Thursday, August 18, 2016

EROI economy 1 of 2


Net energy, or Energy Returned On Investment ( EROI ), has not been a secret to those studying Peak Oil for the last roughly fifteen years.  When the Texas gushers were being exploited almost a century ago, it took an incredible one barrel of oil to obtain one HUNDRED out of the ground.  This oil was already under extreme pressure and it was light sweet crude, meaning it was very easy to refine into useable product.  This is the oil ( along with the Oklahoma and Louisiana and California stuff ) that built our industrial economy.  Granted, water power and coal got us started along that path, and without that we wouldn’t have been in a position to exploit that oil ( others would have done it for us ).  As much as I despise the monkey molester Lincoln for the evil hump he was, as well as the East Coast Blue Blood pukes that put him in power and instructed him to colonize the South as well as the West, you have to admit if you think about it for more than five seconds that without Indian and Confederate blood on your hands, you never would have been allowed to enjoy such luxuries as SUV’s, air conditioners, microwave dinners or plastic carbine semi-auto’s. 


That pissed off redneck racing around with a rebel flag on his pick-up truck and that sanctimonious liberal college professor driving her Toyota Prius about have that in common.  The blood of innocents allowed them their oil consumption.  They are just as guilty as Blood Diamond buyers.  Do you think they stop to give a crap, or are they as a fish in water totally oblivious to their surroundings?  Do you think maybe that has something to do with why no one wants to admit the end is nigh?  For to be clear about our energy future you must know its past.  One imagines few are prepared to travel that uncomfortable road.  Our central bank was necessary to allow empire to grow.  Empire was needed to protect and exploit our energy supply.  Our energy supply was necessary to fund both a central bank and empire.  Indeed a tangled web.  The boom economically in the 1920’s did have its roots in the growth of the farm economy that was there to feed Europe as it went about in a frenzy trying to kill each other and had little ability to grow much of anything.  One dynasty after another had run up against colonial expansion limits and was also jockeying for position to control enough of the petroleum energy.  When US farm product demand crashed after the cessation of hostilities, the central bank did goose the economy to prevent an economic crash.  They just goosed it too much.  That is the accepted narrative.


And all true as far as it goes.  But another larger factor was the flood of nearly free to capture petroleum.  That helped manufacturing, it helped the huge surge in infrastructure replacement and it helped mechanize farming.  In the short term the damage was in unprecedented supply gluts in everything with insane overcapacity.  Only throwing that vast surplus into the ocean depths and turning it into a LOT of explosions finally made enough of a dent in the supply to get it into equation with demand again and start another economic doom.  In the longer term, we were left with a huge country stocked with nothing but energy guzzling everything.  From the cloths we put on in the morning in our mobile home quality stick built houses requiring constant heating and cooling to be habitable, to the energy suckling personal auto’s driven huge distances to work at a job which required consuming energy to the very food we consumed, two thousand miles from farm to store and grown with and trucked with copious amounts of petroleum, every single moment of our existence-all 320 million plus of us-is nothing more than petroleum consumption.


When there were less than half of us living in the same area, and we were enjoying that 99 barrel surplus, everything was just peaches and cream and glittery unicorn farts.  But that couldn’t last forever, now could it?  Nothing that good lasts forever.  The best looking woman in the world gets old and wrinkly and you wouldn’t want to stick Obammy’s junk in it after awhile.  The nicest home around eventually starts falling apart from lack of maintenance.  The richest family eventually loses all its wealth.  But Americans are STILL to this day spoon fed the magic of 90 year old 1 to 100 EROI.  It didn’t take all that long to fall to 50 to 1, then 30 to 1.  Why do you think we have been in trouble economically since the 1970’s?  Because the oil companies are greedy?  Newsflash, douche, the government gets more in taxes out of a gallon of gas than the oil company sees in profit.  Some of that goes to keep your SUV driving along paved roads but a lot of that is just parasitical greed, incompetence and laziness.  Is it because we have too many socialist politicians?  Hello!?!? 


Anyone in there, McFly?  Redistributing wealth by force sees the vast majority of that go to the rich, not, as blathered by idiots such as Beck and Limbaugh, to the poor ( I am by no means a lefty.  I‘m a Libertarian at worst.  Just follow the money after the message ).  They get only a trifle.  Do you think our economy is in trouble because of ANY social/class agenda issue?  Those are all symptoms rather than causes.  Our ENTIRE economy from the politicians to the bankers to your employer to you, ALL are running off the code AND machinery programmed and built a century ago when oil was close enough to free and close enough to So Abundant As To Last Forever.  All the problems you are seeing is a result of that computer getting less voltage/amperage or watts as required.  It is as simple as that.  For instance, women’ s lib.  And all the cans of worms that opened from latchkey kids to a feminized ineffective military.  Net energy was dropping and to restore profit to a faltering economy, the labor force was diluted to drop wages considerably.  Do you honest Injun think ANY politician or CEO gave two craps about women being free or equal?  Hell to the friggin no, yo!  They needed profits that was no longer generated by as much surplus energy.  ALL wealth is surplus energy.  Dropping net energy, dropping wealth.  Now multiple that example by all the other stop gap, desperation fueled idiocy that has our empire in a fetid swamp of five decades of unintended consequences born of incompetence to observe the basic laws of physics. 

