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Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and die

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

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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 07:52:13

KaiserJeep wrote:I could go on and on. Step back from your self absorption, and make an effort to be frugal, even miserly, with fuels and grid energy and everything made from petroleum. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.


We here are mostly an aging demographic. There is naturally a drop in consumption as you age.

Important is that this frugality and awareness be incorporated in the young. I don't have statistics, just anecdotal examples, in my daughters extended peer group for example I note that in general they have a lot higher awareness and practice most of the above you mentioned. They are even going further in some aspects. My one daughter in particular is now into old homesteading culinary explorations, fermentation, bread making, recycling bulk pick up furniture and refinishing, etc. Their household of four adults are down right miserly in their consumption habits and their recreation choices are low energy.

I brought this up recently when visiting. Since she and her peers are now beginning to move into their late 20's and are starting to earn a little more in their careers I posed the question if all these conservation values and frugal practices were just because they were recent college graduates and couldn't afford higher consumption life styles or if this really represented a permanent fixture in their consumption choices. Their response was encouraging. They are more determined then ever they all said to remove themselves from consumption culture in their life style choices. They all view our planet as imperiled.

I think we are seeing an emerging generation that does understand that we are in the Here and Now of consequences.

Kaiser, I know you have been a climate change skeptic. Let's put aside for a moment that discussion whether or not the changes we are seeing are man made or not. Let's actually consider that this question at the moment is largely irrelevant. For me it is far more important that these hurricanes and flooding events, these forest fires and expansion of pine bark beetles deep into the boreal forest, the increasing droughts, all of this together is truly acting as a catalyst culturally with the young generation who are increasing recognizing that human overshoot in imperiling the planet.

I have long advocated and proposed on this site that the catalyst of consequences is the only real engine toward transitioning toward another set of cultural values around consumption. As the years have passed I am seeing some confirmation of this unfolding. A drop in the bucket some of you may say, but we are only now in the early stages of this and climate change is the opening act of catalysts. We haven't even gotten to serious fossil fuel depletion yet.

I remember again years ago at those peak oil conferences I used to participate in and many threads here on this site we discussed there is no silver bullet, just many many small bb's that will represent solutions.

A category 5 hurricane is a category 5 pulse of awareness chipping away at peoples head spaces. Further declines in available energy will continue to chip away at the value of consumption culture.

What I am seeing here actually is some changes in value happening even before the physical constraints are starting. I think we do have climate change to thank for this. I always thought we would need first peak oil and fossil fuel depletion to lead and then the cultural values adjusting.

We really do not have the slightest clue how fast we will see new sets of cultural values emerging going forward. I am betting though that my daughters and her peers are pretty good indicators..
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 08:00:59

Cog wrote:
Ibon wrote:
Cog wrote:As long as the train is going in the direction that is beneficial to me, I'm cool with it. Just saying.


ANother song comes to mind. I am a rock, I am an island....

Me me me me me. and only me. No ones impressed Cog.


The deal is Ibon most people are entirely disingenuous about their own selfish desires. Oh they proclaim they want equality and social justice or some other mythical utopia. But in reality, they want equality as long as it doesn't affect them. True poverty and hardship is nothing they really want to share with others. I'm at least honest about the fact its Cog I'm concerned with, and not humanity as a whole.


Cog, if you read my most recent post somewhat optimistic concerning the emerging young generation embracing frugality and conservation, I wanted to ask you a question regarding your daughter. I remember you also mentioned that you value frugality and not going into debt. Some of your values may have rubbed off on her, she might even have incorporated this into her understanding of climate change etc. Where is her position on this? Do you see something similar in her peer group as I mentioned concerning my daughters or do you notice anything different?
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 08:09:39

I remember in the 70's, this blooming of alternative energies, whole earth catalogs, organic gardening, making clothes out of burlap bags. And then suddenly the 80's came, Reagan told us it's morning in America again, and all those hippies turned to yuppies and we went on a binge forgetting almost overnight all those sustainable values. I think this history has a lot of folks sympathetic with Cog's comment yesterday

Cog wrote:The deal is Ibon most people are entirely disingenuous about their own selfish desires. Oh they proclaim they want equality and social justice or some other mythical utopia.


Those hippies turning to yuppies in the 80's certainly support Cog's comment.

I don't think Trump's similar slogan wanting to make America great again will give rise to another chapter of Yuppiedom. I think it is truly different this time around.

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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby Revi » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 08:12:01

KaiserJeep wrote:How many of you have tried to reduce your consumption of plastic bags and wraps?
How many of you have attempted to source local foodstuffs?
How many of you have added occupancy sensors to turn off lighting in unused rooms?
How many of you use smart thermostats?
How many of you even attempt to reduce gasoline consumption?
.
.
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I could go on and on. Step back from your self absorption, and make an effort to be frugal, even miserly, with fuels and grid energy and everything made from petroleum. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.


