Register

Peak Oil is You


Donate Bitcoins ;-) or Paypal :-)


Page added on November 27, 2018

Bookmark and Share

Richard Heinberg: Foreword to Oil, Power and War

Richard Heinberg: Foreword to Oil, Power and War thumbnail

Come and listen to my story ’bout a man named Jed
A poor mountaineer barely kep’ his fam’ly fed
And then one day he was shootin’ at some food
And up through the ground come a-bubblin’ crude.
Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea.

Well the first thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire.
The kinfolk said, “Jed, move away from there.”
They said, “Californy is the place you ought to be,”
So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly.
Hills, that is. Swimming pools. Movie stars.

(Paul Henning)

Perhaps the most instantly recallable verse on the subject of petroleum, the theme-song lyric to the hit 1960s television series “The Beverly Hillbillies” tells a tale of sudden wealth. It is a perfect touchstone for the real story of humanity’s experience with liquid hydrocarbons.

In the real story, riches consisted both of the billions accumulated by the great magnates of the petroleum industry—including John D. Rockefeller, J. Paul Getty, H. L. Hunt, and Charles and David Koch—and also the quickly growing economic output of industrial civilization once it came to be fueled by oil. This novel source of energy spawned entire new industries—notably the automotive, aviation, and plastics industries—while revolutionizing existing ones (agriculture, forestry, fishing, shipping, manufacturing, lubricants, chemicals, paints, dyes, cosmetics, road paving, and pharmaceuticals). It propelled humanity into an age of mobility and rising expectations.

But sudden acquisition of wealth is just the initial theme in both narratives—that of “The Beverly Hillbillies” and that of the modern industrial world. The saga of Jed Clampett and his family is a comedy in which city slickers try to siphon off some of the Clampetts’ fortune. While Jed, Granny, Ellie May, and Jethro always manage to get the better of the various grifters and hangers-on they encounter, we suspect that their affluence may be transitory and that the final episode may see the Clampetts return to shooting squirrels in order to fill Granny’s soup pot.

Similarly, the real story of oil is of fortunes lost, betrayal, war, espionage, and intrigue. In the end, inevitably, the story of oil is a story of depletion. Petroleum is a non-renewable resource, a precious substance that took tens of millions of years to form and that is gone in a comparative instant as we extract and burn it. For many decades, oil-hungry explorers, using ever-improving technology, have been searching for ever-deteriorating prospects as the low-hanging fruit of planet Earth’s primordial oil bounty gradually dwindle. Oil wells have been shut in, oilfields exhausted, and oil companies bankrupted by the simple, inexorable reality of depletion.

It is impossible to understand the political and economic history of the past 150 years without taking account of a central character in the drama—oil, the magical wealth-generating substance, a product of ancient sunlight and tens of millions of years of slow geological processes, whose tragic fate is to be dug up and combusted once and for all, leaving renewed poverty in its wake. With Oil, Power and War, Matthieu Auzanneau has produced what I believe is the new definitive work on oil and its historic significance, supplanting even Daniel Yergin’s renowned The Prize, for reasons I’ll describe below.

The importance of oil’s role in shaping the modern world cannot be overstated. Prior to the advent of fossil fuels, firewood was humanity’s main fuel. But forests could be cut to the last tree (many were), and wood was bulky. Coal offered some economic advantages over wood. But it was oil—liquid and therefore easier to transport; more energy-dense; and simpler to store—that turbocharged the modern industrial age following the development of the first commercial wells around the year 1860.

John D. Rockefeller’s cutthroat, monopolist business model shaped the early industry, which was devoted mostly to the production of kerosene for lamp oil (gasoline was then considered a waste product and often discarded into streams or rivers). But roughly forty years later, when Henry Ford developed the automobile assembly line, demand for black gold was suddenly as explosive as gasoline itself.

Speaking of explosions, the role of petroleum in the two World Wars and the armament industry in general deserves not just a footnote in history books, but serious and detailed treatment—such as it receives in this worthy volume. Herein we learn how Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany literally ran out of gas while the Allies rode to victory in planes, ships, and tanks burning refined U.S. crude. Berlin could be cut off from supplies in Baku or North Africa, and Tokyo’s tanker route from Borneo could be blockaded—but no one could interrupt the American war machine’s access to Texas tea.

In the pages to follow, we learn about the origin of the decades-long U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia, the development of OPEC, the triumph of the petrodollar, and the reasons for both the Algerian independence movement and the Iranian revolution of 1979. Auzanneau traces the post-war growth of the global economy and the development of consumerism, globalization, and car culture. He recounts how the population explosion and the Green Revolution in agriculture reshaped demographics and politics globally—and explains why both depended on petroleum. We learn why Nixon cut the U.S. dollar’s tether to gold standard just a year after U.S. oil production started to decline, and how the American economy began to rely increasingly on debt. The story of oil takes ever more fascinating turns—with the fall of the Soviet Union after its oil production hit a snag; with soaring petroleum prices in 2008 coinciding with the onset of the Global Financial Crisis; and with wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen erupting as global conventional oil output flatlined.

