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DIYSteve
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PostFri Feb 11, 2011 4:35 pm 
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That depends on who writes the history.  Most history textbooks go easy on the RR's and dam builders.
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Blue Dome
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PostFri Feb 11, 2011 5:14 pm 
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Of course, history is written by the victors, and the railroads, dam builders, and Big Oil -- corporate capitalism -- have, so far, won. But if history has taught us anything, it's that most big truths eventually see the light of day.

The alliance of Big Oil and our government isn't a secret.

The era of fossil fuel, from the early 1900s when oil was discovered in the Middle East to the day new technology and idealism replace oil as the dominant energy source, will be seen as a time of incredible growth and innovation. But -- regarding our energy infrastructure -- influence, greed, corruption, damage to the health of our citizens and environment, and moral sacrifice due to our support of brutal dictatorships, will be an integral part of the story. It'll be in the textbooks.

There's a good chance history will not be kind.

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DIYSteve
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PostFri Feb 11, 2011 5:42 pm 
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Well, of course, we'll be dead before the history of the Age of Oil is written.  If I were to guess, I'd bet that when the history books are written the story of the use of oil for transportation will be trumped the use of petroleum based fertilizers and industrialized farming methods to fuel (pun intended) the Green Revolution, the resultant population explosion and the inevitable food security crises.  Each day I'm thankful that I was born at a time of lush abundance, the New Years Eve Party of civilization.  blowout.gif
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PostFri Feb 11, 2011 6:06 pm 
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Yep, we'll be gone when the history is written. Our innovation and growth during the last 100 years can't be untangled from Big Oil. Energy, manufacturing, agriculture, and more, oil obviously played a critical role. But, hopefully the sacrifices we've made -- the moral decay and resulting damage to our system of government, the damage to the health of our citizens and environment -- will be woven into the truth. Lessons for the future.

It has been a good party. 6.9 billion partygoers today; 9 billion partygoers in thirty years. Soon, there'll be fewer hors d'oeuvres.

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DIYSteve
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PostFri Feb 11, 2011 6:20 pm 
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but plenty of Soylent Green
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PostFri Feb 11, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Halliburton is working on that.

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moonspots
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PostFri Feb 11, 2011 10:21 pm 
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BigSteve wrote:
...  Too early to say whether fracking is practicable and safe in enough places to fulfill the optimistic forecast of that article.

Oh, no...not too early. It's working just fine. Those rigs are popping up like pine trees in western North Dakota. The "safe" part is, as I read it, not a problem as they case the well with pipe for several hundred feet to get below any possible water table, then go on from there down to a few thousand feet for extraction. What REALLY puzzles me is how they can turn the pipe to drill horizontally.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Feb 13, 2011 9:11 am 
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Isnt it funny how the same people that constantly complain about oil couldnt live their lives without it?  Or even try to. down.gif

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BeyondLost
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PostSun Feb 13, 2011 9:50 am 
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Interesting info from Wikileaks about the Saudi oil reserves.

Quote:
The confidential cables from the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, sent between 2007 and 2009 and published in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, refer to meetings with the former head of exploration for Aramco, the Saudi state-owned oil company. He warned that Saudi reserves may have been overstated by as much as 40 percent.

http://blogs.chron.com/lorensteffy/2011/02/saudi_cant_keep_1.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+houstonchronicle%2Florensteffy+%28Loren+Steffy%29
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Feb 13, 2011 10:01 am 
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At the moment Im working at a Valero oil refinery in Memphis Tennessee. Im here to tell you the average person has no idea the effect oil has on nearly every factor of their lives.  Our society, no modern society can exist without it.  There is no viable alternative for crude oil at this time.  When there will be, if there ever will be is a guess.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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Davidą
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PostSun Feb 13, 2011 10:15 am 
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T. Boone Pickens was on the Daily Show the other day espousing the benefits of natural gas.  Someone from the audience shouted aloud about fracking and there was quite the reaction.  Pickens was dismissive as would anyone who has been in the industry that long - fracking is nothing new - they have been doing it since 1947.

Now the root of this recent -anti-fracking sentiment is the piece of advocacy journalism called Gasland.  While I support such efforts I also regard their opinions the same way I would propaganda from the oil & gas industry - with a healthy dose of skepticism. 

I don't doubt that there are oil & gas companies out there that have or continue to use poor practices however to try and claim that the millions of active fracking wells in operation today are akin to outright malicious poisoning of the environment is not entirely true.

More importantly when it comes to gas what Pickens and others are saying is that it is the lesser of the fossil fuels evils - its not about being the ultimate solution but rather its about being the bridge that allows us the ween ourselves off coal and foreign oil.

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moonspots
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PostSun Feb 13, 2011 10:48 am 
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Slugman wrote:
... The total power usage of the human race is about 16 terawatts. The sun shine that hits the earth contains 20,000 terawatts. That is just one example of the lack of necessity of burning fossil fuels for energy. 

So, Boeing should be making battery powered 787s? Let me know how THAT works... Actually, I think a return to alcohol based fuels would make sense, but not alcohol made from corn. I believe there are plants that produce far more alcohol per acre than corn, and I'd rather leave the corn production for human consumption.

Slugman wrote:
Anyone who says they know the long-term results of fracturing subterranean rock formations by injecting poisonous chemicals into the ground is a bare-faced liar.

