Mar 30

HSBC says world will be out of oil by 2060

 

Most people believe oil will some day run out. It’s less a question of “if,” and more one of “when” it will be before western society and its cultures will be made to fully adopt to its realities.

According to a televised report from the UK last week, a senior global economist for HSBC bank has pinned a round number on it: 49 years remaining, assuming no increased demand – which given that is not happening, could mean a shorter time frame than that.

“Energy resources are scarce,” said Karen Ward. “Even if demand doesn’t increase, there could be as little as 49 years of oil left.”

Ward’s comments came on behalf of an international, London-based, multi-billion dollar financial institution with a dedicated Web page describing its expertise on the topics of which she spoke.

“As a leading international and emerging markets bank,” says its Web site, “sustainability for HSBC means managing our business across the world for the long term.”


The Chevrolet Volt is not yet available in the UK where the interview took place. The world energy situation described nonetheless make it look smarter by the minute.

But the predictions HSBC’s representative gave in congenial and benign terms spoke of a relatively short term before the upheaval of life as we know it – as Ward has done before.

While in the video (not above url, but see below) she alternated to the round number “50” years, she also conceded estimates allow for more time or less.

A “confident” estimate, she said, is right around that number, assuming the world stays busy looking for ways to curtail consumption.

The picture for natural gas availability is not as severe, she said, “but transporting it and using it to meet transport demand is a major issue.”

Time left for coal could be a rather-lengthy 176 years, she said, but it is the “worst carbon culprit.”

Thus, worldwide energy security “will be an increasing concern,” she said. “Diversifying to natural gas to ease the pressure on the oil market won’t overcome it since its supply is as geographically dense as oil.”

As things are, some individuals, corporations and government bodies are adapting in various regions, but in others too little is being done, as demand for more oil still surges.

Over the next 40 years, she said, if supplies are not restricted, demand in emerging markets could surge to 190 million barrels per day.

China alone could account for the majority of new fuel-requiring vehicles by 2050.

“We’ve got another one billion cars coming on the road from 700 million today,” she said, “half of which are going to be in China.”


The present demand for fuel, in that and other economically growing nations, will be impossible to fill in the absence of major new oil reserve discoveries, Ward said.

Ward said the more energy insecure regions are Europe, Latin America and India, with Europe looking the most dire.

“Europe is the big loser with many countries falling down or out of the league table of economic size,” she said. “They could be losing their influence on the world stage just at the time when they are most vulnerable.”

Actually, the scenario Ward portrayed falls neatly into justifying a recent EU initiative attempting to make all gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles illegal in city centers by 2050.

Those proposed “draconian” measures, as opponents have described them, quickly caught criticism from some in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere, however, with the UK being particularly outspoken.

This not being the first time it has stood up to the EU, British Transport Minister Norman Baker said these kinds of decisions should not over-ride local autonomy, nor be thrust upon a whole society as a collective mandate.

“We will not be banning cars from city centers anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas,” Baker said.

As for Ward’s predictions about the world’s energy future, her outlook also falls generally in line with some here at GM-Volt.com. Of the transportation sector, she said it is actually the “lowest hanging fruit” to find solutions for.

From where she sits, the answer for the escalating pressure to find energy solutions requires increased energy efficiency from a mixture of sources.

Natural candidates that can now supplement oil include the usual assortment of wind, solar, hydro-electric, new-generation biofuels from waste oil, and other perceptibly less harmful and sustainable alternatives.


Ward spoke for a bank concerned with “sustainability,” and has warned before of chaos in the developed world, but did not discuss this “alternative” energy source.

In the “interim” period where oil is getting painfully expensive, but not costly enough to fully justify wider-spread use of alternatives, she said it will be awkward and difficult. As oil prices rise higher still, she predicted the alternatives will start to look more cost effective.

And whether it is potentially “safe” or not, the court of public opinion says the jury is out on nuclear power at the moment in the aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima plant crisis.

Ward also touched on Global Warming, and said “carbon capture” technology should be used for damage control on the world’s still-dominant energy source: fossil fuels.

Assuming fossil fuels used for transportation needs, Ward advocated “smaller, more efficient cars will get you from A to B, just not as quickly.”

Aside from one brief joke by the male moderator about the tiny G-Wiz cars in London, electric-powered cars and trucks were not even mentioned in the UK news interview.

Source:
CNBC

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under Financial, General, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 59


  1. 1
    Eco_Turbo

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:14 am)

    It’s funny how free markets seem to work for everything except “energy”.


