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Thread: Oil and water

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you Modestmouse and Morticia - I don't get much time on here

    Firstly mouse - I don't do blame - if I did I would blame human nature. As for my solutions being taxes and rates - you are completely mistaken. Your description of our addiction situation is great. Yes we are addicted and not because we went out looking for it. Yes the oil industry is like all suppliers - in control and yes they do their best to eliminate and restrict alternatives. Why do you think they have been hampering climate change efforts for years - it's not good for the oil business and keeps us hooked! Just like telling people smoking is bad for your health. Cigarette companies employed all the scientists they could find to tell the world it wasn't a fact. So too do oil companies in order to convince us there is no limits to oil and it doesn't damage our environment.

    The biggest hinderance to our preparedness is lack of awareness. Not even the policy makers really understand the implications and extent of the situation. Politicians are short term and populist. As with consumers, it's not really their fault either. When I first heard of peak oil almost 5 years ago it didn't bother me. I had gas heating and didn't drive. Until people realise that oil dominates everything in our lives then policy will stay as it is. Informed and motivated consumers are what will make the difference here.

    My solutions to this is to make people aware and encourage them to work together to make their community less susceptible to oil insecurity. We have to wean ourselves off and there's no point being angry with me for that. I don't relish the thoughts but I accept them and rise to the challenge. Our focus needs to go local, energy generation, food, transport, healthcare, water supply, everything needs to be done at a more local level. You can check out transition towns for more on that. I think the biggest issue will be food as it is very energy dependent and that leaves us very vulnerable. You just have to read C Flowers post to realise that.

    Morticia, I make a habit of asking TDs etc what they know about peak oil and it's implications. I then explain it as clearly as possible and facilitate their awakening. My local FG TD invited me and co to Leinster House. As it happens I am quite heartened by FG's knowledge in general (albeit limited to a number of TDs) and jobs package given that energy generation and preservation is a big part. If we control our own energy we set the price and can make ourselves more attractive to outside investors while making life easier for our own sme's and householders in general.

    ASPO Ireland would be the pros on peak oil in Ireland. ASPO - Association for the Study of Peak Oil and gas - http://aspoireland.org/. They will be represented at Leinster House. FEASTA - Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability http://www.feasta.org/ will also be there. Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland will be represented to explain the challenges and show what community based solutions are evolving at an ever increasing rate - http://transitiontownsireland.ning.com/

    All we can do is continue raising awareness, showing that there is another way however difficult to accept that is and take some responsibility for ourselves and our communities.
    Last edited by Theresa; 04-02-2011 at 05:36 PM.
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  2. #32
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you Modestmouse and Morticia - I don't get much time on here

    I think the biggest issue will be food as it is very energy dependent and that leaves us very vulnerable. You just have to read C Flowers post to realise that.

    .. I am quite heartened by FG's knowledge in general (albeit limited to a number of TDs) ....

    All we can do is continue raising awareness, showing that there is another way however difficult to accept that is and take some responsibility for ourselves and our communities.
    .

    No worries, I've been MIA for a few days as the other half lost his recharging lead...agreed on food although I think the banking industry may actually be an even bigger Achilles heel (too much debt, when prices go up, too many people default, banks start to fail, governments put more energy into solving the banking problem than in getting at the root cause).

    FG: good news since I must reluctantly bow to the inevitable and accept that they are likely to be the next government, or at least part of it!!

    And here's a few of the sources I've read on the subject; mostly ex oil industry and the odd journo (Strahan) and banker (Rubin). (wrote up a plan for management of peak oil in Ireland for YCYC, which got roundly ignored; not entrepreneurial enough, I think, but here are some of the refs).

    ASPO: http://peakoil.net

    Energy Bulletin: http://www.energybulletin.net/index.php

    The Oil Drum: http://www.theoildrum.com/

    The Oil Depletion Resource Page: http://www.gulland.ca/depletion/depletion.htm

    David Strahan, Homepage: http://www.davidstrahan.com/index.html

    International Energy Agency: http://www.iea.org/

    Middle East Business Intelligence: www.meed.com

    David Strahan (2007) The last oil shock: survival guide to the imminent extinction of petroleum man. (John Murray)

    Jeremy Leggett (2005) Half gone; oil, gas, hot air and the global energy crisis (Portobello Books)

    Colin Campbell. (2010) Energy supply: from expansion to contraction.
    http://peakoil.net

    Jeff Rubin (2009) Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller. (Random House)

    Jared Diamond (2005) Collapse! (Penguin Books)

    Tom Bower (2009). The squeeze; oil, money and greed in the 21st century (Harper Press)

    David Strahan: (2008) The Great Coal Hole. New Scientist 17th Jan 2008.

