Peak Oil - Fact, Fiction or What?

Hillmanhunter1

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Non-renewables by definitions will run out, or at least run out in terms of availability and profitability. At the point where it costs the equivalent of 1 barrel of oil to extract 1 barrel of oil, whats the point? It stays in the ground.
You must factor in technology. The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones, or because the cost of finding good stones exceeded their value, it ended because we discovered iron.

Similarly, the factor that will bring an end to the age of fossil fuels will be technology. We may need oil for 747s for the foreseeable future, but this picture tells a story too:

18050
 


Surkov

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You must factor in technology. The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones, or because the cost of finding good stones exceeded their value, it ended because we discovered iron.

Similarly, the factor that will bring an end to the age of fossil fuels will be technology. We may need oil for 747s for the foreseeable future, but this picture tells a story too:

18050
Instead of going all the way back to the stone age to find a point of comparison (which smacks of desperation, frankly), wouldn't more relevant line of comparison and analogy be had by focusing on e.g. the degree to which oil and gas replaced coal? Coal is still in use. Why? Because it has value and utility. Renewables simply do not represent the same value, utility and/or application, on the same or even a similar scale.

However oil is just so potent and such a wonder substance that I doubt a new natural resource will be found that could be even a very significant partial replacement. Nuclear tech made a dent. Solar and wind some more small dents. That's about it. The start fact is this: oil consumption is growing and is set to grow even further.

You seem genuine in your passion (in so far as such a thing is possible if you only 'advocate' via your keyboard on a forum, and fail to even grow a few veg in your garden, which I presume you have).

You seem to have a semi-religious belief or faith that human technology is capable of solving all problems.... if only enough people preach hard enough and increase levels of faith in the 'magic' of technological potential. Is technology your all-powerful, all-reaching god? Albeit not yet fully realised. You wait for the technological rapture which will never come perhaps.:]

My position is much more practical, and much more common. Technology is only a partial solution. What is also required is individuals willing to make sacrifices in their own individual lives. E.g. use the train even if you have the option not to. Grow food in your garden if you have one. After all, why not?

It's a simple, straight-forward question. Fakers often shy away from those.

Again, why not?
 

StirCharles

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You are beyond pathetic.
What I am, is 100% correct. The fools that said at the beginning of this thread that we had reached Peak Oil were shown by time to be idiots. They are still idiots and still spouting the same cowdung. Anyone willingly paying huge taxes in Ireland on fuel are as dumb as rocks and how can I be blamed for laughing at them as I guzzle juice at $2.60 a gallon in a monster vehicle.
 

wombat

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However oil is just so potent and such a wonder substance that I doubt a new natural resource will be found that could be even a very significant partial replacement.
Oil is an incredible source of energy, especially for transport as it is easy to handle. We could run cars on hydrogen but its really too dangerous. I remember looking into dust explosions and coming across the energy available from 1 kg of TNT is 4 MJ, which allows you to visualise how big 4MJ is. A litre of diesel contains approx 40 MJ and its in usable form.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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However oil is just so potent and such a wonder substance that I doubt a new natural resource will be found that could be even a very significant partial replacement. Nuclear tech made a dent. Solar and wind some more small dents. That's about it. The start fact is this: oil consumption is growing and is set to grow even further.
Oil is a wonderful and potent substance, and along with coal and modern farming it is destroying our planet. It doesn't matter how wonderful it is, the cost is too high.

Nuclear certainly needs to be the bridge technology, as far as electricity production is concerned, between now and a time when renewables can take over. Solar and wind get cheaper and more efficient every year, and all it needs is further tweaks to fiscal policy (more taxes on oil and coal, more grants for renewables) to accelerate that process.

The most optimistic forecasts that I can find in relation to oil demand come (not surprisingly) from OPEC. But even their forecasts cannot hide the fact that it is population growth, and demand for oil from the petrochemical sector that is shoring up that demand, masking a decline in demand for transport and electricity generation.
 

yosef shompeter

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It gets interesting when the big guys, or public opinion (or both) come along and sayd to the Coal and oil producers: Hey Yous! Leave that there stuff in the ground. It's bad for the climate. D'ya hear !
And then there's the turf cutters and cow and beef producers and airlines.
I don't have the answer. But a person can point out something interesting, No?
It might happen sooner than you think.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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It gets interesting when the big guys, or public opinion (or both) come along and sayd to the Coal and oil producers: Hey Yous! Leave that there stuff in the ground. It's bad for the climate. D'ya hear !
And then there's the turf cutters and cow and beef producers and airlines.
I don't have the answer. But a person can point out something interesting, No?
It might happen sooner than you think.
I agree, we will at some point arrive at a tipping point, and things will accelerate from there.

