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Guest Post: Peak Oil - The Long & The Short

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Peak Oil - The Long & The Short

Does it seem like we’ve been here before?

A barrel of Brent Crude (the truest indicator of worldwide oil
scarcity) sits at $118, up from $75 per barrel in July 2010 – a 57%
increase in eleven months. In the U.S., the average price of gasoline is
$3.69 per gallon this week, up 37% in the last year and up 100% in the
last 30 months.

The pundits and politicians are responding predictably. They blame
the Libyan revolution, the dreaded speculators and that old fallback –
Big Oil. When the Middle East turmoil began in earnest in January, gas
prices had already risen 15% in three months, spurred by increased
worldwide demand and by Ben Bernanke’s printing press. Congressmen have
reacted in their usual kneejerk politically motivated fashion by
demanding that supplies be released from the Strategic Oil Reserve.

Congress has a little trouble with the concept of “strategic.” They
also have difficulty dealing with a reality that has been staring them
in the face for decades. Politicians will always disregard prudent,
long-term planning for vote-generating talk and gestures.

The Long Term

Peak oil has been a mathematically predictable occurrence since
American geophysicist M. King Hubbert figured out the process in 1956.
His model predicted that oil production in the United States would peak
in 1970. He wasn’t far off. In 1971, when the U.S. was producing 88% of
its oil needs, domestic production approached 10 million barrels per day
and has been in decline ever since.

(Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/energy_in_brief/images/charts/
Consumption_production_import_trends-large.gif
)

The Department of Energy was established in 1977 with a mandate to
lessen our dependence on foreign oil. At the time, the U.S. was
importing 6.5 million barrels per day. In 1985 the country was still
able to produce enough to cover 75% of its needs. Today, 34 years later,
the U.S. imports 10 million barrels per day, almost half of what it
uses.

President Obama’s 2011 Budget proposal included priorities for the DOE:

  • Positions the United States to be the global leader in the new
    energy economy by developing new ways to produce and use clean and
    renewable energy.
  • Expands the use of clean, renewable energy sources such as solar,
    wind and geothermal while supporting the Administration’s goal to
    develop a smart, strong and secure electricity grid.
  • Promotes innovation in the renewable energy sectors through the use of expanded loan guarantee authority.

That’s what goes on in talk space.

Back on planet Earth, not a single U.S. oil refinery or nuclear power
plant has been built  since 1977. Decades of inaction and denial have
left our energy infrastructure obsolescent and decaying. Pipelines,
tanks, drilling rigs, refineries and tankers have passed their original
design lives. The oil industry is manned by an aging workforce of
geologists, engineers and refinery hands. Many are nearing retirement,
and there are few skilled personnel to replace them.

Denial of peak oil becomes more dangerous by the day. The Obama
administration prattles about clean energy, solar, wind and ethanol,
when petroleum powers 96% of the transportation sector and 44% of the
industrial sector. Coal provides 51% of the country’s electricity, and
nuclear accounts for another 21%. Renewable energy contributes only 6.7%
of the country’s energy needs, mostly from hydroelectric facilities.

Ethanol works nicely as a slogan but poorly as a solution. The
ethanol boondoggle diverts 40% of the U.S. corn crop to fuel production.
The real cost to produce a gallon of ethanol (tariffs, lost energy,
higher food costs)  exceeds $7 and has contributed to the price of corn
rising 112% in the last year. The 107 million tons of grain that went to
U.S. ethanol distilleries in 2009 would have been enough to feed 330
million people for one year.

(Source: http://perotcharts.com/category/challenges/energy/)

The most worrisome aspect of peak oil is that our government leaders
have known of it  and have chosen to do nothing. The Department of
Energy requested a report from widely respected energy expert Robert
Hirsch in 2005. The report clearly laid out the dire situation:

    The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the
    world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is
    approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase
    dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and
    political costs will be unprecedented. Viable mitigation options exist
    on both the supply and demand sides, but to have substantial impact,
    they must be initiated more than a decade in advance of peaking.

Some of his conclusions:

  • World oil peaking is going to happen, and will likely be abrupt.
    World production of conventional oil will reach a maximum and decline
    thereafter.
  • Oil peaking will adversely affect global economies, particularly
    the U.S. Over the past century, the U.S. economy has been shaped by the
    availability of low-cost oil. The economic loss to the United States
    could be measured on a trillion-dollar scale.
  • The problem is liquid fuels for transportation. The lifetimes of
    transportation equipment are measured in decades. Rapid changeover in
    transportation equipment is inherently impossible. Motor vehicles,
    aircraft, trains and ships have no ready alternative to liquid fuels.
  • Mitigation efforts will require substantial time. Waiting until
    production peaks would leave the world with a liquid fuel deficit for 20
    years. Initiating a crash program 10 years before peaking leaves a
    liquid fuels shortfall of a decade. Initiating a crash program 20 years
    before peaking could avoid a world liquid fuels shortfall.

World liquid oil production has never exceeded the level reached in
2005. It becomes more evident by the day that worldwide production has
peaked. Robert Hirsch was correct. The world will have a liquid fuel
deficit for decades.

The Short Term

The International Energy Agency has been increasing its estimates for
world oil consumption to over 90 million barrels per day by the 4th
quarter of 2011, led by strong demand from China, India and the rest of
the emerging world. World supply was already straining to keep up with
this demand before the recent tumult in the Middle East. The mayhem in
Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Iran has already taken 1.5
million barrels per day off the market, according to the IEA.

(Source: http://omrpublic.iea.org/)

The Obama administration and mainstream media continue to downplay
the economic impact of the conflagration spreading around the world. The
risk that oil prices gush toward the 2008 highs is much greater than
the likelihood that this turmoil will subside and oil prices fall back
to $80 per barrel. As the following chart shows, the daily oil supply
coming from countries already experiencing revolution or in danger of
uprisings is nearly 8 million barrels per day, or 9% of world supply. No
country can ramp up production to make up for that shortfall.

  Proven Oil Oil
Country
Reserves (billion barrels) Production Per Day
Saudi Arabia
265
9,000,000
Iran
137
3,700,000
Iraq
115
2,700,000
UAE
98
2,300,000
Kuwait
102
2,300,000
Libya
46
1,600,000
Algeria
12
1,300,000
Qatar
25
820,000
Oman
6
810,000
Egypt
4
742,000
Syria
3
376,000
Yemen
3
298,000

 

The Washington DC spin doctors are now assuring the American people
that Saudi Arabia can make up for any oil shortfall. Saudi Arabia has
declared it has already turned the spigot on and will produce 10.0
million bpd, up from 8.5 million bpd.

Is this replacement production real? A leading industry expert
revealed that the Saudis were already producing 8.9 million bpd in
January. Hype and misinformation won’t fill your SUV with cheap gas.
Saudi production peaked at 9.8 million bpd in 2005. When prices spiked
to $147 per barrel in early 2008, their production grew only to 9.5
million bpd. Saudi oil fields are 40 years old and are in terminal
decline. Their “spare capacity” doesn’t exist.

And the media ignore the quality difference between Libyan crude and
Saudi crude. Libya’s oil is a perfect feedstock for ultra-low-sulfur
diesel. The oil Saudi Arabia will supply to replace it is not. It takes
three barrels of Saudi crude to yield the same quantity of diesel fuel
as one Libyan barrel of crude, and only specially designed refineries
can process high-sulfur Saudi oil.

The problem isn’t just turmoil in the Middle East. The Persian Gulf
provides 17% of U.S. imports; 22% comes from Africa, 10% from Venezuela
and 15% from Mexico. Many of these countries hate us. Mexico, although a
relatively friendly country, will become a net importer of oil in the
next five years, as its Cantarell oil field is in rapid decline. They’ll
have nothing to sell to us.

The long and the short of it is that sunshine, corn and wind will not
keep Americans from paying $5 per gallon or more for gas in the near
future. The financial implications are that oil and energy investments
will produce solid returns over the coming years.

 

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Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:14 | 1371060 Libertarians fo...
Libertarians for Prosperity's picture

Peak oil doesn't matter if we have algae farms and the courage to hope for new technology. 

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:24 | 1371116 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

"courage to hope"

You can do better troll. Btw, neither courage nor hope will run the food supply chain.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:29 | 1371138 Quintus
Quintus's picture

What about 'Hope and Change' then?  Apparently you can run an economy on that.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:42 | 1371202 Bindar Dundat
Bindar Dundat's picture

Hope is a very bad strategy...

