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Thread: Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    Still want nuclear????
    The likelihood of an 8.9 quake hitting Ireland directly is seriously minimal. That's not to say we shouldn't "seismic proof" anything we do build; and (see tsunami thread), perhaps building anything sensitive more than 10m above sea level would also be wise.

    But the Japanese meltdown scenario is not applicable here. Furthermore, I'm afraid renewables on their own don't supply consistent enough power to keep the grid going. Importing nuclear power from the UK and France via interconnectors is simply passing the buck (and we're asking to be cut off in an instant if any serious domestic concerns there result in electricity rationing).

    There have been few major recent accidents in NW Europe re nuclear power.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    The likelihood of an 8.9 quake hitting Ireland directly is seriously minimal. That's not to say we shouldn't "seismic proof" anything we do build; and (see tsunami thread), perhaps building anything sensitive more than 10m above sea level would also be wise.

    But the Japanese meltdown scenario is not applicable here. Furthermore, I'm afraid renewables on their own don't supply consistent enough power to keep the grid going. Importing nuclear power from the UK and France via interconnectors is simply passing the buck (and we're asking to be cut off in an instant if any serious domestic concerns there result in electricity rationing).

    There have been few major recent accidents in NW Europe re nuclear power.
    The point is not the frequency of the accidents, it's the potential very severe and prolonged impacts when they take place.

    Even if you only put a monetary value on it, I've heard the sum of 12 billion given for the loss of the three Japanese plants. There will also probably be a permanent exclusion zone with a cost of billions. Health impacts - same goes and also the impacts of disruption to power supplies.

    Renewables are expensive, but are they this expensive ?

    The 7th Fleet has pulled back as they have picked up radiation / fallout at 100 k away from the plant at Fukushima.

    Tokyo is less than 200 k away, I think ?

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    The likelihood of an 8.9 quake hitting Ireland directly is seriously minimal. That's not to say we shouldn't "seismic proof" anything we do build; and (see tsunami thread), perhaps building anything sensitive more than 10m above sea level would also be wise.

    But the Japanese meltdown scenario is not applicable here. Furthermore, I'm afraid renewables on their own don't supply consistent enough power to keep the grid going. Importing nuclear power from the UK and France via interconnectors is simply passing the buck (and we're asking to be cut off in an instant if any serious domestic concerns there result in electricity rationing).

    There have been few major recent accidents in NW Europe re nuclear power.
    It is the sheer scale of the disaster, whatever the reason be it seismic or malice - which is not beyond the imagination in a war or terrorist situation. It is hard enough that nature is giving them hell but the manmade technology is progressing the hell nature has unleashed, magnifying the pain.

    I totally agree, the energy gap between fossil and renewables is vast but the nuclear argument will last way beyond our timeframe to build reactors. Given the dire situation of these stricken people in Japan I think the pro nuclear camp will find it a hard argument. When we are on our knees with power cuts thinking may change but then it will be very difficult to build infrastructure. It will be a hindsight "victory" for nuclear. Imported nuclear will probably be as far into nuclear as we will get.
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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    In the meantime, such is the disruption to the world economy, that oil prices have fallen.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    good point CFlower

    100%+

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    The point is not the frequency of the accidents, it's the potential very severe and prolonged impacts when they take place.

    Even if you only put a monetary value on it, I've heard the sum of 12 billion given for the loss of the three Japanese plants. There will also probably be a permanent exclusion zone with a cost of billions. Health impacts - same goes and also the impacts of disruption to power supplies.

    Renewables are expensive, but are they this expensive ?

    The 7th Fleet has pulled back as they have picked up radiation / fallout at 100 k away from the plant at Fukushima.

    Tokyo is less than 200 k away, I think ?

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Quote Originally Posted by Connie View Post
    good point CFlower

    100%+
    Welcome Connie. Are you in favour of renewables?

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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    http://transitionculture.org/2011/03...alexis-rowell/

    Ten reasons why new nuclear was a mistake – even before Fukushima.
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  8. #38
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    http://transitionculture.org/2011/03...alexis-rowell/

