame with western nations actually believing the rubbish reports the Saudi's feed them in the first place!)

    As DOE Consultant Robert Hirsch says about OPEC ( on ABC's 4 Corners)
     
  9. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #9
  10. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #10
    Nothing ever seems to get fixed until the problem is right on top of us. I wouldn't mind seeing agriculture become king again and Middle East oil just a distant memory.

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the royal families in those countries announce to their people that their country's income has been reduced to what they bring in from Hajj, a couple tons of dates and a couple tanks of palm oil.
     
  11. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #11
    Yeah, I guess so.

    But my thing is that the Greater Depression that's about to kick in is really going to suck. And I've got kids to feed. :(
     
  12. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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  13. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #13
    i'm going to do Mechanical Engineering at uni next year, and i hope to get employed by Holden after that. If I can help them develop a new battery cell, i'll be a very happy man :D

    current batteries suck. they are heavy, inefficient, and they don't last very long. there has to be a better way of storing power.
     
  14. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #14
    Good work!

    BEV's are far better than they used to be, but are not a silver bullet for peak oil. They'll take too long to introduce, use too much lithium ("peak lithium" anyone?) and potentially crash the grid if too many people charge at once... which is why plugging into a timer-switch for off-peak demand is going to be important.

    Nothing is going to stop the airlines going bankrupt... any ideas for airlines? I can't think of any. Hydrogen is just too big to store that much energy.... it's a bigger, fatter jet with not as much passenger space. I think we are heading back to Airships or even just plain sea-liners.:confused: :eek:

    What do you think?
     
  15. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #15
    I love the smell of vodka and lime juice. What the hell has that got to do with the discussion you ask? Well, it would be nice to have a liquid fuel that gives off a nice alcohol type scent. You're thinking I'm an alcoholic right? Hardly, I drink mostly Propel fitness water - berry flavour. :)

    I fire up my car after the engine's been cold and if I stay there next to the car too long, I'll inhale these noxious fumes that are sure to give me a mean headache. This is a car that passes California's rigourous smog test with flying colours. As soon as the catalytic converter gets up to its light off temperature, the fumes are gone however.

    I used to frequent illegal street races back in the mid 1980's, and the guys would bring up their octane level with an octane boost called Trick Racing Fuel. I believe they would mix 5 US gallons of Trick with 10 US gallons of street gas. You could even get the Trick in fruit flavours such as strawberry and vanilla. What did it smell like after being burned by the engine and exited out the tail pipe you ask? A very nice sweet smell of alcohol vapours with a tough of vanilla. I used to stand behind the cars while they were idling and inhale the sweet fumes as far as I could expand my lungs. :)

    I think alcohol fuels that are derived from plant life would be real nice. Then for short trips around town, a plug-in electric car would be really cool. :)
     
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #16
    "I think alcohol fuels that are derived from plant life would be real nice."

    True. One eensy-teensy problem: In the U.S., corn is the primary plant. Of the energy to be derived from the alcohol, 70% as much is needed to make it. Brazil uses sugar cane; 10% energy input. But sugar cane requires some 48" of rain per year. Four acre-feet per acre.

    The expansion in acreage for corn is reducing wildlife habitat. In the more western portions of the growing zone, this expansion is increasing the use of groundwater for irrigation.

    "Gasahol" for corn at $2/bushel is nicely profitable. But, corn is up to $4/bu, and the profit is some $0.04 per gallon of alcohol--which is not adequately remunerative. And the price of corn-based food, tortillas, in Mexico has tripled. This protein staple of poor peoples' diets is being replaced by starchy "affordables".

    Hops growers in Germany aren't growing hops; they're catering to alcohol. The price of beer is going to rise from some $4/pint in restaurants/bars.

    Environment: Everything is tied to everything else. Economy: Everything is tied to everything else.

    Environment is tied to Economy.

    'Rat
     
  17. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #17
    Wow, glad that you weren't my macro or micro teacher in econ back when I was at Yale! :rolleyes: :eek:
     
  18. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #18
    Biodiesal, ethanol, and other biomass schemes will be an important energy niche in the post-petroleum era, but not much more than that. IF there are positive ERoEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) mechanisms for processing biofuels, they will probably be used where they are most needed AND where they are grown and made: for agriculture.

