C or less can readily be explained by solar cycles or cloud cover changes or mostly a rebound from the little ice age. We just don't enough by the cloud feedback mechanisms to model the climate. After all, the MAJOR heat flow mechanism in the lower atmosphere is convection, cloud formation and precipitation. Shouldn't we cast SOME doubt on those "models". Finally, CO2 is a poor greenhouse absorber as compared to water for example and the basic fundamental mechanism of heat transfer from the ground to CO2 in conjunction with water vapor has not been verified in the atmosphere e.
Do we believe the atmosphere or do we believe models with dozens of adjustable parameters?? Keep up the great work. We are reading your stuff. I am starting some plants in-doors soon to plant in the Spring never done it before. This is just chalk full of erroneous statements. I suspect you know this, but on the off chance that you are sincere, please look at the handy explanations of all your points at www. I have read Real Climate and I honestly disagree with their explanations. I certainly wouldn't write statements that I know to be deliberately false.
Perhaps you should consider reading:. What specific statements do you suggest are erroneous and in what way? I will attempt to explain why I said what I said if you like. My main rationale is that Peak Oil is here now and "Global Warming" is at worst many decades away. Focusing on the problem that we know i. I certainly agree that there are many solutions that would address both issues e. The "joint solution" solutions should be pursued regardless as Peak Oil alone is sufficient rationale IMO. I don't want to turn the thread into yet another vain attempt to convince people of the simple and obvious to most now fact that GW is now happening and is caused by human emissions.
What can you say to those that don't want to accept the conclusions of every established scientific body on the face of the earth who have weighed in on the topic? But your statement ""Global Warming" is at worst many decades away" is just so bizarre, I have to ask what you think is happening in the Arctic? The globe has been warming dramatically, especially over the last fifty years see graphs on this thread.
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We're dumping tens of billions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Which of these basic, uncontroversial facts don't you understand. Or do you have trouble connecting the dots? I have owned the same place for 22 years. It is not urban. The first ten years were much colder than the last This winter, being used as a poster case by your crew would have been utterly normal 15 years ago, except for the lack of a real cold snap.
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Should have broken Many many plants, wild and cultivated, can handle but not Odd he should mention this; The Year without a Summer was caused by a sudden shock to the climate by a massive volcanic eruption that altered the climate around the world, changing temperature and rainfall patterns. Just how this adds to his argument is a mystery C or less can readily be explained by solar cycles or cloud cover changes. Even Lassen and Friis-Christensen have accepted that the current warming is due to something other than the sun. Greenhouse effect sceptics may have lost their final excuse.
The Sun has been dethroned as the dominant source of climate change, leaving the finger of blame pointing at humans. A correlation between the sunspot cycle and temperatures in the northern hemisphere seemed to account for most of the warming seen up until But new results reveal that for the past 15 years something other than the Sun—probably greenhouse emissions—has pushed temperatures higher.
Let's not succumb to semi-scientific ramblings from political types like Inhofe, or pundits like Limbaugh, O'Reilly, etc. If you must read climate blogs, make sure you read RealClimate. By your chart, we are already a good bit hotter than the Dustbowl Solar activity very low. Solar cycle 24 not yet started. Impact of solar activity on climate is not well-understood.
What a puzzling statement; the Arctic ice mass loss is well-documented, and the Antarctic warming is becoming more clear see below. Be more specific; which activities and over which time periods i. Solar activity is up over the last 5 months, so you need to provide context. If we were indeed in a low solar activity cycle, how much warmer will it be at the end of that 11 year cycle?
Solar cycle 24, due to peak in or "looks like its going to be one of the most intense cycles since record-keeping began almost years ago," says solar physicist David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center. In short, the update is that the panel has not yet made any changes to the prediction issued in April, The panel expects solar minimum to occur in March, The panel expects the solar cycle to reach a peak sunspot number of in October, or a peak of 90 in August, I don't want to get into a discussion about whether climate change is man-made or not, or whether CO2 is the primary cause of climate change, or if there are other variables that are more important.
I don't have any special expertise in this area. The point is that climate change for whatever reason, in whichever direction may be taking place. It is one of nine issues I list that may cause the situation to be worse than it otherwise would be. It simple: hotter air is able to carry more water vapor, which is simple physics. More water vapor leads to more flooding events, and we've seen those all over the world in the last 5 years.
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So far so good. Now more moisture in the air also leads to much heavier snowfalls and more dramatic winter weather. Now cue the mentally-challenged GW-deniers, bleating about a "new Ice Age". Pass the sick bag, Alice. And also, since water vapor is a ghg, more water vapor means more warming, which means more water vapor Hotter air also means that less of that vapor will form clouds that could block solar energy.
