# Apocalypse Soon?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Futilitist, Jan 1, 2013.

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1. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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The current level of stimulus is much higher than normal. If not for the stimulus, we would have a shrinking economy today.

I don't live in Southern California. I was just expressing empathy. I don't live too far from work, but many people do. I guess it is just too bad for those losers. Unfortunately for us, the economy is highly interconnected.

Oil prices are still too high. These high prices should attract more oil to the market, thus lowering prices further.

I brought up some valid disagreements we have about the economic indicators you chose. I did not say "up" was "down".

Oil prices are a strain on an already weak economy, thus they are too high.

You start with the premise that the economy is "recovering". Recovering should mean it could reasonably soon be expected to come off of the life support of stimulus and breath (grow) on it's own. Do you have any evidence that this is the case?

What do you mean "No, they couldn't"? Any individual oil company should seek to maximize it's profits. I didn't say they would necessarily make more profit by producing more, just that they would have the incentive to produce more to maximize profits. Obviously if all oil companies followed this pattern, the price of oil would crash.

OPEC was a cartel whose purpose was price fixing by setting quotas. For quite some time, it has not had the kind of power it once enjoyed. Are you suggesting that the current world oil market operates as a cartel?

Of course the economy is not an engineered system. It is a natural one. Natural systems break when operating outside their normal operating conditions. Positive feedbacks rapidly drive the system toward a new equilibrium.

The coming collapse will be much worse than you can imagine. And the world keeps spinning regardless of whether we collapse or not.

---Futilitist

3. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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18,122
Probably true. But again this is nothing new; we have been using Keynesian economics for nearly 100 years.

But quite good for the winners! "Winners" would include people with homes along the new Sprinter line, the Coaster line, and along the new trolley lines. And the tens of thousands of people here who bought EV's and PHEV's.

Any time there's a market change there are winners and losers. The smart people figure out how to be on the winning side of such changes.

Which is what's happening.

You said that with all those economic indicators pointing up it really means the economy is going down.

The fact that it has happened with every other recession since the 1930's.

Correct. Often that does NOT mean producing too much. A company does not benefit when they produce so much that a "glut" causes a significant reduction in sales price and thus profits. Again, OPEC learned this a long time ago.

Correct! And believe it or not, oil companies do not want oil prices to crash.

Then why has it never "broken" within recorded history, even when taken far outside normal operating conditions?

We will see this summer, won't we?

5. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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Are you saying that the above is not a list containing 4 items?

Anyway, I still say I gave a list of 12 references. Will you agree to drop this useless side discussion? It has been more than beaten to death. Thank you.

No. That is simply not true. We simply disagree about many things. We should be able to have a reasoned discussion about these disagreements. Comments like yours, above, are not conducive to a good science discussion.

I don't disagree with your statement above. I disagree about the importance of efficiency measures generally. That is a valid position to take.

No, I explained how current high oil prices are a drag on the economy.

The lure of high oil prices should be driving more oil to market. The reason more oil is not coming to market is that oil is being produced as fast as it can be. If production were growing at the rate that it was just 10 years ago, the current price of oil would be around $25 a barrel and the economy would be growing without the need for any stimulus. ---Futilitist Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! Last edited: May 1, 2013 6. ### Google AdSenseGuest Advertisement to hide all adverts. 7. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member Messages: 23,198$25/brl. WoW! What happened to your more true arguments that world was running out of "cheap oil"? The US´s fracking oil costs at least $60/brl to produce and until new pipelines can be built add$15/brl transport cost to that for total of three times your $25/brl. I don´t mind your false, unsupported claims, but at least try not to be so self contradictory. The best way to end discussion when your make an error is to admit it, not continue in many posts to defend it. As you still have not admitted your easily proven lie about having ALWAYS said "conventional oil from the beginning," I´ll bring that lie up too, now and again, until you admit the first time you used term "conventional oil" when claiming "peak oil occurred in 2005" was in late March 2013. I could list some other of your statements that seem to be false too, but cannot be as easily proven to be false* as the claim to have used "conventional oil from the beginning." This is not just being mean or vindictive but new readers need to know that you lie and never admit it. * By anyone who looks back at your posts now too old for you to edit, adding in the word "conventional". 8. ### spidergoatLiddle' Dick TaterValued Senior Member Messages: 53,966 LOL! It doesn't make a dent. And there will be no smooth transition to alternatives. The only alternative capable of powering cities is nuclear, which requires huge subsidies from the federal government which are unavailable. 9. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member Messages: 1,586 Yep. But the important part is what you just admitted to be true. If not for the current stimulus, the economy would be screwed. So the Keynesian economics thing you mention is just irrelevant. A "market change" is not the same thing as a collapse. Oil prices suddenly rose out of their historic comfort zone after 2003. Why aren't oil prices currently closer to$25 a barrel today?

