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Saving energy is pointless

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Is "Saving energy" pointless?

Yes
12
22%
No
43
78%
 
Total votes : 55

Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby spot5050 » Thu 19 Apr 2012, 23:24:47

We won't stop until we have used up all the oil. Therefore "saving energy" is pointless - it just changes the timescale.

True or false?
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby spot5050 » Thu 19 Apr 2012, 23:59:12

pstarr wrote:It may be true that folks are selfish self-destructive idiots, but in order to stay sane in this world ya got have a little faith. So I voted no false.

That sounds like you are voting for what you hope will happen not what you think will happen.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 00:26:30

Saving energy is the only way to buy the time to find another means of operating our societies. Whether one believes transition will be made is not a mandatory requirement to common sense.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby Loki » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 00:38:50

You're begging the question of "we," you're conflating energy and oil, and you're assuming a deterministic model of human history. And worse of all, you're reducing this all to a binary.

I'd give you a D in elementary logic, assuming high school level. Not bad for a fourth grader, though.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby spot5050 » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 01:01:10

Loki wrote:you're conflating energy and oil,

Deliberately Loki.

Loki wrote:you're reducing this all to a binary

Yup. That's also part of the point. Other people's views are interesting and often illuminating. Reducing an issue to a simple yes/no answer I find fascinating if lots of people answer the question. It's not about right or wrong, it's a survey. I'm curious to know what other people think. Wisdom of crowds and all that. Democracy etc.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 01:28:07

This would seem to me to be part of a larger philosophical question about: "What makes a "good" life, or a life worth living?"

Is it worthwhile to do the "right thing", even if you personally won't benefit noticably?

This is an intensely personal issue, when it comes down to it. Throughout history, people have been arguing (and sadly, killing each other) over "what is right". Religion is one of the most obvious philosophical points of view, although so much emotion is attached to it (people get mighty wound up about the possibility of magically obtaining "paradise" and "eternal life" - which tends to throw logic straight out the window).

One of my favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut, talked about this principle briefly but brilliantly in one of his later novels, "Timequake". (I am paraphrasing here) "I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATION OF REWARDS OR PUNISHMENTS AFTER I'M DEAD." (Emphasis, mine).

I found this extremely profound, and touching.

So as for me, the answer to the "saving energy" question is a resounding "NO". Saving energy is NOT pointless. AGW MAY be true. Saving energy MAY give future generations a better chance to find a sustainable way of life without destroying the entire biosphere, or at least everything bigger than a cockroach.

(This would be true WHATEVER the ultimate form of destiny, reality, and/or religion might turn out to be, BTW).

Cheers.

....

(Feel free to pointlessly attack me now, since I don't subscribe to believing in "diety X" without any evidence for its existence, or being concerned about ours).
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby Rod_Cloutier » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 01:55:39

Saving energy saves you money. Money that can be redirected in any number of ways; more 15 minute massages at the airport waiting for your flight, more food, more prepping money, a hedge against unforesee and unexpected events; like a currency collapse (assuming your buying gold or liquid tide with the savings).

Saving energy means that your power ulility will have more energy to sell to others through the grid; increasing their income from export earnings, ect. Saving energy allows others to use more energy at your expense.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby JohnRM » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 02:03:07

Saving energy IS pointless, if the point is to extend industrial society and unfettered consumption. If the point is to sustain human happiness and for our species to thrive into the future, then saving energy is important, but only for adapting to a lower-energy, lower-consumption kind of society and lifestyle. We need to learn how to do that now, while we still have alternatives to fall back on. Otherwise, when the time comes, we will scramble about in futility trying to figure it out on the fly and become dependent upon the new land lords in post-industrial serfdom.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby radon » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 04:55:12

spot5050 wrote:We won't stop until we have used up all the oil. Therefore "saving energy" is pointless - it just changes the timescale.

True or false?


It is pointless until your energy bill starts to hurt you. Then, somehow magically, it becomes profoundly meaningful.