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:59 | 1371246 Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones's picture

Hope is not an executable strategy.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:24 | 1371694 Hook Line and S...
Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

Hope is like fiat, infinite.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 21:53 | 1373286 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

Only Extend and Pretend technology has been tested and proven to be a true Free Energy/Perpetual Motion Machine. If it's not E.P. based technology, you're dreamin!!!

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 22:01 | 1373303 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

A shift I have noticed is that less and less people care about Peak Oil or, people who are concerned about it care less each passing day. I think there's something in the subconscious awareness of the average person which is placing more emphasis on the global economic Time Bomb than Peak Oil. I'm guessing that emphasis is based upon which issue presents a more immanent threat....and 'The Herd' is.....what?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:30 | 1374337 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

as if the two are not intimately connected?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:55 | 1371243 robobbob
robobbob's picture

No, no, no

"Hope and change" runs politics.

The economy runs on "print and pretend"

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:25 | 1371700 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Don't you mean "Smoke and Mirrors?"

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:34 | 1374342 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

pot and funhouse

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:01 | 1371258 TheFantasticMonkey
TheFantasticMonkey's picture

I think he fat-fingered it. Should read 'the courage to hype'...

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:00 | 1371539 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

"The Audacity of Hype"... From what I understand, it burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:14 | 1371935 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Peak energy is BS.  This is from Salon, no less.

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/05/31/linbd_fossil_fuel...

Everything you've heard about fossil fuels may be wrong
The future of energy is not what you think it is
By Michael Lind

Are we living at the beginning of the Age of Fossil Fuels, not its final decades? The very thought goes against everything that politicians and the educated public have been taught to believe in the past generation. According to the conventional wisdom, the U.S. and other industrial nations must undertake a rapid and expensive transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy for three reasons: The imminent depletion of fossil fuels, national security and the danger of global warming.

What if the conventional wisdom about the energy future of America and the world has been completely wrong?

As everyone who follows news about energy knows by now, in the last decade the technique of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," long used in the oil industry, has evolved to permit energy companies to access reserves of previously-unrecoverable “shale gas” or unconventional natural gas. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, these advances mean there is at least six times as much recoverable natural gas today as there was a decade ago.

Natural gas, which emits less carbon dioxide than coal, can be used in both electricity generation and as a fuel for automobiles.

The implications for energy security are startling. Natural gas may be only the beginning. Fracking also permits the extraction of previously-unrecoverable “tight oil,” thereby postponing the day when the world runs out of petroleum. There is enough coal to produce energy for centuries. And governments, universities and corporations in the U.S., Canada, Japan and other countries are studying ways to obtain energy from gas hydrates, which mix methane with ice in high-density formations under the seafloor. The potential energy in gas hydrates may equal that of all other fossils, including other forms of natural gas, combined.

If gas hydrates as well as shale gas, tight oil, oil sands and other unconventional sources can be tapped at reasonable cost, then the global energy picture looks radically different than it did only a few years ago. Suddenly it appears that there may be enough accessible hydrocarbons to power industrial civilization for centuries, if not millennia, to come.

So much for the specter of depletion, as a reason to adopt renewable energy technologies like solar power and wind power. Whatever may be the case with Peak Oil in particular, the date of Peak Fossil Fuels has been pushed indefinitely into the future. What about national security as a reason to switch to renewable energy?

The U.S., Canada and Mexico, it turns out, are sitting on oceans of recoverable natural gas. Shale gas is combined with recoverable oil in the Bakken "play" along the U.S.-Canadian border and the Eagle Ford play in Texas. The shale gas reserves of China turn out to be enormous, too. Other countries with now-accessible natural gas reserves, according to the U.S. government, include Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, France, Poland and India.

Because shale gas reserves are so widespread, the potential for blackmail by Middle Eastern producers and Russia will diminish over time. Unless opponents of fracking shut down gas production in Europe, a European Union with its own natural gas reserves will be far less subject to blackmail by Russia (whose state monopoly Gazprom has opportunistically echoed western Greens in warning of the dangers of fracking).

The U.S. may become a major exporter of natural gas to China -- at least until China borrows the technology to extract its own vast gas reserves.

Two arguments for switching to renewable energy -- the depletion of fossil fuels and national security -- are no longer plausible. What about the claim that a rapid transition to wind and solar energy is necessary, to avert catastrophic global warming?

The scenarios with the most catastrophic outcomes of global warming are low probability outcomes -- a fact that explains why the world’s governments in practice treat reducing CO2 emissions as a low priority, despite paying lip service to it. But even if the worst outcomes were likely, the rational response would not be a conversion to wind and solar power but a massive build-out of nuclear power. Nuclear energy already provides around 13-14 percent of the world’s electricity and nearly 3 percent of global final energy consumption, while wind, solar and geothermal power combined account for less than one percent of global final energy consumption.

(The majority of renewable energy consists of CO2-emitting biomass -- wood and dung used for fires by the world’s poor, plus crops used to make fuel; most of the remainder comes from hydropower dams denounced by Greens.)

The disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima have dramatized the real but limited and localized dangers of nuclear energy. While their initial costs are high, nuclear power plants generate vast amounts of cheap electricity -- and no greenhouse gases. If runaway global warming were a clear and present danger rather than a low probability, then the problems of nuclear waste disposal and occasional local disasters would be minor compared to the benefits to the climate of switching from coal to nuclear power.

The arguments for converting the U.S. economy to wind, solar and biomass energy have collapsed. The date of depletion of fossil fuels has been pushed back into the future by centuries -- or millennia. The abundance and geographic diversity of fossil fuels made possible by technology in time will reduce the dependence of the U.S. on particular foreign energy exporters, eliminating the national security argument for renewable energy. And if the worst-case scenarios for climate change were plausible, then the most effective way to avert catastrophic global warming would be the rapid expansion of nuclear power, not over-complicated schemes worthy of Rube Goldberg or Wile E. Coyote to carpet the world’s deserts and prairies with solar panels and wind farms that would provide only intermittent energy from weak and diffuse sources.

The mainstream environmental lobby has yet to acknowledge the challenge that the new energy realities pose to their assumptions about the future. Some environmentalists have welcomed natural gas because it is cleaner than coal and can supplement intermittent solar power and wind power, at times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. But if natural gas is permanently cheaper than solar and wind, then there is no reason, other than ideology, to combine it with renewables, instead of simply using natural gas to replace coal in electricity generation.

Without massive, permanent government subsidies or equally massive penalty taxes imposed on inexpensive fossil fuels like shale gas, wind power and solar power may never be able to compete. For that reason, some Greens hope to shut down shale gas and gas hydrate production in advance. In their haste, however, many Greens have hyped studies that turned out to be erroneous.

In 2010 a Cornell University ecology professor and anti-fracking activist named Robert Howarth published a paper making the sensational claim that natural gas is a greater threat to the climate than coal. Howarth admitted, "A lot of the data we use are really low quality..."

Howarth’s error-ridden study was debunked by Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations and criticized even by the Worldwatch Institute, a leading environmentalist organization, which wrote: "While we share Dr. Howarth’s urgency about the need to transition to a renewable-based economy, we believe based on our research that natural gas, not coal, affords the cleanest pathway to such a future."

A few years ago, many Green alarmists seized upon a theory that an ice age 600 million years ago came to an abrupt end because of massive global warming caused by methane bubbling up from the ocean floor. They warned that the melting of the ice caps or drilling for methane hydrates might suddenly release enough methane to cook the earth. But before it could be turned into a Hollywood blockbuster, the methane apocalypse theory was debunked recently by a team of Caltech scientists in a report for the science journal Nature.

All energy sources have potentially harmful side effects. The genuine problems caused by fracking and possible large-scale future drilling of methane hydrates should be carefully monitored and dealt with by government regulation. But the Green lobby’s alarm about the environmental side-effects of energy sources is highly selective. The environmental movement since the 1970s has been fixated religiously on a few "soft energy" panaceas -- wind, solar, and biofuels -- and can be counted on to exaggerate or invent problems caused by alternatives. Many of the same Greens who oppose fracking because it might contaminate some underground aquifers favor wind turbines and high-voltage power lines that slaughter eagles and other birds and support blanketing huge desert areas with solar panels, at the cost of exterminating much of the local wildlife and vegetation. Wilderness preservation, the original goal of environmentalism, has been sacrificed to the giant metallic idols of the sun and the wind.

The renewable energy movement is not the only campaign that will be marginalized in the future by the global abundance of fossil fuels produced by advancing technology. Champions of small-scale organic farming can no longer claim that shortages of fossil fuel feedstocks will force a return to pre-industrial agriculture.