    Ten reasons why new nuclear was a mistake – even before Fukushima.
    even though iran obv. want to start a war with someone(the govt not the people) its very hypocritical how every major nation with many nuclear plants doesn't allow them to build 1! I think nuclear is a terrible idea. A small island with wave energy and wind energy-thats what ye want. nuclear is wrong. i live just a few hundred kilomteres from sellafield on the east coast. shuddering thought should that blow up for whatever reason.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    The current state of oil reserves: Many have argued that increasing oil prices will result in Herculean efforts to source more oil, gas and coal (which can, at some expense and with vastly polluting effect, be converted to transport fuel using the Fischer-Tropsch process, a chemical reaction used to convert coal to transport fuel). However, two geological studies, one of British coal production over the last 150 years, and another tracking the rise and fall of US oil production, suggest that the effects of “looking harder” on declining production are minimal. Geology rules absolutely, and it is not ruling in our favour .
    A graph of UK coal production since 1855 (from David Strahan, the Great Coal Hole). shows a triangle, pretty much, production goes up steeply until about 1915, while decline is similarly pretty inexorable thereafter, reaching less than 1/5 peak by about 1990. No doubt the decline would have been even more steep, were it not for the intervention of foreign supplies and the switch to oil as transport fuel of choice from the 1940s onwards (with British Rail switching from steam to diesel in the 1960's).

    http://www.davidstrahan.com/blog/wp-...production.jpg
    http://www.davidstrahan.com/blog/?p=116
    (For anyone who STILL thinks we have 250 years of coal.....no, we DON'T).

    Similarly, oil supplies are unlikely to react substantially to demand.We burn at least 3 barrels of oil for every one we now discover. The last supergiant oil field was located more than forty years ago. A graph of US oil production also shows that the effects of 1970’s oil shortages have little effect on production rates. Again, the triangle shaped graph goes steeply up on one side, and down on the other. M.King Hubbert’s original prediction that US oil production would peak in 1969-1970 was off by a mere 3 months, despite the fact that prior to 1970, his viewpoint was not respected by either the US Geological Survey or the majority of other commentators (Graph: Jean Laherrere, 2005).

    Peak gas and coal may also be closer than we think; meanwhile, the process of sourcing new oil is being repeatedly stymied by legitimate concerns regarding climate change, difficulty of physical access to reserves such as those recently identified in the deep ocean off Brazil, and, believe it or not, water. For example, the Albertan tar sands, the largest reserves of oil (potentially) outside Saudi Arabia have a maximum theoretical output per day of 3-5 million barrels, owing to the fact that refining tar sand currently requires 10-12 barrels of water, in the form of steam, for each barrel of oil produced, and there’s only one North Saskatchewan river. Globally, we use between 85-87 million barrels of oil per day (Ireland imported 3.411 million tonnes of oil in 2007-IEA). Furthermore, producing the steam for refining requires natural gas, which is under pressure as a result of North American domestic demand. This latter problem can be solved with the planned building of a nuclear reactor or two, but this will take at least a decade. Recent and ongoing events in Fukushima will ensure a renewed public panic with regard to the safety of nuclear facilities (although concerns about those NOT situated near subduction zones may be seriously logically misplaced). To add to the difficulties, the current wild fluctuations in oil price (high, $147/barrel, July 2008, low < $40, December 2008) are not helping; what is economic at a sustained price of >$80 may not be so at lower prices; moreover, this applies to more costly alternative energy just as much as it applies to piping oil from thousands of metres under the sea bed. With such uncertainty, investors are collectively not investing in ventures which are, individually, risky.
    Methods developed by M. King Hubbert, which successfully predicted the real peak in oil production in the US in 1970, extrapolated to world oil supply, suggest a peak in 2015 (although figures of production reached in 2005 have yet to be exceeded). We can expect supply to be contracting rapidly after 2015 at the latest. That is a mere 4 years away. Graph available from The Oil Depletion Resource Page. Gas is projected to peak in 2025.

    http://www.gulland.ca/depletion/depletion.htm

    Finally, there is the thorny issue of the accuracy of reserves reported by individual nation states and therefore by the IEA. Companies, countries and the IEA have many motives that would favour looking on the optimistic side when reporting reserves. The stability of oil company profits (and therefore share price) is determined by looking at the size of reserves, meanwhile in the days of oil surplus back in the 1980s, when OPEC countries were allowed to pump oil in proportion to their stated reserves. Now, if you had an economy to keep afloat and there were legitimate doubts as to the exact size of reserves, the tendency would be to err on the optimistic side. Furthermore, if you were an unstable Middle Eastern state partially dependent on foreign powers for national security (take Saudi Arabia for example), you might be somewhat uninclined to caution if your influence on the world stage (and defence capability) was dependent on enormous stated reserves.

