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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

new math attitude 1 of 3


NEW MATH ATTITUDE

I imagine you are weary of hearing about energy, oil, Peak Oil, Net Energy and all the rest, but you are the ones that signed up for the difficult course work here at Bison University.  If you wanted community college, go to Rawles.  If you wanted an elementary school, go to The Economic Collapse Blog.  I am SOOOOO sorry that empires run on surplus energy and we are almost out of not only the surplus but most energy period.  What, you sputter and spit and vomit blood, America has the Fracking Miracle of 100 years of energy independence.

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( Glen Beck said so!  By the way, if you want a correspondence course through the radio, on par with that creepy Neo-Nazi guy who sends Xerox newsletters proving the earth is flat and Mud People are involved in a conspiracy to eradicate the Whites [ who were innocent of the America’s continents genocide since that was the Spanish and everyone knows they aren’t REALLY white but more of a mongrel mix after being invaded by Mohammedans ] then by all means listen to Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh.  After Glen got religion and became a Frack Fag he downgraded food storage to a mere Rich Persons Benevolent Food Welfare For Flood Victims so as one, not to lose any advertisers who started with him when he was Chicken Little and two, to join the 10%’ers of the elite’s cheerleaders.  Just as Rush did decades ago.  Once Democrats are purged we immediately revert back to Beaver Cleaver Land.  Just ask him and he’ll tell you.  How does that make him a Systems Handler/Propagandist?  It doesn‘t matter which Party you cheer for, as long as you endorse the current one.  Keep pretending The Vote matters.  You‘ll get some ad dollars as long as you pull in the listeners ).

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I do apologize for being a bit slow on the uptake.  I’ve been studying systems collapse since pre-Y2K and Peak Oil right after that non-event.  I really should have caught on earlier.  Alas, I didn’t.  It wasn’t at all about running out of oil.  That was what I fixated on and that is what colored by meek analytical efforts.  When you concentrate on volume, you miss so many subtleties you can’t but help draw the wrong conclusions.  Volume doesn’t mean dingus.  It is all about Net Energy, or EROI.  Once you accept that, it is easy to see why the ’60’s social disruptions took place and why a mere 5% decrease in total oil withheld from exportation from OPEC crashed our economy. 

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I was always confused as to what caused the ’60’s riots and revolutions and upheavals.  It wasn’t JUST the Vietnam War.  Why would kids go to Korea but refuse to go to Vietnam?  Neither was a just or necessary war.  Both were sacrificing poor children at the alter of Military/Industrial Complex profits.  Nixon had not yet screwed up the general publics trust in the government.  But I think if you look at the 1971 US Peak of Oil and see a huge lose of EROI as compared to the 1920’s/1930’s, you can catch a glimpse of the rot in our society long before that date.  We had been losing net energy the whole time.  Even as the number of barrels pumped increased, we got ever less BTU’s delivered total.  If we had pumped 5 million barrels a day ( mbpd ) at 100 to 1 net, that surely beats today’s 20 mbpd at a max of 10 or 15 to 1 ( a bit of light sweet crude jacking up the net energy a bit on all that tar sands and deep sea oil and fracking and ethanol which is at most 5 to 1 net )( 100 to 1= one hundred barrels delivered at the cost of one barrel of oil to pump/extract/process ).

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Oil is no different than grades of coal.  We’ve been out of the good stuff-high BTU’s-for decades.  Moved down to the next lower BTU grade, used most of THAT up and are now down to the crap stuff, mostly pollution with a lot less energy delivered upon burning.  We are mining more coal than ever before!  We must be Energy Independent!  Right, Spanky!  And if I gave you one glass of pure water a day, would it be an improvement if I doubled that to two glasses a day if the second glass had sewage in it?  But just Parts Per Million!  No big deal, right?