As I alluded to above, comparisons will inevitably be drawn between Oil, Power and War and Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer-winning The Prize, published in 1990. It may be helpful therefore to point out four of the most significant ways this work differs from Yergin’s celebrated tour de force.

  1. The most obvious difference between the two books is simply one of timeframe. The Prize’s narrative stops in the 1980s, while Oil, Power and War also covers the following critical decades, which encompass the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the first Gulf War, 9/11, the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008, and major shifts within the petroleum industry as it relies ever less on conventional crude, and ever more on unconventional resources such as bitumen (Canada’s oil sands), tight oil, and deepwater oil.
  2. More importantly, unlike Daniel Yergin, Matthieu Auzanneau displays a keen understanding of the central role of energy in society and the economy, and therefore of oil’s pivotal significance in the unprecedented economic growth that occurred during the 20th century. All manifestations of human power, whether economic, military, or political, are physically grounded in energy. Power, after all, is energy over time (one watt equals one joule per second). Therefore a recounting of political, economic, and military history—even one that concerns itself with the history of the oil industry—will fail to successfully trace the sources, routes, and consequences of power if it is not based on a sound understanding of how energy works. In order to appreciate oil’s role in recent history, we must begin by understanding it as a concentrated, cheap, and portable store of energy. Yergin understands that oil is a valuable commodity, but The Prize never quite manages to explain why it is valuable, or why it is so closely linked with military, economic, and political power. Because Auzanneau begins his Introduction with an explanation of oil’s energetic qualities, the reader is far better prepared to understand the historic human power plays centered on this remarkable substance.
  3. Yergin unfailingly tells the story of oil from the perspective of the winners—the major oil companies, the oil barons, and the Anglo-American elites who have shaped global economic and political realities for the past century and more. Auzanneau brings an outsider’s perspective, one that is far more critical of, for example, U.S. political interference in Iran in the early 1950s. While Yergin repeats the usual explanation for the 1970s oil crises (greedy Arabs and Iranians), Auzanneau digs deeper and shows why falling U.S. oil production provided a motive for American policy makers to quietly convince their Arab client states to hike prices so as to enable U.S.-based oil companies to earn higher profits. Yergin acts essentially as a cheerleader for the oil industry; Auzanneau is a journalist who is aware of the enormous ecological and social consequences of our dependency on petroleum.
  4. Finally, unlike Yergin and other historians of the oil industry, Auzanneau frames his tale of petroleum as a life cycle, with Germination followed by Spring, Summer, and Autumn. There is a beginning and a flourishing, but there is also an end. This framing is extremely helpful, given the fact that the world is no longer in the spring or summer of the oil era. We take petroleum for granted, but it’s time to start imagining a world, and daily life, without it.

Taken together, these distinctions indeed make Oil, Power and War the definitive work on the history of oil—no small achievement, but a judgment well earned.

*          *          *

Over the past decade, worrisome signs of global oil depletion have been obscured by the unabashed enthusiasm of energy analysts regarding growing production in the U.S. from low-permeability source rocks. Termed “light tight oil,” this new resource has been unleashed through application of the technologies of hydrofracturing (“fracking”) and horizontal drilling. Total U.S. liquid fuels production has now surpassed its previous peak in 1970, and well-regarded agencies such as the Energy Information Administration are forecasting continued tight oil abundance through mid-century.

Auzanneau titles his discussion of this phenomenon (in Chapter 30), “Nonconventional petroleum to the rescue?”—and frames it as a question for good reason: Skeptics of tight oil hyper-optimism point out that most production so far has been unprofitable. The industry has managed to stay in the game only due to low interest rates (most companies are heavily in debt) and investor hype. Since source rocks lack permeability, individual oil wells deplete very quickly—with production in each well declining on the order of 70 to 90 percent in the first three years. That means that relentless, expensive drilling is needed in order to release the oil that’s there. Thus the tight oil industry can only be profitable if oil prices are very high—high enough, perhaps, to hobble the economy—and if drilling is concentrated in the small core areas within each of the productive regions. But these “sweet spots” are being exhausted rapidly. Further, with tight oil the energy returned on the energy invested in drilling and completion is far less than was the case with American petroleum in its heyday.

