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Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

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

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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby asg70 » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 12:02:13

AdamB wrote:Over the years I have noticed that people who can't think for themselves...will provide a reference (or cut and paste some huge amount of text) and then say "see! It says there is going to be doom!!".


This is the same impulse that cause people to believe in fake-news. They only believe what they cherry-pick on google. Abiotic oil, aliens, whatever. There's a link for it! Doesn't mean it's worth a damn to convince someone, though.

The only difference between the random banging on the keyboard here and a blog is presentation. All of us can pretend we're citizen journalists or self-professed expert all we want. Just to go blogspot and start a blog. But it's the substance of the argument that counts, not the style of presentation.
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby donstewart » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 12:19:13

@onlooker
I do suggest the very recently published Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. The editor is Paul Hawken. Hawken assembled a team of experts to discuss and quantify 80 solutions to the Global Warming problem. They have a website which will be continuously updated.

Now for the caveats. I am particularly involved with the solutions relative to farming and forestry and food. So whether their evaluation of the prospects for geothermal are reasonable or not, is not something I have any particular opinion about. It turns out that farming and forestry and food offer some of the best solutions, and they do not require governments or large corporations to bring to fruition. They do involve changing consumer behavior, probably with things such as labeling. Labeling appliances and building methods (Energy Star, LEED, etc.) has been effective at low cost.

Second caveat. I am more of a skeptic about being able to substitute wind and solar electricity for internal combustion engine transportation. You can read the book and make up your own mind on that point.

Third caveat. The book only obliquely addresses some of the totality of issues which truly sustainable or regenerative living requires. For example, they have an entry for education of girls and another for family planning. They do talk about coal and heavy metal pollution, but only obliquely. (Fish warnings have declined in my state since the coal fired power plants have been phased out.)

So maybe it is a good place to start. It is also optimistic, which may be a relief.

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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby asg70 » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 12:23:30

Don, prescriptive solutions have been proven not to work. Transition Towns are a bust, for instance.

The market is the only thing driving any positive change, more specifically when the CEO himself (like a capitalist dictator) has decided he wants to push things ahead of the curve (like Musk). The fact China is moving as fast as it is...is because they have a command-and-control economy, whereas here in the US everything gets lost in beaurocracy.

This limits intervention at the level of techno-copia/techno-fix. It would be nice to see things like permaculture/agroforestry/rewilding, etc... take off but I see absolutely no signs of it growing beyond a hobby for well-heeled liberals.
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby donstewart » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 13:43:09

@asg70
All of the agricultural, forestry, and food 'solutions' have positive economics. Therefore, they are available to 'well-heeled liberals' as well as 'anti-government red state conservatives'.

For example, the Pasture Cropping system developed by Colin Seis in Australia is now practiced by 2000 farmers in that country, and is spreading throughout the temperate zones of the world...because the farmers can make more money that way. It also sequesters carbon in the soil.

A different pasture and crop management system is used by Gabe Brown in North Dakota. He says 'I do not have the highest yields in Burleigh County (ND), but I am the most profitable'...because he doesn't buy very much at all in the way of inputs.

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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby donstewart » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 13:45:12

@asg70
You will find pictures of both Colin and Gabe in the book. Real live humans.
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 13:46:39

The market is the only thing driving any positive change,----Normally, that would be the case but the markets are too myopic and profit oriented to embark on a wholesale transition to alternative fuels. So, it has been happening in fits and starts. This approach is not commensurate with the scale or immediacy of the problem of continuing too rely on FF.
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby donstewart » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:16:06

@asg70
As an example of something which is outside my primary area of interest. One of the top 80 solutions is 'Walkable Cities'. Whether that meets your definition of a 'transition town' I don't know.

The entry features a picture of the San Telmo barrio in Buenos Aires, and contrasts it with 'Avenue 9 de Julio three blocks away--a noisy gouge through Buenos Aires through which traffic pours and where big retail towers indifferently over the human beings.' The picture from San Telmo shows very dense pedestrian traffic down an attractive street.

The financial analysis: 5 percent of trips currently made by car can be made by foot traffic by 2050. That shift could result in 2.9 gigatons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions and reduce costs associated with car ownership by $3.3 trillion.'

The 'car ownership costs' are, of course, related to the gross thermodynamic inefficiency of private automobiles which vtsnowedin thinks are 100 percent efficient.

