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That environmentalist rag, the Economist

martini

Cyburbian
Messages
678
Points
19
I'm thinking the Hydrogen fuel cells are a bunk technology. It still requires huge amounts of fossil fuel to creat. Where's the benefit? You'd think the nuclear industry'd be all over this. It's a boon for them for sure!

I wanna see Biodiesel explored more. Lookit all the friers around these two great countries of ours. Theres a ready supply around every freakin' corner(McD's, KFC, Hardees, BK, etc.) Seems to me it's a much cleaner source(and better smelling to boot).
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,049
Points
58
I read most of the article.

Good to see people at the "other" end are seeing the potential.

But is the dependence on oil really the problem? If we shift to another energy from which to base our current economy/society, aren't we just perpetuating the same sub-optimal development patterns?

Even if the 'next' energy source is cleaner, we will still be puking the same style of development across the land.

We need a cultural as well as technological shift. If not, then we'll be just as wasteful in the future as we are now.

If oil becomes scarcer, then we need to have environments in which we can fall back on walking.

Sorry, to get too 'Kunstlerish'
 
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Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,704
Points
26
An internet site I like to visit on occassion www.dieoff.org

check out the handy charts on the intersection of fuel use and economic output -

check out the other links, which will surely brighten your day 8-!
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
mendelman - ditto

my big problem with "biodiesel", aside from simply producing LESS particulates and carbon dioxide . . . .

we have plenty of grain, plenty of soy, etc. People around the world are starving not for lack of food but because they can't afford what's out there. When we start feeding soybeans and corn to our cars we just raise the price of grain making a bad situation worse.


o/t
Check out the documentary "Life and Debt" if you can find it.
It's a really good film on how the US strongarmed Jamaica (through the IMF) into opening their markets to US farm products which caused the price to plummet, which caused local farmers to go under, which caused more unemployment, which lowered wages - which reduced their ability to get foreign currency through exports, which reduced their ability to repay their debts to the world bank (debts must be repaid in US or european currency), which caused more unemployment, which lowered wages.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
I took a class (or two) that covered this in some detail: based on an extremely good model, they have predicted that we will reach the half-way mark for use of all oil on the planet in less than 10 years. Even the most optimistic numbers only add about another 10 years to the prediction. (I am thinking I took the detailed class 2 years ago -- so call it "8 years".) At that point, the cost of oil will begin to go up and up. When oil begins to skyrocket in price, alternative fuels will be relatively more attractive.

I also think that a great deal more passive solar building design needs to be incorporated -- which would require a lifestyle change, as Mendelman was saying. And why can't I walk to anything around here except a 'mini-mart' type store that has so much alcohol on the shelves that my husband calls it "the corner liquor store"?
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
jresta said:
mendelman - ditto

my big problem with "biodiesel", aside from simply producing LESS particulates and carbon dioxide . . . .

we have plenty of grain, plenty of soy, etc. People around the world are starving not for lack of food but because they can't afford what's out there. When we start feeding soybeans and corn to our cars we just raise the price of grain making a bad situation worse.
Much of that is "political" to begin with. I haven't looked at anything recent, but the last information I had was that a)every country on the planet was capable of growing enough food to feed the local citizens a traditional diet for that area (usually, more vegetarian than what most Americans eat) b) they don't because they grow meat to sell to the U.S., starving their own people to try to make a buck c) every time America goes in with "aid" for the hungry, we impose an American style of diet on the populous, which becomes the new norm and displaces the traditional diet -- and the people there cannot afford an American diet.

ot: You know, I have known young women on welfare who do not even know how to cook beans from scratch -- and are unwilling to learn. The learned helpless and sense of entitlement of so many Americans frequently disgusts me. [rant]My dad grew up in The Great Depression and my mom is an immigrant. The idea that everything is supposed to be handed to you on a silver platter and you shouldn't have to work very hard for it is alien to me. My hands are covered in Kilz this morning. I and my two sons emptied the shed and cleaned the mildewed walls and I primed the walls at 4am so the mildew won't come back. Today, I will probably paint. Why am I doing all this labor? Because I am medically handicapped -- and, as someone with a medical handicap, I am far more allergic to the damn mildew than I am to a little hard work. [/rant]
 

iamme

Cyburbian
Messages
485
Points
14
You know, I have known young women on welfare who do not even know how to cook beans from scratch -- and are unwilling to learn.

I know and can agree with what you say here and the paragraph that followed these words, I just hope you understand that whomever you met does not represent everyone on welfare. These type of people are present, we all know that, but the burden of proof is on you to show that most on welfare are really of this mindset. If we draw solely on out own experiences, we're limiting our own understanding of things.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
iamme said:
I know and can agree with what you say here and the paragraph that followed these words, I just hope you understand that whomever you met does not represent everyone on welfare. These type of people are present, we all know that, but the burden of proof is on you to show that most on welfare are really of this mindset. If we draw solely on out own experiences, we're limiting our own understanding of things.