It takes energy to fell a tree, drill an oil well, or manufacture a solar panel. We depend on the energy payback from those activities to run society. In the miraculous years of the late 20th century, oil delivered an averaged 50:1 energy payback. It was this, more than anything else, that made rapid economic growth possible, especially for the nations that were home to the world’s largest oil reserves and extraction companies. As the world relies ever less on conventional oil and ever more on tight oil, bitumen, and deepwater oil, the overall energy payback of the oil industry is declining rapidly. And this erosion of energy return is being reflected in higher overall levels of debt in the oil industry and lower overall financial profitability.

Meanwhile the industry is spending ever less on exploration—for two reasons. First, there is less money available for that purpose, due to declining financial profitability; second, there seems comparatively little oil left to be found: recent years have seen new oil discoveries dwindle to the lowest level since the 1940s. The world is not about to run out of oil. But the industry that drove society in the 20th century to the heights of human economic and technological progress is failing in the 21st century.

Today some analysts speak of “peak oil demand.” The assumption behind the phrase is that electric cars will soon reduce our need for oil, even as abundance of supply is assured by fracking. But the world is still highly dependent on crude oil. We have installed increasing numbers of solar panels and wind turbines, but the transition to renewables is going far too slowly either to avert catastrophic climate change, or to fully replace petroleum before depletion forces an economic crisis. While we may soon see more electric cars on the road, trucking, shipping, and aviation will be much harder to electrify. We haven’t really learned yet how to make the industrial world work without oil. The simple reality is that the best days of the oil business, and the oil-fueled industrial way of life, are behind us. And we are not ready for what comes next.

How could a story so essential to our understanding of the present and recent past be so poorly understood by such huge swathes of the general public? Oil, Power and War helps enormously by offering us a sweeping yet also detailed view of how we got to this juncture. Where we go from here, as always, is up to us.

Richard Heinberg
Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute
Spring, 2018

Richard Heinberg



110 Comments on "Richard Heinberg: Foreword to Oil, Power and War"

  1. Here we go again on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 4:35 pm 

    Like him as an author and picked up his book on shale, tight oil..Snake Oil….good reads
    Glad this is a slow burn to collapse.
    Almost to the age where it won’t matter to me or my children…since I don’t have any

  2. I AM THE MOB on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 4:48 pm 

    I just ordered this book from Amazon..And its the mother of all energy books..Around 550 pages..

    I plan on start reading it this Friday..It will be my 61st peak oil/collapse book I have read..

  3. I AM THE MOB on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 5:01 pm 

    ‘My white supremacist husband will be the perfect father’

    https://nypost.com/2018/11/27/my-white-supremacist-husband-will-be-the-perfect-father/?utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow&utm_campaign=SocialFlow

    Take a look at this dude..what a piece of trash..And he thinks he has elite genetics..White nationalist are the lowest IQ white people in the world..

  4. Cloggie on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 5:10 pm 

    “I plan on start reading it this Friday..It will be my 61st peak oil/collapse book I have read..”

    No doubt all titles from 2009.lol

    And still haven’t understood one iota of it.

  5. makati1 on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 6:03 pm 

    “And we are not ready for what comes next.”

    That is the most true and important line in all of the above article. We are not even close to being prepared. Well some of us are trying, but most are not even aware of the problem, or, in denial.

    The book might be a good history read, for the uneducated, but it will not make a bit of difference in the future. Better to spend that $30, or whatever, on preps to ease the pain. I don’t think we have “a slow burn” like Here we go….

    When the financial collapse happens, the whole world will change and oil will be a large part of it. Think about how much of oil recovery relies on cheap debt. All of the fraking and a percentage of the rest. What happens when that debt has to be repaid and there is no cheap money to pay it? I guess we shall see, and soon.

  6. I AM THE MOB on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 6:41 pm 

    CLogg

    “I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.”

    ― James Baldwin

  7. I AM THE MOB on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 6:43 pm 

    CLogg

    Here is a fresh one for ya tubby!

    Peak Oil & Drastic Oil Shortages Imminent, Says IEA
    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/11/22/peak-oil-drastic-oil-shortages-imminent-says-iea/

  8. Duncan Idaho on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 7:14 pm 

    Heinberg is interesting, and usually right.
    Being a former Santa Rosa native, he was in the community, and ran into him occasionally.
    I think he kinda liked my wife, but that is probably bad projection on my part.

  9. I AM THE MOB on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 7:22 pm 

    When Blue Chip Companies Pile on Debt, It’s Time to Worry

    Fueled by cheap credit, American corporations have been gorging on acquisitions. The party may soon be over.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/26/opinion/corporate-debt-bubble-att-ge.html

  10. makati1 on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 10:08 pm 

    “We are living in an age when Western propaganda has become truly intense, even surreal….“They have no brains….They have consumed, happily, all that we have shoveled down their throats, so far. And now we know: they will swallow even the most ridiculous fabrications. No need to be cautious, anymore. We can serve them whatever we invent and whatever suits our regime.”…

    Everything, but absolutely everything, that the countries which the Empire sees as ‘evil’ (read: independent), is aggressively ridiculed, dirtied and mercilessly attacked: from culture to foreign policy, from the economic system to, yes, cartoon characters….