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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:18:51

vtsnowedin wrote:
donstewart wrote:@vtsnowedin
The whole thrust of Paul Hawken's project is that humans can accomplish some fundamental goals using better methods than we use at the present time. Increased thermodynamic efficiency is one of the criteria, along with lessened pollution.

Taking the position you do simply excludes you from the conversation.

Don Stewart

Who in the bleemin world is Paul Hawkins and what does he have to do with supply levels at refineries?


Someone who is eco-hopeful. And knows no more about refineries than Don. Oh, and he uses petrochemicals just like everyone else.
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:25:39

donstewart wrote:@onlooker
I do suggest the very recently published Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. The editor is Paul Hawken. Hawken assembled a team of experts to discuss and quantify 80 solutions to the Global Warming problem. They have a website which will be continuously updated.



They have a website! Well then....it must be true! :lol:

Another Nor-Cal / Berkeley type, they have all the answers I've heard. And websites!
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby shortonoil » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:33:45

Most western governments that I know of spend more money than they collect in tax, so one must assume that any tax income is quickly returned to the general circulation of money.

In the US that is about 50%; the federal government depends on the FED printing press to provide about half its budget from the FED's purchase of Treasuries.

According to the FED the definition of the velocity of money is:

"The velocity of money is the frequency at which one unit of currency is used to purchase domestically- produced goods and services within a given time period. In other words, it is the number of times one dollar is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. If the velocity of money is increasing, then more transactions are occurring between individuals in an economy.

As shown in their graph the number of transactions between individuals in the US economy is therefore steadily falling. The US domestic economy is in a long term deflationary cycle. This coincides with what the Etp Model projects. As the deliverable energy from petroleum declines the economy will decline with it. The more oil that an economy uses the faster its economy (relative to any starting position) will decline. The US is the largest user of oil in the world.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M2V

For the world's reserve currency that does not bode well. Every other currency in the world that is pegged to the US dollar must therefore decline with the dollar. That makes any debt service which is denominated in US dollars more difficult for the remainder of the world. Basically, to continue to have oil available in other economies the non US portion of the world's economy will have to abandon the dollar at some point in the cycle. That appears to be an ongoing process in much of the world at present. The day when the US can just print dollars to purchase foreign oil is fast coming to a conclusion. The US exceptional standard of living that has been fueled by petroleum purchased with printed dollars will also come to a conclusion with it.

The Petrodollar system has enforced a margin of discipline onto the rest of the world for more than half century. Light sweet crude has remained a fungible commodity as a result. That has enforced a certain level playing field for all economies. The modern world can not exist without oil; can it exist without the Petrodollar?

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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 14:49:13

shortonoil wrote:The Petrodollar system has enforced a margin of discipline onto the rest of the world for more than half century. Light sweet crude has remained a fungible commodity as a result. That has enforced a certain level playing field for all economies. The modern world can not exist without oil; can it exist without the Petrodollar?

At the risk of stating the obvious, again, in the modern world there are currency futures which trade a notional value in the ballpark of $5 TRILLION a day on average, or did several months ago when I last looked.

So maybe X decades ago before modern computers made things like hedging dollars and trading currencies in huge volumes trivial in a small fraction of a second -- then the Petrodollar was a big deal.

Now it's just an accounting entry, for anyone with the intelligence to call a currency futures broker, and the means to pay a small commission (and take on the risk of hedging "Petrodollars" in their oil buying account they don't really want to be holding). Trust me -- major governments can handle such issues with little problem.

Not that I'd expect you to admit that any more than that supply and demand factors are what determine the price of crude oil (like all other commodities) over time.
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby marmico » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 15:09:05

As shown in their graph the number of transactions between individuals in the US economy is therefore steadily falling. The US domestic economy is in a long term deflationary cycle.


More BS from Bozo. There is little to no correlation between M2V and CPI.

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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 15:17:03

donstewart wrote:Debt; Thermodynamics; Supply and Demand; Value

Brilliant stuff, singularly one of the most impressive posts I have seen in my decade-long perusal of this site. thank you :)

And brilliant is your appreciation of sustainable systems. I too was a fan of Paul Hawkins, read his 'Natural Capitalism decades ago and eventually acquired an advanced degree (if you will . . . ) in 'Permaculture'. Not incidently, my highly engineered solar home (not leeds certified) contains framing lumber and siding that I milled from the property upon which the home is built.

