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Friday, August 19, 2016

EROI economy 2 of 2


EROI ECONOMY 2
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note: if you have KU, try "Dustfall" by Thorn & James.  I normally hate Centuries After The Fall fiction but this one was very well done.  Also, if you have Netflix, they have "Deliverance"  I always thought of it as a Semi-Survival Lite movie.  Most of us love to quote the dueling banjos scene and the "you've got a mighty purty mouth, boy", but I also always enjoyed the Burt's character talking about civilization ending.  WARNING!!!!! Beware, no semi-automatics are in the movie!!!!  I'm not sure how anyone ever ending up getting shot without them.
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The Roman Empire grew from a Podunk city by means of military conquest and had both slavery and new farmland as its base for energy growth ( it also had other unique advantages such as already formed concrete-just add water-from its volcanic activity nearby ).  The end of the expansion of that energy and then its contraction economically and militarily was directly tied to its energy supply.  But here is the thing.  It grew slowly and then contracted slowly because that is what its energy did.  There is no rule that says an empire must last 200 to 500 years.  The only rule is that it must follow its energy path.  The US grew into an empire in about thirty or forty years.  You can claim it started at the War Between The States and lasted until Vietnam, roughly a hundred years, but I’d take exception to that definition.  Sure, we had coal just like Britain, but we didn’t build an empire with it. 

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If coal had been the apex of energy supplies, we most likely would have followed in the British Empires shoes, taking centuries and many wars to gain supremacy through superior energy surplus.  Hell, France started building an empire just off of a food surplus.  We could have done that.  But really all we did with our coal was to overthrow the independent States in a coup by the Yankee Blue Bloods, then conquer a mostly empty desert ( it took awhile because the American business model of capitalism has always been to get the government to spend most of the money.  When corporations are that tight fisted, these things take time ) and then steal all the colonies Spain had seized after she was so weak we got them almost for free.  Then the elites preceded to keep getting rich and losing it in financial bubbles, once again ignoring the need to keep investing in empire ( it truly is amazing how cheap our Elite is.  Most likely the reason for the rumors they are all Jews ).

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It was only with oil that we could spare a surplus to keep a proper empire expanding.  And I’m serious here, and it is an important point.  Our elite HATE spending any profits.  Period.  It is pathological.  From butchering conscripts on the battlefields with Britain to acquire western lands for a few pennies an acre, to killing off half the slaves on a ship because it cost money to care for them, to strip mining the soil in our then farm belt to get the maximum tobacco profits, to giving tens of thousands of soldiers cancer to gain an extra percentage of profit off of government sales ( as well as outright killing them on the battlefield for a profit-HELLO! I‘m talking to you, you vicious twats at Colt ), to ruining a hundred year old companies reputation for a one time quarterly profit, American companies are psychopathic scumbags, one and all ( Wal-Mart didn’t invent the practices ).

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So whenever you think of ANYTHING the Elites could do to save us or cushion our collapse or postpone the end, ask yourself if it is going to cost any money.  If it is, it will not happen.  And one thing they certainly have not done is to transition to less energy usage.  They are still using the infrastructure from a hundred years ago.  The stuff built by the government and turned over to corporations to profit off of ( just because there is a low cost to the consumer doesn’t mean anything-after all, they get the inputs for free.  The city of Las Vegas and the Hoover dam.  The aircraft companies building war planes with aluminum smelted by power from the northwest dams.  The businesses in L.A. that wouldn’t have customers without public water works.  Everyone profiting off of selling land next to the Interstate, or doing business there.  Internet companies standing on the shoulders of Cold War government grants.  I could go on for pages ).  Corporations and businesses are all about using free crap ( much more so than ghetto or trailer park dwellers ) for profit. 

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Of course, all of that is just details.  The far more important consideration is that it ISN’T about money.  It is about resources.  If it was just about money the government would spend whatever it took to rebuild our entire infrastructure, from city sewers to bridges to power grids.  Then give it all away again.  All those studies claiming a complete upgrade nationally “only” costing ten trillion?  The globes central banks got double that from us in 2008.  So we could easily fix all that if we wanted to.  But there isn’t enough steel or copper or concrete or energy in the world to do so ( China used recycled material and then really build crap NOT to last quality to surmount this issue ).  Which is exactly the same reason WWII can never be fought again.  Before, we had the oil and the ore to build THOUSANDS of ships.  Today, we barely hang on to a smidge over two hundred.  It takes resources, and money is just surplus energy.  If you don’t have either, you don’t have public work projects.

