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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

oil economy lies 10


OIL ECONOMY LIES 10

Lie #8) The transition from oil to other energy sources will be rough but successful in the long run.  We got knowledge, yo!

When Europeans “discovered” Easter Island, a few sad and pathetic indigs were eking out a rough hand to mouth existence with denuded soil and small reed boats that leaked.  Their Polynesian forefathers would probably have been too embarrassed to claim them.  They were like the sad sacks in the Great Basin eating marsh fish, surrounded by hundreds of miles of wasteland, waiting for the next raid of cavalry from other regions to take away the only good looking gals.  On Easter Island, all the soil and wood had been used up, and without resources you don’t have much of an existence.  Without wood you can’t build boats to escape, or go fishing in better locations, or even to do much cooking with ( nor debris or ash to nourish the soil or keep the rains from washing the topsoil away ).  Now, it should be remembered that these guys were better at ocean navigation than the White Bread Boys over in Europe, using wicked skills rather than high tech ( no, they did NOT Own The Night with night vision ) and found the island in the first place.  They were not exactly ignorant peasants.  Yet, for lack of resources, their civilization crashed and burned.

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And if you have looked around any corporate boardroom, college campus, Army headquarters or New York City textbook publisher, you know that there are very few skilled or intelligent folks populating this country ( at least, the ones running the place ).  So, that just leaves resources to keep things going ( since they don’t utilize what there is intelligently ).  What happens when they run out?  How do a bunch of ignoramuses figure out how to replace all the used up resources?  Once the last tree has been used up, who can build a life raft or a bug-out boat?  All the unicorn fart promises to replace oil have turned out to be duds, from hydrogen to ethanol to bio-diesel to nuclear fission ( light water reactors were chosen for their military usefulness and the civilian energy sector followed suite for good or ill, wasting most of the fuel compared to breeder reactors.  Which, even if viable, now probably won’t be built for economic constraints as well as the remaining fuel issue ) to wind and solar.  Nothing scales up past barely single digits equivalent delivered BTU, not even mentioning the need to use oil in the first place to build its replacement.  Oil is the oceanic voyage massive tree hollowed boat, all replacements nothing more than the near-shore only leaking reed rafts.

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Polynesia society survived and endured in a demanding environment.  Overpopulation led to dispersing which needed primitive long distance navigation.  Yet in the long term not all the island settlements had enough resources to individually survive.  So our society prospered with ample resources, but we never learned the skills needed to alleviate shortages.  All our resources went into consuming more oil.  Now our society flounders  on its supply contraction.  We don’t know how to thrive or even survive without surplus.  All our skills are of a consuming housewife, not a provider.  We consumed ever more oil trying to find a replacement for oil, and there is none.  Game over, yo.

END

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22 comments:

  1. Alternative energy sources are completely doable and mostly affordable (with some basic lifestyle alterations making it affordable) on an individual basis, ie., you provide yours and I'll provide mine, etc.

    Where it becomes impossible is when it jacks way up to citywide levels and the incessant free riders, you know, where everybody pitches in except for those that cannot for all the usual reasons whom ride for free, but not really because somebody(s) else is absorbing their costs which always end up exorbitant.

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    1. I'd amend to say it isn't scalable up to a commercial level.

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  2. I'm assuming that you have read "Collapse" by Jared Diamond? If not, I highly recommend it. It's non fiction and gives the reasons why civilizations choose to fail.

    On the fiction side, I am currently reading "Dark Roads" by Wayne Lemmons and am thoroughly enjoying it.

    Idaho Homesteader

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    1. Read Collapse twice. The subtitle is a bit misleading as the only real true success was with Japan and the price for that unusual degree of social unity is a hit to individualism. Nor do they have a history of complete eco-destruction like the west does.

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  3. There is a LOT of room for efficiency improvements in every aspect of our economy and society. This is what all the anti-doomers state, and they aren't _wrong_. Of course, the very inefficiency we have is part of the economic engine itself - if you use the heat of the engine to make the lubricant fluid enough to flow and keep things moving making the engine produce less heat will cause a cascade of other failures....
    Their are plenty of chances for other lifeboats still, they just wont be the giant dug out canoes our predecessors could have used. Catamarans were designed out of necessity after all, not for fun. Likewise we have so much surpluses now that our body of economy must simultaneously produce and utilize waste - but it need not do either with efficiency, even as it dies- the recycling trucks will waste their last few gallons of a cities fuel to pick up the loads of paper waste that will never get recycled into new paper waste.

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    1. We could start the efficiency improvements by killing all the idiots in charge, but, yes, then there would be no economy ( yes, we have no economy today ).