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    raymondjram

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:56 am)

    I feel sad that we who can make decisions now have not completely decided what to do for the next fifty years. By 2060 I won’t be around to see the crisis, but many of the generations born in the end of the 20th century and the beginning of this century will suffer the consequences of the present energy decisions. There are too many “it doesn’t bother me” attitudes in the world, so very few will actually do something about the coming energy crisis. Only those pioneers who are trying to be energy efficient will come out ahead, while the rest of the world will live in the Dark Ages again.

    This is one reason why I admire and thank the first Volt buyers, because you helped the automobile world realize that now is the moment to invest in vehicles that can run with little or no oil, so that the future can continue with less oil. Yet I see little support from other vehicle manufacturers and buyers. Being a pioneer involves risks, but as the saying goes, pioneers are recognized by the arrows in their backs. They pay the highest price to open new roads for the rest to follow, and take the first blows (expenses) so that others will suffer less. This has happened with the first automobiles, and other technologies (airplanes, computers, communications), so we know our future by learning from our past.

    We who see most of the future must pass the word to our family, friends, neighbors, and fellow workers to stop this oil excess, because that bleak future belongs to the generations who are being born now or haven’t been born yet. We have to protect their future by acting now. We cannot let the lazy and inefficient governments decide that future. We must act first. So we all are pioneers.

    Raymond


  3. 3
    Mark Z

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (7:05 am)

    When the world runs out of a resource, then the world will embrace solutions invented decades ago. It is human nature to procrastinate until the last minute. While a small percentage will prepare in advance, don’t expect the prophets of gloom and doom to make a huge difference until there are lines or rationing to purchase fuel.


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    Dave K.

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (7:11 am)

    How much will a gallon of gasoline cost when the supply line is reduced 50%? The initial reaction is to say, “With all the alternative vehicles on the road. The world will never run low on oil”. But this isn’t the case.

    Before young people buy and use alternative vehicles. They make their way around by whatever means they have. This is often in heavy low mpg vehicles. Then comes family life with kids. So the excuse is to get a Caravan or Suburban, “Because I have to”.

    The answer is the mass produced low MSRP EREV truck. This is more important than the Cadillac Converj, Tesla model S, or Fisker Sunset. The sooner the better. Gasoline is heading up in price from here. Battery cells are heading down in price from here.

    =D-Volt

    FiskerSunsetandKarma.jpg?t=1301483313


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    Rashiid Amul

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (7:28 am)

    We will be out of oil by 2060, but the world is ending December 21, 2012.
    So it doesn’t really matter. ;)

    I hate oil as much as the next guy, but throughout history we have had doom and gloom predictions that never came.

    I recently saw a show on the History channel where plastic can be made from plant oil, instead of petroleum. We are moving in the right direction.
    My hope is that by 2060, the USA is off of oil and we give a rats backside if it runs out.


  6. 6
    solo

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (8:26 am)

    The problem is gasoline and diesel are still very cost effective compared to the next best available, non oil based technology.

    Yea I know you can make diesel out of cooking oil but let’s face it, there isn’t enough cooking oil in the world to power even 1 small city worth of cars.

    Look at the table below:

    Chevy Volt battery Gasoline
    Weight 450 pounds 450 pounds
    Range 35 miles 72 gallons * 30 mpg = 2177 miles
    Time to refill 4 hours+ at 240v 15 minutes

    The simple fact is until an “alternative” energy source has similar energy density to gasoline, it is of little use for a motor vehicle. Motor vehicles aren’t stationary, they need to carry their energy with them. That energy must be light weight, easy and safe to carry, and easy and safe to refuel. Natural gas is the ‘next best’ solution but it doesn’t even come close to the energy density of gasoline at the pressures and volume required to be usable as a motor fuel.

    Fuel cells are frankly looking like the next best thing.


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    Chris

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (8:38 am)

    Oil and gas also are irreplaceable petrochemical feedstocks, for making plastics as well as all kinds of critical synthetic products. People living in the year 2110 may have to “dig really deep” for petrochemical feedstocks.

    As our children’s children’s children look back in history, say 100 years, I can easily imagine them asking, “What DID our ancestors living in 19th and 20th century DO with all of our oil?”

    Answer: “Can you imagine? They BURNED it…”


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    Shock Me

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (8:45 am)

    solo,

    I would certainly consider a fuel cell as a replacement for the Volt’s range extender, if locally-supplied hydrogen fueling station became as ubiquitous as gasoline fueling stations or if it could be produced safely at home with wind or solar.

    In the mean time, I suspect a flex fuel Volt is the next step.


