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PeakOil is You

PeakOil is You

Have Even A Partial Solution?

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

Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Kylon » Fri 23 Jun 2006, 12:13:56

I can see the solution which people like Novus will use.


Mega Nuclear Breeding Reactors-

Basically gigantic breeder reactors that are built into one another in order to reduce the cost of materials needed to shield everyone from the radiation.

With that people could build nuclear plants safer, and much, much cheaper.

Imagine putting 40 nuclear plants in one place.

The downside of our course, will be although the chances of an explosion happening become expontentially reduced, if it does explode, it would wipe out all of North America.

Then you say, "What about Nuclear waste?"

That's where the people respond, "Liquidify it, and dump in it Sub-Saharan Africa, so it can soak deep, deep into the pourous soil, never to bother us again."

The rationale will be there, hippies will be out manueverd, outyelled, outlobbyed. People will keep their McMansions, and live in their unsustainable, unheathly lifestyle, and continue the status quo.

As far as water supplies are concerned-

The rich will drink pure, clean, distilled water from boilers using nuclear energy.

The poor will drink less water, that's nasty, and filled with toxic waste and harmful microrganisms.

People will adapt the best they can, Natural selection will do the rest,

Concerning the environment-

In order to construct these last-minute save our McMansion way of life Mega Nuclear reactors, people will rape the environment, because as long as we are able to live the good life without changing, we will. Once the good life is over, we won't have the resources to produce the mechanisms necessary to sustain the good life in the future. This means ultimately, that we will rape the environment, in one last hope of building the Mega Reactors and saving civilization.

Concerning Urbanization- I see us going to a more Japanese environment, except with virtual reality.

People will live in very compact, small spaces, and pay high rent, and their only escape will be virtual reality. People already are being immersed in worlds like Everquest, Asheron's Call, Shadow Bane, and World of Warcraft. Basically people will do this, except it will be most, if not all of their freetime.

Instead of making real books, which cost wood, and money, people will make virtual books, which are almost exactly like the real books. Instead of going to the movie theatre which is 5 miles away, you will simply virtually go to the movie theatre, with the selection of location.

Because people will be apathetic, and not really getting much physical activity in their virtual reality world, then people will use fewer calories, although lifespans will be much shorter(except for the rich).

Also, virtual movie theatres, virtual sports events, virtual everything, will cost money. Virtual services will be the same in value as real services. So that you may live in a space smaller than a cubicle, but it will feel like, and you will have, a virtual castle, a virtual house.

That's how the middle classes will be motivated. You work hard, you get a virtual house, virtual this and virtual that. The best part about this, is it's complete population control. Having virtual sex(which in the future would be MUCH, MUCH better, almost as good if not better than having real sex) rather than real physical sex, will drain away the sex drive of the populace, and keep them from having intercourse except when the government deems it to be in the interest of the greater good.

Ontop of this, because everything will be virtual, and nothing will really be real, the government will have complete control over what you see and hear. Political discourse will be virtually zero. Workers rallying against the government will be non-existant. Because in the virtual world, you may have 7,000 workers rallying against the government, but the government can make it seem like there are only 20, demoralizing the populace. Also, if the government is dealing with 500 workers going on strike in the virtual world(because they've been conditioned to do everything inside the video game), the government can magically all have their virtual characters teleported to virtual Jail, where they won't get out(which will be their whole world, other than eating and slaving for the government). Ultimately we will all be slaves for the government overlords.

BTW, this is the middle class, the educated that get virtual reality.

The people who aren't educated, who do nothing but manual labor, they live outside these compact arcological cities. They are constantly exposed to toxins, waste, extreme temperatures, extreme dryness, very little water, polluted groundwater, overcrowded, very little police forces, and very little government support. They may have a sort of escapism, but it won't be nearly as elaborate as the virtual reality. Their escapism will be a machine which zaps their brain, and makes them feel pleasure for hours on end. They will essentially be addicts, and that will be the only good thing in their life.

Oh, and the government won't worry about overpopulation in the slums, because if someone produces too many children, the children simply die.

Ultimately they will live in hell on Earth.

