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Peak Nonsense

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

Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Nonsense » Tue 29 May 2007, 07:37:33

So I have been lurking & reading here for some time & I had a few comments.

While it's obvious that conventional oil will peak eventually, it's not really possible to predict when, as far as I can see. For all we know some company will make a large new find tomorrow which renders all this fine panic you have created meaningless.

We don't know what's going to happen... everybody panic!

You people should try the asteroid doom fantasies... about the same level of credibility as peak oil, but with excellent graphics.

How much money does this peak thing make anyway?
Surely you can find a better way to scare people for profit.

This Armageddon in the gas-tank thing is clever, because it plays on people's fears of poverty, at a time when gas prices are high. But the truth is you can't predict when this will happen within 3 decades as far as I can tell, which is like saying it's possible that dolphins will rise from the sea to destroy mankind someday. (It could happen)

You people seem to think that as oil prices rise, humanity will just sit around waiting for society to collapse. Don't you think people will be scrambling for new energy sources & thinking of things you didn't anticipate? And if that's true, how can you predict what will happen to our energy future?

The truth is you can't.

But some of you write as if you already know what will happen... like this Montequest character. It's foolish to assume you know what will happen, when you obviously can't know that. Peak oil may very well be a reality, but some of you make a dozen logical leaps of faith between possible peak oil & some future where Mad Max roams the land eating dog-food.

Please...

I rather suspect that many of you are expressing your frustration about other parts of your life, & not really about peak oil itself. For centuries sheeple have flocked to the banner of impending doom of one kind or another. There must be something comforting about mankind's fall from greatness that's appeals to certain kinds of people or something.

I'm sure this post will get deleted or whatever as soon as TPTB around here discover it. Can't have anybody spoiling the doom-fun right? People, if you go to a website that says, "Something terrible is coming... but we don't know when, or what will happen", you have to wonder what they are getting out of it.

Profit? A feeling of superiority? Kicks?

Whatever... you might as well predict that the Morlocks will rise from the Earth to devour us all. It could happen.

Start a real website when you have some facts which can be verified. Until then this "The sky is falling sometime between now & 50 years from now", just isn't very scary.

On a side note, some of you should study up on the laws of thermodynamics... they do not mean what you think they mean.

So go ahead and censor or edit my post... seems like the norm around here; from my observations.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby OnceFueled » Tue 29 May 2007, 07:41:48

Somebody needs a little education - and a nap.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Madpaddy » Tue 29 May 2007, 07:49:11

Why don't you tell us what YOU think the laws of thermodynamics mean?

What do YOU anticipate mankind will use as a substitute for oil?

I'ld like to know what you think the solutions might be. Even the EIA predicts peak oil is pretty much imminent.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Smudger » Tue 29 May 2007, 07:59:29

I am not in the "we are all doomed" camp and until PO dismissed all doom scenarios.

I take a broader look at things based on some broad facts:

Fact 1: the human population is consuming earths resources which are not renewable.
Fact 2: World population 1940's - 2bn, now 6.5bn 2050- 9bn. Thats a lot of growth
Fact 3: at some point a combination of the above will result in there being a cross over point where there will not be enough total resources to meet in an economic way the total demands

at which point it will be fairly annoying for us humans.

To my mind oil is one of various commodities where this will happen at some point. For oil be it 2005 or 2045.

Once you get to this point - I assume you have as hopefully none of the above is subjective. the question is how do we slow delay fact 3 from happening to allow us humans to reach a new stable steadt state without the potential pain inbetween. which then leads you down the path of alternative energy, conversing supplies etc. (so i buy into the "us clever humans will find alternatives" bit i would just like to get to a point where we dont have to go through the 20 years of deep recession to get there).

that's the sensible bit.

Now the more uber future question is:

At some point in time the human race will need to populate another planet to keep our race alive before the earth stops being able to support us- yes i know yet another fact. As some point say even 2,000 years time (bearing in mind the longest projected supply left of any commodity - aluminimium is only c.900 years i am assumes lots of recycling here) the earth will cease to have the ability to be able to put humans into space - its quite hard being launched from wooden space rockets. this gives us a fairly short timescale before we become tied for ever to the earth and have to calmly await the overheating in 1 billion years time. just a thought.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby vision-master » Tue 29 May 2007, 08:01:31

Yeah, it can't be true, let the gas prices will tell the story. Oh wait, it's a refinery problem. Hum? I know, it's those oil companies ripping us off. Let's do a gas station boycott for one day. Hey, I got a better idea, let's make it one Month! :razz:
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby mark » Tue 29 May 2007, 08:13:38

Everyone has a right to his own mind. It doesn't do to try to persuade anyone of anything, argument merely provokes denial.