  9. 9
    CorvetteGuy

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (9:50 am)

    49 years ?!! Wow !! If they had said 50 I would not have believed it. That’s just too much. ;)


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    Nelson

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (10:39 am)

    If GM stopped making non-Voltec vehicles and diverted ALL their resources to Voltec, Fuel Cell and EV’s they would easily become the World Wide most admired car company, maybe even win a noble prize for selflessness.

    People can only buy what’s available. The Government won’t allow a car company to sell a car without seatbelts. I guess when there is no more oil to replenish the US oil reserve supply; the Government will make it illegal to sell an ICE only car. Desperate times call for desperate measures. IMO why wait for desperate times? Procrastinating must be a human nature thing.

    Since Governments and Car companies don’t have the stomach to institute “desperate measures” it’s up to us to stop buying cars that at the very least don’t give us the opportunity to cut down on the amount of oil we consume.

    In layman’s terms, stop buying cars that don’t get at least 40 MPG city or highway.
    Say no to 24MPG
    Say no to 27MPG
    Say no to 32MPG
    Say no to 37MPG

    Say Yes to: Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF, Tesla Roadster, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Chevrolet Cruze ECO, Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Toyota Prius……..
    Plenty to choose from and more to come.

    Volt#671
    NPNS!


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    Mar 30th, 2011 (10:58 am)

    There’s not much I can say… as much as I’d like to think that I can help turn things around by all the right decisions I make, my faith in fellow man and woman remains thin in regard to them having the sense to do the same before it’s too late to stop the train wreck from happening.

    Maybe it’s just too late as it is…. how depressing of a thought. Sorry…


  12. 12
    TheRFMan

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:16 am)

    Running out of oil is one thing, running out of fuel is another. When faced with shortages that affect their day-to-day lives, citizens of industrialized countries will take care of their domestic problem regardless of what happens elsewhere in the world. North America can produce enough crops to produce fuel for its transport needs even if no oil is available. If oil gets too scarce/expensive, Canada and the US will halt all exports of wheat and corn, and use it for fuel. Never mind that the world food supply will be totally de-stabilized and millions will starve, industrialized countires will have their fuel at any cost.

    I do not understand the position of many people that say that rising fossil fuel prices brings alternative energy within reach of more people. Having gas double in price doesn’t make the Volt more affordable to anyone. It may become significantly cheaper than burning fossil fuel, but that just means that many people won’t be able to afford personal transportation, period. But that will seem trivial when faced with the problem of keeping our homes warm in winter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see coal make a comeback for home heating in 40 years since it is plentiful and thus affordable. The pollution problem we leave our children will not be so much a concern if we can’t afford to raise children in the first place.

    In the history of human civilisation, oil is an anomaly, and history will record it as a small blip. Once we exhaust most of the supply, we’ll have lost the one-time boost that had propelled civilization from horse-drawn carriages to space shuttles. Necessity is the mother of invention, but only so much can be done with the laws of physics. Despite recent events, I think nuclear is the way to go, with fusion being a much better option than fission if we can ever get there.

    If humanity’s time on earth is likened to a 24-hour endurance race, we’ve used our full tank of nitrous oxide in a single lap to gain a huge advantage. Now we need to find a solution for the long haul or risk a monumental crash and burn.


  13. 13
    T 1

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:18 am)

    Obama wants to curb U.S. oil imports by a third:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-politics-us-obama-etre72s3c8-20110329,0,5916509.story

    He’s going to give a speech in a few minutes.


  14. 14
    N Riley

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:39 am)

    Eco_Turbo:
    It’s funny how free markets seem to work for everything except “energy”.

    Oil is not controlled by the free market conditions. It is controlled by a consortium of oil producing countries and by speculators in New York and London, primarily. The free market has very little to do with it.


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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:48 am)

    Chris: Oil and gas also are irreplaceable petrochemical feedstocks, for making plastics as well as all kinds of critical synthetic products. People living in the year 2110 may have to “dig really deep” for petrochemical feedstocks.

    A significant portion of the oil supply is used to make fertilizers. If the 2060 estimate is correct, the world could run short of food in 49 years; making the population even more desperate than with the curtailment of most transportation.

    The 2060 estimate was made assuming no demand growth, but also assuming that no new petrochemical resources are developed or discovered. Predictions of the future are frequently limited to the knowledge base at the time they are made. Even so, any transportation (or other) oil use which can be transitioned to other sources will delay the end of oil, whenever it comes.


  16. 16
    N Riley

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:53 am)

    T 1:
    Obama wants to curb U.S. oil imports by a third:

    He’s going to give a speech in a few minutes.

    Personally, I would like to see him curb his speeches by a third. That would be a start to spending some real time in the Oval Office trying to solve some domestic problems working with congress. IMO.