I am cracking up here. I spent at least 10 years sending care packages to in-laws who were on welfare (or similar) for many years. One of them now owns a house. One of them finally left the husband that beat her when she was pregnant (she is 4 foot 11 inches tall -- what a MAN! (NOT)). One of them finally left the alcoholic who fathered 3 kids on her and never gave her a dime and she married a guy who treated her better than that. I have good reason to believe that my tireless support was crucial to their ability to make headway against complex and entrenched problems. (And I wasn't exactly 'rich' when I did all that, given that I and my husband have always lived on one income while I stayed home with our special needs kids.)

But I have found such attitudes to be true of most people I have met on welfare. That does not mean I condemn them or wouldn't help them. Nevertheless, the attitude I run into often disgusts me. I fully believe that such attitude problems have to Go if they are going to straighten their lives out. It does not matter who did what to you to put you in X situation -- "you" are the person who needs to try to fix it. Standing in the doorway and screaming after the ex-husband, abusive parents, etc who broke down your door and crapped on your living room carpet is likely to leave you living with the broken door and pile of crap. Regardless of how justifiably pissed off you are, you can curse and scream all you like, but do it with a broom or hammer in hand, not yelling after the jerk that did this to you to begin with while fantasizing that they will some day come Fix this mess because you think it is "their" responsibility because they did this to you.

If you want to start a new thread about welfare issues, I would be happy to regale you at great length with my thoughts on women's rights, what is wrong with society today that so many middle class women plunge head-long into poverty in spite of doing all the 'right' things, what is wrong with society that we treat babies like a 'luxury item' and throw the parents and their kids to the wolves with our 'everyone for himself' BS policies (that gives welfare to corporate America,etc, but does not support our children), and a few dozen other related topics. I have studied such things in some depth and I still do volunteer work for a homelss shelter that is mostly filled with single mothers. The increasing number of homeless families is simply scandalous, in my opinion, and quite an indictment of the hollow rhetoric about promoting 'family values' that we keep hearing from our politicians.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
martini said:
I wanna see Biodiesel explored more. Lookit all the friers around these two great countries of ours. Theres a ready supply around every freakin' corner(McD's, KFC, Hardees, BK, etc.) Seems to me it's a much cleaner source(and better smelling to boot).

I saw a documentary on this once. Lisa Kudrow was in it. The story was about a man and his son who started a business collecting all of the grease from friers. It went well until they decided to collect the grease from a school kitchen without a permit, and the Scottish janitor caught them. I can't remember where I saw it. PBS, maybe?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,049
Points
58
Cardinal said:
I saw a documentary on this once. Lisa Kudrow was in it. The story was about a man and his son who started a business collecting all of the grease from friers. It went well until they decided to collect the grease from a school kitchen without a permit, and the Scottish janitor caught them. I can't remember where I saw it. PBS, maybe?

Worst Reply.....EVER!!!


BTW: Is that your Halloween theme avatar or has there been a brain/body switch I missed?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
martini said:
I'm thinking the Hydrogen fuel cells are a bunk technology. It still requires huge amounts of fossil fuel to creat. Where's the benefit? You'd think the nuclear industry'd be all over this. It's a boon for them for sure!

I wanna see Biodiesel explored more. Lookit all the friers around these two great countries of ours. Theres a ready supply around every freakin' corner(McD's, KFC, Hardees, BK, etc.) Seems to me it's a much cleaner source(and better smelling to boot).

We've got it here already.

http://sdnp.delhi.nic.in/resources/biotech/news/ens-19-03-02-buffalo.html
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
bwahahahaha good one Cardinal... I didn't notice at first! LOL...
On topic: Earth sciences are very inexact, so who knows until when we'll have oil.
What if arabic countries were lying about how much reserves they got left and they actually have much more? Why would they lie? To win more money!
It's the same about climate change... many studiesdiscovery and acknowledge past climatological changes, and they were not caused by human beings, then why is the suposedly climate change that is occurring now, OUR fault? Besides that there are a lot of technical and statistical problems with the temperature measurement nowadays, the computer climatological models, etc...

I prefer to remain skeptic...
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
SkeLeton said:
On topic: Earth sciences are very inexact, so who knows until when we'll have oil.
It's the same about climate change... many studiesdiscovery and acknowledge past climatological changes, and they were not caused by human beings, then why is the suposedly climate change that is occurring now, OUR fault? Besides that there are a lot of technical and statistical problems with the temperature measurement nowadays, the computer climatological models, etc...

