Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:32 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 68 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon" 
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3111
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Click here to read topic.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:23 pm
Profile WWW
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
In Germany we pay about 7.50 $ per gallon so we're not that far away from the 10 $. I bitch and moan every time I have to fill up but my driving habits haven't changed much over the years (gas is only a little more expensive in recent times, the price was always high because of taxes). So maybe the US should raise taxes on gas to promote saving and use the money to pay for Obama's communist health care plan.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:42 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 11:33 am
Posts: 17
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
James, I think the general idea of "peak oil" and the necessary calamities are based on a false understanding of economics. The rising prices of gas will slowly make alternative sources of energy more viable and curtail demand. The last price spike produced, for the first time, a decline in American use of oil. That was action, not words. And as prices go up and the new reserves of oil become more expensive to tap, this will continue and accelerate. It doesn't even have to be alternative energies necessarily. Known natural gas and coal reserves, for example, could power our civilization for centuries. My local bus system runs on CH4. (Also, if you account for inflation and growth of income, gas is still comparable to 70's prices)

We've frankly heard this kind of stuff before and it has always turned out to be bollocks because it take no accounting for human ingenuity. It assumes humans are empty vessels who entirely comply with empty-head economic models unless guided by an enlightened elite. it grasps fully onto the Fallacy of the Unbroken Trend. I don't mean peak oil specifically, but resource exhaustion. Thirty years ago, the overpopulation alarmist were telling us we all going to starve but oops! it didn't happen. The consumption of wood for homes, for energy, for roads, drove our forest down to dangerous levels -- which made fossil fuels economically viable. Whales nearly went extinct, which made non-whale sources for corsets and oil viable.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:30 pm
Profile
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Thank you, James, for drawing attention to this elephant in the room! I whole-heartedly agree with you that the oil crisis is the most menacing threat to American well-being today.

A few years back, the government sponsored the Hirsch Report, which predicts that if we wait until the Peak Oil phenomenon occurs to begin implementing widespread alternative fuel methods, we're looking at a twenty-year liquid fuel deficit while the public and private sectors make the transition to alternative fuels; if we wait until ten years before, then we're looking at about ten years of liquid fuel deficit; if we begin widespread implementation twenty years before the crisis hits, then we may be able to avoid any long-term liquid fuel deficit. (There is no way of saying for sure, but I have an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that we may be too late for the latter scenario)

What will a liquid fuel deficit look like? Think about it: industrial civilization is built on the idea of abundant, available fuel. Suburbia can only function if residents can afford to drive 30 minutes to work every day, and America's industry is based on our ability to quickly and efficiently transport food across the nation. Oil is the lifelblood of modern industrialized countries, and we're already seeing some early harbingers of resource nationalism with the behavior of Venezuela and Russia with regard to their own resources.*

Economies come and go, as do bad political decisions and ideological causes,** but this is one problem that will not go away if we just close our eyes and pretend it isn't there. There are some investors in alternative-fuel today (ironically yet sensibly, much of the investment comes from oil companies), but this should be a major concern for the United States government. (And I say this as a man of moderate libertarian sentiments)

*As for Saudi Arabia, the trends with their oil production for the past half-decade indicate that they may have peaked early in the 21st century, and are already on the decline. This theory makes sense to me, since acknowledging that their resources are diminishing would probably mitigate their own bargaining power.

**Ok, that point can be debated, given the continuing ideological turmoil that surrounds the Middle East today, and doesn't appear to be going away...


Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:37 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
One word: NASCAR.


Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:45 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
As you say, the actual figures are a closely guarded secret. If the powers that be tell us we are running low, we will belive them. That seems to be how the world works these days! As a result, oil companies will charge whatever they want and noone will question it.

So far, the British government's actions to pointlessly reduce "carbon-emissions" have really only achieved two things; first they have made an absolute killing in revenue (political slang for "profit") which is undoubtedly their primary concern. Secondly they have inflicted their childish half baked political views on the country, cunningly disguised as doing us all a favour or by using good old scare tactics. Tragicly for the lazy British public, thinking outside the box on these issues is just too much bloody effort.

I am convinced that similar tactics will be used when it comes to the issue of oil and forms of energy. Greed, bullying and lies.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:32 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
All this worry about running out of oil is based on the concept that we have even the foggiest idea as to how much oil is in the earth to begin with. The bottom line is no one really knows. I do not even think the Saudi's really know (and do you think they would really let anyone know if they didn't know?). There is a heck of a lot of ocean out there that is just barely being tapped. Long before we find a cure to our love of oil I'm confident more reserves will be found. That's assuming we allow our oil companies to search for and drill for oil in the first place.