    Jean H. Laherrere. (1998) The end of cheap oil. Scientific American March 1998.
    http://www.hubbertpeak.com/LaHerrere/

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    I agree about the banks dragging us down but in the bigger picture, which is where I was before the banking crisis, the whole planet is in this together and economic growth is coupled with cheap energy. I reckon our monetary system won't last the pace.

    At the end of the day we really only need food, water, heat, shelter and love If the oil doesn't level us then the climate sure as hell will - or is already if we chose to look at what's happening around us. If we start taking responsibility for our own food, energy, water, shelter and love then hopefully we can weather the global storms.

    Thanks for all the links - I hope everybody reads them
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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

    At the end of the day we really only need food, water, heat, shelter and love If the oil doesn't level us then the climate sure as hell will -
    well, the good news is that if the peak oilers are right, there may not be enough oil there to fry us entirely, and if we're wrong, perhaps the economy won't collapse so we might have a chance at mitigating the problems......lots of flaws with that amount of sunny optimism though

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    If we start taking responsibility for our own food, energy, water, shelter and love then hopefully we can weather the global storms.

    Thanks for all the links - I hope everybody reads them
    If we have to take responsibility for all of the above, what the hell are we paying our governments to do???
    Goodbye FF, hello FG. Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Quote Originally Posted by ModestMouse View Post
    If we have to take responsibility for all of the above, what the hell are we paying our governments to do???
    bail out the banksters, unfortunately. However, I have a horrible suspicion that energy import might become rather difficult if the payments system went down. What we really need in the next government is some really skilled negotiators....

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    bail out the banksters, unfortunately. However, I have a horrible suspicion that energy import might become rather difficult if the payments system went down. What we really need in the next government is some really skilled negotiators....
    We could have lost Anglo without too much disruption to the overall payment system, and saved ourselves 34billion in the process, but that's another debate.

    What we really need is to produce our own energy and loosen the stranglehold that the oil companies have over our lives and our economies.

    We are surrounded by energy, wave energy, wind energy, solar energy and hydro energy but due to political incompetence, betrayal and greed we are still almost totally reliant on oil and carbon based energies conveniently supplied to us at extortionate prices with hefty tax penalties applied.

    There really is no good reason why, after half a century of warnings about oil supply and cost, not to mention the probable impact on our planet, we do not have a readily available supply of cheap, clean energy and an array of electrically powered transport options. There really is no good reason.

    Except of course greed, self interest and political cowardice and incompetence.
    Goodbye FF, hello FG. Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Yep, indeed. Add to that the requirement of a steady electricity supply to keep the grids going, and the lack of battery storage systems (or sufficient Turlough hill type facilities), and what you said just about sums it up.

    The other problem is the extraordinary energy density of fossil fuels in general and oil in particular. It will be very hard to persuade people to switch until it is too late; any alternatives will always be less efficient.

    But we will have to embrace them, nonetheless.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    There really is no good reason why, after half a century of warnings about oil supply and cost, not to mention the probable impact on our planet, we do not have a readily available supply of cheap, clean energy and an array of electrically powered transport options. There really is no good reason.

    Except of course greed, self interest and political cowardice and incompetence.


    Well, that's four reasons why and none of them good. All right but none good

    I agree Morticia - we are reactionary by nature - well 90% anyway so nothing substantial will happen until we are in the thick of it. As one film puts it "The age of stupid"
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  10. #40
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    Yep, indeed. Add to that the requirement of a steady electricity supply to keep the grids going, and the lack of battery storage systems (or sufficient Turlough hill type facilities), and what you said just about sums it up.

    The other problem is the extraordinary energy density of fossil fuels in general and oil in particular. It will be very hard to persuade people to switch until it is too late; any alternatives will always be less efficient.

    But we will have to embrace them, nonetheless.
    Unless....but dare I use the "N" word??
    Goodbye FF, hello FG. Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Below is a repeat of something I posted in another thread.

    A useful site with a lot of “energy” not just “wind” resources is The Rocky Mountain Institute. Type “Wind” into the search box and it returns 60 items. Type “energy storage” and it returns 539 items. Twenty five years worth of publications across a broad range of energy issues indexed on the site. More stuff than you have time to read. RMI Chief Scientist Amory Lovins, grows bananas in his solar powered home at 7,100 feet in the Rockies. Obviously, an extreme example.

    Their most notable publication, the 2004 ‘Winning the Oil Endgame” “How to wean the US off oil completely by 2050 using existing technology” was commissioned by US military. US mil has gotten the Green Bug. They pay their biggest supplier BP, about $2 a gallon for fuel. Then, it can cost up to $400 per gallon to transport that gallon, and every other gallon to a “forward operating base” in Afgan. When it gets there it is sometimes used to fuel a vehicle, (aircraft/tank), whose efficiency is measured not in MPG but Gallons Per Mile. If the US was less dependant on oil, there would be less concern about securing supplies, and thus less need to fight about it.

    If you can’t download the book, gratis, and even for free as well, from this link, you can do it from the RMI, link at bottom.
    http://www.oilendgame.com/

    In a nutshell, the RMI thesis is, Efficiency, Efficiency, Efficiency, across a broad platform, and make some profit while doing it. It's cheaper to save a gallon than buy a gallon. RMI believes we can do it now. No need to wait for new breakthroughs or disruptive technologies By adopting a series of Rebates and Feebates, plus implementing measures that will give you an incremental 10% saving here, 15 there, and 20 over there, etc. you can eventually reduce demand for energy, to the point where all/most demand can be met from a combination of renewables. RMI is not big on nuclear.

    Example, if the US Gov gave the auto companies a few billion, (didn’t they just do that?) to refit/retool factories to allow them to dump steel and make cars from the same lighter stronger carbon fiber materiel that Boeing is now using to make aircraft, you would end up with lighter, safer, cars that could be powered by smaller electric batteries that require less RENEWABLE energy to produce. Payback time, I don’t remember, but relatively short, 3-5 years. Taxpayers could have a lien on auto company profits until the subsidy was repaid. The money any country spends on imported energy is a tax upon itself that may be unnecessary.
    The biggest disappointment in the Obama admin, has been the apparent lack of “energy” surrounding Energy Secretary, and Nobel Laureate, Stephen Chu. I guess he got bowled over by the financial contagion. Hope he bounces back.


    http://www.rmi.org/rmi/

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    On the "N" option Mouse - I don't believe time or resources are on side at this stage. We probably could have afforded it when we had a booming economy but by the time planning has fought for it and everything else rises in costs ............ I just don't see it happening. Now a supergrid linked to nuclear in Europe - that I could see happening.

    Nice piece Count. I have glazed over the end game and rocky mountain stuff before but you have reminded me I really should sit down with it some night for a good long trawl. Now, where will I hide the family so I get the peace?
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  13. #43
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    What do we do to cope with all of this?

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/a-...-in-resilience
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  14. #44
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Quote Originally Posted by ModestMouse View Post
    Unless....but dare I use the "N" word??
    Oh, please do. Sammy Wilson "up North" wants to build one for the whole island. In the interests of whole island co-operation, I'd not want to stand in his way......

    mind you, peak uranium is an issue too, but after Chernobyl, there was a period when no-one was looking very hard.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Oil and water

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    On the "N" option Mouse - I don't believe time or resources are on side at this stage. We probably could have afforded it when we had a booming economy but by the time planning has fought for it and everything else rises in costs ............ I just don't see it happening. Now a supergrid linked to nuclear in Europe - that I could see happening.

    Nice piece Count. I have glazed over the end game and rocky mountain stuff before but you have reminded me I really should sit down with it some night for a good long trawl. Now, where will I hide the family so I get the peace?
    Time waits for no-one but bearing mind we have already wasted half a century with virtually no progress (except a carbon credit system that offers a "get out of jail free card" for polluting industry) I don't think we should be hitting the panic button just yet. Personally I think we have possibly another half a century to get our act together before the forces of nature send us on a slow and painful journey back to the Middle Ages.

    The big problem for the "clean energy industry" at the moment is simply one of costs. The average person, on an average income, living in an average house simply will not invest in an energy system that will not pay for itself in reduced running costs within a reasonable period of time. The oil industry are already aware of this which is why they push their prices just to the limit and no more. Peaks and troughs, peaks and troughs. In order to compete with oil the clean energy industry have to come up with an energy system that will provide 80% of the heating and electricity requirements of an average house; with a price tag of between 10,000-15,000 euro, fully installed, It's as simple as that.
    Goodbye FF, hello FG. Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

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