    Many of my readers are writing to me, complaining that their own families, their entire neighborhoods and workplaces have been hopelessly indoctrinated, that people ‘are not able to see, anymore’….

    ‘Is it that they don’t see, or they simply do not want to see?’…

    The truth is actually very ‘uncomfortable’. Ignorance is like a duvet in a cold winter: cozy and comforting, and so hard to resist….Western propagandists know it. They count on it. They are offering people in the West an ‘easy escape’ from sharing the responsibility for the state of the world….

    The conclusion that I am lately arriving at, is: they do not search, they do not compare and ‘they do not want to know’ because they are scared…Scared of discovering reality, which would in turn force them to act; to at least shed some of the basic privileges the citizens of the colonizing countries, enjoy….The inhabitants of the West do not want to know, because deep inside, they do not want the system to change. They don’t want the world order to be modified….

    They intuitively feel that if what is being proposed by Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and other countries were implemented, their personal privileges would vanish. Their countries would become equal to all other countries on earth; they would have to obey international laws, and their people would be forced to work hard for their living. Plundering the planet would be banned. Privileges would stop….

    The change, the revolution, will come, and is already coming‘from the outside’, from the countries that are refusing to accept the Empire’s brutality and fully undemocratic control over so many parts of the planet….It will soon be the West (including its governments, corporations and extremely obedient and selfish citizens), against the rest of the planet.”

    https://journal-neo.org/2018/11/27/western-public-does-not-know-or-does-not-want-to-know-2/

    THAT is why the US/West must be put down like a rabid dog, and soon.

  11. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 4:30 am 

    “THAT is why the US/West must be put down like a rabid dog, and soon.”

    Many of these points are reflected in China and Russia and some worse, billy get a grip. You are just being redundantly lame. I think you are the rabid dog that should be put down and soon.

  12. Mark Ziegler on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:26 am 

    I wonder if anyone figured out how many coal and natural gas plants will be needed to supply a fleet of 100% electric vehicles.
    Then compare to how many energy plants needed to power a 100% rail road system.

  13. Antius on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:32 am 

    Predictive policing. Basically, computer-aided Big Brother coming to the UK soon.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-27/minority-report-comes-life-ai-prevent-crime-uk

    This will pave the way for more advanced systems using quantum computers that will track every single activity carried out by every human being in real time. It will reduce the human race to muted drones; where privacy is zero and there is no possibility for dissent against the system. Through a combination of search history, recorded conversations and movement; these systems will be able to predict your very thoughts.

    How could anyone in their right mind think that this was a good idea? The more I read, the more I want out of the dystopian nightmare that the UK is descending into.

  14. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:52 am 

    We are killing ourselves with private car ownership. If we could get back to the old days of trains and a natural localism that would be wonderful. Yet, can we go back? In a sense we are likely going back by forces of nature and fate. How quickly this happens and how dramatic is the question.

    We need more trains and trams. We need more animal power. Most of all we need more people to stay local. We should subsidize this somehow. We won’t and instead subsidize autonomous vehicle type technology. We humans seem to gravitate to the techno route. The idea we can run a fleet of electric vehicles renewably is bogus. We need some electric vehicles and even maybe some autonomous ones but a few is about it. Its human nature to produce these things. We love tech and we love perceived efficiency. Yet, we fail to see the big picture and we fail to see wisdom of saying no to some of these things. Often efforts at efficiency destroy overall efficiency. Renewables will likely never scale up to make electric vehicles truly green. Currently many are running on fossil power but their owners feel smug that they are green.

    Trains are the past that must be resurrected. I respect Europe’s passenger train network. The fast trains are OK but really at this point they should focus on localism. Euros like to travel too much so there they get demerits. Trains can easily be made green because they are not dispersed. We need more green nodes that will contribute to survival in a collapse process. We need support for localism. Localism needs outside support to be the best it can be. Trains can connect but still protect. How, by offering limited connections. Private vehicles are too discretionary and prevent natural control of movement.

    Localism must be determined and then coddled. Why, because globalism is seeking to delocalize all locals by its very nature. Price and profit drive this. The globalist liberal scum push this as a good thing. They want mass movement and look down on localism as uneducated and inbred. OH sure they give it lip service but they really only like the type of localism that is the rich enclave variety that protects their gated communities. Localization with low tech connectivity is what is needed. It likely won’t happen until it is too late and we are struggling to keep the cars on the road.

  15. Antius on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:54 am 

    “I wonder if anyone figured out how many coal and natural gas plants will be needed to supply a fleet of 100% electric vehicles.
    Then compare to how many energy plants needed to power a 100% rail road system.”