It's good enough to present the facts and let others draw their own conclusions.

Being the confirmed doomer (not in the conventional sense as used around here) that I am, even I sometimes wonder if I may have missed something. We are, after all, wonderfully inventive and curious.

It's also his first post, which reminds me of my first back in the summer of '04. Perhaps he'll learn, as we all did, that this whole Peak Oil thing is so much more than just energy.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Jack » Tue 29 May 2007, 08:16:04

Nonsense wrote:A feeling of superiority?


Sure, that works for me. Besides, it pleases Hawkman.

CCTQP.

:LOL:
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby jdumars » Tue 29 May 2007, 08:34:20

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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Doly » Tue 29 May 2007, 08:37:39

Nonsense wrote:Start a real website when you have some facts which can be verified. Until then this "The sky is falling sometime between now & 50 years from now", just isn't very scary.


No, the sky is falling sometime between now and 5 years from now. You got an order of magnitude wrong.

And if you want some facts to support the claim, go to Wikipedia and search for "peak oil". Then follow the external links and get some more facts. I trust that you believe in some degree of objectivity in Wiki.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Madpaddy » Tue 29 May 2007, 08:43:22

Hey,

Where did Aarons post go. he's playing devils advocate here.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Nonsense » Tue 29 May 2007, 08:53:28

Dammit... Outted myself on my first try... crap. (damn autofill!)

This won't be nearly as much fun now...

Well here was my reply:

What do YOU anticipate mankind will use as a substitute for oil?


I don't know. Neither do you. That was my point.

How can we make predictions based on our collective ignorance? What about the stuff we don't know, we don't know? This was my point about thermodynamics. Works fine predicting chemical reactions, but not very well predicting society & human behaviour.

Too many factors to be more than a wild guess.

Just like trying to predict global oil peak. Peak might very well be right this moment, but you can't hope to prove that until many years in the future. So what's the point?

Successful prophets of doom always pick a date far into the future, to ensure their franchise a long, prosperous life.

It seems to me that peak oil depends on about 1/2 dozen assumptions to be an imminent threat. If OPEC is lying. If new technology does not provide surprising advances. If a gentle depletion plateau doesn't soften the blow.

With little financial incentive to explore in recent decades, perhaps the renewed interest in energy will spur new exploration & yield tons of new finds previously considered impossible? This has happened before.

My point is that their are simply too many factors which may greatly affect the reality here, that predictions like "peak oil" are little more than armchair speculation, & carry about the same gravity.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Ebyss » Tue 29 May 2007, 09:21:15

So I have been lurking & reading here for some time & I had a few comments.


I think you need to continue doing this for a wee bit longer...
We've tried nothin' and we're all out of ideas.

I am only one. I can only do what one can do. But what one can do, I will do. -- John Seymour.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby PraiseDoom » Tue 29 May 2007, 09:31:05

Nonsense wrote:
Start a real website when you have some facts which can be verified. Until then this "The sky is falling sometime between now & 50 years from now", just isn't very scary.



HERETIC!! NON BELIEVER!! Its already HAPPENED....just because no one has noticed doesn't mean we can't believe, to our dying days, that the Peak was significant, to someone, somewhere, somehow!!
Nonsense wrote:
So go ahead and censor or edit my post... seems like the norm around here; from my observations.


Noticing the bias around here is not permitted. Speaking out against the dogma of doom is not permitted. You want fairness and objectivity, move along.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Olle » Tue 29 May 2007, 09:33:10

Well Mr Nonsence,
I can not see the problem with people beeing interested i our energy future. Some like to discuss Britney Spears and some like to discuss peak oil. In both cases it might of cource be an escape from the everyday reality, but why be so upset?

Access to energy is important in our lives and I believe that is why many people are intresseted in understanding it. An open discussion forum will of cource atract all types of people, but that's the beauty of it. If you only want to see one side of a story there is allways the main stream media.

I'll give you right in one sence though. People that are pessimistic reagrding our energy future tends to dominate this forum a bit.

I'm looking forward to a lot of well written optimistic views from your side on this forum!

