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PeakOil is You

Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

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

Are people dumb for not getting peak oil?

Poll ended at Wed 23 Jul 2008, 05:02:54

Yes, they are ignoring the most important issue of our time.
No, the people have enough to deal with in their lives
I'm too busy shopping to deal with this poll.
Peak Oil I'm just trying live from day to day!
Its the oil companies they have plenty of oil!
No votes
I'm too busy stockpiling weapons, food and ammo.
Don't you watch TV everyone says oil prices will come down.
It's the liberals we have plenty of oil in Alaska!
No votes
Total votes : 82

Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby charmcitysking » Fri 25 May 2018, 06:00:31

ROCKMAN wrote:Charm – “…a sustainable earth carrying capacity?” When I see such phrases I notice the level of lifestyles is seldom mentioned. How do you view that factor? IOW given the poverty and health problems prevalent in the world today do you consider us at a “sustainable level” TODAY? If not, looking back when you say the world was last at a sustainable level?

IOW if you were a typical African living in poverty would you consider your life very sustainable? If yes the world has a long way to go before it reaches an “unsustainable level”, right?

Rock, I suppose it's about finding a balance between the level of lifestyle and the size of the carbon footprint which that lifestyle produces. The fact that there has ALWAYS been poverty, war, health problems etc. throughout history would lead me to believe that we are at a sustainable NUMBER today and we could perhaps increase that NUMBER. But I think the RATE at which our population is increasing, especially with all these new humans craving a western, modern middle-class lifestyle, is highly unsustainable.

A transition to a renewable energy infrastructure that could accommodate the current population and beyond would require a radical change in social consciousness, a massive curtailment of personal liberty/individual freedoms, wealth redistribution. I just feel like we're too far gone for that to happen, unless a massive die-off happens as a forced 'reset button' scenario.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby baha » Fri 25 May 2018, 07:12:12

charmcitysking wrote:I was just wondering what your thoughts on the topic might be, considering you're actively working to effectively end the use of FF.

Hi CCS, There are as many ways to calculate global carrying capacity as there are people to ask. But I'll take a shot at it...

I like to keep my logic personnel, based on my experience. I have 3 acres and grow plenty of veggies for two people. No meat or grain. 80 years ago my grandparents had ~20 acres and 6 kids. They had cows, pigs, chickens and gardens. But still had to import some grains and finished goods. So for the sake of analysis I'll say they were living on about 4 acres/person. That may seem high but it accounts for oil and tractor parts :) If each person had a 1/2 acre of solar panels they would have more power then my grandparents could have dreamed of. And they could use electric tractors with Lithium batteries.

Wikipedia says there are about 14,000,000 square kilometers of arable land in the world.

That's 3,449,096,914.5 acres. At 4 acres/person you get 862,274,229 people. Call it 850 million people.

There you go...baha's theory of max global population. Take it for what it's worth :)
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 25 May 2018, 07:29:23

I’ve seen a number of approaches to “the number”. There seem to be a bumper crop of egg heads who are expert at some tiny disciplin and these guys can come up with very high numbers. Or very low numbers, like 0.

OTOH, when folks take a more pragmatic and take a wholistic look at things the numbers coalesce somewhere between 500 million to 2 billion. And for our purposes ATM that is good enough. It means we are in for a “great dying” event. Yet it gives us hope to carry forth.

How and when this reduction is effected is of intense interest to me, but it remains a mystery.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Fri 25 May 2018, 14:05:44

Charm - For the most part I see it as you do. But it still boils down to whose sustainability we refer to. My billionaire former boss owns a 100% green island it the Bahamas. Between that and his wealth he (and his family) are sustainable as far into the future as one might care to project. OTOH the populations of every major US cities are not sustainable TODAY without outside sources of every commodity they consume. But was also true 100 years ago.

So again the sustainability metric is more a function of the individual or group one is analyzing then the availability of the "necessities of life". In that sense t would seem the poor with little access to those presumed necessities are living a much more sustainable lives then those of advanced and well developed economies. Baha may be in a relatively good position. But he's far from the average US citizen.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Darian S » Sun 27 May 2018, 14:17:06

Wealth, or numbers in bank accounts mean nothing if society collapses. Green tech like batteries and solar break down after a few decades.

