Post in 'The Green Room' started by sesmith, Oct 29, 2013.
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Problem with peak oil is the goal post's keep moving. Fracking has moved them big time already.
While logic tells me that natural resources are finite, and therefore there truly is a peak oil, it also tells me that "peak" oil also is a function of demand and how high a price consumers of oil are willing to pay. The easy, cheap oil is gone, and the available oil is constantly rising in the cost and difficulty of extraction and refining. My solution has been wood for heating, as best as I know wood production is sustainable, solar for electricity, and a high mpg car. But also, oil is used for almost everything in our lives, and cost of food and most products will rise based in part on how oil and energy intensive they are in producing them, bringing them to market and using them. Therefore, the solution also is minimizing use of stuff.
oil will always be here, good thing, many medicines use it.
once the prce rises enough something else will replace it's role as the primary energy source.
it is time to take the gov. medling in the markets and let the consumer decide what works best.
Most likely the answer lies in "all of the above" (oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, solar, hydro, wind, wood, trash)
the reason government wants one big supplier to replace oil, is so they can tax it to the hilt, like they tax YOU on oil now.
I agree that cheap, conventional oil has peaked, and that we are relying on less cheap unconventional oil. But in 10 years, we could decide to call the new stuff conventional, and also decide that it is cheap, through a combination of it actually getting cheaper and us using less to provide a given service (heat a home, drive 100 mi).
Its what happened 30 years ago.
The inflation adjusted oil price now is close to what it was in 1980, but per capita usage is way down, and per capita income is up, so its much less of a big deal than it was then.
In other news, price of oil now crashing because of O's little phone call.
I would like to agree with this, but I can't. That's not to say that necessarily gov. will make a better decision. The great bulk of consumers are incredibly selfish and greedy, look only to $$$ short-term, and don't much consider or plan for the future and what the world may be like. Witness retirement savings, consumers can't even plan long enough to handle their own lives, let alone that of their children, grandchildren, other living things, etc. Witness big agricultural and cheap food at a huge environmental degradation cost of erosion, pesticides, herbicides, etc. Witness fossil fuel energy use and the consequences that are now playing out world-wide. Many more examples.
Air and water are cleaner now in the US compared to China, for example. That is the result of gov intervention requiring expensive changes. Cars are much safer now, gov intervention. Sewers are much less filled with industrial wastes flowing into our lakes and rivers, gov intervention. Clothes don't catch on fire so readily, gov intervention. Children's care seats are safer ... the list is almost endless of positive outcomes from gov intervention. Could it be better? Yes.
What I can change is me and my family, and that we are doing and will continue to do. Perhaps our behavior will help others make positive changes, even when the short-term $$$ cost is high. I want to be able to give an answer of which I will be proud when my grandchildren ask, "Grandpa, once you knew, what did you do?" If my answer is that I decided to get all I wanted for myself and I didn't leave the world a better place for them, then I have miserably failed.
I take the per capita numbers with a grain of salt. We import a lot of our manufactured goods. I do agree the numbers can go a lot lower.
Typing this on my cell is saving about 20 watts. 5 years ago almost impossible.
news this morning is about a ban on fracking.....oy.....cart before the horse IMO....how about the same states add a gasoline tax? Or we have a nat'l conversation about a carbon tax? Sometimes my enviro brudders seem so clueless.
manufacturing is about a 1/4 of C footprint, about the same as transportation, and heating and lighting commercial spaces.
It's time to stop thinking of oil as what comes out of a well or even sands. Oil today (or in the future) is just another storage medium for the energy produced by the sun - like wood. Oil can be manufactured by bacteria using (I assume) some of the same basic processes which make trees.
Conservation is a big big part of the answer - but, in the global sense, conservation is achieved by many means...usually NOT personal conduct (however great that may be!). If the tablet computer does the job, the consumer doesn't usually think about it using 1/10 the energy of the desktop.
In my youth I thought individual behavior was the key. Now I look to engineering. It's too big of a problem to fix by me homesteading....plus, if I homesteaded, it's likely I would not be able to get a good burrito nearby.
Exactly! I stopped trying to save the world by myself a long time ago. Thats for bill gates or warren buffet to even try. Most of the big things that need to be done will be done by the big bad gubment,or big companies(if theres a profit)
We wont solve the oil problem with a few well meaning folks buying electric cars.High prices will cause it to solve itself. Ever hear the phrase that "high oil prices is the fix for high oil prices"
While I think engineering is key to the solution, and personal conservation **to the point of discomfort** is not going to be for everyone (or even most people), folks can decide to downsize/urbanize/vegeterianize en masse as a cultural/generational process **without feeling deprived** and that can have a massive effect.
Any one of us reducing our usage doesn't 'save the world' but living well while doing so does set an example for others....
For example, I told some friends that my average monthly bill for all household energy (in my case all elec windpower) was less than my Comcast bill (heck, we get HBO), and they were frankly incredulous. Figured that had to be flatly impossible. And my house is both larger and more run down than theirs. Does that inspire them to do something different when their oil boiler dies? To call an energy audit outfit? Maybe. Maybe they will need to keep up with the green Joneses.
Friends keep asking me: "How long do I think the payback will be on my PV system"? As far as I'm concerned, it's already paying back. Since it went online in August, my total electric bill each month has been lower than the cost to refuel my 40mpg vehicle for the month (and I only refuel the car once a month!). If my electric bill has nestled itself in at under $50 per month for a 50+ year old, all electric house with a 12 year old central A/C running 10 months out of the year, imagine what you could do with a modern house, if you actually tried...
I never thought I could get by using less than 1,000kWh per month in an all electric house, until my wife and I really tried. We still use the electric dryer, we still shower in hot water, and run the dishes in the dishwasher. As we have replaced appliances over the last 15 years, we have "upgraded" to more efficient units at every step along the way. All baby steps, but steps in the right direction.
I look forward to actually "trying" with my next home, which will be built or renovated at roughly 46°N, a far cry from my present 26.8°N. I don't plan to winter in the building at 46°N, but that doesn't mean it has to be an inefficient building...
An electric car powered by a garage roof full of solar panels would be beyond cool. Add a hi -perf electric motorcycle to that mix just for fun. They got some super fast sharp lookin models on the market now.
Thats on my bucket list along with a cat stove and a masonry heater.
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