So I appreciate and also once shared your interest in agriculture, forestry and walkable cities (I was also a co-developer of a intentional community) but am much too cynical and tired to believe such things will ever be implemented willingly by the auto-centric country. These things will happen, but in a post-industrial feudal state. Perhaps with your encouragement it is time to re-open my "Collapse in the United States" thread I started a few months ago? I had hopes for it, but all I received in feedback was trolling, distraction, and derision. Regardless, welcome to this site and kudo's for your kind rationality and passion. :)
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby shortonoil » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 15:42:21

Trust me -- major governments can handle such issues with little problem.


Of course, as usual you miss the entire premise of the post. Then you end up with "Trust me". Priceless!
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 15:46:37

shortonoil wrote:
Trust me -- major governments can handle such issues with little problem.


Of course, as usual you miss the entire premise of the post. Then you end up with "Trust me". Priceless!

I know, huh?

Like the US government and it proxies at Standard and Poors handled the mortgage crisis in Cincinnati. Brilliant stuff lol
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby donstewart » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 15:59:02

@pstarr
Don’t let me mislead you. Trying to do anything in competition with something that is heavily subsidized by the US Government is a very tough row to hoe.

For example, one of the biggest value initiatives in terms of carbon dioxide is Plant-Rich Diets. The initiative is projected to yield 66 gigatons of carbon dioxide reduction. The financial return is huge but not yet quantified. But the bad results from forest clearance, mono crop animal feed, feedlots, fast food restaurants, and chronic disease are all heavily subsidized by governments. So starting a ‘health-food farm’ is still likely to be a risky proposition. One of the reasons why a good labeling scheme is probably essential. There ARE people of good will who don’t like the current system, but they need some labeling to help them shop. Solving the political problem would take us too far afield for this discussion.

Similarly, fossil fuels are hugely subsidized (the numbers as estimated by the IMF are in the book, but I can’t find them right now). As thermodynamically unfavorable as private automobiles are, starting a rickshaw service is still a long-shot. The government can subsidize your competitor with your tax dollars until YOU run out of money. Which I think is one of the factors behind the traditional libertarian/ anarchist tone of much permaculture practice.

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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby asg70 » Thu 08 Jun 2017, 23:08:19

AdamB wrote:Colin was anti-immigrant, and Catton was both anti-immigrant, and anti people of color. I believe you are correct though that this fits within the "doomer as misanthrope" angle though. So shorty is yet another "the world needs to end...for all THOSE guys..." type. Not even a surprise, but as you say, a few questions and the real shorty reveals himself.


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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 09 Jun 2017, 01:40:20

@Don. Actually, we have an ongoing thread about the harm to individuals and society of meat eating. An interesting line of reasoning was the hypothesis that the entire world would decide to give up meat eating. If this were to happen goes the argument, that would free up large areas for increased crop cultivation, which would presumably allow for a greater human population with its attendant impacts on the planet. It would also likely yield more disease and sickness among the population.
So, it is important to keep in mind that any large macro modification/enhancement to any area of human concern will likely produce a diverse array of consequences. Some consequences more positive and some more negative. We are already in an era whereby change will be forced upon us. We should attempt to anticipate these changes by preparing if possible and also, act collectively with forethought as the sound basis to our actions. Sadly, we often are reacting rather than acting with little forethought.
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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby donstewart » Fri 09 Jun 2017, 03:47:35

@onlooker
regarding feedback loops. The book Hawken edited is pretty thoroughly saturated with systems thinking. (I emphasize that Hawken edited the work of a panel of experts...he didn't write everything himself.) If you examine the work you find that female education and birth control are top priorities. The belief is that women who are educated and have access to birth control are likely to have less than 2 children, on average. So those two projects are the way to short-circuit the Malthusian process.

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Re: Reuters: "World refiners are CLOGGED with oil"

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 09 Jun 2017, 09:29:16

https://phys.org/news/2017-05-collapse- ... ocial.html
Good overview of the tendency of different kinds of complex systems to:
A tipping point is a critical threshold at which a dynamical system undergoes an irreversible transformation, typically owing to a small change in inputs or parameters. This concept is very broad and can refer to the extinction of an animal or a plant species, the depletion of a water source, or the financial collapse of an institution, among many other natural and social phenomena.


Referring to:
Numerical simulations of tipping points by Everton Santos Medeiros, a researcher at the University of São Paulo's Physics Institute (IF-USP) in Brazil, provide a better understanding of the characteristics of this point of no return and what happens to a system after its occurrence. The study has been published in Scientific Reports


"The system's parameters change gradually until a limit is reached at which one small change causes an abrupt and irreversible transition
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