As a Bible believing religious person I believe the earth was created as a temporary thing, never intended to last forever. It seems God gave it to us full of resources for our use and so I intend to use them. It is my personal belief that the world will probably end before we run out of oil anyway.

That being said, I happen to think $10 per gallon of oil would be nice. It sure would make my motorcycle a lot safer to ride around on if there were fewer and fewer cars on the road. That is unless everything gets all Roadwarrior on us. :shock:


Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:22 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
"A major spike in gas will have one of two consequences: (1) it will severely curtail discretionary spending (with the extra dollars going to filling up the tank and purchase more expensive necessities), or (2) it will cause a double-dip recession which will curtail demand and send prices tumbling again, at least temporarily."

What about 3) it will cause folks to realise that it is brain-dead to drive a 454-cubic-inch V8 pickup (especially when it is
never used to actually transport stuff) with 300 horsepower and that it is better to drive a small, fuel-efficient car and/or
use public transportation.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:00 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
5wivesofbergman wrote:
"A major spike in gas will have one of two consequences: (1) it will severely curtail discretionary spending (with the extra dollars going to filling up the tank and purchase more expensive necessities), or (2) it will cause a double-dip recession which will curtail demand and send prices tumbling again, at least temporarily."

What about 3) it will cause folks to realise that it is brain-dead to drive a 454-cubic-inch V8 pickup (especially when it is
never used to actually transport stuff) with 300 horsepower and that it is better to drive a small, fuel-efficient car and/or
use public transportation.


3) is not a solution at all. If someone wants to drive around the biggest most powerful car on the road, and can afford it then that's there prerogative. Being from the south, and living in a rural area, our family has always owned Trucks and SUVs. My mom will not buy anything but a suburban. Have you ever taken a long road trip in a small, fuel efficient car? AGHGGH...Take that same trip in nice BIG SUV. I don't mean to rant, just nothing beats the nice, big, American Way. I am all for a better way for producing that power a more efficient way, however. A better hybrid solution needs to be implemented. As it stands now, the current system is little more than a way to please "the tree huggers," while being too expensive. The chevy volt is a step in right direction, if it can live up to its hype. At $40k, however, it will have to be at least 1/2 price to start making a dent. We need to focus our efforts on better and more efficient batteries that can last say 500 miles on a single charge while powering the electrical equivalent of a 300hp gasoline engine.

And, I still believe we have more than enough oil for a smooth transition into a new era.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:46 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
James, $2.64 per gallon is a joke. Here's what Europeans per for their fuel (and keep in mind we use LITERS over here):

Image

So the average price right now is $6,47 per gallon, and our economy is kind of still working. As kamelsardine already said, a lot of this is taxes, but of course it DOES result in a different attitude towards energy efficient cars, houses etc. As far as I know, solar and wind power are a much bigger topic in Europe than they are in the US. And while we are far from covering our needs with them, the percentage of energy they provide is on the rise.

Vegetable oil is an alternative to Diesel that can be used (amongst other) to power agricultural machines, letting farmers grow their own fuel. I tried it on my 1988 VW van: once the engine is running (the stuff is a little harder to ignite), it works fine without any modification to the engine. Sadly, our government already started to put energy taxes on it, making it uninteresting for the general public for the time being...


Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:31 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Dunkeltroll wrote:
James, $2.64 per gallon is a joke. Here's what Europeans per for their fuel (and keep in mind we use LITERS over here):

Image

So the average price right now is $6,47 per gallon, and our economy is kind of still working. As kamelsardine already said, a lot of this is taxes, but of course it DOES result in a different attitude towards energy efficient cars, houses etc. As far as I know, solar and wind power are a much bigger topic in Europe than they are in the US. And while we are far from covering our needs with them, the percentage of energy they provide is on the rise.

Vegetable oil is an alternative to Diesel that can be used (amongst other) to power agricultural machines, letting farmers grow their own fuel. I tried it on my 1988 VW van: once the engine is running (the stuff is a little harder to ignite), it works fine without any modification to the engine. Sadly, our government already started to put energy taxes on it, making it uninteresting for the general public for the time being...