  17. 17
    Randy

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:54 am)

    Were already OUT of $3.00 Gasoline and are using $3.50-$4.00 Gas . Soon we will be OUT of that and will be using $5 gas and so on and on.


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:55 am)

    Eco_Turbo: It’s funny how free markets seem to work for everything except “energy”.

    #1

    They will, when it gets expensive enough. As the price goes up, consumption will finally go down. It’s happened before. “Sometimes you have to hit the donkey with the 2″x4″ several times to get his attention.”


  19. 19
    Noel Park

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:59 am)

    Mark Z: While a small percentage will prepare in advance, don’t expect the prophets of gloom and doom to make a huge difference until there are lines or rationing to purchase fuel.

    #3

    One man’s “prophet of doom and gloom” is another man’s teller of the truth, even if disrespected and mocked by the majority. That said, I agree with your comment. +1.


  20. 20
    Noel Park

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (12:00 pm)

    Dave K.: The answer is the mass produced low MSRP EREV truck.

    #4

    I agree. And Captain Jack will thank you. +1


  21. 21
    Noel Park

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (12:03 pm)

    raymondjram: This is one reason why I admire and thank the first Volt buyers, because you helped the automobile world realize that now is the moment to invest in vehicles that can run with little or no oil, so that the future can continue with less oil.

    #2

    Thanks for your kind words. +1

    There are days when I feel like a complete idiot for spending what I did on the !@#$%^ Volt. A little positive reinforcement never hurts, LOL. You made my day. Thanks again.


  22. 22
    Noel Park

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (12:04 pm)

    Randy:
    Were already OUT of $3.00 Gasoline and are using$3.50-$4.00 Gas . Soon we will be OUT of that and will be using $5 gas and so on and on.

    #17

    True that. +1


  23. 23
    gjm3

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (12:15 pm)

    Solo (#6),

    It’s certainly true that gasoline has great energy density properties but you seem to forget it is a complete overkill for the transportation requirements of most people most of the time. GM and others argue that somewhere around 70-80% of people have a commute of less than 40 miles. In addition, a lot of personal trips for local errands, etc. are much less than that. Take myself as a case in point. I have a 40-mile round-trip commute (and will soon be able to charge my Volt at work). The advantages of gasoline over battery energy are irrelevant for that purpose. Most of the day the car sits in the parking lot with plenty of time to charge. On the other hand, this weekend I will be making a round trip from LA to San Francisco – for that I will make full use of gasoline’s wonderful energy density properties and quick-delivery capability.

    In my mind, the range-extender concept is a very significant step in handling the dwindling oil resources on the planet, particularly when our human nature makes us resist giving up lifestyles to which we have become accustomed. It seems more prudent for us to refrain from using gasoline when we don’t really need it and make oil available for other types of transportation that currently have fewer easy alternatives, like aviation.

    I think the Volt concept is also a range-extender in the sense of stretching out that so precisely stated 49-year time limit on our oil resources. We just need to reduce the cost of range-extender and electric cars so that they are within the price range of the majority of the auto-buying public!


  24. 24
    LauraM

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (1:03 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: It’s funny how free markets seem to work for everything except “energy”.

    Free markets don’t work for everything. One of the classic cases of “market failure” is for non-renewable resources. Which oil is.

    We’re supposed to charge a tax, to would help minimize overexploitation, and encourage development of alternatives. So far, not happening. At least not in the US.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (1:05 pm)

    Shock Me:
    solo,

    I would certainly consider a fuel cell as a replacement for the Volt’s range extender, if locally-supplied hydrogen fueling station became as ubiquitous as gasoline fueling stations or if it could be produced safely at home with wind or solar.

    In the mean time, I suspect a flex fuel Volt is the next step.

    That sounds good, until you realize that you’re paying the equivalent of $2.50 a gallon on electricity and $6.75 a gallon on hydrogen.


  26. 26
    LauraM

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (1:08 pm)

    N Riley: Oil is not controlled by the free market conditions. It is controlled by a consortium of oil producing countries and by speculators in New York and London, primarily. The free market has very little to do with it.

    That makes oil artificially expensive. Not cheaper. Which, when dealing with a nonrenewable resource, is actually a good thing. It’s not good in that it represents a transfer of wealth away from us to unfriendly reactionary countries. But it is good in terms of encouraging development of alternatives. Which we will need when the economical sources of oil run out.


