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Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

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

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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby Squilliam » Wed 19 Apr 2017, 14:26:15

@ralfy: 5-10 years is all the time that is needed to:

1. Build out a significant amount of public transport (light rail preferably)
2. Install an absolute metric buttload of bike lanes.
3. Install an eye watering amount of solar panels.
4. Ramp up electric car production into the 10's of millions (note a fraction of new cars do a significant number of the overall miles)
5. replace 1/4 of existing generation assets with renewables.
6. ramp production of energy efficient homes to replace existing stock
7. significantly improve the rail network for cargo.
8. Get a dog because dogs are awesome.

So given the options in the near term, the energy problems that may come 15-20 years down the track are not really relevant enough to care about.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 19 Apr 2017, 16:25:28

S - Thanks to all for taking up the "collapse" definition challenge. But even that proved my point: had to break it down into slow/fast, short/long term, etc. qualifications. And from what I gather not a great deal of commonality.

And: "@ralfy: 5-10 years is all the time that is needed to:..." OK then, just 5 to 10 years make those changes ONCE THE PROCESS STARTS. So how long before we start making those changes to a significant degree? 5 years (so 10-15 years total)? 15 hears (so 20-25 years total)? 30 years (so 35-40 years total)?

Or realistically: 5-10 years beyond the time when the world is forced to make such changes? A time when the ability to make such changes becomes so limited that little or significant efforts can be attempted.

As I've said many times: the critical task isn't designing meaningful responses to our environmental/energy problems but having them actually being done.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby wildbourgman » Wed 19 Apr 2017, 16:37:56

I think the process of collapse started years ago. I could point to things that I would call symptoms of the overall disease (such as getting off the gold standard), to me we are like the frog in the water that's being brought to a boil. I personally don't think that many people will really notice it because the minutia of their lives take up the space in-between symptoms.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 19 Apr 2017, 17:03:18

Wildman - And then there's the personal aspect: your life vs. anyone else's. Old joke: a recession is when your neighbor loses his job and a depression when you lose yours. Personally while my life has gotten better over time there were some very bad periods along the way. And now it's taking a great turn: next month I get my first Soc Sec check. Likewise my 16 yo daughter gets a check that's half the size of mine until she turns 18. Getting $'s and not working!!! Is this a great country, or what? Yeah, I know it's just a portion on the money I've sent the govt for the last 40+ years.

And then you can compare city to city, state to state, country to country and planet to planet. Wait...not the last one. LOL. But how do you read the global gauge? Fossil fuel consumption and any resultant climate does have a negative impact for many. But the same dynamic has raised the living standards for millions.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby AdamB » Wed 19 Apr 2017, 18:45:28

ralfy wrote:
Squilliam wrote:Alternative sources of energy are good enough. You can replace some oil with substitutes or even forgo the consumption of it. It isn't as if every single drop of oil is critical to the survival of civilization. There is some leeway. If I prick you, you will bleed, but you certainly will not drop dead. Capitalism can survive this kind of thing because for every adversity new opportunities are created.

So what do we have? Essentially no sign of *any* drop in oil production in the near future. The opportunity to ramp up pre-existing supplies of oil, and soon to a limited extent the option of replacing oil fueled transportation in the west with electric cars and the expanding public transport networks. This is good enough for the foreseeable future, or at least the next 5-10 years. A significant proportion of oil is used as a lifestyle commodity, so whilst lifestyles may be forced to change the overall society can still function with significantly less of it.


5 to 10 years is definitely not good enough.


It has already begun. Peak oil prices should have kick started it to the moon, but unfortunately peak oil turned out to be copious abundance, and accompanying low prices. However, folks are still selling EVs, other folks are buying them, and we have only scratched the surface and we are already at 200 miles of EV range on completely affordable cars.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby Squilliam » Wed 19 Apr 2017, 18:46:51

ROCKMAN wrote:S - Thanks to all for taking up the "collapse" definition challenge. But even that proved my point: had to break it down into slow/fast, short/long term, etc. qualifications. And from what I gather not a great deal of commonality.

And: "@ralfy: 5-10 years is all the time that is needed to:..." OK then, just 5 to 10 years make those changes ONCE THE PROCESS STARTS. So how long before we start making those changes to a significant degree? 5 years (so 10-15 years total)? 15 hears (so 20-25 years total)? 30 years (so 35-40 years total)?

Or realistically: 5-10 years beyond the time when the world is forced to make such changes? A time when the ability to make such changes becomes so limited that little or significant efforts can be attempted.

As I've said many times: the critical task isn't designing meaningful responses to our environmental/energy problems but having them actually being done.


