Peak Oil News: End of the world as we know it

Sunday, April 06, 2008

End of the world as we know it

The Arizona Republic


You might feel fine, but high oil cost, scarcity mean American Empire is about to come crashing down

By Guy R. McPherson, University of Arizona professor


Peak oil spells the end of civilization. And, if it's not already too late, perhaps it will prevent the extinction of our species.

M. King Hubbert, a petroleum geologist employed by Shell Oil Co., described peak oil in 1956. Production of crude oil, like the production of many non-renewable resources, follows a bell-shaped curve. The top of the curve is termed "peak oil," or "Hubbert's peak," and it represents the halfway point for production.

The bell-shaped curve applies at all levels, from field to country to planet. After discovery, production ramps up relatively quickly. But when the light, sweet crude on top of the field runs out, increased energy and expense are required to extract the underlying heavy, sour crude. At some point, the energy required to extract a barrel of oil exceeds the energy contained in barrel of oil, so the pumps shut down.

Most of the world's oil pumps are about to shut down.

We have sufficient supply to keep the world running for 30 years or so, at the current level of demand. But that's irrelevant because the days of inexpensive oil are behind us. And the American Empire absolutely demands cheap oil. Never mind the 3,000-mile Caesar salad to which we've become accustomed. Cheap oil forms the basis for the 12,000-mile supply chain underlying the "just-in-time" delivery of plastic toys from China.

There goes next year's iPod.

In 1956, Hubbert predicted the continental United States would peak in 1970. He was correct, and the 1970s gave us a small, temporary taste of the sociopolitical and economic consequences of expensive oil.

We passed the world oil peak in 2005, and we've been easing down the other side by acquiring oil at the point of a gun - actually, guns are the smallest of the many weapons we're using - paying more for oil and destroying one culture after another as the high price of crude oil forces supply disruptions and power outages in Third World countries.

The world peaked at 74.3 million barrels per day in May 2005. The two-year decline to 73.2 million barrels per day produced a doubling of the price of crude. Later this year, we fall off the oil-supply cliff, with global supply plummeting below 70 million barrels/day. Oil at merely $100 per barrel will seem like the good old days.

Within a decade, we'll be staring down the barrel of a crisis: Oil at $400 per barrel brings down the American Empire, the project of globalization and water coming through the taps. Never mind happy motoring through the never-ending suburbs in the Valley of the Sun. In a decade, unemployment will be approaching 100 percent, inflation will be running at 1,000 percent and central heating will be a pipe dream.

In short, this country will be well on its way to the post-industrial Stone Age.

After all, no alternative energy sources scale up to the level of a few million people, much less the 6.5 billion who currently occupy Earth. Oil is necessary to extract and deliver coal and natural gas. Oil is needed to produce solar panels and wind turbines, and to maintain the electrical grid.

Ninety percent of the oil consumed in this country is burned by airplanes, ships, trains and automobiles. You can kiss goodbye groceries at the local big-box grocery store: Our entire system of food production and delivery depends on cheap oil.

If you're alive in a decade, it will be because you've figured out how to forage locally.

The death and suffering will be unimaginable. We have come to depend on cheap oil for the delivery of food, water, shelter and medicine. Most of us are incapable of supplying these four key elements of personal survival, so trouble lies ahead when we are forced to develop means of acquiring them that don't involve a quick trip to Wal-Mart.

On the other hand, the forthcoming cessation of economic growth is truly good news for the world's species and cultures. In addition, the abrupt halt of fossil-fuel consumption may slow the warming of our planetary home, thereby preventing our extinction at our own hand.

Our individual survival, and our common future, depends on our ability to quickly make other arrangements. We can view this as a personal challenge, or we can take the Hemingway out. The choice is ours.

For individuals interested in making other arrangements, it's time to start acquiring myriad requisite skills. It is far too late to save civilization for 300 million Americans, much less the rest of the planet's citizens, but we can take joy in a purpose-filled, intimate life.

It's time to push away from the shore, to let the winds of change catch the sails of our leaky boat.

It's time to trust in ourselves, our neighbors and the Earth that sustains us all.

Painful though it might be, it's time to abandon the cruise ship of empire in exchange for a lifeboat.

Guy R. McPherson is a professor of conservation biology at the University of Arizona.


25 Comments:

At 11:16 AM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Complete baloney. There are other sources ready to replace petroleum. Solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, and HEMP. As a matter of fact, hemp can easily replace petroleum all the way. Let's cut this doom and gloom crap and cut to the chase. Are you ready to overturn the ban on HEMP or are you gonna keep that phoney "war on drugs" propaganda going?

 
At 6:06 PM, April 07, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as it may sound like baloney, if you do the research and take the time to really look at the numbers, there is no current natural resource to replace the demand for oil. Hemp is also a natural resource that must be grown which would take up fields that should be used to grow our food and not to supply our insatiable need for gasoline fueled vehicles. Other short term bandages such as biofuels can help, but are no match for the demands we place on oil to keep our current societies running. This is a typical reaction to this problem which is why it has become a problem and will unfortunately result in disaster before the majority and our governments realize and accept the terrible situtation we have put ourselves in. Hemp simply always put a HAZE on reality.

 
At 7:29 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Small Oil Company Strikes Black Gold
Publication: Associated Press
Date:4/06/08


A tiny oil and gas company based in Dallas, Texas that has working interests in Gulf Coast and Mid-Continent areas yield a millions of barrels or more of oil, the Associated Press reported.

Geologists are calling it a great find - one of the few large onshore discoverys in at least 15 years .35 million to 65 million barrels of oil. Located in a region of complex geology long abandoned for exploration by major oil companies. It's turning out to contain high-quality oil.

With the secret not out just yet , industry players expect a very high bidding war to break out at the Gulf Coast and Mid-Continent areas. At today's oil prices the discovery will bring Millions of dollars to this small based Dallas, Texas company. Although the discovery is still playing out, the oil will take some time to recover. In the mean time a Big major oil company has offerd to step up to the plate to help with the recover in a joint team effort. This small based oil company can also find its self in the bidding war between Big oil companys to take full control of the company.

 
At 8:23 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger Robert said...

"hemp can easily replace oil"--------------WHAT ??????????? time to stop smoking man..... nothing can replace oil. it's pressurized heated ancient sunlight. it took something like 40 acres of vegetation compressed and heated to yield one gallon of gasoline millions of years later. we love it and are using it up as fast as possible. oil is like a tractor pulling a plow. using the energy from current sunlight is like a horse pulling a plow. that is our future. technology cannot create energy. we are in serious trouble. going local seems to be the best thought right now. but how can riots be avoided? riots by people who have nothing to lose because they will have nothing. not even food. let's hope Hubbert's bell curve is symmetrical rather than a cliff on the right side. anyone out there have an opinion as to when a person should take money out of a bank and bury it? -----I thought we peaked recently at 85 million barrels a day and are now at about 83.

 
At 2:44 AM, April 08, 2008, Blogger Guy Fox said...

Replacing the nation's liquid fuel needs from crude oil... with fuel made from hemp is a "pipe dream"... however the hemp plant is at least ten times more efficient to cultivate than corn, sugar and most other bio-fuel crops. Being a weed, basically, hemp plants grown commercially would NOT pull many nutrients from soils. Unlike corn... it can be grown on the same soil over and over and over without the need for soil rotation or fertilizers. It would be a good alternative to corn and a very positive step if we abandoned the political restrictions on the hemp plant.

In a related matter regarding the destruction of the United $tates, I have a short list of people here in the neighborhood who I know (for sure) voted for Bush. If/when chaos comes, the local cops will be busy tending to the survival of their own families. Thus... I have working plans to go hunting for them with a 40 cal.

Amerikans who allegedly voted for Bush and his neocon cronies are more than clueless and irresponsible people. They're traitors.

 
At 3:14 AM, April 08, 2008, Blogger Humanus said...

Another problem is that American troops there consume more "oil" than they pump out.

 
At 4:50 AM, April 08, 2008, Anonymous Peak Energy News said...

In short, this country will be well on its way to the post-industrial Stone Age …

This statement does not just apply to your country, Dr. McPherson : The whole world is in the same boat. I am not sure that your figure (74.3 million barrels per day in May 2005) is very accurate and it seems premature to ascertain that Peak Oil has been reached in 2005.

Nevertheless I share your concerns about future and I do not see how a world economic system addicted to continuous growth will survive when the energy and other resources needed to feed this growth begin to decline after having reached their peak.

André Sautou, redactor of the blog
http://peakenergynews.blogspot.com/

 
At 8:19 AM, April 08, 2008, Blogger Chad said...

Before we entered the industrial age we were in the iron age. Interesting to think that leaving the industrial age would take us back to before the last age. When oil starts getting more expensive will we forget how to make iron? Will the hydroelectric dams stop working? Will the wind turbines stop running?
Let me posit a picture of a future city. Mass transportation via moving walkways, or electrified trains taking us to jobs within 5 miles of where we work. Little to no cars on the roads, but plenty of bikes (maybe even scooters). Food grown within 100 miles brought by train. Lots of open windows to reduce AC costs, and good insulation to reduce heating. Diets that are more grain than meat. More outdoor parks and recreation, reducing indoor entertainment, and housing sizes. No suburbs, just city and rural.

There I just saved 90% of our energy bill allowing us to function on hydroelectricity only, and haven't included tidal, wind, solar, biomass, or any other energy products, and we are all still alive. The biggest danger is idiots like Fuy Fox.

 
At 10:36 AM, April 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first poster is actually correct. And here's proof that it ain't marijuana and that it does not deplete and requires NO PETROLEIM:

Hemp
Hemp as fuel
Hemp produces 4 times as much biomass per acre as the nearest competitor. 1 acre of hemp can produce 1000 gallons of methanol. That is enough to drive 20,000 miles on a 20mpg small SUV or 50,000 miles using a hybrid car. The average household consumes 3.6 gallons of crude oil per day (import and domestic, all uses); this does not count coal but it does include most cars, trucks, buses, trains, portable generators, lawn mowers, fuel oil heaters, petroleum fired power plants. That number appears to include liquid natural gas as well as oil that becomes gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, motor oil, and plastic (yes, hemp can be converted into plastic). It does not include a billion tons/year of coal (which would be equivalent to about 1/3 more crude oil). So, approximately 1.3 acres per household would eliminate the need for petroleum products or 2.6 acres if you rotate with a nitrogen fixing crop which is then plowed under. There are around 100 million households. The US government pays farmers to not grow crops on 90 million acres of farmland. Another 500 million acres of marginal farmland is available. Hemp does not deplete the soil (except for a little nitrogen) and generally improves soil conditions. To avoid fertilizer use and qualify as organic, though, hemp should be rotated with a nitrogen fixing crop. Hemp does not require pesticides or herbicides. And unlike crop land that lies unused, in the event of a food shortage you can eat the hemp seeds. And hemp is fast growing so it can not only be planted after another crop is harvested, it may even increase next years yield of that crop. There is a lot of additional farm land, timber land, or ranch land (cows can eat hemp) that could be used. Not to mention back yards, railroad and utility right of ways, highway medians, etc. Biomass fuels do not contribute to global warming. The carbon dioxide produced by burning biomass comes from plants which in turn get their carbon out of the atmosphere. Hemp is said to grow in all 50 US states. About 40% of our oil use is produced domestically. Surprisingly, less than 15% seems to come from the Persian Gulf. Taken to the extreme, the US has a total land area of 3537438 square miles or 2.27 billion acres which, if you could devote it all to hemp could produce 2.27 trillion gallons of fuel every other year or 1.13 trillion gallons per year; that is about 8.6 times our annual consumption. So, about 12% of land area would be needed to replace petroleum. Since hemp grows at 4 times the rate of trees (assume it is probably 4 times as effective against greenhouse gases), it would presumably be OK from a greenhouse perspective to replace trees with hemp if you didn't burn it. For every 4 acres of trees you replaced with hemp, about 1 acre would presumably need to be set aside to offset the original anti-greenhouse effect of the trees. Of course, in the interest of biodiversity you may not want one species of plant dominating that much of the ecosystem.

One of the cool things about biomass is that you can grow hemp and make it into paper (hemp is 5 times more productive per acre than trees when it comes to paper production), use the paper, and then recycle it into fuel. So timberland used for paper could be used for hemp. Wildlife would have to adapt a bit.

And, of course, there are "negawatts"; Amory Lovins pointed out a while back that if the US replaced all light bulbs with compact fluorescents, we would go from a net energy importing nation to a net energy exporting nation.

Legal status of Hemp in US
Hemp was banned in the US in 1937. Most American's thought that "Marijuana", vilified by the Hearst yellow journalism newspaper empire, was some exotic Mexican plant or the poisonous plant "loco weed", not a form of the incredibly useful hemp plant that had been so important to civilization for the past 10,000 years.

Industrial HEMP does not have psychoactive properties.

Hemp products were largely imported at the time it was outlawed because of high labor costs in processing the fiber but a new machine cut the laber costs by two orders of magnitude.

Hemp was apprently outlawed in large part because it competed with new technologies that themselves have become the source of major problems facing the US today: including globabal warming, water polution, dependence on foreign oil, dependence on foreign goods, deforestation, malnutrition, non-biodegradable products in landfills, the high cost of pharmaceutical drugs, and excesive concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.

Racism against blacks, mexicans, and chinamen played a very large part in the banning of Marijuna and other drugs. Also, the financial interest of a couple robber barrons played a crucial role.

Facts about Hemp
Hemp is very fast growing. It grows and produces cellulose (for paper or biomass energy) 4 times as fast as other plants.
Every part of the hemp plant is usable or returned to the soil.
The stalk of the plant consists of fibers and cellulose. The fibers are used to make rope, cloth, composites (such as automobile door panels), and even reinforce concrete. The cellulose is used to make paper, converted into fuel, or made into plastic.
The seeds are very nutricious. They contain oil high in omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids. The American diet is deficient in omega 3s. They also contain a very high quality protein. The oil is also used for fuel, lubrication, paint, etc.
Hemp does not deplete the soil (except for nitrogen which can be provided by rotating with nitrogen fixing crops); on the contrary, hemp actually improves the soil.
Almost anything that is made out of petroleum can also be made out of hemp. Plastic is basically stabilized nitrated cellulose.
It takes less chemicals to make paper from hemp than from trees and the resulting paper lasts longer. And you can make 5 times as much paper per acre per year with hemp than trees.
Cloth made from hemp is stronger, softer, warmer, longer lasting, and more absorbant than cotton cloth. Huge quantities of pesticides are used to grow cotton but hemp does not need pesticides.
Birds and fish prefer hemp seed. Indeed, an exception to the law was made for birdseed because "birds won't sing without it".
Five years after banning hemp, the US government was begging farmers to grow it (under special licenses) after our supply of imported hemp was cut off during world war II.
Even the intoxicating variety is far less toxic than many common foods.
The government has equipment that can discriminate between industrial hemp and marijuana from a mile away.
The war of 1812 was fought over access to hemp.
Hemp has averted famine.
In 1850, there were 8327 hemp plantations (2000 acres or larger) in the US, mostly in the south.
Industrial hemp is legal in Canada and Europe.

 
At 10:42 AM, April 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if you believe the phoney "reefer madness", you'll keep crying about "peak oil". Otherwise, like the first poster said "Let's cut this doom and gloom crap and cut to the chase." Life is full of challenges, expected and unexpected. If something so valuable is running out and cannot be renewed, switch to something better that is just as great and abundant or is even renewable.

P.S.: Here's the link to the site:

http://www.freelabs.com/~whitis/politics/hemp/

Besides, it's not as if marijuana is going to "kill" you unlike those petro-manufactured poison pills wrecking your system indefensible.

 
At 8:43 PM, April 08, 2008, Blogger Ragnorok said...

Hemp is a great plant however many of you are simply clueless went it comes to basic laws of thermodynamics. I am a scientists working for a major biotechnology company in Denmark called Novozymes. We are on the cutting edge of biofuels technology, more specifically around celulostic ethanol/enzyme conversion. We have studied Hemp over the past 10 years and yes it does yield a positive return on energy. However the point that many of you are missing is the scale we are talking about here. The world at today's current rate of consumption of liquid fuels (both natural gas and oil) is about 85 million barrels per day. Due to projected growth over the next 10 years we are looking at somewhere between 95-110 million barrels per day of demand. For Hemp or any combination of fuels to even make a dent into this massive amount of fuel demand is simply fantasy. Biofuels no matter how good we get at it will never scale to even meet 15% of this demand let alone substitute for oil entirely. Sorry that folks are not wanting to hear doom and gloom but the reality of this terrible situation is something that you need to come to grips with. I am not saying civilization is going to come to a stand still but I would not be surprised if we start seeing massive shortages and other nasty consequences resulting from Peak Oil. Here in Denmark people are clued into this reality. Time for Amerikkka to wake up to the unfortunate situation at hand. We are all going to experience some hardships ahead but nothing like what your country is getting ready to go through. Boy I am glad I moved out of the U.S. 6 years ago! Good luck with your hemp projects, I am sure you will be able to continue your happy motoring back and forth from the shopping mails and suburbs :-)

 
At 7:57 AM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEMP HEMP HOORAY ! It appears that some idiots will invent excuses for keeping a ban on real solutions. I too am sick and tired of this gloom and doom talk with no solutions being presented. For all I know, this site must be another BIG OIL blog for all I care. As a working scientist, I can tell you that not only does hemp produce a higher enough yield for the world's actual needs but that solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal sources of energy are in fact far more efficient and energy yielding as well unlike what the fossil fuel and nuclear hacks on this site and forum would have you believe. As to the issue of energy demand, it can't go up forever. The so-called "energy demand" composes of frivolous drivers and glutonous pigs relying on "fast food" and sweatshop labor products shipped from China. As a matter of fact, my wife who used to work for the Sierra Club informed me of the way they refuse to approve of Live Meeting Technology that is not only affordable but can cut down travel costs and yet they hypocritically decide to join the for-profit ideology of making roundtrips just to give lousy 1 hour presentations. As a genuine scientist, I believe that a combination of alternative sources of energy such as solar, wind, hemp, etc ..., rewarding conservation efforts, making public transporation affordable and convenient rather than OBSCENELY expensive and shabby, and removing the roadblocks for bicyclists and pedestrians would go a long ways towards solving this energy crisis. If this blog can't understand that, they'd better just shut the fuck up and shut their blog down !

 
At 8:16 AM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry people. It's not the end of the world. There are other countries moving towards going 100% renewable. It's only a matter of time before the US is forced to follow suit.

http://www.metaefficient.com/renewable-power/costa-rica-is-99-powered-by-renewable-energy.html

We now return you to your "End of the World Show" !

 
At 8:31 AM, April 09, 2008, Blogger Chad said...

This is getting ridiculous. Exxon, Mobile, and Shell are in the business of meeting energy demands. Their expertise is in finding and drilling oil, but they don't give a rip about whether they are selling oil or hemp seed. In fact, given that drilling a single well in deep sea costs $100,000,000 they would in all reality probably prefer selling hemp seed oil. Some of the major electric companies are investing heavily in wind and tidal, since they are in the business of selling electrons and don't care how the electrons are generated.
Perhaps, just perhaps, we ought to let people most experienced with finding, producing, and distributing energy lead the effort to find, produce, and distribute energy in the future. The government has done a bang up job on managing the environment, controlling emissions, funding social security, handling the war in Iraq, reducing violence, cutting drug use, running schools, and everything else they have stuck their hands in. Do we really want them to decide how to produce energy? If they would get out of the way oil companies would have more incentive to develop other resources.

 
At 9:04 AM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's one plan.'



1) 'The US will apologize to the world for
Our 'interference' in their affairs, past & present. You know,
Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo, Noriega, Milosevic, Hussein, and the rest of
Those 'good 'ole' boys', we will never 'interfere' again.



2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea, the Middle East, and the Philippines . They don't want us there.
We would station troops at our borders. No one allowed sneaking through holes
In the fence.



3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave . We'll
Give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and
Deported immediately, regardless of whom or where they are. They're illegal!!! France will welcome them.



4) All future visitors will be thoroughly checked and limited to 90 days unless
Given a special permit!!!! No one from a terrorist nation will be allowed in If
You don't like it there, change it yourself and don't hide here. Asylum would
Never be available to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers or 7-11
Cashiers.



5) No foreign 'students' over age 21. The older ones are the bombers.
If they don't attend classes, they get a 'D' and it's back home baby.




6) The US will make a strong effort to
Become self-sufficient energy wise. This will include developing nonpolluting
Sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan
Wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for awhile .



7) Offer Saudi
Arabia and other
Oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we
Go someplace else. They can go somewhere else to sell their production. (About
A week of the wells filling up the storage sites would be enough.)



8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not
'interfere.' They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain,
Cement or whatever they need. Besides most of what we give them is stolen or
Given to

The army. The people who need it most get very little, if anything.



9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island someplace. We don't need the
Spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building would make a good
Homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.



10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call
Us 'Ugly Americans' any longer. The Language we speak is
ENGLISH..learn it...or LEAVE...Now, isn't that a winner of a plan?



'The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying 'Give me your tired,
Your poor, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's
Yelling, 'you want a piece of me?' '

 
At 11:14 AM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chad,

Ever heard of a RIGGED market? Yes, it exists, not the "free" market you're LYING about. Big Oil and Electric were the same traitors who helped install fossil fuel puppets in Washington and always make sure there are enough of them. Since Big Government subsidizes Big Oil, Coal, Chemical, and now Nuclear all the while stifling the growth of solar, wind, geothermal, etc ... by rewarding Exxon, Shell, Mobile, electric companies, with OBSCENELY high tax breaks with no incentives for alternative renewables, guess who's getting the spoonfeeding. Oh, and prove that Exxon supports hemp otherwise you're just a bald faced liar.

 
At 11:36 AM, April 09, 2008, Blogger Chad said...

First off, I never said they do support hemp, I just said they would much rather sew a field with hemp seeds than spend $100 million dollars researching where to drill a well, then another $100 million drilling the well, then millions more running the well.
As for the obscenely high tax breaks, Exxon was given an $18 Billion tax break while they posted a profit of $123 Billion. Yes, these are big numbers, but lets also consider Exxon is a big company, and this amazingly high profit puts Exxon in the category of Wal-Mart when we look at profit MARGINS. Exxon takes big risks, and so ought to have the opportunity for big rewards. Lets say the government took $120 Billion of the $123 Billion, still leaving $3 Billion, a hefty chunk of change right? Wrong, a $3 Billion margin would not allow Exxon to fix its rigs after another Katrina, Rita, Dennis, Andrew, Hugo, Mitch, etc. It would also not encourage searching for more oil pockets, or research into alternatives. Do you really think the US government (which is known for its efficiency and lack of red tape) would do the research better? If so you have a very poor understanding of the process of paper writing in academic settings.

 
At 12:48 PM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that Chad is a spokesman for Big Oil defending them for working to stifle renewables, let's get to the facts. Nobody in this forum says government does its research unless you can't read. As a matter of fact, they're nothing but puppets for the corporate hacks that "installed" them there in the first place. Second, tell me why it's ok that Big Oil went out of its way to RIG the market by putting in their favorite puppets in Congress. The only reason Exxon takes big risks is they know that government will "bail" them out everytime. That isn't hard work but getting spoonfed no matter what. You, on the other hand, would go to JAIL for trying to be like Exxon. Hint, RIGGED capitalism.

And if you had even been to the Dept of Energy, you would have realized that the oil tycoons, most of whom were former CEOs, CFOs, etc... , were given the seats to control what qualifies for tax breaks and what doesn't. As a matter of fact, I have people who have worked in the Department of Energy and every time they try to put an incentive to encourage solar and wind in the market, your "lovely" oily motherfuckers are ready to step in and RIG the vote. It all starts out with a globe-and-trotters debate. Then they put phoney stipulations such as patents and threatening lawsuits (yeah, talk about the need for tort reform). In the end, it's all dropped. If there were tax breaks for solar powered technology instead of tax breaks for drilling in ANWAR, we wouldn't be in this SHIT. What you call a "free" market is RIGGED buddy. A truly free market would not give OBSCENELY HIGH tax breaks to Exxon in the first place. They would let Exxon SUFFER like everyone else for all their crimes. Your ass-licking of Exxon is the reason the US is stuck in Iraq besides the fact that solar, wind, hemp, etc ... can yield plenty enough for all the world's energy needs but you can't handle the god-damn-motherfucking truth.

 
At 12:50 PM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And by the way, why should Exxon be lobbying billions to defend its wrongdoing? A huge waste of taxpayer money, don't you think?

 
At 1:27 PM, April 09, 2008, Blogger Chad said...

If Mr. Anonymous really feels like it is tax breaks that are causing all of the problems, and keeping down renewables, shouldn't you be pushing for the Fair Tax? If there were an across the board 25% tax on all electricity consumption then the renewables would be able to compete in a free market.
Also, keep in mind tax incentives are not the government GIVING the corporations MORE money. Rather, it is the government TAKING LESS. So, if the government is taxing Exxon in the 25% range, the biggest tax breaks in the world would only make for a 25% difference between oil and renewables. The government handouts are reserved for agriculture and social programs. That evil Exxon got $18 Billion from the government, while the poor elderly had to suffer on a mere $2 trillion. If Exxon had paid in all their taxes we could have raised handouts by a full 0.9%

Also, you sound much more intelligent if you refrain from vulgarities. That one difference can make what was obviously an assertion sound almost like an argument.