More tomorrow.


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  1. EROEI - it is the bible. It is the golden rule. The Alpha and the Omega.
    All energy on earth has one of two fundamental sources - the heat of the earth itself, or the radiance of the sun. As it passes through various steps some of the energy is lost even as other parts of the energy are concentrated.
    And there are always energy losses (it that were ever some how reversed *everything* would blow up in the instant before reality itself disintegrated.
    Every creature understands this intuitively.
    You don't do something for nothing- and the more it appears you are doing something for nothing then the more surplus energy you have or the more important the results of the something you are doing is. (Art for example is the likely result of 1- looking for a mate which is the aspect of trying to further your genetic future and gain future energy inputs for your genes, or 2- passing on information/culture to your descendants which should get them to pay you back in your old age with enough energy sources to keep you alive, and giving your genetic/cultural descendants a better chance of surviving to collect energy themselves...
    Note that when energy becomes scarce all living beings get less likely to do activities with lesser survival value (they become more wary/viscous, and lethargic).

    1. Watch the wild animals. And I don't mean a fleeting glance and nod. Study them. Birds, mammals.

      During the day they are constantly looking for food. When they find something they usually retreat to a safe area to eat it. Then right back out there. Constantly aware of their surroundings. Because death is always just milliseconds away.

      Imagine getting ready to eat and you have to walk 2 blocks, pick up a single bite, come back to the safety of your house to eat it, then walk 2 blocks again for the next bite, over and over and over. And all along the trip there are armed and dangerous thugs hiding everywhere. Next time you eat a normal meal count how many bites it takes to complete it. Then multiply that by 1000' (2000'?) to get and idea of how much effort you'll have to expend.

      THAT's the reason animals look for food all day, because they use much of it while looking for it.

      When was the last time you seen a morbidly obese bird or mammal or fish? They do not exist in the wild for their lifestyle is such that obesity cannot happen. Only animals that are controlled by humans can become obese.

      Did I mention the viciousness that comes part and parcel with constant foraging for food? If you can some how get your hands on a wild cardinal or a chipmunk it will instantly inflict as much pain on you as it can. No, it probably won't kill you, but that is what it is expecting you to do to it so it will immediately fight for it's very life. Imagine having to fight an "Andre' the Giant" sized dood for every single bite of that next Whopper you consume.

      That's your obammy future, comin' right up. Maybe in a couple months, but certainly by next summer.

      That's why I say 80mil will be gone in the 1st 90 days.
      (next summer)

      Mostly the very old, the very young, and the weak (mind and/or body). Which of those groups are you closest too?

      Those that are not killed or die from other things, about 80% will turn Quisling for the overlords for a few crumbs. The long term survivors will be the lone wolves and those in very small and tight compounds that let no one in and no one out for to do so invites contamination of the body and mind.

    2. No, even the human animal, IMHO, are energy contingent. Play used used to involve physical activity that would maintain a body that would be used in energy production that uses that body -aka making the body more efficient. Now adult energy production (in the form of salary) is more often done through computer usage, and play more often involves less (body) energy intensive computers as well.
      Why would a welfare queen go to work, if she can get disability and welfare for having kids and sitting on her duff? Energy costs to the welfare queen to get on and stay on welfare and disability is far less than the energy costs to find a job and work it until retirement. Plus her joining the workforce in large numbers would depress wages, further reducing the energy return from working.

    3. So, yes, thank you Free Stuff Army, for keeping unemployment from getting worse. Of course, Old Farts and Independent Woman Hear Me Roar bitches are stealing our jobs anyway. What is left the Latinos take.

    4. GS-I'm inclined to agree with almost everything you are talking about but you did go a bit too far in the extreme. A lot of that constant foraging is both because of seasonal eating and a vegetarian diet. Not disagreeing with you, and I applaud your paranoia, just adding a bit of a caution to take a grain of salt with that.

    5. Not sure what you mean about the seasonal eating.
      We have 33 feeders right now and more to come, and go through a 50# bag of black oil seeds a month and half a doz suets. There are seasonal birds throughout the year and as far as I have observed all of them spend most of their daylight hours searching for food. There are few hours during the hottest part of the summer days where they retreat to cooler spots but the rest of time it's eat, Eat, EAT! We have 4 hummingbird feeders on the front porch and them little divebombers are rapacious eaters (sippers?) too. They are amazing little things to watch.

    6. Seasonal eating-stocking up for the winter.

  2. Jim have you been reading Greer's Retrotopia chapter's ?

    1. Yes. Not a bad story at all-I'll probably buy the book when it comes out so as to support him. I liked his novel on the coming global war. I still prefer his non-fiction and pre-ordered the one that is coming out any day now. I wish Kuntsler would put out more non-fiction but he has been notoriously slow writing his entire career. We take what we can get, I suppose.