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    LauraM

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (1:19 pm)

    TheRFMan: I do not understand the position of many people that say that rising fossil fuel prices brings alternative energy within reach of more people. Having gas double in price doesn’t make the Volt more affordable to anyone. It may become significantly cheaper than burning fossil fuel, but that just means that many people won’t be able to afford personal transportation, period. But that will seem trivial when faced with the problem of keeping our homes warm in winter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see coal make a comeback for home heating in 40 years since it is plentiful and thus affordable. The pollution problem we leave our children will not be so much a concern if we can’t afford to raise children in the first place.

    People can move to cities where public transportation is an option. And heating is a lot cheaper in an apartment building where you’re sharing heat with your neighbor…

    For most problems, there is a solution. The difficulties are usually in the implementation..


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    Mar 30th, 2011 (1:27 pm)

    She didn’t give the exact date & time? What the? lol

    In my lifetime, these long-range predictions of running out have been WAY off (related–remember how the pundits said that nuke power would be so cheap it would be unmetered? Another spot-on prediction. NOT). They failed to adequately take into account all kinds of moving targets. So, GIGO.

    However, I’m all aboard the urgent need to find substitutes/better energy sources than foreign oil. Giddyup already!


  29. 29
    BDP

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (1:44 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  30. 30
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    Mar 30th, 2011 (2:02 pm)

    Noel Park: #2

    Thanks for your kind words.+1

    There are days when I feel like a complete idiot for spending what I did on the !@#$%^ Volt.A little positive reinforcement never hurts, LOL.You made my day.Thanks again.

    All of you deserve it. If GM didn’t sell the Volt as much as it did thanks to Dr. Lyle Dennis and this forum, GM would cancel the production in less than a year. Someone has to buy the first products, even if it cost more, so that the product remains in the market. Then the competition begins to bring better ones, and prices go down.

    It happened in the computer world (compare the first IBM PC to the newer laptops) and the home recording world (my first VCR cost me $549 but now I can get a DVD recorder for less than $100), and so on. It will happen with the EV market this year with more vehicles and lower prices. You Volt guys are making it happen!

    Raymond


  31. 31
    Stas Peterson

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (2:55 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Shock Me

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (3:07 pm)

    jeffhre,

    I suspect by the time those prices would be appearing right next to $10/gallon gasoline so I doubt I will be overly upset.


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    Noel Park

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (3:37 pm)

    Stas Peterson: There is sufficient Oil in known deposits to power our civilization for 500 years, at todays exagerated prices.

    #31

    Well I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel much better now.


  34. 34
    Jeff Cobb

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (5:03 pm)

    Stas Peterson,

    This is not an opinion article. It is a retelling of a news report.

    The only opinions I see are HSBC rep Ward’s re-told, and yours in your reply, which begins like a personal attack.

    The purpose of this article was to stimulate people who have answers to bring them forth in a mutually respectful, dignified manner. Not with slanderous tones.

    The idea to post this was Lyle’s. He sent me the link, and thought it would stimulate discussion.

    Lyle has also said personal attacks should be voted down.


  35. 35
    flmark

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:15 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: has also said personal attacks should be voted down

    Jeff, ignore Stas. He is not only not in left field, he is not even in the ballpark. I don’t think he even reads responses to his meandering missives. He reminds me of my dog, which continues to move around after commencing to do his business in the yard. The net result is that instead of nicely defined piles which are easy to spot, you get little turds all over the yard- making them, individually, much more of a nuisance to deal with. Parts of his discussions are civil and well written, while others are obviously intended to inflame.


  36. 36
    Jeff Cobb

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:23 pm)

    flmark,

    Thanks for the insight. From what I see so far, you are probably spot on.


  37. 37
    Jackson

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:27 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Lyle has also said personal attacks should be voted down.

    Certain persistent trolls, as well.


  38. 38
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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:28 pm)

    One of our regulars from about a year ago was fond of bringing up the “oil from algae” idea. In one of the more innovative of these, algae was grown in a series of transparent plastic sleeves stacked vertically beside each other (allowing sunlight greater access to the microbes, and to reduce evaporation). The problem with this idea has consistently been the problem of separating the algae from water, and the oil from the algae. Many early investors are starting to get cold feet:

    http://www.newstatesman.com/environment/2011/03/energy-algae-water-oil-fuel

    However, there have been some encouraging research advances in the field recently:

    http://www.gasalternatives.1st-rate.info/loan-supports-separation-of-oil-from-algae-process.htm

    http://www.commodityonline.com/news/New-breakthrough-in-oil-algae-research-37551-3-1.html


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    Noel Park

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:28 pm)

    flmark: The net result is that instead of nicely defined piles which are easy to spot, you get little turds all over the yard

    #35

    LOL!! Literally. +1, but only because I couldn’t give you +100. Thanks, I needed that.


