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  #1  
Old 01-14-2010, 10:48 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Flying Cars Edition (David Corn & Jim Pinkerton)

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  #2  
Old 01-14-2010, 11:08 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Flying Cars Edition (David Corn & Jim Pinkerton)

The "environmental elites" have made an "aesthetic judgement" that they dislike economic growth, and that's why we have thousands of scientists and millions of people that believe AGW is a problem. Of course! Why didn't I think of this before? I know that Pinkerton periodically goes somewhat crazy, but this is impressive even by his standards.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2010, 12:52 AM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Flying Cars Edition (David Corn & Jim Pinkerton)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
The "environmental elites" have made an "aesthetic judgement" that they dislike economic growth, and that's why we have thousands of scientists and millions of people that believe AGW is a problem. Of course! Why didn't I think of this before? I know that Pinkerton periodically goes somewhat crazy, but this is impressive even by his standards.
Yeah, if Pinkerton's free to make up shit about what his opponents believe then I guess I'm free to make up some crazy shit about what Pinkerton believes. Except Pinkerton believes so much crazy shit I don't have to make it up.
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2010, 02:21 AM
EvanHarper EvanHarper is offline
 
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Default Re: Flying Cars Edition (David Corn & Jim Pinkerton)

It's crucial to understand that this isn't a rare slip, this isn't some embarrassing deviation; if you don't believe lunatic shit like this, you can't be a conservative. If you accept proclaimed conservative principles (take it slow, distrust utopian ideology, let things work out on their own, prefer hands-off approaches, respect the wisdom of your forebears) on their own terms, but you don't accept the crazy stuff, then you're not a conservative. You're a moderate, a centrist, a liberal, whatever - hell, there are people on the radical left who endorse these principles. Modern "conservatism" isn't about this stuff any more than Stalinist "socialism" was about giving the working man a fair shake.

There really is no principle at the core of modern American "conservatism" other than give moneyed interests what they want in the 5-10 year term (and maybe indulge while you're at it in some chauvinism, sexism, racism, if that's your thing.) I realize that's putting it in stark terms but when you listen to these guys, the conclusion is impossible to avoid.
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2010, 02:23 AM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Pinkerton enviro crazies do exist, just not in the numbers he may believe, but aesthetics do matter

I did one time have a little chat with a guy asking to sign up for some environmental club in front of farmers market. Not sure if it was something for the sierra club or greenpeace.

Anyway, we got to talking about cars for some reason and I asked him point blank, given two scenarios of the world,

one where the cars we drive remained dirty, and to compensate we turned to bicycling or other mass transit to get emissions down

the other where the cars we drive were clean, but people tended to use them instead of alternative transportation methods like biking or mass transit

which would he prefer?

He chose the first.


This was in Los Angeles, and this nutter actually chose biking over cars... CLEAN cars mind you!

You see, it shows that for SOME of the environmentalists out there, it is not about pollution, it is about an aesthetic dislike for modern transportation. For others, it is about a secular worship for a natural state, a sacred concept that is not to be disturbed by man.

That last driver causes some scuffles among the ranks, clean energy proponents vs the natural state posse proudly defending the right of the sacred blood sucking flesh maggot to live in peace without mans interventions, or incursions on its turf. Does the incursion actually cause any harm? Not relevant, it might, the natural state, of which man is separate and apart from (are we gods?), is disturbed and this cannot be tolerated.



And then there are those who are more mild and reasonable, people who don't like pollution. i.e. the broad majority of the country and likely, the entire world. But even there there are degrees of concern.

Take myself for example. I am much more averse to letting coal power plants unleash so much filth into the air than I am with the nuclear waste produced in our fission plants. But a great deal of people are opposed to nuclear power to their core.

It does not matter that it is clean to the air, and has a sterling safety record (assuming the reactor design is not a disaster like Chernobyl). The waste is impossible to deal with they say, yucca mountain is not acceptable... and why not? So bullish on scientists reports about impending doom based on admittedly incomplete climate models, but no credence to geological records dating back tens of thousands of years about the stability of a region?

Such selective analysis.

I think it much of the tension boils down to an attitude.


Are you more sympathetic to this approach?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Population_Bomb


Or this one?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ult...Resource_(book)
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2010, 03:34 AM
EvanHarper EvanHarper is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton enviro crazies do exist, just not in the numbers he may believe, but aesthetics do mat

Shorter JonIrenicus:

Quote:
Once, I ran into a stupid environmentalist. Therefore all of climatology is bullshit.
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2010, 04:00 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton enviro crazies do exist, just not in the numbers he may believe, but aesthetics do mat

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
it is not about pollution, it is about an aesthetic dislike for modern transportation
LOL. How cleverly you tricked the dirty hippie into revealing his actual motivation!


Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
Take myself for example. I am much more averse to letting coal power plants unleash so much filth into the air than I am with the nuclear waste produced in our fission plants. But a great deal of people are opposed to nuclear power to their core.
Why do you think that is, Jon? Probably just some irrational "aesthetic dislike for" the shape of cooling towers, right?

