Sep 06

Leaked Study by German Military Predicts Dire Consequences of Peak Oil

 

[ad#post_ad]Peak oil is the theory and study of the time when global oil production reaches its maximum rate and then declines terminally, despite growing demand. Peak oil is a fact of nature that either will shortly occur or is presently occurring; oil is a finite resource and at some point remaining reserves will decline and not be able to keep up with demand.

It is a very compelling reason to move towards electrification the automobile.

Generally large western democratic governments do not publish reports on the study of peak oil or its consequence, for fear of causing public distress. However a document produced by the German military was recently leaked to the media via the German outlet Der Spiegel.

This document was never meant to be seen by the public and outlines some very dramatic, drastic, and sobering consequences of peak oil.

The report claims there is “some probability that peak oil will occur around the year 2010 and that the impact on security is expected to be felt 15 to 30 years later.”

Analysis of the report has led to seven key findings.

  • Oil will determine power:
    Oil producing nations will gain considerable power in the international landscape and will use this power to expand their domestic and foreign policies in their own best interests.
  • Increasing importance of oil exporters:
    Oil importing countries will have to compete with each other to obtain oil from oil exporters. This will allow the oil exporting countries to implement their political, economic, and ideological goals on dependent nations including the use of aggressive and assertive tactics.
  • Politics in place of the market:
    The global oil market will retract from free-trade mechanisms and degenerate into two-way contracts between oil producing and oil importing nations.
  • Market failures:
    The report paints a bleak picture of the global economy as oil shortages develop. Since all goods depend on oil to transport them, shortages and price escalations of vital goods will arise. “In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse,” the study authors conclude.
  • Relapse into planned economy:
    Since all economic sectors are reliant on oil, peak oil could lead to complete or partial failure of all markets. This could lead to goverments’ rationing of vital goods.
  • Global chain reaction:
    There will not be enough time to restructure oil supplies among dependent nations.  Since those nations are so closely intertwined, including Germany, economic crises or crashes will rapidly will spread throughout the developed world.
  • Crisis of political legitimacy:
    So potent is the grip of oil dependence, the report predicts that it is possible even democracy itself won’t be able to survive peak oil.  The would create openings for extremist forms of government, intense political distress, and even open violent conflict in the streets.

Clearly these predictions are drastic, but it is important to take note that this report wasn’t written by some fringe psychopathic recluse, but by the military of one of the largest democratic economies in the world.

I’m not sure what I can do about it, but hopefully buying a Chevy Volt is a first step in the right direction.  Let’s hope we have enough time and ingenuity to avert this potential outcome.

Source (Der Spiegel)
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This entry was posted on Monday, September 6th, 2010 at 6:34 am and is filed under Environment, Fuel, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 145


  1. 1
    pjkPA

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (6:43 am)

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (6:44 am)

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (6:47 am)

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    stuey81_in_australia

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (6:50 am)

    true or not, all the more reason for the volt to succeed

    also ATTENTION LYLE I’m trying to crack +100 votes on your last post what gives?

    is +99 the max?

    stuey


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    Marc

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (6:56 am)

    I think there’s enough oil around for decades, but it will get harder and costlier to get it out and process it. This will affect the price of oil dramatically which is good news for alternative energy sources; they become more an more viable.

    Change is a matter of will; I still wonder why BP couldn’t invest in “unprofitable / unneeded” alternative energy but can find over 35 billion dollars to compensate for damages.
    (Would have bought a lot of Volts….)


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    Tom M

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (6:57 am)

    To me whether it’s true or not isn’t the point. It is in our best interest to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, period. The existing environmental, economic and National security reasons are enough for me, it doesn’t need to get catastrophically worse to convince me the we need a new direction. The volt and other electric vehicles can be a first step in the right direction and I will support, with my dollars, the companies like GM that make a commitment to bring electric and other alternative fuel vehicles to their showrooms.


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    Schmeltz

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:05 am)

    I think you said it best at the end Lyle…. By buying a Volt you and other first adopters are opening the door to a future where hopefully the peak oil scenarios listed above need never unfold. My hat’s off to you folks for putting your money where you mouth is.

    Further, I can only hope that our own government sees the same scenarios as the German report and feels the urgency to push forward the electrification of the automobile.

    P.S.–Happy Labor Day everyone! Hope you all have a great day.


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    Loboc

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:06 am)

    I, for one, believe that peak oil has already arrived but our governments don’t want us to panic about it.

    In the US, oil can be replaced fairly quickly by CNG. However, that’s like moving from one tree to another during a rain shower. You’ll eventually get wet.

    We need an energy policy in the US that moves us to independent and sustainable sources. The technology is here today to accomplish most of the move off of fossil fuels.

    The beauty of the Volt is that the genset could run on anything available if engineered properly. An ICE genset is not the only solution.


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    herm

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:09 am)

    The new generation of cars use less and less fuel.. when gas reaches about $4 a gallon, synthetic oil made from coal is cost competitive.. methanol and ethanol are economical before that. Probably at $100 per barrel.

    We just need time to get ready for it.


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    Dave K.

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:11 am)

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    pjkPA

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:17 am)

    Even if all cars were electric.. this would not stop our dependance on oil. We still need oil for many reasons… even to build the VOLT we need oil. It will take a long time .. the Volt is one small step in the right direction.


  12. 12
    Tom M

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:22 am)

    pjkPA: We will be going in the right direction when we see Hydrogen replacing oil.  

    If we wait around for hydrogen to be a viable fuel we are doomed. Many people don’t understand hydrogen is only a carrier of energy, and a terrible one at that, and there in no hydrogen on this planet that we can use, we need to make it. The energy it takes to make the hydrogen is less energy that you can get from it. If you take the energy that you waste by making it, and simply put it in a storage device, like let’s say a battery, you have more net energy and cut out the whole hydrogen manufacturing process and waste of time.

    I know some manufacturers have a small amount of fuel cell cars in pilot programs, and sure they work, that’s not the point. The point is the refueling process is nearly an impossible obstacle to overcome. It was estimated by the department of energy that it would cost a trillion dollars to build out a network of hydrogen refueling stations like we have for gasoline in the US. Each gas station that was retrofitted to pump hydrogen into cars would cost almost a million dollars to do so.

    Hydrogen has been “only 5 to 10 years away” for decades. Even the US government recognizes that it’s a wast of time and recently defunded hydrogen research(it was later restored when the lobbyists got involved)
    “U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced yesterday that his department is cutting all funding for hydrogen car research, saying that it won’t be a feasible technology anytime soon. “We asked ourselves, ‘Is it likely in the next 10 or 15, 20 years that we will covert to a hydrogen car economy?’ The answer, we felt, was ‘no,’” Chu said”(fromCNET)

    Here’s a great article on Hydrogen written by a world renown aerospace engineer. He explains why we’re not going to be a “hydrogen economy” anytime soon:

    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-hydrogen-hoax


  13. 13
    Tibor

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:26 am)

    stuey81_in_australiaalso ATTENTION LYLE I’m trying to crack +100 votes on your last post what gives?is +99 the max?stuey  

    I also had major problems voting. Twice it just said “Vote recorded. Thank you.” but the number didn’t change. Then on my third attempt it said “You have already voted”, and THEN the number went up one notch… and as I waited more than 15 minutes between my attempts it couldn’t be a matter of timing either.
    So something is weird about voting on this site…


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    jan

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:31 am)

    I have to believe that the electric drive car is a big step in the right direction. I don’t know how to say this without sounding political but our government appears incapable of dealing with such realities as peak oil. They talk about them during campaigns and then do very little about it after the election. We need an Independent President to change the course of all this inaction. The only hope we have now is that the Tea Party can supply such an option, and that don’t seem likely. We, as a people in this country truly are failing to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Both rich and poor are going to suffer the consequences of that short coming. Thanks Lyle for bring up the topic and I hope to see some thoughtful posts on this subject. How do we fix are inept government??????


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:44 am)

    Be it moving to alternatives, or stabilizing the price of the oil we have, a free market would be able to deal with it. We haven’t had a free oil market since the mid 1970s. Re-establishing a free oil market would help tremendously. JMHO


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    Loboc

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:50 am)

    Dave K.: Mayan Long Count calendar

    Lol. Good thing I’m not Mayan.


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    crew

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:58 am)

    Tom M:
    Here’s a great article on Hydrogen written by a world renown aerospace engineer. He explains why we’re not going to be a “hydrogen economy” anytime soon:
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-hydrogen-hoax

    Be careful with the reference articles. This one was published 3 years ago and uses an outdated example of fuel cell technology.
    The most significant aspect of producing hydrogen fuel is the idea that separating hydrogen from water is economic. It’s not and never will be unless the source of power is free, like your solar paneled roof. Separating the hydrogen from compounds that have already created a loose bond is a process that this article predates.
    Hydrogen as a storage solution for solar energy can be viable as well as a few other technologies. Even as the carbon fiber storage solution has been condemned by this author, isn’t BMW creating a carbon fiber BEV?

    I can understand your strong bias against hydrogen by reading this article alone but this article is too outdated for me.


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    Baltimore17

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:05 am)

    Marc: I think there’s enough oil around for decades, but it will get harder and costlier to get it out and process it.

    Enough for the US and Europe? Maybe. But still enough when India and China reach US-levels of automobile ownership? Enough when those counties’ citizens move up from Tata Nanos to Corollas and Cruzes? Enough so that all consuming countries will be satisfied without resorting to armed conflict to get the oil needed to keep their citizens out of gas lines? Big picture: not with current approaches to fueling transportation.

    Is the Volt too expensive? Consider it as a very nice $23K sedan with your $10K contribution towards avoiding an impossibly expensive oil war in the next twenty years. The last $7.5K is the participation of other taxpayers towards avoiding conflict.


  19. 19
    Jack Flash

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:05 am)

    Dr. Peter Venkman: This world is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
    Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
    Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
    Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
    Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
    Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!


  20. 20
    Roy H

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:12 am)

    This must be an old study. There are many current studies on peak oil done by universities and oil companies that have been published for several years.

    “Generally large western democratic governments do not publish reports on the study of peak oil or its consequence, for fear of causing public distress.”

    This may have been true years ago, but as the current published studies prove, most of the public simply ignores this. There are many arguments. The main thing is there are two definitions of “peak oil” and this gives bases for both sides of the argument to be true.

    Peak oil as a finite resource is still in the future as more reserves are discovered. There are huge known reserves such as Alberta Tar Sands that can supply oil for years to come. These facts support the side that peak oil is nothing to worry about yet.

    Peak oil as a cheap commodity. This is our real problem, all the easy to get and easy to refine oil is running out. Tar sand oil is expensive, and as currently approached devastating to the environment. Drilling in deep ocean waters like the BP Caribbean Gulf project is expensive, even if it was a success. Drilling in the stormy North Atlantic or Arctic Ocean is expensive. Almost all of the cheap oil comes from Arabic countries or Venezuela, and as the article states, these countries are looking to benefit their own future, not ours.

    Mean while our politicians give lip service to the issue doing as little as possible while trying to make themselves look like they are concerned. Our governments are run by big corporations that include oil companies. They want to maintain their dominant position and high profits. They have little concern that their approach is destroying our economy, driving a portion of the middle class into the poor class or polluting the world.

    There are solutions to all our problems. The issue is how to get the voting public sufficiently aware, focused, and demand change from our political leaders. Politicians will react to public pressure. The answer to our energy problem lies with the LFTR.

    Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors were invented in the 1960s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They ran one for almost 5 years. LFTRs use cheap thorium, are inherently safe, do not produce long term radio-active waste and were abandoned because they are not suitable for making bombs. See:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUeBSoEnRk
    and
    http://energyfromthorium.com/
    Although the principles are proven, there is still some research required for the best materials to have long 50 year plus life. This should be our highest priority to solve our energy and pollution problems.

    There are other solutions to our financial problems that I don’t want to go into now. What we need to do is spread the word. We do not need to suffer lower standard of living, we have solutions, we do not have to continue polluting our world, we do not have to be dependent on unfriendly foreign countries, we need to pressure our leaders to do the right thing.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:24 am)

    Loboc: LoL. Good thing I’m not Mayan.

    You breathe the same air they do.

    Loboc: …peak oil has already arrived but our governments don’t want us to panic about it.

    Maybe you’re right and it’s too late. Oil producing nations = fertile battle fields.

    =D-Volt


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    Nelson

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:31 am)

    Your Vote buttons are reversed.

    NPNS!