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    Jackson

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:36 pm)

    Once again, I am having trouble posting any comment which contains links. Many of the links cause the comment merely to disappear, and I just got one moderated as “spam.”

    In order to discuss many aspects pertaining to research, links are particularly valuable. I often have to search not only for a concept, but for a link which the site won’t ‘object to.’

    Well, I’m short of time; so maybe someone else will take a stab at posting something about recent advances in “algae from oil” technology. I can’t seem to find a link for a new separation process that will get through to a comment.

    :-(


  41. 41
    Jeff Cobb

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:39 pm)

    Jackson,

    Sorry Jackson! If you saw the other day we were trying to fix this. I just found the comment and approved it.

    Just email me if you have problems. (Hint: see submit article pg).

    :)


  42. 42
    James

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (6:56 pm)

    OIL

    Is it any mystery why Europe has “encouraged” us Americans to spend more tax dollars on war – at a point when we’re stretched way too far already? Is it a mystery why we stood by and watched innocent people slaughtered by their countrymen in Darfur, yet today all sorts of voices in our government ( including our president ) stand up and say we must act on behalf of Libyan rebels whom we do not even know are jihadist or not? It’s OIL boys and girls.

    We can stand by and watch this mess the world is in – and listen to politicos who once yelled at the tops of their lungs against a prior administration who lept to send hundreds of billions of dollars to protect our access to large amounts of Iraqi oil – or listen to Rueters, who moments ago announced that a document had been signed by our president to authorize the arming of Libyan rebels. How is ousting Ghadafi different from ousting Saddam? How similar if not exact are our leaders’ justifications ?

    We have to end our insane addiction to crude oil. Period. Like a drug addict – our humanitarian, democratic society shows it’s true colors when it lowers it’s standards to police the world, with a true motive of securing oil supplies. When Republican and Democratic presidents both look exactly the same and circumvent Congressional revue and approval to spend more of your money to make wars… We have to collectively be realistic and move in every way we can to move past this severe addiction – which like any severe addiction, will most certainly mean our demise in time.

    So sacrifice. Noel shouldn’t curse the purchase he made of his *&^% Volt. Rejoice Noel – you’re on point to lead others into a better future. 40 mpg cars will not make a dent in America’s oil dependency. 140 mpg cars can make significant inroads. Sliderules and calculators aside, the Volt is a 200mpg car for many commuters five days per week. Volt gives the commuter a tool that makes near oil-free driving a reality without owning 2 or more cars ( Leaf;iMiev as a 2nd car ). In a price crisis scenario, EV and EREV buyers are no less than visionaries. They will be able to travel to and fro, oil free!

    As Laura adroitly points out, a gasoline tax hike would quicken people’s decisions to seek out more sustainable means of transport – although we all know this will never happen, it’s a political nightmare. So as it stands, the sheer volatility of prices at the pump will force Americans to activate that famous “American ingenuity” to avoid going broke to go from A to B. In 2008 during the price spike I saw a HUGE difference in my upper-mid class neighborhood in suburban Washington. I saw women riding tiny gas scooters ( one had a trailer towing her dog! ) buzzing down the road. I saw ten times more adults riding bicycles heading to work in the mornings. It was nearly a show – as one day you’d see a man with briefcase on a Segway heading for the public bicycle path followed by people carpooling to the bus stop! It’s amazing how quickly people adapt.

    The main problem thus far has been the fact that oil price controllers have worked together to bring prices down. People just as quickly hop back into their gas pigs as soon as the price of a gallon goes down. I believe more and more people will tire of this oil price rollercoaster , and will peel off into actually purchasing a compact or commuter vehicle. Some will just decide to make public transportation a habit, and surely many will realize that the $40,000 they were going to spend on an ICE car or truck could be better spent on an EREV, PH EV or EV. Again I will remind that $40-50,000 is a common OUT THE DOOR figure we Americans are spending, even for vehicles that are publically lauded as costing an MSRP of $28-32,000. Once you pay this cost, the real cost of maintenance and high gas prices makes that purchase even less wise.

    The upheavals we see daily in the Middle East and the unlikely reactions from Europe and the United States only prove to us oil makes the world go ’round in this day and age. Independent, Democrat or Republican – oil points out the hypocrisy we all face when we are challenged with getting off of it.

    In my opinion, a convergence of high gas prices and the realization of how much folks actually are paying for that ICE beast, plus the inevitable ingenuity to bring LIFE+Po and Li ION batteries’ costs down will occur and this will produce a state of critical mass.
    The phenomena known as “critical mass” – when a limited number of people know something in a new way, it remains the conscious property of only those people. However, there is a point at which if only one more person tunes in to a new awareness, that new awareness is picked up by everyone.