I reiterate: "liberal" types that disagree vehemently and put out the most optimistic numbers imaginable only manage to add about 10 years to the present estimates of when CHEAP oil will run out (ie: when we will reach the 50% mark -- after which, oil will get steadily more expensive), based on a solid model with a track record for predicting oil supplies and economic consequences in the past. I would have to look up the data again to give you precise language. When CHEAP oil runs out, there will suddenly be more of a market for alternative forms of energy that are deemed to be 'too expensive' at present. It took 50 years of bitching and moaning and screaming about "the end of the world" for the most important energy source to transition from wood to coal. It took 50 years of the same to transition from coal to oil. They have been bitching and moaning about 'the oil crisis' being the end of the world since the 1970's. Hmmm... that is 30 or 35 years and they now say that cheap oil will run out in about 10 or 15 years. It sounds to me like we are right on schedule with our bitching and moaning. As cheap oil runs out, we *will* transition to something else -- whether we want to or not.

As for global warming -- it is a well-documented fact that it has been going on for thousands of years. What scientists claim is that human activity is causing global warming to occur at a disasterously quick rate. A) I think we may yet find the means to treat the problem and B) to a certain degree, I agree with you. We are sort of like fleas on the butt of a dog trying to figure out which way the dog is going. There is some evidence that climate change is partly linked to a planetary "lifecycle" (so to speak) of the biosphere. My best understanding is that the huge dinosaurs and such that once existed could not exist now because the atmospheric density is less than it was a few million years ago and the primitive design of their lungs would have them suffocating to death. And, like you allude to, they have only been keeping statistics for such a short time that many statements are suspect, at best. As one simple example, if you keep statistics on flood stage of a river, 60 years of data is practically guaranteed to show a higher level for the so-called "100 year flood" than 40 years of data would predict.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Measuring oil supplies - as has been done in practice for the last 100 years or so is not an inexact science. The oil reserves of every country producing has been measured accurately enough to predict the peak of production to within a year. That's hardly inaccurate. Countries past their peak of production include the US, Libya, Iran, and Egypt.

As for global warming - it's been studied to death - and the conclusion is - yeah the earth is warming, yeah it's happened before, but no it's never happened this fast before.

It doesn't take a scientist to figure out that it's probably not a good idea to burn all of the organic matter that's ever been buried (over a billion or so years) in a 200-300 year period.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
jresta said:
Measuring oil supplies - as has been done in practice for the last 100 years or so is not an inexact science. The oil reserves of every country producing has been measured accurately enough to predict the peak of production to within a year. That's hardly inaccurate. Countries past their peak of production include the US, Libya, Iran, and Egypt.

As for global warming - it's been studied to death - and the conclusion is - yeah the earth is warming, yeah it's happened before, but no it's never happened this fast before.

Measuring oil suplies may be exact as math, but nothing prevents elected officials and corrupt governments from lying...:)

As for the current climate change, it's been studied a lot, and there's no consensus, and no true conclusion. And there have been fast climate changes in the past, and climate changes tend to occur fast rather than smoothly. Just ask the dinosaurs.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
SkeLeton said:
Measuring oil suplies may be exact as math, but nothing prevents elected officials and corrupt governments from lying...:)

As for the current climate change, it's been studied a lot, and there's no consensus, and no true conclusion. And there have been fast climate changes in the past, and climate changes tend to occur fast rather than smoothly. Just ask the dinosaurs.

The only corrupt government officials that are lying about how much oil there is are those at the USGS. It's in the best interests of the oil cartels - Exxon, Shell, BP, etc. to pretend like there's plenty of oil left and slow the introduction of alternative fuels while they fund the research and buy up all of the patents so when the shock does hit they still have a monopoly on the energy supply.

Main Entry: con·sen·sus
Pronunciation: k&n-'sen(t)-s&s
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Latin, from consentire
Date: 1858
1 a : general agreement : UNANIMITY <the consensus of their opinion, based on reports... from the border -- John Hersey> b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned <the consensus was to go ahead>

By the first sense of the word you used, no, of course there isn't unanimity, and one shouldn't expect there to be. By the second sense of the word "most of those concerned" - and i would even go so far as to say 97% of those concerned (climatologists) - there is consensus and there has been for some time.

The only disagreements within those 97% come up when you get into the finer points of just how bad it is, how far it will go, how fast it will accelerate, how much of it is natural and how much of it is man-made, and on that note how serious cutbacks would have to be to put us back into equilibrium. Aside from that, even using modified consensus, the agreement is that it is happening and humans have had a significant impact.

Again, it doesn't take a scientist to figure out that taking all of the organic matter accumulated over the course of a billion or so years and burning it all in less than 300 years is going to have a serious, negative impact.

Your dinosaur analogy falls flat. If you go with the accepted version of events the climate change was as sudden as it was catastrophic. Ice ages and mini ice ages don't come and go in the course of 5 years. They can take 10-20,000 years to cycle though. Even in the case of the last millenium the shortest estimate puts the mini ice age at 400 years.
 
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