Another casualty of energy abundance is the new urbanism. Because cars and trucks and buses can run on natural gas as well as gasoline and diesel fuel, the proposition that peak oil will soon force people around the world to abandon automobile-centered suburbs and office parks for dense downtowns connected by light rail and inter-city trains can no longer be taken seriously. Deprived of the arguments from depletion, national security and global warming, the campaign to increase urban density and mass transit rests on nothing but a personal taste for expensive downtown living, a taste which the suburban working-class majorities in most developed nations manifestly do not share.

Eventually civilization may well run out of natural gas and other fossil fuels that are recoverable at a reasonable cost, and may be forced to switch permanently to other sources of energy. These are more likely to be nuclear fission or nuclear fusion than solar or wind power, which will be as weak, diffuse and intermittent a thousand years from now as they are today. But that is a problem for the inhabitants of the world of 2500 or 3000 A.D.

In the meantime, it appears that the prophets of an age of renewable energy following Peak Oil got things backwards. We may be living in the era of Peak Renewables, which will be followed by a very long Age of Fossil Fuels that has only just begun.

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:55 | 1372324 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

Two arguments for switching to renewable energy -- the depletion of fossil fuels and national security -- are no longer plausible. What about the claim that a rapid transition to wind and solar energy is necessary, to avert catastrophic global warming?

 

This isn’t the argument. The argument is that fossil fuel extraction destroys ecology, that is, pollutes and destroys habitats. Coal companies are blowing up the tops of mountains, destroying the surrounding habitat, and when their sludge dams break like in Tennessee, it does the same thing to the surrounding area. Fracking uses chemicals that seep into the water table. The fact that all the easily recoverable oil fields are running dry leads to accidents like the BP oil spill in the gulf, the habitat of which is then ruined for the next couple hundred years with Corexit.

 

The scenarios with the most catastrophic outcomes of global warming are low probability outcomes -- a fact that explains why the world’s governments in practice treat reducing CO2 emissions as a low priority, despite paying lip service to it.

 

There is no doubt amongst scientists that humans have increased CO2 emissions, though whether this is having any significant impact on climate change is debatable, at least to me - - we could be entering a cyclical ice age, or, more likely, we could be enduring a rare cycle in the sun’s activity with the magnetosphere, which is having a significant effect on the world’s climate and weather (thus all the tornadoes, droughts, increasing seasonal oddities, etc.). This writer’s audience must be high school sophomores.

 

But even if the worst outcomes were likely, the rational response would not be a conversion to wind and solar power but a massive build-out of nuclear power.

 

According to who, you? Germany stated its intention to decommission all of its nuclear power plants after Fukishima.

 

Nuclear energy already provides around 13-14 percent of the world’s electricity and nearly 3 percent of global final energy consumption, while wind, solar and geothermal power combined account for less than one percent of global final energy consumption.

 

Again, this is short-sighted. It’s only this way because that is the status quo, and many powerful people have had interests in nuclear power companies (like George Soros). However those interests are being trumped by Fukishima fall-out.

 

The arguments for converting the U.S. economy to wind, solar and biomass energy have collapsed.

 

According to your disinformation, yes.

 

Howarth’s error-ridden study was debunked by Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations

 

Haha. The banker-gangster NWO’s foreign policy “think-tank” tells us that fracking doesn’t destroy the surrounding habitat. I take it all back, you’re right!

 

and criticized even by the Worldwatch Institute, a leading environmentalist organization, which wrote: "While we share Dr. Howarth’s urgency about the need to transition to a renewable-based economy, we believe based on our research that natural gas, not coal, affords the cleanest pathway to such a future."

 

What? I thought we were talking about fracking for natural gas v solar and wind power, what does a comment about coal v natural gas have to do with this?

 

The genuine problems caused by fracking and possible large-scale future drilling of methane hydrates should be carefully monitored and dealt with by government regulation.

 

Ha!!!!!! That’s rich. The wholly owned federal regulatory institutions have our best interests in mind when it comes to fracking, I’m sure!!! That’s why they were able to successfully lobby to not disclose the chemicals they use ALREADY!!! You, sir, are an IDIOT, and worse, a pseudo-intellectual.

 

The environmental movement since the 1970s has been fixated religiously on a few "soft energy" panaceas -- wind, solar, and biofuels -- and can be counted on to exaggerate or invent problems caused by alternatives. Many of the same Greens who oppose fracking because it might contaminate some underground aquifers favor wind turbines and high-voltage power lines that slaughter eagles and other birds and support blanketing huge desert areas with solar panels, at the cost of exterminating much of the local wildlife and vegetation. Wilderness preservation, the original goal of environmentalism, has been sacrificed to the giant metallic idols of the sun and the wind.

 

I’m not a part of any Green movement, I’m a part of the common sense movement. First of all, yes, I would rather have eagles die in wind farms than my children die of cancer from chemically polluted water. Second, you are correct, destroying all that vegetation and life IN THE FUCKING DESERT in favor of solar farms is much worse than the human costs of fracking, coal removal or oil drilling. Your logic is flawless! Jesus christ.

 

Eventually civilization may well run out of natural gas and other fossil fuels that are recoverable at a reasonable cost, and may be forced to switch permanently to other sources of energy. These are more likely to be nuclear fission or nuclear fusion than solar or wind power, which will be as weak, diffuse and intermittent a thousand years from now as they are today. But that is a problem for the inhabitants of the world of 2500 or 3000 A.D.

 

Get real douchebag. This of course is the entire issue we are dealing with regarding oil, and it’s going to be a problem in the next 20 years, not the next 500!!!! Holy shit what a disingenuous asshole you are. Your pompous, arrogant tone and foolish “analysis” is enough to make my blood boil. If I ever see you on the street, I will beat the shit out of you. If it’s 40 years from now, I hope they have figured out a way to frack natural gas and run an ambulance on it.

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 18:52 | 1372928 ping
ping's picture

You're beautiful when you're angry.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 21:19 | 1373219 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"If I ever see you on the street, I will beat the shit out of you."

LOL.  Another internet tough guy.  The green energy revolution is dead.  Climate change has been debunked.  Al Gore is a douchebag and so are you.

It's over.  Go cry in your white wine.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 22:40 | 1373341 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

Haha, you douchebag troll. Internet tough guy? Al Gore? White whine? Give me a break you unoriginal cockgobbler.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 23:30 | 1373469 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

LOL.  Go back to the Oil Drum where they'll give you a rub on the head, little boy.  Everywhere else you guys are finished.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:32 | 1371134 Cpl Hicks
Cpl Hicks's picture

lol!!....uh, you are just being funny, right?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:36 | 1371160 Greyzone
Greyzone's picture

"Courage to hope"??? Is this like "Hope and Change"?

People like you assume that technology will always achieve a breakthrough. It might and it might not. Dozens of collapsed civilizations are testament to humanity's failures in the past to account for a changing future that changed in ways for which they were not prepared.

Ans besides, we don't even need a technology breakthrough. What we need is the political and social willpower to decide to change, to decide to stop funding madmen in the Middle East, and to enable our own energy systems like thorium reactors and large increases in high speed electric rail for intercity travel. The technology to build a civilization that is energy independent of religious zealots already exists. It just doesn't look like what most Americans assume is their "birthright" so they reject it. That sort of hubris is what will condemn us all to a hard landing.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:33 | 1371161 granolageek
granolageek's picture

But we don't have algae farms or oil shale extraction, or know how to actually do either on a prduction basis. John Galt, Howard Roark and Dagny Taggart working together with a $100 billion slush fund could not get a million barrels a day from either in less than 10 years. Ditto for thorium reactors.

 

Coal to liquid and gas to liquid could probably be done with government emergency powers, but unless you externalize the environmental costs, which even libertarians agree is a bad thing, it would still be $5-7/gallon vehicle fuel. If the energy operation has to honestly compensate those who get hit with contaminated groundwater and acid rain, nobody is filling up for $2.00/gallon.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:48 | 1371218 Libertarians fo...
Libertarians for Prosperity's picture

working together with a $100 billion slush fund could not get a million barrels a day from either in less than 10 years....

Well, if a $100B doesn't work, then we need to try $200B.  Eventually, with the right amount of money, the Earth will burp more oil.  It's all about capital flows and the courage to look at new technologies like algae farms and graphene plated solar panels.   

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:50 | 1371230 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Right. And if we need to build a fleet of space tankers and mine hydrocarbons all over the solar system, we'll do that. No matter what it costs. No limits. Just Do It.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:32 | 1371415 falak pema
falak pema's picture

We should appoint Nike and Branson joint project managers! "Just do it" & "I'm floating in heaven". 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:02 | 1371546 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

x2...

