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NO SOLUTION

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

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NO SOLUTION

Unread postby JohnDenver » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 08:17:49

We all know the reality of peak oil:

1) With a population of 6.4 billion, we've drastically overshot the carrying capacity of the earth. Therefore, most of these people -- optimistically 85%, but more realistically 95% -- will have to perish shortly in the big "die-off". This outcome is completely unavoidable, and there is NO SOLUTION. NOTHING can stop the big die-off from happening.

2) Therefore we must: (insert agenda here).

Step 2 is the problem here. Why should I do anything, or buy into anybody's agenda, if I'm going to die?

Here's one example: Julian Darley says we need to cut our energy consumption by 50 to 90%, immediately. That would be a great idea, Julian, except 95% of us are going to die no matter what we do, because there is NO SOLUTION. So why should we do what you (or anybody) says? We're all going to starve to death anyway.

Kofi Annan goes on TV and says: "Due to peak oil, it is completely certain that 95% of you are going to die shortly. Okay, now here is what I would like you all to do to facilitate this difficult transition." You expect all the corpses-to-be to pitch in and help?
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Unread postby MikeB » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 08:42:46

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Re: NO SOLUTION

Unread postby lorenzo » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 08:51:42

JohnDenver wrote:We all know the reality of peak oil:

1) With a population of 6.4 billion, we've drastically overshot the carrying capacity of the earth. Therefore, most of these people -- optimistically 85%, but more realistically 95% -- will have to perish shortly in the big "die-off". This outcome is completely unavoidable, and there is NO SOLUTION. NOTHING can stop the big die-off from happening.


Let's not forget that every single American consumes as much oil as one hundred third world people.

Millions of people in the third world have been living without oil for decades (or they've never used oil in the first place), and they cope very well. They produce their own food. They don't have cars. They have been surviving all along.

So I think the big die-off scenario is a bit over the top. If anyone is going to die, it's going to be fat Westerners who die of heart attacks because they have to ride a bicycle for the first time in their lives, instead of a terroristsic SUV.
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Re: NO SOLUTION

Unread postby Jack » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 09:26:24

lorenzo wrote:If anyone is going to die, it's going to be fat Westerners who die of heart attacks because they have to ride a bicycle for the first time in their lives, instead of a terroristsic SUV.


Or it might be some flea infested third-worlder who hasn't grasped the rudiments of personal hygiene. One just never knows, does one? 8)
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Re: NO SOLUTION

Unread postby mgibbons19 » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 09:45:17

lorenzo wrote:So I think the big die-off scenario is a bit over the top. If anyone is going to die, it's going to be fat Westerners who die of heart attacks because they have to ride a bicycle for the first time in their lives, instead of a terroristsic SUV.


LOL. That was good.
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Re: NO SOLUTION

Unread postby marek » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 10:10:13

lorenzo wrote:
JohnDenver wrote:We all know the reality of peak oil:

1) With a population of 6.4 billion, we've drastically overshot the carrying capacity of the earth. Therefore, most of these people -- optimistically 85%, but more realistically 95% -- will have to perish shortly in the big "die-off". This outcome is completely unavoidable, and there is NO SOLUTION. NOTHING can stop the big die-off from happening.


Let's not forget that every single American consumes as much oil as one hundred third world people.

Millions of people in the third world have been living without oil for decades (or they've never used oil in the first place), and they cope very well. They produce their own food. They don't have cars. They have been surviving all along.

So I think the big die-off scenario is a bit over the top. If anyone is going to die, it's going to be fat Westerners who die of heart attacks because they have to ride a bicycle for the first time in their lives, instead of a terroristsic SUV.


For once I must say that I agree with Lorenzo :)
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Re: NO SOLUTION

Unread postby Taskforce_Unity » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 12:35:14

lorenzo wrote:
JohnDenver wrote:We all know the reality of peak oil:

Millions of people in the third world have been living without oil for decades (or they've never used oil in the first place), and they cope very well. They produce their own food. They don't have cars. They have been surviving all along.

So I think the big die-off scenario is a bit over the top. If anyone is going to die, it's going to be fat Westerners who die of heart attacks because they have to ride a bicycle for the first time in their lives, instead of a terroristsic SUV.


I agree with both of the arguments.
A lot of people in the third wirld are coping without fossils a lot are living with fossils though. The people in the third world dependend on fossils will be hit very hard, i expect a die off there. So in some parts of the third world life will go on as usual. In others big changes.

In the west however we will lose the most part of our luxury in one or two decades. There will be a die-off globally but not in the terms you guys put it. Population sizes will shrink over the course of a few centuries.

This is all in the light of peak oil though. if i have to add climate change, soil erosion, ground water depletion, fossil fuel wars etc. the situation is much worse.
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Re: NO SOLUTION

Unread postby TWilliam » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 12:44:58

JohnDenver wrote:Why should I do anything, or buy into anybody's agenda, if I'm going to die?


One thought that comes to mind is inertia. If we take steps now, at least there's a chance for the species as a whole to survive, even if only 5%. That's still a third of a billion; more than enough to build a new, sustainable society (assuming of course that we actually learn the lesson this time... :lol: ).

If, however, we continue our mindless expansion absolutely as long as we possibly can, then I suspect it will make it increasingly unlikely that even that 5% will survive, as the accelerated momentum of a crash will drag them down along with the rest. "The higher you fly, the further you fall", the harder you hit, the deeper and wider the crater.

And hey, "doing something" might at least give you a chance of being one of that 5%. That's still a 1-in-20 chance, and those are a heck of a lot better odds than any lottery... [smilie=thumbsup.gif]
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Re: NO SOLUTION

Unread postby clv101 » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 12:57:57

lorenzo wrote:Let's not forget that every single American consumes as much oil as one hundred third world people.

