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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 TonyPrep » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 17:08:57

Wildwell wrote:Food prices are hardly affected by oil prices in any case.
Oil (and natural gas) is used in preparing the land, fertilizing the soil, sowing the seed, tending the crop, killing the pests, harvesting the crops, processing the crops and transporting them to distribution points, supermarkets and your home. It is also a factor in the living costs of the people who work in that whole chain. Why do you think that food prices will not be much affected by rising oil prices and, later, by scarcity of that resource?

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

Unread postby Gridlock » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 17:12:29

Then I guess you haven't read my posts. Try the Best of Montequest for starters.


I've read it. I think you understand the problem better than any of us. I just don't swallow your solutions (I could have worded that better). I've asked many times about your death rate, and rightly or wrongly all I'm left with thinking is your powerdown solution is some sort of variation on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLXcNqi5 ... n+the+well involving the weak, infirm and elderly.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Wildwell » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 17:30:21

TonyPrep wrote:
Wildwell wrote:Food prices are hardly affected by oil prices in any case.
Oil (and natural gas) is used in preparing the land, fertilizing the soil, sowing the seed, tending the crop, killing the pests, harvesting the crops, processing the crops and transporting them to distribution points, supermarkets and your home. It is also a factor in the living costs of the people who work in that whole chain. Why do you think that food prices will not be much affected by rising oil prices and, later, by scarcity of that resource?

Tony


In not my view, it's the view of economists that study this subject. I can provide references if you wish. I've addressed all these points and am well aware of the issues in previous posts. If you feel they are wrong you should provide factual information, with sources. The fact remains most oil use is car transport and air travel, which from a sustainability point of view should be dealt with first.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby TonyPrep » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 17:30:38

Wildwell wrote:Got any qualifications in food processing, economics, transport have we? If you have, let's see the numbers.
No, have you? If you think oil is not a significant factor in getting the food that most people eat into their stomachs, then I doubt that any numbers will convince you. I realise that sounds like a cop out but it must be obvious that energy costs affect food as much as anything else that is produced, if not more. If you don't believe that energy costs are a big factor in anything then I guess that further explains the position you've taken in this discussion.

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

Unread postby Wildwell » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 17:39:18

As a matter of fact, I have.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby MonteQuest » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 17:44:44

Let's get off the attacks upon the man and debate the merits. Resorting to ad hominems to win the debate is what weak positions do.
A Saudi saying, "My father rode a camel. I drive a car. My son flies a jet-plane. His son will ride a camel."
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby TonyPrep » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 17:45:14

Wildwell wrote:As a matter of fact, I have.
Great. Well done, Wildwell. I hope you find them interesting and informative.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby TonyPrep » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 17:50:58

In the US, agriculture is directly responsible for well over 10 percent of all national energy consumption. Over 400 gallons of oil equivalent are expended to feed each American each year. About a third of that amount goes toward fertilizer production, 20 percent to operate machinery, 16 percent for transportation, 13 percent for irrigation, 8 percent for livestock raising, (not including the feed), and 5 percent for pesticide production. This does not include energy costs for packaging, refrigeration, transportation to retailers, or cooking.

Trucks move most of the world's food, even though trucking is ten times more energy-intensive than moving food by train or barge. Refrigerated jets move a small but growing proportion of food, almost entirely to wealthy industrial nations, at 60 times the energy cost of sea transport.

Processed foods make up three-quarters of global food sales by price (though not by quantity). This adds dramatically to energy costs: for example, a one-pound box of breakfast cereal may require over 7,000 kilocalories of energy for processing, while the cereal itself provides only 1,100 kilocalories of food energy.
From:
http://www.museletter.com/archive/159.html
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Wildwell » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 18:00:56

10% is the US figure, the world figure is less than 5%.

If you read 'my solution' it quotes moving more freight by less energy intensive forms of transport and some localisation, in which case oil use would be pitifully low. Interestingly in the UK, freight tons carried by trucks has hardly changed over the last 30 years, but distance carried has increased greatly.
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Re: Do you have an 'Acceptable' Problem ?