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    2. more idiots would rise to the top, like the scum many of them are.
      had a genius friend who worked for a major bank.
      after hearing what idiocies those ranking well above him perpetrated, i was convinced, more than ever, that nothing would work if God Himself were not ultimately at the helm.
      it boggles the mind what those at the banking helm, supposedly the most intelligent among us, do every day that should cause major shutdowns.
      it cannot keep going forever, just as a floating on air elephant would eventually have to obey the law of gravity, but it will float for as long as the idiots can keep enough hot air blowing to buoy it up.
      what cannot last, won't last.
      very worrying.

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    3. No, don't worry. As soon as you accept that This Suckers Going Down, as soon as you KNOW, rather than just THINK BUT HOPE NOT, life becomes simpler.

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    4. "No, don't worry. As soon as you accept that This Suckers Going Down, as soon as you KNOW, rather than just THINK BUT HOPE NOT, life becomes simpler."

      Very true. The indecisive stage is the most stressful. Once you accept the reality for what it is, you can prepare as best you can. Then all that's left is to watch the show.

      Idaho Homesteader

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  4. “And if you have looked around any corporate boardroom, college campus, Army headquarters or New York City textbook publisher, you know that there are very few skilled or intelligent folks populating this country ( at least, the ones running the place )”

    You probably could have just cut this sentence off after the word country James, and it would have been more accurate. I read something interesting at another site that stated that most tasks in the workforce today are designed so that the average person can perform them. Sure, some might need some specialized training, and perhaps even college, but they are still within the abilities of the average person. That's really the only way that a dumbed down and affirmative action workforce can survive. Many semi-competent people can generally put their heads together, and accomplish the end goal in this manner. Of course, H-1B Visa's have generally already solved that problem, but that's another story.


    With regards to alternative energy, the communist that I used to work with was always quick to mention that technology, and in particular “solar could save us”.

    I would pose the question: “Where would we put all of these solar panels?” “What about the batteries to store the power?” “And all those inverters?” “What all of the petroleum required to manufacture all of it?”


    I never got a satisfactory answer. These people of course are viewing this from a completely different angle of course, and that's that “man made climate change” is our biggest threat, not a totally collapsing economy or infrastructure. In either event, the solar solution sounds like pretty much a non-solution to me, as far as replacing the grid. I don't think that they have any idea what life would be like if they had to live like the Amish, which is what they're basically advocating whether they realise it or not? Something tells me that the average leftist would scream bloody murder if they could no longer fly places, or drive cross country to the nearest protest rally, etc. Yeah, have fun taking that cross country trip in a horse drawn cart, or that trip to Europe in a sailboat, Billy Bolshevik and Mary Marxist, lol!

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    1. Environmentalists are too in touch with their feminine side and incapable of replacing emotions with reason.

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    2. I can answer the questions. The answers, though, do NOT work to satisfy our current industrial economy.

      “Where would we put all of these solar panels?”
      The Roofs of every building with a south, west or east, facing slope would more than satisfy current and near future energy demands of even the USA.

      “What about the batteries to store the power?”
      Nickle Iron batteries have a much better lifespan than current lead acid ones, but neither are necessary if you choose to use other storage mediums such as pumped water, compressed air, etc - those aren't quite as efficient but can come close and are much more affordable and potentially less resource intensive.

      “And all those inverters?”
      Why invert? Run things on 12 or 24 volt DC as much as possible, and if you need to use legacy devices get inverters for those specific devices only.

      “What all of the petroleum required to manufacture all of it?” There is enough petroleum to make it IF we make that the petroleum's priority usage (i.e. something like tax free petroleum usage ONLY for that purpose, and extra taxes on all other petroleum usage) AND make drastic energy efficiency cuts across the board in all economic sectors...

      There is no political will to implement my answers to your questions on a broad scale, and after implementation most industry will be limping along, unable to be as profitable or provide as many widgets as prior to such a transformation - aka an eternal economic recession.

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    3. No will from our masters to ceded control or profit. Hump everyone else, just do the above for you and yours, then try to be one of the ones that gets through the bottleneck to the other side. If the only ones to survive are smart, like ya'all, and pretty, like me, the gene pool will have been cleansed.

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    4. “I can answer the questions. The answers, though, do NOT work to satisfy our current industrial economy.”

      “The Roofs of every building with a south, west or east, facing slope would more than satisfy current and near future energy demands of even the USA.”

      12:48 here. You make some great points JJ, and I appreciate your response. I had already assumed solar panels on most roofs of most houses in the U.S. I was thinking beyond this a little, and thinking that even in that scenario, would the average U.S. house still be able to heat and cool itself in areas of extremes? I'm thinking no? What about cooking appliances? I would think that a 220v electric stove would be a no no? Gas stoves? At this point I was thinking that we would have to fill the deserts full of eye sore panels, much like they did at the Altamont pass in CA with the windmills, along with the millions of batteries required to store the juice. Now I agree fully that this plan would have worked much better had cities been planned differently (all neighbourhoods would have had Earth sheltered homes from day one) but of course, as James has pointed out many times, our dwellings are nothing more than poorly insulated sheet rock junk homes.