    However, I don't recommend that ANY food crops go into biofuels. We are facing an enormous contest between food or fuel. There simply isn't enough land.

    From the Australian Medical Association submission regarding peak oil.

    However, now the good news.

    Eprida have come up with a way to turn agricultural WASTE into fuel that apart from delivering fuel, could SOLVE GLOBAL WARMING. The waste is cooked up, fuels are extracted that can maybe run agriculture (although I have not seen any figures), and then the charcoal remains are returned to the soil. The charcoal represents a net carbon sink into the soil. But wait there's more. The charcoal makes a fungus grow, and this fungus absorbs and represents 5 times more CO2 into the soil than the charcoal! The charcoal fertilizes the soil, improves microbial life, and retains water.

    In short, Eprida fixes post-oil agriculture (a REAL concern) AND global warming. I'm surprised that Richard Branson hasn't awarded his 25 million dollars to Eprida yet.
    [​IMG]

    http://www.eprida.com/home/index.php4
     
  19. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #19
    I look forward to the day when I see asphalt parking lots and run down neighbourhoods dozed down to make way for plant life to make alcohol fuels.

    The idea that plants would be worth more money to developers than shopping centers. . . well, let's just say I'd be thrilled if that were to become reality. :)
     
  20. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #20
    "Wow, glad that you weren't my macro or micro teacher in econ back when I was at Yale!"

    Hope you didn't have to cope with a one-armed economist who couldn't say, "On the other hand..."

    Building a dam and reservoir on a river to supply industrial process water is an economic decision, right? Enables refineries and steel mills and all that, okay? $$$. Jobs. (Lake Livingston on the Trinity River provides process water to the industries along the Houston Ship Channel.)

    But the reservoir project reduces the sediment inflows to bays and estuaries, affecting marine life. Fewer nutrients; fewer marine critters. Environment.

    And fewer bay shrimp means less income to the shrimpers. Back to $$$.

    Environment is tied to Economy. You shoulda gone to Texas A&M.

    :), 'Rat
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    "The idea that plants would be worth more money to developers than shopping centers. . . well, let's just say I'd be thrilled if that were to become reality."

    No argument from me. But, again, a little problem: Some guy in Minneapolis doesn't pick up the paper and say, "Y'know, Martha, that ol' boy sure built a nice shopping center just outside of Dallas. Why don't we move there?"

    Developers are not actors; they're reactors. That is, first the demand for the goods and services of the shopping center; then comes the shopping center. Ask our Yalie economist. :)

    'Rat
     
  22. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #22
    Okay, that's switching around the cause and effect you know.

    The problem with economists is that they tend to think in short-term and only in dollar amounts.

    The quality of life needs to be figured out into the equation actually. Of course developers are mostly in the greed market but if they were thinking about the future of their children then they would know that sustainable land practices help to increase the value of the real estate in fact.
     
  23. eclipse thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #23
    Hey guys, guys, guys....

    what ever happened to Democracy in all this?
    What ever happened to Government and Voting and what the Citizens want?

    It's not just about the market. Sure if the Government opens an area of wilderness with roads, paves over it with suburbia, and finally allows the super-malls to be built there we will gradually pave over the entire planet.

    But I wish we thought more idealistically and less commercially. Sometimes some things are worth pursuing legally and politically because they are just right. What do the Citizens of the country that already love X wilderness just the way it is want? It's not always a question of just what would be good for the hypothetical future consumers of X wilderness, if only they were allowed to put their McMansions, McDonalds, and McLife there.

    Developing there in the first place is a government decision.
    Yep, terrible as it is, government actually has some sway in economic decisions. And that is where idealists such as myself are demanding that enough is enough... our existing cities are already too big, suffering from too much sprawl, and we need to rezone them, and gradually rebuild them, over the next generation while encouraging vital renewable energy and renewable materials in the local ecologies surrounding them.
     
  24. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #24
    Desertrat,

    Fill free to disagree with my green assertions all you want, but please use the quote function; it makes it way easier for people to know who's saying what. The Copy & Pasting and then throwing in some quote marks just isn't cutting it. :cool:
     

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