Uk - last night my friend and I went to Texaco where the price was 111.9 pence per litre (the brits have a really backwards way of displaying fuel prices). This price is considered daylight robbery and back in 2001 there was a serious attempt by farmers to block incoming fuel shipments. The price per litre was not even this high then...


Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:17 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:42 am
Posts: 22
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
I saw Collapse at the Toronto Film Festival last September, and it was an extremely interesting experience.

Ruppert describes three different kinds of people in the world - those who believe, those who don't, and those who can adapt. What's interesting is that in the Q&A after the film with the director, you could absolutely pick out what category the people asking questions fell into it - from the guy in the corner who called the director an idiot for subjecting us to the ramblings of a delusional man, to the man near the front row who claimed to have worked his whole life in the oil industry and proclaimed that Ruppert is a lot closer to the truth than maybe of us are willing to admit.

At the end of the day, the people who will survive are not the ones who do or don't believe - it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you can adapt.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:10 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3111
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Dunkeltroll wrote:
James, $2.64 per gallon is a joke. Here's what Europeans per for their fuel (and keep in mind we use LITERS over here):

So the average price right now is $6,47 per gallon, and our economy is kind of still working. As kamelsardine already said, a lot of this is taxes, but of course it DOES result in a different attitude towards energy efficient cars, houses etc. As far as I know, solar and wind power are a much bigger topic in Europe than they are in the US. And while we are far from covering our needs with them, the percentage of energy they provide is on the rise.

Vegetable oil is an alternative to Diesel that can be used (amongst other) to power agricultural machines, letting farmers grow their own fuel. I tried it on my 1988 VW van: once the engine is running (the stuff is a little harder to ignite), it works fine without any modification to the engine. Sadly, our government already started to put energy taxes on it, making it uninteresting for the general public for the time being...


The issue isn't so much the base price as it is the percentage increase. People generally create budgets with certain expectations. If gas here was $6.47 per gallon as a result of "normal" factors, $10 wouldn't be painful. But $10 represents a 400% increase. For comparison's sake, consider if your gas jumped to $25 per gallon. That's the "shock to the system" equivalent.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:36 pm
Profile WWW
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3111
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
habsfan93 wrote:
I saw Collapse at the Toronto Film Festival last September, and it was an extremely interesting experience.

Ruppert describes three different kinds of people in the world - those who believe, those who don't, and those who can adapt. What's interesting is that in the Q&A after the film with the director, you could absolutely pick out what category the people asking questions fell into it - from the guy in the corner who called the director an idiot for subjecting us to the ramblings of a delusional man, to the man near the front row who claimed to have worked his whole life in the oil industry and proclaimed that Ruppert is a lot closer to the truth than maybe of us are willing to admit.

At the end of the day, the people who will survive are not the ones who do or don't believe - it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you can adapt.


I'm skeptical about all conspiracy theories, including this one. There's a kernel of truth in what Ruppert says and some very real reasons to be concerned about how much oil is left and what happens as it begins to run out, but much of his thesis is comprised of borderline-delusional ramblings. Still, it's an interesting movie to watch.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:39 pm
Profile WWW
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
That's the unfortunate thing about alarmism. It has a way of hijacking real issues and taking away the credibility of the evidence. I realize that the zealots of the political sphere think they're helping by drawing attention to the issue (and themselves, of course), but all they're doing is making things worse. Any side that obscures the truth is the wrong side.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:03 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
There is a factor that cannot be ignored and that is what I call "threshold of pain".

The increase of a cost of living will have certain effects on people's decisions. It will effect different people in different ways at different thresholds. One thing will remain consistent: people will move away from consuming large amounts of an expensive commodity. This will alter the demand end of the equation and, unless other factors are at work (which they are, but would require an entire dissertation to enumerate) the price will climb, but not as high nor as rapidly as some may think.
Many economists treat fuel consumption as a static equation assuming that useage cannot go down. During the summer of >4$ gas, my car didn't move for weeks. My motorcycle (55mpg) and my bicycle were used to make all but the most heavy-lifting trips. I'd reached my threshold of pain and my response was "Ouch!! How can I make this stop?!" I filled my car's fuel tank about once every 8 weeks. (Now I'm back to every 2 weeks, as it doesn't hurt as badly.)
Some people were motivated to invent. Others capitilaized. Scooter stores opened in my area. -We'd never had one before and then we had four. The price of small cars went up to a point that KBB and NADA price guides were useless. A ten year old Honda civic with 100k on it was going for close to seven-grand. "Drill baby drill" seemed to make sense. As the price got higher, more solutions started "arriving". Telecommuting, ridesharing, public transportation all started to be 'cool'. I heard that there were some freaks out there who decided that they should live within a more reasonable commute to their jobs and made a change accordingly... A friend of mine started processing fry oil to use in his diesel car. -it's worth noting that he's a hardcore Republican.