      “Nickle Iron batteries have a much better lifespan than current lead acid ones, but neither are necessary if you choose to use other storage mediums such as pumped water, compressed air, etc - those aren't quite as efficient but can come close and are much more affordable and potentially less resource intensive.”

      Would we have the resources necessary for the multitude of iron nickel batteries required? What about the pumps and compressors that you mentioned? What would it take to transform our entire infrastructure over to these systems, and are the resources readily available, and can it be done in a reasonable amount of time, even assuming that the political will was present?

      “Why invert? Run things on 12 or 24 volt DC as much as possible, and if you need to use legacy devices get inverters for those specific devices only.”

      Good point JJ, but I was thinking more in terms of the continued use of the multitude of AC appliances already out there. Yes, we can convert them all over, but that's just another added nightmare to this whole mess.

      Anyways, I tried to keep this short, but these were the same exact topics that would always come up when I would discuss this with my former co-worker. Perhaps I've been following James too long and can only pick out the doom and gloom with each and every scenario (No offense James, it's not an insult) but I would always end up with more questions for every answer received from him.

      Yes, you and I know that we can make this plan work with our Earth sheltered abodes, with low power requirements, on our remote junk lands. But I'm afraid that the average American is going to be SOL. And unfortunately, their problems will most likely spill over to those that planned accordingly.













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    5. No offense taken. In fact, I couldn't be prouder.

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    6. Yep, no offense taken at all, it CAN be done but it WILL NOT be done, because people would have to A) change how they do things. and B) do without things they take for granted today (such as all the AC powered devices you mention). Threaten to take away the housewives electric clothes dryers and watch the revolution it causes unfold overnight. If slow collapse proponents were 100% right we might be able to make the adjustments over generations.
      But thanks to the crossing curves of increased population, increased expectations, and reduced resources we will be hitting the hard stop to everything faster than any best case scenario allows for.

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  5. Energy Independence? What a joke, yet all of the Presidential candidates since I believe Carter talk about it. I wish they would get a clue.

    As for the light water reactors having a military application are you referring to the naval propulsion or weapons? If weapons, the first ones were graphite moderated and later, the ones I worked in, were heavy water moderated.

    On a lighter note I hear Unicorn farts are nearly 100% Hydrogen and the food inputs yield a 90% conversion rate. Only problem is they are hard to find. As a bonus the poop is rainbow colored ice cream. The Squatty Potty commercial proves that.

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    1. Propulsion, not weapons. The Squatty Potty commercial is hilarious.

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    2. light water reactors to make the plutonium. Plutonium fuels space electricity generators where there is no sun, and bombs.

      Falling water hydroelectric and domestic coal have good EROI at city/region scale over decades.

      Solar pv wins in very-remote or hostile places where the alternative is an oil-fueled genset that runs all the time, esp. when trickle-charging a battery, but may not scale above powering a few tents (2Kw of panels). You still need the genset for real loads (motors, compressors, welders, hvac, etc), but the added complexity of pv+batteries will save bunches of fuel/engine-hours/noise. Look at at-sea power/fuel economy of sailboats to charge batteries for example of "compared to what" performance.

      NG is the last gasp of conventional hydrocarbons in uSA. Enjoy.

      Energy independence means doing without. When we can and will do without voluntarily to avoid war or becoming slaves, we won't have to. Don't hold breath.

      pdxr13

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    3. I wasted some good part of my youth holding my breath waiting for sanity to return. I think I did permanent brain damage.

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    4. Anonymous. The space fuels came out of our heavy water reactors. PU238. This was a byproduct of weapons grade PU239/Tritium production.

      Check this out.

      http://www.srs.gov/general/news/factsheets/235_f.pdf

      The space fuels program has pretty much been scrapped though. There is an article dated March 7th 2016 on the cleanup of the building. Problem is, we need space fuels for future missions. Why have they stopped? No more missions? NASA is concerned about how much is left to use. Maybe they wont need it anymore when the alien technology we have been sitting on is released:)

      They use the heat of decay and Seebeck effect (Thermocouples) devices to generate electricity. You can buy and build generators that use heat and cold to generate electricity. Works on the difference or what is called the Delta of temperatures.

      Here is picture of Voyager.

      http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/images/features/features3.jpg

      Look on the bottom left of the photo. That is the PU238 generator.

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    5. Can Yuppie Survivalists buy their own PU238 generator? It would be even cooler than Ol'Remus' locomotive engine gennie.

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