On flooding, in my area one county had rainfalls many times higher than the last all-time record, while a couple counties over, they were suffering from record drought. Ian - how about this compromise? I take some action, based on the best available current science, to keep this planet's climate survivable; and you find a different planet to experiment with. Let me know how yours turns out. There is this weired notion floating around that satellite measurements are somehow more reliable and simpler than surface station measurement.
Transforming an observed infrared radiance over a large field of view into a global surface temperature estimate is a very difficult problem. If you think the GISS data is massaged, think of what you have to do in order to form a "proper" global satellite-based temperature record: - effect of the atmosphere - low cloud contamination. Are you talking about the first few years or the second or third or forth decade after peak oil? Except for your comments on reduced airline travel, and the possibility of gasoline shortages and rationing the other predictions do not make much sense.
This is the price in Europe, now and they still seem to be able to grow and transport food. More likely food would become more available and cheaper. Big challengers ahead to dramatically improve energy efficiency to say what it is in Japan and to replace all FF energy, but probably easier to do in a depression where the government can spend trillions on infrastructure, that in an economic boom where there are shortages of steel, cement and labor.
The best news for a post-peak oil world is a recession that slows sown oil use, allows excess industrial capacity to be used to replace all FF and the incentive of governments to do it. I tend to agree with this, but do think you underestimate the potential for temporary supply disruptions in food. A two-week stockpile of food and water seems reasonable to me and I would have been thankful for it had I lived in NOLA during Katrina. But all in all, I must agree that the risk of the sustained inability to produce food, at least in the US, Canada, Russia, and most other suitable growing environments with some form of FF resource, is unlikely unless we just really drop the ball.
Wouldn't this be about priority number one? If Germany can run a military on German CtL, surely we can at least run our tractors and rail on it given our vast reserves. If people in the US starve, it will be because we refuse to feed and clothe the poor and unemployed. Even if it would seem like water and food should be pretty much our top priorities, I am not sure that the thought has even crossed the minds of those holding high office.
It seems like people are more concerned with bailing out the banking industry, and making certain that we can sell more autos in the future. Food and water seem like issues that will take care of themselves, so no one worries. It doesn't cross anyone's minds that it may be more difficult to get fertilizer and pesticides in the future, or that fuel rationing might need to affect something other than private passenger automobiles.
And why should it be on their agendas? We are currently in no scarcity of food, but we do have a collapsing finance system and auto industry. Whether or not you agree with propping up the banks or bailing out the automakers, it is sort of a red herring to point to current priorities and cite them as some sort of proof of how we would react to a changing set of circumstances.
If the government were to continue such practices during a famine, I'm pretty sure heads would roll. We've had bloody revolutions for less. I suspect many here would be at the front of the pitchfork mob. Government isn't stupid; it's simply reactionary because of limited resources and constrained power. And I don't agree that they aren't addressing food issues at all. You have to look at the problem as a whole, yes, but you have to look at the solutions as a whole too. I see personal transport as the elephant in the room; not tractors. At least not for a while. I am not trying to make light of the situation I'm just saying that maybe there are areas that need more immediate attention than the risk of unlikely sustained famines in the future when we have so many other problems here and now.
Well, maybe. But the last year has seen food riots around the world. In this country, food pantries in every major city are at record lows and numbers of those seeking help with food are high and rising. This before full effects of PO have kicked in. Water shortage, climate chaos, fertilizer shortage, farmer shortage, diesel price instability both for farm machines and for trucks hauling supplies to farmers and food to market Maybe we will dodge every one of these bullets somehow, but many people are starting to take their food supply more into their own hands.
Sale of vegetable seed this year exceeded sale of flower seed in US garden stores for the first time in decades. Farmers markets and CSA's are springing up all over. I don't think that depending on the wisdom of our leaders to avert the worst is a particularly good strategy, given recent history. The drop in supply food pantries is because of the rapidly rising unemployment. Supplies can be scaled up. But supply disruptions are not the same thing as a lack of food. We have the land and resources to feed America. That said, I wouldn't want to live in Britain or even Asia.
Are there millions of acres of rich arable land that are not being farmed? If we farm every last arable acre, will that have some negative consequences? And we certainly cannot "scale up" if we are using huge portions of our food to make gas to feed to SUVs. I'm not sure you are fully aware of just how dependent modern agriculture and the whole food processing and distribution system is on oil at every level.