As soon as we discover a few dinosaur remains off the moons of Saturn the problem will be solved...

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:23 | 1372246 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

I understand that there are lakes of hydrocarbons on Saturn's moon Titan.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:37 | 1374354 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

how much DOES a rabbit out of hat cost? 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:52 | 1371235 Quintus
Quintus's picture

Remember though that money is (or should be in a non-corrupted monetary system) essentially just another representation of energy.  If you get to the point where you're putting more money (energy) in than you're getting out, then the process is pointless.  EROEI is the kicker for most alternative sources of energy.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:56 | 1371250 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Yes, a miracle must be bought.  Perhaps some of those billions should go to a few churches so they can pray for the invention.

The result will be the same.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:04 | 1371269 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Don't bother - in his next post he will explain how the FRB should just print a solution.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:43 | 1371204 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Peak oil doesn't matter if we have algae farms and the courage to hope for new technology. 

 

It reminds me of the story, you know, those typical US citizens who  put out studies on the feasibility of alternative energy sources.

They start with oil price steadily higher than $50 then alternates are introduced.

It does not happen so they rise up:

if steady $80 then introduced.

It does not happen so they rise up:

if steady $110 then introduced.

It does not happen.

 

As they are your typical US citizens, they think they deserve every single cent they make.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:55 | 1371232 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

PS. You better genetically modify that algae cause Botryococcus braunii isn't gonna cut it.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:33 | 1371421 ian807
ian807's picture

Algae is just an inefficient solar collector. It can convert about 11% of the energy that falls on it to lipids and it may be tweakable to excrete hydrocarbons (and god help us if it ever escapes into the environment).

If only it mattered.

Oil currently adds 160 exajoules of energy to civilization. Compared to that, algae is a rounding error. You might scale it up a bit, but every square inch of sunlight falling on algae is sunlight not falling on food crops or much more efficient solar panels. In addition, algae requires fresh water, and energy to make the infrastructure that makes growing it possible. While algae would be great for running a small village in a 3rd world country, don't expect it to replace the oil uses by our current civilization - oil which makes your comfortable, well-fed, well-cooled and heated, life possible.

 

 

 

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:54 | 1371512 ddtuttle
ddtuttle's picture

Sorry, but biofuels are not viable. The best algae is less than 2% efficient; that is, less than 2% of the solar energy falling on it is converted to fuel energy. Then you have to convert a soup of organic compounds to fuel which require complex energy intensive refineries. Worse, you end up throwing most of the algae by-products away (or burning it).
The WORST solar cell is about 10% efficient and produces electricity that only has to be 'inverted (converted from DC to 60Hz AC) to be used. Solar farms require almost no maintenance; whereas high productivity algae must be grown in tanks with circulating water, and nutrients. Labor intensive and expensive. We already have solar cells that much more efficient than 10%, whereas, algae MIGHT be improved incrementally through genetic engineering someday.
Clearly we need to make some kind of fuel out the surplus electrical energy, but there are many ways to do this and still be MUCH more efficient than algae. Hydrogen, is not ideal but illustrates the point.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:10 | 1371779 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

This is something I feel pretty strongly about. Seriously, the sun is a ball of energy that will last for another billion years or so. Common sense dictates that we find a way to derive all our power from it. Develop all cars and rigs into electric vehicles, and convert our electric grid into solar power. Doesn't mean oil has to go away, but we need to start planning now and wean off of it.

From 2001-2010 the top 5 oil companies (Exxon, Chevron, Conoco, BP, Shell) made $952 billion dollars in profits. There is no incentive for these companies to be looking to the future and planning for a post-oil society. They make way too much fucking money with the status quo.

Whether you like government in your life or not, developing a post-oil alternative energy contingency is something that the government will have to fund with our tax dollars. If a private company could raise the necessary capital I'd be all for it, but I doubt a private company could raise the trillions of dollars necessary. And even if they could, the big oil companies would do everything in their power to prevent it until they extract as much profit as possible from oil. I disagree with Quinn there, Big Oil's regulatory capture is definitely part of the problem.

People who say "solar isn't an option" are totally full of shit, whether they are purposely spreading disinfo or just an idiot. It's not viable, YET. That doesn't mean it couldn't easily become viable with the proper R&D. How about we close all our bases, bring all our troops home, take that money and tell world "hey, we are going to develop a grid that is 100% powered by the sun within the next 30 years. We suggest you do the same, and we will help you do so."

We don't live in this world, of course.

This whole issue just depresses the shit out of me. Why do we always have to be so short-sighted? Where is the sense of responsibility to future generations? Can't everyone see how fucked the USA is when oil runs out or is too expensive? Rhetorical questions, of course, just like why can't our government see how huge of a problem the debt is? We all know the answer: the people don't control the god damn government anymore!

Our world is pathetic. Our leaders soulless with no sense of purpose or obligation to something bigger than themselves. We are the bastard civilization of the universe.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:14 | 1371933 ibjamming
ibjamming's picture

The sun doesn't put out THAT much energy per square foot.  Oil is MILLIONS of years of "sun energy" concentrated 1000X.  Think about the low voltage needed to light a bulb to produce light...now imagine how little usable energy is found in light.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:40 | 1372054 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

I disagree, in that I just think we haven't found a way to preserve the sun's energy in high concentrations. Maybe this isn't possible, I don't know. Maybe a unified grid isn't possible either. I'm no scientist. But wouldn't something as simple as a bunch of regional, state or local systems be viable? What if the technology was developed such that every home could be made entirely self-sufficient, including powering their vehicles?

Shit, we are making nanobots and one scientist thinks we will have them the size of blood cells in our body down the road. If we can do that, why can't we find a way to make solar power our primary energy source?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 18:57 | 1372955 ping
ping's picture

I hear ya, but there are tech limits. I blew a bomb on solar and it's done nothing but gobble up batteries that are full of nasty dick-eating chemicals, plus the rare minerals used in its original construction (no, not silicon). I can run my lights on it, but if everyone wanted it we'd run out of raw materials like silver. That's after a half century of research into solar cells, and a century plus of research into batteries. Scares the willies out of me. We are foooked.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:21 | 1371973 ddtuttle
ddtuttle's picture

I didn't say solar wasn't an option, I said biofuels are a bad way to harness solar energy, and the even poor quality solar cells are much better. I am a big supporter of one biofuel: methane. It is produced spontaneously by certain bacteria, and currently powers some sewage treatment plants, and dairy farms. All good stuff.

Running vehicles is a different story. Our best batteries have 1/40th of the energy density of gasoline. That means a battery that replaces the energy in a gas tank will be 40 times bigger. Don't believe me? The battery pack in the Tesla weighs 1000 lbs! that 30% of the weight of the car. Don't get me wrong, the Tesla is very cool, but its a $120,000 toy.

So while electric motors are awesome, batteries are awful. Fuel cells or ultra capacitors would have to improve just to be better than batteries. The answer is simple: convert electrical energy of all kinds into a reasonable fuel that can power vehicles autonomously (no extension chord; i.e. no pantograph or third rail). This solves the energy storage problem, and the energy density problem.

My choice is methane, which can be made form electricity, agricultural waste, or straight from coal if necessary. All these sources of methane could be intermixed and used any way you want: heating, vehicle fuel, cooking, or localized electrical generation. The best thing is we can use our existing natural gas infrastructure to store and transport it to wherever and whenever its needed.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:41 | 1372070 I_ate_the_crow
I_ate_the_crow's picture

I wasn't disagreeing with you, was agreeing with your comments about solar. The battery issue is a good point, I've read different theories on the deficiencies of lithium batteries, but like I said above, I'm no scientist. I'll have to look into methane.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 16:22 | 1372473 tmosley
tmosley's picture

False.  Metal air batteries have the same energy density as gas.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:36 | 1371755 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

EROEI's a bitch, bitchez.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:10 | 1371919 ibjamming
ibjamming's picture

You seriously think you're going to replace 26 MILLION barrels a day consumption with "algae farms"?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 16:16 | 1372451 tmosley
tmosley's picture

I can't believe that no-one has noticed that he is just trolling.  This is RNR, regurgitating my words in a facetious manner.

But he is a lying sack of shit.  I never said I like algae.  I said it is a technology that exists.  

And I am highly disappointed in the rest of you.  I have posted article after article showing technological advances in renewable energy, but you are all still sitting around circlejerking to  the death worship cult.