People on these sites are like fishermen -- the smaller the fish in the story gets the closer to the truth you are likely to be. Doom, collapse and destruction are big stories -- especially if they are supposed to happen quickly. Like all big fish, most of them don't actually exist.

Big and close are the two failings of pessimism. Any problem always sounds bigger than it actually is, and it always seems to be just around the corner. People have a tendency to be pessimistic around other people (they're all going to be doomed), but optimistic about themselves (my doomstead will save me and mine from the impending danger).

Obviously there are some big structural problems with society -- I don't discount that -- but I do not really buy the idea that the whole lot is about to keel over in a couple of years. If societies can survive total war such as during WW2 then I suspect that the resilience of our western countries is far greater than we tend to give credit for. The problem is more about motivation than it is about capability, so if CO2 was a country we'd have probably nuked it by now. :twisted:
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 19 Apr 2017, 22:35:55

Squilliam wrote:
Obviously there are some big structural problems with society -- I don't discount that -- but I do not really buy the idea that the whole lot is about to keel over in a couple of years. If societies can survive total war such as during WW2 then I suspect that the resilience of our western countries is far greater than we tend to give credit for. The problem is more about motivation than it is about capability, so if CO2 was a country we'd have probably nuked it by now. :twisted:

That I can agree with. And let the ATMs go dark or the gas pumps run dry and you will see all the motivation you need.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 00:42:23

Squilliam wrote:@ralfy: 5-10 years is all the time that is needed to:

1. Build out a significant amount of public transport (light rail preferably)
2. Install an absolute metric buttload of bike lanes.
3. Install an eye watering amount of solar panels.
4. Ramp up electric car production into the 10's of millions (note a fraction of new cars do a significant number of the overall miles)
5. replace 1/4 of existing generation assets with renewables.
6. ramp production of energy efficient homes to replace existing stock
7. significantly improve the rail network for cargo.
8. Get a dog because dogs are awesome.

So given the options in the near term, the energy problems that may come 15-20 years down the track are not really relevant enough to care about.


A century will be needed:

http://www.businessinsider.com/131-year ... il-2010-11

and that's just for oil.

Also, given the type of lifestyle you envision, we will need at least one more earth:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... _footprint

Even less will require the same:

https://theconversation.com/if-everyone ... uble-43905

And that's just for the current population and given the point that environmental damage can be stopped, together with global warming. With a growing global population plus environmental damage, we will need even more.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 00:48:22

Squilliam wrote:People on these sites are like fishermen -- the smaller the fish in the story gets the closer to the truth you are likely to be. Doom, collapse and destruction are big stories -- especially if they are supposed to happen quickly. Like all big fish, most of them don't actually exist.

Big and close are the two failings of pessimism. Any problem always sounds bigger than it actually is, and it always seems to be just around the corner. People have a tendency to be pessimistic around other people (they're all going to be doomed), but optimistic about themselves (my doomstead will save me and mine from the impending danger).

Obviously there are some big structural problems with society -- I don't discount that -- but I do not really buy the idea that the whole lot is about to keel over in a couple of years. If societies can survive total war such as during WW2 then I suspect that the resilience of our western countries is far greater than we tend to give credit for. The problem is more about motivation than it is about capability, so if CO2 was a country we'd have probably nuked it by now. :twisted:


It's not so much being pessimistic than being realistic. Also, the effects of limits to growth coupled with environmental damage and global warming will not be the same as WW2.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby wildbourgman » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 06:59:59

I don't think it's being pessimistic either and I don't think that many people will notice or care that it's happening. That in itself does not mean that collapse for whatever reason isn't happening. If you could take someone from the times of Pax Romana and drop them off in the same Roman city during early medieval times they would see a collapse had occurred. Likewise looking back at history we can see where multiple collapses have occurred. To me it's unadulterated hubris to think that we are immune to the same societal outcome unless we make sure not to follow the same societal playbook. As far as believing in a copious abundance of oil, I guess it's easier to believe in the existence of something you can't see. I'm sure that people in early times thought there was a copious abundance of firewood until they had almost cleared the forest.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 07:34:43

S - "I suspect that the resilience of our western countries is far greater than we tend to give credit for." That's the other side of the "collapse" coin the doomers tend to ignore. Not just the general WWII example but look at the recovery Germany, Japan and Russia experienced. By any doomer measure those societies collapsed. Even the US recovered after losing a huge % of its population and complete devastation of the southern economy during the Civil War.

So OK: various economies around the world will "collapse"...maybe including the US. So what? Been there...done that...and didn't even get a stinking tee-shirt. LOL Everyone on this site will see their own world completely collapse...when they die. And except the religious that subscribe to heaven or reincarnation there's not much reason for other folks to expect to recover. LOL.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby wildbourgman » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 07:54:46

Rockman, I'm talking about something bigger, something that takes longer I'm talking about the United State Empire collapsing and more from within than outwardly at first. Personally I don't see the resilience in our societal norms, education, family unit and other institutions I see a degradation that's building speed. Our pop culture is taking the place of real culture, did other empires have Kardasian's ? possibly, did they have a Trump figure ?