:)
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby UncoveringTruths » Tue 29 May 2007, 09:35:36

Last week the Government Accountability Office released its long-awaited report on peak oil. This report is clearly a milestone on our journey through the oil age for it is the first time the staff of a major government agency has looked at the issue and concluded that peak oil is real and, if it occurs soon, could cause a world-wide recession. Even more notable is that the Departments of Energy and Interior generally agreed with the conclusions.

There is little in the report those following the peak oil story do not already know:

    The US, as the world’s biggest consumer of oil, is the most vulnerable to the consequences of peaking;
    Sixty percent of the world’s oil reserves now are controlled by unstable countries;
    At best, the US could only hope to replace about 4 percent of its liquid fuel consumption with alternatives by 2015;
    A hydrogen-based economy is not in the immediate cards;
    And, most importantly, the US government had better get its act together soon to do something about all this.


The Peak Oil Crisis: The GAO Report

Ante up and place your bets! Your life may depend on it!
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Pretorian » Tue 29 May 2007, 09:44:17

Nonsense wrote:How can we make predictions based on our collective ignorance? What about the stuff we don't know, we don't know? This was my point about thermodynamics. Works fine predicting chemical reactions, but not very well predicting society & human behaviour.



Dude if this sums up your knowledge ab thermodynamics you really should sue your high-school district for back taxes and waisted time. You will win bigtime.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby miraculix » Tue 29 May 2007, 10:13:56

just another troll

let's move along * nothing to see here
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Madpaddy » Tue 29 May 2007, 10:16:05

Don't you guys read.

It's Aaron in disguise.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby threadbear » Tue 29 May 2007, 10:24:04

vision-master wrote:Yeah, it can't be true, let the gas prices will tell the story. Oh wait, it's a refinery problem. Hum? I know, it's those oil companies ripping us off. Let's do a gas station boycott for one day. Hey, I got a better idea, let's make it one Month! :razz:


Are you aware the oil companies in the US do not own the service stations? They are at the mercy of the refiners, who, through mergers and aquistions, function as an oligopoly, in a lax regulatory atmosphere. There is little transparency regarding the issue of actual supply, outside of what the oil companies tell us. That isn't to say there aren't supply shortages, it's to say, be careful who you listen to for the information you may base your life around.

My support for peak oil theory is based purely on intuition. It seems that it should run out one day, but exactly when and how, can't be known for sure. There are posters on this forum who work or have worked for the oil industry who supply details based on their own experience, that verify shortages. I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. I do agree with posters who point out that the best easiest accessed oil is likely tapped out.

A little daylight and healthy skepticism coming into this forum is appreciated, as differing points of view usually have to battle it out with entrenched peak oil fundamentalism that drives the new poster into a tautological cul de sac. Most people become road kill trying to get their point of view past the gatekeepers. If I got that reaction, I wouldn't come back and would cease reading the forum.

I agree with Peak Nonsense that people have to develop a bit more reasoned approach to this subject, otherwise they are red meat for Big Oil, who can take a serious difficulty and ramp it into a major catastrophe to justify wars and windfall profits.
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Re: Peak Nonsense

Unread postby Kingcoal » Tue 29 May 2007, 10:28:38

This thread reminds me of another one where a "lurker" decided to tell us all that trying to predict world peak is futile. Well, I kind of agree, but that is not the point. There are certain axioms that we use as a guide for our discussions:

1. Hydrocarbons are a very slowly renewing resource, so slow, that we call it non-renewable.
2. Hydrocarbon mining has this pesky parameter called "energy returned on energy invested." The early wells had EROEIs in the range of 200. Today, we are much much lower and falling. The much touted tar sands and oil shale probably have negative EROEIs when all is said and done.
3. Our modern economy is based on cheap hydrocarbons. Our modern agricultural industry is based on cheap hydrocarbons. As those hydrocarbons rise in price, the economy must find new sources to exploit - or contract.

In other words, there is plenty of oil still to be mined, however, the energy required to turn that oil into useful products exceeds the energy realized when those products are used. It is analogous to a company operating with a permanent deficit. Every year, investors must pump more money into the company to keep it afloat. We all know the typical outcome with that kind of company.

Nonsense has not explained what those new sources are or where they will come from. He simply says that "he doesn't know." While it's nice that he's optimistic, we here tend to think that there is too much optimism. In the words of Andy Grove, founder and CEO of Intel, "the paranoid survive." Amen to that.
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