We could do a lot to start preparing for a oil constrained future. And some is happening. More people are growing vegetable gardens than they have for a long time. Farmers markets are cropping up, and more people are joining CSAs I guess we can each have our own views. As I pointed out in my Oil Drum letter to Obama , it seems to me that the US is already past peak fossil fuel use on a per-capita basis effective , because we are are not making enough with the fossil fuels to have sufficient exports to keep a reasonable balance of payments.
When we look at our consumption, this is the graph we get:. Our growing imports can be seen in this graph of how much fuels are produced in the US, and our growing import gap. Our financial problems are very much related to this issue. It seems likely to me that as our financial problems sort themselves out, and the credit problems unwind further, the US will find it much more difficult to maintain its big imports.
This could lead to a very sudden drop in US fuels of nearly all kinds. This is still higher than most of countries, would have almost no impact on electricity production. Are you saying that US citizens are incapable of having a high standard of living and use only as much energy as many European countries? Many great ideas, but they are not happening now, and there is very little likelihood that any will happen any times soon.
We can't even get cap and trade going. Rationing isn't even on the radar screen, though it is obvious to rational folks like you and I that this will have to be something we do sooner preferably or later. Maybe Obama will convince the country to move in some of these directions, but so far he can't even convince even one Republican to go along with his bailout plan. There are entrenched interests standing in the way of many rational approaches that may soften the blow for many.
These interests show no sign of disappearing. I agree this presents a huge financial problem. But given the figures on the charts you provided, say US fuel imports drop to zero almost overnight admittedly not out of the question. I am not arguing BAU is possible, or that drastic measures won't be needed to transition the economy and lifestyles, or that it won't hurt to do so. I realize the decline is sustained and will keep falling, but I believe there are other longterm options But in the nearterm I just don't buy mass starvation here in the US.
I'll leave it at that. Thanks for the post and comments. I advocate the view that we will be able to feed ourselves here in the West after we stumble badly and then get our act together. I think there is a good chance some food production likely grains will be nationalized or otherwise supported i. I think the food will mostly be available but that people will have real trouble affording it. We are already seeing the seeds of slums in the form of tent cities in various places around the country.
The energy is there for the Powers That Be to feed the masses if they want to nationalize basic food distribution services. If they don't do this, they will be either booted out of office or we will see a revolution scenario one more likely. Therefore it will happen. Yes, not all nations are so fortunate. This is the price in Europe, now and they still seem to be able to grow and transport food".
All you have to do is look at google earth of Europe and the US and it will show you why your conclusion is so erroneous. Europe has MUCH shorter supply chains for food, because farms are literally everywhere. Any map of france or germany shows little towns everywhere with farmland in-between. Granted, they are relatively un-forested, but that is a different issue. In the US, however, very little food is grown in the east where most of the people live and the megafarms that provide your sustenance are all miles away in Nebraska.
Breakfast: you want your wheaties. Wheat is grown far from most population centers, and certainly far enough that you won't gain any energy by walking to get it yourself. You may as well eat your lawn. Lunch: you want a roast beef sandwich: that beef was most likely raised in Florida not saying you dont live in florida, but. Europe does not have this problem with high prices, because its supply chains are shorter. As I have said many times lately, while I agree with all of the problems and points on this site, there is just so much bad logic when it comes to connecting the dots.
It will be harder is NOT the same thing as it will be impossible. A black swan that could curtail these imports being distributed to the final topsoil square footage would unleash all kinds of Liebig Minimums, with further cascading blowbacks. To further prod your research journey:. Our complete dependence upon Germany as a source of potash was brought home in when, as a result of the reorganization of the German potash industry, favorable contracts held by american importing companies were suddenly cancelled.
The ensuing price increases caused Congress, in , to fund exploration of possible potash sources in the U. We continued to import most of our potash from Germany until , when the outbreak of war completely cut off supplies. During WWI, the U. Enjoy your research. Phosphorus long term availability may be a bigger issue. Most energy is used to produce ammonia from either NG, Coal or wind powered electrolysis of water.
N America has massive deposits of potassium in Canada Provence of Saskatchewan. It not the size of the reserves, it's the flowrates. No different than the other experts have said for fossil fuels. Recall Jay Hanson's discussion of energy sources into energy sinks, it applies also to fertilizers and other resources:.
New poster, longtime reader. I have a good grip on the problems ahead. While a lot of people on this site may think I am an optimist and even a cornucopian, the general population of family and friends I try to educate about PO issues sees me as that weird guy who lives on a farm and thinks the sky is always falling. I sometimes wonder what that says about the ideology of the world and of this site. In response to your post, I respectfully agree with your concerns, and you obviously know more about fertilizer than me Given efficiencies that can be gained when FF become expensive i.