You don't need to replace 26 million barrels in a day with algae farms.  You need to produce 500,000 with genetically engineered fuel producing bugs.  Then a million.  Then two million.

You need to get rid of oil burning power plants, and buy solar panels that are mass produced from graphene, cost as much as a newspaper, and last for 100,000 years, and are totally indestructible.

You don't need to accept death.  You need to gather capital, and apply it to whatever problems you are confronted with, and overcome them.  Unlike Red Neck Repugnicunt here, who thinks you should just seize all the money, and pay the Dems to save us all from ourselves SOMEHOW.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:13 | 1371069 asdasmos
Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:18 | 1371074 MonsterZero
MonsterZero's picture

We have to subsidize ethanol production because it would cost too much to make corn in gas versus straight oil. I think I'm more worried about peak corn at this point.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:28 | 1371114 tbone654
tbone654's picture

+1

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:59 | 1371245 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

Japanese Supercane will grow in the Southern US and Puerto Rico.

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:06 | 1371279 LaLiLuLeLo
LaLiLuLeLo's picture

sucking nutrients out of the ground to grow fuel? if that isn't suicidial, i don't know what is

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:13 | 1371313 trav7777
trav7777's picture

soon as the nutrient stocks peak, yes, it's a dead end rapidly.

We use oil to make food

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:03 | 1371576 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Easter Island bitchez!

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:18 | 1371075 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Peak oil has been a mathematically predictable occurrence since American geophysicist M. King Hubbert figured out the process in 1956. His model predicted that oil production in the United States would peak in 1970. He wasn’t far off. In 1971, when the U.S. was producing 88% of its oil needs, domestic production approached 10 million barrels per day and has been in decline ever since.

 

Peak oil theory. The model that allowed the prediction is the theory.

Note to US citizens: you dont make a theory out of saying that increase of extraction within limits will peak.

Because a number of US citizens want to propagate that the Peak Oil Theory, the theory is about peaking or not.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:50 | 1371214 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

Do you mean to tell me that mathematics, engineering and geophysical concepts are theoretical?  Do you just make up shit as you go along? Rhetorical.  FACTS are not theories.  Mathematical estimations based on scientifically verifiable constructs are not theories.  If you think you have a better grasp of the facts than a geophysicist than show us the goods.  If not please refrain from comments related to your delusional psycho-utopian fantasies and drop them on the yahoo rooms.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:57 | 1371242 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Gibberish.

 

Facts are not theories. Nice strawsman. I did not write something like that and you introduced it in order to demolish your own point.

Which facts are you talking about? As you introduced your own points and dont ouline mine, it is hard to know.

 

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:08 | 1371300 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Have to agree. If math, engineering and geophysical science were facts, then there would be no failures. You can't prove a positive- only a negative. That is why we call them theories.

Some theories are better than others, some math and engineering are better than others, but none of them are facts. 

Please re-examine your god complex taught by the math, science and engineering schools and come back to earth. These schools are wrong on a continual basis.

Doesn't mean we shouldn't use them or pay attention, but they are not facts.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:18 | 1371318 trav7777
trav7777's picture

are you fucking stupid?

You're typing on a computer from those schools, you moron

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:30 | 1371381 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

So why do computers fail Trav? If it was all facts, there would be no failures. 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:34 | 1371428 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Manufacturing issues, poor hardware designs, leakage, excess heat, surges, cold joints - there are a lot of issues which need to be solved for modern microprocessor designs. But as the components age, they typically become more stable as issues are ironed out.

To claim it's because the foundation upon which they've been designed are just "theories" is frankly ridiculous.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:59 | 1371534 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

If they weren't theories, you would be able to anticipate and design around your list of defects. You are really having a hard time with this. Does it complicate your worldview if everything isn't predictable? Typical human.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:18 | 1371639 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Does the word "complexity" ever resonate within your brain? Do you ever realize the complexities of modern day technology being to the extent that no human can ever reasonably grasp the complete, intricate design of a modern day CPU, and hence bugs being left behind?

To cut corners, we use automatic unit testing for software as well as hardware. It will catch 99% of issues in 1% of the time. This allows us to be more productive - but with the potential of an extremely rare bug being left undiscovered. That's not because it's not predictable, it's because the complexity involved won't allow us to literally test each and every case. A modern day CPU has, say, 100 instructions (ignoring differing register use variants), so even 10 successive instructions becomes too many to brute force test.

But nooooo, it's all because scientific "theories" aren't fact. And leeches cure all my illnesses.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:18 | 1371955 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Complexity, the siren call of the ignorant and confused. It's" too complex to understand" ?

So, when you have a body of language that is too complex to understand, that means it's all facts. If you can't understand it, it is a theory! 

You don't even know who the eclectics were do you? Leeches, Ha!

Modern day technology is the result of good results and results that have been complete lies. Scientists will give you any result you want, if you pay them enough and allow the parameters of the study to be elastic, as well as what information they include or not.

GMO's are a complete lie. Every study compromised. Yet, we call it "good" science because of lobbying and government intervention. Here's a lightning bolt for you: Prior to the lobbying of the chemical companies, the USDA booklets on soil husbandry stated you NEVER needed to fertilize. Every component was pre-existing if you cared for your soil properly. Science had a sellable story of the "magical" ingredients of NPK in the right proportion. Now, most farms can't grow anything without heavy fertilizer usage. 

The accidental use of the X-ray to treat cancer resulted in every doctor declaring they could cure cancer. Another nice piece of science fact. How about negro brain size and intelligence? Another piece of science fact. 

Complexity and chaos are the nature of the universe. It is beyond our present ability to understand- that's why we stumble around with theories, continuing to refine and toss out and create anew. There are very few facts, just incomplete models and man's egotism run amuck.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:42 | 1371983 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Complexity, the siren call of the ignorant and confused. It's" too complex to understand" ?

Oh right, so you've worked out the financial markets, then. One sells, one buys - simple enough. Why would it matter there are 10 trillion transactions on a daily basis. Complexity is for the ignorant and stupid after all, right, so you most certainly have it all worked out, right? Manipulations? Hah, Sean7k says, his mastermind having already worked out the differences in implications of the PPT putting in a buy order of 10k or 11k shares in INTC.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:28 | 1372291 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Your getting desperate for an argument. Depending on your wealth strategy, the 10 trillion transactions could be (and for me they are) meaningless. I have no need to understand the manipulation. I have no need to be confused by noise that is meaningless. 

By the way, the sentence you quoted has a basis in education and the results of learned people's inability to understand a topic and their subsequent reaction. Even when the material doesn't make sense. Their desire to be one of those thought to understand allows them to suspend their training and beliefs.

Usually, people attempt to address the comment. You might give it a try.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 03:26 | 1373714 speedy
speedy's picture

Sean, I have a theory.

The theory is that you have difficulty understanding the difference between facts and theroy.

The question is, at what point does my theory become a fact. Or is that too complex?

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:49 | 1374405 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

when you get someone were forced to listen to to agree

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:07 | 1371900 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

It's not the failure of the computer.  It will and can only do what it is factually programmed to do.  Were not talking AI here.  For anyone to contend that 1+1 does not equal 2 is rejecting facts just as those found in physics that substantiate the speed of light, gravitational and multitudes of well known and factual constants.  A computer is a product of our understanding of the facts.  And by the way gravity NEVER fails.  Jump out of an airplane with or without a parachute and find out.  The sciences of engineering, mathematics and physics provide us with intractable constants.  These are physically measurable in a quantitative aspect, irrespective of the qualitative aspects we may assign to them.  Facts as they stand are truth.  Because if it wasn't a fact it wouldn't be true.  Humans are to blame for a misunderstanding of the facts if things go wrong, not the facts themselves.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:28 | 1372007 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Precisely, our ignorance of facts causes us to make a machine that fails. That's why we call it theory and it continues to evolve creating a better understanding. 

Any Math teacher can show you an algebraic proof that 1+1 does not equal 2. As for the rest, until we have a unified field theory, you're full of shit. Gravity does fail, how do trees grow so high at lower elevations than those at higher elevations? 

