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Peak Oil

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Borachio, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Well, here's a topic and no mistake.

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

    There doesn't seem to be much of a consensus on whether peak oil is a thing, nor whether it's already happened or not.

    Wiser heads than mine will have to tell me all about it.
     
  2. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    I think we have a long-running thread concerning Oil discussions.
     
  3. BenitoChavez

    BenitoChavez Whispering Walrus

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    Peak oil has to be a thing. There is only a limited amount of everything, including oil, on planet earth. At some point we will no longer be able to extract it anymore. When that will occur is certainly important but what is usually glossed over is the environmental impact of getting and burning said oil.
     
  4. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Is peak oil an economic term?
     
  5. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    And here it is.
     
  6. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    This. If you have continuously improving extraction technology on any finite resource, there will be a peak.
     
  7. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    The question remains when, though.

    It may be so far in the future that either, to all intents and purposes, the resource is infinite, or the requirement for the resource becomes met by an alternative technology. In both cases the notion of the peak resource is moot.
     
  8. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    It has almost certainly not happened yet. Extraction techniques are still primitive
     
  9. crabapple

    crabapple I am watching

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    All discussions about peak oil, shouldnt be about when or if it happens, but on how we as a society can change, how can our economy system change so we are not affected by peak oil. We need a less growth focused economy
     
  10. CavLancer

    CavLancer This aint fertilizer

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    Peak oil has been delayed by peak extraction. You heard it here first.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but they're setting explosives at the bottom of the well somehow and the boom is called fracking? Then the oil flows out of all the little cracks, yes? If that's correct are there any estimates as to how long it will flow?

    To me peak oil is pretty close to the end of industrial civilizations. Almost all the fertilizer comes from oil, lots of houses heat with oil and the food gets to market not on the backs of animals but in trucks requiring fuel. Animals don't plow the fields or collect the harvest in many places. When the fuel starts becoming depleted, bad things happen. People don't starve or freeze peacefully...

    Yes?
     
  11. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Afaik, frakking involves pumping down a pressurized liquid rather than an explosive; but never mind, it probably amounts to the same thing.

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

    There are considerable resources trapped in the shale. Some percentage of which could be successfully extracted.

    Whether the environmental costs - both direct (e.g. pollution of water tables) and long term (climate change) - will be worth it, is a matter of debate.

    But as long as the demand for energy remains high - and there's no reason to think that it won't - then shale gas/oil is very likely to be heavily exploited, imo.
     
  12. LamaGT

    LamaGT Emperor

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    Couldn't there be an oil plateau instead of a peak instead? So that while conventional methods for extraction provide scarcer and scarcer results alternative methods rise up to make up for it... For a while. I'm not an engineer of course but it kind of makes sense IMHO.
     
  13. CavLancer

    CavLancer This aint fertilizer

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    Thank you Borachio. I read somewhere that the US will soon become an oil exporting nation. Don't know if that's true or perhaps no more imports from outside North America. That's amazing to me. Ever since the 70's the US has been fighting this addiction and now, everything has changed. I was in those gas lines in the 70s, I regretted the way the US had lost its energy freedom.

    Richard Heinberg is controversial, he wrote 'The End of Growth". He's been warning about peak oil for a long time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SvdTCys54Y
     
  14. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Peak Oil is, as said upthread, a physical certainty.
    So, to me, it's a question of how wisely we invest in the meantime. As it is, we're turning oil into human quality-of-life at a certain ratio. (Canada is currently at $5.7/kg of oil). Some of that is spent on progress (roughly 2% of the total) and the rest is either spent on living or on luxuries.

    That said, there was a recent author who pointed out that we cannot even burn all of our oil (nevermind natural gas and coal) without crossing tipping points on the climate change front. So, ostensibly, we shouldn't come close to tapping all of the proven reserves.
     
  15. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Deity

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    I hope we stop using oil far before it actually has run out. It doesn't take a genius to tell it's ruining our environment.
     
  16. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    I said in the old thread and believe another peak trend people continue to not pay much attention to is the driving boom is over in the US (and probably in Canada and EU). Miles driven have been declining going on eight years now and fewer per person then we did at the end of Bill Clinton's first term. In 99 out of 100 cities the proportion of workers commuting by private vehicle is down since 2000. Households without a car increased in 84 of 100 cities. The opposite is occurring in bikes, car sharing, transit etc.

    This alone slows the peak oil trend.
     
  17. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Are we driving less because oil has gotten more expensive?
     
  18. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    Actually, the correlation to gas prices and miles driven is pretty weak and even weaker since 2007. Aging population/less driving, more remote working and a generation that doesn't have the desire to drive like the boomers did.

    Another interesting note is the largest urban areas that were the least affected by the recession have the biggest drop off in driving. Tipping point?
     
  19. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    Yes. It seems likely that car travel is becoming slightly less.

    Meanwhile, air travel, and air freight, is on the increase.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_aviation
     
  20. Arachnofiend

    Arachnofiend Perturbed Pugilist

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    Science has generally outperformed the expectations of doomsday theorists. We should be sleeping in piles on the stairs, all transportation reserved for the wealthiest of the wealthy, and eating people in green squares by now but science just keeps getting better and outrunning society's needs. Though oil is a finite resource we have every reason to believe that we will have functionally replaced it by the time that is a real threat. There's a lot of money in it.
     

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