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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 87682 4-Aug-2011 09:50
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Does anyone know how long it is that we have "been in these times of peak oil".

It seems not a day goes by that there hasn't been someone talking about it, especially when someone is talking up the benefits of rail, but I'm sure it's been "this time" for the last 10 years.  

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 501783 4-Aug-2011 09:58
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It's just a hippie catch phrase they use in their scaremongering. The term is based on a theory and every prediction of when it will occur has been wrong.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 501947 4-Aug-2011 15:20
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I can remember from way back when doing some work associated with one of the many "oil shocks" it was confidently forecast to happen in 1995 but it later turned out that it didn't.
 
 As far as I know the current drama queen forecasts do not take account of very large reserves such as those in oil shales, nor open minded possibilities of oil from coal or substitution by coal, nuclear, etc which are likely to become more attractive to us all once we start having to have cold showers and riding on public transport with coughing and sniffling, smelly, nose picking fellow commuters.

Seems to me the forecasts and who panics over them depends on how much of a hanky chewing worry mongering type one is or what doomsday ideological agendas one is married to. So get a range over it has happened, it is happening or it is going to happen sooner or later.

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  Reply # 502009 4-Aug-2011 16:50
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The seriousness of Peak Oil is directly proportionate to whether a book or news article needs to be sold.

To put it another way, peak oil is to publishing what haute couture is the the perfume industry.

Same goes for a lot of things; the over population, Y2K.... global warming?




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 502042 4-Aug-2011 17:34
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Peak oil is a term used mainly by traders and speculators, usually bandied about prior to a major increase in the price of a barrel of oil...

Disclaimer: I work for a company that explores, produces and distributes oil and gas.




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  Reply # 502170 4-Aug-2011 21:32
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There is only a finite amount of oil on earth, peak oil is real... the reliability of the predictions of when we will reach peak oil is questionable.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 503258 8-Aug-2011 11:54
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Hi To All who responded to this topic.

PEAK OIL IS REAL! People with their heads in the sand can't see that it is now becoming more costly to find and process suitable oil reserves. There is still more oil available, but the fields are becoming more expensive to locate and refine. The world of cheap oil is gone!

Wars are being fought to ensure that certain factions get a continued regular supply. The term PEAK OIL was not coined by traders, etc, but by concerned scientists that had become aware of the statistics being found. Many of these scientists actually came from the oil industry and are now opposed to the continued rate of exploitation of existing (and future) oil fields.

Peak Oil was reached in the 70's. The term relates to the exploration and availability of oil reserves. At present the finding and processing of oil is declining. The figures on oil fields found and the reserves being used back up these statements.

Don't leave your head in the sand! Wake up and search for the real facts and answers.

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  Reply # 503314 8-Aug-2011 13:33
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garyasta: Hi To All who responded to this topic.

PEAK OIL IS REAL! People with their heads in the sand can't see that it is now becoming more costly to find and process suitable oil reserves. There is still more oil available, but the fields are becoming more expensive to locate and refine. The world of cheap oil is gone!

Wars are being fought to ensure that certain factions get a continued regular supply. The term PEAK OIL was not coined by traders, etc, but by concerned scientists that had become aware of the statistics being found. Many of these scientists actually came from the oil industry and are now opposed to the continued rate of exploitation of existing (and future) oil fields.

Peak Oil was reached in the 70's. The term relates to the exploration and availability of oil reserves. At present the finding and processing of oil is declining. The figures on oil fields found and the reserves being used back up these statements.

Don't leave your head in the sand! Wake up and search for the real facts and answers.


Yeah, peak oil is real.

But it is real in the way that once upon a time 'peak whale oil' was real. At one point the world's lighting needs were met by burning whale oil. Then we started running out of whales, and we switched to fossil fuels. Not because they were better or because we liked whales but because it was cheaper. The same thing happened with slave labour and cotton growing, and I'm sure a lot of other things.

Calling oil a finite resource is fine but other than fresh air there are very few resources which humans don't use faster than they can renew themselves. Think of trees. Trees will regrow but if we used trees for all our building needs we would still run out. 

What shouldn't be real is the hysteria over peak oil. Peak oil may have been reached technically in the 1970's. But that is like saying we have discovered all the land area and populations will now become more and more cramped because we will start to run out of space.

Sure, we will eventually run out of oil. We will eventually run out of everything, including room to store people, but that isn't the problem.

The problem is that oil will become so expensive to use we will have to find a new energy source for similar uses such as transport. But when you look at it like that and the other energy options we have that isn't such a big deal after all. 

My bet is a nuclear industry which accepts that same safety standards as the present day coal industry. This will be backed up by improved battery tech or fuel cells or something nobody has needed to think of yet.

Next problem?

CrackedbyCracku
 




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  Reply # 503316 8-Aug-2011 13:35
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My bet is a nuclear industry which accepts that same safety standards as the present day coal industry. This will be backed up by improved battery tech or fuel cells or something nobody has needed to think of yet. 


Why on earth would the nuclear industry DOWNGRADE their safety standards to those the coal industry use? 




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All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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  Reply # 503318 8-Aug-2011 13:39
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Because it will keep the lights on.

Yeah, some people will die in the nuclear industry. People die in car crashes but we still have cars.

What will happen is that we will accept the risk Vs reward.

Because we like hot water, cooked food, clean cloths... you know first world standard of living and this needs lots and lots of power.

Nuclear is the only thing that can realistically deliver it at present.

We seem to be OK with cheap goods from China made by people with no health and safety regs to protect them. I can't see the difference.




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  Reply # 503381 8-Aug-2011 15:26
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crackrdbycracku:  

The problem is that oil will become so expensive to use we will have to find a new energy source for similar uses such as transport. But when you look at it like that and the other energy options we have that isn't such a big deal after all. 