We think we know the facts, but then the "facts" are reinterpreted and changed. Usually, because some facts fail in a given situation. Truth is subjective, just as one's belief in a set of facts. We may laugh at the flat earth society, but in their day, they were the keepers of the facts.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:35 | 1372040 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

Yep I see those trees floating in the air all the time.  When you cut a tree down, does it fall up??  We may not fully understand how gravity works, but it does not dismiss that factually it is there.  Leave "I believe" in a church, where it belongs.  You depend upon science everyday to virtually provide ease and convenience in your life, but fruitfully reject it because your beliefs get in the way.  As if they mattered.  If you can show and provide evidence otherwise than do so, or get an education in reality, cause sooner than later you're gonna need it.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:03 | 1372165 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

How casually we reject the concept of levitation. Quite the scientist. As well as the idea that powers can have opposites of varying degrees of force. People grow up, at a young age, they are more capable of leaving the earth than at a later age when they are bent over. Their ability to defy gravity is easily observable. 

Now, does levitation exist? Or do we fail to explore that possibility because we can't see it? Or measure it? 

You make an assumption about my beliefs, without any knowledge. Very scientific, your concern for facts is revealing. I recognize the inconsistencies in theory when I put them into practice. I do not believe in "facts" that fail to work. It is your faith in accumulated knowledge, regardless of it's failure that makes you the ultimate faith based believer.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 16:25 | 1372486 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Must've been genetically inferior.  Better castrate them.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:21 | 1371336 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Oh ok, I guess we should discount EVERY scientific theory, because after all, they're just theories, right?

*poof*, there goes your computer, *poof* modern medicine, *poof* your car, hifi, and every other consumer device.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:36 | 1371420 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Yes, we should consider them to be the best working available models, but not facts. Computers fail, modern medicine (bad example) is one failure after another, hell they can't even cure a cold. All medicine, or drugacine is an attempt to treat symptoms- they do not understand the causes. Which is the working definition of a theory, yes?

Cars fail, hifi's fail as does every other consumer device. Can we say when they will fail? No. How they will fail? No. 

All scientific theory changes over time as parts are disproved and new theories are created to fill the gaps. Some theories are better understood than others, but they are still theories.

Get over it.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:38 | 1371450 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Do you deny that medicines of today do a substantially better job overall than the leeches applied hundreds of years ago?

Do you deny that doctors have a substantially higher rate of success then back then as well?

Do you deny that your cellphone allows you a connectivity unheard of 300 years ago?

Do you deny your car allows you a substantial mobile flexibility unknown 200 years ago?

Do you deny that planes allow you to travel to parts in the world today, which were virtually reserved for the elite only only 50 years ago?

All of these have been made possible through scientific research, and the building blocks here are scientific theories.

Sure, not all theories stand the test of time. But the longer one does, the more "proven" it becomes, and the closer to "fact" it is taken.

But hey, since you apparently live in a non-Newtonian universe, I have absolutely no understanding of what keeps you from floating into space.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:52 | 1371513 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Yes, but not a better job than the eclectics at the beginning of the 20th century. 

Yes, doctors have a terrible record of "success" today as they are incapable of curing almost anything. Unless you think taking drugs that cause a continuous chain of new problems success? Doctors today can mend bones, but then, so could those other doctors.

Cars allow me moble flexibility, but at what cost? Rampant pollution, tax costs, disease and destruction as well as war. A lack of understanding causes people to jump when they should tread lightly.

Planes allow you to travel faster, but all those places have been available for hundreds of years.

Scientific research has also allowed us to pollute our planet, causing cancer, genetic mutation and early death. It has caused the death of thousands, if not millions of species, necessary for our survival long term. It has encouraged the rapid increase in population to the extent we now have problems with excess population and resource depletion- endangering the species as a whole. It has allowed us to reach "peak oil". 

And yet, Newton needed Einstein and Einstein needs someone else to create a unified field theory- because they are theories, not FACTS.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:12 | 1371593 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Why do you bother having a PC, then, if all these modern day comforts make your life oh-so-miserable? After all, it is bound to fail because scientific "theories" are all garbage, right, and not just because precision engineering is expensive, and corners inevitably cut.

In fact, the PC you sit in front of was probably assembled by a low paid goon, who has trouble supporting his family. The components made in a Chinese sweat shop. The casing of plastic, produced from oil, extracted in a country near the brink of civil war. The metals from enormeously polluting strip mines. The software engineers all suffer from bad backs, and are socially awkward. You are in fact a horrible person for using your PC, full stop, because all these issues wouldn't exist, had it not been for you buying an item, which according to your own word, is bound to go wrong regardless. See, you can even save money, too. And why did we ever ditch the printing press? Gutenberg was really onto something.

See, I can fish for red herrings too. Doesn't change the fact that these "theories" have made things possible which were mere dreams just decades ago, regardless of whether they've made your life less joyful.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:12 | 1371941 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

The testing of these theories on the basis of existing facts is what progresses science forward.  Theories don't make things possible, but objective, measurable and factual results do.  Many people unfortunately have idealistic or unrealistic theories about this or that, even in science.  But to test a theory provides an observation of whether our understanding of the facts that we have a handle on at present are accurate or not.  What never changes is that a fact is a fact.  Whether we like it or not.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:43 | 1372063 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Providing the "facts" are conducted in a proper study, done by honest scientists and peer reviewed by honest critics with access to the raw data. Providing that the intial assumption was valid. The problem is: we rarely know until many years after the fact.

Science does not always progress. Often it falls backwards. Usually, it fails to consider the ramifications or care. In its' ignorance, it declares facts and then apologizes after the damage is done. 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:40 | 1372035 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Why wouldn't I? Just because your uncomfortable in a world of theories, I am perfectly happy here. I don't accept every thing I'm told or taught. I test and depending on how important it is, I test even more. 

I realize I'm ignorant. That I have much to learn. Still, in all the years I have studied, I haven't come across many facts. Lots of theories though.

What you call red herrings are just your list of inconvenient "facts". I didn't imply a moral issue. These theories have made much possible and they have destroyed much as well. The problem is, once you destroy something- it is very difficult to bring it back.  My joy is not dependent on things, if you studied a little Plato- you'd realize that. 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:45 | 1372068 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

I'm not the one rejecting scientific theory, hence your comment doesn't really make much sense.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:56 | 1372112 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Hey Brainiac, find one sentence where I rejected scientific theory as a tool. I merely said it is not fact. Now, find one sentence where you refuted that. 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:05 | 1372139 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

You failure to understand that in science, "theory which has stood the test of time (through testing, observations, ...) == fact", is the key point. Fuck, we design systems on basis of quantum mechanics, and yet this is completely unobservable, and hideously difficult to test. Yet, the systems work. MAGIC!

And, of course, your complete failure to understand that the human mind is of limited complexity, and modern day computers in some areas significantly outstrip this really is just the icing on the cake.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:13 | 1372212 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Name a theory that has not evolved over time. If quantum mechanics were understood, there would be a unified field theory. Produce a working metric for limited complexity in the human mind based on science. 

By the way, can you read for comprehension? Because this doesn't answer any part of my comment.

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 16:27 | 1372503 tmosley
tmosley's picture

I'm afraid Sean has the better understanding of what science is guys.

Science is not a religion.  It does not provide final answers.  Only temporary ones, until better ones come along that describe the world better.

But then, with the cult of death worship that has taken root here, it seems that most would rather cling to "science" as religion, and cite thermodynamics as a reason that we all have to die from peak oil, probably sometime next Thursday.  Never mind that EVERY SINGLE PAST PREDICTION of this type has been completely and utterly WRONG, simply because either population did not increase at the predicted rate, or *GASP* we developed some new technology that saved us from extinction.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:29 | 1372213 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Dup.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:35 | 1371433 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Good illustration of the glutonous nature of US citizens.

 

From the statement that, contrary to what US citizens propagate, the theory in the peak oil theory is not that increasing extraction of oil within limits will peak or will not peak but providing a model that could predict when this happens, US citizens start in new propaganda waves to consume even more.

Eliminating the propagandists would definitevely free up resources.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:15 | 1371962 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

So resource depletion would then happen at a faster rate due to people's unawareness of reality.  Remember facts are reality.  Propaganda or no propaganda, we have far less oil to burn and chemically alter on this planet than we used to 150 years ago.  That is a fact.  Go back to utopia, living in geological denial is what most people do best.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:29 | 1372009 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

So science is only convenient when it justify's your feelings on an issue.  Well isn't that nice.  Devoid of the exacting physics of mathematics and physics Trav is correct, you would not have that computer, you would not be able to fly in that airplane, in fact it it wasn't for fixed physical universal constants you wouldn't even exist!!  Physics offers an explananation of reality, and science is not religion as one deals with the natural physical/chemical world and the other the supernatural world.  You've placed the god complex hat on the wrong head.  There is truth in facts not in supernatural fiction.  There used to be an old saying "EDUCATION MAKES THE MAN", I suggest you get some.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:51 | 1372087 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Would it matter if I didn't have a computer or if I couldn't fly? Is my life better because of it? How would know if I couldn't exist- you know everything about existense in every universal on every plane? 