The Rich, well, they still live very well, in the traditional sense.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Ludi » Fri 23 Jun 2006, 14:35:14

I need some kind of "crying" icon.

The issue isn't water to drink (though that is a huge problem also), the main issue is water for agriculture. If you're saying the rich can do without agriculture.....I just dunno.

As I recall there was an historical event a little bit ago, in which the rich got so irritating and selfish the non-rich rounded them up and chopped off their heads with a special device. I suppose if the non-rich can be kept apathetic permanently that might not happen again.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Kylon » Fri 23 Jun 2006, 15:28:48

back then the rich didn't have Sarine Nerve gas, VX, and nukes.

Nice thought though,

It's cheaper/easier to go where the rich don't have nukes/sarine nerve gas, and where you know it's going to be unstable, and just setup there.

Then you don't have to worry about high tech weapons, or an extremely organized military. Just some warlords, thugs, gangs, and a few angry peasants.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby TonyPrep » Fri 23 Jun 2006, 17:43:05

Kylon,

You seem to think that "the rich" are some other species or living in their own bubble, completely isolated from the effects of the converging catastrophes, with all of their wealth similarly unaffected. Now that is virtual reality, IMO.

Rich and well-off people will undoubtedly be able to continue life "as normal" for longer, but no-one will remain unaffected.

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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby Jenab6 » Fri 23 Jun 2006, 22:40:50

Ludi wrote:In what way is promoting the reduction in the need to earn, changing to a simpler largely vegetarian diet, growing one's own food or joining a community garden, changing to a home based business, etc etc "like saying now go kill youself"? In what way are any of the above activites lethal? These are just a very small sample of simple actions we can take to reduce our need for energy inputs (powerdown = reducing one's need for energy inputs).

In what way are any of these things indicative of a death cult or mad max survivalism?

That reminded me of a question that I thought up a long time ago when I heard that "large scale commercial agriculture" had "forced" small farmers off their lands. The question was: Why?

Regardless of however much more efficient the big agribusiness might be, compared to the small farmer, in terms of yield per invested dollar, the small farmer can still subsist on his land if he wants to. Just because there's a bunch of tractors and harvesters running up and down the fields of the nearby corporate farm doesn't subtract in the slightest from the fertility of the small farmer's own soil or from his strength & stamina for swinging a hoe, or from his patience in planting a row of seed, or from his ingenuity at keeping away crows and rabbits that might eat his seed or growing veggies.

It has always seemed to me that the small farmer could still feed himself and his family, could still collect water from rain that falls as much on his land as on his neighbors', could shut out the world, if necessary, could be Amish if he had religious ambitions that way...

So what "forced" the small farmer off his land?
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby rwwff » Fri 23 Jun 2006, 22:47:15

Jenab6 wrote:So what "forced" the small farmer off his land?


Property taxes?
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby Jenab6 » Fri 23 Jun 2006, 23:04:27

rwwff wrote:
Jenab6 wrote:So what "forced" the small farmer off his land?


Property taxes?

Nope. I don't know what the right answer is, but that answer is most certainly the wrong one. The property tax on two acres improved with a house and an outbuilding is about $150 per year (Little Levels District, Pocahontas County, West Virginia, 2006).

A full-sized apple tree will grow 10 bushels of apples per year, which will, even with competition from commercial apple sellers, still fetch more than enough money to pay the property tax. And, if the farm lot is not improved with buildings, the tax is less.

Any other ideas?

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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Fri 23 Jun 2006, 23:28:34

Jenab6 wrote: So what "forced" the small farmer off his land?


Giant agri-businesses like ADM benefit from huge government subsidies and from trade policies that favor large-scale production. They operate on a huge scale and profit from volume where the smaller farmer cannot borrow against the fall crop to plant and fertilizer the spring planting, pay for the debt for the huge machinery required to plant the acreage and make a living.

However, if they didn't go into debt on machinery, rotated their crops, and used little petrochemicals and inorganic fertilizers, they could squeak by.