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100 to 1 EROI allowed us to build FROM SCRATCH, an entire contenant full of a Industrial Economy.  It allowed us to build thousands of ships and tens of thousands of planes, all on our own oil supply.  At 30 to 1, it all started to fall apart.  That was barely enough to keep our infrastructure from imploding.  Today we aren’t even seeing 20 to 1, and that is including all the overseas oil we import-more than half our daily use.  When that half was Saudi sweet crude, we held on to our EROI.  When Canada’s tar sands replaced the Saudi oil ( it is no longer in our price range as off shore drilling has been replacing inland production ), our EROI took a big hit.  Every time some bright bulb declares energy independence from low EROI energy, he neglects to mention that the more Fake Oil you add to the total, the less Kilocalories you are delivering for use.  Just as it takes twice the low energy content coal to replace the better, more expensive, rarer high grade, so too does it take far more oil of low energy yield ( which happens when it takes more energy to extract, process and ship that energy source, not to mention the BTU’s it delivers ) being burned to replace the old better grade fuel.  We were running a manufacturing economy on 10 million barrels of oil a day, and now we can’t keep our infrastructure from falling apart on twice that.  It is because we are getting, net, far less energy now than we were.  All that fracking oil that delivers 5 to 1 EROI is diluting the 20 to 1 conventional oil and delivering AT MOST three quarters of the net energy we had fifty years ago.  With far less population.

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Just running out of oil isn’t the boogyman we feared.  Now we are NOT running out of oil but running out of BTU’s ( until the economy collapses more causing more drillers and other oil companies to bankrupt and THEN we will run out of oil-still in the ground but uneconomical to extract-AND out of BTU’s ).  So even with all the oil we are consuming, everything is failing anyway.  And it has all failed-everything from medical care to government to schooling to job creation-ultimately all from a lack of energy.  Which is why it will continue to fail, and do so even more spectacularly.  See how easy this forecasting stuff is?

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22 comments:

  1. EROEI.
    The beginning and the end.
    The EROEI is in decline. No question. Fusion could possibly save us - but it keeps moving a decade away like a mirage in a desert as you are dying of thirst.

    And add in extreme and supremely shortsighted profit motive for the people in charge and you get a worst case scenario for a civilization as a whole.
    Always before there were other distant civilizations and fringe districts of an imperial civilization, that were so remote from the core that the rot and implosion of the core caused barely a ripple in the daily lives of those places. But our civilization communicates globally, instantly, and every nation is tied to every other in matters of finance, trade, and energy.
    When the core implodes this time, no place will be unscathed. In fact - since being too distant to be effect is no longer an option, maybe being close enough to be in a 'shadow effect' of the implosion is the best any of us can hope for...

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    1. This will definitely be one for the history books. If any paper is left after the overpopulated areas use all the trees for TP.

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  2. Peak Oil has had a nice long run-up. It took 140 years to go from Titus PA ground seepage to selling Getty Oil to Exxon. I was born 2 years before the glorious peak, during Peak Muscle Cars and Peak Freeways, right before the 1969 COPO 427 Camaro release. It won't take 140 years to be reduced to less-than-breakeven crude (when calculating ALL of the real inputs of labor/material/energy to get from drill-site to useful refinery feedstock. I predict that every kind of non-petroleum input will begin getting added to the searching for and moving of crude and fuel-products, especially substitute fuels that can make rotary-motion using OldTech, like a Stanley Steamer car. At some point (soon!) long carbon molecules in petroleum will be too valuable in materials tech to merely burn as Diesel fuel. Gasoline? Psssha...you need shoe soles, bike tires, and Kevlar gloves, not some temporary debt-mobile 2-ton air conditioned couch for a triple-chinned pre-diabetic cottage-cheese ass.

    Nice hair. Betcha don't use synthetic extensions.