Power generation is not the issue at all, we have solar, wind, hydro, coal, nuclear, thermal, wave as options there.

The major problem is...

All plastic, solvents, paints, insecticides, fertilizer, rubber and many other products are in someway derived from oil/petroleum.

Think about that for a second and let it sink in....

What alternative material can be used to make these things? 

Will be funny when we go full circle back to glass bottles, containers etc.


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  Reply # 503404 8-Aug-2011 15:59
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Ragnor:
crackrdbycracku:  

The problem is that oil will become so expensive to use we will have to find a new energy source for similar uses such as transport. But when you look at it like that and the other energy options we have that isn't such a big deal after all. 


Power generation is not the issue at all, we have solar, wind, hydro, coal, nuclear, thermal, wave as options there.

The major problem is...

All plastic, solvents, paints, insecticides, fertilizer, rubber and many other products are in someway derived from oil/petroleum.

Think about that for a second and let it sink in....

What alternative material can be used to make these things? 

Will be funny when we go full circle back to glass bottles, containers etc.



Yeah, I agree this is more of a problem than the energy.

This is like a person in a wooden house, in a wooden village, saying: "Gee, what are we going to do for firewood when all the trees are gone?". 

You are the person saying "Dude, forget firewood. Where are you planning to live?".

This I completely agree with.

My bigger point would be this:

The human race has a long proud history of being very, very lazy right up to the point when we actually need a solution to our problems. Then we get very clever and industrious right quick. 

Actually, it only looks this way. What really happens is that technologies that used to be unnecessary or too expensive become 'vital' and off we go. Sail power was at one point considered preferable to coal burning steam ships as they were too expensive. At some point the saving gained by using free wind to get from A to B was over taken by the utility of moving stuff more reliably and faster. 


Necessity, or more accurately sufficiently increased utility, being the mother of invention and all that. 

I'm not saying what will replace the petroleum products we now use but my guess is something will without causing more than 1% of the human population to die. 



 




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  Reply # 503421 8-Aug-2011 16:21
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Collapse - Have a look.

The nuclear option:
There are actually increasingly scarce resources with regards to nuclear material required to run the world's nuclear power plants. It is assumed that there is some magically infinite resource of nuclear material that is available to run power plants. That is certainly not the case. It has to be extracted from the ground just like with oil, and there is an even more limited amount of raw material available compared to oil.

The resources required to extract/concentrate/store are immense; and damage to the environment involved with extracting the raw materials to make the concentrated form of the radioactive materials are actually counter productive in the long term.
Not to mention, the logistics of storing the spent radioactive materials afterwards. I mean, just look at the Fukushima catastrophe. They had a very dangerous and highly unstable form of radioactive material stored in very close proximity to the main reactors. That was a smart idea. They cut corners, they were trying to save money.

They though that they had over-designed everything in the plant to cover for every possible catastrophic event. That was obviously not the case. True, it was a very very exceptional event, but still.

Ultimately, the ONLY effective solution to the energy crisis is that people need to use less energy.
If the world doesn't wake up to that fact voluntarily, they will be forced to live on less in the very very near future.

A parallel could be draw between the current US fiscal situation and the energy crisis. In fact, they are intricately linked.
The US general public is living off credit cards.
The world in general is living off borrowed energy in the form of oil.
The only reason the world's population has grown so rapidly to this point is because of oil.

It simply cannot, and will not last.

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  Reply # 503430 8-Aug-2011 16:35
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Feel free to correct me, but I was under the impression that "peak oil" is about the sustainable rate of oil production (generally referred to in bpd or barrels per day).

Or in other can we produce any more barrels of oil per day than we are currently.

If not and the world economy continues to "grow" demanding more bpd than we can produce the price goes up as people have to pay more to get oil (supply and demand).

If oil stays above US$100 per barrel, it is cheaper to invest in and produce hydro/solar/wind/tidal than it is to drill for oil.

This is the tipping point for change to another fuel for growth.

Hence the oil producers have incentive to keep oil about $90, so no one invests in green tech.

Thomas Friedman wrote a good book called Hot, Flat and Crowded which is rather interesting.

You might be interested to know his concern isn't for oil. His concern is about the climate, and the availability of water and hence commodities (food mainly). The interesting thing to note in the climate change stuff is where the water will start falling and stop falling, turnign deserts into farms and farms into deserts.

You might have noticed the price of food going up recently, and a drought in Africa killing plenty, along with plenty of flooding, tornadoes, heatwaves and freak snowfalls.

I prefer to think of it as global weirding, as although the global temperature goes up a bit, the actual local effects are all totally different, due to the effects on existing weather patterns (maybe windy Wellington won't be so windy?).

Jon



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  Reply # 503436 8-Aug-2011 16:44
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We humans will do what we have always done. Adapt.

If that means using less energy, that may well be the case, but in reality we will find new energy sources and even more news ways to use it.

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  Reply # 503440 8-Aug-2011 16:47
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dontpanic42: Collapse - Have a look.

The nuclear option:
There are actually increasingly scarce resources with regards to nuclear material required to run the world's nuclear power plants. It is assumed that there is some magically infinite resource of nuclear material that is available to run power plants. That is certainly not the case. It has to be extracted from the ground just like with oil, and there is an even more limited amount of raw material available compared to oil.

The resources required to extract/concentrate/store are immense; and damage to the environment involved with extracting the raw materials to make the concentrated form of the radioactive materials are actually counter productive in the long term.
Not to mention, the logistics of storing the spent radioactive materials afterwards. I mean, just look at the Fukushima catastrophe. They had a very dangerous and highly unstable form of radioactive material stored in very close proximity to the main reactors. That was a smart idea. They cut corners, they were trying to save money.


Thorium 




Most problems are the result of previous solutions...

All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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