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Seneca Cliff

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

Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby AdamB » Sun 30 Oct 2016, 17:17:07

dashster wrote:
AdamB wrote:
Ugo Bargi has been pimping this idea pretty hard. Just another blogger who got it wrong the last time around, trying to recycle yet another version of already discredited ideas.


What did he get wrong the last time around? Which of his ideas have been already discredited?


Forgive me but I cant find the post I said this in, to know the context. Ugo has been pimping the Seneca cliff idea for awhile, and he has been previously discredited in terms of his factual understanding of peak oil history. He appears to have only studied what I call "modern" peak oil, which corresponds roughing to more than a decade after Colin Campbell began declaring it. He is myopic in this regard, and because of it, says things that are just wrong. He then draws conclusions based on this limited and inaccurate knowledge, and looks foolish because of it. He needs access to a decent resource economist, but apparently doesn't have such access. Or care.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Revi » Mon 31 Oct 2016, 07:32:28

Okay, let's say he does get access to a resource economist, like say.... Gail Tverberg. Would she say the same thing?

I think so!
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 31 Oct 2016, 21:11:30

Revi wrote:Okay, let's say he does get access to a resource economist, like say.... Gail Tverberg. Would she say the same thing?

I think so!


Gail isn't a resource economist. Not even close.

Jim Smith at SMU, give him a call. Svetlana Ikonnikova at UTA, she would be worth listening to, Gurcan Gulen would work. Amy Jaffe at UC Hastings.

Howard Gruenspecht of the EIA knows more than any single person has a right to about resource economics, Mike Lynch is pretty damn well informed as well. Emil Attanasi at the USGS qualifies.

There are others, but these folks all qualify as experts. Jim Hamilton might do as well, if only because he is one of the few economists I've seen correctly explain the differences between reserves and resources and understands how the conversion between the two happens, and how the rate of that conversion matters.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Revi » Wed 09 Nov 2016, 12:59:55

Well why wouldn't the curve go down a lot faster than it went up? Are we going to extract the remaining resource at the same rate we extracted the left side of the curve? Or will it tank? Why or why not?
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Wed 09 Nov 2016, 13:29:30

Revi - "...why wouldn't the curve go down a lot faster than it went up?" A valid point IMHO...depending on the resource and the economy involved. Which is why I think the entire Seneca Cliff debate is somewhat pointless if it stays in the realm of generalities.

First, their are hundreds of millions of folks who CANNOT fall off a SC for a simple reason: they have never climbed to the top of a Seneca Hill. They have never been far from the bottom...and never will be.

OK then: let's restrict the discussion to those economies that have reached the heights. Obviously not every one is at the edge of the cliff. And even the ones that are it might be just the cliff edge of a certain resource. There are some countries that are not close to the edge with respect to oil (like the KSA) but as far as local agriculture they've always been in the deep valley below. OTOH there's the US that had been sliding down the backside of our hill for about 45 years...not exactly what I would call a "cliff". But we are very rich in ag commodities.

So again if there is going to be a meaning debate about the possibility of a future SC one first has to specify the particular economy and then the specific commodity. Until that approach is taken I suspect some folks will keep talking past each other.

The "economy" can't fall off a cliff with regards to any major commodity because there isn't an economy but dozens of different economies that will follow different paths.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby SumYunGai » Wed 09 Nov 2016, 15:09:00

ROCKMAN wrote:Revi - "...why wouldn't the curve go down a lot faster than it went up?" A valid point IMHO...depending on the resource and the economy involved. Which is why I think the entire Seneca Cliff debate is somewhat pointless if it stays in the realm of generalities...

So again if there is going to be a meaning debate about the possibility of a future SC one first has to specify the particular economy and then the specific commodity. Until that approach is taken I suspect some folks will keep talking past each other.

Okay, ROCKMAN, how's this?: The particular economy is the world economy and the specific commodity is the human population.

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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby shortonoil » Wed 09 Nov 2016, 16:00:58

"First, their are hundreds of millions of folks who CANNOT fall off a SC for a simple reason: they have never climbed to the top of a Seneca Hill. They have never been far from the bottom...and never will be."

Which has nothing to do with this graph:

https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqj ... /-1x-1.png

There is no new oil coming on line, and at $44/ barrel there won't be. Existing drill ready reserves will last how long? 4, 5, 6 years? Then what, since it takes 6 to 8 years to bring a new field online; if they can find any? A big crash is what. That sure of sounds like a Seneca Cliff in the making.