    I've upgraded to 2 excellent 1980's Japanese-made steel-framed no-suspension bicycles featuring the most-standard 26" wheel. Racks and pannier bags move all my groceries and anything up to about 80# per trip. Both automobiles run-able and parked since 2012 (nice storage units and alfalfa sprouting dashboards!). The State is beginning to whine about lack of fuel tax income to maintain roads due to Nissan Leaf_deadly-silent!_/GovMotorsVolt/SwarmingPriuses. Whaaaa! I don't need more than a 12" wide path for a bike or single-track cart to get to market; walking paths make themselves (requiring no warlord or taxes to fund "post-apocalyptic road maint. dept.").

    pdxr13

    The State of Oregon is attempting to "backdoor" pass a sales tax- Measure 97. F- no! for the 14th time. We have unbelievable income tax and insane property taxes already. How about cancelling PERS by lump-sum from current assets to all contributors?

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    1. Wait for the next 2008. Locals and state level govts will be releasing prisoners, foregoing asphalt, all the rest repeated. Then you will get your sales tax even if they just rubber stamp it and don't ask your opinion.

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    2. Yes, the State will target the most essential services it provides ("justice", checks to keep the poor from looting, Public Schrool indoctrination/babysitting centers) for 100% cuts but fully-fund police/security to keep people away from the parks. No financially-important or security-important programs will be bothered.

      The beatings will continue until morale improves.

      pdxr13

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    3. You guys don't have any famous golf courses do you? You'll be paying for Obammy's vacation/visit.

      Delete
  3. “Also, if you have Netflix, they have "Deliverance"  I always thought of it as a Semi-Survival Lite movie.  Most of us love to quote the dueling banjos scene and the "you've got a mighty purty mouth, boy", but I also always enjoyed the Burt's character talking about civilization ending.  WARNING!!!!! Beware, no semi-automatics are in the movie!!!!”


    Also take note of the primary weapon used in the movie, the lowly and old style recurve bow. No wheels, cables, or other high tech components to fail; simplicity at its finest, and the answer to all of ones ails, from faggot hillbillies to game procurement needs.

    Get one now, learn how to make one now (stick to the longbow as opposed to the recurve for ease of home manufacturing) and learn how to make all of its accessories now. For 8 years from now it might be all that you can legally possess, and I'm only semi-joking. (no pun intended on the semi, but those will be the first to be legislated into firearms history. For as sure as every good little lock step liberal fascist will ponder the question, “why would anyone ever need to own one of those?” Queen hitlery will abide ).

    This will get you started if you're on a budget, $90. (Probably a good item for you to link as well James).

    https://www.amazon.com/Spectre-Compact-Take-down-Survival-Arrow/dp/B003O98OJI

    If you can afford to spend more, take a look at the one below, $200.

    https://www.goprimalnow.com/Compact_Folding_Survival_Bow_p/cfsb-1-50.htm

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    1. In "Deliverence" there is some mention between the characters of going to archery contests, so there is the background of them practicing more than the usual hobbyist.

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    2. Didn't recall the mention of the archery contests James, but it's been a few years since I've seen it. But yes, there's definitely a learning curve in archery. It took me several weeks just to be able to hit an 18” x 36” target with any consistency. Still, I hesitate to recommend a crossbow, because it would be far more difficult to reproduce one in a primitive situation. As we all know, a bow can be produced from entirely natural resources. But if you are handy with tools, then I would say that it would be a valuable skill to learn how to produce homemade crossbows. Tons of videos on youtube on this topic, and I recall that The Backyard Bowyer, Nicholas Tomihama (you wish listed his book, and I think eventually bought it on my recommendation) made a nice crossbow using PVC as the prod (Bow part of the crossbow).

      On the other hand, you could pick up Nicholas's book (I'm not him or affiliated with him in any way) learn how to make the PVC or red oak longbows, stock plenty of pieces of PVC pipe or red oak boards (both cheap), a spool of dacron, and dowels for arrow making, and have enough supplies to produce bows for many generations into the collapse.


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    3. You always are referring to shooting a bow taking so much practice. Actually it doesn't take all that long to become proficient with one. Not only that but is darn good upper body exercise. Excellent entertainment also. Even shorter time to become expert with a compound bow.
      So far as durability, really the only thing which wears out are strings. These can be hand made for very low cost, especially if the materials are bought in bulk. Same with arrows.
      Sure it can be an expensive game if you want it to be. Not necessary if one buys second hand.
      Just keep in mind, if it was cheap crap when new. It will be junk by the time Mr. Redneck gets done with it.
      With compounds, just make sure that it was manufactured after 2000. Pretty much all brands will last for a lifetime if taken care of made after that date. Except for strings !
      Just never EVER, dry fire any bow ! They will literally blow up and can explode the limbs.
      There are exceptions to this rule, but few bows can handle being dry fired.
      That's why I shoot only Hoyt bows...