It will have huge implications for the Middle East. Personally I think that the effective removal from the supply side of Iran, Libya (and Venezuela) is linked to this. The Saudis want to get their oil out before that happens.
 

Surkov

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Oil is an incredible source of energy, especially for transport as it is easy to handle. We could run cars on hydrogen but its really too dangerous. I remember looking into dust explosions and coming across the energy available from 1 kg of TNT is 4 MJ, which allows you to visualise how big 4MJ is. A litre of diesel contains approx 40 MJ and its in usable form.
Plus whatever kind of new vehicle is proposed as a replacement, a billion or so have to be produced. If building e.g. a billion solar powered cars, where do you get the raw materials? Plus do you have enough fossil fuels available to power such vast production levels?

In other words, pie in the sky. There are no replacements only partial replacements. The problem is always one of scale.
 

wombat

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In other words, pie in the sky. There are no replacements only partial replacements. The problem is always one of scale.
I think there is a good chance that batteries with decent range will be developed reasonably quickly. If you compare the complexity of the drive train of a car with an IC engine compared to an electric motor, there will be no comparison in manufacturing costs so I can see a switch to electric cars over time.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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You're just making a blank assertion. It's an article of faith for you.
That's your stock in trade buddy, not mine.

Thinking that the future will be like the past is not a wise strategy.
 

Surkov

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Oil is a wonderful and potent substance, and along with coal and modern farming it is destroying our planet. It doesn't matter how wonderful it is, the cost is too high.

Nuclear certainly needs to be the bridge technology, as far as electricity production is concerned, between now and a time when renewables can take over. Solar and wind get cheaper and more efficient every year, and all it needs is further tweaks to fiscal policy (more taxes on oil and coal, more grants for renewables) to accelerate that process.

The most optimistic forecasts that I can find in relation to oil demand come (not surprisingly) from OPEC. But even their forecasts cannot hide the fact that it is population growth, and demand for oil from the petrochemical sector that is shoring up that demand, masking a decline in demand for transport and electricity generation.
Population growth means more cars on the road, not less.
I think there is a good chance that batteries with decent range will be developed reasonably quickly. If you compare the complexity of the drive train of a car with an IC engine compared to an electric motor, there will be no comparison in manufacturing costs so I can see a switch to electric cars over time.
Just keep the fact that whatever you come up with, you need a cool billion batteries. Then, after a few years, you need another billion.

Just pointing it out as over-confidence often increases one's sense of disappointment later on.
 

Surkov

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How likely is it that both population growth and oil production will peak at roughly the same time? What comes next?
 

Hillmanhunter1

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Population growth means more cars on the road, not less.
Not so much, most population growth is in countries where car ownership rates are low, plus an increasing number of cars will be electric, not petrol/diesel.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently bumped up its estimate of the EV market share in 2040 from 35 per cent of all new car sales to 54 percent. RethinkX, an independent think tank, is even more bullish, saying most U.S. vehicles will be electric by 2030 —just 13 years from now.


Right now I drive an old BMW with a naturally aspirated straight 6 petrol engine - it is a thing of beauty. It will be the last fossil-fuel car I will buy, A lot of people are thinking like me, when the tide turns, as it is starting to, you don't want to be left holding a car you can't sell.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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How likely is it that both population growth and oil production will peak at roughly the same time? What comes next?
You need to read previous posts before you repost.

You'll find the answer on OPEC's website, demand from the petrochemical sector is replacing demand from the energy & transport sectors.
 

Hillmanhunter1

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Car ownership rates are growing quickly in China for example. The 'Chinese dream' of the near future, of now even...
But they'll be electric cars!
 

Surkov

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But they'll be electric cars!
Try producing a BILLION electric cars without using any fossil fuels. Try it without the underlying support of an economy fueled by FF's. Thus far in the discussion you are refusing to address the problem of scale... yet you make one blank assertion after another.

Plus one the one hand you come across as so very optimistic (starry-eyed, almost) regarding human tech that you give the impression that there is a barely a problem at all (certainly not problematic enough for you to, god forbid, make a few easy sacrifices). Yet earlier you were rather alarmist regarding AGW. So which is it?
 

wombat

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Try producing a BILLION electric cars without using any fossil fuels. Try it without the underlying support of an economy fueled by FF's.
Technologies change gradually, think of how computers developed from mainframes to desktops to hand held over about 30 years or we went from waiting lists for fixed line telephones to children playing with mobiles. We think that these changes happened rapidly but in fact, they took years. Presently, Japanese car makers have bet big on hybrids but if decent batteries can be developed, they could be leapfrogged by electrics, personally, I have a lot of faith in the judgement of Honda and Toyota but either way, pure ICE cars look to be on the way out.
 


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