Unfortunately, the Etp Model doesn’t tell us how fast the decline will occur at the end of the curve. It just tells us when it has arrived, but it doesn't take much to see that it has arrived.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Revi » Thu 10 Nov 2016, 08:56:32

I lived in Guatemala in the 80's and saw some of those people who lived outside of the graph. They were Mayan farmers who had been doing the same thing, growing corn, beans and squash for 1000 years, since the Seneca Cliff-like crash of their civilization. They used no fossil fuel, didn't own vehicles and only went to the market once a week. They always seemed to me to be thinking that we were the ones who were foolish. They were doing what kept their culture going, and we were trying to get them to join us in this global enterprise. Fortunately they are still there, doing what they have always done. They might not be as affected by the crash. They might even think, "I told you so Gringo..." We'll see...
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 10 Nov 2016, 09:18:37

Revi wrote:I lived in Guatemala in the 80's and saw some of those people who lived outside of the graph. They were Mayan farmers who had been doing the same thing, growing corn, beans and squash for 1000 years, since the Seneca Cliff-like crash of their civilization. They used no fossil fuel, didn't own vehicles and only went to the market once a week. They always seemed to me to be thinking that we were the ones who were foolish. They were doing what kept their culture going, and we were trying to get them to join us in this global enterprise. Fortunately they are still there, doing what they have always done. They might not be as affected by the crash. They might even think, "I told you so Gringo..." We'll see...


I have seen the same think in the Amish communities in Ohio/Indiana/Michigan. The most traditional ones have contented not because they can not access what the rest of us consider normal, but because they voluntarily turn away from it. No person is forced to be Amish, it is a free choice, just as those Guatemalan farmers could move to the big city if they wanted too.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 10 Nov 2016, 11:28:33

"...how's this?: The particular economy is the world economy and the specific commodity is the human population." IMHO of little value. Within your curve there are shrinking populations as well as expanding. As I clearly pointed out: "...depending on the resource and the economy involved". Generalities are fine...until one starts talking specifics. At that point generalities tend to be of little use.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby SumYunGai » Thu 10 Nov 2016, 12:19:31

ROCKMAN wrote:"...how's this?: The particular economy is the world economy and the specific commodity is the human population." IMHO of little value. Within your curve there are shrinking populations as well as expanding. As I clearly pointed out: "...depending on the resource and the economy involved". Generalities are fine...until one starts talking specifics. At that point generalities tend to be of little use.

There are lumpers and there are splitters. You are the ultimate splitter. So you are saying that we cannot possibly have a rapid collapse and die-off in GENERAL because the population is composed of lots of SPECIFIC individual populations? Come on, ROCKMAN. That makes no sense.

The population of Easter Island rapidly collapsed in general, even though it was composed of several specific tribes. The same thing is true for the Mayans, whose civilization had many specific population centers, yet it still collapsed in general. The Seneca Cliff type collapse is the only type of collapse that ever seems to happen. If you give it enough thought, you will realize that a Seneca Cliff is the only type of collapse possible. This is true everywhere in nature. Things take much longer to build than to collapse. It makes for a good general rule.

It is the total available energy that keeps civilization going. Since we have reached the end of the oil age and total available energy is now sharply declining, how could we possibly avert a rapid collapse?
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 10 Nov 2016, 23:17:06

shortonoil wrote:There is no new oil coming on line, and at $44/ barrel there won't be.


Stop making it so obvious to prove you know nothing about the oil industry.

The Permian Basin has increased oil production from 1.8 mbpd in Jan of 2015 to 2.0 mbpd right around now.

Try looking up a fact every once in awhile, you make this far too easy.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 10 Nov 2016, 23:21:54

SumYunGai wrote:It is the total available energy that keeps civilization going.


No. It isn't. Because humans have had approximately (within 1-2%) the same available energy since we came down out of the trees and began using tools.

What keeps civilization going is power generation. Learn the difference, because it is important, and would prevent you from making statements that demonstrate that not only do you, or your futilist sock puppet salesman, know anything about the oil industry, physics, or economics, but you are clueless as to things so basic as the difference between energy, power and work.



SumYunGai wrote:Since we have reached the end of the oil age and total available energy is now sharply declining, how could we possibly avert a rapid collapse?


You require a conditional that isn't true to make your scenario work. 2+2<>5, regardless of the number of times you say it.

Should I add basic mathematics to the prior list?
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby SumYunGai » Fri 11 Nov 2016, 00:37:19

AdamB wrote:
SumYunGai wrote:It is the total available energy that keeps civilization going.

No. It isn't. Because humans have had approximately (within 1-2%) the same available energy since we came down out of the trees and began using tools.

That is totally false. Civilization uses far more energy than our primitive ancestors did.

AdamB wrote:What keeps civilization going is power generation. Learn the difference, because it is important, and would prevent you from making statements that demonstrate that not only do you, or your futilist sock puppet salesman, know anything about the oil industry, physics, or economics, but you are clueless as to things so basic as the difference between energy, power and work.

Your post contains no content. Just insults and condescension.

AdamB wrote:
SumYunGai wrote:Since we have reached the end of the oil age and total available energy is now sharply declining, how could we possibly avert a rapid collapse?

You require a conditional that isn't true to make your scenario work. 2+2<>5, regardless of the number of times you say it.

Should I add basic mathematics to the prior list?

More insults and condescension. That is all you know how to do.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby tita » Fri 11 Nov 2016, 02:35:52

AdamB wrote:
shortonoil wrote:There is no new oil coming on line, and at $44/ barrel there won't be.


Stop making it so obvious to prove you know nothing about the oil industry.

The Permian Basin has increased oil production from 1.8 mbpd in Jan of 2015 to 2.0 mbpd right around now.

Try looking up a fact every once in awhile, you make this far too easy.

The Permian increased production, indeed, but overall US shale production decreased. But also, since Jan 2015 shale added 2mbpd of new production, which can't balance the depletion of legacy wells. It's utterly wrong to say there is no new oil coming online.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 11 Nov 2016, 10:50:56

tita - "It's utterly wrong to say there is no new oil coming online." You beat me to it. Perhaps that was just an incredibly sloppy wording. There are hundreds of rigs drilling oil prospects 24/7...are they all drilling dry holes?
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby Quinny » Sat 12 Nov 2016, 14:32:12

Think the word significant was implied, but it would be interesting to know how much these wells are finding?
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 12 Nov 2016, 17:08:41

SumYunGai wrote:
AdamB wrote:
SumYunGai wrote:It is the total available energy that keeps civilization going.

No. It isn't. Because humans have had approximately (within 1-2%) the same available energy since we came down out of the trees and began using tools.

That is totally false. Civilization uses far more energy than our primitive ancestors did.


That isn't what you said the first time. Of course modern civilization uses more, power generation is how we HAVE a modern civilization. Your original statement said "total available energy" which also includes solar flux. And that has always been available, and the size of that available energy absolutely dwarfs what humans have created in terms of available energy by burning things.

Send back the salesman, PLEASE, if you can't even understand what it is you write. At least he didn't contradict his own nonsense 10 seconds after he wrote it.
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 12 Nov 2016, 17:18:44

tita wrote:
AdamB wrote:
shortonoil wrote:There is no new oil coming on line, and at $44/ barrel there won't be.


Stop making it so obvious to prove you know nothing about the oil industry.

The Permian Basin has increased oil production from 1.8 mbpd in Jan of 2015 to 2.0 mbpd right around now.

Try looking up a fact every once in awhile, you make this far too easy.

The Permian increased production, indeed, but overall US shale production decreased.


And you expected a price response to be...negative? The Permian is able to increase because folks are able to make money and increase production, contradicting shortonoils assumption, for what his lack of experience in the industry is worth. The shale development in higher cost areas is obviously responding to price just like economists predict.

And guess what happens when price increases? Why, the same price response that repeaked the US in oil and gas production here in the last couple years. Amazing how price goes up and PRESTO! More supply. I wonder how many times this sine wave of increasing and decreasing production can go on?

tita wrote:But also, since Jan 2015 shale added 2mbpd of new production, which can't balance the depletion of legacy wells. It's utterly wrong to say there is no new oil coming online.


I agree. Shortonoil can't even be bothered to look up the facts prior to inserting foot in mouth.

This production decline is necessary to dispense the current glut, or demand must continue to increase. In either case, supply and demand will rebalance at a price, and if production continues to decline without a corresponding increase in supply, price increases, and guess what happens next? Shale development 2.0!
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Re: Seneca Cliff

Unread postby SumYunGai » Sat 12 Nov 2016, 18:30:59

AdamB wrote:
SumYunGai wrote:
AdamB wrote:
SumYunGai wrote:It is the total available energy that keeps civilization going.

No. It isn't. Because humans have had approximately (within 1-2%) the same available energy since we came down out of the trees and began using tools.

That is totally false. Civilization uses far more energy than our primitive ancestors did.

That isn't what you said the first time. Of course modern civilization uses more, power generation is how we HAVE a modern civilization. Your original statement said "total available energy" which also includes solar flux. And that has always been available, and the size of that available energy absolutely dwarfs what humans have created in terms of available energy by burning things.

That is completely ridiculous, Adam. Total available energy means the energy that is immediately available for use by civilization. We don't have a way to harvest all of the energy streaming at us from the sun. In fact, we are only able to harvest a very, very small amount of it. The vastly larger portion which we can't harvest is not IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE for our use, is it? Do you understand?

I use the phrase "total immediately available energy" (and, sometimes, "total available energy" to save some typing), because it is difficult to explain the concept of Gibbs Free Energy, and using that term often causes confusion (just look up free energy to see why). But you found another way to create confusion. We were discussing the possibility of civilization collapsing, so we were obviously talking about the total energy available to civilization, not the total solar flux energy available to the planet from the sun. You knew that I did not mean that civilization ran on the total energy output of the sun, but you thought you'd "correct" me anyway. Nice. You are so funny. What a waste of time.

AdamB wrote:Send back the salesman, PLEASE, if you can't even understand what it is you write. At least he didn't contradict his own nonsense 10 seconds after he wrote it.

It is not my fault that you can't seem to comprehend what I write. PLEASE go away if you are only here to troll and play word games.
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