The Energy Crisis

The Energy Crisis

Postby Romdeau » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:03 am

I'd like to raise what I believe is the most defining issue for the 21st century. Based on the evidence, the world will soon run out of economic oil. We've probably extracted well over 50% (the easiest, highest quality) of petroleum from the planet. Over 60% of the remaining oil is located in the Middle East. There is no alternative to oil in terms of convenience, amount, and quality. Once we run out of it, existing alternatives will not be able to replace it. Cars will be obsolete.

I believe America will be hit the hardest because of suburban sprawl. This country literally runs on cars and once we're out of oil, the US is basically screwed. Many other nations, especially China, will also be hard hit. There's a lot of predictions about what will happen once the Sauds run out of oil (ten years at most I believe), but before I get into that I wanted to introduce this idea to the forums. What do you think about it? I'm pretty frightened myself, but not many other people I talk to about this have really thought about it before (the great sleepwalk of America). I suspect many people will be waking up very soon when the price of gasoline increase to 10 dollars a gallon and their energy bill stars costing hundreds of dollars regularly per month. We still have some time left...but not much.
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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby winfrith279 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:10 am

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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby Romdeau » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:12 am

Well, thank you for your insightful thought.

But yes, when this hits there will probably be massive starvation because a lot of the world's current food production is dependent on cheap energy. Millions will probably die from mal nourishment.
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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby wakka9ca » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:45 am

Romdeau wrote:But yes, when this hits there will probably be massive starvation because a lot of the world's current food production is dependent on cheap energy. Millions will probably die from mal nourishment.


Which is good. Overpopulation has always been an issue. Starvation = people dying = humans realizing something = possible advancements
Of course it can got the other way too : starvation = riots = anarchy = ???
Millions ALREADY die from malnourishment every year.

No pain, no gain. Humans does have a great adaptability and survivability so you will probably see new technologies emerging with more efficiency.

Some solutions:

1 - Cars are totally inefficient. What you need is to ban cars and develop public transit system. People should use bicycles on summer and take buses
2 - Alternative energies? My province (Quebec) runs on 92% hydroelectricity. Of course, you need existing natural resources but you get the idea.
3 - Have better energy saving habits
4 - New efficient energy technologies (smart grid, etc.)

Of course, the above-mentioned methods won't gain too much momentum now (except the smart grid research on which a section of my group is working on -> it's very "hot" topic in academia) because of financial and economical reasons. It's all about $$$ and no one gives a damn about anything else. A lot better nowadays but still has a long way to go.
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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby Romdeau » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:54 pm

I don't know about you but I never perceive the suffering of others as good really unless it is somehow morally justified...and really, this issue should've been handled generations ago. I think a lot of people are just getting shafted for something outside of their control.
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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby wakka9ca » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:18 pm

Romdeau wrote:I don't know about you but I never perceive the suffering of others as good really unless it is somehow morally justified...


I'm neutral to the suffering of anyone, including myself. However, I prefer to look from macroscale and long-term evolution and effects. Everyone dies one day. Everyone will suffer at certain point during his or her life. If the system cannot support it, then population needs to be reduced. It's as simple as that.

The problem is globally speaking, in terms of the planet Earth, it's ecosystem and the role humanity plays in it that is more important. However, the evolution of such complex system is practically impossible to predict with our current knowledge.

Same with moral justification. Most often time, it's very contradictory and tricky to handle... Like can suffering be morally justified? Maybe. However what justifies those moral justification? (i.e. is morality intrinsic? utilitarian?) There is no right answer for that.

The future will always carry the burden of the past. There is no way around it. If we weren't this wasteful with energy oil reserve can last hundreds of years. Unfortunately with capitalism and the current model which still assumes infinite growth, it's not possible. They have to realize that this "infinite" growth and resource thing is not going to work forever with our limited resource.
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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby Mengsk » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:56 pm

wakka9ca wrote:
Romdeau wrote:But yes, when this hits there will probably be massive starvation because a lot of the world's current food production is dependent on cheap energy. Millions will probably die from mal nourishment.


Which is good. Overpopulation has always been an issue. Starvation = people dying = humans realizing something = possible advancements

You are a retard.
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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby wakka9ca » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:07 pm

Mengsk wrote:
wakka9ca wrote:
Romdeau wrote:But yes, when this hits there will probably be massive starvation because a lot of the world's current food production is dependent on cheap energy. Millions will probably die from mal nourishment.


Which is good. Overpopulation has always been an issue. Starvation = people dying = humans realizing something = possible advancements

You are a retard.

Tell that to the leaders who obviously are not interested in the situation. Also, what do you need that many humans for? To live in poverty and suffer?
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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby Mengsk » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:21 pm

I would use them for my own benefits. Make them all study and research whatever i feel a need for. More heads, more chances to gain the knowledge i desire.

I am always thinking that if nature itself rewards the fittest and the strongest (for the situation) then why would the universe out there be any different. Humans shouldn't cut down on their numbers. The numbers might be the last hope of survival against other species, for a species with so many weaknesses.


We know humans die after some time, the next generations have to learn what the elder ones have discovered. But imagine species that just won't age and **** die, now it will keep learning and advancing, making progress ...


Also if people end up cornered, they don't wait until they die, most likely they'll fight for survival. Why would they keep calm and die peacefully? A war might break out.
Or there might be an economical reform, cost shouldn't be important to survival in the first place. Things could be managed so that everyone has their share and lives on.
There are plenty of alternative sources of energy, working ones, i can only imagine a new era that's simply relies on new energy sources.
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Re: The Energy Crisis

Postby wakka9ca » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:34 pm

Of course they all want the population to be educated but it's not feasible due to the economy. However to be realistic the planet has a resource limit on how many humans it can sustain. As technology advances of course humans can find new ways to expand and exploit resources.

This is what needs to be done:

-New ways of urban planning. More dense and sustainable cities. Less cars, more public transport. This means build more distributed infrastructure and workplace.
-Alternative energy: wind, solar, thermal, water
-More efficient energy management: smart grid and energy saving issues

Problem is not lack of concept but lack of willingness and support to actually APPLY these concept. As you can see all these will involve $$$ and goes not so well with current economic models. It all comes down to money and economy nowadays. Exploring sustainable and bounded economic models not based on infinite growth has been done but it's still not applied practically. So the main problems really boils down to:

-Money, who's gonna pay for the change?
-Time it takes to change
-Simply ignorance (it's getting much better these days but still a lot of misinformation is spread online...)

Starvation and mass population decline is one possible outcome as well. It's really a natural feedback reaction of the system. Nothing more nothing less. Can it be stopped? Yes, if everyone actually care about the crisis. Realistically speaking, it will take some time and there is a chance that it's already too late. However, who knows, maybe tomorrow a new technology is discovered and all these problems are solved...
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