 
At 2:28 PM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To an earlier poster on hemp and taxing Exxon. Great idea. The fact is government is happy to slash public budgets on healthcare for everyone including the elderly and the children yet they're happy enough to give Exxon undeserved tax breaks despite their criminal records. If Exxon is so damn happy, then why the fuck are they begging the Supreme Court to exonerrate them of their past dues? Hmmmm, I wished I could get SCOTUS to relieve me of my past dues. Exxon has done nothing for this country or the world other than writing up very inefficient energy policies and price gouging the consumers. Chad could very well be an Exxon hack because he probably knows that if HEMP were legal, it wouldn't take long to put its 26000 industrial uses to work and other countries would follow suit. Even if other countries aren't doing it where legal, the fact that North Dakota farmers are pushing to make it legal all the while putting wind energy up even as their nuclear power plants are coming to roost. Sure, you cannot invest in your neighbor's hemp farm like you would in a dishonest company like Exxon but you sure as hell can save a lot and actually give the dollar and America's well being a new life. Alternative sources of energy that make frugality and conservation more mainstream is two for the price of one and it's about time.

Chad, people have a right to speak as they feel and frankly, you're no more intelligent than the rest in this forum. If you don't like what they say, well too bad. You're not on CNN or FauxNews anymore pal so learn to get used to it. Your "education" sounds like nothing but a bunch of crooked bs to begin with. So what's wrong with you? Afraid your Exxon stock would plummet were we to TEAR DOWN this unfree market and actually put the petroleum market out of business?

 
At 3:59 PM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow !

This discussion is rather lively for once. Usually, most posts on this site and most of the blogosphere are filled with "end of the world as we know it" crap and same old followups. But for the first time, I feel like I'm actually getting some real education unlike any I've seen before. Hemp, fudged markets, government for the big bad corporations, stifling growth in solar, for once there's a lively discussion. It's one thing to cry about a potentially upcoming crisis. It's another to actually fight for better solutions ahead. Like most politically activist sites and forums, I see that people who actually come up with solutions are bashed whereas people defending the oil interests aren't. Hemp for fuel? I've heard all about hemp but I never knew its thousands of industrial uses. Too bad school text books don't tell you about it even as they discuss about fossil fuels running out in 50 years. I was also interested in how some people brought up an interesting point about demand vs availability. The fundamental flaw it seems is that most people are trapped in "entitlement" mode with the "I gotta have it" attitude and that if they can't get it, it's somehow a "threat". If something generally so abundant becomes less available as time passes by, demand for it will decrease not increase. Plus, I like it that someone brought up the fact that a truly free market won't stifle new and creative ideas or for that matter keep bailing out corporate crooks. Market reform is long overdue. It's one thing to blog about "end of the world". It's another to be a braveheart and put new and innovative solutions out there no matter how far people bash you at it. I say, let's allow hemp and solar into the market and allow those two to compete with fossil fuels. We do want a free market, don't we?

 
At 6:44 PM, April 09, 2008, Blogger Ragnorok said...

Mr Anonymous can you please refrain from such profane speach? It actually reduces your overall credibility.

First and foremost I am all for Alternative energy and live in a country where we produce between 30-40% of all eletricity generation from Alternative sources. However you fail to realize the magnitude of what would be needed to even replace 10% of our transportation fuel with that of Hemp oil? Do you even realize the amount of arable land it would require to obtain even a fraction of our fuels from this source? Unfortunately we need to completely re-invent society and scale down on a massive level because oil is in its twilight and no combination of existing alternative energies will be able to make a sizable dent in our current needs to even make a difference. Plus if you see what is happening now with Biofuels, it is driving up the costs of food due to farmers switching their food crops over to growning corn for ethanol. If we lifted the ban on hemp, which I agree that we should since it is a wonderful plant for mutltiple purposes, you would see some of the same problems cropping up such as arable land used to grow food now being switched over to grow hemp. This is kinda like robbing peter to pay paul in my mind. Just do a search on arable land and palm oil in south america or indonisia. In both parts of the world we are cutting down rain forests in order to produce biofuels just so we can continue driving our cars.


I highly suggest opening up a book on Thermodynamics as you fail to grasp the real meaning of Energy returned on Energy Invested. There is NOTHING out there, from a transportations fuel perspective, that will even come close to the energy density of oil. Not even Hemp. Remember that you have to use land to grow Hemp as well as water, but most importantly their is an entire process by which you have to breakdown the material in order to produce the oil. This takes energy to do! This is not a free lunch and I would surmise that you may get an energy return of 6 to 1 from this plant. Sugar cane is about 8 units of energy from 1 unit of energy input. Now put that into perspective as Texas sweat crude is about 100+ units of energy to 1 unit that you have to put into it extracting and refining.

Final point, our future will need to be based on massive conservation and a mix of varous alternative energies if we are to get through the coming contraction of available energy. We will be especially hit the hardest in the transportation sector. This is not doom and gloom, it is reality and no one is suggeting that we stick our heads in the ground and do nothing. Quite to the contrary. What most people who are invested in Peak oil solutions are doing is investigating the many possibilities that we will have at our disposal in the future. The challenge ahead of us is massive, simply dismissing us as doomsayers only worsens the situation. If you had cancer would you rather your doctor lie to you and tell you that everything is going to be ok even though you may only have a few months to live? Or would you rather have the truth and then come up with realistic options to surviving? I would chose the later myself! And I live in a much more sustainable country but even here in Denmark people are realistic of the consequences of peak oil.

Again, good luck with your hemp project, you will end up both destroying the rest of the arable land on the planet as well as reducing the overall food supply.

 
At 8:09 PM, April 09, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sure is a shame that chad aka ragorak is too FUCKING stupid to realize that there are some things in life that yield better results. At a time when fossil fuels are getting depleted and faster due to RIGGING the market and keeping the prices artificially "low", the last thing this planet needs are LYING LIARS who don't want you to know the truth about solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and biofuels such as hemp, switchgrass, algae that actually work and require no petroleum to produce from start to finish. As a genuine scientist who knows all the shit about thermodynamics, it's obvious that only paid spokespeople for BIG OIL would lie their teeth off about these wonderful alternatives somehow not fulfilling the world's actual energy needs. And did you ever pay attention to the facts that as long as government keeps taxing your ass and gives you no tax break incentives all the while giving tax breaks to gas guzzlers which you support, then of course there will be no FUCKING incentive for people to concern and your god-damn-motherfucking bullshit lectures on "conservation" will be like a professor lecturing a pig only to find the professor annoyed and the pig bored. You may not like what others have to say and offer but we're sick and tired of you latte limousine liberals and cadillac conservatives acting so far DIVORCED from reality in the comfort of you nice and comfy cushion. The fact that I busted your bullshit lies really speaks volumes. You already know that hemp does not deplete the arable land and in fact requires so little to grow to stuff your fat ass anyday ! Don't worry. Your petro business is gonna face the same fate as the muggers faced from Paul Kersey (hint: Charles Bronson).

 
At 5:38 AM, April 10, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sure goes to show that there are no differences between the far right and the far left. The far right will preach "personal responsibility" but when push comes to shove, their policies only "reward" wasteful spending. The far left will panic about oil running out and/or global warming but when push comes to shove their policies do nothing to reward people who actually conserve or for that matter people and businesses who use alternative renewables such as solar and wind to power much of their needs. Besides, there's no reason to give an inefficient/wasteful energy guzzling bulb an artificially "lower" price all the while overpricing an energy efficient / less guzzling bulb. Wasteful bulbs actually cost far more to produce when one looks at the huger amounts of resources they take up to produce compared to energy saving ones. Yet the fossil fuel industries still want more money for no reason whatsoever. If the fossil fuel companies really wanted to switch, they would have done so a long time ago. Exxon wouldn't be spending $100 billion for oil while giving only $5 billion for fake "research" on green solutions such as solar. Besides, why is it that in Europe and America, companies specializing in green technologies such as solar, wind, water, and/or tidal are overtaxed whereas fossil fuel and nuclear industries are given "free" passes and more tax cuts? Think of it this way. The chances of conserving are lower when fossil fuels and nuclear dominate the energy usage compared to green solutions such as solar, wind, tidal, etc ... since people would have to conserve to cut down costs.

 

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