I explained why I disagreed with the usefulness of each of the economic indicators you mentioned. Your statement above is disingenuous.

Bingo! This answer highlights the invalidity of your main objection to the possibility of a world wide peak oil/economic collapse apocalypse, i. e. that it hasn't happened in the past. This is just a logical fallacy on your part. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Have you ever heard the expression, "there is a first time for everything"?

No single company has the kind of pricing power you imply here. Each company is in a position to increase it's profits if it can manage to produce more. For some reason they don't. It is because they are currently producing flat out, lured by high oil prices.

The current world oil market is not operated as a cartel. The price mechanism is basic economics. Higher oil prices should draw more oil to market. If there is sufficient oil to meet the demand, the price will drop.

We've been lucky up till now. The problem is that we will very soon be in a condition of negative net energy and a continuously shrinking economy. That creates the condition that money can no longer be loaned into existence, because it could never be paid back with interest. That is a condition the economy has never faced before, thus your historical references are not relevant.

I guess so.

---Futilitist

Last edited: May 1, 2013
10. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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23,198
I happen to own stock in Southern electric power SO on the NYSX. They have two new nuclear plants approved and under construction. AFAIK, they did get a loan guarantee,* but not one dollar from any level of government., From the local regulators SO did get the right to include their construction / investment costs spent each year in the next years rate base. Often those costs are only allowed to power companies after the new unit goes on line, but because nuclear power is so capital intensive (and fuel cheap) and may (thanks to the "greens" bringing delaying law suits) take more than 15 years from ground breaking until it goes on line, SO was allowed to include the capital cost as it was invested.

What "subsidy" are your referring to?

* That was in everyone´s interest as with it their cost of borrowing was lower and the controlled rates they get to charge for electic power are significanly lower as capital cost is about 80% of most electric bills.

As far as liquid fuel for cars etc. sugarcane alcohol could provide that for the entire world faster than world could change to a car fleet to uses only alcohol with less than 1% of the arable land in cane production. The yields of food and fiber on the remaining 99% could easily be more than 10% greater just by more adoption of modern seeds and agricultural practices. In the decade or so of transition, many cars could no longer require liquid fuels.

Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2013
11. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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18,122
"Screwed?" Not really. We'd see higher highs and lower lows. But that's the nature of an underdamped natural system.

Well, in large part yes. The economy recovers in either case. It just doesn't crash as hard or recover as high.

Because we are running out of cheap oil.

Well, not quite. You have explained why, for example, a rising Dow might be a product of something else (Keynesian stimulus for example) so it was really bad news. Thus "up" (good Dow) is "down" (with your corrections.)

Of course! And you might grow wings, discover super powers, fly away and become an angel. Just because it has never happened before doesn't mean it won't happen now. But the odds are against it.

EROEI for common energy sources:
=================
1.3 Biodiesel
3.0 Bitumen tar sands
80.0 Coal
1.3 Ethanol corn
5.0 Ethanol sugarcane
100.0 Hydro
35.0 Oil imports 1990
18.0 Oil imports 2005
12.0 Oil imports 2007
8.0 Oil discoveries
20.0 Oil production
10.0 Natural gas 2005
10.0 Nuclear (with diffusion enrichment)
50.0 Nuclear (with centrifuge enrichment, with fast reactor or thorium reactor)
30.0 Oil and gas 1970
14.5 Oil and gas 2005
6.8 Photovoltaic
5.0 Shale oil
1.6 Solar collector
1.9 Solar flat plate
18.0 Wind
====================

None of them are negative (in terms of EROEI, none are below 1.)

Are you perhaps thinking of some other form of energy that has an EROEI less than 1?

Sure it can be. Loans effectively go away with runaway inflation, for example. Runaway inflation, of course, has its own problems.

Are you serious? We have never before seen situations where money can not be "loaned" into existence? We used such systems extensively in early economies; google "Gold Standard."

12. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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There is absolutely nothing self contradictory about what I have said! The price of oil should be lower except that the cost of production is rising.

No. New readers need to know that you will try to cheat in this discussion by constantly and falsely accusing me of lying.

I did not ever once add the word "conventional" to any of my posts in a deceptive manner. This is all bullsh!t. And you know it.

I once again ask you to please drop this crap so the we can have a civil and productive discussion about the topic of this thread.

---Futilitist

13. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

Messages:
1,586
Yes, we agree on this.

No. This is an example of you putting words in my mouth again. I did not say that a rising Dow was bad news. I just said that it was no longer an indicator of good news as it has been in the past.

The odds are not against an apocalypse. You just don't realize it yet.

Nice list of EROEI for common energy sources, but I wasn't talking about that. I meant negative net energy for civilization. That means not enough energy to meet daily needs.

What?

We are going to see a condition of a continuously shrinking world economy. I don't think there is a precedent for that.

---Futilitist

14. ### spidergoatLiddle' Dick TaterValued Senior Member

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53,966
How is a loan guarantee not a form of subsidy?

15. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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18,122
And the odds are not against you turning into a super-angel. Just because it never happened doesn't mean it won't. And if it does, the odds will go to 100%. Hard to argue with 100%.

I get 100% of my electrical and water heating needs from solar. It also provides power for my car. Am I "negative net energy?"

The Great Depression was a lot longer than this recession. Some thought the US would never recover - and had years more data than you do. So yes there's ample precedent.

16. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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1,586
Here, once again, is a good resource for the latest data on oil production numbers, updated monthly:

http://peakoil.com/production/stuart-staniford-monthly-oil-supply-update

I would have thought that someone might have commented on this. At least say, "Good find, Futilitist! World oil production numbers, updated monthly, with good graphs. That should be a big help to this ongoing discussion!"

To get the ball rolling, I will say some things about the graphs that you will naturally find outrageous. We can have a good discussion about that.

Let's see...

OK. I think it is really interesting how oil production has been basically flat for more than a year. Perhaps we are reaching the all liquids peak.

I also think it is really interesting to see that oil production has been falling for the last five months, consistent with the idea that the world economy is currently getting weaker.

I think the last graph shows how we have been in a very different world, in terms of oil prices, since 2005. I think it is not a coincidence that conditions changed so drastically after 2005. 2005 was, after all, the peak of world conventional crude oil production.

---Futilitist

17. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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Whatever.

Are you the world? Do you seriously believe that we could have an industrialized civilization based solar power?

And we never really did. Instead we won a world war in which we suffered very little destruction while the rest of the world was left in ruins. I don't think we could make that magic happen again. We are too interconnected economically these days for that sort of measure to be beneficial to us.

---Futilitist

18. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Nope. Just one of the first. (I was also emailing people back in 1983, even though I was not "the world.")

Absolutely. There is several orders of magnitude more energy coming from the Sun than we need today.

Do we want to do that, go completely to solar? Probably not; we don't need to.

Ah, so this decline now actually started in 1930 when oil was cheap! Fascinating change in direction.

19. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

Messages:
23,198
No as explained to you many times, trucks are switching to Natural gas; 2.5% more MPG efficient car fleet each year; driven less; more electric cars etc. have decreased demand for oil and production can not exceed demand. Only thing keeping oil production flat for last year, instead of falling to match lower US & EU demand is that in China etc. is buying more cars are driving there is increasing, but their demand is much smaller as their total fleet is small compared to US etc. But as I have often said - you ignore facts you don´t like.

20. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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1,586
What the hell is stopping us, then?

Yes, we do. We are also facing the possibility of runaway global warming soon. As much as 6 degrees in as little as a couple of decades. If true, it means human extinction. The runaway warming may have may have already begun.

Why do you have to keep trying to put words in my mouth? I didn't say any such thing. The actual decline of civilization can be traced to around 1978 or 1979, when world energy per capita began to decline.

---Futilitist

21. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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I don't ignore facts I don't like. In fact, as a practitioner of Futilitism, I tend to pay very close attention to them. It is more like I just feel kind of awkward trying to make any sense of your off the wall "peak oil demand" theory. The peak oil theory makes way more sense. Why did peak oil demand happen in the first place?

---Futilitist

22. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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18,122
We don't need to switch to 100% solar.

Really? Solar is the only alternative energy source you can think of? Read some of the other threads on this forum and reconsider that belief.

I thought that human extinction was pretty much guaranteed within a few years. What happened to the 90-95% dieoff?

Which is why temperatures have plateaued for the past ten years?

Except, according to you, we never recovered from the recession that began in 1930.

23. ### FutilitistThis so called forum is a fraud...Registered Senior Member

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1,586
We need to to stop putting carbon into the atmosphere.

I guess wind is good, too. The trouble is that all of the alternatives added together will not be enough to avert collapse.

If the worst case climate science turns out to be true, we will first have an economic collapse and die off, and then extinction within a few decades.

Humanity is in a very serious bind, but you don't seem to think anything is wrong at all. Pretty much business as usual for the foreseeable future. High oil prices, no problem. Massive world wide debt, nothing to worry about. Economic stagnation, just call it a recovery.

I don't think that is correct at all, but I don't want to discuss climate change science specifically in this thread. Are you a climate change denier, too?

I did not say we never recovered economically. I said we didn't recover from the great depression without having an amazingly successful world war to act as a stimulus, i.e. it was not a normal recovery.

Here is the whole thread of the conversation:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1. You bring up the great depression as an example.
2. I point out that we did not have a normal recovery from the depression.
3. You make up the idea that I said we never recovered from the great depression.
4. I ask you to stop putting words in my mouth and I correct you on your misstatement.
5. You just repeat the same thing again as if I never corrected you.

Big time waster. Are you doing that on purpose, by mistake, or because of reading comprehension issues?

---Futilitist