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    ziv

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:43 am)

    Peak Oil is an incredibly intricate puzzle, but the simple answer to when it will occur is, it already did, for conventional oil production. World production of oil has been at or around 85,000,000 barrels per day since 2005. When the world starts to recover from this deep recession oil demand and price will initially rise, encouraging more production, but pricing will hit a ceiling when poorer countries cannot afford to buy oil, whether it is at $140 a barrel or $200, and shift their demand to other products. As India builds its transportation system, for example, they will not be relying primarily on ICE autos. What they will use is anyone’s guess, but they won’t be using gas.
    We are not going to run out of oil anytime soon, but the price will make using it an expensive option. Now that we have the Prius, and the Volt and the Leaf and all the other low to no gasoline options, some of the sting in Peak Oil will be avoided but it will sting none the less. The German report failed to take into account substitution, which if we have enough time, will be part of the remedy. Other parts will be reduced expectations, a certain amount of chaos, and rising poverty in 3rd World nations that are not producers of oil.
    About 45% of our oil use is for gasoline and 20% is for distillates like diesel fuel, and 10% is used as LPG by the chemical industry and AvGas takes up a good part of the rest. So even if 40% our vehicles are Prius type hybrids and 10% are EREV’s or BEV’s, we are still going to need a lot of oil. But by building an alternative to traditional ICE vehicles we are at least turning in the right direction and we are ameliorating the harshness of the coming run up in oil prices as demand starts to pick up and, nearly inevitably, cheap oil production starts to decline.

    Despite the link title, the data below is pretty useful.
    http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com/2005/08/27-where-does-all-oil-go.html


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    neutron

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:44 am)

    Jack Flash: Dr. Peter Venkman: This world is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
    Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
    Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
    Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
    Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
    Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!  

    Does that mean we will have to hide from the the Sta-puft marshmallow man too? “Oh the humanity of it.”

    Appears the “Peak Oil” concern has a flavor of FUD about it. There is a problem but the decline will be slow and other energy sources will be brought on line as noted by others here (NG, Atomic power, “Bloom Box” etc).

    The VOLT will be one small changeover solution that will provide ideas on solving the individual transportation issue in the future.


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    baltimore17

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:53 am)

    ziv: About 45% of our oil use is for gasoline and 20% is for distillates like diesel fuel, and 10% is used as LPG by the chemical industry and AvGas takes up a good part of the rest. So even if 40% our vehicles are Prius type hybrids and 10% are EREV’s or BEV’s, we are still going to need a lot of oi

    Don’t despair that there’s a foundation of petroleum use below which we can’t go. Already there have been a number of successful test flights of both military aircraft and commercial transports that have been fueled by various forms of biofuel. When production methods evolve to allow biofuels to be both cost effective and energy efficient, at least the aviation sector can kick foreign oil to the curb. Will diesel-fueled trucking be far behind? Sawgrass! Algae!


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    Tom M

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:54 am)

    crew: I can understand your strong bias against hydrogen by reading this article alone but this article is too outdated for me.

    Crew:
    I’m not giving up on hydrogen. I hope that there we discover the significant breakthroughs that are necessary to make HFC vehicles work for the masses. However it seems that there is a segment of the population that believe that we should forget about battery electrics and wait until hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are ready and transition directly to them. This, in my opinion would be a terrible mistake as we are not even close to being able to mass produce and refuel HFC vehicles affordably.

    Yes, the article I referred to (and frequently refer to) is three years old but the basic principles haven’t changed and I think it is an informative read so I use it sometimes. There are other, n much more current articles that I could refer to but they are much more technical and I think they people would get bored and not read it through.

    I don’t think there is any one magic bullet to reduce our oil dependency. It’s going to take a combination of Pure electric cars, EREV’s like the volt, hybrids, extremely efficient ICE vehicles, maybe CNG, biofuels and all the while continuing research on technologies like hydrogen and energy storage devices like the phantom EESTOR. The thing is, we have to start now. We cant wait for hydrogen or the next wonder fuel. Thankfully the volt and other electric cars will be on the road very soon and people will be able to choose which fuel that want to use.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:55 am)

    pjkPA:

    In one Word, YES! This study is only one of many recognizing the diminished returns from existing oil fields. The only way to increase production significantly is offshore drilling and even then we will not have enough oil globally to feed the massive need for petroleum products.

    As for “German military?”, its not clear what you are saying!?! Our Pentagon has been exploring alternate fuel for our aircraft, ships, and land armament. They clearly recognize that a solution to peak oil is necessary for us to maintain our military superiority.

    If you are a young person, you had better wake up to the facts. You are looking at a vary likely scenario.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:03 am)

    Marc: BP couldn’t invest in “unprofitable / unneeded” alternative energy but can find over 35 billion dollars to compensate for damages.

    When you consider that during the last petroleum price spike, this country spent (sent abroad) around $28 Billion in one month, you begin to have a perspective of how serious this problem is for America. We are destroying our way of life, if we keep going in the same direction. Which, IMHO, is changing just in time with GM and its Volt, and every other OEM who is going to sell electric vehicles of one kind or another.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:07 am)

    Tibor:
    I also had major problems voting. Twice it just said “Vote recorded. Thank you.” but the number didn’t change. Then on my third attempt it said “You have already voted”, and THEN the number went up one notch… and as I waited more than 15 minutes between my attempts it couldn’t be a matter of timing either.
    So something is weird about voting on this site…  

    It was at +104 when last I checked. :-) Great work people!

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Tom W

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:13 am)

    And its the job of everyone who ‘gets it’ to try and inform those ‘that don’t get it’ that everyone who can needs to drive all electrically as soon as they can.

    The more demand for electric cars the more will be made.

    The faster we can get to virtually all cars sold in the country either being BEVs or EREVs the better.

    Within 10 years we would be importing at least a trillion dollars a year in oil without electric cars. This is money that we need to spend in our economy instead of sending it to our enemies. We also need to produce more oil (Alaska and the Gulf in particular).

    We could stop importing oil in less than 10 years if we started buying electric/EREV cars now and started developing more of our resources. This is just plain in the best interest of our economy and our national self defense. We must stop as soon as possible giving all this money to our enemies.


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    vincent

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:15 am)

    There is enough oil Under North and South Dakota to last the planet for thousands of years.
    Even more in Alaska. They just refuse to talk about it or confirm it.
    I’m around oil people all day…..there is so much of it it’s nuts.

    Did you notice how all the oil in the gulf didn’t move oil prices. In fact it went lower.
    Two years ago if the wind blew too hard in the Gulf the prices jumped.
    Same game as it has always been.


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    baltimore17

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:22 am)

    Tom M: If we wait around for hydrogen to be a viable fuel we are doomed. Many people don’t understand hydrogen is only a carrier of energy, and a terrible one at that, and there in no hydrogen on this planet that we can use, we need to make it. The energy it takes to make the hydrogen is less energy that you can get from i

    And it takes energy to refine crude oil into gasoline. The apparent net loss of energy in producing hydrogen is just the cost of production. And that misses the central point of hydrogen-fueled fuel cells powered electric cars: refueling time.

    If you’re going to have an electric car as your only car, with vacation trips as part of the package, five minutes to get 100 miles of range with hydrogen is a lot more acceptable than 20 minutes waiting for a 440VDC charger to get the car to 80% charge. Oh, wait, ubiquitous level 3 chargers don’t exist and will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to install.


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    James

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:28 am)

    It is astounding, but experts say we have about a three month memory of a gas price crisis. Peak oil or no peak oil – the 2008 oil price spike hit us hard, but as the prices eased, soon it was as if nothing had happened. Most people didn’t sell their big gas pigs, instead they just motored on as if it had never even happened.

    Today the Gulf catastrophe will be the same. Once the media stops covering it, it fades in our minds as we go about our daily lives. We know hurricane(s) can wipe out much of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil wells and the majority of U.S. oil refineries, which are located in the same region, in a flash, and then we’re really at the hands of the foreign exporters but still, we choose to be in denial as a whole.

    We need to educate – dedicate – and eliminate.

    educate – our circle of influence – remind ourselves and others what it’s like to be stranded by oil – and how easily we can be enslaved by it. And how changes in our lifestyles like using less plastics, recycling and some other changes can reduce petroleum usage.

    dedicate – ourselves to ridding our lives of 19th century gas sucking internal cumbustion steeds . Risk being labeled an “early adopter”.

    eliminate – politicians who are short-sighted, who’se campaigns are funded by oil concerns. Waste that occurs when we rationalize that we ourselves will change when change becomes “affordable”.

    I believe Peak Oil is very real. If a German study will help us communicate this – good for it! We didn’t seem to learn much from the oil crisis in the seventies. Many of us have forgotten the pinch of ’08. And some of us will sit and wait while gas prices are relatively low ( can O.P.E.C. kill the electric car? ) saying we’d like to influence change if it doesn’t cost us much….

    But if we don’t precipitate change, who will?

    RECHARGE!

    James

    Weldon_Used_up_all_the_oil_w480.jpg


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    shortale

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:29 am)

    Eco_Turbo: Be it moving to alternatives, or stabilizing the price of the oil we have, a free market would be able to deal with it. We haven’t had a free oil market since the mid 1970s. Re-establishing a free oil market would help tremendously. JMHO  (Quote)

    What do you mean by “Free Market”?

    Is that where all externalities are priced in? For instance, if we import 5 billion barrels and we (through the military, a decidedly non-market actor) spend 150 billion on a war to keep it pumping, do we slap another $30 on the price of a barrel?

    In common practice, “free market” degenerates into chase for the lowest spot price, which over time leads to the demise all but lowest cost producers. If the good involved is critical enough (transportation fuel) and the cost of getting in the business is high enough (building refineries), these producers can form an oligopoly and set prices almost as they see fit. I think this is a fair description of where we are now in the energy business.

    The big market players want the most for what they can easily produce. That is their right, and in total harmony with the libertarian ideal. It is, however, economically, ecologically, and militarily disastrous for society, particularly our American society which bears so much of the military cost of this situation. Displacing the status quo in the transportation fuel sector is a very expensive and risky undertaking. Underwriting the costs and risks to avert such triple threat disasters is a perfectly valid government function, though saying so out loud in Glenn Beck’s America will probably get you sent to North Korea by way of Gitmo. Subsidizing hybrid cars and even “Gummint Motors” is at least as legit as subsidizing farms and aircraft manufacturers.

    I once read a Cato institute paper exulting in Ronald Reagan’s wisdom in killing off Jimmy Carter’s Synfuels program. In the short term, Sheik Yemani (“The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones”), the low cost producer, flooded the market and indeed prices dropped. In the long term, the Offspring were inspired by Carter’s 1977 energy speech
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carter/filmmore/ps_energy.html
    to write http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp_9FImPtvA


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    Mike D

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:34 am)

    I don’t think the real situation will be nearly as dramatic as this “study”. I’ve read plenty of articles like this before and it always seems that the writers think everything is going to happen overnight. They have the idea that peak oil is going to totally blindside us, (like in the 70′s) and it’s going to be like the stone age and all heck is going to break loose.

    I honestly feel that as oil gets harder and harder to find over the next 100 years, our total production will go down gradually and nations will have decades and decades to see the slightly falling production and adjust and innovate accordingly.

    Part of that ‘innovate accordingly’ lies in driving EV’s.

    We’ve had plenty of oil shortage talk in the last 30 years, and we’ll have the next 100-200 to fully prepare for zero oil. It’ll be fine. We’ll live. Calm doooooown.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:35 am)

    I’ve got both feet firmly planted in the “electrification of transportation” camp, but until (or while) that happens we need to pursue an “all of the above” approach to domestic energy. We need affordable “green” sources, AND further fossil fuel development (read Anwar and shallow water drilling). I’ve always supported more nuclear, but now that the waste storage facility has been shut down, I’m not sure *where* we go with that. LFTR’s ? How long has it been since we *opened* a new reactor of ANY kind?
    As has been mentioned above, we’ll still need oil even if we electrified 100% of our passenger transportation, so we need to A) find alternatives AND B) develop the natural resources we have here at home. JMO

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    paul

     

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:36 am)

    Peak oil presentation given by chief economist at CIBC World Markets last year…

    Judge for yourself.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYuLjGQQ-jg&feature=player_embedded


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:39 am)

    When you step back and think about it, it’s pretty ridiculous that society has allowed ourselves to be so dependent on something that is essentially a worthless by-product of nature.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:41 am)

    stuey81_in_australia: true or not, all the more reason for the volt to succeedalso ATTENTION LYLE I’m trying to crack +100 votes on your last post what gives?is +99 the max?stuey  (Quote)

    Actually, Stuey, I just checked and it was over 100 (I got it to 105).


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:46 am)

    Brian: When you step back and think about it, it’s pretty ridiculous that society has allowed ourselves to be so dependent on something that is essentially a worthless by-product of nature.  (Quote)

    I think it behooves us to consider that any natural resource has a limitation. Oil is just the first one that will run out. Natural gas and coal will eventually run out as well. Nuclear I presume will last a bit longer. Even the ultimate power source, our sun will burn out eventually. Hopefully by then our species will be travelling to other stars or at least to planets farther from the sun (as it turns into a red giant).


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:49 am)

    vincent: There is enough oil Under North and South Dakota to last the planet for thousands of years.
    Even more in Alaska. They just refuse to talk about it or confirm it.
    I’m around oil people all day…..there is so much of it it’s nuts.Did you notice how all the oil in the gulf didn’t move oil prices. In fact it went lower.
    Two years ago if the wind blew too hard in the Gulf the prices jumped.
    Same game as it has always been.  