I think you're getting too worked up over this and perhaps you're confusing the well publicised events in the shallow wells in Pennsylvania (where the oil originally seeped out of the ground, so it's evident that the oil/water levels are quite close) with the current practice of fraccing wells that are typically 6-10K' deep. The wells are cased with pipe and cement to a level well below the level of water acquifiers, so seepage is VERY unlikely. Surface spillage (from many sources besides drilling) is FAR more likely to cause a problem.

Battery powered cars are cute, and probably make some sense for short distance "around town" transport in climates that are mostly "nice", but are not practical for long distance, or for carrying more than grocery bags, or for cold and snowy climates (try driving around in -30 with a non-functioning heater). The dollar and manufacturing costs of replacement batteries is still prohibitive in my view.

The turbine powered engines that were being proposed about 40 years ago might now be a good idea, burning the above-mentioned alcohol based fuels.

So to just "100% outlaw fraccing" because you don't fully understand isn't logical.


Anyway, that's what I think.

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PostSun Feb 13, 2011 11:07 am 
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Backpacker Joe wrote:
At the moment Im working at a Valero oil refinery in Memphis Tennessee. Im here to tell you the average person has no idea the effect oil has on nearly every factor of their lives.  Our society, no modern society can exist without it.  There is no viable alternative for crude oil at this time.  When there will be, if there ever will be is a guess.

I've been telling people that for years. The economy of this nation, and thus the world, revolves around the price of  gallon of gasoline.
People have less or no "disposable" income anymore because they dispose of it at the pump.
The economy slows down. People stop buying stuff to pay their necessities. And because we're the consumer nation and others are producers, it has a global impact.

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"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted." - D.H. Lawrence
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Blue Dome
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PostSun Feb 13, 2011 1:10 pm 
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BeyondLost wrote:
Interesting info from Wikileaks about the Saudi oil reserves.

Quote:
The confidential cables from the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, sent between 2007 and 2009 and published in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, refer to meetings with the former head of exploration for Aramco, the Saudi state-owned oil company. He warned that Saudi reserves may have been overstated by as much as 40 percent.


That idea has been on the table for some time and it's nice to see it confirmed. There is also much good information on the Peak Oil Wikipedia page.

Excerpts:

Quote:
-- The International Energy Agency (IEA) says production of conventional crude oil peaked in 2006.[11][12] [Others claim it has already occurred, is occurring now, or will occur soon.]

-- Of the largest 21 [oil] fields [in the world], at least 9 are in decline.[89] In April, 2006, a Saudi Aramco spokesman admitted that its mature fields are now declining at a rate of 8% per year (with a national composite decline of about 2%).[90]

-- Mexico announced that its giant Cantarell Field entered depletion in March, 2006,[97] due to past overproduction. In 2000, PEMEX built the largest nitrogen plant in the world in an attempt to maintain production through nitrogen injection into the formation,[98] but by 2006, Cantarell was declining at a rate of 13% per year.[99]

-- According to Matthew Simmons, Chairman of Simmons & Company International and author of Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, "...peaking is one of these fuzzy events that you only know clearly when you see it through a rear view mirror, and by then an alternate resolution is generally too late."[116]

-- Although demand growth is highest in the developing world,[20] the United States is the world's largest consumer of petroleum. Between 1995 and 2005, U.S. consumption grew from 17,700,000 barrels per day (2,810,000 m3/d) to 2.07E+7 barrels per day (3,290,000 m3/d), a 3,000,000 barrels per day (480,000 m3/d) increase.

-- Energy demand is distributed amongst four broad sectors: transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial.[16][17] In terms of oil use, transportation is the largest sector and the one that has seen the largest growth in demand in recent decades. This growth has largely come from new demand for personal-use vehicles powered by internal combustion engines.[18] This sector also has the highest consumption rates, accounting for approximately 68.9% of the oil used in the United States in 2006,[19] and 55% of oil use worldwide as documented in the Hirsch report.

-- In 2005, the United States Department of Energy published a report titled Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation, & Risk Management.[117] Known as the Hirsch report, it stated, "The peaking of world oil production presents the U.S. and the world with an unprecedented risk management problem. As peaking is approached, liquid fuel prices and price volatility will increase dramatically, and, without timely mitigation, the economic, social, and political costs will be unprecedented.

-- A majority of Americans live in suburbs, a type of low-density settlement designed around universal personal automobile use. Commentators such as James Howard Kunstler argue that because over 90% of transportation in the U.S. relies on oil, the suburbs' reliance on the automobile is an unsustainable living arrangement. Peak oil would leave many Americans unable to afford petroleum based fuel for their cars, and force them to use bicycles or electric vehicles.

-- To avoid the serious social and economic implications a global decline in oil production could entail, the 2005 Hirsch report emphasized the need to find alternatives, at least ten to twenty years before the peak, and to phase out the use of petroleum over that time.[125]

-- Clive Mather, CEO of Shell Canada, said the Earth's supply of hydrocarbons is almost infinite, referring to hydrocarbons in oil sands.[155] Engineer Peter Huber believes the Canadian oil sands can fuel all of humanity's needs for over 100 years.[156]

Have to love the CEO of Shell Canada and his almost infinite supply of hydrocarbons. Yet another example why the oil industry can't be trusted.  shakehead.gif

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PostSun Feb 13, 2011 1:39 pm 
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BJ said, "Isn't it funny how the same people that constantly complain about oil couldn't live their lives without it?  Or even try to."

There are quite a few that put their money where their mouth is BJ. I take it you don't even try to. There are many that try and many that succeed in at least cutting their use and conserving. I think what you mean is that in the majority of circles, it's not hip to really care.

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