Millions of people in the third world have been living without oil for decades (or they've never used oil in the first place), and they cope very well. They produce their own food. They don't have cars. They have been surviving all along.

So I think the big die-off scenario is a bit over the top. If anyone is going to die, it's going to be fat Westerners who die of heart attacks because they have to ride a bicycle for the first time in their lives, instead of a terroristsic SUV.

Spot on - this is why I'm not expecting a large die off. I'm expecting an end to population growth and maybe a very slow reduction but not a die off.

4/5 of the worlds population exist today on FAR less oil/energy than the other 1/5. The westerners could reduce their oil consumption to that of the other 80% of people on the planet then we're sorted - no die off.

I see westerners giving up their high energy lifestyle (fancy food, fancy toys, travelling etc etc) before they die. Maybe life expectancy will reduce by a decade or two over several decades but again that's not the 80-95% die off!

I see living standards reducing A LONG WAY before we enter a die off scenario.
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Unread postby MikeB » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 13:21:40

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Unread postby threadbear » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 13:33:39

Mike B, That is one of the most hopeful posts I've read. Bravo. You don't take vacation, because, in a sense, life becomes a vacation (at least away from all the crappy vices a consumer lifestyle buys you)

The way you're living your life is how I see the future for most people. There's a lot of agribusiness out there, reliant on huge export markets in a globalized cheap energy economy, that will go bust. Plenty of room for many, many people to buy up plots and farm for themselves in a sustainable way. Hey, what do you drive? My husband drives an 87 honda civic. It's back seat is torn, the sky light leaks, so it's a bit moldy inside, but it works and gets great mileage.
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Unread postby MikeB » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 13:48:25

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Unread postby Such » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 13:55:11

I've been driving a 1991 Honda CRX HF model... 154 K miles on it... and the original clutch (yeah, its veeeery soft). Works like a charm... I've only dumped about $1000 into it for repairs since 1999 when I bought it. Best of all... it still gets me 47 miles per gallon. closer to 50 on the highway.

I get lots of offers from people looking to buy it... i guess the "low rider" kids all like these things.
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Unread postby Tyler_JC » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 14:54:42

Has anyone here heard of the UN vaccination programs? They go into 3rd world countries and give vaccines to children.
What happens when the UN isn't there to protect these dirty, overcrowded people from disease?
What happens when grain and other foodstuffs aren't given to them in times of famine?
What happens when global warming turns the savana into a desert?

The third world is more overpopulated than most people here want to believe. 2 Billion people could die in Africa/Asia/South America before anyone in Europe or the USA even notices.

Yes, some fat Westerners will die, but a fat guy can live with half the calories. Try cutting the food rations of an Ethiopian...
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Unread postby 0mar » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 15:15:27

Much of the 3rd world is propped up by food supplies which are derived from pesticides and fertilizers, both of which consume limited supplies of oil and natural gas.
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"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. "
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Unread postby clv101 » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 15:27:31

Tyler_JC wrote:Has anyone here heard of the UN vaccination programs? They go into 3rd world countries and give vaccines to children.
What happens when the UN isn't there to protect these dirty, overcrowded people from disease?
What happens when grain and other foodstuffs aren't given to them in times of famine?
What happens when global warming turns the savana into a desert?


Don't have any stats to hand... but I think it's an incredibly small proportion of "the third world" that are significantly supported by the West through vaccination programmes, food aid etc. The vast majority live relatively happy and content lives.

As for climate change - potentially even more significant than peak oil. If we're on the subject of die off I think climate change is more likely to result in die off than peak oil.
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Unread postby Tyler_JC » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 16:53:17

The UN stopped small pox with its "end small pox program." Imagine if they hadn't. Tens of millions of people would currently not be alive. That number could be in the hundreds of millions. I think the number might be larger than "an incredibly small proportion." But I could be wrong, I don't really know.

Global warming will turn the semi-arid regions into deserts. East Texas will look like West Texas. Global warming (climate change) and peak oil are part of the same thing. The excessive burning of fossil fuels is leading to both. I tend to put them in the same mental basket. What? I'm lazy :P .
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Unread postby lorenzo » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 18:37:10

I'm calculating how much oil we would save per year if we stopped flying jumbojets full of Kiwis from New Zealand to Europe and America.

I'll be back when I got some numbers.

(I'm only doing Kiwis today, tomorrow we'll do fresh cut flowers from Kenya - arriving in jumbojets as well).
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Unread postby fastbike » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 19:00:03

lorenzo wrote:I'm calculating how much oil we would save per year if we stopped flying jumbojets full of Kiwis from New Zealand to Europe and America.



Or jumbo jets of Europeans / Americans to NZ.

Or jumbo jets of xxx from yyy to zzz, etc.

Looking forward to your answers - with sources.
Let's hope the next generation have a sense of humour ... our generation will need it.
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Unread postby Liamj » Sun 06 Feb 2005, 19:37:49

0mar wrote:Much of the 3rd world is propped up by food supplies which are derived from pesticides and fertilizers, both of which consume limited supplies of oil and natural gas.

So is very nearly ALL of the '1st' world.
At least in '3rd' world they wont spend 6 months waiting for the 'damn government' to turn the lights back on. Dunno what they'll do for cooking fuel tho, kerosene & other fuel subsidies are only things stopping even more rapid deforestation (solar ovens rock).

There are dozens of widely agreed small-step solutions that, if implemented, would perhaps stretch out remaining resources so most ppl can at least die at home in bed. There is no silver bullet; if that makes it all too hard, then you're no loss to the species. Repeatedly insisting "95%" are going to die might be thrilling but has no constructive value, its a self-fullfilling prophecy.
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