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So, here we are in an economy that ran on Unlimited Energy Every Day.  The rich get that way by taking most of those free resources ( or Near Free, anyway ).  The government gets to continue Empire Building, which gives the rich more free stuff , by taxing the lower and middle class.  It is a neat system.  Until the free stuff starts costing more.  And that is exactly what lower net energy is, LESS free energy.  Our system needs constant growth.  More rich kids are born and must stay rich.  Growth is what keeps more riches directed at the already rich and their offspring, plus the systematic cost of keeping that wealth plus more coming in ( the 10% that are the Keepers Of Their Masters Wealth who get most of the leftover crumbs by guarding the system.  They are the Flag Officers and Judges and Police Commissioners and Wardens and Pravda Media and Right Wing Political Radio Commentators etc. ).  If your energy surplus decreases, that is the same as a drop in wealth.  Stable energy is NOT what our system needs to function, INCREASED energy is.  If the net energy is decreasing, so is the wealth.  And not just the wealth but the energy needed to maintain the complete infrastructure of our country and society.

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Real wealth ( as defined by surplus energy ) has been on the decline not for fifty years, but much longer.  Perhaps as long as eighty years.  It only became noticeable in the 1970’s, when our net VOLUME oil decreased, but the NET energy had been declining prior to that.  So, yes, I have been guilty on focusing on the 45 year long decline when I should have been aware of the previous one in net energy.  It makes a big difference, because it considerably shrinks the time we have left for our entire systems survival.  If net energy wasn’t important, we would imagine we have until 2030 to 2050 before Peak Oil kicked our ass.  That assumes we could suck out the remaining half before it all went to crap.  But if our system is already at the point we are near a negative return on pumped hydrocarbons in terms of Net Energy ( which looks likely ), we are looking at Very Near Collapse.  Stick with me here, I haven’t even gotten to the social aspects of diminishing energy which is where this article is headed.  More Tomorrow.

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17 comments:

  1. National peak EROEI for coal and oil was about 1960-ish, for the lower 48. Alaska hit peak in about 2000 or there abouts for oil. Natural gas is just hitting peak now nationally. But the energy market is GLOBAL. That's why 1970s-90s OPEC was such a big deal.
    Total Oil EROEI peak was about 2005-2010 depending on who's stats come closest to the truth. Alternate sources including natural gas, coal to oil, tar sands, fracking, etc. have been complimenting and extending the total volumes produced ever since. But their EROEI is not sufficient to completely take over without a massive economic overhaul.
    Guess what? About 2008 the economy entered a 'recession' (so it needed less good EROEI fuels) and though the government and media has said that ended, what really ended was the steepness of the economic plunge. And now Fraking is going bust (though it is being papered over). Natural Gas and Coal have a few more years but the indicators (the companies choices of investments) are that there may not be a lot more good EROEI there either.
    The timing of the next economic contraction is up in the air, but it is definitely coming, and soon.
    how deep a contraction, and where it is felt first (probably the working poor) is also questionable. What isn't questionable is the POLITICAL effects of this next contraction are probably going to be worse than having to choose between a Trump and a Hillary....

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    1. The only good thing about politics now is that the faces are just filler. As in Rome in the end days, the figure head matters not.

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    2. I don't know industrialized murder I.E. the Nazi holocaust, can be a potentially huge die off drive where only the chosen and very lucky survive, and industrialized warfare like the US Civil war can kill off just as many, combine the two, add in a plague and resource contraction, and you may get a massive die off in a very short period of time. A die off that will be largely controlled by politicians at first (choosing the who the new scapegoats for the 'work camps' are going to be, choosing where the borders/dividing lines will be drawn in the civil war, etc.). So political figure heads should be listened to for just that reason. Hillary mk2 will want me in the work camps because of my gun clinging, Trump mk2 will want me there because of my skin color.
      And as we on your board are almost all some level of poor/working poor, we will be the easiest targets at first...