    I’m hoping that tipping point comes sooner than later – for the good of all of us.

    THEY’RE PUMPING OUT THE VOLTS! ,

    James


  43. 43
    Eco_Turbo

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (7:14 pm)

    N Riley: Oil is not controlled by the free market conditions. It is controlled by a consortium of oil producing countries and by speculators in New York and London, primarily.

    Hopefully the pendulum is swinging the other way on the cartels, the speculators should be easier to take care of than the cartels… All wishful thinking. Not to worry, electric drive cars are better than ice cars in so many ways, they will sell in large numbers even with cheap oil, the cat’s out of the bag.


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (7:17 pm)

    Jackson: advances in “algae from oil” technology

    Just what the World needs, expensive algae. :)


  45. 45
    Voltastic

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (8:23 pm)

    Jackson: Certain persistent trolls, as well.

    Indeed.

    It would be a nice addition to the hide after -10 per post that if the offending poster accumulates, say, -20 overall then all their posts rated 0 or lower are automatically hidden.


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (8:47 pm)

    Voltastic: It would be a nice addition to the hide after -10 per post that if the offending poster accumulates, say, -20 overall then all their posts rated 0 or lower are automatically hidden.

    OMG, you’d think they were mentioning facts from the Bible.


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    Truman

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (8:54 pm)

    Three Days of the Condor

    Higgins (shadowy CIA bigwig – Cliff Robertson): It’s simple economics. Today it’s oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. Maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?

    Joe Turner (Robert Redford – CIA researcher): Ask them?

    Higgins: Not now – then! Ask ‘em when they’re running out. Ask ‘em when there’s no heat in their homes and they’re cold. Ask ‘em when their engines stop. Ask ‘em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won’t want us to ask ‘em. They’ll just want us to get it for ‘em!


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    Mar 30th, 2011 (9:30 pm)

    Truman: Higgins (shadowy CIA bigwig – Cliff Robertson)

    I think I’ll get my facts from the Bible, thank you.


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    jeffhre

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (9:44 pm)

    Shock Me:
    jeffhre,

    I suspect by the time those prices would be appearing right next to $10/gallon gasoline so I doubt I will be overly upset.

    If you’re referring to right now it’s more like $3.70 gas v. $7.50 hydrogen. In the future if gas rises to $10.00, wouldn’t it be conceivable that hydrogen rises a bit also?


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    Truman

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (10:23 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: I think I’ll get my facts from the Bible, thank you.

    Here’s the Peak Oil Bible:
    http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/others/pdf/Oil_Peaking_NETL.pdf

    I assume you understand why they are not going to tell the hoi polloi until after the crisis hits. If you are puzzled by this stuff, just move along, nothing to see here…


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    JP

     

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (10:25 pm)

    We will not run out of Oil by 2060 we will have Oil long after that. but I do believe we will run out of Cheap oil within the next 20 years this will make alternate fuels seem affordable.


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    flmark

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    Mar 30th, 2011 (11:39 pm)

    James: innocent people slaughtered by their countrymen in Darfur

    My wife comes in steamed two days ago. It seems the religious network she likes to listen to finally revealed its true colors. It aligned us environmental-minded folks with some sort of Satanic cult. So she wants me to write a book (as if I’m going to change the views of narrow minded idiots.) When I deal with such people, I like to point out this type of message- about how we SELECTIVELY intervene-

    Would we really care about the misery of the Libyans (right now) without the oil? Would we have so vehemently dashed into Iraq and toppled a dictator without oil in the equation? Shall I mention we have done nothing in North Korea where the dictator has blatantly bragged about his WMD and his people starve to death on a regular basis. Ooops, sorry, no oil there…moving on.

    I sent that email off yesterday, but then I started to dig deeper into the background of the ‘religious’ group behind the radio message. On their web page, they actually state:

    “We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part, to provide the abundant, affordable energy necessary to sustain prosperous economies or overcome poverty.”

    Are you kidding me? I thought I was reading something written directly by Haliburton. I love the ‘abundant, affordable’ line. It just sounds so comfy, like I should be bathing in crude…oops, saw the pelicans doing that a few months back and they didn’t look too happy.

    Unfortunately, what scares me the most is that people are actually listening to this stuff. At a time we so desparately need to break the firm grasp of oil, we have religious nutcases numbing the brains of the feeble-minded into acting like our situation is fine. But don’t try to get through to them; the 150 year old music they listen to will drown you out of their ears.
    [Yeah, I used to be a church elder, too-- and this represents why that is behind me-- you can't communicate with those who don't want to listen]


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    Driverguy01

     

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    Mar 31st, 2011 (12:43 am)

    Geez, all those people worried about the price or availability of oil is a little bit weird to me.
    market and intelligence will always win the battle of scarcity on whatever product, oil, natural gas or whatever source of energy you might think of.
    The fact that oil is used in a vast majority of our power needs is because it is cheap, not that it’s the best option for whatever use we make of it today.
    I , for one, can’t imagine a truck 40 foot long running on electricity for many years to come, but running on natural gas, propane or some other renuable fuel is not at all far-fetched. we’ll just adapt to different fuel/energy available at the moment we need it.
    Humans have a tendancy to wait till the last minute to make a turn before they crash into the wall, there is always a solution.
    A dude named Nicola Tesla could transfer electrical energy without any wires a 120 years ago and we are still driving cars that use the same fuel we used over a 100 years ago, now that is weird and it’s like that because of cartels, not because of lack of alternative.

    Here in Quebec, we just had a new budget and a income tax credit of 2250 dollars will be replaced with a price rebate of 7769 dollars towards the purchase or lease of the Chevy Volt…on the first of January 2012. I was waiting to take delivery of my volt in july or august but now, with that kind of a rebate for 2012, i, sadely, will have to wait 5 more loooooong months to sit in my new car, unless GM and other automakers manage to presure my stupid provincial government to render those rebates available when the cars get here instead of 5 or 6 months later. How the hell are the GM salesman going to sell these cars this july if you get a 20% rebates a few months later is a little bit beyond me…Life is so cruel sometimes….

    Standing by for the next 9 months for now……


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    Sean

     

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    Mar 31st, 2011 (2:28 am)

    Nelson I’m not trying to be rude but if you said say no to 37 MPG than don’t use the gas tank on your Volt and only go electric mode only if you don’t want to consume gas at all just saying.


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    Truman

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    Mar 31st, 2011 (3:24 am)

    Driverguy01:
    Geez, all those people worried about the price or availability of oil is a little bit weird to me.

    Yeah, what is up with those old folks worried that something like the Depression or WWII will ever come back ? Life is good, and it always will be. From here to eternity.

    market and intelligence will always win the battle of scarcity on whatever product, oil, natural gas or whatever source of energy you might think of.

    Whale oil.
    Nuclear power is now too cheap to meter.

    The fact that oil is used in a vast majority of our power needs is because it is cheap, not that it’s the best option for whatever use we make of it today.

    That’s true. $104/barrel is dirt cheap, compared to what is coming:
    Screen-shot-2011-03-24-at-14.24.45.png

    I , for one, can’t imagine a truck 40 foot long running on electricity for many years to come, but running on natural gas, propane or some other renuable fuel is not at all far-fetched. we’ll just adapt to different fuel/energy available at the moment we need it.

    Sure, Germany needed oil during WWII so it just magically appeared, from coal, the moment they needed it. Oh wait, but not quickly enough, so their desperate attempt to capture the Baku oil fields in Azerbaijan failed. The rest is, as they say, History.

    Humans have a tendancy to wait till the last minute to make a turn before they crash into the wall, there is always a solution.

    There is always an outcome, not always a solution:

    car_crash_brick_wall.jpg


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    TassieEV

     

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    Mar 31st, 2011 (7:11 am)

    Just thought this may be of interest as it ties in well with the article, I’ve watched half of it and find it very interesting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY


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    unni

     

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    Mar 31st, 2011 (2:47 pm)

    Its really high time to push Hydrogen and Evs than fine tuning ICE and say 40 mpg or 50 mpg

    if now companies start selling hydrogen fuel cell cars , by 2020 most cars can switch to fuel cells. The the question will be only how to create more hydrogen but hydrogen can be created from multiple sources and its renewable We wont face another crisis.

    Same case with EVs also.


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    Mark Wagner

     

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    Apr 1st, 2011 (9:59 am)

    Let’s just hope there isn’t enough obtainable oil to allow us to tip the global warming trend beyond recovery.


  59. 59
    UVic EcoCAR

     

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    Apr 5th, 2011 (12:55 pm)

    This is pretty scary. There’s no time to waste in producing and adopting advanced hybrids as the first step to this solution!

    Support University of Victoria in the EcoCAR competition!
    Check out the team on Uvic EcoCAR website: http://www.ecocar.uvic.ca
    Get involved on Uvic EcoCAR forum: http://ecocar.dailyforum.net/
    Learn more about the competition on Green Garage website: http://www.green-garage.org/