Eat more locally, use more rail, etc We are not going to run out of enough oil and natural gas to create fertilizer and pesticides anytime soon. Not in this country. I think long-term, advanced nuclear will solve the energy crisis. I think you are discounting the role of politics and planning. But I fully expect some people to be driving Hummers while others can't get enough food. There are plenty of people right now who are having a lot of trouble getting by, but the FedGov gives hundreds of billions to bankers.
And I think you underestimate GOOD politics and planning and the effect knowledge of the problem will have on public opinion. There are easy solutions. Hummer made illegal: problem solved. Yes, these are extreme measures likely to be unpopular now , but no more so than putting everyone to work in a garden or any other of the measures brought up on this site I am not arguing that PO is not an extreme problem, it is, and that is why extreme measures will be taken to handle it.
I predict a rocky and scary transition. But solutions will scale up quicker than you think I rather like the idea of more people gardening or in agriculture as I don't think our industrialization is going to keep everyone working or fed. Ashton, You are correct that some foods travel long distances in US, but grains are grown very widely in most parts of US, and most large volumes move via water transport which is very efficient.
Foods imported to US and Europe Bananas, coffee coco travel further. The least efficient use of energy is moving fresh out of season vegetables from California to the N East or from Chile to US and Europe. This is a nice luxury, but we could go back to cabbage, turnips etc during winter without really starving.
Good God, Gail! Do you ever sleep? That is a very comprehensive thread which so far I have only glanced down. But it all seems like the change in thinking that all we must rapid engage. A change in thinking, not primarily for peak oil, but for Global Cooking. Taken with the Passive Solar advice this is all very solid. I do sleep. This is a re-run from 18 months ago that I imagine quite a few of our newer readers missed.
If I were writing the post now, there might be a few changes because it looks like we are now post-peak. I expect that the advice would be similar, however. That would be interesting. I was always fairly sure that Resource constraints, especially oil, would manifest themselves in the capital markets. I just didn't know how. Certainly the way it has actually played out is substantially different to anything I expected.
Perhaps the biggest surprise though in retrospect it shouldn't have been is the extent to which the rapid drawdown of existing resources gave rise to the widely held illusion that we could live at the consumption levels of around a year ago. This was expressed in a financial system that fooled us into thinking there are more resources than actually exist.
Perhaps the most depressing aspect to all of this is that this illusion persists very strongly. Business as usual and a return to growth is perceived as inevitable, like the rising of the sun. Jason Bradford, in his excellent letter to Obama, "Hungary Ghosts" today eloquently describes why this will not happen.
There is a fundamental disconnect in our prevailing economics discipline. Even more depressing is the fact that many of these people hold positions of great authority in governments and major corporations around the world. Economics needs to rapidly embrace ecological, resource and biophysical constraints within its logic.
Obama, though a massive improvement on the dreadful Bush, has illustrated clearly that either he doesn't fully understand this simple concept, or if he does, that he lacks the statesmanship to explain this economics dysfunction to the nation and the world. Or maybe he believes the limits to growth have not yet been reached, even if we are hitting a bump in the road with oil? I see no reason to believe that bump is not something we can overcome after a contraction. As has been brought up in other recent threads, there are a lot of other potential options that could come online down the road.
I am yet to be sold on the idea that a depression that coicides with Peak Oil must be the end of the road and not a bumpy adjustment with potential for change. It seems to me that we managed to get ourselves into financial overshoot, and that it is all coming down. The huger derivative unwind has not really begun yet, and that will make things worse than they would otherwise have been.
All of the debt has permitted investment to be at far more than a sustainable level. Now it is coming down, and the amount of resources extracted each year will almost certainly decline because of the reduced investment. I think in many ways financial overshoot is closely related to biological overshoot, described in Jason's post. We are trying to use more resources than are there, and to grow when we can no longer grow.
We know that biological overshoot generally results in collapse of the system. I don't any political leader can deal with the possibility that we may be headed for collapse. No one can mention this possibility, or suggest taking actions that are specifically aimed at mitigating collapse. Instead, it is much more acceptable to "stimulate" the economy. Trying to get economists to look at things this way is an exercise in frustration. People understand that if they want to get ahead in any position government or private , they have to deliver a message that their supervisors will find acceptable--and a U or V shaped recovery, as the economy naturally recovers, "sells" well.
Agreed with the points about politicians being unable to totally speak their minds; though I seriously doubt Obama believes that PO means permanent collapse. Hence collapse. But that doesn't mean that more resources won't come on line. The problem, as I see it, is similar to what you are noting about oil. Investments are down now because we don't need the oil There will be a lag in getting it up online and our economy will suffer. That doesn't mean we can't reinvest later and get things going. Personally, I think a period of contraction is good in some ways; it will force efficiency and a reevaluation of how we use energy.
Maybe the biggest and most unwelcome surprise: The dawning realization that all of the possible large scale strategies that we've been talking about - electrified rail transport, wind farms, CSP arrays, etc. It is even going to be pretty much out of the question for increasing numbers of people to come up with the financing for things like PV panels on the roof or a new Prius purchase.
Maybe we shouldn't have been surprised, but nevertheless that is the way it is going to have to be. This seems like an appropriate place to insert this: I'd really recommend that people find a copy of two, old PBS series. They are Colonial House and Frontier House. The idea of the series was to replicate how people lived during these periods and some others. Families volunteered to "go back" and live the same as people did then. They used the same technology as the period and participated in, sort of, the same economic system.
They give a much more realistic picture of how life might devolve as our present day systems crash. Further, it is fascinating to see how the volunteers reacted to their new world - many did not react well at all. An excellent series, the whole family enjoyed it, and it is a great way to introduce people to how we might be living some day, or at least show how life was for people in the not too distant past. Anyone have any ideas where we should look for this? Local libraries? Available on the internet? I taped mine off the air but Amazon has new and used copies of all of them if you want to spend money.
I wouldn't be surprised if they could be obtained via a library. Perhaps Will was thinking of The House avail.
I agree. I don't think people get this. Think about the state of California, with its financial problems. How is it ever going to be able to continue to provide subsidies of any kind? Nationalize them then. Personally, I think renewables are worth about as much as corn ethanol, but nuke projects could be nationalized. A lot of the financing problems might be temporary. We are in the middle of a huge debt unwinding.
But I think there will be enough cashflow to prop up the grid and an increase in coal and nuke use. We just have to throw all our resources there and not at stupid BAU things like we do now. This will be part of the solution. I've been thinking a lot about exactly that, Gail. The implication is that the "financial carrying capacity" [K] will be depleted by any stimulus. Doubly so, because the stimulus itself comes from from the resource base.
It's as if the starving wolves decided to feast on the last remaining rabbits so they could have more energy to hunt rabbits. And we have to remember that it's not only what sounds like official debt -eg bonds and loans - that has to be paid back, but dollars themselves. They have to be paid back with resources. Hmmm, that would be fun, an Aesop's fable of wolves and rabbits and rabbit futures and wolf dens backed by CDSs and SIVs and piggy banks. The scale of our human economy is simply too big for the natural economy.
Like a fish in water, it's almost impossible to see. What is the chance that you will live through a disaster bad enough that your county is designated an official disaster area? It turns out it's pretty high: Map shows number of U. Presidential Disaster Declarations by County between and Cleanup and Rebuilding As oil becomes more expensive, many disaster areas will never be cleaned up and rebuilt.
Damaged bridges made of concrete will be demolished and the rubble pushed aside but may take decades to rebuild, if ever. Concrete and steel take enormous amounts of energy to make, particularly concrete. Many bridges built in the future will be made of wood again. If where you live relies heavily on bridges and other infrastructure for its proper functioning, and a disaster wipes them out, will you be nimble enough to find a new place to live?
If you do not have a fully stocked disaster kit and continue to live in a disaster-prone area like California , are you being responsible? I think you are right about natural disasters becoming more important in the years ahead. With abundant oil resources, we have gotten used it getting everything fixed quickly after a storm.
Many times, homeowners receive an insurance payment or government check and can use this to rebuild an even nicer home in the same disaster-prone area. Working in the insurance field, I am probably more aware than most problems arising from natural disasters. One concern I have is with electrical supply. It normally takes several days to get electrical supply restored after a major storm.
I could imagine this stretching into weeks or months. Also, regarding roads and bridges, these are generally "self-insured" by the government organization responsible for repairing them. If there is a major earthquake in California, who would want to buy more California bonds, to cover the cost of rebuilding roads and bridges? Is the US government suddenly going to come along with sufficient aid to pay for the roads and bridges, on top of the latest TARP and stimulus spending?
Our financial problems start to interact with the natural disasters, making things worse than they would otherwise be. Yes, I think storms are going to be more disruptive than people are used to now. I'm mulling over a rewrite of that section to include more on storm recovery, especially since climate change is already increasing their frequency and intensity. The first form of electricity load shedding in the West might be in the form of storm damage If anything gets done at all it will be done in the cheapest way possible, evaluated over at most years.