    Meanwhile, gas and coal reserves, which look healthy on paper, may also be somewhat shaky for similar reasons. Remember how successful the banks were at hiding risk (until 2007)? Well, world energy reserves may be as overinflated as estimates of risk were underinflated. Regardless, even if the oil producers can keep production stable until 2030 (highly unlikely), the rate of demand increase from the BRIC counties in particular means that supply will still be unable to meet demand. Meanwhile, the abject panic that real shortages would cause on world financial markets is likely to be a reason for unfounded optimism in projecting energy supplies, going forward.
    In summary, every Government and private sector decision and expenditure, going forward, MUST be considered through the lens of declining energy reserves, rocketing energy prices and global instability, both financial and political. However, to date, there is little evidence that much planning is being carried out. Rather, governments seem to have a blind faith that the norms of the 20th century (the resumption of economic growth) will be re-established if only they could gather the resources to bail out the banking sector some more. Meanwhile, higher oil prices are regarded as a factor behind inflation, and not as part of the source of the problem. Many economists, especially those currently at the ECB, are refusing to recognize that, rather than being amenable to correction by interest rate increases, energy led inflation will remove money from the pockets of consumers and enterprises, thereby increasing the likelihood of inability to service debt. Raising interest rates when society is chronically indebted will have the same effect. These factors together will, in turn, result in further destabilisation of the banking system, leading to demands for more bailouts. None of this will solve any problems, including those of the banks. The solution is to spend our remaining resources in stabilising and increasing our available non-fossil fuel based energy sources (including nuclear power in areas which are seismically inert), thus allowing some degree of stability and enabling economic activity. Recognition of this by the powers that be, however, is sadly lacking.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 16-04-2011 at 03:25 PM.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Fabulous post Morticia - you should do a blog! I especially like your last paragraph. They don't seem to be seeing the wood for the trees

    "In summary, every Government and private sector decision and expenditure, going forward, MUST be considered through the lens of declining energy reserves, rocketing energy prices and global instability, both financial and political. However, to date, there is little evidence that much planning is being carried out. Rather, governments seem to have a blind faith that the norms of the 20th century (the resumption of economic growth) will be re-established if only they could gather the resources to bail out the banking sector some more. Meanwhile, higher oil prices are regarded as a factor behind inflation, and not as part of the source of the problem. Many economists, especially those currently at the ECB, are refusing to recognize that, rather than being amenable to correction by interest rate increases, energy led inflation will remove money from the pockets of consumers and enterprises, thereby increasing the likelihood of inability to service debt. Raising interest rates when society is chronically indebted will have the same effect. These factors together will, in turn, result in further destabilisation of the banking system, leading to demands for more bailouts. None of this will solve any problems, including those of the banks. The solution is to spend our remaining resources in stabilising and increasing our available non-fossil fuel based energy sources (including nuclear power in areas which are seismically inert), thus allowing some degree of stability and enabling economic activity. Recognition of this by the powers that be, however, is sadly lacking."

    It is especially scary that there is all of this talk about economic growth. Growth that has been built on cheap fuel. Take away the cheap fuel and growth becomes expensive thus stifling itself. I don't know why it is so hard to have people understand that??????? Is it denial???? It's plain, simple logic.

    Something from the telegraph

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/g...-go-wrong.html

    another view from the guardian -

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...-atomic-energy
    Last edited by Theresa; 16-03-2011 at 10:13 PM.
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  11. #41
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Some stuff I stumbled upon today exploring the relationship between energy use and economic growth.

    The Useful work growth theory, also called the Ayres-Warr model, states that physical and chemical work and performed by energy, or more correctly exergy, has historically been the most important driver of economic growth.[1][2] See: Robert Ayres,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_work_growth_theory

    The authors of this unique book explore the fundamental relationship between thermodynamics (physical work) and economics. They take a realistic approach to explaining the relationship between technological progress, thermodynamic efficiency and economic growth, the findings of which conclude with a fundamental explanation of endogenous growth that is both quantifiable and consistent with the laws of ....

    http://books.google.ie/books?id=nLfJKVK9uJsC
    http://sites.google.com/site/benjami...-growth-engine
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WXth2Atwd0"]YouTube - Powering the economic growth engine[/ame]

    Should put this nice little animation here too Environmental economy in a nutshell.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ-J91SwP8w"]YouTube - 300 Years of FOSSIL FUELS in 300 Seconds[/ame]
    Last edited by Theresa; 19-03-2011 at 06:14 PM.
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  12. #42
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    A little myth busting....

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Gas-Price...-About-it.html

    Handy website to tap into every now and again btw
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  13. #43
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Thanks for all that, Theresa. Very interesting.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    Oil hit $123 per barrel today, amid wails from Opec that, since everyone was well supplied, they didn't really see exactly what they could do about the speculators

    Deja vu all over again. RTE just on about two and a half year high.

    Haulier's assoc wants to meet with our glorious leaders. 250 haulage firms out of business since last year. They want a fuel duty rebate.

    Dept of Finance saying no fuel duty rebate as "it might result in significant costs to the Exchequer".... no sh!t, Sherlock.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Rising Oil Prices and the Banking System....Join the Dots

    http://www.prometheusbooks.com/index...oducts_id=2041

    Anyone seen or read this? Is it worth getting?
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