If the prices go up again, you'll see many of these shifts occur. Pain hurts and people will avoid it in the most creative and unexpected ways.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:11 pm
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:16 am
Posts: 115
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
"Ruppert takes the view that we have already used up more than half the available supplies, but that's speculation."

What you failed to mention is he asks the question and speculates himself why he believes that is the most logical reason countries are spending billions *more* on hard to reach oil when they 'supposedly' have easily accessible vast reserves...

Its easy to say people like Ruppert and Gore are chicken littles, its not so easy to put yourself out there when its "inconvenient" for everyone. I'm not excusing all of their supposed "facts" but these guys are right more then they are wrong. Not all analysis is perfect, but at least there are people more aware than others making an attempt to uncover whats at stake then those just trying to play us all for fool$ by ignoring the warning signs.

Edit to add: Its a provable fact Saudi Arabia's aggregated production figures are in decline, even though they have said the metering levels are the same each year (pffft). They have never been able to return to their price band of 23-28$ per barrel set by OPEC since 2003 suggesting Ruppert is more right then wrong recognizing the market reality instead of the true "speculation" Saudi Arabia is deliberately decreasing production. SA is a litmus test for the rest of the worlds reserves.


Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:36 pm
Profile
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Some folks commenting on this thread seem to have convinced themselves that we'll just keep finding new oil reserves for years to come. In fact, most of the world's oil today is still provided by wells found before the 1970s, and those still provide more than the more recently-discovered oil fields. It is quite possible that we have indeed discovered all of the world's largest oil deposits, which means that - given population increase and the proliferation of cars in China and India - Peak Oil could be much closer than we think.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:13 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
James Berardinelli wrote:
The issue isn't so much the base price as it is the percentage increase. People generally create budgets with certain expectations. If gas here was $6.47 per gallon as a result of "normal" factors, $10 wouldn't be painful. But $10 represents a 400% increase. For comparison's sake, consider if your gas jumped to $25 per gallon. That's the "shock to the system" equivalent.


Yes, the base price is most relevant to the outcome, but not as a single entity. I guess the relationship of income and energy costs is what we need to look upon. And there is (at least here in Germany) an already not too pretty picture to behold:

Image

this one comes straight from wikipedia and shows the development of the "real income" in Germany (why is there no english page for this one?), adjusted to purchasing power. Already at a low in 2006 compared to the 15 years before, and I see no reason why it should have gone up again since. In the summer of 2004, the price for a liter of Diesel crossed the 1,00 Euro threshold for the first time. Since then, it climbed to around 1,46 in Summer 2008, and dropped again to around 1,12.

The prices for heating are closely connected to those for fuel, no matter what you use (mostly oil/gas/electricity). So there is, to my awareness, a growing pressure of energy costs on the generell budget of almost everyone. And as always, it mostly effects the poorer part of the population. If the statistics service Eurostat is right, 25% of all Germans have no money for a proper vacation. 10% can't afford to buy fish and meat on a regular basis, and 5% can't heat properly or have no money to buy a car. Even if this figures ain't right, they tell me one thing: energy and mobility (and thus being able to go to work) come before food & entertainment.

By the way, a short sidestep to the topic of piracy: when people can't even afford food, downloading movies for free is the least damage they can do. An internet flatrate in many cases also serves as a major way for searching a job, general communication and keeping up on news, so quiting it only to buy 2 or 3 DVDs a month is no alternative.

Anyway, what do I aim to say? Something like: It can't hurt to prepare for the worst, since it won't get better from here on. The downward spiral has begun. And please stop Michael Bay from blowing up so much shit for no artistic reason.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:26 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
In Venezuela our government susbsidizes the gas industry. Our gas prices are absurdly low. A full tank of gas costs about .50$. Obviously, the impact on the economy wears the country down, and we face far more important domestic issues like crime and corruption.

I really think one of the problems for our world today is that there are just too many people on the planet today. Obviously, in 50 years we will have more than doubled the quantity of human beings on Earth. What we really need is start thinking about the future and start implementing ways to reduce global birth rates. China is already doing it. It should be a global commitment, just like reducing carbon emissions.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:39 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 68 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr