Electric cars are NOT a pipe dream. Fossil fuel cars are for greedy, selfish people.

How do you get oxygen to the muscle? Glucose? How do you remove waste products?
Like, say, a liver and a kidney?
Like, say, a GI tract?
OK, so we're back to a heart, a GI tract (might be much shorter) a heart, lungs, kidneys and liver. Probably a working immune system as well if you want it to last more than a day or so. A brainstem at least to control all this. A set of glands/chemoreceptors to regulate basics like electrolyte balance, blood pressure, glucose levels, O2/CO2 balance etc.
you are apparently assuming a human metabolism.
the metabolism might not be the same, the proteins used might even be lethal to humans.
there is no need for anything except a scrubber to add/remove nutrients/waste.
you also don't seem to think outside the box very well.
maybe it's just me.
 
Still, I think that the world was much closer to an Apocalypse 50 years ago than it is today.

Maybe, I do remember those times very well and it was very stressful. But when we run out of fairly cheap oil in the not to distant future, the average person in the US will be in big trouble, but the wealthy will still be driving. People will need to live much closer to where they work and shop for food. Speaking of food, it will cost a lot more to ship and as always that cost will be passed right along. Our country is not built to function that way and houses in the suburbs will lose most of their value and no one will be able to sell them. You can't afford to buy gas for your daily commute and you can't sell your house. What will you do?

I believe the Apocalypse that sneaks up on you is the very worst kind, and you will wake up with the realization that you should have seen it coming.
 
But when we run out of fairly cheap oil in the not to distant future, the average person in the US will be in big trouble....
Perhaps you are not aware, but a lot of experts (probably most) believe we are further away from that point than we have been at any time in the past 40 years:
Yesterday, Citi commodities analysts Seth Kleinman and Ed Morse declared that "the end was nigh" for oil demand.
They're not alone.
Last month, the BNY Mellon's asset management subsidiary, the Boston Company, published a paper called "End of an Era: The Death of Peak Oil." AOL Energy's Peter Gardett pointed us to it.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/bny-mellon-peak-oil-is-dead-2013-3#ixzz2QaN35kea

Hubbert's "theory" was published in 1956, predicting Peak Oil in 2000. I remember learning in elementary school in the early 1980s that 20 years (early 2000s) was still the prevailing view. Today, most current projections are for longer than 20 years, many for a lot longer and in addition to that, many are projecting that developed countries will or have already experienced demand limited peaks and will never see supply limited peaks.
 
Perhaps you are not aware, but we are further away from that point than we have been at any time in the past 40 years:
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/bny-mellon-peak-oil-is-dead-2013-3#ixzz2QaN35kea

Hubbert's "theory" was published in 1956, predicting Peak Oil in 2000. I remember learning in elementary school in the early 1980s that 20 years (early 2000s) was still the prevailing view. Today, most current projections are for longer than 20 years, many for a lot longer and in addition to that, many are projecting that developed countries will or have already experienced demand limited peaks and will never see supply limited peaks.

I did say cheap oil didn't I, and I do believe it will pass the $5/gal within the next year or two. In any event did you read the link provided by spidergoat? We might be able to drag out the process of weaning ourselves off oil, but all that stuff mentioned in that article will happen and it's going to hurt a lot.
 
I did say cheap oil didn't I, and I do believe it will pass the $5/gal within the next year or two.
Once it became clear that peak oil was dead, peak oilers shifted the goalposts to being about peak cheap oil. But they are not now, nor have they ever been different issues. Oil prices were supposed to rise because of scarcity. So oil prices are now very unlikely to rise because oil is not very scarce anymore.
In any event did you read the link provided by spidergoat? We might be able to drag out the process of weaning ourselves off oil, but all that stuff mentioned in that article will happen and it's going to hurt a lot.
The article from 2007? It is out of date, so the facts that were true when it was written*, that were expected at the time to remain true (that peak oil had happened) turned out to be false. Peak Oil died (or rather, its death became apparent) last year.

*I put that very charitably. A more accurate characterization would be to say that the article was intentionally misleading about the issue of supply vs demand, using two different time-frames to try to paint a picture that that supply and demand are out of sync when in fact they are in sync. That is of course an absolutely essential reality of a stable economic market. If they were out of sync, prices would be spiraling and people would be lining up to buy gas from empty gas stations.
 
Once it became clear that peak oil was dead, peak oilers shifted the goalposts to being about peak cheap oil. But they are not now, nor have they ever been different issues. Oil prices were supposed to rise because of scarcity. So oil prices are now very unlikely to rise because oil is not very scarce anymore. The article from 2007? It is out of date, so the facts that were true when it was written*, that were expected at the time to remain true (that peak oil had happened) turned out to be false. Peak Oil died (or rather, its death became apparent) last year.

*I put that very charitably. A more accurate characterization would be to say that the article was intentionally misleading about the issue of supply vs demand, using two different time-frames to try to paint a picture that that supply and demand are out of sync when in fact they are in sync. That is of course an absolutely essential reality of a stable economic market. If they were out of sync, prices would be spiraling and people would be lining up to buy gas from empty gas stations.

There is only a finite amount of oil. Sooner or later it will be used up. I'm not going to quibble about when that will happen, because the public attitude will be the same whenever it does happen. As usual we will be in big trouble of our own making.:D
 
There is only a finite amount of oil. Sooner or later it will be used up. I'm not going to quibble about when that will happen, because the public attitude will be the same whenever it does happen. As usual we will be in big trouble of our own making.:D

Eh, we're out of whale oil (once the primary source of oil for lighting) and we seem to be OK.
 
There is only a finite amount of oil. Sooner or later it will be used up. I'm not going to quibble about when that will happen...
Well you have been and rightly so: it matters quite a bit if it happened 7 years ago or if it won't happen for another 30 years. As it happens - fortunately - you are misinformed about this very important fact.
 
you are apparently assuming a human metabolism.

Well, a mammalian/aerobic muscle metabolism, yes. So far the most efficient we've found.

the metabolism might not be the same, the proteins used might even be lethal to humans.

Are you talking about genetically engineering an entirely new form of life with a new metabolism? That could work, and would solve most of the infection problems - but is probably a few centuries away.

there is no need for anything except a scrubber to add/remove nutrients/waste.

Scrubbers don't add nutrients. When applied to metabolic wastes they are chemical reactors that sequester the waste product and eventually have to be swapped out for a fresh scrubber. Filtration systems (i.e. kidneys) are generally more convenient.
 
The problem is a car-based infrastructure, not so much how we run the cars. Have you ever thought about this? Maybe if we didn't build our residences so far from where we need to go, we wouldn't have to do all this driving in the first place!

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/7/


That's what I'm talking about. We need to adjust to the way the electric cars are now and the electric cars will eventually get better over time just like the gas cars did.
 
That's what I'm talking about. We need to adjust to the way the electric cars are now and the electric cars will eventually get better over time just like the gas cars did.

Actually his point was "we need to adjust to not needing cars."
 
Well, a mammalian/aerobic muscle metabolism, yes. So far the most efficient we've found.
the most efficient found is not the same as the most efficient possible.
Are you talking about genetically engineering an entirely new form of life with a new metabolism?
well, yes, that was the general reason i mentioned designing an organism from the ground up.
That could work, and would solve most of the infection problems - but is probably a few centuries away.
really?
i remember a few people at NASA thinking kennedy done lost his mind by proposing we land a man on the moon within 10 years.
if i am not mistaken they can already grow tissue without the rest of the body.
the problem to work out is designing the DNA needed to produce the desired result.
Scrubbers don't add nutrients. When applied to metabolic wastes they are chemical reactors that sequester the waste product and eventually have to be swapped out for a fresh scrubber. Filtration systems (i.e. kidneys) are generally more convenient.
well, you know what i mean.
 
the thing that is so appealing about gas engines is their power to weight ratio.
i don't think the wright flyer would have gotten off the ground without one.
 
the most efficient found is not the same as the most efficient possible.

Agreed! But it's the most efficient we have.

i remember a few people at NASA thinking kennedy done lost his mind by proposing we land a man on the moon within 10 years.

Yes - and at that point they had every piece of technology they needed to do it. High specific impulse liquid fueled rocket engines. Good guidance computers. Parachute recovery systems. Engine gimbaling systems. Life support systems. The Apollo program involved putting all that stuff together, but not developing any truly new technology.

A new form of life? We don't even have the basics yet.

if i am not mistaken they can already grow tissue without the rest of the body.

Sure - human tissue.
 
There is only a finite amount of oil. Sooner or later it will be used up.

It will never be used up. There will always be some left. Is it worth it to us to get that last expensive oil? Depends on how badly we want it.

This characteristic - the ability to recover more oil by paying more - will drive the development of alternatives. Not because it's "the right thing to do" but because the trillions in oil investment will start looking for other places to go once oil becomes a poorer investment. The very same economic engine which currently digs oil out of the ground will turn towards natural gas, or coal, or solar, or wind, or nuclear, whatever can make them more money.
 
It will never be used up. There will always be some left. Is it worth it to us to get that last expensive oil? Depends on how badly we want it.

This characteristic - the ability to recover more oil by paying more - will drive the development of alternatives. Not because it's "the right thing to do" but because the trillions in oil investment will start looking for other places to go once oil becomes a poorer investment. The very same economic engine which currently digs oil out of the ground will turn towards natural gas, or coal, or solar, or wind, or nuclear, whatever can make them more money.

While what you said is generally true. The key element is the cost of it. Oil is not only used for our energy needs, but to make a great deal of the products that make our lives worth living, or should I say give us a standard of living that most of us would not like to see come to an end. Not because it's completely gone, but because most of us simply could not afford it anymore. The cars we drive couldn't be made cheaply enough without cheap oil. Tires and plastics alone would increase enough to price most people out of the new car market. The cost of farming and getting the food to the local markets would stretch peoples wallets to the limit. A lot of smaller businesses would not be able to stay in business and many larger businesses would have to scale back and lay off millions of workers. Next thing is this will be a world wide problem not just a US problem. This kind of disruption is bound to lead to more war, hunger and homelessness.

I wonder how well our space program will hold up under those conditions and I'm betting out military will get first dibs on what it needs before the general population does.
 
While what you said is generally true. The key element is the cost of it. Oil is not only used for our energy needs, but to make a great deal of the products that make our lives worth living, or should I say give us a standard of living that most of us would not like to see come to an end.

Agreed. Take out asphalt (which we have ample substitutes for) and we could live on 2% of the oil used for energy. That 2% represents the crude oil fraction currently used to synthesize plastics, rubber, chemicals, lubricants etc. Thus as long as we can extract at least a small fraction of our current oil we would not have to switch to alternatives there.

If we do get below that level we'd have to switch feedstocks for plastics, which would indeed cost more.

(Keep in mind that natural gas is also a feedstock for industrial chemicals and plastics.)

The cars we drive couldn't be made cheaply enough without cheap oil. Tires and plastics alone would increase enough to price most people out of the new car market.

Manufactured the way they are now - agreed. However industry has a way of adapting to what's available. Plastic is much cheaper than wood right now; reverse that and you'd see very different decisions made on what to make body parts out of. (As an example - do you own anything made of natural rubber? Why not?)

A lot of smaller businesses would not be able to stay in business and many larger businesses would have to scale back and lay off millions of workers.

Agreed. In parallel with that, businesses that deal in alternatives to oil will see a massive boom in their profits. They will hire hundreds of thousands and drive demand for logging, farming, construction, mining etc etc.

I wonder how well our space program will hold up under those conditions

It will depend entirely upon our economy. Space travel, like basic research, is a luxury we can afford when the economy is doing well.
 
It will never be used up. There will always be some left. Is it worth it to us to get that last expensive oil? Depends on how badly we want it.

This characteristic - the ability to recover more oil by paying more - will drive the development of alternatives. Not because it's "the right thing to do" but because the trillions in oil investment will start looking for other places to go once oil becomes a poorer investment. The very same economic engine which currently digs oil out of the ground will turn towards natural gas, or coal, or solar, or wind, or nuclear, whatever can make them more money.

But as the oil dries up, so does the capital for new investments. And it's not at all guaranteed that there is a linear correlation between investment and energy returned.
 
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