Unread postby Concerned » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 18:27:46

Jenab6 wrote: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?


Do you understand the difference between a small farmer and someone or some group wholly self sufficient.

When you wrap your head around that significant difference you will understand why the small farmer was "forced" off their land.

I'd clue you in but you've been thinking about it so long I figure a little longer shouldn't hurt you too much.
"Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box."
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby TonyPrep » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 18:28:51

Wildwell wrote:10% is the US figure, the world figure is less than 5%.

If you read 'my solution' it quotes moving more freight by less energy intensive forms of transport and some localisation, in which case oil use would be pitifully low. Interestingly in the UK, freight tons carried by trucks has hardly changed over the last 30 years, but distance carried has increased greatly.
Why is the world figure the one to use? What is the UK figure? What you said is that oil prices have very little impact on food prices. I don't know what percentage of food costs is directly attributable to energy costs but with food representing 10% of all energy consumption, I guess it must be a significant proportion. It beggars belief that rising energy costs would not have a significant impact on food prices.

Your solution is not yet in place and so doesn't apply to the current situation. If we do more things along the lines you suggest, it would help mitigate the problem but it would only delay the inevitability of having to make do with less and less energy inputs. Don't forget the energy inputs of producing the food in the first place, not just the energy inputs of moving the food, once produced.

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

Unread postby Ludi » Fri 30 Jun 2006, 19:05:29

Here's my frustration, or something. Some indefinable emotion or other...


With my solution (see links below) I see DAILY results in my life, actual measurable progress as I work on my various projects on my own and with others, and I see daily progress in the Planning forum as people post their progress on their homesteading, personal powering down, intentional communities, etc. I see NO progress when I look at Wildwell's solution "The Government Must Fix It." So from a purely pragmatic, getting things done to improve our lives standpoint, I really have to side with my solution and the other powerdown solutions I see in the Planning forum. I don't see any progress on Wildwell's government solution, not in my country anyway, where it really counts, us being the world's biggest energy hogs and all.

So where is the EVIDENCE that Wildwell's solution is working? Or even starting to work? I'm not personally seeing any evidence, at least not in my own life. I'm certainly willing to accept evidence given by others for their own personal situation. I would ask Wildwell, what results do you see in your daily life from your solution? Is there any progress that you can present at this point, or is this all just wishful thinking on your part?
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Zardoz » Sat 01 Jul 2006, 02:03:16

Ludi wrote:...With my solution (see links below) I see DAILY results in my life, actual measurable progress as I work on my various projects on my own and with others, and I see daily progress in the Planning forum as people post their progress on their homesteading, personal powering down, intentional communities, etc....


Ludi, help me out here. I guess I'm in need of some psychological counseling or something.

I have a problem with planning for the future. I can't get motivated to do anything about it for one very simple reason: None of us know what's going to happen.

How can we make plans for a future that is so completely uncertain? Let me restate an analogy I've posted before: It's like we know we're going on a trip, but we have no idea when we're leaving, we don't know how we're going to travel, we don't know what we'll encounter on the way, we don't know how long the trip will take, we don't know if anyone is going with us, and we don't even know where we're going.

How do you know what to pack?

See what I mean? All the things that you and the folks in the planning forum are doing are great on their own, but how do we know what we're really going to need to be doing when we have no clue whatsoever how all this is going to play out?

The future is just a question mark. Anything can happen. How do you prepare for the unknown?
"Thank you for attending the oil age. We're going to scrape what we can out of these tar pits in Alberta and then shut down the machines and turn out the lights. Goodnight." - seldom_seen
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Gridlock » Sat 01 Jul 2006, 04:00:19

I see NO progress when I look at Wildwell's solution "The Government Must Fix It."