We have done, and continue to do all of those thing. I agree. I think the worst is that there are people who know about climate change and continue to live a lifestyle of flying all over the world while calling themselves environmentalists. I can see a few people giving talks, promoting awareness. I can also see people doing all sorts of important things that require air travel, but I can't see people flying all over the place just because they're bored.
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby Ibon » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:17:56

Revi wrote: but I can't see people flying all over the place just because they're bored.


Those who travel out of boredom are the same folks that lived unfulfilled lives where they permanently live. They derive little joy , contentment and sense of accomplishment in their work and where they live so they fly to far away places out of boredom, half the time complaining.

This is the quintessential consumer mentality, consuming where they live so they have no sense worth around self reliance. These are the folks who can't fix things, they buy and throw away. They live empty lives.

This is the sector of our population duped with consumption culture. It fails to cultivate meaningful lives.

Constraints will increasingly marginalize these folks who lack integrity. They lack adaptability in hard times coming.

Discretionary spending will also be contracting in the future as well, travel for the masses will be reduced. The privilege of travel will be cherished and not taken for granted.

Excess energy has developed a slovenly culture. I have little sympathy for fools.
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:36:48

Revi - Gore flying around making $10,000 speeches for a couple of hours isn't the problem. And neither is a solution being brought about by anyone here living of the grid with their solar panels.

The problem is (and will continue to be) the billions of folks making relatively tiny incremental increases in fossil fuel consumption. And while it might be incouraging to see global per capita consumption leveling off for a while the population continues to increase. Which is why the world is consuming more oil today then during the vast majority of the oil age: lower prices are allowing many of those new consumers acquire even more.

Which leads to a point I made elsewhere: nearly all the gains in moving away from fossil fuels (wind, solar, EV's, etc) is being accomplished in the more developed (read affluent) economies. And why: the well developed infrastructure of those economies (built on the back of fossil fuels) facilitate alt energy utilization. Like my one standard go-to example: Texas wind power. A world class system that would not have been built bout without our tax payers funding a $7 billion grid expansion. A $7 billion expense we could not have covered if our economy was as strong as it is. Is your Maine capable of handling a similar "investmeny" for you future?

Thus the odd paradox: those societies that have benefited the most from fossil fuel consumption (and continue to do so today) are the ones most capable of moving away from fossil fuels. As long as they don't move faster the their fossil fuel supported infrastructure can handle.
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 14:07:00

I put forth the basic conundrum we all face four years ago when I joined. Perhaps it is time I again rubbed the grim facts in your faces.

7.5B human beings is simply an unsustainable number. That many people, even if each were an ardent environmentalist living a low impact lifestyle, would still be driving the planet rapidly into mass extinction. Recall that the present rate of plant/animal/etc. species extinctions is unprecedented in the fossil record. The presence of 7.5B Kudzu Apes is the deadliest condition ever experienced by this planet called Earth.

They are already here, and the majority have only marginal lifestyles by First World standards, and they all want what we have - health, clean water, enough food, bountiful energy, and toys. But there isn't enough stuff on the planet to give them that, and if we attempt to do so, we will be killing the planet more rapidly.

When we just look at China, if we were to simply bring that 1.379B (2016 figure from wiki) up to Western standards, there is not enough refinery capacity, let alone petroleum. Not to mention, some demographers claim tha India surpassed China as the Earth's most populous country this year.

You as an individual have two viable choices:

1) Become an advocate of Gaia, Mother Earth, Nature, the Living Planet, the Planetary Ecosystem, whatever you want to call it, and of preserving the same. This necessarily involves advocating genocide of all humans everywhere on the planet, for the sake of all other species. The idea if taken to an extreme involves mass human suicide, and a dwindling number of humans acting as caretakers, healing the broken ecosystem, before dying without reproducing. In any case, 7.5B, or 10B or more dead humans.

2) Become what you already are by the way you are living, which is a destructive species that is killing the ecosystem faster than the Chicxulub impactor did when it struck the planet 65M years ago and cashed in the chips for the dominant dinosaur species. As the population grows, we take over the ecosystem and simplify it, until only humans and their food species remain.

Yes, that's a discription of two extremes. I won't deny that there are a wealth of positions between them. I take the second path as an advocate of humanity. That does not prevent me from being saddened by the deterioration around me, I have been watching the world decline for decades. My only other point is that the two extremes are the most viable paths, and that attempting to walk some middle path IMHO does more damage in the long run.

Those of you who have chosen to hide somewhere that does not rub your face is the basic choice man vs. planet, are hiding rather than making this choice, pretending - along with the majority of humans - that no choice is necessary.