I don't think we have to lose Civilization to collapse as a World leader but as per modern history we do have to have someone take the reigns. When Britain gave that leadership roll away there was the United State there to take it and make sure that the collapse they encountered wasn't harsh like it was after other powers crumbled. So if our fate is to fall that's not always a bad thing, but who steps into fill the vacuum and can that be done without World War 3 ?

Don't forget your Germany and Japan examples also had the United States it wasn't strictly their own resilience that brought them back so fast. In the big picture they have never regained all of the stature they once had. Our military bases in those countries point to that!
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby Cog » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 09:19:14

The world you grow up in is the world you know. Our progeny won't see it as collapse but the way things are. Only us old farts might remember more pleasant days but they will be seen as the ravings of the demented.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 12:26:46

ralfy wrote:
Squilliam wrote:@ralfy: 5-10 years is all the time that is needed to:

1. Build out a significant amount of public transport (light rail preferably)
2. Install an absolute metric buttload of bike lanes.
3. Install an eye watering amount of solar panels.
4. Ramp up electric car production into the 10's of millions (note a fraction of new cars do a significant number of the overall miles)
5. replace 1/4 of existing generation assets with renewables.
6. ramp production of energy efficient homes to replace existing stock
7. significantly improve the rail network for cargo.
8. Get a dog because dogs are awesome.

So given the options in the near term, the energy problems that may come 15-20 years down the track are not really relevant enough to care about.


A century will be needed:

http://www.businessinsider.com/131-year ... il-2010-11

and that's just for oil.

Also, given the type of lifestyle you envision, we will need at least one more earth:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... _footprint

Even less will require the same:

https://theconversation.com/if-everyone ... uble-43905

And that's just for the current population and given the point that environmental damage can be stopped, together with global warming. With a growing global population plus environmental damage, we will need even more.


Yes ralfy, we know. LATOC told you that the only thing that can happen is we all die. Tomorrow. And when we didn't, some had the good sense to close their websites and run, RUN mind you, from their bad ideas. Those that are stuck around..well...at least they have company.

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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 13:14:01

Government shutdown, credit collapse, tight-shale investment scams go bye bye.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby Cog » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 13:38:07

Government shut-down issue was solved a week ago. Put down the bong man. Your time warp is screwing you up.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 14:08:27

Cog wrote:Nothing because the government shutdown issue was solved a week ago. Put down the bong dude. Going stoned through life is no way to live.

Only responding to make a fool out of you, Cog. Otherwise you are firmly on my ignore
House Republicans could force government shutdown in the Senate ...
Daily Kos-Apr 19, 2017
Manchin threatened to shut down the government if help for miners wasn't included in a continuing resolution last year, but conceded after ...

Government Shutdown Could Roil Markets, Tax Cuts Still Doable ...
ThinkAdvisor-Apr 18, 2017
The prospect of a government shutdown could roil the markets, at least in the short term, much like Republicans' failure to pass legislation to .

Congress Is Trying to Avert a Government Shutdown on Trump's 100th ...
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... wn/523434/
1 day ago - How Trump's First 100 Days Could End in a Government Shutdown. The historical marker on April 29 will coincide with the expiration of federal ...

Government shutdown: What we know so far - CNNPolitics.com
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/20/politics/ ... wn-latest/
8 hours ago - Will dems shut down government over Obamacare? ... Congress are facing an April 28 deadline for keeping the government running; Of course ...

Old news . . . of course! You are old news. Cogger the Codger lol
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby Cog » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 14:49:54

CNN and Daily Kos is fake news. This was solved a week ago. I'm only letting you run with this Pete to embarrass you further. When you beg me, I'll provide a link to where this problem of yours was solved a week ago.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 15:09:53

With government shutdown threat looming, congressional leaders look ...
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/... ... 100569714/
3 hours ago - WASHINGTON — Congress returns Monday with just five days left to keep the government from shutting down, and President Trump is adding ...

I must have missed that one. You have to read usatoday (that left-wing blog) if you are interested in what Trump has to add. I have no idea . . . or interest. But I bet it will be HUGE! With a LOT OF SUPPORT! Just a beautiful proposal.
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Re: Peak Oil and Collapse in the United States

Unread postby Cog » Thu 20 Apr 2017, 16:11:15

Once again Pete, you cried wolf when there was no wolf. How many more times must you stumble around in the snow before anyone with intelligence ignores you forever?
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