And to define absolutely has to, maintaining peoples' standard of living does not count. Given a choice between upgrading the grid and rationing power, the rationing will win. Given a choice between billions of investment in new baseload power or rationing power, rationing will win. The U. Ignoring any collapse will be a piece of cake. Do you really think this won't happen? If this "Greater Depression" is anything like that other depression, it would seem to suggest it would. I see grid upgrading as a has to happen thing, so it will. Maybe not fast enough to keep standards of living from falling, but I would rather be poor and work for the TVA than freeze to death hungry in the cold.
Won't happen. It won't happen because the resources are not there. That sounds so weird, but that's what's happening.
Which is not to say the Obambis won't spend oodles of money on it, leaving huge scars and wasted easements. It reminds me of something in Taleb's book, about how the probable success of overdue megaprojects falls to zero rapidly. For an infinity of reasons. I think if you are going to say something like "the resources aren't there" you have to identify which resources. Capital may be tight, but as has been pointed out by many, what we really have to spend is resources, not money. So what resources aren't there to electrify transport and improve the grid? Coal as bridge energy source?
Fissile materials? People needing any kind of work they can get? Depression and decreased living standards until we get energy growth to return, certainly. The ability to not do anything and make matters worse, sure we could do that if we are stupid. But to say that the resources aren't there to streamline and reduce the amount of transport and improve the grid is pretty much contradictory to the facts. That seems like the kind of grandiose statement that requires more than a reference to an offhand remark by Richard H I would love to see how he came to that figure.
None of them are there, because "being there" depends on the financial paradigm. We can only build a windmill by spending "money" that represents other resources ground up elsewhere - by melting the ice caps AND by borrowing from the future. They are cheap, but even so it is a net loss to the overall environment. That's why banks can't loan, because there is no more profit to be extracted.
The cost of growth exceeds the benefits. So producing copper, for example, costs more than it's "worth". Of course there is plenty of copper - but ramping up to produce it in the current paradigm doesn't work. And that has become painfully clear to banks and traders; it's just they don't frame it as environmental crisis. That's a synthesized assertion. Sorry that I don't have a way to back it up with numbers. I don't even know how to frame it mathematically.
To take up coal, for example, it seems there is not enough railway to move much more coal. So I black box it: society as a whole is into diminishing returns and what we are seeing is the sort of thing we'd see in such a scenario. Good, bringing up "people needing work". If we are to change the paradigm, that would be the place to start. Not so much focusing on TVA type infrastructure, but what can we do with lots of people willing to work. That will lead to new possibilities. You are pointing to bottlenecks, not true resource limitations.
Rail can be expanded, just not at the rate we would prefer. If you believe in the possibility of nuclear power, that too can come online, but not at the rate we would like. Bottlenecks, with time, can be widened.
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Economic decline does not mean collapse And again, even in a depression, SOME things still get done How does copper cost more than it is worth? We need a better grid and that is worth almost anything. I guess if you take a very shortsighted look, you are right, we don't need the excess electric capacity right this second We are not at peak copper and it is a recyclable resource anyway. Melting icecaps have nothing to do with the current situation. Just because you view them as a cost doesn't mean the world or markets do. Perception is everything in the short term, evidenced by the last few years of debt growth.
Tex, do you have any glimmering idea what an ice free Arctic Ocean will do to the climate of the Northern Hemisphere. Perception is everything I've seen many lists and sets of links, but this one is the most coherent, complete, and conclusive. It would be nice to have a wiki here to capture posts like this as references. Glad you liked it.
If you go back to the original post , you will discover that there are a huge number of additional links there as well. At one point, I was thinking about going back and adding them to the post although it is already long for a post. A wiki might be a good idea. I run into the "24 hour day" constraint on writing posts.
If someone else could add to them and keep them fresh, it would be helpful. The next ten, or twelve years will look a lot like the last two. Mostly recession, periodic attempts at recovery, followed by more recesssion. By we should be getting a grip. The climate will be similar to the fifties, and sixties. Perhaps I'm too much of an optimist, but I can't help thinking this is quite pessimistic. I live in the UK, and I think that the 'collapse' here will take place over ten years or so, and be fairly smooth.
In the short term, the use of oil is going to follow traditional economics, with a set level of price elasticity and those consumers who can pay will only suffer the inconvenience of being out of pocket and disposable incomes are quite high so there is some cushion Here's how I roughly see the future panning out…. Global: Global recession reduces demand for oil, heading off an excess of demand over supply. At these levels, price of the raw material is passed through to the consumer, much as it was in , leading to less disposable income but otherwise no enormous impact on the way of life for the average UK citizen.
