[colug-432] Peak Oil

Mike Haun haun.mike at gmail.com
Mon Dec 13 15:57:41 EST 2010

Since our regular Colug meetings have basically ceased, maybe we get back on
the same schedule and meet about Peak related topics?

On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 3:14 PM, Travis Sidelinger <
travissidelinger at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Joshua Kramer <josh at globalherald.net>
> wrote:
> >
> > Continuing the discussion from the list.
> >
> > "That last figure I've seen is that the cost to convert algae to diesel
> > is about 50$ / gallon.  That's pretty far from the current $3.25/gal.
> > You'll need massive amounts of water and fertilizer.  Solar and Wind
> > are already here and in mass production.  We just won't be able to
> > zoom zoom our SUV's around in the future."
> >
> > The *last* time I researched this back in 2008 the price/gallon for algae
> > biodiesel was estimated to be around $5.  After reading what you wrote I
> did
> > a quick Google search and found studies that pegged it more like
> > $18-$40/gallon.  I'm guessing that folks have done much more research in
> the
> > past few years to more accurately peg the number.
> Can you share some of those links?  Also, what is the net energy equation?
> >
> > But keep in mind that wind/solar and biodiesel are two totally and
> > completely different animals.  We should not focus on one at the
> exclusion
> > of the others.
> >
> > "Yes, I'm panicking too.  I could have as little as a year to get solar
> > cells installed and learn to garden."
> >
> > If the crap hits the fan as badly as you've surmised in previous posts on
> > this thread, solar cells and gardening will be the *least* of your
> worries.
> >  What do you plan to do about the gangs of roving thieves?
> Yes I know.  People have been known to do dispirit things for
> survival.  Some people may think this is too far fetch or that we are
> too civilized for things to come to that.  I hope they are right, but
> I suggest planning for a range of possible outcomes.  Bullets are
> currently a cheap investment.
> >
> > If it really gets that bad - I'm guessing we'll enter some kind of
> dystopian
> > future that is a mix of the new technology we can support without petrol,
> > and the 1800's.  Personally I'd have no issue with going back to the
> 1800's.
> >  The problem is that the population level that we can support using
> 1800's
> > technology is far less than the population we can support using 2010
> > technology.  Those who are not prepared in *all* areas will have a bleak
> and
> > uncertain future.  I do not intend to be in this bleak and uncertain
> group.
> Maybe they can eat the leather in their SUV's
> >
> > Looks like I have to start hoarding ammo again... :)  And learn some
> skills
> > that are applicable using technology from any era... like fabrication,
> > mechanical design, maybe blacksmithing or gunsmithing... and gardening...
> > and animal husbandry...
> Except for most people there are just too many things that you need to
> know and be good at.  Communities are key.
> >
> > The people who get really deep in this have it all planned out.  How
> they'll
> > eat or grow food, how they'll defend themselves, the best location to
> live
> > (in order to ensure a good water and food supply, and reduce the chances
> of
> > roving thieves), what kinds of people to associate with (it's recommended
> to
> > join a church and, if you aren't religious, pretend you are), those kinds
> of
> > things.  There are sociological and psychological problems you have to
> > navigate in addition to the technical problems with this kind of
> occurrence.
> >  The link I noted at Life After The Oil Crash has a lot of resources for
> > this...
> Yes, it will take strong communities if we are to survival.
> People need to consider all the possibilities and plan accordantly:
> Here are some possibilities I've come up with:
>  * Oil is unlimited and we keep growing exponentially -> Current
> facts are not on this side.  This is simply a fantasy.
>  * Oil is limited, but with technology we will be able to keep our
> status quo for another 20 years -> Problem is that the technology
> already needs to be in massive production today.  We needed to start
> this 15yrs ago.
>  * Oil production remains flat until 2015 as prices rise because of
> India and China, but people act quickly to switch to renewable energy
> solutions -> Making this switch will not be easy.  Experts have
> calculated that we will need 2000 times the number of solar cells.
> Lets get building....
>  * Oil production remains flat until 2015 and then starts a 3%
> decline, prices rise, but economic output (GDP) is held down, people
> slowly switch to renewables, but GDP reduces significantly until it
> equalizes with renewable energy production and remaining oil/gas
> production at a much lower level -> hopefully I can hang onto my job
> why this all happens.  There are many different tipping points that
> could cause our system(s) to simply fall into chaos while this
> happens.
>  * Oil production remains flat or in decline causing prices to rise
> and then causing another (or consecutive) recessions, our level of
> nation debt then causes the dollar to fault, but the government acts
> quickly to secure food production and quell civil unrest  -> Scary,
> but quite possible.
>  * Oil production remains flat or decline causing prices to rise and
> then causing another or consecutive recessions, our level of nation
> debt then causes the dollar to fault leading to complete chaos (better
> known as Mad Max).   -> Very scary and quite possible too.
>  * It is also possible that different areas within the US will have
> completely different outcomes, thus any combination of the about
> outcomes.
> I think the most probably outcome (with current information) is that
> we will continue at current levels for at least another year or two as
> oil prices slowly rise.  Eventually oil prices will cause a second
> recession.  US debt and credit markets will be in really bad shape by
> then and we could see the dollar collapse.  I'm hoping government will
> step in and secure food production.  Though I'd expect mileage will
> very with different areas of the nation.  Some will be in complete
> chaos, yet others will have formed strong communities.    Keep in mind
> that our current food systems supports 300+ mil people (plus exports
> too), thus reductions in those systems may result in a reduction to
> population before things can equalize again.  I'd expect the major
> cites will be the worst off as they are furthest from food production
> and contain the highest population densities.
> Hopefully I'm wrong, but people just seem to be in complete denial,
> which can only make this even worse.
> It's amazing how there was a lot of talk about this two years, but
> when oil prices dropped off during the peak of the recession people
> just went back to their normal habits.
> ~Travis
> >
> >
> > --
> > JK
> >
> >
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