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Rigby5
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Gold
Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/11/2012 7:45:20 PM
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Rob Spiegel : Your post is more accurate than mine, and I thank you for adding that.
It is true that we are actually speculating as to when the cost of oil will make it prohibitive.  The common estimates are 43 years if consumption remains constant.
The estimate I gave of 20 years is based on extrapolation of greatly increasing demands from the 3rd world countries catching up to our consumption levels.
But your estimate of 60 years is possible if we somehow reduce consumption enough.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/11/2012 7:27:13 PM
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It is well established fact that fossil plant remains have to be digested by bacteria and perculated for over 100 million years before it is ready to be drilled.  Deposits newer than that generally can not be refined or have any marketable value.

http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/story/chapter08.html

{ ... There are three major forms of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas. All three were formed many hundreds of millions of years ago before the time of the dinosaurs – hence the name fossil fuels. The age they were formed is called the Carboniferous Period. It was part of the Paleozoic Era. "Carboniferous" gets its name from carbon, the basic element in coal and other fossil fuels.

The Carboniferous Period occurred from about 360 to 286 million years ago. At the time, the land was covered with swamps filled with huge trees, ferns and other large leafy plants, similar to the picture above. The water and seas were filled with algae – the green stuff that forms on a stagnant pool of water. Algae is actually millions of very small plants. ... }

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: No Choice
ttemple   4/11/2012 5:06:58 PM
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Rigby,

 

"It takes over 100 million years to concentrate solar energy into oil..."

What is the factual basis for that statement? (I don't want theories, I want proven facts.)




Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: No Choice
Rob Spiegel   4/11/2012 4:11:13 PM
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From reports I've seen, taking into account the current trends on population growth, oil reserves should last 120 years. However, within 60 years, the cost is estimated to hit $250 a barrel, We don't have to go very much higher than we are now before alternatives such as natural gas and electricity become more and more attractive. A large-scale turn to alternatives would stretch the time before oil runs out.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/11/2012 3:57:52 PM
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No, of course there will always be some oil left, because it will be too expensive or too hard to find.

That is not the point.

The point is that we are well over 15 years beyond peak production, and what is left is rapidly decreasing in supply, while rapidly increasing in demand and cost.  It is clear that in about 20 years, oil will no longer be viable for individual transportation.  What little is left will have to be rationed for food production and distribution.  Any politician that does not enforce that, would be lynched in food riots reminiscent of the movie "Soylent Green".
It takes over 100 million years to concentrate solar energy into oil, so it it totally unrenewable, and there is only a small fraction of it left.
There are no real "choices" involved.  Its batteries or bicycles for most people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GrowingGap.jpg

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

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: No Choice
OLD_CURMUDGEON   4/11/2012 3:03:38 PM
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Rigby5:  Do you REALLY believe that there is only 20 years of oil left in Mother Earth?  IF you do, I really feel sorry for you.  On the contrary, there have been numerous nonpolitical, unbiased scientific studies showing vast reserves of fossil fuels in many areas of the Earth.  While it IS true that some of this reserve is difficult to extract, there are other spots where it is far easier.  However, our society has taken up the cause of turning this industry & energy source as a political football, dating back to the first oil embargo of 1973!

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Patience is the key
Charles Murray   4/10/2012 8:08:30 PM
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TJ: I don't recall a company from Norway or Sweden getting down to $400/kWh. Envia of California predicted that it could get below $200 in the next few years, but that was a prediction. As far as I know, most of the automakers are still in the $800 to $1,000/kWh range for the entire pack (as opposed to the cells alone).

atemp
User Rank
Silver
Re: Warmed over, Prius skeptic arguments
atemp   4/10/2012 6:49:08 PM
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Well, lessee. Just over 1million priuses sold, 97% of which are still on the road, out of 203 million cars currently on road in USA. Some doofus suggested that the US gummint force replacement of 99.5% "heavy" (normal) cars so tissue-paper car drivers can feel cozy and safe. The gas hybrid model may be scalable, but it still won't solve any problem long-term. In the steady state, it won't cost any less to drive due to market forces and gummint meddling.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Re: No Choice
Rigby5   4/10/2012 5:15:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Remember that hydrogen or methane is not a fuel source.  It takes more energy to create than you get out of it.  They are just storage media, similar to batteries, only using an internal combustion engine instead of an electric motor.  And it is not clear that is a good distinction.

Rigby5
User Rank
Gold
Re: New battery technology?
Rigby5   4/10/2012 5:12:04 PM
NO RATINGS
Lowering aerodynamic drag does not make cars uglier or less safe.

The Prius is ugly not because of aerodynamics.  Airplanes are aerodynamic, and not ugly.  And lighter is safer, not less safe.  If you hit a brick wall, it is the weight behind you that crushes you. A heavier car kills you and does not help.  Only if a light car hits a heavy car does weight matter, but then clearly the solution is to remove all the dangerous heavy cars.  Plastic and aluminum make much safer vehicles, like airplanes.

It is not necessary to use batteries to run car heaters.  It would not be heavy or expensive to use car heaters on something like alcohol.  Lots of vehicles have fuel oil powered heaters, like old aircooled VWs, campers, etc.

Batteries are cheaper and safer to recycle than making new batteries or running gasoline cars.

But I agree biofuel would require more surface area and sunlight than exist.

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