Ludi, I agree that you can't rely on the Government, they can only play their part, it's largely up to us after that. However, here are a few links that show that they are acknowledging it, I'm sure one can find many more:

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffa ... 01,00.html
http://www.energybulletin.net/11759.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,178042,00.html
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/ ... 5A9DBE.htm
http://www.epolitix.com/EN/MPWebsites/M ... ticles.htm
http://www.energybulletin.net/17142.html

Assuming they won't do anything I believe is mistaken.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby TonyPrep » Sat 01 Jul 2006, 06:26:18

Zardoz wrote:The future is just a question mark. Anything can happen. How do you prepare for the unknown?
Not anything can happen. We won't have increasing supplies of energy, oil based agriculture will vanish and yields will initially go down. You could plan part of your future based on these near certainties.

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

Unread postby Ludi » Sat 01 Jul 2006, 06:40:43

Zardoz, it's easy to plan for the low-energy future. Simply assume you will have less energy to work with and significantly less income. Everything will be more expensive and materials will be more difficult to obtain.


Gridlock, in many ways it is irrelevant to me what the government MIGHT do. I certainly don't assume they "won't do anything." I'm saying they AREN'T doing anything helpful at the present time and show no signs of changing.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby TheTurtle » Sat 01 Jul 2006, 07:10:59

Zardoz wrote:The future is just a question mark. Anything can happen. How do you prepare for the unknown?


Develop mental flexibility.
Get healthy.
Learn a handful of low-tech skills.
Get out of debt.
Enjoy life in the present.
Be kind to others ... we're all in this together.
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.” (Ted Perry)
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Cabrone » Sat 01 Jul 2006, 08:11:48

I think Wildwell has been getting a bit of unreasonable stick on this board. He has a good point that the government and corporations can make a huge difference to reduce our energy intensive lifestyles. Of course we as citizens have to do our bit and I firmly believe that lots of people would do their bit but we have to have a rethink about how our societies work. You can't brow beat people into change, you have to use the carrot and stick. Inform people of the current situation and then give them the choice to take a more environmental option and a lot of them will. A good example is transport, I listened to a politican the other night saying that people don't want to get out of their cars and it's not the governments job to force them out. Good grief! In one way he is right, it isn't the government's job to force people but why don't they invest in far more safe cycle lanes and a superb public transport system, apply taxes to motorists based on carbon output and start a public information campaign informing the average Joe about the situation. Lots would change their habits because they would understand what is happening and would have been given realistic options to change.

Here's another one : I buy my electricity from a wind farm (nPower Juice for all UK readers). Anyone in the UK can also apply to buy green energy and if they did there would be huge pressure to ramp up renewables. The touble is hardly anyone knows about it. Whenever I mention it in conversation I always get a positive reaction, infact several people have switched over but the point is no-one is informing them! These are people who would like to be a bit greener but they are not going to reach out, they have jobs, kids, bills and a million other daily hassles to deal with. They need a bit of help without being brow beaten.

For me, the biggest obsticle is not the people, it's the powers that be. They do not want change. They have the clout to make huge changes but they want to keep their power bases and are willing to push us all to the edge just so they can sustain their positions.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Gridlock » Sat 01 Jul 2006, 08:23:57

I buy my electricity from a wind farm (nPower Juice for all UK readers). Anyone in the UK can also apply to buy green energy and if they did there would be huge pressure to ramp up renewables.


Absolutely. I’m with them and have seen no significant rise in my energy bills. In fact, with my current direct debit over the past 12 months they now owe me £s to the tune of about 200.
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Re: Do you have an "acceptable" solution to peak o

Unread postby Zardoz » Sat 01 Jul 2006, 16:04:40

TheTurtle wrote:Develop mental flexibility.
Get healthy.
Learn a handful of low-tech skills.
Get out of debt.
Enjoy life in the present.
Be kind to others ... we're all in this together.


Thanks. This is as good a bit of advice as anybody can give, it would seem. I'm five-for-six on this list already, and I'd say the last one is the most important.

(Forget us getting out of debt. We ain't selling our house. They'll have to drag us out of here in handcuffs.)
"Thank you for attending the oil age. We're going to scrape what we can out of these tar pits in Alberta and then shut down the machines and turn out the lights. Goodnight." - seldom_seen
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