My grandfather did this and left me 212 acres of paid for land with great soil. We always rotated soybeans, corn, and aflalfa on the same field. Ran cattle and hogs and spread manure from the feed lots and chicken coop. We didn't make 120 bushels an acre, but then again, we didn't have to.

And the biggest leg up was that we could wait until the market was up to sell our crop, while our neigbors had to sell at the time of harvest to make loan payments on nitrogen, herbicides, and new equipment.
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby Jenab6 » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 03:37:31

Novus wrote:After that last post Monte all I have to say to you is stay out of my way. You did a good job in waking us all up to Peak Oil but now it is time for you to move over. People with solutions are stepping forward and we are not going to let you tell us what cannot be done.

So, what are you going to do? Invent a new energy source? That's impossible. Energy is neither created nor destroyed - first law of thermodynamics. Unless you happen to be a god with the power to rewrite the laws of nature, you're not going to invent any new energy sources.

All technology can do, has ever done, is tap into energy that already exists in the universe, harvesting it with some energy loss from mechanical inefficiency, transporting it at a cost of energy, transforming it with some energy loss to heat, and transmitting it to the end user (such as yourself) with further losses.

The only reason the world has 6.6 billion people now is the rapid draw-down of the Earth's oil deposits during the last hundred years. Without that oil, nowhere near that many people can be fed because the methods of farming required to feed them need fossil fuels to work.

Go ahead: chew over the problem and try to think of something that nobody else has. Let me eliminate one for you, however. Even if Saturn's moon, Titan, has an ocean of petrochemicals on its surface, they won't do us any good here on Earth. The rocket burns required by the least-energy transfer orbit from Saturn to Earth use several times more energy than can be recovered by burning the petrol-cargo being delivered. Even if Titan has a hundred times more "oil" (or equivalent) than Earth ever did, not one drop of it can possibly be used on Earth at an energy profit.

Like it or not: billions of people will die between 2050 and 2100. The world's population will shrink from 9 billion down to 1 billion or less. It's going to be death, death, death. And there's not one thing anybody can do to prevent it. It's too late.

I think you might have been watching too much Star Trek. On these sci-fi TV shows, something always comes along to save the day. A new element. The Force. Another dimension. In fiction, such things can happen. In the real world, it hardly ever works out that way.

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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby Jenab6 » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 04:03:43

Novus wrote:
MonteQuest wrote:So, let me get this straight: You have overextended yourself and you live way beyond your means. You are in debt up to your eyeballs, and going deeper into debt every day.


Your solution is to get out of debt by quitting your job and dropping out of society so the debt collectors can't collect.

Nope. It's learning to live without debt while working for a lot less. Who's this "collector"? You can play games with money that you can't play with energy, and some of those games involve credit. A banker gives credit because he wants to obligate you to pay him interest, or else he can seize your property in lieu of the money you don't have. Bankers can do that because they create money "out of nothing" - i.e., money is a fiction. Energy is real, however. You can't beg credit from nature; you pay as you go, though of course there's an equivalent to interest: entropy.

EDIT: My mistake. Entropy is the equivalent of tax, not interest. Interest accumulates while you hold principal; i.e., time depreciates the loan. Tax occurs when you try to use your money to do something. While just about any energy reservoir will leak a bit (heat), which is sort of interesty, the main entropic losses happen when you change the location or the state of the energy, e.g., by burning oil to make mechanical energy to make electrical energy to make AC current to sell to customers. That's more of a taxy thing.

Jerry Abbott
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby pea-jay » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 04:03:43

rwwff wrote:
Jenab6 wrote:So what "forced" the small farmer off his land?


Property taxes?


Maybe they werent forced after all. More than likely they were lured away.

I think in many cases, the small farmer's kids were pulled off the farm by opportunities outside the farm in the cities. When the farmer reached retirement age, with no heirs willing to assume the role, inevitably the small homestead was sold off to a neighbor who was willing to industrialize his agriculture or to developers who would build homes or commercial development on it.
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby rwwff » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 04:03:45

Jenab6 wrote:Like it or not: billions of people will die between 2050 and 2100. The world's population will shrink from 9 billion down to 1 billion or less. It's going to be death, death, death. And there's not one thing anybody can do to prevent it. It's too late.


