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January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon" 
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Gaffer
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Quote:
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.


This is the scariest statement I have seen in a long time. If a majority of people believe that, we are doomed.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:38 pm
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
adrianfurlan wrote:
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.



That pretty much lines up with Thomas Malthus's theories, which have been pushed aside as being "too harsh" for the past century-and-a-half.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:01 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
When gas went up to $5 a gallon it motivated me to purchase a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle. I live in Utah and natural gas was only $0.65 a gallon during the gasoline peak. I had to fly to Daytona, FL to purchase the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier in an auction. It was a big risk and a large investment ($10,000) to get it home.

Similar to Mr. Berardinelli's views on the environment, I do what I can to help out. I’m not a tree hugger, but I try to help when and where I can. I fill my trash can to the rim every week and keep my home at a balmy 70 degrees during the winter months.

As gasoline prices went down, I was criticized for still running on CNG. I can only get a six Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE) fill from CNG. This is only about half the fill of gasoline and makes it less convenient (not to mention the sparse locations) to fill. CNG also went up in price to $0.97 and made it even less justifiable to fill up using natural gas. My big motivation for continuing to use this alternative fuel is to help reduce our dependence on oil.

CNG is now $0.95 a gallon, but as gasoline skyrockets in price I am feeling more comfortable going out of my way to fuel up. I have recently read about the Pickens Plan which plans to “reduce foreign oil dependence by harnessing domestic energy alternatives, and to buy us time to develop even greater new technologies.” Part of the Pickens Plan includes converting all vehicles to CNG. The problem with getting there is lack of motivation. It took $5 per gallon of gasoline to get me there. It may take $10 a gallon or more to get more Americans on board.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:23 pm
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Sargonie wrote:
When gas went up to $5 a gallon it motivated me to purchase a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle. I live in Utah and natural gas was only $0.65 a gallon during the gasoline peak. I had to fly to Daytona, FL to purchase the 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier in an auction. It was a big risk and a large investment ($10,000) to get it home.

Similar to Mr. Berardinelli's views on the environment, I do what I can to help out. I’m not a tree hugger, but I try to help when and where I can. I fill my trash can to the rim every week and keep my home at a balmy 70 degrees during the winter months.

As gasoline prices went down, I was criticized for still running on CNG. I can only get a six Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE) fill from CNG. This is only about half the fill of gasoline and makes it less convenient (not to mention the sparse locations) to fill. CNG also went up in price to $0.97 and made it even less justifiable to fill up using natural gas. My big motivation for continuing to use this alternative fuel is to help reduce our dependence on oil.

CNG is now $0.95 a gallon, but as gasoline skyrockets in price I am feeling more comfortable going out of my way to fuel up. I have recently read about the Pickens Plan which plans to “reduce foreign oil dependence by harnessing domestic energy alternatives, and to buy us time to develop even greater new technologies.” Part of the Pickens Plan includes converting all vehicles to CNG. The problem with getting there is lack of motivation. It took $5 per gallon of gasoline to get me there. It may take $10 a gallon or more to get more Americans on board.


The problem with most alternative fuels is availability. Around here, even Diesel is sparse. Anything else... nonexistent. If my car doesn't run on gasoline, I can't use it.

Also, something not being mentioned is the amount of oil that goes into manufacturing a car. Huge amounts go into rubber and plastic. It's attractive to consider everyone converting to hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles, but the amount of oil needed to complete the manufacturing process might make that prohibitive.

And the reason to stop using plastic bags isn't because they're "environmentally unfriendly" (which they are) but because they require oil to be produced.

Then again, climate control concerns may be moot. If emissions are the main driver of man's contribution, then it stands to reason that when we run out of oil, the problem will be solved. See, there's a silver lining. :)

By the way, the guy who thinks the world will end before we run out of oil is probably one of those who believes Obama is the Antichrist. No, they're not numerous, but they do exist.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:08 am
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Is it worth pointing out that Carbon Dioxide is one of the least effective green house gasses? It just doesn't have the trapping power of say Water vapor for example, a much denser compound! ;]


Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:05 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Personally, I'm not really afraid of a climate change. As far as I know, it happened "all the time" (or every now and again) in the history of planet Earth. I guess it doesn't matter much if the cause of the change comes from some meteor hitting the planet, a shifting of the poles, or some man-made reason. Nature in general will find ways to survive. And yes: species get extinct.