Repent wrote:Saving energy saves you money.
What's the point in saving money if the authorities can anyway print this saving out to oblivion. Saving energy does a more important thing - it saves energy.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby PeakOiler » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 05:05:02

I've saved about $25,000 since 2003 by driving a more efficient vehicle. I would hardly call that pointless.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 05:38:16

Just taking the blinkers off and looking honestly at ones own personal wasteful living is initially frightening but ultimately enlivening and freeing. The fruit of this awareness. If you can get off owning a car altogether, as I have since becoming a peaker in 2007, then you are talking a lot of money, conservatively $25k in 5 years. You may be able to downsize and rationalize, like Loki and Revi, still 'motoring' but in a much more efficient way. Save bucks for more creative enterprise than burning up and down the road. Many people have completely changed their lifestyles for the better through their peak oil/ peak everything awareness. How many have jumped under a bus is another question.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby dolanbaker » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 07:08:26

I voted yes because for every litre of fuel I save is a litre available to be used elsewhere and it will be used!
From a personal perspective, every litre of fuel saved means that more money is available for the other things needed to live.

All energy conservation has achieved is to flatten the peak!
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby cephalotus » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 07:09:04

spot5050 wrote:We won't stop until we have used up all the oil. Therefore "saving energy" is pointless - it just changes the timescale.

True or false?


Those will get the oil that can pay for it. If you can pay for 1.000US$/barrel you will have no problem with that price. It's the money to efficiency rate that counts. You can improve both sides.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby AdTheNad » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 07:15:19

dolanbaker wrote:I voted yes because for every litre of fuel I save is a litre available to be used elsewhere and it will be used!

In the short term yes. But for every litre you don't use, that puts a slight downward pressure on price, meaning less may be extracted and there may be less new holes drilled in the short to medium term. That means in the long run - some might stay in the ground, or maybe not, but it can delay the effects of AGW and the steepness of the down curve.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby dolanbaker » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 07:27:37

AdTheNad wrote:
dolanbaker wrote:I voted yes because for every litre of fuel I save is a litre available to be used elsewhere and it will be used!

In the short term yes. But for every litre you don't use, that puts a slight downward pressure on price, meaning less may be extracted and there may be less new holes drilled in the short to medium term. That means in the long run - some might stay in the ground, or maybe not, but it can delay the effects of AGW and the steepness of the down curve.

The point I am making is that other people in other countries are already clamouring for that fuel, any downward pressure on price will be cancelled out by an increased demand.

Energy conservation flattens the peak, the steepness of the down curve will be determined by the technology used to extract what's left.

When the "attic oil" (the stuff that has migrated to the very top of a reservoir) has been taken the field is likely to have a shark fin decline pattern.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby AgentR11 » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 09:30:37

While I don't think saving energy has any impact outside my own life, the impact that it has on my habits is far from pointless. Our habits are powerful things in our lives, you can't just hit 68 or whatever and say, "ooh, I'll downsize, and go carless." Those who are acclimated to living with a lower energy footprint will spend less time bemoaning their own personal investments in high energy utilization methods, and more time enjoying the world around them. And by consequence of steady downsizing are able to hand off more of their own resources to their child(ren), to whom those of us responsible for adding all that CO2 in the first place owe a considerable sum in compensation.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby Pops » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 11:53:53

Saving energy is pointless in a free market unless the goal is to be independent of that market.

I bought some calf feed the other day, for the first time it came in a plastic sack instead of paper.

Natural gas is abundant right now, nevermind the real reason, lets pretend it is abundant because of "conservation" due to the warm winter. Are we actually conserving that resource?

No. It's making plastic cheaper so we're using plastic in places we hadn't before. We always talk about substituting away from fossils but don't forget we always choose to substitute to them given the option.

Energy in a free market gets used. The more one part of the market conserves the less the rest of the market pays and the more of the resource gets used.
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Re: Saving energy is pointless

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 20 Apr 2012, 12:10:36

I voted "no"---Saving energy is pointless.

You can conserve all you want and live off the grid, but it really has little or no effect on the overall timing or impact of peak oil. Any bit of energy you don't use will be swamped and lost in the rapidly increasing energy use in Chindia. Even if the entire USA simply disappeared and all energy use stopped, China's energy use is expanding so rapidly that it would rebuild all that demand in about 10 years.

Design your own lifestyle to be efficient and smart to save money and improve your own quality of life, but don't imagine you are saving the world. For some people peak oil may mean MORE energy use---for instance I'm doing more foreign travel now because its clear it will be much more expensive in the near future as oil prices continue up.
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