I wonder if you can characterize the position of people you disagree with without caricaturing it. If you could, it would demonstrate that you actually understand the reasoning of people you disagree with -- something your cartoon pictures of the left fail to do.


.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 01-15-2010 at 04:04 AM..
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2010, 01:26 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton enviro crazies do exist, just not in the numbers he may believe, but aesthetics do mat

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
Why do you think that is, Jon? Probably just some irrational "aesthetic dislike for" the shape of cooling towers, right?

I wonder if you can characterize the position of people you disagree with without caricaturing it. If you could, it would demonstrate that you actually understand the reasoning of people you disagree with -- something your cartoon pictures of the left fail to do.


.
The worry over nuclear waste is in my opinion, a cartoonish position. If ONLY I had to do some work to craft a caricature, it is done Already.


As to what people dislike, I think some people get it in their heads that anything that produces waste is not to be tolerated.

Others, like myself, place different weights on different wastes.

Waste from coal plants is out in the open, thrown into the air, waste from nuclear plants is condensed, and is far easier to control and tuck away.

-But it stays around for thousands of years!
-And certain geological areas in the earth have been stable for millions. So why exactly would it not be safe to ramp up the nuclear plants we have today for the next 50-60 years? Store the waste in safe locations, along with the waste we ALREADY need to store no matter what we do, and when something better for baseload power comes along with no waste, we switch to it?

OH NO !!!!!!!! instead of ~50 years of fission waste to deal with, there is 100 years of fission waste to deal with !!!!!!!

How long has human civilization been around? how long has the earth been around? It is the tiniest sliver of time, a section so small in the grand scheme of things as to be insignificant, but people have such small perspectives and time horizons. It is not as if the window where fission power is the only clean (to the atmosphere) baseload power we have will be infinite. And when we have better alternatives, we will switch, with time.


Nuclear is the cleanest baseload power we have. Thus far there is nothing else.

-baseload options
coal - filthy to the air we breath, and for more than just CO2
natural gas - cleaner than coal, but still unclean to the atmosphere
hydro - limited deployment options, but otherwise fairly clean
nuclear - clean to the atmosphere - long term condensed waste, but can be isolated

intermittent
solar - clean, expensive, but getting cheaper - volatile power source
wind - clean, expensive, also getting cheaper - volatile power source


It is not feasible to be 100% or even 80% reliant on intermittent power. You NEED some base load power generating capacity, the kind where you can ramp up or down your power needs and are not subject to the whims of the shining sun wind. And right now the cleanest option we have that can be widely deployed for base load power, is nuclear.


Now if people like Osmium and others get good enough and cheap enough flow batteries up and running or whatever else, then the intermittent power sources could become more stable with the stored energy to smooth things out.


But that day is not today.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:26 AM
JoeK
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Default Re: Pinkerton enviro crazies do exist, just not in the numbers he may believe, but aesthetics do mat

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonIrenicus View Post
You see, it shows that for SOME of the environmentalists out there, it is not about pollution, it is about an aesthetic dislike for modern transportation. For others, it is about a secular worship for a natural state, a sacred concept that is not to be disturbed by man.
There is another cause that lies at the root of the liberalsí vile worldview. Itís their fucked up intuitions on economics. They make liberals hate babies.

I liked your story, Jon, but you are too kind to liberals when you say it's only some that are mad. Take the founder of bhtv, Bob Wright. You probably think he is a reasonable man. You wish. It's just that he is censoring his true beliefs when he speaks in public. (And I am not talking about Wright being a creepy utilitarian. Everybody knows that.) Itís more than that. I remember on one occasion when he had a slip of the tongue. It was in a diavlog with Meghan McArdle that goes way back. Meghan talked about her trip to Vietnam where people are so poor that they have to hold on their, for Western standards, cheap, trivial possessions. For example, Meghan says, a Westerner wouldn't think twice about throwing away a pencil when it's not immediately needed and then getting another when it is. Bob Wright calls these attitudes of a typical Westerner "obscene". Um, excuse me?

Last edited by JoeK; 01-15-2010 at 08:10 AM.. Reason: Reminiscing on how crazy Bob Wright is
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:47 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton enviro crazies do exist, just not in the numbers he may believe, but aesthetics do mat

Let's assume for a minute that you have correctly psychoanalyzed the huge group of people that hold Liberal attitudes about the environment. Now, having so assumed, let me ask you this: Do you think that global temperatures are rising as a result of human emissions of CO2 and other gases? If not, why do you think the scientific community believes otherwise? If so, should we do anything to stop it?
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2010, 06:16 PM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton enviro crazies do exist, just not in the numbers he may believe, but aesthetics do mat

Not addressed to me but I'll chime in. Yes and Yes. The problem is what to do. The level of response is going to be related to how serious you think the problem is. Imagine a bunch of people in a lifeboat without enough food and water to survive for long. When do you toss someone over the side? Most people are going to wait too long when that is the option. Pinkerton is right. If the worst case scenarios are true, what is a more likely reaction: party and hope for the best or sacrifice for the future? I say the former. People will respond to a hope for a better future far more than they will respond to a fear of a worse future until the worse future actually comes.
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  #12  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:21 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

..., but his motivations are not benign either and the negation of irrational ideology is not automatically rational.

Now I am a long time Green Party voter and sympathizer. But it is blatantly clear to me and frankly frustrating to talk to other sympathizers and to green party politicians, precisely because much of the analysis and the proposed solutions are based on value judgements and gut feelings, which are presented as objective truth. The attachment to certain ideas is basically religious and to question them gets me the same reaction as questioning the historicity of Jesus in a church would.

Those who openly propose radical relocalization, communal living, local and shared, small-scale industry not only for environmentalist, but for societal reasons, such as Austrian Green Party founding member Kaspanaze Simma, a devout catholic, who actually lives that lifestyle, have my full respect.

Aesthetics is a perfectly legitimate reason to favor a certain political viewpoint and I would much prefer it, when people would admit to their aestheticism, utopian visions and value judgements and would not present their choices as objective solutions to all kinds of problems.

I am not convinced that organic food is always healthier, or that local and organic produce uses less fossil fuel and causes less Co2 emissions in all cases. The popularity of organic food is based on gut feelings, not on sober considerations about resource efficiency and sustainability.

The modern Green party elites are sports car driving, Gucci bag carrying, globalist hipsters. I am not kidding. The sports car and Gucci bag thing is literally true. Al Gore is a good example for this. These types of pseudo environmentalists don't seem to believe that sustainability has anything to do with how they live their personal lives. Instead, the world is to be saved by international policy meetings, like in Copenhagen, where policy is proposed that somehow causes industry and entrepreneurs to create perpetual motion machines. Environmentalism is just another liberal cause for them, which ought to solved by the state and pollution is largely seen as the fault of rich, white males.

What Pinkerton doesn't get is that Al Gore and most of the other globalist technowonky environmentalists actually do believe that you can have it all, contemporary western lifestyles for everybody on the planet and sustainability.

Between the Al Gore types and the Kaspanaze Simma types are various transitional forms, which further complicates the matter.

AGW vs. Peak Oil
It is interesting how different groups perceive these issues.

1. AGW deniers and conspiracy theorists are largely the same folks who deny or ignore peak oil and claim that the latter is a cranky fringe theory, even though peak oil challenges AGW.
But both AGW and peak oil threaten car driving. AGW for moral, peak oil for scarcity reasons. So both are denied.

Notice, how Pinterton accused liberals of wishing for and loving scarcity, as if scarcity was a matter of taste. Pinkerton is not conservative on this issue.

2. White guilt AGW hawks basically ignore peak oil. The latter renders the need to address the former through western atonement moot. That seems to be the dominant strain of environmentalism right now.

3. Pure technowonks accept both and are sure that both can be fixed by entrepreneurs or by forcing car companies to do it.

4. Localists and Organic Food aficionados believe in both, AGW and peak oil, on the assumption that their lifestyles and choices are solutions to both problems.

I am sort of between 3 and 4, although I reject many of the specific ideas of both groups.

Last edited by dieter; 01-15-2010 at 07:24 PM..
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2010, 07:37 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

An interesting typology, and I'd like to see some links to support it.

It's ironic Pinkerton slammed his leftwing straw man target for its aesthetic judgment, when, beyond whatever corporate support he might get for his lunacy, Pinkerton's vision is mostly a product of early 60s technological liberalism. There's more The Jetson's and Star Trek than of Reagan in Pinkerton's vision.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2010, 09:31 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
An interesting typology, and I'd like to see some links to support it.
What kind of links? In English? This is sort of difficult, because I base my "typology" mostly on personal conversations and through observation of the green movement. The Austrian Green Party gets >10% of the vote and as been elected to parliament since 1986. So this movement and their issues get a lot of media exposure over here.
Your request sounds to me, like I would ask you for links to prove the notion that Republicans consist of pro-business, religious-conservative and internationalist neocon factions, with some overlap.
Where to start?

But let me try:
Examples for Group 4:
http://www.kunstlercast.com
http://www.kunstler.com
http://www.postpeakliving.com/
http://globalpublicmedia.com/

James Howard Kunstler, Richard Heinberg are individuals, who subscribe to this view. Kaspanaze Simma lives by its ideals.

James Howard Kunstler is entertaining. The issue I have with his views is that he insists that all of globalization, modern technology, infrastructure, industrial farming, etc. is unsustainable and that there will be basically no cars, maybe not even tractors.
But he is spot on wrt urban planing.

Group 3. can be found at treehugger.com, as far as I can see. They wish for green suburban living with abundant electric cars

Group 1. Corporate sponsored think tanks.

Part of my typology is based on cognitive dissonance, or what people deny, or ignore, or block out. That is difficult to show.

A lot of what AGW hawks talk about seems inconsistent with peak oil. The notion that the West needs to take active and urgent steps to make do with less fossil fuel, in order to lead the third world in sustainable development, is based on the assumption that there are vast amounts of fossil fuels left that the third world could potentially use.

Peak oil implies that efficiency will be a matter of necessity. AGW hawks present the issue as a matter of voluntary self-restraint and atonement.

Regarding the need to change lifestyles and living arrangements, well either Bono, Al Gore and all of the other high profile environmentalists with carbon footprints of small nations and their followers are either hypocrites, believe that technology will save the day or they are trapped in a cognitive dissonance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltimoron View Post
It's ironic Pinkerton slammed his leftwing straw man target for its aesthetic judgment, when, beyond whatever corporate support he might get for his lunacy, Pinkerton's vision is mostly a product of early 60s technological liberalism. There's more The Jetson's and Star Trek than of Reagan in Pinkerton's vision.
LOL But I can't remember environmentalist villains in Star Trek. TOS has more of a Spartan feel to me. Collectivist, heroic, simplistic and warlike.

I would like to know where Pinkerton gets his talking points from. Especially the point about 19th century scarcity loving British elites conjuring up some scare stories about scarcity in order to nefariously deprive peasants of coal. Well, the UK did actually run out of coal. By WWII they tried to desperately restart production. Looks like rationing would have been a good scheme after all.
Not to mention that those peasants suffered from the soot in the air.
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  #15  
Old 01-15-2010, 09:53 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieter View Post
...Your request sounds to me, like I would ask you for links to prove the notion that Republicans consist of pro-business, religious-conservative and internationalist neocon factions, with some overlap.
No, I just like links to read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieter View Post
...I can't remember environmentalist villains in Star Trek. TOS has more of a Spartan feel to me. Collectivist, heroic, simplistic and warlike.
It was always implied in TOS, and sketched out little better in later series, that technological advancement had solved Terran problems. I recall an episode of TNG, that mentioned a weather grid controlling tornadoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieter View Post
I would like to know where Pinkerton gets his talking points from. Especially the point about 19th century scarcity loving British elites conjuring up some scare stories about scarcity in order to nefariously deprive peasants of coal. Well, the UK did actually run out of coal. By WWII they tried to desperately restart production. Looks like rationing would have been a good scheme after all. Not to mention that those peasants suffered from the soot in the air.
Actually, I'm surprised, too. We forget coal scarcity, because petroleum bailed us out. Pinkerton argues as if he wants to repeat the trick with nuclear, instead of by taking a hard look at how humans depend on these magic fixes, and at least seek efficiencies.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:44 AM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieter View Post
...,What Pinkerton doesn't get is that Al Gore and most of the other globalist technowonky environmentalists actually do believe that you can have it all, contemporary western lifestyles for everybody on the planet and sustainability.

Between the Al Gore types and the Kaspanaze Simma types are various transitional forms, which further complicates the matter.

AGW vs. Peak Oil
It is interesting how different groups perceive these issues.

1. AGW deniers and conspiracy theorists are largely the same folks who deny or ignore peak oil and claim that the latter is a cranky fringe theory, even though peak oil challenges AGW. But both AGW and peak oil threaten car driving. AGW for moral, peak oil for scarcity reasons. So both are denied.

Notice, how Pinterton accused liberals of wishing for and loving scarcity, as if scarcity was a matter of taste. Pinkerton is not conservative on this issue.

2. White guilt AGW hawks basically ignore peak oil. The latter renders the need to address the former through western atonement moot. That seems to be the dominant strain of environmentalism right now.

3. Pure technowonks accept both and are sure that both can be fixed by entrepreneurs or by forcing car companies to do it.

4. Localists and Organic Food aficionados believe in both, AGW and peak oil, on the assumption that their lifestyles and choices are solutions to both problems.

I am sort of between 3 and 4, although I reject many of the specific ideas of both groups.

I've been surprised too by the lack of awareness (or willful ignorance) of the long-term consequences of peak oil. Does anyone discuss it in the US? I became convinced of the truth of the theory several years ago when I was living in Saudi Arabia and was able to talk to some western oil experts. Since then everything I've read confirms that we may all be living in a dreamworld. In a nutshell: Oil consumption keeps rising, no important new discoveries have been made in the past 30 years, and Saudi Arabia may well be lying about the extent of its reserves.

http://www.peakoil.net/

As you rightly say:

"Notice, how Pinterton accused liberals of wishing for and loving scarcity, as if scarcity was a matter of taste."
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:22 AM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

As far as fears go, I am far more worried about peak oil than AGW. The potential consequences of AGW are slivers of potential GDP compared to the potential consequences of PO. On the other hand, most smart people I know are not worried at all about PO and are scared to death about AGW which is a comfort to me. My theory of human behavior suggests we will burn the cheapest short term energy sources and when the oil runs out we will replace it with coal. My gut feeling is that when oil gets expensive, instead of moving to cleaner energy we will move to dirtier energy. Thus we get a triple feature of PO, AGW, and respiratory illness. Smarter people than me think I am dead wrong so at least I have that.
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  #18  
Old 01-16-2010, 06:19 AM
Francoamerican
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by themightypuck View Post
As far as fears go, I am far more worried about peak oil than AGW. The potential consequences of AGW are slivers of potential GDP compared to the potential consequences of PO. On the other hand, most smart people I know are not worried at all about PO and are scared to death about AGW which is a comfort to me. My theory of human behavior suggests we will burn the cheapest short term energy sources and when the oil runs out we will replace it with coal. My gut feeling is that when oil gets expensive, instead of moving to cleaner energy we will move to dirtier energy. Thus we get a triple feature of PO, AGW, and respiratory illness. Smarter people than me think I am dead wrong so at least I have that.
You are describing a species that is terminally stupid. I agree, though, that if PO is true and if it is imminent (some say it is already here), there will not be enough time for a country like the US to prepare for the economic shock of oil at $200+ per barrel. I recently read somewhere (sorry I can't remember where) that the US department of Defense is assuming such a price in the not too distant future.

Europeans already pay 4 times more for gas and consequently drive much less. They also have well-developed public transport. So they may be better prepared for PO, but it will be devastating to the entire world economy, which is dependent on cheap oil in so many ways.

Last edited by Francoamerican; 01-16-2010 at 06:47 AM..
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  #19  
Old 01-16-2010, 07:40 AM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

I'm not sure about terminally stupid. But consider gasoline in the USA. A meaningful gas tax in the USA is politically unfeasible. Hell, people get pissed at politicians for gasoline price increases unrelated to politics (I have a friend who supported Bush through everything except the big gasoline price increase which he somehow blamed on Bush). Imagine increasing the price by fiat!
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:44 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francoamerican View Post
You are describing a species that is terminally stupid. I agree, though, that if PO is true and if it is imminent (some say it is already here), there will not be enough time for a country like the US to prepare for the economic shock of oil at $200+ per barrel. I recently read somewhere (sorry I can't remember where) that the US department of Defense is assuming such a price in the not too distant future.

Europeans already pay 4 times more for gas and consequently drive much less. They also have well-developed public transport. So they may be better prepared for PO, but it will be devastating to the entire world economy, which is dependent on cheap oil in so many ways.
Highlights from List of countries by ratio of GDP to carbon dioxide emissions

PPP GDP per ton CO2 Emissions
Sweden 6,259
Switzerland 6,786
France 5,153
Germany 3,318
Japan 3,154
United Kingdom 3,604
United States 2,291
China 1,003

The US could do a lot better.
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  #21  
Old 01-16-2010, 02:00 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by themightypuck View Post
As far as fears go, I am far more worried about peak oil than AGW. The potential consequences of AGW are slivers of potential GDP compared to the potential consequences of PO. On the other hand, most smart people I know are not worried at all about PO and are scared to death about AGW which is a comfort to me. My theory of human behavior suggests we will burn the cheapest short term energy sources and when the oil runs out we will replace it with coal. My gut feeling is that when oil gets expensive, instead of moving to cleaner energy we will move to dirtier energy. Thus we get a triple feature of PO, AGW, and respiratory illness. Smarter people than me think I am dead wrong so at least I have that.
There is probably something to your worries about the urge to move to dirtier sources of energy as our oil reserves get depleted, but I think your worries about PO are in general overwrought.

First, it's not going to be an abrupt change, where we all keep paying the same price until one day, we go to the gas station and OMG GAS IS FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS A GALLON.

Second, it is important to keep in mind that what counts as oil in reserve depends largely on what the price of it is. Some oil is not worth trying to get at current prices, but nudge the price up just a bit, and suddenly it is. Probably even more importantly, other forms of energy become competitive, as well, as does the increased inclination of people to pay up front for efficiency, and make other lifestyle choices that aren't particularly hard to accept.

A while back, I read a good article in Wired about this second point. I can't find it right now (I originally read it in the print edition!), but this might be one of its sidebars. (Note all of the links in the box at the upper right corner of the main text area.)

Point is, it's going to be a gradual transition in a number of ways, and though energy prices may creep up overall (until we invent Mr. Fusion, of course ), and be irritating noticeable for short periods of time, I doubt it's going to be an ongoing, severe problem to the point where, say, GDP is crushed.
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 01-16-2010 at 02:05 PM..
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  #22  
Old 01-16-2010, 03:15 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Point is, it's going to be a gradual transition in a number of ways, and though energy prices may creep up overall (until we invent Mr. Fusion, of course ), and be irritating noticeable for short periods of time, I doubt it's going to be an ongoing, severe problem to the point where, say, GDP is crushed.
Some of the more sensible peak oil theorists assume that prices will fluctuate widely. This seems very plausible. One and a half years ago, talk about oil prices and hybrids dominated the news. So did home insulation, zero energy homes and wood pellet furnaces at least in Austria. Obama told Americans to inflate their tires, which caused much outrage. We learned that to inflate your tires is apparently un-American.

Today? Nothing. Until next time, when prices hit some arbitrary, psychological barrier.

The oil crisis in the 70ies resulted in a dramatic decrease of oil consumption, despite plunging prices, which also conveniently caused the Soviet Union to collapse.

But back then, the cause of the oil scarcities were outspoken nefarious human actors. There was no doubt or confusion about this. In 2008, peak oil reached the mainstream media, but only as one of many explanations. Politicians all over the world promised to fix the problem. The Austrian Green Party even agreed to increase the commuting subsidy, so "poor people can get to work".

So without this diversion and obfuscation of the issue, we would have probably seen even more and drastic change in behaviour.

Peak oil may well spur growth through demand for more efficient vehicles, public transportation, urbanization, insulation, etc.

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Old 01-16-2010, 03:31 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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...
Peak oil may well spur growth through demand for more efficient vehicles, public transportation, urbanization, insulation, etc.
Quite. You argue as if there is an inconsistency between planning for a peak oil crisis or an AGW crisis. I fail to see an issue here. The same strategies seem to apply in either case (increased efficiency; more reliance on clean(er), renewable sources; better energy storage technologies; etc....) And though it's not clear which will be a bigger problem first, it does seem very clear that both are real threats.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:42 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Quite. You argue as if there is an inconsistency between planning for a peak oil crisis or an AGW crisis. I fail to see an issue here. The same strategies seem to apply in either case (increased efficiency; more reliance on clean(er), renewable sources; better energy storage technologies; etc....) And though it's not clear which will be a bigger problem first, it does seem very clear that both are real threats.
There is a difference.

The AGW hawks primary focus and concern has to be on the creation of artificial scarcity. Everything depends on that. Some AGW hawks don't even seem to care much about what step 2 is going to be. The invisible hand is supposed to sort that out.

Those who believe in Peak Oil are already at step 2. I personally didn't give much thought to Copenhagen. Step 2 is about considering how you can deal with peak oil in your own life and about bothering local politicians, mayors etc. on urban planing, public transportation and insulation issues and on educating your fellow citizens.

Last edited by dieter; 01-16-2010 at 04:45 PM.. Reason: gave -> give
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:35 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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There is a difference.

The AGW hawks primary focus and concern has to be on the creation of artificial scarcity. Everything depends on that. Some AGW hawks don't even seem to care much about what step 2 is going to be. The invisible hand is supposed to sort that out.

Those who believe in Peak Oil are already at step 2. I personally didn't give much thought to Copenhagen. Step 2 is about considering how you can deal with peak oil in your own life and about bothering local politicians, mayors etc. on urban planing, public transportation and insulation issues and on educating your fellow citizens.
I guess I really don't understand to whom you are referring when you mention "AGW Hawks." The only people who matter to me, in this context, are policy makers, and I really don't see anything like the sort of muscular stance on an issue I'd associate with that description among those in a position to make meaningful policy. I think it's probably relevant to note that I'd view a carbon tax or a cap and trade system (equivalently) as a minimum place to start in either regard.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:06 PM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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There is probably something to your worries about the urge to move to dirtier sources of energy as our oil reserves get depleted, but I think your worries about PO are in general overwrought.

First, it's not going to be an abrupt change, where we all keep paying the same price until one day, we go to the gas station and OMG GAS IS FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS A GALLON.

Second, it is important to keep in mind that what counts as oil in reserve depends largely on what the price of it is. Some oil is not worth trying to get at current prices, but nudge the price up just a bit, and suddenly it is. Probably even more importantly, other forms of energy become competitive, as well, as does the increased inclination of people to pay up front for efficiency, and make other lifestyle choices that aren't particularly hard to accept.

A while back, I read a good article in Wired about this second point. I can't find it right now (I originally read it in the print edition!), but this might be one of its sidebars. (Note all of the links in the box at the upper right corner of the main text area.)

Point is, it's going to be a gradual transition in a number of ways, and though energy prices may creep up overall (until we invent Mr. Fusion, of course ), and be irritating noticeable for short periods of time, I doubt it's going to be an ongoing, severe problem to the point where, say, GDP is crushed.
I agree with BJ.

Actually I'm a peak-oil denialist and truly believe that we will never run out of oil, just like we're not going to run out of other metals.
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:36 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default I am not scared about peak oil

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As far as fears go, I am far more worried about peak oil than AGW. The potential consequences of AGW are slivers of potential GDP compared to the potential consequences of PO. On the other hand, most smart people I know are not worried at all about PO and are scared to death about AGW which is a comfort to me. My theory of human behavior suggests we will burn the cheapest short term energy sources and when the oil runs out we will replace it with coal. My gut feeling is that when oil gets expensive, instead of moving to cleaner energy we will move to dirtier energy. Thus we get a triple feature of PO, AGW, and respiratory illness. Smarter people than me think I am dead wrong so at least I have that.
Many countries have already run out of coal a long time ago. Coal is difficult to haul. It is not a substitute for oil in cars. (Unless we are talking about costly liquification). Besides, China will use all the coal it can get with or without peak oil. Amazing Graphs about China's growth. I've looked into their Co2 emissions stats some months ago. Their growth in emissions is staggering.

Back to peak oil. It will cause less vehicle miles traveled and a more efficient car fleet. Change will happen at the margin. Why would the decline be any more disruptive or noticable than the incline during past decades?

The doomsday fearmongers of group 4. frequently point to the fact that fertilizer and pesticides are made from natural gas and oil and imply that we are going to starve come next Tuesday.
But only a tiny fraction of current oil and natgas consumption is used for fertilizer and pestizides and both can be made from arbitrary forms of energy, including electricity, not to mention urine, if push comes to shove.

So you could theoretically make nitrogen fertilizer in the desert from solar power and ship it to fertile lands. We used to ship south american bird droppings Guano from South America to Europe in the 19th century.

At least that is my hypothesis, or objection to the doomsday scenario.

The biggest issue I see, is that food, fertilizer and gasoline are basically interchangeable. So gaz guzzling westeners and Jet owning environmentalists like Al Gore, Brad Pitt and Bono are going to bid the price for mexican tortillas and fertilizer in India up.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:10 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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I've been surprised too by the lack of awareness (or willful ignorance) of the long-term consequences of peak oil. Does anyone discuss it in the US?
No, it almost never comes up. In fact, I don't know that I've ever heard anyone talk about it in American television news, where most Americans get most of their information about the world, and I've only heard it talked about a handful of times in other contexts.


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I became convinced of the truth of the theory several years ago when I was living in Saudi Arabia and was able to talk to some western oil experts. Since then everything I've read confirms that we may all be living in a dreamworld. In a nutshell: Oil consumption keeps rising, no important new discoveries have been made in the past 30 year.
That is it, in a nutshell: Exponential growth in energy consumption combined with finite energy resources. The conclusion is obvious, even if 9 out of 10 people can't even define the term "peak oil."

There's an excellent lecture on the subject delivered by physics professor Al Bartlett, available here:

http://www.albartlett.org/presentati...gy_video1.html

Annoyingly, someone has gone and added Very Dramatic Music to the beginning of the video; don't let that put you off. The content of the lecture is excellent. The video starts with an elementary description of the exponential function, essential to understanding the inevitable consequences of ever increasing energy consumption. The arithmetic is simple, but the implications are dramatic. If people want to opine on the subject of peak oil, they should at least understand it in the clear terms presented in this lecture.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:03 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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No, it almost never comes up. In fact, I don't know that I've ever heard anyone talk about it in American television news, where most Americans get most of their information about the world, and I've only heard it talked about a handful of times in other contexts.



That is it, in a nutshell: Exponential growth in energy consumption combined with finite energy resources. The conclusion is obvious, even if 9 out of 10 people can't even define the term "peak oil."

There's an excellent lecture on the subject delivered by physics professor Al Bartlett, available here:

http://www.albartlett.org/presentati...gy_video1.html

Annoyingly, someone has gone and added Very Dramatic Music to the beginning of the video; don't let that put you off. The content of the lecture is excellent. The video starts with an elementary description of the exponential function, essential to understanding the inevitable consequences of ever increasing energy consumption. The arithmetic is simple, but the implications are dramatic. If people want to opine on the subject of peak oil, they should at least understand it in the clear terms presented in this lecture.
Oil resources are finite in a sense, but there are still different thresholds of price.

When oil prices crashed there was effectively no oil to be gained in the tar sands in Canada as it was not cost effective to mine there. Once they recovered, more oil came on the market.

cheap oil is finite, but as price rises for oil barrels, other taps of oil will come on the market because it would be reasonable to tap them and make a profit.

For that reason, I do not see peak oil as an imminent danger, but I'd still like to get the hell off of it for a number of unrelated reasons.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:35 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Oil resources are finite in a sense, but there are still different thresholds of price.

When oil prices crashed there was effectively no oil to be gained in the tar sands in Canada as it was not cost effective to mine there. Once they recovered, more oil came on the market.
Tar sands are an indicator that we are getting truly desperate. It is a mining operation that actually depends on lots of natural gas to cook the oil out of the sand. It is only a drop in the bucket for the cost of huge environmental destruction.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:32 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Oil resources are finite in a sense
Oil resources are finite, period. No need to say "in a sense."


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but there are still different thresholds of price.When oil prices crashed there was effectively no oil to be gained in the tar sands in Canada as it was not cost effective to mine there. Once they recovered, more oil came on the market.
This is well known and well understood, but it really has nothing to do with the fundamental equation: exponential growth of consumption of a finite, non-renewable resource will eventually lead to the depletion of that resource.



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cheap oil is finite, but
No buts about it. Cheap oil is finite, and so is every other kind of oil.


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as price rises for oil barrels, other taps of oil will come on the market because it would be reasonable to tap them and make a profit.
Again, a well understood concept that has nothing whatever to do with the fact that exponential growth in consumption of a finite resource will eventually lead to the depletion of that resource.

The question isn't whether we can tap new reserves; we obviously can. The question is whether the new reserves waiting to be discovered are larger than all the reserves already consumed since the dawn of the industrial revolution, because that's what we are going to need if consumption continues to increase.



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For that reason, I do not see peak oil as an imminent danger
I didn't say it was imminent. I don't know when we'll reach peak oil. I do know that we will, though, if consumption continues to increase. There's just no way around it. Please tell me that you're not seriously having trouble with this exceedlingly simple and obvious proposition.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:25 PM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Oil resources are finite, period. No need to say "in a sense."



This is well known and well understood, but it really has nothing to do with the fundamental equation: exponential growth of consumption of a finite, non-renewable resource will eventually lead to the depletion of that resource.




No buts about it. Cheap oil is finite, and so is every other kind of oil.