Physics offers an explanation, one explanation. One changing explanation. It is no more a fact than my ability to fly.The various schools within physics and every discipline enforce the reality that they are all based on theory. Scientists may agree on evolution, but they continue to debate the process. Why would there be so many different opinions? Science is a religion based on faith. Lots of pretty icons and idols and a high priesthood. 

As for education, when you have as much as I do, we can do that argument. 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:58 | 1372118 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

I bet you're part of the (0.999999999... != 1) crowd.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:16 | 1372229 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

No, but I am bored and science based disciplines are fun to fuck with.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:27 | 1372267 Toxicosis
Toxicosis's picture

We might as well not even bother.  Another old saying also applies here.  "You don't know what you don't know, cause you don't know what you don't know."  If Sean has decided that science is religion than so be it.  Obviously he has never set foot or written even a final exam in a first year university chemistry or physics course.  Debating the tenets of science with a non-scientist who doesn't know what he doesn't know is futile.  And by the way Sean, would you mind indicating any formal education in the hard sciences that you have partaken in past high school.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:30 | 1372282 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Reminds me of

[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know.

- Donald Rumsfeld.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:44 | 1372326 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Please bother, just do what you intimate you can: construct a rational defense of your beliefs.

I have three degrees and I completed courses in Physics, Chemistry and Botany- all with A's. Of course, I didn't stop there as education is a lifelong discipline. 

You see, the last defense of the lost debate is to attempt to demean or insult the intelligence of the other, because you really have nothing else. Your inability to make the distinction between theory and fact is consistent with "scientists". Your beliefs require an adamant faith that rejects all contrary information. You hope by shutting it out, it will not require that you see the world through different eyes. 

Your intellectual entropy is unfortunate.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:43 | 1371787 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

And "theories" are not "hypotheses."

Fer Christ's sake - do the math:

Finite Supply + Increasing Demand + Limited Extraction Capability = ???

A:  An upper production limit.

That limit = big problems.

Per Dr. Hirsch, If we got on this problem 20 years ago we had a chance to do something about it.  We didn't, so now we're going to have to pay the piper. 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 16:50 | 1372562 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Subtract limited extraction capability from your little equation: http://www.matse.psu.edu/news/ionicliquids

Add in other energy production technologies that exist.  Add to that other energy production technologies that are coming online.  Add to that other energy production technologies that don't exist yet.

Face it, the world isn't going to end next Thursday.  Peak Oil will amount to no more than Peak charcoal did for an industrializing England, or peak whale oil did for colonial America.  They developed modern iron smelting methods and drills to fix those problems.  All that needed to happen was for the price to get high enough for people to devote the time and resources to fix the problem.  Ionic liquid oil extraction was developed from research stemming from investment from the oil bubble in 2008.  So were the fuel excreting bugs that have been developed.  Sure, it takes a little time, but so what?  

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:48 | 1374423 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

why didn't I think of modifying a formula with things "that don't exist yet?"  I'm gonna try that with a jury.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:57 | 1371525 granolageek
granolageek's picture

The only thing I can make from your comment is that you don't accept whatever peak oil means to you.

 

>>Because a number of US citizens want to propagate that the Peak Oil Theory, the theory is about peaking or not.

 

I have no idea what that sentence is even supposed to mean. 

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:17 | 1371091 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

As long as we are willing to convert heavy oil into gasoline, we have essentially two or three thousand years of hydrocarbons available in the Americas alone. There is not shortage of oil, just a shortage of oil than can be produced at 25 cents a barrel. As long as American drivers are willing to pay at the pump, they can continue to drive SUVs for many, many centuries without running out of fuel.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:30 | 1371127 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Yes. Cost of production, on an increasing sliding scale is the main obstacle now. But that's not trivial at all. It now costs more energy and other resources to produce energy. That can set up a spiral. 

And that makes extraction of every last drop of heavy, sour oil hiding under deep rocks more a theoretical than a practical discussion: in Texas today, several fracking projects had to be put on hold not because of environmental concerns, but because there's not enough water, not even water for sale at premium price offered. That situation applies elsewhere int the world where the same problems happened. 

So you have spiraling cost of production and you have far less reliable, consistent volume of production. 

Bottom line: there's enough oil for survival, but not for growth. The current economy is built around unlimited cheap oil. Without growth capitalism implodes. And all economic systems have to make hard and conflict-ridden choices on allocation. 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:03 | 1371281 LudwigVon
LudwigVon's picture

Great post, just change "Without growth capitalism implodes. " to "without growth a paper ponzi like ours implodes."

We tried capitalism after Jackson for 77yrs, went well, no one here remembers that tho

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:08 | 1371923 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

in Texas today, several fracking projects had to be put on hold not because of environmental concerns, but because there's not enough water

Link, please?  Location? 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:28 | 1371129 trav7777
trav7777's picture

tits or no tits, what you say is flat out bullshit.
oil production will achieve a maximum rate and then it will decline. This is inevitable.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:31 | 1371148 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Not unless we start growing oil trees.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:47 | 1371208 Bindar Dundat
Bindar Dundat's picture

I do not want to be the guy that buys the last gallon of Gas.....

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:57 | 1371238 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

The Heavenly Host will cry tears of LSC before God imposes limits on Man's desire for growth and advancement.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:48 | 1371223 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Nope trav, only up from here. Mid east wars are wildly escalating, youll see $200 oil the new norm.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:39 | 1371764 snakeboat
snakeboat's picture

agreed.  earth = finite mass of everything on it.  oil included.

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 10:51 | 1374436 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

and to think we found heaven on earth...

Sat, 06/18/2011 - 11:02 | 1380096 TexDenim
TexDenim's picture

I'm sorry you are so misinformed. I've only been in the oil business since 1980. Maybe I know more than you do?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:35 | 1371165 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"just a shortage of oil than can be produced at 25 cents a barrel. "

 

Precisely why the use of oil as an energy source will die (one way or another - and hence has peaked) with plenty of oil left in the ground.  NO ONE will invest (gold, silver or otherwise) in getting the oil if the return on the investment is less than original investment.   Unless, of course, you are all-in on the destruction of capital.  Sorry tex, those SUV drivers will become fewer and fewer.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 16:51 | 1372574 tmosley
tmosley's picture

I'll just leave this here: http://www.matse.psu.edu/news/ionicliquids

"No such thing as technological advancement."

This shit extracts 100% of the oil it comes in contact with.  100%.  Doesn't matter how low quality it is.  It all comes out.  Leaves the sand and much oil free.  With practically no energy input.  Just pump this shit in, pump out the oil, and pump the IL back out.  Simple.  Dead wells will come back into production.  Oil sands will become white beach sands.

250 years ago, humanity was incapable of pumping oil out of the ground.  What will we be capable of in another 250 years?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 19:04 | 1372969 ping
ping's picture

Sex pumping. In space.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:18 | 1371093 Syrin
Syrin's picture

Chris Martenson at chrismartenson.com goes into this in depth.   Very interesting read.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:26 | 1371106 g
g's picture

Yes watch the 'Crash Course' or read the book. Both are enlightening. Its very hard to argue that things are sustainable on a planet of finite resources. Chris presents the facts that our present way of life is unsustainable. Required reading/watching in my opinion.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:22 | 1371094 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

A barrel of Sweet, a barrel of Brent,
Perhaps a barrel of Dubai instead.
We'll get a table near the street
And try kissing up to a sheik
You and I - face to face hm, hm
A barrel of Brent, a barrel of Sweet
It all depends if inventory depletes
I'll meet you any time you want
In our Wahabi Restaurant.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:34 | 1371163 Dagny Taggart
Dagny Taggart's picture

+1531

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:35 | 1371170 Republi-Ken
Republi-Ken's picture

BRAVO! BRAVO!

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:37 | 1371174 trav7777
trav7777's picture

Brent/WTI spread now at around $20/bbl...

People see that WTI and think oh yeah, oil falling.  Lemme guess, Bama is cracking open the SPR to improve his reelection bid

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 16:56 | 1372582 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Brent is falling as well, dumbass.  The spread isn't getting bigger ATM.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:19 | 1371095 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

We got troubles

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:19 | 1371098 fuu
fuu's picture

This thread should be a train wreck.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:26 | 1371100 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Not too bad an article.  But the concepts are now so well known on ZH that it's hard to offer anything new.

