Water shortage

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Saint, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,714
    That common knowledge is what you were referring to when you said "the basic notion was right." I agree - it's misconception.
    Not sure how electric vehicles "deplete remaining reserves faster than before."
    Except perhaps natural gas.
    They are doing quite well on $50 a barrel gas.
    We did OK for 8 months with oil prices over $100 a barrel. You can argue that "industrial economies aren't thriving at that price" but that's fine with me.
    Honestly, from an economic perspective, no. Oil companies want prices to be higher, and they sell oil for the highest price the market will bear. Oil consumers want prices to be lower, and purchase oil at the lowest prices they can find. That's true of everything from food to iphones to sailboats.
    And if fossil fuels are cheap, then there's no incentive to do so.
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    What happens to water has little relation to the problems of oil - except in that water is polluted by oil in
    - spills from extensive, widespread deep-sea drilling operations (most of them not even reported on MSM in America)
    - transport and pipeline accidents
    - the disposal of waste products and runoff
    - tar sands production
    all of which affect the quantity and quality of water available all around the world , plus, specific to the US
    - imminent threat of repealing protective legislation from national parks and wetlands
    - imminent threat to all water sources by defunding and/or defanging the EPA
    - and striking down all other federal regulations

    That has nothing at all to do with other sources of energy, which do not, at the present level of deployment, significantly reduce the abuse and misallocation of water.
    In time, there may be some problems with generating energy from tide and wave power; that's not known yet.
    But it won't affect the serious problems already besetting farmers in India, Mexico and China. http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/05/05/how-china-is-dealing-with-its-water-crisis/
    China alone has the government clout to make a coherent policy and carry out a long-term plan. Canada might have the motivation, but there is too much high-powered opposition, and I imagine the same applies to Australia, South America, Mexico and most of Africa.
    The US doesn't even want to anymore, apparently.... democracy at work.
     
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  5. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    No, it's the peak oil theory itself, not the common misconceptions that say peak oil is a specific prediction.
    Take a look around, electric vehicles do not have widespread adoption among consumers, to say nothing of freight haulers. If they did, the entire electrical grid would have to be updated, costing billions. Also, electricity largely comes from burning fossil fuels.
    Not so much. It takes up huge volumes unless it's liquefied, which isn't always practical.
    Oil companies are cutting back on investment and laying off workers.
    ------------
    "In a field of brittle yellow grass and clotted mud about five miles north of Dickinson, North Dakota, stands a cemetery of sorts. Drilling rigs stretch into the sky like tall skeletons. The occasional lone truck rattles along a dirt road. Otherwise, the location is deserted.

    Similar graveyards have been popping up across the western half of the state since the price of oil sharply declined last fall. These once-great moneymakers that drew thousands to the state are now idle, or “stacked,” in the lingo of the oil fields. As more and more companies have stopped drilling following the decline in the price of oil last year, the term has become all too familiar."
    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/06/north-dakota-oil-boom-bust/396620/

    US GDP contracted about 3% during the third quarter of 2008. Why is that fine?
    You are simply reiterating the definition of a market economy. But unlike a sustainable commodity, oil supplies diminish with time, and our economy depends on it. This will lead to an inevitable collapse of an oil-based way of life.
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed. Compare that to the original Keystone pipeline - $5 billion. For one pipeline. And then that wasn't enough capacity so they added a second one, for an additional $7 billion.

    Energy is expensive.
    Yep. Tight oil is profitable at about $70/barrel, so until prices rise to that level again, you're going to see a lot of that.
    Because it wasn't associated with mass famines, dieoffs or wars.

    If you prefer to make more money, more power to you. I do not see infinite growth as the ideal (or even desirable) state of an economy.
    We had a collapse of the horse-transportation way of life. We seemed to survive.
     
  8. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    51,717
    That's my point. Energy is going to get more and more expensive, which means at some point it will no longer support our modern lifestyle. Things will have to change, like the highway system, air travel, industrial food production, oil or electric heating, international supply lines from Asia, scientific research, modern medicine, etc.
    Poor economies are always associated with increased death rates. Whether directly as far as not being able to pay for health care, or indirectly through obesity, alcoholism, and drug overdoses, people suffer.
    Without growth, there is no economy as we know it.
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,714
    I agree there. We will have a different lifestyle - just as our grandparents had a different lifestyle from us, and from their grandparents.
    Incorrect. Here in the US, booming economies are associated with increased death rates; slow economies decrease death rates.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/10/07/bad-recessions-have-positive-effects-on-your-health/
    https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/C_Ruhm_Are_2000.pdf
    Now, you may not care, and prefer that people make more money even if more people die. Again, that's fine. But I am OK with the lower death rate and the lower income.
    So it is your claim that the US did not have an economy in 2009?
     
  10. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    51,717
    What you're missing in that statement is direction. Every generation has had a more modern lifestyle. At peak oil, it will start to go backwards. All civilizations have their decline, but it's often not a smooth process.
    I concede your point in some respects. But increased physical activity and not being able to afford smokes and drinks only goes so far without modern medicine.
    An economy of sorts, but not a functional one.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,044
    It doesn't appear to be the case that people are getting what they want. The polls ask a different question - whether people want the current government to make any changes.

    If people don't like what they have, but trust their government so little they will put up with what they have rather than allow the government to change anything, then democracy is not working just fine.
    And in this case we are talking about shipping water around like we ship oil - between countries, between watersheds, between continents.
    Something like that involving water would be less benign.
     
  12. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,337
    You can read news about the Somali and east Africa are facing drought now,
    livestock and people will die in millions.

    What so great with our technology to purify water? Can we save them?
     
  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    1,595
    We could, but it would cost too much money, so we won't.
     
  14. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    3,337
  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    1,595
    I have no shortage of sympathy.
    But I remain a realist. Millions of people will die; more millions will continue to be sick and displaced; the species extinctions will accelerate.
    The elites who control the funds and direct the military efforts want more luxurious jets, bigger vacation villas and younger supermodels - not a stronger, more effective UN, and certainly not a viable earth.
    This is the logical, inevitable denoument of the monetary-industrial era.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,714
    They didn't see it that way. No more horses? Only the very rich will be able to afford cars! Most people will be stuck without a way to transport their goods to market. The future will be a dystopia of the rich 1% getting chauffeured to work while we rot in our homes, unable to get out and participate in society.

    Likewise, tell people today that they'll someday rely on EV's and you'll get a similar response. Only the rich will be able to afford them! And I live too far to commute via EV so I won't be able to get to work! And public transportation? There's none near me, so I won't be able to get to work.

    Technology has a way of fixing those problems.
    It didn't go backwards at peak slave, or at peak horse.
     
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  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,714
    Correct. The government makes laws. They don't want the government to change the laws.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Despite the fact that they would prefer different laws.

    They don't trust their government to change bad laws for the better, or make good laws at need, or represent their interests in the making and enforcing of laws generally.

    That is not how democracies work, when they are working fine. It will be a serious problem when water issues become critical, as government is the only way to address them.
     
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,044
    It went backwards at peak slave - in every slave dependent economy.
     
  20. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    can we build a system to distribute water evenly over the world?
     
  21. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    1,595
    No. Water has its natural courses and cycles. All our attempts to 'correct' nature's design have made the distribution less reliable over the long term.
    The dams in many countries have benefitted water-poor regions and human activities, while disrupting the eco-system and exhausting aquifers and eradicating wetlands.
    Global warming (a fully-owned subsidiary of climate change) has destroyed such long-long-term reservoirs as glaciers and ice-caps, with results of which the full disaster has yet to be felt by the important (i.e. decision-making) humans, though it's already wiped out and displaced many other species and several Native communities.

    What some companies, like Nestle, do is siphon huge quantities of water from streams and springs in Ontario (and presumably other provinces, states and countries) at a nominal cost
    "$13.31 USD for 1.24 million gallons of water. Per day." https://medium.com/invironment/how-...drinking-water-to-usa-b066f0cdc064#.vf1gq8chw
    put it in plastic (!!!) bottles and ship it all over Canada and the US - including places that have perfectly good tap water of their own, and sell it at $1.29 per liter. That's how much it costs twelve miles up the road from one of these siphoning operations. Collecting and recycling the used containers is done at my expense, not theirs.

    Obviously, this methodology is not helping the Somalis.
     
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,284
    Evenly? No. But we certainly could build an international supply network, if water were deemed valuable enough a commodity to attract the investment. Just as we did with oil. This is what I have been arguing in this thread and none of the counterarguments - all seemingly put forward by people with a very obvious leftwing ideology - has changed my view of this.

    I am also convinced that many of our household and industrial practices, which developed in countries with unlimited water, are not the only way to do things. If clean water is considered valuable, due to scarcity, ways will be found to make do with less and to recycle it, just as happens today with energy. While I do not want to minimise the scale of the challenge, I think it is far too soon to invoke an inevitable apocalypse.
     
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    1,595
    So... the rich get richer, and fill their nice swimming pools, while the poor die of thirst after watching their livestock and crops die of thirst.
    God's plan is fulfilled.
     

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