Indeed, these hinderences will be indistinguishable from the other trail and tribulations of the economic recession. UK: Popularity of kitchen gardens continues to rise across the UK. In , the level of demand for seeds reached record levels, and a grow-your-own ethos permeated through many cookery and gardening TV shows and articles in the media. A combination of increased awareness of global warming, desire for organic produce and reduced spending power is likely to see this increase further. Thrift becomes cool as unemployment rises to around 2.
Global: A return to 'normal' economic conditions is hampered by expensive raw materials prices, particularly oil. As soon as the global economy starts to recover, we reach a state of excess demand over available supply and commodity prices rocket, stopping the recovery and leading to economic difficulties, lower demand, and lower prices. UK: Unemployment remains high but not disastrously so. During the high commodity price swings of the cycle people will be forced to use less energy - with all households looking at more efficient ways of heating their house, food in supermarkets will start to carry the cost of transit so locally produced food immediately becomes more attractive, kerosine becomes more expensive so holidays abroad are far too expensive for most people.
These natural factors will limit oil use for the short term. Global: Now global oil supply starts to fall off, meaning that the 'economic difficulties' portion of the cycle becomes much larger, and the world moves into the period 'off the cliff'. The existing mechnism for global oil supply still works at these escalated prices, albeit only the 'richest' countries can still afford to live anything like how they used to.
Oil exporters begin to horde their own supply, further exacerbating the crisis. The potential for taking oil supplies by force becomes a real possibility. UK: A similar pattern to the earlier period emerges, but energy conservation is now a way of life. Politicians and scientists fully wake up to the problem and start to implement packages for supplying as much energy as possible in the future.
Fortunately a number of offshore wind programmes are due to come on-line around this time, making the UK the largest user of offshore wind-farms in the world - and resources primarily the remaining dregs of oil from the North Sea are directed to other projects such as the Severn Tidal Barrier. Kitchen gardening is now widespread, food miles are slashed enormously, considerably less is spent on home heating insulation, wearing more clothes etc. Oil consumption is carefully rationed towards areas of most need, smoothing the drop-off of supply. A new economy emerges that works at these lower energy levels.
Economic growth is recognised as being comprised of four parts; That due to depleting scarce resources, that due to inflating global leverage through debt, that due to population growth, and that due to innovation and research.
Only the last of these will matter in the new economy in fact, growth of the first three will be seen as a very bad thing , and global economic measures will adapt to measure this effectively. Global academia will realign their focus on sustainability and new sources of energy - using solar and tidal power more efficiently in ways that don't require a huge net energy input at the start of their life. Small communities will grow stronger and cities weaker. And might just be a bit happier ;. I'm also from the UK but think things will be much worse for Britain.
The average Brit has a very high level of debt and the housing bubble in Britain was just as bad as that in the US. I would say of all the big European countries it has the greatest chance of a sever economic colapse. This has been discussed here b4 and the numbers don't look good at all. The next decade is going to be a tough one for Britain IMO. I've tried to warn some of my friends but at this point I feel like a Cassandra. One of them just got made redundant from Ford. What's one to advise? Frances 'nuclear trains' will probably still run, I expect they will be jam packed and the motorways less used.
If we didn't have the financial bubble, the collapse would go much more slowly. All of the debt and its collapse are what are likely to make things fall apart quite a bit more quickly. Once the financial system starts to collapse, it will be difficult to keep other things including governments and electric companies together. I think you're already grossly underestimating the quantity of unemployment and its impact. And you don't mention how to handle the millions of unemployed who will never be employed in similar jobs again. You don't mention how China requires extraordinary growth to handle the influx of its people from the country to the cities Providing food and shelter for those unemployed people who will struggle to pay for both around the world will also be a challenge.
There are other items but I would just say that although you are likely a nice person, I wouldn't put you on the peak oil preparation team ;-. Edit: Here, read up on some of the expected impacts of climate change, then multiply them by ten, and you'll get an idea of what we'll be dealing with in the next few years. I'm a big believer in Peak Oil and coming dangers of Global Warming - I just think we haven't seen the direct impact on behaviour of substantially higher oil prices yet. The extent to which people cut back on energy usage when they are forced to will be interesting to see.
Jevon's paradox doesn't really hold when oil is in short supply, and conservation won't really be a choice, consumers will have to cut down. Financial catastrophe is almost guarenteed, but as I say in my point above, there is an element of economic growth which is due to research and innovation - invent a tool that does the job twice as quickly without using any more energy and you have economic growth. There is nothing about this facet of economic growth that isn't compatable with Peak Oil.
Perhaps the crux of my optimism is that operating our global society in harmony with the carrying capacity of the Earth is surely some kind of utopia - and peak oil will take us there. As the awareness of the problem becomes more widespread, then the combined effort of humanity can help focus our efforts on making this transition as smooth as possible. Okay, so we drop the availability of industrial fertiliser and the ability to shift food long distances by road, and we add in lots more kitchen gardens and buying local produce, and we can still feed ourselves for a long time yet.
I agree that if the current system of things is incompatable with a peak oil world, what I disagree with is that society won't adapt to the problem. I think that the innovation you mention will grind to close to a halt as people deal with survival. And the innovations that exist already will not get into the market in any appreciable timeframe. Yes, we will adapt, of that I'm as confident as you. But when I look at the graph below, it is very hard for me to see much of the current paradigm high energy, high innovation driven by venture capital, etc.
I was speaking with a friend who runs a biotech fund and very, very worthy drugs that have done well in trials are never going to see the light of day in this funding environment. The companies are preparing to shut their doors as I type because they could not get the next round of funding. Judging by this comment, my guess is that you have very little experience in project financing or running a business in general.
Almost everything about peak oil is directly in opposition to innovation at anywhere the level needed to make a timely difference. Please forgive me if I am wrong about your experience. You are ignoring the importance of a healthy economy in getting the new technology you are counting on into the marketplace. Have you ever raised money for a startup? I have and the elements that support that model are quickly disappearing. Excellent Gail as always. Make one step farther down the energy consumption slope than you really want to. I don't think you mentioned humanure.
There is a VERY simple way of composting your human wastes for a minimal investment. It may not be possible in your area given current laws but it doesn't take much to prepare for. I have used this for 10 years. It works, it doesn't smell and gives great compost. Many times you can find old paint buckets in people's trash at the side of the road. Groceries that have a bakery might give you used frosting buckets.
Sandwich shops get pickles in 5 gal buckets. As far as gardening goes - forget the lettuce - too little nutrition for a post peak world. Try some hardy wild greens - chickweed, lambsquarters love gardens as well as natural places. Grow Kale, chard other higher nutrition stuff. Most importantly grow beans for drying.
No special equipment needed. Not the most exciting food to some, but exciting food is going to be a thing of the past. Here in the south field peas grow well. Hand pumps for drilled wells can be purchased - one source below goes to feet. Sop it up with a sponge or cloth. You can get water by distillation from common leaves, grasses, and other green plants. Make sure that you don't use any poisonous plants, and that the container is sealed, so no water vapor escapes. Several such containers will be needed for a single person. Thinking simple is the most difficult. A couple of years ago I posted an amazing story to some US folks about an Austrian named Sepp Holzer and his permaculture in austrian alps at an altitude of about meters where he grows everything even lemon trees.
He does not use a single drop of oil. He has fully employed alternative renewable energies. But not technology. This man thinks in such a simple way that no one can comprehend what exactly he is doing to grow lemon trees in that very unfavorable climate conditions not even he himself. He just does it. US folks however find a thousand reasons not to insulate their homes that were the first thing this man would do. Is going green, changing to energy saving light bulbs or adding extra layers of insulation realy going to help stave off global warming?
I guess that depends on wether you believe in Jevon's paradox or not. I agree that Jevron's paradox is an issue. People will spend as much money as they have. If they are able to save money, because of some fuel efficiency, they will go spend the money on something else, also using fuel, so you are pretty much back where you started from. I think the thing that really cuts energy purchases off, though, is a cut-off in credit. If people don't have credit, then they can't spend as much as they did. This inevitably means a reduction in energy purchases.
The reduction in energy purchases means people get laid off, and have less money to spend. This further ripples through the economy, meaning more cut-backs in energy purchases. We have such a huge amount of credit to unwind. The impact, by the time the unwind finally finishes, is likely to be huge--I expect worse than the s. Let the US treasury default on treasury bonds Um, no. Microwaves, which make foods extremely hot, can destroy vital nutrients. This is of great concern given that most B 12 in our diets comes from sources likely to be scare post-peak, like meat.
They give a rich flavor to foods they are found in, such as nuts, seeds, and fish. Brian P. Cleary's goofy verse and Martin Goneau's humorous illustrations give young readers a slick bunch of examples of oils and foods rich in healthy oils. They also highlight some health benefits of eating a limited amount of oil.
Oils and oil-rich foods are printed in color for easy identification. Enjoy this flavorful serving of a book! Cleary provides a playful look at the food groups and physical activity. His zany rhymes and Martin Goneau's comical cartoon cats introduce key food concepts and give a wide range of examples. Learning about the food pyramid has never been so much fun! Visit Seller's Storefront. Items can be returned within 30 days of the estimated delivery date. All returns must be approved before an item is shipped back. Domestic returns generally take two weeks and International returns can take up to six weeks to be received and processed by our return center.
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