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    3. Well, my point is that the same policies are going to be implemented regardless of whose name in on the letterhead. Hilary's slogan is "who do I have to kill to get rich?" and Trump's is "who do I have to hump to get rich". Sure, "anyone but Hilary", but that didn't work out too well last time. And the vote is meaningless anyway as the selection has already been made.

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    4. Yeah, I am not saying we can steer the steamroller of politics, but we can pay attention enough to see which specific path it is on, and whether or not there is any chance its direction may turn toward us or ours.
      Imagine hearing that new German politician in the 1930s talking about how bad the Jews and Gypsies are - and having a great grandmother who was Jewish. So you move out of Germany to Austria, then hear that Austria is thinking of inviting in Germany. So you move to Poland. Then you here that Russia and Germany are in negotiations - and both have say they have some claim on Poland... if you had shut your ears anywhere along this route you would have been in the camps as a complete surprise to you. If you had paid attention you could have been relocating - maybe even changing your identity enough that by the time the Nazis roll into Poland, you are no longer identifiable as being of Jewish descendant...

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    5. I think, honestly, if we were REALLY paying attention to the direction of things that we would be living on a boat at sea, or hiding in a hole without communications, or something.

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    6. Boat at see or hermit in hills wont get the necessary heads-up when they become the target (and they likely will be some of the first targets as the rest of society will think they are too weird and have no ties to society...)

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    7. If you were paying attention, and fled, I would assume you stayed off others radar and could avoid notice.

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  2. Thank God! It was almost 4 days since you last yelled "The oil is falling, The oil is falling"! I was starting to worry.
    Yawn, Now if you will excuse me I have to go fill up my 454 Hemi SUV @ $2.00 a gal.

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    1. Pace yourself-you have two more articles in this series to mock resource depletion.

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    2. Nah, his filling up is a good thing. He is stocking up for the end times that his stocking up is bringing on. see how that works?
      Actual stats show that the Bakken is down 25% in production. So how is the fuel still so cheap? (answer, it ain't the petroleum forever fairy).

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    3. I thought Obammy was responsible for cheap fuel.:)

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    4. The old-tech will, after a while, be the only-tech.
      "Refineries" will be in the style of Syrian bootleg barrel-to-barrel distillation with burners underneath, giving a fuel that can run a 2-barrel carburetated Dodge Dart slant-six or an IDI Diesel Mercedes, but not a DFI Kia or a Direct Injected Cummins (for very long). Modern engines that are efficient and burn super-clean need very-excellent quality fuel, or they jam up internally. If you add extra de-watering and filtering, you might get longer, but not as long as the old smokers and rattlers will run. Remember when "A Chevy will run bad longer than most cars will run."? That's not true any more. Chevy's are smooth and finicky just like any car that can be sold in California. Military Deuce&a-Half multi-fuel trucks will always run, and will have fuel, because there is always going to be fuel for military vehicles. The ConUS still outputs ~5M barrels a day, which is enough to run a police State with trash currency. If you work for the State you get food and a place to live. If you are a Sgt.+ you get a fuel ration and access to stores that sell imported goods for gold or gold-backed trade-dollars that you aren't paid in but might get somehow. Go along to get along, with mouth wired shut, to keep the family secure.

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    5. R/T-S Durango with 6.9L "Wildcat" package?
      Like it was 1969 with lead in the fuel to grow hair on your chest.

      pdxr13

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    6. 5k a day enough to run a police state. Ties in with the "if they don't collapse quick your preps are for naught. Depressing.
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      I got lead in my gas until 1990 or 91. Then the cheese dicks mandated it out and less than a week later my wonderful VW hippy bus took a crap. After awhile you take the economic hits personally.

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  3. It has been a few years since I read you, Bison. I forgot how remarkable you are until I read parts 1 and 2 of this diatribe (and kudos to it). Onward, sir.
    UBAZ

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    1. Please don't ever leave again. And tell all your friends I'm better than ever ( but just to be sure, read back for a few more articles to be positive and you don't embarrass yourself ).

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