    Who are “they”?

    Are “they” the same ones who say aliens live amongst us?


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:50 am)

    I strongly disagree with the _worthless_ part. Oil is a phenomenal product, not only an incredibly dense pack of energy but a range of essential products from plastic to asphalt are dependent upon the use of oil. A 400 pound battery pack gives the equivalent range of 3 or 4 gallons (15-20 pounds) of gasoline, and if you use the battery fully it will shorten the expected lifecycle of the battery, plus it will take you around 5 to 50 times as long to re-fuel a battery as a gasoline powered car.
    Oil is too valuable to waste.
    I do agree that it is ridiculous that after the Oil Crisis of ’73 we didn’t have the foresight to start building BEV’s, even with their shortcomings, as a technological hedge. John Stewart has an incredibly funny, and informative show where he displays our last 8 presidents promising to get us ‘Off Oil’ and none of them have done squat til we are actually at peak oil.

    Brian: When you think about it, it’s pretty ridculous that society has allowed ourselves to be so dependent on something that is essentially a worthless by-product of nature.  


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:51 am)

    JohnK: Even the ultimate power source, our sun will burn out eventually. Hopefully by then our species will be travelling to other stars or at least to planets farther from the sun (as it turns into a red giant).

    Maybe we could hitch a ride with “they” (see prior post).


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    Mark Z

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    Don’t panic. Back in the 60′s scientists said we would run out of oil in the 80′s. If the free enterprise system is alive and well, companies will continue to “drill baby drill” till we can’t drill any more.

    In the short term, if war causes shortages then the government can institute mandatory car pooling. Empty buses can be occupied and more trains can be put on the tracks. Try something new, like offering tax incentives based on how close you live from work. Home sales would take off like a rocket.

    In the long term, encourage lawmakers to design a massive nuclear power plant program that can turn the interstate highway system into an electrified roadbed to charge full sized electric cars and trucks while traveling coast to coast. Build high speed electric bullet trains between all of our larger airports to decrease the need for air travel.

    So much to be done, and it begins when you place your order for a VOLT or BEV car.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    baltimore17: …And it takes energy to refine crude oil into gasoline. The apparent net loss of energy in producing hydrogen is just the cost of production. And that misses the central point of hydrogen-fueled fuel cells powered electric cars: refueling time…

    Even if refueling time was *the* issue, it’s definitely not the only fuel issue. If you include the energy to compress the H2 to 5-10 thousand PSI as part of the “production”, we currently don’t even have a “gas tank” that can hold the H2 without losing it while the car just sits in the garage.

    Be well,
    Tagamet


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    Jack Flash: Dr. Peter Venkman: This world is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
    Mayor: What do you mean, “biblical”?
    Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
    Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
    Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…
    Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!  

    wa…?


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:52 am)

    Brian: When you step back and think about it, it’s pretty ridiculous that society has allowed ourselves to be so dependent on something that is essentially a worthless by-product of nature.

    What? .. oil has been called black gold and its appropriate.. of course you will get used to free money gushing out of the ground.. it has fueled immense prosperity for countless peoples.

    BTW, if the chinese and americans make a big push towards electrics.. oil may remain at its current price for many many decades.. and apparently the chinese are doing just that.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:58 am)

    Oil companies are in it for the money. They now know that they take more of your money at $99 per barrel than they do at $109 per barrel. Oil spikes result in people cutting back use. Higher oil prices also mean less production is traveling via combustion engine. Which means less people are working. Which means there is less disposable income to buy at $109 per barrel.

    My gasoline use has not returned to where it was before $140 per barrel oil. And with a Crystal Red Metallic Volt on order, it never will.

    =D-Volt


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    LRGVProVolt

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:00 am)

    Loboc: We need an energy policy in the US that moves us to independent and sustainable sources.

    From the political mood in this country, one would get the idea that the current government of this country, isn’t doing anything about this problem. Many don’t even realize that oil production is declining, and many of those who are aware of the claim of peak oil are in denial.

    The fact is that our current administration is doing a lot about this problem. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the Stimulus Act, is a major element in our energy policy! As many here know, much of the funding to aid GM and Chrysler came from this legislation. The DOE charging structure grants, the loans for battery companies to build new plants, the rebates that new car owners and those for installation of solar systems on business’s buildings and homes, funding for home owners to increase the thermal efficiency of houses, are but a few of the examples of what our government is currently doing. The Stimulus Act is not only about creating jobs but also about addressing this dilemma!

    It’s about time that we all realize that this administration, Obama’s administration, is moving this country in the right direction. What worries me is the misplaced feelings Americans have towards our government. Our forefathers conceived a wonderful form of government. At times, it is slow moving, and some of the elected officials are inept, serving their own interests instead of the citizens and countries well being. But to say that it is government that is bad is totally wrong. It shows that many in this country don’t understand how this form of government works.

    During the previous administration, many of the top positions of the executive branch were filled with lobbyist’s whose interests was to aid major corporations so that they could increase profits for their shareholders. Laws like the Clean Air Act were re-interpreted to allow higher pollution than originally legislated. These lobbyists need to be replaced by honest individuals that will enforce the laws that have been passed.

    T. Boone Pickens has been lobbying Congress to enact major energy legislation to move our produce transportation system away from petroleum to Natural Gas. He backs any fuel that is domestic but recognizes the limitation of natural gas, and its use as only temporary until we develop new sciences to replace carbon fuels. He recognized that wind power is a renewable energy source and has invested heavily in Wind Turbans. If T. Boone Pickens believes in Peak Oil, then I do also. He believes that both political parties, Democrats and Republicans, need to work together to legislate an energy act that recognizes the Natural Gas provides an immediate solution to ending our addiction to foreign oil. H.R.1835 was supposed to be considered by Congress back in the Fall of 2009. Read his plan to end dependence of foreign oil and create job for our economy:

    http://www.pickensplan.com/theplan/

    With the troops coming home from Iraq, the administration can now turn back to strengthening our economy. Now is the time for legislation like H.R. 1835 to be considered by both parties an enacted into law.

    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.


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    Texas

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:04 am)

    vincent: There is enough oil Under North and South Dakota to last the planet for thousands of years.
    Even more in Alaska. They just refuse to talk about it or confirm it.
    I’m around oil people all day…..there is so much of it it’s nuts.Did you notice how all the oil in the gulf didn’t move oil prices. In fact it went lower.
    Two years ago if the wind blew too hard in the Gulf the prices jumped.
    Same game as it has always been.  

    This is the, “It’s there so keep on driving your Hummer” defense. Brilliant!

    I find the conclusions people come to fascinating. For example, “All the oil that was spilled in the gulf…”. If the poster did even 10 minutes of research they would understand that all that oil represented less than .1% of what is used everyday. We use over 70 million barrels of crude per day! Yes. Per day. So, I wonder if the poster can figure out that percentage.

    Also, not understanding supply and demand like saying little things bothered the market before, but not now. That was due to the production just about opened up completely while the market was demanding more. The market had to crash because we humans could not produce more oil, even at multiple times the price for a long time.

    We humans have never produced more crude oil than we did in 2005. Yet, any tiny event makes people neglect that fact and come up with crazy theories on why we will be able to continue exponential growth for 1000s of years! Hello, at that rate we would be standing next to each other in the bathroom and there would be so much burning that the air would be black.

    Are people even being taught exponential functions in high school anymore? I guess we deserve what we get…


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:05 am)

    True we do not produce enough oil domestically, the US is still one of the worlds largest oil producer! (2006 data). Saudi Arabia 10.1 mill barrel/day,Russia 9.67,USA 8.37, Iran 4.12. That’s the good news the bad news is the the US is the largest consumer at 20.6 vs no 2 China 7.3, conversely the US is by far the largest importer of oil.
    Electrification of transportation certainly would help reduce importing oil.
    While the concept of Peak Oil is real. It cannot be ascertained accurately when this will happen. Fortunately, I do not believe that OPEC still has the same stranglehold on prices as they used to have simply because Russia for example needs all the revenue it can get and will not reduce production (OPEC member or not.) Electrification has started and now will succeed! I found more up to date data (2008) results are about the same.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:09 am)

    Amazing how all the positive scenarios are omitted.
    I guess it’s always easier to think negative.

    NPNS!


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:22 am)

    jan: I have to believe that the electric drive car is a big step in the right direction.I don’t know how to say this without sounding political but our government appears incapable of dealing with such realities as peak oil.They talk about them during campaigns and then do very little about it after the election.We need an Independent President to change the course of all this inaction.The only hope we have now is that the Tea Party can supply such an option, and that don’t seem likely.We, as a people in this country truly are failing to meet the challenges of tomorrow.Both rich and poor are going to suffer the consequences of that short coming.Thanks Lyle for bring up the topic and I hope to see some thoughtful posts on this subject.How do we fix are inept government??????  

    The “Tea Party” is not an organized, political party in the traditional sense. It is a grass-roots, “Hey, remember who you guys in Washington work for” movement. Many within the Tea Party would find it’s value weakened by any attempt to make it an official, political party: this would only extend the reign of the political class over a relatively powerless electorate; merely exchanging one set of labels for another.

    That said, one need only look at the blatant attempts to demonize this movement, as everything from the ‘New Ku Klux’ to ‘New Nazis’ to see how the prospect of such a “Party” frightens the status quo: “What happens when the sheep find out that they outnumber the political class 10 – 1?”

    I am not an optimist when it comes to America’s political future. It would take a miracle to reverse it’s present course into oblivion …

    Prayer helps.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:22 am)

    Thought for the Day:

    slogan25.jpg


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:24 am)

    Brazil just discovered a huge deposit in deep water.
    A story here says Arctic drilling is about to take off:
    http://www.newscientist.com/mobile/article/mg20727764.300-arctic-oil-and-gas-drilling-ready-to-take-off.html

    Didn’t the Rome conference of major scientists in the 60s say we would run out of key metals, minerals and oil by the 80s?
    I remember being shown an environmental scare film in the second grade, which showed humans laboring to turn a big wheel to grind flour, suggesting this was a possible future.
    And a couple years later, mid 70s, Time magazine had a cover story about global cooling. The science was settled, except for some crazy skeptics. The gobe is cooling down and we’re headed into an ice age, they said.
    Later Margaret Thatchers government started funding the first global warming/ greenhouse research, the motive being to weaken the grip of the coal miners unions.

    According to experts… The sky has been falling for a long time now.

    My take is this: there is still too much oil. And this makes it that much tougher to muster the political will to move off it.


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    Frank Benapensee

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:28 am)

    The truth hurts sometimes. The real question is how long, and the action plan must be as soon as possible. The Volt is a critical start: not so much because of improved fuel mileage but because it can ultimately rely exclusively on non fossil fuel sources. Ethanol, butanol or hydrogen and fuel the ICE; any non-oil energy source can provide the electricity. If battery technology improves so much the better, but all of the technology needed for a sound Volt future is already in existence.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:38 am)

    If you want to keep doing what you’re doing, someone will supply a ridiculous excuse. The fossil fuel industry is the most profitable in history, they don’t want to change, either.

    For those that would rather preserve clean air and water, reduce noise, and make the planet more pleasant in general, you can do many things independent of your government, utility company, or popular consensus.

    If you own a home in the Sun Belt, chances are you can have solar installed at no cost, and you can save money on your electric bill from day one. See: Solarcity and the like.

    In other areas you can get a wind turbine ( http://www.enviro-energies.com ), or heat your home with the aid of geothermal ( http://earthcomfort.com ). Seriously, if you’re building a new home, you’d really be crazy not to take advantage of geothermal.

    Act now, government subsidies are bound to go away in a few years.

    Oh, and in CA, vote “No” on Prop 23.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:41 am)

    I think the German report takes the somewhat simplistic view that most Peak Oilers favor: a sudden, catastrophic breaking point leading to collapse.

    In fact, I think it is possible that we will enter a ‘supercritical’ phase, marked by many erratic shifts and spikes; as ever smaller instabilities get multiplied into ever increasing magnitudes. In this view, oil supplies will not hit a magic “trigger” level followed by an unstoppable decline, so much as rise above and below the demand level over a period of years; with chaotic consequences.

    In a sense, this age has already begun; with the Hurricane Katrina-induced gas price hike, followed by an economic slowdown, in this country. Any bump in the road of petroleum supply and delivery will increase in frequency and scope moving forward; without necessarily leading to an inevitable collapse.

    “May you live in exciting times.”

    If this ‘supercritical’ oil-supply phase sounds less than appealing, consider that it’s alternative is probably the catastrophic collapse that Peal Oil dictates. We can struggle with things like alternate fuels and vehicle electrification to keep oil supplies in the supercritical phase long enough, perhaps, to allow for the Next Great Energy Technology to take hold.

    Keep in mind that vehicles like the Volt are less sensitive to the chaotic spikes in energy costs characteristic of a ‘supercritical’ phase, which should lead to their greater popularity; leading in turn to some reduction in the chaos. Of course, as oil supplies continue to dwindle, this chaos will always catch up again, and the cycle will repeat. EVs even have the potential for off-network (solar) charging which would insulate their owners completely from day-to-day driving uncertainty. In many locations, this will create ‘islands of stability’ which will offer some small benefit for the economy at large.

    The challenge for our culture will be maintaining a steady resolve towards electrification and alternate fuels, in the face of gas prices which go from hyper-expensive to relatively cheap every few years.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:43 am)

    See, the study only takes into account the loss of oil. The real power for any nation will come in the form of “new” energy. The players in the game that can create enough alternative sources, and provide them to the dependent nations will ultimately undermine the power of the oil producing nations. In times of need, innovation has always provided. If the oil producing nations decide to put the pinch on the oil to progress their political agendas, the dependent nations will innovate and over come. That is something the study does not take into account. renewable energy is not a probability, it exists, and when oil becomes too expensive, it will prompt the development of renewable sources into main stream products and economical alternatives, that will guide us into the future. These consequences may occur if oil was the only source, but that is not the case. The sun is the only source, and it is the source of all energy, and enough energy strikes the surface of the earth every day to run the world for 24 years. Consider that the final (and initial) source of energy. The power of the world will rest in the hands of the innovative nations who can convert this energy into a usable form.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:51 am)

    Now the fact that Germany is studying this, means they are already thinking of alternatives to prevent this from happening, I would imagine. The Germans are very innovative and I am sure they are not going to sit around idly until this drama comes to fruition.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:52 am)

    We should have no less than 5 propulsion fuels Being Gas, deisel, elelctric, LPG, Bio. Hydrogen is always 10 years down the road. for national security reasons alone. For this Govt NOT to have an energy policy for the last 30 years is really hard to grasp the mentality there.

    They can spend a $trillion on unnecessary wars in foreign countries but throw table scraps at our energy problems. Dont get me started.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:56 am)

    On one of these green TV specials I watched a guy run a pickup truck off Wood gas ,from a wood burner in the back all across london on a small load of wood. Dont know How many miles per Cord he was getting but it goes to show if one backwoods farmer can THAT .We as a nation that takes wasteful spending to new heights,can find other ways to power our cars and trucks.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:09 am)

    I wrote some of this after viewing the movie ‘Collapse’ http://www.collapsemovie.com/ about the same concept. Strongly recommended.

    We can spout our opinions all we want here and try our best to influence politicians and neighbors. I continue to be amazed at all the deniers and procrastinators that exist- even on this website. And if Volt fans are such, imagine Joe Average. He doesn’t care worth beans and politicians only REact to voter sentiment.

    In light of the seriousness of the consequences, any future vehicle purchase I make will not REQUIRE petrol to leave to driveway (so Prius lovers, shut up). My ’93 Buick Roadmaster left my possession after 15 years. 15 years from now, we could find the earth a very different place. And to those deniers and procrastinators who try to say it will be ‘gradual’, you forget that after the plateau is a PRECIPITOUS drop in the curve. And it will be much faster downhill than it was up. It may not happen, and I pray it doesn’t, but to not alter ones behavior based on such a serious threat is like partying at the Richelieu apartments on 8/17/69 http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/eyeonthestorm/2009/08/18/gulf-coast-felt-camilles-fury-40-years-ago/

    This is what you tell your friends and neighbors- the Volt is not just smart, it is INSURANCE against potentially catastrophic gas price increases and shortages. No, life won’t be a cup of tea with your Volt, but when/if a trip to the grocery store costs a weeks wages, you’ll be glad you have it.


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    Mike-o-Matic

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:10 am)

    dave:
    wa…?  

    Never seen “Ghostbusters,” eh? Too bad! Funny movie.


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    Pat

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:18 am)

    Listening to a discussion on alternate energy production, an entrepenur said that while many folks will spend 100 of $$ on an iphone, ipad or some other gizmo but they will not spend or agree to spend an extra $ to receive electricity generated by an alternate source .. soemthing to think about the mentality in US …refer to discussion on c-span …


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:19 am)

    Every generation has thought that it would be the last.

    Of course, eventually, some generation will be correct …


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    omnimoeish

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:41 am)

    I don’t mean to be a doom and gloomist, but I think its so funny when people think that when the !@#$ hits the fan, we’ll be able to just switch to EVs and the world will keep turning. Nevermind the fact that 1/3 of oil isn’t even used for transportation (plastics, rubbers, tires, even morons in New England who use it for heating still), then a lot of oil is used for airlines, a lot for farming equipment, (tractors, combines, etc.) and a lot is used for semi trucks. None of those are anywhere near being electrified, then of course even the most optimistic estimates put EVs at 1 million in the world by 2015, compared to about 1 BILLION ICE vehicles. ICE vehicles will still be produced about 100 times faster than EVs for the foreseeable future, and as we know from 2008, high oil prices can materialize in a matter of 3-6 months whereas it takes decades to switch fuel sources and infrastructure.

    Sobering but true. Anyone who’s taken basic biology is familiar with the term “carrying capacity”. What is the carrying capacity of the earth? I say we’ll know fairly soon as our population can’t keep doubling every few decades.

    Don’t mind me though, go back to reading about Lindsay Lohan and watching youtube videos of the amazing orange. Please don’t let me rain on your parade.


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    Shawn Marshall

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:45 am)

    Peak oil has been mistakenly predicted for many years and it is a false motivator for electrification of the automobile. There could be many ways to provide personal transportation including maybe even steam power if needed. The end of oil as a fuel source is not the end of anything since it may be synthesized if economically apropos.
    The electrification of personal transportation may be appropriate since it could eliminate the strategic importance of oil and displace it with a cleaner and virtually limitless power source – that being nuclear power. Batteries of course are critical to the economic utility of electric cars. New batteries (Cheap and with high energy density) also augment the economic utility of other alternative energy sources such as solar cells and windmills.
    If it turns out that we need hydrogen, we can make all we want with nuclear power.
    The questions are: what wonders will science unveil? and which will become the economic option?


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    neutron

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:45 am)

    herm:
    What? .. oil has been called black gold and its appropriate.. of course you will get used to free money gushing out of the ground.. it has fueled immense prosperity for countless peoples.BTW, if the chinese and americans make a big push towards electrics.. oil may remain at its current price for many many decades.. and apparently the chinese are doing just that.  

    Yup, yup, and yup. That has been an observation of mine for quite awhile.

    India will be in that mix also.
    Was it this site yesterday that had a commenter noting China is building another very large hydro electric dam and working on atomic energy power plants concentrated in a local farm so they could generate a lot more electric power???
    If so it appears they are implementing an electric car strategy now.


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    DonC

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:46 am)

    Loboc: In the US, oil can be replaced fairly quickly by CNG. However, that’s like moving from one tree to another during a rain shower. You’ll eventually get wet.

    There is no comparison between CNG and oil. First, from a national security standpoint natural gas is in all the right places whereas oil is in all the wrong place. IOW do you want a BTU from PA or Saudi Arabia, the UK or Russia? Second, we’ve just started to find large deposits of natural gas — peak natural gas is a long way in the future.

    The longer we can delay the more likely alternatives there will be. Lithium air batteries, which really are a viable replacement for CNG, aren’t gong to happen in the next ten years, but twenty years from now they may be everywhere.


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    coffeetime

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:46 am)

    Dave K.: Oil companies are in it for the money.

    At the end of the day, just about everyone is into just about everything “for the money.” If you are going to sell your used car to buy a Volt, I guarantee everyone that if someone were to offer you $5K and someone else were to offer you $6K, you’d accept the latter. It’s nothing evil, just common sense.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:57 am)

    omnimoeish: I don’t mean to be a doom and gloomist, but I think its so funny when people think that when the !@#$ hits the fan, we’ll be able to just switch to EVs and the world will keep turning. Nevermind the fact that 1/3 of oil isn’t even used for transportation (plastics, rubbers, tires, even morons in New England who use it for heating still), then a lot of oil is used for airlines, a lot for farming equipment, (tractors, combines, etc.) and a lot is used for semi trucks. None of those are anywhere near being electrified, then of course even the most optimistic estimates put EVs at 1 million in the world by 2015, compared to about 1 BILLION ICE vehicles. ICE vehicles will still be produced about 100 times faster than EVs for the foreseeable future, and as we know from 2008, high oil prices can materialize in a matter of 3-6 months whereas it takes decades to switch fuel sources and infrastructure.Sobering but true. Anyone who’s taken basic biology is familiar with the term “carrying capacity”. What is the carrying capacity of the earth? I say we’ll know fairly soon as our population can’t keep doubling every few decades.Don’t mind me though, go back to reading about Lindsay Lohan and watching youtube videos of the amazing orange. Please don’t let me rain on your parade.  

    Who is Lindsey Lohan? An environmentalist? :+}

    There have been comments (on this site a few weeks ago?) about population stabilizing by 2030 and even shrinking?? The carrying capacity of the earth is good subject for discussion.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (12:10 pm)

    Volt45: Brazil just discovered a huge deposit in deep water.

    While you seem to be suggesting that this disproves the theory of peak oil it actually proves it. You never actually run out of commodities. They just keep increasing in price until people find substitutes. So the question becomes — is it more expensive to find and produce oil in deep water than on land, and is it more expensive to produce oil in deep water than in shallow water? The answer to both questions is “of course”.

    Peak oil really isn’t so hard to understand once you realize its simply a specific application of a more general principle just says the obvious, which is that you pick the easy stuff first, and it applies to just about everything, not just oil. Take building lots for example. When builders start building they pick the easiest to build lots first. As those are built out they need to use the more difficult lots which are more costly to build on. At some point what you’re left with are the “in-fill” lots which for various reasons are very difficult to build one. You can still build but it costs a lot more.

    IOW while there may be oil both in the Gulf of Mexico and in West Texas, it’s just a whole lot cheaper to get it from West Texas. When the West Texas supply runs out and you have to move offshore then your oil gets more expensive. Or take Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia still has a lot of oil reserves beyond what is currently accessible, but there is a substantial question whether those reserves can be tapped given current technology and current prices.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (12:18 pm)

    There is one solution and one solution only, at least in the United States. Most people on this web sight may not like it because it is a 4 letter word that makes enviro-nazi’s cringe, but it is the only viable solution to avoid disaster. It’s spelled C-O-A-L.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (12:23 pm)

    Shawn Marshall: Peak oil has been mistakenly predicted for many years and it is a false motivator for electrification of the automobile.

    Mistakenly? Peak oil predicts oil prices would rise faster than the general rate of inflation, punctuated with wide price swings. That’s what is happening.

    I suspect you’ve been listening to “Deniers” who first falsely paint the theory of “Peak Oil” before demonstrating their false version of the theory doesn’t obtain. IOW it’s not hard to destroy a strawman argument that you get to make up and which doesn’t represent the argument which has in fact been made. I don’t know where you might be getting this from but there are some media outlets whose entire modus operandi is based on this approach, so I have my suspicions.


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    flmark

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (12:31 pm)

    Shawn Marshall: Peak oil has been mistakenly predicted for many years and it is a false motivator for electrification of the automobile. There could be many ways to provide personal transportation including maybe even steam power if needed. The end of oil as a fuel source is not the end of anything since it may be synthesized if economically apropos.The electrification of personal transportation may be appropriate since it could eliminate the strategic importance of oil and displace it with a cleaner and virtually limitless power source – that being nuclear power. Batteries of course are critical to the economic utility of electric cars. New batteries (Cheap and with high energy density) also augment the economic utility of other alternative energy sources such as solar cells and windmills.If it turns out that we need hydrogen, we can make all we want with nuclear power.The questions are: what wonders will science unveil? and which will become the economic option?  (Quote)

    I would love to believe we had the luxury of time to allow science to fulfill this utopia, but two ‘I’ words come to mind, “Infrastructure” and “Intransigence”. No matter which path you travel, environment or peak oil, there are just too many of us (billions, that is) snowballing down the path to destruction to allow for the sun to melt the snowball before tragic consequences occur. And most within the snowball are quite content to remain there. I have used this analogy before, but how many would be buying catalytic converters if they were optional equipment? As omnimoeish just pointed out, even after EVs appear, they will be a trickle compared to the conventional, planet killing machines pouring off the assembly lines. From the large industrial machinery that builds dams to the trucks that deliver our goods, EVERYTHING we know has no easy transition to a non-oil world. Without nearly immediate legal requirements to begin this transition NOW, it is hard to foresee science methodically enabling us a painless transition. Yes, the answers ARE there, but intransigence on a nearly planet wide basis looms VERY large.


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    Randy C.

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (12:45 pm)

    If you studied economics you will realize that this is the truth. There is no stopping it. It will happen to any finite resource. Since new oil can not be made in the next 50 years all there is what there is in the ground. Unfortunately the ones providing the oil will not allow their monopoly to wane.

    Also economic laws dictate that as the resource become more expensive alternatives that were deemed to expensive or impractical will become more attractive. I just don’t know if it is to late to save us from total economic and environmental collapse. What ever the substitute for oil is it has to be more environmentally compatible.

    Electric cars are the cheapest and fastest solution to both problems. Electric cars don’t need an entire new infrastructure to be built like HFC cars. Especially when you consider there are literally billions of level 1 charge points already in place. All we have to do is get over our fears and off our collective A$$es and get er done!


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    Ron Gremban, CalCars Tech. Lead

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    It appears that, what with both peak oil and climate change, our transportation will need to be largely off oil within two decades or less. But if plug-in vehicles penetrate the new-car market even ten times as fast (22% after ten years) as hybrids have, the proportion of plug-ins in the worldwide fleet — because vehicles last for over 15 years — will not even become significant until 2030. Crushing and replacing vehicles early, though effective for the worst, is not an answer, as new production (from recycled materials) now adds 15% to the lifetime energy consumption of each vehicle. As vehicles become more efficient, this proportion becomes higher, up to an 80% addition to an efficient BEV’s lifetime fuel consumption.

    What we will need to do instead is convert existing ICE vehicles into PHEVs, EREVs, and BEVs, as best fits the owner’s needs. With mass produced kits for the most popular larger gas guzzling vehicles (like pickup trucks on up), this can be done while actually reducing overall continued cost of ownership for many of these vehicles, even before anticipating future fuel price increases, volatility, and disruptions — all of which will eventually increase demand for such conversions. In the meantime, incentives for safety- and emissions-certified conversions matching those for the purchase of new plug-in vehicles would be extremely valuable to get mass deployment of this technology moving and thus potentially accelerate the electrification of ground transportation by at least a decade (significant oil consumption reductions by 2020 instead of 2030).

    With many, many vehicular Li-ion battery factories coming on line soon due to recent huge investments, some from the U.S. stimulus bill, and plug-in vehicles arriving more slowly, a battery glut is now expected in 2-3 years. While it takes many years to design and further ramp up the production of new plug-in vehicles, conversion kits can be designed and built fast enough to match the ramp-up of battery manufacturing capacity; and, after training, they can be installed by recession-plagued auto dealers and repair shops.

    To learn more, visit http://www.calcars.org .


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    jbfalaska

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    Thank you Lyle for this article. This is the main reason I’m here for the past 3 years with the Volt fans. My wife and I both retired from the AIR FORCE. The dirty little secret in my view is we didn’t go to the Middle-East and lose lives for making Quwait free, or Iraq a democracy. We all know what Democracy did for Iran and Lebanon, all helped push Anti-Americanism to the front in every single democracy over there. No, the dirty little secret is this country is tethered to the raw sacrificial addiction to oil.

    We spend hundreds of billions of dollars to protect the flow of oil every year while I competitors reap the benefit by having cost advantages over AMERICAN products. When are we going wake up from this haze. Thank God almighty at least Obama and McCain both pledged to over tax incentives knowing this is a win-win for the American people. The oil import offset more than makes up for the tax break. Frankly, we could buy every American in the market each year a EREV or BEV and still be making a savings.

    CHEVY VOLT: American-made, American-FUELED. Time to cut off the oil baron terrorists.


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    Streetlight

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    This 2010 ‘leak’-peak coincides with long-time known Hubbert theorem peak.
    http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch5en/appl5en/worldoilreservesevol.html

    In the main, two categories quantify oil reserves. 1) Proven reserves; and, 2) Unproven technically recoverable reserves. These categories break down further. Thus, muddying up how to anticipate shortages. The problem is that BOTH oil companies and NATIONS inflate asset value by overestimating more or less reserves.

    But there’s no doubt that any of these futurist forecasts DO NOT go beyond 2090. By that we can say with decent certainty we are on the clock. Assuming we don’t nuke our oil producing enemies sooner than later; we should get through the next 25 years or so OK (without shortages). That also assumes China (at 2% increase per year) consumes 50% of our present consumption. (The U.S. has the largest coal reserves. Canada has the second largest oil reserves.)

    This leaves two lines of planning-accelerate our oil production prep now and accelerate alternatives to ICE’s. VOLT is a step forward. Just how much forward depends in great part on the ER MPG. In the mid 40′s, a 12 gal. tank gets VOLT over 500 mile range. If VOLT withholds the turbo and sells a N.A. ICE with a 9 gal. tank and barely meeting 30 mpg – you see the diff.
    It just escapes me why GM doesn’t put its best foot forward here.

    esc.fsu.edu/documents/lectures/ECS2005/sustainablebackground.pdf


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (1:06 pm)

    The real cost of a gallon of gas is now up to $12 per gallon after factoring in military, imports, clean up, let alone the blood and guts strewn across the middle-east for nothing more than putting something we now have the technology to no longer need.

    Wanna fight terrorism, buy an electric.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (1:09 pm)

    I’m also looking at an EREV scooter by Piaggio for short bursts about town. Anything to cut off the oil in my home. All my garage tools are now electric, from weed wacker, blowers, mowers, the works. As an Air Force retired veteran I despise seeing anything from the Middle-East where nearly every single terrorist hitting the trade towers in NY was from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq, not Iran, not Afghanistan, contrary to popular belief.


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    sparks

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (1:13 pm)

    Two predictions:

    A) There will NEVER be a global economic recovery (in our lifetimes, anyway), nor a US economic recovery, because at the first sign of recovery, oil prices will spike up and cause a resurgence of recession.

    B) There will be gasoline lines and gas rationing at some point during the lifetime of the first (generation 1) Volts, and those fortunate enough to have one, will be the only folks not inconvenienced by this.

    The reason for the gas shortages will be that the oil companies will be liquidating their assets, because the cost of oil extraction will be too high relative to what the world can afford. Gasoline will become more of a prestige item available to a small, wealthy contingent of society.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (1:27 pm)

    These reports always assume that all the oil in the world has been discovered. Far from the truth and there is no way that anyone can predict what is still in the ground and undiscovered.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (1:32 pm)

    DonC:
    There is no comparison between CNG and oil. First, from a national security standpoint natural gas is in all the right places whereas oil is in all the wrong place. IOW do you want a BTU from PA or Saudi Arabia, the UK or Russia? Second, we’ve just started to find large deposits of natural gas — peak natural gas is a long way in the future.The longer we can delay the more likely alternatives there will be. Lithium air batteries, which really are a viable replacement for CNG, aren’t gong to happen in the next ten years, but twenty years from now they may be everywhere.  

    Speaking of CNG. Looks like NY is making a move to help reduce pollution. The reduction of particulate matter (PM) is a definite plus. PM can cause all types of negative reactions with children and adults.


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    Chevonly

     

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (1:33 pm)

    Dear Republicrats, we now know for sure what a crackpot Jimmy Carter was for trying to get the United States off of foreign oil, yes we got much better advice from oil man Dick and Georgy frat boy bush. Yes the big oil money has greased our politicians for years so much for long range planning. Republicrats= democrats and republicans virtually no difference both parties are totally corrupt and self serving, there mantra is support the multinationals and the new world order, one world government through wars and war profiteering and huge deficit spending that can never be paid back. Do not forget that Dick and Georgy helped the EPA sue california to kill the electric car back in the 90s, just think how much further along we would be now if they had not been around to protect the big oil companies from the evils of the electric car and energy independence not to mention all of the lost money in graft and corruption for the military industrial complex.


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    EVNow

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    flmark: From the large industrial machinery that builds dams to the trucks that deliver our goods, EVERYTHING we know has no easy transition to a non-oil world. Without nearly immediate legal requirements to begin this transition NOW, it is hard to foresee science methodically enabling us a painless transition. Yes, the answers ARE there, but intransigence on a nearly planet wide basis looms VERY large.  

    The problem is not technology – it is politics. Trains can deliver goods over long distance with local EVs doing the distribution. Most of us can ride electric bikes – if only the roads were safer. But Americans want to live in a fools paradise – and as Churchill said, we will do the right thing but only after trying all other options.

    Volts & Leafs don’t matter – too insignificant to do anything. In anycase China & India is buying ICE cars in larger & larger numbers. Rcession has just been a small speed bump for them.

    Within this decade we will have oil shortages and govt mandated rationing. Chinese & Indians will switch to eletric bikes. Europe has good public transport. Americans will be the hardest hit since our public transport is so poor.

    Deniers will promptly tell us – nobody saw this coming.


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    neutron

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (2:10 pm)

    Ron Gremban, CalCars Tech. Lead: It appears that, what with both peak oil and climate change, our transportation will need to be largely off oil within two decades or less.But if plug-in vehicles penetrate the new-car market even ten times as fast (22% after ten years) as hybrids have, the proportion of plug-ins in the worldwide fleet — because vehicles last for over 15 years — )……… .With many, many vehicular Li-ion battery factories coming on line soon due to recent huge investments, some from the U.S. stimulus bill, and plug-in vehicles arriving more slowly, a battery glut is now expected in 2-3 years…. While it takes many years to design and further ramp up the production of new plug-in vehicles, conversion kits can be designed and built fast enough to match the ramp-up of battery manufacturing capacity; and, after training, they can be installed by recession-plagued auto dealers and repair shops.To learn more, visit http://www.calcars.org .  

    Did you pay Lyle for your advertisement?


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (2:14 pm)

    Gee guys. It’s very ‘intense’ here today. I thought everyone but me would have a relaxing day off on this Labor Day. Crack open a cool one for me and take it easy!


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    neutron

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (2:25 pm)

    Streetlight: This 2010 ‘leak’-peak coincides with long-time known Hubbert theorem peak.
    http://people.hofstra.edu/geotrans/eng/ch5en/appl5en/worldoilreservesevol.html
    In the main, two categories quantify oil reserves. 1) Proven reserves; and, 2) Unproven technically recoverable reserves. These categories break down further. Thus, muddying up how to anticipate shortages. The problem is that BOTH oil companies and NATIONS inflate asset value by overestimating more or less reserves.But there’s no doubt that any of these futurist forecasts DO NOT go beyond 2090. By that we can say with decent certainty we are on the clock. Assuming we don’t nuke our oil producing enemies sooner than later; we should get through the next 25 years or so OK (without shortages). That also assumes China (at 2% increase per year) consumes 50% of our present consumption. (The U.S. has the largest coal reserves. Canada has the second largest oil reserves.)This leaves two lines of planning-accelerate our oil production prep now and accelerate alternatives to ICE’s. VOLT is a step forward. Just how much forward depends in great part on the ER MPG. In the mid 40’s, a 12 gal. tank gets VOLT over 500 mile range. If VOLT withholds the turbo and sells a N.A. ICE with a 9 gal. tank and barely meeting 30 mpg – you see the diff.
    It just escapes me why GM doesn’t put its best foot forward here.esc.fsu.edu/documents/lectures/ECS2005/sustainablebackground.pdf  

    I appears some governments in the OIL rich countries have read your links. There are news reports that oil countries in the mid-east are making big investments in solar and wind power.


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    herm

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (3:03 pm)

    Mark Z: In the long term, encourage lawmakers to design a massive nuclear power plant program that can turn the interstate highway system into an electrified roadbed to charge full sized electric cars and trucks while traveling coast to coast. Build high speed electric bullet trains between all of our larger airports to decrease the need for air travel.
    So much to be done, and it begins when you place your order for a VOLT or BEV car.  

    Mark, you are off the message.. its supposed to be gloom & doom Labor Day today.. please cool off with the unbridled optimism :)


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    DonC

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (3:11 pm)

    Ron Gremban, CalCars Tech. Lead: What we will need to do instead is convert existing ICE vehicles into PHEVs, EREVs, and BEVs, as best fits the owner’s needs.

    I don’t think you can make a compelling case for converting existing ICE to EREVs whereas you can make such a case for converting to CNG. They do it all the time in the EU and apparently in Utah.


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    James

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (3:44 pm)

    If the Chevrolet Volt reaches the masses – or a Cruze hatchback with Voltec drivetrain ( “Volt gen II” ? ), middle seat in the rear and 20-30 miles AER, priced in the mid $20ks, EREVs will flourish. Then we won’t be sitting around the dinner table and water cooler discussing Peak Oil, we’ll be bragging up the fact that we’ve used 0 gas in weeks! I believe this alone will turn the tide. Seriously, even if gas stays below $3.00 per gallon, won’t any of us look silly and just plain nuts if we don’t climb onboard the no-crude train? Today’s social networking nutso world will Twitter and Tweet it’s way into less oil consumption.

    The big question still remains – will an automobile company really bust out ahead and mass produce an affordable EREV?

    PEAK OIL ( share this one with friends and family – a good way to convey )

    click here for a poignant cartoon short that smartly illustrates our collective dillemma:
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://nofatclips.com/02007/12/02/oil/peakoil.jpg&imgrefurl=http://dekku.nofatclips.com/2007/12/bruce-woodside-peak-oil.html&usg=__Zg1k0OwHAwIL4YJ9xFBh1SxXUwc=&h=486&w=720&sz=27&hl=en&start=35&zoom=1&itbs=1&tbnid=qnzFSqnWBSnCyM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=140&prev=/images%3Fq%3DPeak%2BOil%2Bcartoon%26start%3D20%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26tbs%3Disch:1

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    Lars Hastrup

     

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (3:56 pm)

    Am I wrong that it takes 2 to 3 times more oil to produce a car than it uses driving in its lifetime ?


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (5:14 pm)

    Tom M:The volt and other electric vehicles can be a first step in the right direction and I will support, with my dollars, the companies like GM that make a commitment to bring electric and other alternative fuel vehicles to their showrooms.

    The U.S. uses about 20 million barrels of oil per day. Approximately 20 gallons of each barrel is used for gasoline, and 7 gallons is used for diesel, i.e. 400 million gallons of gas per day, and 140 million gallons of diesel.

    The U.S. passenger vehicle fleet is approximately 250 million vehicles. If you replace diesel trucks with natural gas and electrify trains, you can get essentially rid of diesel. In addition, replacing every passenger vehicles with Voltec-type architecture (which would basically save one gallon of gas a day per vehicle) would result in a reduction of approx. 390 million gallons of fuel, or about 8.8 million barrels of oil per day (390 gallons/44 gallons per barrel) , i.e. the U.S. would consume about 11 million barrels per day (20 – 8.8).

    The U.S. produces about 5 million barrels of oil a day. In the above scenario, the U.S. would still have to import 6 million barrels per day.

    As you say, the Volt is a great step in the right directions, but the numbers are still rather daunting. I imagine the move to electrification of the automobile could be essentially completed in 10 years, but it would require gas prices to be substantially raised in order to encourage people to buy more efficient vehicles.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (5:32 pm)

    David F: These reports always assume that all the oil in the world has been discovered. Far from the truth and there is no way that anyone can predict what is still in the ground and undiscovered.  (Quote)

    By definition though, given one hundred years of sedulous, profit-driven searching, would you not agree that the “cheap and easily extracted” fossil oil is gone? As others have said, “peak oil” indicates a price. If oil went up to 2000 dollars a barrel, there would be plenty of it since the demand is not entirely inelastic.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (5:38 pm)

    Dave K said: “Oil companies are in it for the money…”

    On;y 15% of the world’s oil is produced and ‘owned’ by public companies. The rest belongs to (and is often produced by) sovereign governments and their representatives. Do you honestly think they won’t think of their own future needs and turn the taps off a bit when depletion becomes obvious? There is no rule that says the current oil market must survive…
    Sam P.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (5:41 pm)

    JohnK: I think it behooves us to consider that any natural resource has a limitation. Oil is just the first one that will run out. Natural gas and coal will eventually run out as well. Nuclear I presume will last a bit longer. Even the ultimate power source, our sun will burn out eventually. Hopefully by then our species will be travelling to other stars or at least to planets farther from the sun (as it turns into a red giant).  (Quote)

    Google breeder reactors. Nuclear is like Doritos. You can make more!


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    Dave K.

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (5:44 pm)

    coffeetime: At the end of the day, just about everyone is into just about everything “for the money.” If you are going to sell your used car to buy a Volt, I guarantee everyone that if someone were to offer you $5K and someone else were to offer you $6K, you’d accept the latter. It’s nothing evil, just common sense.

    I believe you missed the point coffeetime. There is no blue book value on a barrel of oil. It doesn’t spoil like medicine. Or go bad like food. Oil is like printer ink. And unlike a used truck. If a seller charges $1000 extra for a used truck it wouldn’t look better, run better, or go faster. And it would lose value as it sat around through phone call screening and test drives.

    With oil at $75 per barrel people are buying large vehicles. I work with several who have. Buyers know it’s going to hurt when oil returns to $99 per barrel. As oil spikes to $99 per barrel they will complain and drive less. There are also folks I work with mentioning the Tesla Model S as their next car.

    At $75 per barrel oil. There are more large thirsty vehicle is on the streets. A company like GM looks at sales and assembles 3 big trucks for every 1 small car. As you say coffeetime. All in it for the money. These large trucks will not be crushed as oil spikes to $99. They will sponge and burn all the gasoline people are willing to spend on. Even if it means less food to eat. Or less items purchased in the community.

    Whether we preach that peak oil has been reached. Or that there is plenty underground being held for long term profit. The whole issue comes down to a battle of will. Where can the price of oil balance to maintain truck sales? And to maintain driver comfort level to ensure full (normal) consumption? And to apply pressure on auto makers to back burner EV programs?

    If oil dropped to $44 per barrel today on news that the entire state of Arizona is on top of a 1000 mile deep previously undiscovered oil reserve. Then you could kiss the Voltec program goodbye. There would be Suburban parties in Yuma each weekend. This is the wrestling match in the ring before us.

    Stay mentally strong and do the right thing. Buy an efficient vehicle and bring the fight to our corner. We can recharge at friendly vendor sites, via solar, or metered tier 1 Edison rate in the garage. We can continue normal day-to-day activities. We can provide local economies the cash flow which historically would have gone to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and now Afghanistan. We can make war for oil unprofitable and unnecessary to undertake.

    =D-Volt


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    flmark

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (5:49 pm)

    paul: Peak oil presentation given by chief economist at CIBC World Markets last year…Judge for yourself.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYuLjGQQ-jg&feature=player_embedded  (Quote)

    I watched every minute of this interesting discussion. Lots of common sense. My fear is that we don’t have the time to allow free market forces to act for re-localizing economies nor the political will to enforce the environmental costs into purchase price.

    On a different note, when I came back to vote, I realize what I have been noticing all day. My positive (for the environment) votes are being offset by negative votes nearly one to one. That tells me that if the ranks of Volt supporters are so filled with naysayers regarding environmental peril (or peak oil deniers, for that matter), than the world at large is magnitudes worse. I will write again what I wrote a few weeks ago. I expect to have to write a letter of apology to my granddaughter to be opened (by candlelight) seventy years from now. I did what I could. From antibiotic resistant strains of disease, to invasive species to this oil intransigence, I cannot foresee my grandchildren having it better than the baby boomers did. The ‘me first’ attitude of this generation will echo throughout the ages to follow.

    I often close with ‘Don’t Worry. Be Happy.’ Maybe a better statement this time- ‘Ignorance is bliss’. Let’s stop the clock just before midnight 11 years ago and ‘party like it’s 1999′. No threat of global nuclear war. No worldwide terrorism. Economy in blissful ignorance. What a ride. Let’s fire up Mr Fusion and punch the throttle up to 88 mph. Or click our heels 3 times, ‘There’s no place like home.’

    “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” Albert Einstein

    BTW, watch the referenced video. The man is full of optimism about where we will be going IN SPITE OF peak oil slapping us in the face.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (6:37 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: Never seen “Ghostbusters,” eh? Too bad! Funny movie.  (Quote)

    What about the twinkie?


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    jeremy wilson

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (6:57 pm)

    Roy H: This must be an old study. There are many current studies on peak oil done by universities and oil companies that have been published for several years.“Generally large western democratic governments do not publish reports on the study of peak oil or its consequence, for fear of causing public distress.”This may have been true years ago, but as the current published studies prove, most of the public simply ignores this. There are many arguments. The main thing is there are two definitions of “peak oil” and this gives bases for both sides of the argument to be true.Peak oil as a finite resource is still in the future as more reserves are discovered. There are huge known reserves such as Alberta Tar Sands that can supply oil for years to come. These facts support the side that peak oil is nothing to worry about yet.Peak oil as a cheap commodity. This is our real problem, all the easy to get and easy to refine oil is running out. Tar sand oil is expensive, and as currently approached devastating to the environment. Drilling in deep ocean waters like the BP Caribbean Gulf project is expensive, even if it was a success. Drilling in the stormy North Atlantic or Arctic Ocean is expensive. Almost all of the cheap oil comes from Arabic countries or Venezuela, and as the article states, these countries are looking to benefit their own future, not ours.Mean while our politicians give lip service to the issue doing as little as possible while trying to make themselves look like they are concerned. Our governments are run by big corporations that include oil companies. They want to maintain their dominant position and high profits. They have little concern that their approach is destroying our economy, driving a portion of the middle class into the poor class or polluting the world.There are solutions to all our problems. The issue is how to get the voting public sufficiently aware, focused, and demand change from our political leaders. Politicians will react to public pressure. The answer to our energy problem lies with the LFTR.Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors were invented in the 1960s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They ran one for almost 5 years. LFTRs use cheap thorium, are inherently safe, do not produce long term radio-active waste and were abandoned because they are not suitable for making bombs. See:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUeBSoEnRk
    and
    http://energyfromthorium.com/
    Although the principles are proven, there is still some research required for the best materials to have long 50 year plus life. This should be our highest priority to solve our energy and pollution problems.There are other solutions to our financial problems that I don’t want to go into now. What we need to do is spread the word. We do not need to suffer lower standard of living, we have solutions, we do not have to continue polluting our world, we do not have to be dependent on unfriendly foreign countries, we need to pressure our leaders to do the right thing.  

    Yea I emailed the president and told him I had lost faith in him because he spend 36 billion to fund building 2 new nuke reactors in Georgia which would take 11 years to get up and running. I asked why didn’t you spend that 36 billion making 200 new megawatt solar plants they could all be built in less than 2 years and all be running way cheaper than subsidized nuke power which is 20-25 cents a kWh at minimum. That 36 billion could have made a hundred thousand jobs if spent on solar with no long term radiation waste problems. Did you know there is in silo’s several million tons of radioactive waste stock piled for disposal for the last 20 years and the gov just does not know what to do with it. What a friggin bunch of morons. We have no jobs here cause everything we own is made in China. Might as well let them come over and finish buying our country and take over cause we are losing this battle.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:07 pm)

    flmark: I watched every minute of this interesting discussion. Lots of common sense.

    A very good presentation by Jeff Rubin. Surprising Jeff didn’t mention automation in industry. Not only is Chinese coal fueled industry growing. A large percent of new production lines are robotic-ally enabled.

    Notice this presentation was delivered in 2009. Jeff said we’re looking at triple digit oil prices in 12 months. Which translates to about now. I believe we won’t have $100 per barrel oil. See comment 99 above.

    Enjoyed all 45 minutes of the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYuLjGQQ-jg&feature=player_embedded

    =D-Volt


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    LRGVProVolt

     

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:12 pm)

    jan: I have to believe that the electric drive car is a big step in the right direction.

    Who saved General Motors? Not Bush; he left it up to the next administration. Who gave us an innovative vehicle that will lead the way to independence from foreign oil. General Motors! Who passed legislation to get this nation to transition over to electricity away from petroleum? Obama did! It’s been this Democtratic Administration and Congress that insured the success of the Volt.

    Our current adminstration has passed legislation to build a battery industry of the future in the United States through loans to create battery manufacturing plants. DOE has provided grants to build a charging infrastructure in many major cities. This effort has brought utility companies, municipalities, and manufacturers together that will create the jobs of the future green economy.

    All of you here today are debating the pros and cons of peak oil. And an overwhelming number of you believe that the security of the United States is at risk because we are dependent on foreign petroleum. What is significant is how expensive this addiction is and what its consequences for our nation are. On average $25 Billion a month; that’s $300 Billion a year. And that figure will increase drastically over the next few years; China surpassed the U.S. is auto sales: over 2,000 vehicles a day. The huge demand for petroleum by China alone will drive the price for a barrel of petroleum so far beyond any price we have seen before that it will create shortages around the world.

    So to anyone saying that this administration doesn’t have a clue what to do about peak oil, I would say your ignorant of what is truly happening. You come here and hear every day how GM has created the Volt and how it is coming to market. You hear how it will change the world around us and free us from the blood sucking foreign petroleum that will destroy this country unless we continue on the path this administration has set; One that will rebuild industry in this country and insure freedom and prosperity for this nation.

    JMHO!


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:16 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic: Never seen “Ghostbusters,” eh? Too bad! Funny movie.  (Quote)

    I thought you said ‘crossing the streams’ would be bad?!


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:21 pm)

    Never underestimate human ingenuity. Unfortunately this usually requires some type of catalyst for people to want to change. What we saw with $4+ a gallon was a lot of different idea’s but unfortunately the prices jumped so fast no one had time to react, then when people started reacting the price dropped and people pretty much forgot about it. If we have sustained high prices people will start to realize how to use other non oil energy sources like battery electric, natural gas, nuclear and other technologies.

    I am not one for higher taxes, but a “gas tax” done in the right fashion would be that catalyst.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:22 pm)

    jan: I have to believe that the electric drive car is a big step in the right direction. I don’t know how to say this without sounding political but our government appears incapable of dealing with such realities as peak oil. They talk about them during campaigns and then do very little about it after the election. We need an Independent President to change the course of all this inaction. The only hope we have now is that the Tea Party can supply such an option, and that don’t seem likely.

    Will be interesting to see how the international community responds to the leaked report, assuming the identification of the source is accurate.
    With respect to US government response, agree no administration since the first oil shock in the early 1970s has taken adequate steps to develop alternative energy sources in meaningful quantities. A case could be made some worked against it.
    I suspect, unfortunately, if the Republicans win a bunch more seats or actually gain control of the House and / or Senate in the upcoming midterms, you can kiss goodbye for many more years any realistic attempts to address the alternative energy sources issue. They’ll be wasting time and taxpayer money pursuing “investigations” of all the alleged wrongdoing at the hands of the current Administration. What a crock. Two more years of non-governing nonsense by the party of no simply to make the other guys look bad for the 2012 elections.
    This country has serious problems – had them well before the 2008 Presidential campaigns started. IMO it’ll take a sustained substantial hike in fuel prices to make significant development and investment in alternative energy sources an attractive and profitable proposition for a capitalist economy. Let’s hope we have time.
    Volt is a good step, a symbolic step certainly – and maybe a transformational event that along with the rollout of the Leaf and other electrics helps people realize there are / will be practical, affordable alternatives to vehicles powered with foreign oil.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:26 pm)

    LRGVProVolt: Who saved General Motors?

    If five years ago you said that GM would build a freeway capable car with 6 cylinder power that offered the fuel efficiency of a scooter…

    =D-Volt


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (7:42 pm)

    Can anyone say “Y2K”? How about “The sky is falling”? Mad Max? Geez, get a grip on reality.

    BTW, what does the Klingon military have to say about the subject.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    Germany would be one of the first to suffer. I don’t believe they have and oil of their own

    North America will do ok as we have many sources of energy. It might get expensive but the USA could be in a good position. IF we get a long range plan and like the Boy Scout motto,
    “Be Prepared”


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:23 pm)

    reply to 12 TOM M
    MIT Moves Forward Home Fuel Cells
    by Susan DeFreitas, August 31st, 2010

    In the future, small-scale hydrogen fuel cells could provide power for both our homes and electric vehicles. Scientists at MIT recently reported on the discovery of a new catalyst that comprises a key element in such systems. According to a recent news release, this advance could help to free homes and businesses from dependence on not only the electric company, but the gas station as well.

    The study leader from MIT, Daniel Nocera, Ph.D., recently presented a report at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston which focused on the electrolyzer element of such fuel cells. These electrolyzers require catalyst materials that jump start chemical reactions, like the ones that break water up into hydrogen and oxygen. Good catalysts for the part of the electrolyzer that produces hydrogen already exist–but catalysts for producing oxygen (including platinum), until this point, have been expensive and/or short-lived.

    image via American Chemical Society

    Nocera’s report details research at MIT on a new catalyst that boosts oxygen production by 200-fold. This mysterious substance has not been named, but information on it has been licensed to a company known as Sun Catalytix, which envisions the development of safe, super-efficient versions of the electrolyzer, suitable for homes and small businesses, not in decades, but rather years–two years, to be exact.

    “Our goal is to make each home its own power station,” said study leader Daniel Nocera, Ph.D., in a statement. ”We’re working toward development of ‘personalized’ energy units that can be manufactured, distributed and installed inexpensively. There certainly are major obstacles to be overcome — existing fuel cells and solar cells must be improved, for instance. Nevertheless, one can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic system.”

    Like what you are reading? Follow us on RSS, Twitter and Facebook to get green technology news updates throughout the day and chat with other green tech lovers.

    Related Stories

    Portable Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Device With Limits Debuts
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    The Age Of Hydrogen Is Upon Us: A Chat With Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies
    Honda Announces New Prototype of Solar Hydrogen Station
    Toyota Dives Deeper Into Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:24 pm)

    Fear Mongering.

    It’s going to have taken at least 100 yrs to reach the Peak and there will be plenty of years (decades) to respond.

    Look at how fast the Volt came together. (what? 3 years?)

    Nuclear and Batteries can clearly take the load if necessary. It’s just that its not necessary right now. Once it is then that’s what people who like to make money will make and sell.

    We will never run out of either smart people or people who like to make and sell things.

    Panicking over something that will take 50 or more years to play out is not necessary.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:24 pm)

    In the meantime, by a Volt or other electric car and buy stock in Big Oil or other source energy companies.
    Might pay for your new Volt !


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    WK4P: Can anyone say “Y2K”? How about “The sky is falling”? Mad Max? Geez, get a grip on reality.

    What the snickering masses don’t remember about Y2K is that the reason we didn’t have large scale complications with computer systems is because we corrected the problem ahead of time, not that there was no problem. Keep in mind that nobody of any stature thought Y2K would be a global catastrophe, just a big temporary blip; and foresight prevented that blip.

    I find it funny how people can’t see that peak oil has been happening right in front of our faces. If it’s NOT harder and more expensive to get the oil we need, then why are Texas and Oklahoma full of old dry wells and why are oil companies pushing for deeper and deeper off-shore wells? Seems to me people don’t understand the very meaning of peak oil. Many areas have already hit it. It’s only a matter of time before it is reached on a global aggregate basis.


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    Dave K.

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:54 pm)

    Jim in PA: If it’s NOT harder and more expensive to get the oil we need, then why are Texas and Oklahoma full of old dry wells and why are oil companies pushing for deeper and deeper off-shore wells?

    True, we have seen many old oil wells dry up. One just off shore here in Santa Barbara was capped a couple years ago. The latest news here locally is an increase in side-ways drilling. The citizens voted down having a 50′ land based side-ways drilling tower built on the beach. The oil company responded by saying they will place it in the ocean if they have to.

    Bottom line, cut back on oil use. Your individual contribution helps. It all adds up.

    =D-Volt


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    Texas

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (8:58 pm)

    David F: These reports always assume that all the oil in the world has been discovered.Far from the truth and there is no way that anyone can predict what is still in the ground and undiscovered.  

    No. You misunderstand the meaning of peak oil. The theory clearly says that there is and always will be oil in the ground and that we will continue to find more, if we continue to spend the money, time and resources to do so.

    Have you looked at the graph of oil discovery? If you did, you would see that the peak in global oil discovery was around the 1960′s. We still find billions of barrels of oil each year, the only problem is we burn 33 billions barrels each year. The ratio is currently find 1 burn 3 (or 4). Surely, you can see where that puts us, eventually. Maybe not this decade but the one after that?

    Perhaps raping natural resources and burning them to depletion is not the best course of action for a developed and advanced society. Perhaps it’s just partying until the booze is gone, screw the next group? A bit childish? Irresponsible?


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    Truman

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:02 pm)

    Looks like many people here don’t understand Peak Oil.

    See the Hirsch Report from the US Dept. of Energy for more, useful info:
    http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/others/pdf/Oil_Peaking_NETL.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirsch_report

    It’s a question of rates of production, not a question of price.
    Those oil sands in Alberta and the Bakken shale formation and the heavy oil in Orinoco are not going to help much with Peak Oil because they can’t be produced fast enough, no matter what the price is.

    Make no mistake, we are in a race against disaster…
    http://www.peakoil.net/
    http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:51 pm)

    flmark: I expect to have to write a letter of apology to my granddaughter to be opened (by candlelight) seventy years from now. I did what I could. From antibiotic resistant strains of disease, to invasive species to this oil intransigence, I cannot foresee my grandchildren having it better than the baby boomers did. The ‘me first’ attitude of this generation will echo throughout the ages to follow.

    Write that letter, I bet she will read it very fondly and think about how worried you were about such naive things.. if your grandfather had left you a similar letter written in 1940 what would he have written about?.. what did they worry about back then?

    Of course if the asteroid hits no one will be around to read your letter.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (9:53 pm)

    Yet another report not worth the kilobyte space it occupies. The market is not threatened by a commodity, the shortage of the commodity will drive the market toward a replacement. Only tyrants, communists and militarists think of using crisis to usurp power.

    The question we must ask ourselves is why did we not develop diversity when oil was still available. Why did we not build a transportation infrastructure of electric trains, and electric delivery trucks to take our goods from train terminals to end users. Our freeways are cluttered with long haul trucks. The NIMBY short sighted folks and their greedy lawyers are taking us down the path to suffering and pain, preventing any action, from building wind farms to nuclear waste storage, that would provide a timely alternative when oil is not available.


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    Sep 6th, 2010 (10:50 pm)

    Tibor: I also had major problems voting. Twice it just said “Vote recorded. Thank you.” but the number didn’t change. Then on my third attempt it said “You have already voted”, and THEN the number went up one notch… and as I waited more than 15 minutes between my attempts it couldn’t be a matter of timing either.So something is weird about voting on this site…  (Quote)

    Same thing here. The voting doesn’t seem to work very well and isn’t very accurate at all. I like to give a “thumbs up” to the good posts.


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    EVNow

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    Sep 6th, 2010 (11:15 pm)

    Lars Hastrup: Am I wrong that it takes 2 to 3 times more oil to produce a car than it uses driving in its lifetime ?  (Quote)

    No. A prius costs about 113 MBTU of energy or 911 gallons equivalent. In a std gas car of 20 mpg, that 911 gallons is just 1 1/2 years of driving. Mind you a lot of that is electricity rather than oil powered …. so a car uses much less than 900 gallons of gas for production.


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    flmark

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (12:11 am)

    herm: Write that letter, I bet she will read it very fondly and think about how worried you were about such naive things.. if your grandfather had left you a similar letter written in 1940 what would he have written about?.. what did they worry about back then?Of course if the asteroid hits no one will be around to read your letter.  (Quote)

    If you were trying to be witty, you blew it. FIFTY MILLION PEOPLE DIED within 5 years of your 1940 milestone in a global conflict ended by two nuclear detonations. How would my grandfather have felt if he had known someone of his national heritage would be responsible for systematically exterminating millions of people in gas chambers? And what if that fellow had a little more time to split the atom? There certainly was an innocence available in 1939 that is gone to the ages.

    Do you know how close we came to nuclear annihilation in October of 1962? If you are trying to minimize the current threat in light of past troubles, you missed the mark.


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    Michael C. Robinson

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (12:15 am)

    pjkPA: We will be going in the right direction when we see Hydrogen replacing oil.  

    Hydrogen will never peak. Split water, run hydrogen and oxygen through a fuel cell, collect the water, start over.

    It is interesting that Greg Blencoe’s http://h2carblog.com site mentioned this sooner than gm-volt.com.

    Water isn’t the only source of hydrogen, water is merely the most common molecule on the planet.


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    Michael C. Robinson

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (12:30 am)

    Truman: Looks like many people here don’t understand Peak Oil.See the Hirsch Report from the US Dept. of Energy for more, useful info:
    http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/others/pdf/Oil_Peaking_NETL.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirsch_reportIt’s a question of rates of production, not a question of price.
    Those oil sands in Alberta and the Bakken shale formation and the heavy oil in Orinoco are not going to help much with Peak Oil because they can’t be produced fast enough, no matter what the price is.Make no mistake, we are in a race against disaster…
    http://www.peakoil.net/
    http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/  

    Peak OIL may be real, but even if all the OIL that is needed for an OIL based transit system is available, hydrogen is still the best answer for motive transport. The environment has limits, burning OIL in any form releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants that have been trapped for decades if not millenia. Battery technology has not caught up with hydrogen storage and hydrogen fuel cell technologies and probably never will. GM needs to get off the gas/electric push and the EREV concept and produce a commercially marketable fuel cell vehicle. If peak OIL has been reached, the 2015 deadline is almost too late. WE NEED FUEL CELL CARS RIGHT NOW. In fifteen to thirty years, that is too close to be waiting five more years. WE NEED THE HYDROGEN VOLT NOW, RIGHT NOW, YESTERDAY IF POSSIBLE. We can’t afford to use what is left of the world’s OIL for combustible fuel if we have already used half of the Earth’s supply.

    As a stepping stone to the hydrogen economy, the Interstate Traveler maglev hydrogen train built along the Interstates is an option. This will advance rail travel which has been allowed to decline for decades. Long
    haul trucking will diminish. Hydrogen use and production will increase and the public will see how safely the
    gas is used.


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    James

     

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (2:05 am)

    Tom W: And its the job of everyone who ‘gets it’ to try and inform those ‘that don’t get it’ that everyone who can needs to drive all electrically as soon as they can.The more demand for electric cars the more will be made.The faster we can get to virtually all cars sold in the country either being BEVs or EREVs the better.Within 10 years we would be importing at least a trillion dollars a year in oil without electric cars. This is money that we need to spend in our economy instead of sending it to our enemies. We also need to produce more oil (Alaska and the Gulf in particular). We could stop importing oil in less than 10 years if we started buying electric/EREV cars now and started developing more of our resources. This is just plain in the best interest of our economy and our national self defense. We must stop as soon as possible giving all this money to our enemies.  (Quote)

    Amen! Exactly.

    And greatly accelerate the production of cellulosic ethanol – and make Volt dual fuel.

    RECHARGE!

    James


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    Michel Paquin

     

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (7:12 am)

    Chris Martenson has a very good on-line course about the economy and has a chapter about peak oil. I recommend that you take all the lessons, it’s very well made and it was free when I did a couple of years ago.

    http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-17a-peak-oil


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    Guy Incognito

     

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (7:47 am)

    Kuwaiti Scientists from The Department of Petroleum Engineering, at The Kuwait College of Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait University have predicted Peak Oil arriving in 2014

    http://gas2.org/2010/03/10/kuwaiti-scientists-say-peak-oil-will-arrive-in-2014/

    The Report:
    http://pubs.acs.org/stoken/presspac/presspac/full/10.1021/ef901240p


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    &eye

     

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (8:49 am)

    An introduction to the modern petroleum science, and to the Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins.

    http://www.gasresources.net/Introduction.htm


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    Carzin

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (8:56 am)

    Don’t stir this peak oil crap on this site. I lose respect for you if you do. Leave that for sites like theoildrum.com.


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    jgradyc

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (10:10 am)

    I first heard Peak Oil Theory in 2004 and have followed the oil situation pretty closely since then, including many talks with one of the speakers at one of the big Peak Oil conferences. In short, Peak Oil is real. Conventional oil production did peak in 2005 as a previous poster said. Skeptics argue that there are many billions of gallons of oil underground, but it is more complicated than that. Much of this oil is technologically or economically out of reach… and it will remain so until after a crisis occurs.

    ANWR is often cited as a major source of oil, but even if exploratory drilling started today, it would be seven years before production could be started. And then, production would only be about 1mbd, or about 5% of the US daily oil consumption. The fact is that all the easily reached oil has already been found.

    The short term problem here is that prior to about 2002, the world had about 5mbd of surplus production capacity. Thus, any problem in the supply chain could be met by just turning up the faucet. After 2002, surplus capacity dropped to about 2mbd. That means a hiccup in the supply chain could lead to massive shortages worldwide, which would lead to skyrocketing transportation prices of all goods.

    Meanwhile, people need to get to work. Produce needs to get to the market, etc. The Volt is a step in the right direction, but realistically, we will need millions of electric cars and 18-wheelers on the road to have any meaningful impact on peak oil.


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    Sep 7th, 2010 (10:35 am)

    omnimoeish: I don’t mean to be a doom and gloomist, but I think its so funny when people think that when the !@#$ hits the fan, we’ll be able to just switch to EVs and the world will keep turning. Nevermind the fact that 1/3 of oil isn’t even used for transportation (plastics, rubbers, tires, even morons in New England who use it for heating still), then a lot of oil is used for airlines, a lot for farming equipment, (tractors, combines, etc.) and a lot is used for semi trucks. None of those are anywhere near being electrified, then of course even the most optimistic estimates put EVs at 1 million in the world by 2015, compared to about 1 BILLION ICE vehicles. ICE vehicles will still be produced about 100 times faster than EVs for the foreseeable future, and as we know from 2008, high oil prices can materialize in a matter of 3-6 months whereas it takes decades to switch fuel sources and infrastructure.Sobering but true. Anyone who’s taken basic biology is familiar with the term “carrying capacity”. What is the carrying capacity of the earth? I say we’ll know fairly soon as our population can’t keep doubling every few decades.Don’t mind me though, go back to reading about Lindsay Lohan and watching youtube videos of the amazing orange. Please don’t let me rain on your parade.  

    All the Green living in the world wont save as the world adds 70-80 million new people each and every year,people who need food ,clean water, housing, medical care ,and the land to produce all this just is not there. Heck the US grows by 5 million a year most of which are not even coming here legally.


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    bobw

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (10:43 am)

    The most significant aspect of producing hydrogen fuel is the idea that separating hydrogen from water is economic. It’s not and never will be unless the source of power is free, like your solar paneled roof. Separating the hydrogen from compounds that have already created a loose bond is a process that this article predates.

    The compounds you mention are (drumroll, please) oil and natural gas.


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    SteveK9

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (11:15 am)

    I will add my comment to some others that the flip side to the electric car is nuclear energy. Nuclear really is the answer. It can provide limitless, low-cost, environmentally-benign energy. If that sounds crazy to you, you have bought into a lot of anti-nuclear myths.

    The leader in opening the nuclear age will be China (unfortunately not the US). China currently has 26 reactors under construction with hundreds planned. They announced last week that they would invest $175B to build a nuclear ‘city’ to concentrate research, supply chain, training etc.

    65 countries that have never had nuclear power have expressed an interest in building their first plant(s). The largest interest is in Asia, but there is interest in E. Europe, Middle East, S. America, etc.

    Virtually all nuclear technology in the world (outside Russia) is based on US designs, but that will not be the case for long if we don’t get on the ball.


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    kForceZero

     

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    Brian: When you step back and think about it, it’s pretty ridiculous that society has allowed ourselves to be so dependent on something that is essentially a worthless by-product of nature.  

    Isn’t that kind of a contradictory statement? Doesn’t being dependent on it automatically make it not worthless? I know you probably meant worthless to most of nature (excluding humans) though.


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    kForceZero

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (2:50 pm)

    omnimoeish: I don’t mean to be a doom and gloomist, but I think its so funny when people think that when the !@#$ hits the fan, we’ll be able to just switch to EVs and the world will keep turning. Nevermind the fact that 1/3 of oil isn’t even used for transportation (plastics, rubbers, tires, even morons in New England who use it for heating still), then a lot of oil is used for airlines, a lot for farming equipment, (tractors, combines, etc.) and a lot is used for semi trucks. None of those are anywhere near being electrified, then of course even the most optimistic estimates put EVs at 1 million in the world by 2015, compared to about 1 BILLION ICE vehicles. ICE vehicles will still be produced about 100 times faster than EVs for the foreseeable future, and as we know from 2008, high oil prices can materialize in a matter of 3-6 months whereas it takes decades to switch fuel sources and infrastructure.Sobering but true. Anyone who’s taken basic biology is familiar with the term “carrying capacity”. What is the carrying capacity of the earth? I say we’ll know fairly soon as our population can’t keep doubling every few decades.Don’t mind me though, go back to reading about Lindsay Lohan and watching youtube videos of the amazing orange. Please don’t let me rain on your parade.  

    I think the problem is many people just don’t realize how much oil is entrenched in our lives. One way of looking at it which I found to be very eye-opening is that for every 10 calories we eat 9 come from oil. We’re the only animal on the planet which uses more energy to obtain food than the energy in the food itself. So yeah, coming off of oil would require some pretty massive changes indeed. It’s so much more than just about being able to drive to work. It also means that even relatively small oil shortages could have a huge impact on food prices. A lot of people also argue that oil production will decrease gradually which is likely true, but there’s no reason to believe that it will happen smoothly. A sharp (even if temporary) drop in production can have the potential to make the last recession look like “the good old days”. It will take a long time before we run out of oil for sure, but it’s likely to be a bumpy ride on the way down. Not to mention that demand will likely continue to increase especially in emerging markets. Beijing is adding close to 2000 new cars per day – and that’s just one city.

    Having said that, I also don’t think it’s time for everyone to panic, but I certainly do think people should be better informed in the matter. There’s a difference between being informed and being afraid. It just bugs me when people insist on wasting gas indiscriminately just because they can afford it. We need to be more responsible about oil consumption and certainly not wait until the “!@#$ hits the fan”, as many seem to think we can.


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    kForceZero

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (3:23 pm)

    David F: These reports always assume that all the oil in the world has been discovered.Far from the truth and there is no way that anyone can predict what is still in the ground and undiscovered.  

    It’s true that we don’t really know how much oil is left, however we can take a look at the worldwide discovery rates and there we see that they’ve taken a nose dive in recent decades. Oil production may have been increasing during that time but discovery rates have long been down. And it’s not because of a lack of motivation either. It’s pretty unlikely that we’ll discover any new significant sources of conventional crude just based on that discovery rate statistic. We could of course get lucky and hit the jackpot (preferably in a non-hostile location too). But I wouldn’t bet on that. To make matters worse the estimates on the amount of oil in many reserves which we do know about are likely to be overinflated. So we don’t even know how much “discovered” oil we really have, let alone undiscovered.

    We also used to be able to estimate how much oil there’s left in a well based on oil pressure, but with recent methods of artificially increasing well pressure (by pumping water in for instance) we’ve lost that indicator. When oil does run out from such wells it will happen rather abruptly.


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    MrEnergyCzar

     

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    Sep 7th, 2010 (4:44 pm)

    I’ve been preparing my family for Peak Oil for several years and the plugging the Volt in is all part of it… I made some videos to show people how to prepare and attached one here….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHmXhgBhtWk


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    Timaaayyy!!!

     

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    Sep 8th, 2010 (10:16 am)

    jan: How do we fix are inept government??????

    By putting ME in charge. 1st move once elected: mandatory spell-checking. lol


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    Timaaayyy!!!

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    Sep 8th, 2010 (10:23 am)

    SteveK9: 65 countries that have never had nuclear power have expressed an interest in building their first plant(s). The largest interest is in Asia, but there is interest in E. Europe, Middle East, S. America, etc.

    Great. Kooks with nuclear materials. Sounds like a dirty-bomb nightmare to me. At least CO2 will kill us very slowly.


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    lousloot

     

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    Sep 8th, 2010 (1:04 pm)

    Sorry, got bored at post 90…

    Linear extrapolation does not work. The future is going to be different. The experts are wrong. Enjoy life — you only get so much.

    Peak Oil, global Warming, viral superbug, asteroid defense, science run amok-gray goo, y2k bug, … yawn.

    Learn, innovate,invest in new things.

    There are not too many of us. Most people make a positive contribution so there is power there.

    Big government may be fair but it will be expensive and wasteful.

    ***DING DING DING! Oil is Great stuff!

    ziv: I strongly disagree with the _worthless_ part. Oil is a phenomenal product, not only an incredibly dense pack of energy but a range of essential products from plastic to asphalt are dependent upon the use of oil

    Yea for dead threads


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    kent beuchert

     

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    Sep 8th, 2010 (9:41 pm)

    Since when has any country had a democracy? Ours certainly is not. Look at all the laws
    recently passed that were opposed by the majority of voters. Ours is a “representative form of government, a long way from a democracy.”


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    kent beuchert

     

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    Sep 8th, 2010 (10:01 pm)

    Studies like these, doomsday scenarios, almost always fail to deliver accurate forecasts because they are so poor at anticipating the probable responses of those dependent upon oil. Oil
    depdendency is, in large measure, a result of the economics, which currently favors using gasoline to power our vehicles. peak oil would change that equation drastically, just as it did (temporarilly) during the oil crisis od the 1970′s, when it became impossible to sell big cars (that’s when the Japanese auto industry made major leaps into the American market). Had electric cars been around back then, they would have sold like hotcakes. In the end, the free market will force a changeover by pricing oil so that it becomes something to be avoided and more costly than EV propulsion.


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    Helmut

     

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    Sep 12th, 2010 (8:17 pm)

    I’ll bet you a coke that the next war or conflict has far more to do with our government not wanting to fess up to our financial insolvency than it does to do with ‘peak oil’. Consider the last 7.5k as money we don’t have being spent on something we don’t need, and furthermore as the middle finger to the idea of a free market.

    Baltimore17:
    Enough for the US and Europe?Maybe.But still enough when India and China reach US-levels of automobile ownership?Enough when those counties’ citizens move up from Tata Nanos to Corollas and Cruzes?Enough so that all consuming countries will be satisfied without resorting to armed conflict to get the oil needed to keep their citizens out of gas lines?Big picture: not with current approaches to fueling transportation.Is the Volt too expensive?Consider it as a very nice $23K sedan with your $10K contribution towards avoiding an impossibly expensive oil war in the next twenty years.The last $7.5K is the participation of other taxpayers towards avoiding conflict.  


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    Helmut

     

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    Sep 12th, 2010 (8:26 pm)

    Exactly, if oil goes to $140/bbl, and assuming that wages don’t inflate, people will look for alternatives. I calculated my strike price on a $40,000 Volt occurred when gas hits about $20/gal. Unless and until that happens, it’s not practical for me to own one, and even if it did I would first look for ways to further cut my consumption of fuel. People will take fewer vacations, reduce expenditures and downsize vehicles if it is necessary. Until alternative vehicles can compete with oil, they won’t succeed. I wouldn’t be waiting for peak oil to make the Volt a viable car, it won’t happen anytime soon.

    kent beuchert: Studies like these, doomsday scenarios, almost always fail to deliver accurate forecasts because they are so poor at anticipating the probable responses of those dependent upon oil.Oil
    depdendency is, in large measure, a result of the economics, which currently favors using gasoline to power our vehicles. peak oil would change that equation drastically, just as it did (temporarilly) during the oil crisis od the 1970’s, when it became impossible to sell big cars (that’s when the Japanese auto industry made major leaps into the American market). Had electric cars been around back then, they would have sold like hotcakes. In the end, the free market will force a changeover by pricing oil so that it becomes something to be avoided and more costly than EV propulsion.  


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    Zach

     

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    Sep 12th, 2010 (11:11 pm)

    THE PICKENS PLAN