They may die sooner than you think. I think between the US and China we're forcing it to happen earlier so as to avoid any unnecessary economic disruptions which might upset the profits of central committee members (and their family members) and the US heavy hitters.

Simple words: Ethanol, coal, one-child.

Deploy ethanol to strip grain away from the poor countries.
Burn coal to reduce the lifespans of most humans.
One-Child reduces birthrate in China.

Strangle India and Indonesia.
Cut Africa out of everything.
Let South America do whatever it is they do down there.
The Ausies and Japanese are with us.
The Euros are joining the New Islamic Empire.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Jenab6 » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 04:23:11

A large windmill produces maybe 20 kilowatts. When the wind is blowing. I'll assume it's blowing all the time.

A large nuclear power plant produces maybe 2 gigawatts.

1 nuclear power plant = 100,000 large windmills

The world uses 85 million barrels of oil per day.
One barrel of oil = 5.5E+9 Joules
85 million barrels of oil = 4.7E+17 Joules
There are 86400 seconds in a day.
The world's power use in oil averages 5.4E+12 Watts.

The world's power use in oil = 2705 large nuclear power plants
The world's power use in oil = 270,500,000 large windmills

However, if you're going to make hydrogen from water for use in fuel cells, this will increase the total energy needed for transportation above the present cost for using oil. That's because oil (and its derivatives) are already exothermic for fuel uses, whereas electrolysing water will require input energy just to create a burnable chemical fuel.

The same goes with fertilizers. With petrochemicals, the task is relatively easy. If you must create ammonium nitrate in some more chemically contrived way, the energy cost of doing so will be much higher.

Such considerations as these will raise the number of windmills you would need to build. And building the windmills is, itself, a job that will require a lot of energy.

Jerry Abbott
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Gridlock » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 06:24:44

Let South America do whatever it is they do down there.


Indeed, I doubt you'll hear much talk about the end of civilization down there. Funny that.
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby Ludi » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 16:18:07

Jenab6 wrote:So what "forced" the small farmer off his land?


Please read "The Unsettling of America" by Wendell Berry.
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby MacG » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 16:39:21

Shannymara wrote:
MonteQuest wrote:How could anyone presume to improve upon Nature?

That's why I don't think we should have a large scale population control program. That, and the fact that the people who get to make the decisions are invariably scumbags.


Well, i happen to think that there is one dead-simple way to implement a large scale population control program: Empower women. Silvio Gesell argued that all land should be regarded as common, but should be leased out (on long term conditions) to the highest bidder. The incomes should go mainly to women of the society to make them independent and secure. I think it's a silver bullet for many problems.
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby Ludi » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 18:56:25

MacG wrote:Silvio Gesell argued that all land should be regarded as common, but should be leased out (on long term conditions) to the highest bidder.


So if I don't have a big o' pile o' cash, I'm poopy out of luck as far as getting access to land is concerned, no matter how much I might know about how to manage it well. If I can't be the highest bidder, too bad on me. Even if I am a woman.

Hmmm.
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby MonteQuest » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 21:07:07

Shannymara wrote:
MonteQuest wrote:How could anyone presume to improve upon Nature?

That's why I don't think we should have a large scale population control program. That, and the fact that the people who get to make the decisions are invariably scumbags.


Yes, it does bring up a conundrum: how do we acquiesce to the inevitable bloom and die-off, while at the same time be aware of our ability not to?

How do we prepare for a population corrrection?

Let our predators back out?
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby rwwff » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 21:20:08

MonteQuest wrote: Says a lot about how tenuous the few cereal grains are in our food supply.


They are after all, solely our creation. There's no reasons to suspect that they could long survive without us.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby perdition79 » Sat 24 Jun 2006, 23:41:11

The best solution would be to cut all humanitarian aid. Period. No more gigantic bags of corn, rice, and wheat for all those starving pukes who weigh less than my left leg. If the people are so hungry, why don't they eat the flies orbiting their heads? And why are their stomachs so large if they're not eating? Something suspicious there...
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