I will say that the biggest weakness of the article is that it is not addressing the primary source -- Russia.  Russia is the largest producer and they are drilling literally 6000 wells (when you get a number like that, the word "frantically" probably needs to be added)  per year to hold off the collapse of production as their old fields die.

The nasty little secret about this is . . . drilling is getting more expensive and the returns per well are getting thinner, and so the source of the money for drilling isn't knocking on the doors anymore.  The BP Rosneft deal, and the Chevron Rosneft deal that fell apart this past weekend, was all about that.  That being, "Hey you big western major oil companies, bring your money because we don't have enough."

The OCs are replying, we can earn better returns at a bank.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:32 | 1371155 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Let me add one more thing.

Last week, Bloomberg ran a video of probably the most important interview of the year.

It was with a Lukoil executive and the reporter stumbled into critical questions that he had to answer.  

Lukoil, a huge Russian oil company, had a 5% decline in production last year, despite the ramping prices.  His excuse was that oil fields were depleting and that he hoped to improve the company's production performance with leases in Iraq and Ivory Coast.

Not Russia.  Elsewhere.

What the reporter didn't dig into deeper was the admission.  Yes, oil production declined 5% in 2010.  But that's not the rate of decline of the old fields.  They are declining much much faster, because the 5% number is what resulted from their frantic drilling.  They didn't stop drilling.  They were drilling thousands of wells and it could not stop the decline.

This means those fields may be falling at 15 or 20% per year.  That's Canterell territory and that's lethal.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:56 | 1371233 That Peak Oil Guy
That Peak Oil Guy's picture

Good article about the way TOTAL sees future oil production:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8001

"After 20 or 30% of production in the field you get more and more water, whatever you do. There are a lot of little things you can do to improve it, but on the long term you cannot produce more. There are extremely good reservoirs in the north sea where you can produce up to 50%, but normally the average world you cannot get more than 35-37% of oil because you get more and more water. And that is the case for all clastic reservoirs such as in the north Sea and deep offshore fields."

“Whatever the size of the field, you can put Ghawar the biggest field in the world and a very small one together, there is some physical law that after a recovery of about 25% - 30% of the Oil Originally In Place (OIIP) in the reservoir oil production will begin to decrease.”

It's all about the flow rates, bitchez!

TPOG

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:58 | 1371244 trav7777
trav7777's picture

bbbbut...I thought the earth was filled with creamy nougat and crude oil?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:10 | 1371290 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

No, you misunderstand. The creamy nougat TURNS INTO oil through sweet, sweet magic, and then seeps into Russian (but not North Sea, Mexican, or any other oil deposits).

It's the abiomagitic oil theory, and has been proven correct by a geocities page, which was unfortunately taken down, but it spoke the truth because Lindsey Williams said so.

Don't you know anything?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:16 | 1371328 samsara
samsara's picture

I am still waiting for abiotic Passenger Pigeons to reappear.

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:57 | 1371872 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

LMFAO!  =D

That was awesome.  Now just throw in some Unicorns shitting rainbow colored Skittles and we'll have the makings of a full-fledged recovery!

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 17:01 | 1372599 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Right, so you are saying that the oil metabolizing microbes that live a kilometer under the Atlantic thousands of miles away from any subduction zone eat what?  Peak oiler's babies?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:22 | 1371357 falak pema
falak pema's picture

I thought Russia was as abiotic as Texas is  creationist... 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:22 | 1371360 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

hey CIO, have you got an article on the 6k well Russian situation?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:21 | 1371104 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Lindsey Williams, who worked in the oil industry for many years and became close to several major oil company CEOs, makes the case that "peak oil" has been carefully engineered by hiding reserves in order to drive up the price of oil.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMm7QYI7Bbg

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:04 | 1371271 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

The hypothesis that the world is "reaching the limits of growth" can explain a great deal of what we're seeing economically without the need to rely on orchestrated malice. Just throwing that out there as an idea.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:10 | 1371273 Coast Watcher
Coast Watcher's picture

Williams did NOT work in the oil industry for many years. He was a self-proclaimed missionary on the Alaska pipeline in the 1970s who took the typically boastful talk of pipeline workers and spun it into a conspiracy theory that he has milked for money every since. He's been spinning these yarns for so long he may even believe them himself by now.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:16 | 1372227 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Well if you call the CEO of one of the giant oil companies a "pipeline worker", then yes, he did base much of his arguments on his close personal relationship with a "pipeline worker".

Thu, 06/16/2011 - 09:02 | 1374005 Coast Watcher
Coast Watcher's picture

Yeah, a "CEO" he never names and who he pulls out of his arse whenever he needs to sel a new DVD. Try again.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 15:23 | 1372247 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Well if you call the CEO of one of the giant oil companies a "pipeline worker", then yes, he did base much of his arguments on his close personal relationship with a "pipeline worker".

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:13 | 1371312 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Oh FFS, more LW shite.

I read his book (let's just say it won't go down as a timeless classic, or at least not for the right reasons), in which he states that Gull Island could add 2mbpd to the total supply. Given the total supply is around 88mbpd, and the IEA stated decline is somewhere in the region of 5-7% annually, we'd need 0.06x88 = 5.28/2 = 2.64 Gull Islands to come online EVERY YEAR to reverse the decline.

Lindsey Williams is a con man. Stop propagating his shite (oh look, he's got a new CD available for $29.99 where you actually get to hear members of the elite wiping their arses).

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:40 | 1371759 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Exactly where is Gull Island?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:13 | 1371621 FrankIvy
FrankIvy's picture

Buck. Banz wrote: "Lindsey Williams, who worked in the oil industry for many years and became close to several major oil company CEOs, makes the case that . . ."

Thank you for the fine work, American Idiot Factories.  Yet another talking monkey that is unable to apply any sort of rational analysis to what he reads/hears.

Some moron did missionary work around blue collar workers in Alaska, and, based on several conversations, knows that there is hidden oil up there.  For the average talking monkey this constitutes "making the case."  Fuck me.  Reading shit like this just makes me more blue than I already am. 

Here's the talking monkey process - 1. Have a belief.  2. Belief gets challenged. 3. Find anything that is in favor of your belief. 3. Rely on that for 'proof' that your belief is the correct belief.

Doom.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:28 | 1371113 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

The real cost to produce a gallon of ethanol (tariffs, lost energy, higher food costs)  exceeds $7 and has contributed to the price of corn rising 112% in the last year

Let's ask Brasil how they managed to do it AT 1,17$ A GALLON!

 

 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:26 | 1371122 Quintus
Quintus's picture

Simple.  They use Sugar Cane which is much more efficient than corn as a source of ethanol.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:35 | 1371151 OpenEyes
OpenEyes's picture

Bingo!  And why is the USGvt insisting on burning through corn to produce fuel?  Maybe because of Big Agribusiness lobbies?  Hmmm?

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:46 | 1371199 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Its not just "lobbies" but the number of people big and small employed by a government propped up industry.

I don't really consider it nearly as "insider" as people make it out to be. Its really simple. Mob rule. They believe that their economy (maybe it will or won't) will completely go to shit without the government subsidies therefore they force everybody to pay for it. Mob rule.

If you want to be elected (they say) you must appease these Iowa farmers. Mob theft.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 12:23 | 1371344 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You are not appeasing the farmers. Common misconception. Farmers struggle to make a profit of any knid.

You are appeasing Monsanto, Cargill and ADM who actually profit the most from corn and input sales. These companies have cornered the market on seeds and inputs, as well as developed all the finished products from corn and soy on your grocer's shelves.

Farming corn and soy will eventually destroy the land and lead to mass starvation, water table pollution, algae bloom dead zones and mass cancers through genetic mutation caused by pesticides and herbicides. 

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 13:51 | 1371387 falak pema
falak pema's picture

That is the soft way to "malthusianise" the world. Those dumb third world idiots they mismanaged their irrigable lands; they bought our genetically modified when they lacked water! They sold us corn or sugar cane ethanol instead of using most of their land for food. Tsssst bad management; must be the world bank guys, those dumb statists. Never us Corporates we know how to manage! Just look at our corporate profits; and we pay no taxes on it! So now you know the way to go..let us manage your economy totally. That's the best way! The ONLY way left to you...

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:31 | 1371130 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Brazil is a net oil importer.

That reality is an ethanol hype destroyer.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 11:34 | 1371145 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

When you calculate the current cost to do it in the US and say 7$, against the most mainstream oilproduction you're compairing apples to pears.

Whatever you invent, do the calculations on a consumption level = oil.

 

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