As for the human species, who is better in adepting to shifting conditions than we are? But of course, our ability to adjust is based on science to some degree, and here we are at the oil situation again...


Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:14 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Dunkeltroll wrote:
Personally, I'm not really afraid of a climate change. As far as I know, it happened "all the time" (or every now and again) in the history of planet Earth. I guess it doesn't matter much if the cause of the change comes from some meteor hitting the planet, a shifting of the poles, or some man-made reason. Nature in general will find ways to survive. And yes: species get extinct.

As for the human species, who is better in adepting to shifting conditions than we are? But of course, our ability to adjust is based on science to some degree, and here we are at the oil situation again...


But then you take into consideration some of more likely candidates for a warming trend, say millions of pounds of waste from farming operations run to keep your ham steaks well-stocked and delightfully cheap, and consider things such as public health. You know, antibiotic resistance and the like. Humans have far more trouble adapting to that than to a hypothetical meteor.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:46 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:53 am
Posts: 26
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Hal_10000 hit the nail on the head in my opinion.

The reason that economists are less concerned about the potential apocalyptic consequences of running out of oil is that they understand that innovation is already accounted for in the free market. The fact of the matter is that most of our oil usage could be shifted to alternative forms right now if we really wanted to. The only reason they haven't yet is because it's still cheaper to pump gas than it is to start retooling automotive factories and set up refueling/recharging stations of other kinds. When gas becomes expensive enough that the alternatives become relatively efficient and economically viable, then we'll see a lot more of them. That's not to say that it isn't a concern. You're right, James, that cutting consumption is a serious and valuable undertaking. The longer we stave off the fuel light on our global reserves, the longer those alternative technologies have to become more and more efficient and the easier it'll be to make the transition. That being said, I don't fear a doomsday scenario.

Bomber_Man wrote:
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.


Sidestepping the issue of religion entirely, this kind of defeatist thinking is selfish and short-sighted to the extreme. It's like you're stuck on an island with a bunch of other shipwrecked survivors, and you're eating all the goddamn food because, "well, we're probably not going to be rescued anyways."

As an ex-Christian myself, I am alternatively mind-boggled and frustrated with believers who use their faith as a justification for flat-out laziness and self-absorption. How many times have Christians thought the end of the world was coming? Even the very first disciples of Christ thought he'd come back in their own lifetimes. Two thousand years later, and still no dice. Even if we took for granted that the world was going to end someday, that doesn't absolve us of the responsibility to secure this world for the next generation. Because, just like countless generations before you who thought the same thing, you might be WRONG.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:14 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:16 am
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Hinotori wrote:
Hal_10000 hit the nail on the head in my opinion.

The reason that economists are less concerned about the potential apocalyptic consequences of running out of oil is that they understand that innovation is already accounted for in the free market. The fact of the matter is that most of our oil usage could be shifted to alternative forms right now if we really wanted to. The only reason they haven't yet is because it's still cheaper to pump gas than it is to start retooling automotive factories and set up refueling/recharging stations of other kinds. When gas becomes expensive enough that the alternatives become relatively efficient and economically viable, then we'll see a lot more of them. That's not to say that it isn't a concern. You're right, James, that cutting consumption is a serious and valuable undertaking. The longer we stave off the fuel light on our global reserves, the longer those alternative technologies have to become more and more efficient and the easier it'll be to make the transition. That being said, I don't fear a doomsday scenario.


So many things wrong with this post I could spend a week replying but I will just touch on some of the lighter points.

I'm not saying your understanding of this subject is wrong per-say (although I am) its pretty much the village mentality we hear so often in the media while providing their fake balance. Your first point about economists less concerned about the collateral effects of running out of oil because they understand innovation is accounted for in the free market is disingenuous at best, or forgetting to asterisk *free market*. Innovation is by and large dependent on state subsidies, usually filtered through defense spending. Or you have a case like the battery built by an entrepreneur forced to concede his patent on bad faith by two heavily state subsidized corporations colluding to kill the technology. Either way, the so-called "free-market" is failing on innovation, at least in terms of moving to an alternative.