Again, a well understood concept that has nothing whatever to do with the fact that exponential growth in consumption of a finite resource will eventually lead to the depletion of that resource.

The question isn't whether we can tap new reserves; we obviously can. The question is whether the new reserves waiting to be discovered are larger than all the reserves already consumed since the dawn of the industrial revolution, because that's what we are going to need if consumption continues to increase.




I didn't say it was imminent. I don't know when we'll reach peak oil. I do know that we will, though, if consumption continues to increase. There's just no way around it. Please tell me that you're not seriously having trouble with this exceedlingly simple and obvious proposition.
Your reasoning is too exceedingly simplistic. What matters is not the quantity of oil still out there, which as far as we know could be enormous. You make it sound like all the oil is in a big vat and we are just opening the spigot more and more. In so doing you're missing the biggest factor: human ingenuity. It takes skill, technology, and profit-motive, to find, tap, and deliver oil and there is nothing constant about this. Innovation is not just going to bring us alternative sources of energy, but it will also bring more oil. So in a sense it is renewable, because human ingenuity is renewable. Likewise, forgetting about the role of prices gives a completely unrealistic picture. As the availability and our level of advancement fluctuates, so will the price of oil. These changes will send signals to which we will respond etc..There's nothing "peaky" to this story. PO is a misleading word.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:32 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

OK, you're a technological optimist. But, doesn't it take longer to create oil than use it? Also, given current technology, the price of oil will increase as it's harder to find and extract. And, won't that price be too dear, both in terms of extraction and environmental damage, both in gross terms and in relative terms of other uses for that same investment in innovation?
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:53 PM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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OK, you're a technological optimist. But, doesn't it take longer to create oil than use it? Also, given current technology, the price of oil will increase as it's harder to find and extract. And, won't that price be too dear, both in terms of extraction and environmental damage, both in gross terms and in relative terms of other uses for that same investment in innovation?
You're making a bunch of assumptions and predictions that I'm not ready to accept. Technological advancement *reduces* environmental damage. I'm not necessarily a technological optimist, I'm just saying that PO misses the picture completely.
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:19 AM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

While the generally accepted theory of oil being formed from once living matter there is another theory that oil is formed in by the pressure and temperature deep within the earth from various other compounds. Hydrocarbons in the deep Earth While this specific research is new the theory is not. It was first proposed by some Russian in the late 19th - early 20th century, if my memory serves.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:40 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Your reasoning is too exceedingly simplistic. What matters is not the quantity of oil still out there, which as far as we know could be enormous. You make it sound like all the oil is in a big vat and we are just opening the spigot more and more. In so doing you're missing the biggest factor: human ingenuity. It takes skill, technology, and profit-motive, to find, tap, and deliver oil and there is nothing constant about this. Innovation is not just going to bring us alternative sources of energy, but it will also bring more oil. So in a sense it is renewable, because human ingenuity is renewable. Likewise, forgetting about the role of prices gives a completely unrealistic picture. As the availability and our level of advancement fluctuates, so will the price of oil. These changes will send signals to which we will respond etc..There's nothing "peaky" to this story. PO is a misleading word.
Unit, I think you're whistling in the dark. Firstly, it's certain that there's a finite amount of petroleum waiting to be found. You seem to think that since we can't assign any specific number to that quantity with certainty, that frees us to assume there's no limit. Also, the energy cost of extracting what's left is inevitably going to increase. "Human ingenuity" does not trump entropy, ever. As the extraction cost rises (as it inevitably will), the price at the pump rises. Eventually it'll cost more to extract a bbl from the gound than you can ever expect to retrieve from one. No amount of ingenuity solves that problem.

You accused Twin of simplistic assumptions, and then respond with these arguments?
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:51 PM
Unit Unit is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Unit, I think you're whistling in the dark. Firstly, it's certain that there's a finite amount of petroleum waiting to be found. You seem to think that since we can't assign any specific number to that quantity with certainty, that frees us to assume there's no limit. Also, the energy cost of extracting what's left is inevitably going to increase. "Human ingenuity" does not trump entropy, ever. As the extraction cost rises (as it inevitably will), the price at the pump rises. Eventually it'll cost more to extract a bbl from the gound than you can ever expect to retrieve from one. No amount of ingenuity solves that problem.

You accused Twin of simplistic assumptions, and then respond with these arguments?
Since the scenario where price increases because of scarcity is so far removed into the future (possibly), while prices might very well decrease or increase in the meantime (because of thousand other reasons), I think giving prevalence to the first scenario is simplistic and misleading. The universe might very well be finite but so what?
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:19 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Since the scenario where price increases because of scarcity is so far removed into the future (possibly), while prices might very well decrease or increase in the meantime (because of thousand other reasons), I think giving prevalence to the first scenario is simplistic and misleading. The universe might very well be finite but so what?
Would you like to quantify that assertion?
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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Would you like to quantify that assertion?
p=.2
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:25 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Pinkerton is largely right wrt to environmentalists motivations ...

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p=.2
We need data, Unit. You're making incredibly rosy predictions with no apparent basis, except optimism.
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