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    4. Well, granted, my experiences with the bow were pre-pubescent so there was no coordination or strength, but all my military history reading concurs.

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    5. 412: I have all the Backyard Bowyers books now, except the dowel arrow one. Should I get that one too? I was on a mission and got a lot of archery books to fill the primitive hole in weapons. The line in the movie was a Throw-Away One Liner I believe.

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    6. “412: I have all the Backyard Bowyers books now, except the dowel arrow one. Should I get that one too?”


      On p. 165 of the Backyard Bowyer James, he includes a chapter on making the cane plant stake or bamboo arrows, as well as the dowel shaft arrows. I forgot all about the The Dowel Arrow Handbook that he put out, and I do not have that one, so I can't say how much more information that it offers on arrow making over what's included in the Backyard Bowyer. It's probably worth having as an extra resource, but the Backyard Bowyer covers the basics, so you should be okay. It also had a section on making your own strings, so it's a pretty complete guide as is.

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    7. Excellent-thank you. I got the books but have yet to read them.

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  4. Jim while eroi is falling on all modern sources I think in the future we will see oil cease to be a mobility energy source. It is irreplaceable in chemicals and manufacturing and worth more than transportation use could pay. We will return to indentured and slave (we will call it something else of course) labor. In a 100 years we will be back to wood and Oil crops . Before trains went to coal, coal oil was sprayed in to the wood fireboxes for increased btu's. Diesel's original design was for a farm to raise oil crops on a few acre's and use the canola oil in his engine. Big oil forced manufactures to produce engines as petroleum burners securing their profit's.
    While I may be more right than wrong it all still point to collapse and die off. Then to SLAVERY of every color. As A.G. Gadsden said if I had to choose between being white or rich' I'll take rich.

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    1. I didn't know that on the history of coal oil and diesel-thanks!

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    2. Slavery already exists - it is called the private prison industries.
      A lot of basic 'made in USA' stuff is made in prisons where the prisoners cost not much more or less than 3rd world children to do the same thing.
      Community service was the wedge that made slavery acceptable punishment, it has only gotten worse since then.
      Remember the cops and 'just-us' system is your enemy - and a Goliath you can't hope to fight, only avoid and outsmart.

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    3. And the fact that community service was over petty victimless crime made it all that much worse.

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    4. Well, usually.
      The drunk that ran into the wall of the local community theatre here was made to not only pay for the repairs, but to work on the repairs and for the theater as well (it is a non profit community supported organization).
      That seems fair enough.
      Having to pick up trash after committing a littering offense isn't too bad. But having to make products that are sold at a profit for private enterprise is where the problem really rears its ugly head. Private for profit prisons holding prisoners and the only 'rehabilitation' that the prisoners are offered is to work for a private company making product xyz (or working in a call center) at $0.05/hour that the company then sells for major profits? Clearly slavery of a sort, especially considering the prisoners can only spend the money with the private prison...
      Something like this is going to scoop up more and more of us as time goes on.
      "the only power government has is over criminals, thus the government strives to make everyone a criminal. That's why the laws are the way they are."

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    5. The only good news is that, while private prisons are private enterprise, they still rely on the government for funding. They are easily de-funded as the public prisons. And everyone will soon be defunded.

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    6. Defunding just means they will have to become self supporting. The private prisons already have contracts with some states _guaranteeing_ X number of prisoners given to them per year.
      Think about that.
      A guaranteed number of prisoners.
      A guaranteed market for the prison commissary.
      A guaranteed labor pool that cant leave and can be punished in a variety of otherwise illegal ways for not obeying/performing correctly.
      Prisons and prison towns will make for some of the hardest fortresses post collapse - an already existing armed force of enforcers, and existing pool of slaves already somewhat broke to the bit and possibly usable as cannon fodder, secure infrastructure, some prisons are producing their own food, and prisoners are now used to really poor food.
      The places they are located do tend to be low on food and the guards are more inward than outward facing but still...

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    7. If the prison laborers must compete with third world labor, you can't get self supporting prisons. Unless they do organ sales, once taxpayer money dries up, so does the corporate profits.

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