Second, yes, there are alternative forms of energy entrapment that do not rely heavily on fossil fuels for total distribution, but there is no "alternative" to fossil fuels to replace the construction and maintenance of the conveyance and hundreds of other components used by all essential services. Without alternatives to replace many of the components needed in order to make these road or sky worthy etc, this is where we are in trouble, aside from the collateral effects of climate change.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:27 pm
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
It kind of makes me cringe when my fellow Christians accept man's destruction of his natural world as a concept approved in the Bible... it simply isn't. Yes, there is the Great Commission to be fruitful and multiply and make good use of the world and all of its resources, but there is also the idea of Stewardship, which (unfortunately) is one that has been increasingly neglected in Christian circles. Christians do, I believe, have an obligation to be take care of this planet, not dismiss its decay and destruction as an inevitable and acceptable outcome.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:56 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
I have seen this film 3 times - Totally agree with James' comments.

The bottom line for me is that as a species our population growth seems to be having a terrible effect on the planet.
The linkage with population growth and other issues seems hard to deny. Oil consumption has to be one of them.

We've grown fat and happy on the back of oil and maybe, just maybe, it's not infinite in its supply.

So now what?

The film focuses on oil, but I'd add water in to that equation.

I'm 51 and, if you believe in statistics, due to die somewhere between 2030 and 2045.

But I worry for my kids.

If you look at population projections it's a grim picture.

Rob

PS - I am British, live in the US, own a Prius and pour scorn and vitriol on these people who own SUV's and trucks that never leave the main road. Why?


Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:25 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Holy shit...


Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:24 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
ram1312 wrote:
Holy shit...


If that's directed at a post from Rob Holloway, then to you I say "Bah!". He posted at least 3 or 4 times last month.

However, if you were referring to the return of Rob's old avatar, then I say...

"Holy shit..."


Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:32 am
Gaffer

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:53 am
Posts: 26
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
I think I may have come off as too cavalier about the subject when I am really not. My point was not that this isn't an issue, but merely that it isn't an apocalyptic one. Everyone will surely feel the crunch, and life may indeed become very difficult, but I don't think we'll be living beyond Thunderdome.

nologo wrote:
Innovation is by and large dependent on state subsidies, usually filtered through defense spending. Or you have a case like the battery built by an entrepreneur forced to concede his patent on bad faith by two heavily state subsidized corporations colluding to kill the technology. Either way, the so-called "free-market" is failing on innovation, at least in terms of moving to an alternative.


I am aware that innovation is still largely dependent on state subsidies. The reason for this is because, as I mentioned, it is still cheaper to pump gas than to market the alternative. Oil prices will continue to climb, but there will be a tipping point where it becomes more profitable for car companies to start retooling factories than to continue to produce gas guzzlers. The technology is already available. The question is when it will become economically viable. I think we can both agree that sooner is better.

Quote:
Second, yes, there are alternative forms of energy entrapment that do not rely heavily on fossil fuels for total distribution, but there is no "alternative" to fossil fuels to replace the construction and maintenance of the conveyance and hundreds of other components used by all essential services. Without alternatives to replace many of the components needed in order to make these road or sky worthy etc, this is where we are in trouble, aside from the collateral effects of climate change.


This is true for the time being, but transportation usage accounts for a lot, about two-thirds to be more exact.

Image
(Originally at: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petr ... d_text.htm)

The other third is clearly something that needs to be addressed, but it hasn't yet for the same reasons above. The transportation sector is the first that's making the jump, however painfully slow. The other sectors will follow. And the increasingly prohibitive costs of oil are, I believe, what will force the jump to be made before the tank actually runs dry.

Again, my only point is that I don't think peak oil is a doomsday scenario. That's not exactly comforting because life can get a hell of a lot worse before then. At the same time, I believe it's important to have realistic expectations of the future. Climate change, for example, is something I do actually fear as a potential apocalyptic scenario. No technology exists to reverse the damage done, and there is no real way for the market to compensate for it. Climate, unlike oil, isn't a commodity, which means that people have to actually act on their own initiative; that's something I have far more doubts about.


Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:44 am
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Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Hinotori wrote:
I think I may have come off as too cavalier about the subject when I am really not. My point was not that this isn't an issue, but merely that it isn't an apocalyptic one. Everyone will surely feel the crunch, and life may indeed become very difficult, but I don't think we'll be living beyond Thunderdome.

nologo wrote:
Innovation is by and large dependent on state subsidies, usually filtered through defense spending. Or you have a case like the battery built by an entrepreneur forced to concede his patent on bad faith by two heavily state subsidized corporations colluding to kill the technology. Either way, the so-called "free-market" is failing on innovation, at least in terms of moving to an alternative.


I am aware that innovation is still largely dependent on state subsidies. The reason for this is because, as I mentioned, it is still cheaper to pump gas than to market the alternative. Oil prices will continue to climb, but there will be a tipping point where it becomes more profitable for car companies to start retooling factories than to continue to produce gas guzzlers. The technology is already available. The question is when it will become economically viable. I think we can both agree that sooner is better.


Hinotori,

What if your chart was changed to reflect global demand?
What if we really had gone past peak oil?
What if meeting demand REALLY was about to get seriously more expensive

Me?

I'm buying a Specialized Stumpjumper for $2499

Ride it every day, do the shopping and cut my mileage to <3k per year

Rob


Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:44 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
ed_metal_head wrote:
ram1312 wrote:
Holy shit...


If that's directed at a post from Rob Holloway, then to you I say "Bah!". He posted at least 3 or 4 times last month.

However, if you were referring to the return of Rob's old avatar, then I say...

"Holy shit..."



Ed

Holy shit indeed.

Back channel communications as well

I have to say that I miss you guys
I lurk and watch and miss....

Rob :-)


Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:46 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Miss you too Rob...good to see you posting man.


Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:06 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
ram1312 wrote:
Miss you too Rob...good to see you posting man.


Good to see you again too
Rob


Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:12 am
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
Robert Holloway wrote:
PS - I am British, live in the US, own a Prius and pour scorn and vitriol on these people who own SUV's and trucks that never leave the main road. Why?


Another rant on the way. I bet you supported those idiots who went around setting fire to SUVs a while back didn't you? (jk) Since you are British, you don't support the best SUV ever released upon the world, the Range Rover? That's one thing (among many others) you Brits got right, beyond a shadow of a doubt. What is so damn wrong with an SUV? Other than gas mileage, I've never heard another viable argument. What about any luxury sedan? A BMW 5/7 series, a Mercedes S class, any sports car (I mean a real sports car: corvette, mustang, porsche carrera, Mercedes AMG, BMW m series, etc...): They all have more horsepower than most SUV's and get just as bad if not more mpg. I never here anyone complaining about them. Hell if you want to single out SUV's why not make those other cars vanish too. Why not force everyone to drive a Prius or Civic?. You drive a prius because you care about the environment. Do you honestly believe that a Prius, or honda civic, or any other super economical car looks as good as say a lexus, bmw, mercedes, audi, acura, honda accord, nissan maxima, infiniti, etc... I would rather have any of those cars made 8 years ago, than drive a brand new economical car. Why? They just look so much better, handle better, ride better; and you could probably get most of those cars cheaper used (from 2000-2004, some maybe newer ) than a new prius costs.


What about safety? I guarantee that you would not want to be in anything else but a nice big SUV god forbid you had an accident. I mean, lets say you're driving along, and god forbid someone runs a red light and you plow directly in to them. Would you rather plow into them behind the wheel of a small car, or behind the wheel of a chevy Tahoe (just using Tahoe as a reference...I would use Hummer but you don't see many of those on the road)? Now, some might come with the argument that those small cars are made to give at impact, absorbing the crash so the force won't be transferred into the driver, and they would be right. The car, however, is totally destroyed. More often than not, what equate to just a new bumper on a BIG BOLD SUV would total out a small economical car. As a matter of fact, I have been forced to completely sideswipe someone because they ran a stop sign. Needless to say, my tahoe and I drove away from that accident; the nissan altima was carried away on a wrecker. What about hauling around a full load of people in comfort? What about being able to see more of the road and others around you, just because you sit higher?

I just don't understand the attacks against people who drive BIG vehicles. The only reason that I can see people wanting to drive a small economic car is for better gas mileage and for making less of a carbon footprint. What other reason exits? Now in the future, when I can afford it, maybe I will get a high mpg car (such as the chevy volt) just for running errands around town; but then again, one can put much more groceries in an SUV.


Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:28 pm
Post Re: January 17, 2010: "Saving the World at $10 Per Gallon"
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
Robert Holloway wrote:
PS - I am British, live in the US, own a Prius and pour scorn and vitriol on these people who own SUV's and trucks that never leave the main road. Why?


Another rant on the way. I bet you supported those idiots who went around setting fire to SUVs a while back didn't you? jk Since you are British, you don't support the best SUV ever released upon the world, the Range Rover? That's at least one thing you Brits got right, beyond a shadow of a doubt. What is so damn wrong with an SUV? Other than gas mileage, I've never heard another viable argument. What about any luxury sedan? A BMW 5/7 series, a Mercedes S class, any sports car (I mean a real sports car: corvette, mustang, porsche carrera, Mercedes AMG, BMW m series, etc...): They all have more horsepower than most SUV's and get just as bad if not more mpg. I never here anyone complaining about them. Hell if you want to single out SUV's why not make those other cars vanish too. Why not force everyone to drive a Prius or Civic?. You drive a prius because you care about the environment. Do you honestly believe that a Prius, or honda civic, or any other super economical car looks as good as say a lexus, bmw, mercedes, audi, acura, honda accord, nissan maxima, infiniti, etc... I would rather have any of those cars made 8 years ago, than drive a brand new economical car. Why? They just look so much better, handle better, ride better; and you could probably get most of those cars cheaper used (from 2000-2004, some maybe newer ) than a new prius costs.


What about safety? I guarantee that you would not want to be in anything else but a nice big SUV god forbid you had an accident. I mean, lets say you're driving along, and god forbid someone runs a red light and you plow directly in to them. Would you rather plow into them behind the wheel of a small car, or behind the wheel of a chevy Tahoe (just using Tahoe as a reference...I would use Hummer but you don't see many of those on the road)? Now, some might come with the argument that those small cars are made to give at impact, absorbing the crash so the force won't be transferred into the driver, and they would be right. The car, however, is totally destroyed. More often than not, what equate to just a new bumper on a BIG BOLD SUV would total out a small economical car. As a matter of fact, I have been forced to completely sideswipe someone because they ran a stop sign. Needless to say, my tahoe and I drove away from that accident; the nissan altima was carried away on a wrecker. What about hauling around a full load of people in comfort? What about being able to see more of the road and others around you, just because you sit higher?

I just don't understand the attacks against people who drive BIG vehicles. The only reason that I can see people wanting to drive a small economic car is for better gas mileage and for making less of a carbon footprint. What other reason exits? Now in the future, when I can afford it, maybe I will get a high mpg car (such as the chevy volt) just for running errands around town; but then again, one can put much more groceries in an SUV.


Oh boy, where to start ...

Fuel efficiency does not equal small cars. Compare the fuel efficiency of some BMW 5er or even 7er models to X5 and their ilk. Or the Porsche Cayenne to a 911. The engines will mostly be the same, but the enourmous weight of an SUV causes them to use more fuel. It's that easy.

Your argument that SUVs are safer, because, effectively, you can wipe smaller cars of the road would be an argument to ban SUVs altogether for safety reasons. If that's your reason for driving a SUV, you're an awful driver or not very confident in your driving.

In my opinion, the look of a car is secondary to the technology in the car. But maybe that's my German way of thinking (and the reason why American cars never really took off in Germany due to their technological inferiority and generally rotten fuel efficiency). Also, personally, I think SUVs are damn ugly - and I'm not alone.

I bet my Volkswagen Passat Mk V 2.0 TDi station wagon will have as much space as your Chevy Tahoe. I can't back it up in numbers at the moment, though, but I'll try to find out if you provide the data of your car. However, I can give youmy car's rate of fuel consumption. I need, at the most (city traffic and cold start at temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius), 6 litres of Diesel for 100 km. That's about 39 miles per gallon (U.S.). What's the fuel efficiency rate of your vehicle?

By the way, SUVs took off in the U.S. and other countries such as Italy, because they were originally qualified as lorries (sorry: trucks) for tax purposes. According to one of our clients, who exports luxury cars, the Italian market for SUVs dried up once SUVs were no longer eligible for lower taxes.


Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:16 pm
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