    Using the UK as an example, given that I know it and have the data available. According to Wiki, the Tesla 3 consumes 0.14kWh/km, i.e. a 50kWh battery provides a range of 350km. If 10million electric vehicles travel an average of 40km each day; energy consumption would be 56GWh per day, or 20.5TWh per year. That adds about 6% to UK electricity consumption. That is a modest addition to total electricity consumption. Problems emerge if everyone attempts to charge those vehicles simultaneously, creating a huge spike in demand. Pumped storage may be a good solution to this problem. Open cycle gas turbines are a cheaper, though dirtier, option. Demand management is a more efficient solution all round, if ways can be found to implement it.

    Of course, cars are far from being the limit of our transportation needs. Concerning rail, it is more energy efficient than road per passenger-mile, provided it is used at high load factors. That assumes large freight trains and high occupancy of seats on passenger trains. In Britain and most other West European countries; rail is already heavily used for both human and goods transport. Expanding it further would place pressure on the infrastructure or would require new infrastructure, which will be expensive to build. It also has limitations that are quite obvious. It transports people and goods between specific nodes at specific times and compared to cars, it presents logistical difficulty for anyone trying to carry modest quantities of goods. One advantage it does provide is its ability to draw propulsive energy directly from the electrical grid without the need for storage. But that presents problems in itself, as temporal variations in rail traffic impose varying demands on the grid.

  16. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 6:06 am 

    It is still unclear how effective this social monitoring will be. Often times these type of systems fool themselves. High tech can be beaten by low tech. If they go too far with this they will drive people off the networking they wish to control. People will go underground with secret societies. Localism will be reborn out of necessity. High tech has so many holes. We have many examples of system failures to find actionable information for the noise. They are dredging too much information. The more you focus sometimes the less you see. I am not sold on this being taken to the degree some do. I could be wrong but I see these things failing at some point for a variety of reasons. I am not sold on AI either for similar reasons. When AI can support and maintain itself then we should fear it. We have spoken many times here about renewables can’t reproduce renewables. A similar situation exists for AI IMO.

  17. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 6:25 am 

    much for BRI, China will increasingly be looking inward to protect its economy

    “For The First Time In 25 Years, China Has To Make A Choice Between External Stability And Growth”
    https://tinyurl.com/y7wanjma

    “Back in August 2 we reported of a historic event for China’s economy: for the first time in its modern history, China’s current account balance for the first half of the year had turned into a deficit. And while the full year amount was likely set to revert back to a modest surplus, it was only a matter of time before one of the most unique features of China’s economy – its chronic current account surplus – was gone for good. Fast forward to this weekend, when as part of its summary of Top Macro Trades for 2019, UBS wrote that the loss of China’s current account cushion, softening domestic activity, and upcoming tariffs mean that “for the first time in 25 years, China would have to make a choice between external stability and growth.”

    “As UBS explains, Beijing’s dilemma is that Chinese easing now has to balance conflicting demands between external stability and growth. This according to the Swiss bank, “should lead to a welcome, but more limited, stimulus in this cycle and more emphasis on domestic than foreign spending. In turn, this easing cycle will likely provide more benefit to domestic assets rather than traditional China satellites.”

  18. Antius on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 7:14 am 

    “It is still unclear how effective this social monitoring will be. Often times these type of systems fool themselves. High tech can be beaten by low tech. If they go too far with this they will drive people off the networking they wish to control. People will go underground with secret societies.”

    My thoughts exactly (hopes at least).

    Unfortunately, if the world does succeed in developing quantum computers, the day may not be far away when it becomes difficult or impossible to do anything privately. When societies abolish cash for example, every financial transaction that anyone makes will be recorded – amount, time, location, what you bought, etc. At that point, little privacy will remain. Is that fantastical? In Sweden, it appears to be happening already.

    The idea of zero privacy is as unimaginable to many people today as the present day surveillance society and political insanity would have been in the 1970s. In another decade or two, the technology to monitor literally everything you do will exist. Quantum computers will be the final nail in the coffin for human freedom.

    https://mahb.stanford.edu/blog/end-freedom/

    And there would appear to be little hope that the present political elites would be wise enough not to turn it against human freedom.

  19. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 7:25 am 

    “In another decade or two, the technology to monitor literally everything you do will exist. Quantum computers will be the final nail in the coffin for human freedom.”

    Will this hold together in another decade or two of a process of collapse? It seems to me this technology and knowledge skill sets to run it requires growth and stability. That may not happen. The question may then be is there a collapse process or never ending growth? What kind of decline would disrupt this dangerous surveillance and control? That might be a silver lining to a collapse process.

  20. Dredd on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 7:31 am 

    Great book review.

  21. Antius on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 8:19 am 

    The return of the airship?

    According to NASA, the Hindenburg was twice as efficient as a modern 747 in terms of tonne-km/MJ, i.e. fuel economy of freight transport, at speeds of 145km/h.

    https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120010650.pdf

    Of course, the Hindenburg is hardly state of the art. Fuel economy could be improved by optimising shape, increasing size, and reducing speed and above all, using carbon fibres and modern polymers to reduce dead weight. David McKay estimated that for a 400m long airship carrying cargo at 80 km/h (50mph), the energy consumption would be 0.06 kWh/t-km, which is similar to rail. Power consumption would increase with the square of speed. So moving at 100mph would require 4 times as much engine power, but you get there twice as fast, so energy consumption is proportional to speed. Because engine power is relatively low compared to a jet aeroplane, an airship can consume low energy density fuels like non-compressed hydrogen or methane stored within its envelope. Hence, it can be refuelled from any natural gas network, anywhere in the world. Liquid hydrogen is also an option, as it has both high mass energy density and any boil-off can be used to refill the gas cells, should that be needed. The advantage over rail is that the airship does not require a continuous line of infrastructure between two points and it can travel in a straight line. A disadvantage is the need for a stored chemical fuel, rather than making use of a direct grid connection. Unlike aeroplanes, airships don’t require runways and can be moored to a tower, that could be located over water if land is in short supply.

    For short haul passenger flights, the airship could provide a low energy consumption means of transporting people relatively quickly. Without the need for bedding, dining facilities and large fuel reserves, an airship the size of the Hindenburg could transport at least as many people as a modern 747. It could potentially do so with greater levels of comfort.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3310568/Flight-fancy-Nostalgic-photographs-fascinating-look-inside-luxurious-R-100-floating-hotel-airships-scrapped-1930.html

    Technological advances since the 1930s could make the airship both safer and more economic. The development of maraging steels, high strength aluminium alloys, polymers and carbon fibre composites, could make the airframes stronger and lighter. Computer aided design promises much better airframe optimisation. Gas turbines have much superior power-weight than diesel engines. Some limitations remain.

    Some key problems with the airship: (1) for large scale adoption, there really is no alternative to the use of hydrogen as a lifting gas. Helium is too rare and no other gas offers sufficient lift. It may be challenging to build commercial airships that are sufficiently safe; (2) Whilst airships do not require runways, and will float from mooring towers; they are likely to be huge vehicles: a commercial rigid airship would be 200-500m in length. Their constant presence on the skyline may become an unwelcome and overbearing sight; (3) Airships are slow in comparison to jet airliners. (a) For passenger transport, people will need bedding and cabins for flights longer than 24 hours. That adds massively to weight requirements. Avoiding that requirement, essentially limits passenger airship range to no more than 3500km; (b) Because of its lower speed, an airship will deliver fewer passenger-miles per hour than a jet. This is very significant problem, because capital and maintenance costs will add a lot more to the cost of a ticket.

  22. boney joe on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 8:19 am 

    Another powerful Republican pervert bites the dust….

    Head of conservative Republican Southern Baptist Convention,Paul Pressler, steps down after more men step forward to accuse Pressler of homosexual pedophilia.

    “Brooks Schott, 27, now a lawyer in Washington state, says in an affidavit that he resigned his position at Pressler’s former law firm after Pressler in 2016 invited Schott to get into a hot tub with him naked. He also accuses Jared Woodfill, Pressler’s longtime law partner and the head of the Harris County Republican Party until 2014, of failing to prevent Pressler’s sexual advances toward him and others, which Schott says were well-known among the firm, the documents state.”

    Houston Chronicle: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/More-men-accuse-former-Texas-judge-Baptist-12831892.php

  23. JuanP on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 9:58 am 

    Antius “The more I read, the more I want out of the dystopian nightmare that the UK is descending into.”

    And go where exactly? Welcome to the club. I felt the same way about my country, Uruguay, and made up my mind to leave when I was FIVE years old and told my whole extended family. Now I live in the USA! I went from bad to worse! LOL! There is nowhere left to go; people have ruined the whole planet through excessive breeding and consumption. Thank God I had a Vasectomy and no children. Keep an eye on your mental health, particularly depressive symptoms. I lost that fight, but, maybe, you can win it. At least you are way older than I was when I reached that point.

  24. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 10:11 am 

    Leave gimmiegrant. The USA does not want ungrateful freeloaders. BTW, dirty juan you look stupid with your identity theft and sock activity then the come on with a stab at being serious. This invalidates you as a serious member. FOOL

  25. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 10:14 am 

    BTW, thank god you had a vasectomy. I can just
    Imagine more playboy brats running around freeloading.

  26. Antius on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 10:23 am 

    “BTW, thank god you had a vasectomy. I can just imagine more playboy brats running around freeloading.”

    Davy, give it a rest. Scrolling through the constant bitch posts on this board is boring in the extreme.

  27. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 10:45 am 

    Antius, you are playing into the games these people play. No words for JuanP? What about your buddy cloggie? He called me out today. Why no words for them? What about when you do it? Is that OK? I am
    giving these low lifes what want. I don’t play these
    games because I like it. I play it because they draw first blood. Got it?

  28. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 10:50 am 

    Oh, Antius, maybe you would prefer I do it like dirty juan does with identity theft and sock puppets. I do it like a man without the cowardly games.

  29. Antius on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 11:37 am 

    “Another powerful Republican pervert bites the dust….
    Head of conservative Republican Southern Baptist Convention,Paul Pressler, steps down after more men step forward to accuse Pressler of homosexual pedophilia.”

    Using this man’s sexual abuse case as a political tool against an entire opposition political party is about as low and disingenuous as you can get. There is certainly a lot of dirt in American politics and I doubt the Dems would come out looking any better on the whole sexual abuse thing. This link is from 2008 and gives a long list of Dem paedos.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1980959/posts

    Of course, the Dems have more control over the media. So I would expect information on Republican perverts to be much easier to find. But should you find yourself at a Dem dinner party, never accept a cigar from Bill Clinton.

  30. Antius on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 11:55 am 

    “Oh, Antius, maybe you would prefer I do it like dirty juan does with identity theft and sock puppets. I do it like a man without the cowardly games.”

    I’m not interested in pointing fingers Davy. I try my best to limit my involvement in these slagging matches because it burns my time and dilutes the content of the board. I suggest you look at it the same way. There are plenty of people here that have nothing to add to real content of the board. They are trolls who know nothing about energy. Since you do, don’t blow too much time on them.

  31. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 12:16 pm 

    UH, antius there is a difference between the degree of attacks given to you and to me. I have made it clear to JuanP that I will ignore him if he ignores me. He is not interested. I prefer to battle with ideas through debate. That is my position. I am not going to look the other way until the abuse lowers. I will spit when spit on. This is the law of the jungle. I prefer the understanding of men.

  32. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 12:19 pm 

    “Using this man’s sexual abuse case as a political tool against an entire opposition political party is about as low and disingenuous as you can get.”

    Antius, boney joe is JuanP just so you are clued in. He uses boney joe to stir shit up. JuanP hates Americans liberal or conservative. He is even on the record of being happy Trump got elected but he likes to use his liberal gay friend as a lighting rod. Maybe you should ignore boney joe like the advice you gave me.

  33. george on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 12:47 pm 

    When the shtf , we won’t even know when , how or where it started.

  34. Эй, братья, пожалуйста, ударьте антиамериканскую собаку, которую я сделал из гранитного форума on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 3:55 pm 

    heinberg is supertard. i was first in line to check out “partys’ over” in the obscured book section

    good news america giving arms to ukraine, PBBM will soon be PBB, no M

    supertards going back to the moon — good news. we went there once thanks to ((supertard)) kubrick but don’t mention it because it would break the vision of white supermacy with wener von braun in it

  35. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 3:56 pm 

    Netherlands has proof Russia developed prohibited cruise missile, violating INF treaty

    https://nltimes.nl/2018/11/28/netherlands-proof-russia-developed-prohibited-cruise-missile

    Hit hard!

  36. JuanP on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 4:57 pm 

    Delusional Davy “I have made it clear to JuanP that I will ignore him if he ignores me. He is not interested.”

    I want to point out (because this is so extremely unusual) that the above two phrases by Davy about me are actually true. I know; I couldn’t believe it either! LOL! I will only ignore Davy if he stops his bullshit on this board first. Davy is the original reason I started posting here around five years ago. Davy is more responsible for ruining this board than anyone else. This was not a bad place before he started posting his delusional BS.

  37. JuanP on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:00 pm 

    Mob, your obsession with Russia and Putin is totally insane. Can you explain to me why you hate Putin and Russia so much? Were you ever wronged by a Russian? Is it just brainwashing? I am not picking on you; I really want to know what’s behind that.

  38. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:02 pm 

    Juanp

    I want Putins oil and gas reserves..And to control Europe’s energy supplies and Asia’s..

    And he is the worlds richest man and his people are dirt poor..

  39. JuanP on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:05 pm 

    Delusional Davy “Antius, boney joe is JuanP just so you are clued in.”

    Can you prove that lie, Exceptionalist? It is not my fault that essentially every single person here despises you, Davy. And, by the way, I already told you a million times that I don’t hate Americans. You are projecting the hate you feel onto me. I don’t hate anyone or anything for two main reasons, it is exhausting and I don’t care about anything or anyone enough to hate them. I usually ignore assholes, but I am making an exception for you! LOL!