In any case a high quality of life, with a large house, travel, varied food, gadgets and luxuries takes up a gargantuan footprint. It is sustainable so long as only a small minority of the current human population has that. If all humans had that it would not be something the earth can support, with current tech, there isn't enough resources to allow for that either.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 12 Jun 2018, 09:52:33

Researchers Find IQ Scores Dropping Since the 1970s

A pair of researchers with the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Norway has found that IQ test scores have been slowly dropping over the past several decades. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg describe their study and the results they found.

... Prior studies have shown that people grew smarter over the first part of last century, as measured by the intelligence quotient—a trend that was dubbed the Flynn effect. Various theories have been proposed to explain this apparent brightening of the human mind, such as better nutrition, health care, education, etc, all factors that might help people grow into smarter adults than they would have otherwise. But, now, according to the researchers in Norway, that trend has ended.

Instead of getting smarter, humans have started getting dumber.

The study by the team consisted of analyzing IQ test results from young men entering Norway's national service (compulsory military duty) during the years 1970 to 2009. In all, 730,000 test results were accounted for.
... In studying the data, the researchers found that scores declined by an average of seven points per generation, a clear reversal of test results going back approximately 70 years.

Sadly, other researchers have found similar results. A British team recently found IQ score results falling by 2.5 to 4.3 points every decade since approximately the end of the second world war. And this past December, another group from the U.S. found that children who grew up eating a lot of fish tended to have higher IQs—and they slept better, too, which is another factor involved in adult intelligence levels. Notably, children in many countries in the modern era eat very little fish.

Bernt Bratsberg et al. Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018).

Image ... o1_400.jpg
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby Revi » Tue 12 Jun 2018, 12:17:39

I would say that they are uninformed. I wish I could be back to that state sometimes. Since I found out about 20 years ago I can't think the same as most people. I know that there is no way we can continue this lifestyle, yet it goes on and on. I wish there was a way to extend what we have have, but I think it will all go in an orgy of personal transportation and jet skis. It's an awful thing to know that your culture has the equivalent of stage 4 cancer, but I guess we are sadder but wiser than the vast majority of people. It would be nice to be dumb and happy again!
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 12 Jun 2018, 13:48:28

Peal oil makes me feel disconnected. My understand of planetary limits does not coincide with the popular memes promoted by most environmentalists. Even when I show off my garden, orchard, well/water supply and outbuildings most people believe it is all just a happy part of the "local" food movement, which is quite popular around here. They think I am doing my part to reduce carbon emissions, and create "community"

I am not doing my part to reduce carbon emissions. I wouldn't be surprised if the effort and materials to develop the site accounts for an excess of energy use and resulting carbon combustion. That is why I refer to this place as a "suburban doomstead." The amount of food produced on the site (even though prodigious) accounts for a tiny amount of the food consumed by my family. But then I don't much believe in AGW anymore. It is of little consequence compared to peak oil

As for "community" ha ha ha. That hardly entered into my motivation when I developed this piece of rural (post-pasture) land. It is a doomstead. Not a feel-good entree into polite liberal society. Not a place to share my riches. Folks out there in the "local food" movement mostly have no idea how much good agriculture land one human consumes: 2-4 suburban house lots and a crapload of petroleum, natural gas and coal. You average millenial in brooklyn will not be feeding his/herself post-peak from their apartment terrace.

I am still firmly a capitalist, even after years of progressive/liberal indoctrination.When TSHTF I hope to share my wealth in food production/infrastructure with lots of other happy warlords ha ha ha. My garden sheds will easily convert to tenant quarters.
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Re: Are people outside of Peak Oil just dumb?

Unread postby onlooker » Fri 15 Jun 2018, 11:14:20

And to think modern industrial farming has been degrading persistently the fertile soils around the world. Not to mention certain practices like overgrazing and overburdening/overexhaustion of marginal cropland. And of course our huge population keeps cutting down forests to put in play more cropland and thus contributing to wind and water soil erosion. Soil is life. That life is disappearing.
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