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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby GHung » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 14:21:42

Typical binary conclusion, Jeepster. A third response is to conclude we're screwed either way and plan watch it play out from the cheap seats while the rest of humanity continues it's devolution into insanity.
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 14:31:46

I like very much the ideas of Kaiser in this respect. But I would go further and depict our Catch 22 as something totally beyond our control in the sense that we now have present these conditions which are rapidly deteriorating the basis for most life on this planet. We are NOT going to commit mass suicide. We may decide to eliminate via War and such many people but I would not define that as suicide but simply survival of the fittest. We are going to be culled one way or the other but we will not do so voluntarily. That to me is the unalterable status of our existence as a species at this time. The only question is how we attempt to manage or adapt to this harsh reality. Maybe we can build artificial environments that hardly need at all a vibrant natural world, maybe some of us manage to survive out in space. That would be examples of adapting but the Age of Consequences is here and that cannot be altered.
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 14:51:37

Perhaps we will have gained enough wisdom to avoid conflict and resource wars and nuclear war.

Which would mean we continue to reproduce, killing everything until a few humans remain on a mostly barren Earth.

It may be the actual path we are on, given our ape instincts. But I never said there was a binary choice, given the situation. There are many many permutations, most continue to extinguish other species, until finally we end up living in a place that has only genetically engineered plants and animals and insects - and 30B or so humans, and smells bad.
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 15:00:33

Yes, I forgot the part of us modifying ourselves genetically/cybernetically. Sorry Kaiser.
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 16:51:35

Not so much ourselves as our food species. I believe we are all of us consuming GMO plants and animals already, mostly unknowingly, and in spite of GMO labelling requirements.
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby kublikhan » Wed 13 Sep 2017, 17:07:00

ROCKMAN wrote:Which leads to a point I made elsewhere: nearly all the gains in moving away from fossil fuels (wind, solar, EV's, etc) is being accomplished in the more developed (read affluent) economies. And why: the well developed infrastructure of those economies (built on the back of fossil fuels) facilitate alt energy utilization. Like my one standard go-to example: Texas wind power. A world class system that would not have been built bout without our tax payers funding a $7 billion grid expansion. A $7 billion expense we could not have covered if our economy was as strong as it is. Is your Maine capable of handling a similar "investmeny" for you future?
This is changing. More and more renewable investments/additions are coming from the developing economies. Meanwhile developed economies have been slashing renewable subsidies and investments. In 2015, developing countries passed developed in terms of new renewable investments:

For the first time in history, total investment in renewable power and fuels in developing countries in 2015 exceeded that in developed economies. The developing world, including China, India and Brazil, committed a total of $156 billion (up 19% compared to 2014). China played a dominant role, increasing its investment by 17% to $102.9 billion, accounting for 36% of the global total. Renewable energy investment also increased significantly in India, South Africa, Mexico and Chile. Other developing countries investing more than $500 million in renewables in 2015 included Morocco, Uruguay, the Philippines, Pakistan and Honduras.

By contrast, renewable energy investment in developed countries as a group declined by 8% in 2015, to $130 billion. The most significant decrease was seen in Europe (down 21% to $48.8 billion).
Renewable Energy 2016 Global Status Report

Renewable investments fell in both developed and developing markets in 2016 and developed countries managed to edge out the developing countries in investments. However thanks to falling costs capacity additions actually rose over 2015 levels:

Global new investment in renewable power and fuels was $241.6 billion in 2016. Although this represents a decrease of 23% compared to the previous year, the decline accompanied a record installation of renewable power capacity worldwide in 2016[161 GW of new capacity in 2016 vs 148 GW in 2015].

Most new renewable energy capacity is installed in developing countries, and largely in China, the single largest developer of renewable power and heat over the past eight years. In 2016, renewable energy spread to a growing number of developing and emerging economies, some of which have become important markets.

For the more than 1 billion people without access to electricity, distributed renewable energy projects, especially those in rural areas far from the centralised grid, offer important and often cost effective options to provide such access.
Renewable Energy 2017 Global Status Report
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Re: Death of Peakoil: China looks at plans to ban petrol and

Unread postby Cog » Fri 15 Sep 2017, 15:26:07

@Ibon

I would say the daughter did get a sense of frugality and savings from me. We certainly talked about it a lot and she is debt free and intends to stay that way. She does believe in all the liberal laundry list of things like single payer healthcare, Trump is literally Hitler, etc. We get along well now but there was some not so kind words exchanged after the election. People on both sides invested a lot of emotion into it.

I would say she is like some millennials. Doesn't care about a lot about material possessions but likes experiences. Eating at new and unique places and seeing things and meeting people. She certainly didn't get that from me as I'm boring and dislike most people.
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