  40. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:16 pm 

    “I will only ignore Davy if he stops his bullshit on this board first.”
    Juan, I could give a shit about if you are an asswipe or not to me. It is people like Antius that care stupid. Grow up and think of others and think of this board. Not only are you dirty you rarely contribute. Worthless piece of shit is what you are.

    “Davy is the original reason I started posting here around five years ago. Davy is more responsible for ruining this board than anyone else.”
    BS, extremist like you that practice (smallish) group censorship are the reason this board is ruined. You dumbasses think you own this place. BTW, you were posting under Juan Pablo before I ever posted here LIAR.

    BTW, we got you to admit to Boney Juan sock and identity theft by acknowledging you are screwing with me per this comment. The dirty fits!

  41. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:21 pm 

    “Can you prove that lie, Exceptionalist? It is not my fault that essentially every single person here despises you, Davy.”
    Juan, nobody cares for you except your loving daddy billy and maybe your other friend anon the gimp. Don’t flatter yourself pussy.

    “And, by the way, I already told you a million times that I don’t hate Americans. You are projecting the hate you feel onto me. “
    Liar, most every comment you make is negative to Americans. You hate this place yet you stay to freeload.

    “I don’t hate anyone or anything for two main reasons, it is exhausting and I don’t care about anything or anyone enough to hate them.”
    Liar, your actions here show you hate and could give a shit about others.

    “I usually ignore assholes, but I am making an exception for you! LOL!”
    You just want your personal enjoyments of being an asshole. You could give a shit about contributing or about filling this board with identity theft and socks.

  42. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:23 pm 

    LOL, listen to the hypocrite:

    “Mob, your obsession with Russia and Putin is totally insane. Can you explain to me why you hate Putin and Russia so much? Were you ever wronged by a Russian? Is it just brainwashing? I am not picking on you; I really want to know what’s behind that.”

    Should read:

    JuanP, your obsession with the US is totally insane. Can you explain to me why you hate the US so much? Were you ever wronged by the US? Is it just brainwashing? I am not picking on you; I really want to know what’s behind that.

  43. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 5:45 pm 

    A nice afternoon!

    https://i.redd.it/ci0r04xcf5121.jpg

  44. makati1 on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 7:48 pm 

    Delusional Davy and Snowflake MOB make a good pair. Should both get a real life and stop wasting it on here, they would be better off. I doubt that an happen.They have nowhere to go. No one who cares if they live or die. But then, they asked for it. So they post bullshit, lies and propaganda here 24/7/365.

    They both KNOW the US is dying and their lifestyle with it. They want to blame it on Russia/Putin or China/Xi, but it is their lack of will to prepare for their own future that is the real cause. Like most Americans, they are greedy, immoral, lazy, brainwashed serfs. They are getting only what they deserve. So be it.

  45. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 7:58 pm 

    Mak

    What are your holiday plans? Go online and rant about big bad US?

    Don’t worry you will be out of your misery soon..Just like China who has the worlds largest debt bubble..

  46. Davy on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 8:03 pm 

    Bla bla billy. Who cares what you think. You are a washed up old man who is alone without purpose except spewing hate.

  47. makati1 on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 8:18 pm 

    MOB, I don’t celebrate holidays. I live one 365 days of the year in the land of eternal summer. I did my 50 years of servitude to the capitalist system. Now I enjoy my investments and my secure, safe, happy life here. I don’t have the IRS/NSA/DHS/etc watching and recording everything I do or say like you do. I enjoy true freedom, something that is gone forever in America.

    You keep wishing my death but I am going to outlive you and enjoy every minute of it. You and delusional Davy have no life or you would not be on here 24/7/365. No one will listen to your bullshit in real life so you are forced to come here and try to impress us with your ignorance, immaturity and arrogance. Hint: It is not working! LOL

  48. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 8:19 pm 

    Ted Cruz tried to get on Nine Inch Nails’ guest list, Trent Reznor told him to “fuck off”

    https://consequenceofsound.net/2018/11/trent-reznor-calls-out-ted-cruz-texas-video/?fbclid=IwAR3zvSgX7B1zvbSvxO9ymQtOYvbltfHZ5vmHUaq74tk5h_nTbBaNYy3gqV4

  49. I AM THE MOB on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 8:38 pm 

    Mak

    You don’t celebrate holidays because you have no one to celebrate with..Your wife left you and your family thinks you are nuts (for good reason)..

  50. Эй, братья, пожалуйста, ударьте антиамериканскую собаку, которую я сделал из гранитного форума on Wed, 28th Nov 2018 8:58 pm 

    ^mm^ please work with, not against supertard to stamp out extremism

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *