Peak oil

Alleviating worldly suffering along the way.

Re: Peak oil

Postby tellyontellyon » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:49 am

It's almost certain to have been posted before, but I can't resist as it is really quite funny and makes some good points:


:smile:
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Re: Peak oil

Postby kirtu » Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:
Malcolm wrote:... indeed, world population appears to be declining on the whole.

Imagesvg


Right, it means that according to UN estimates, word population in 2150 could be as high as 25 trillion, the red line, or as low s 3.5 trillion, the green line. According to the report, the mathematical model favors the low number.


Ah, no .... just under 15 billion (red) and a bit over 6 billion (green).


billion = 10^9
trillion = 10^12

The graphic is in millions. 15000 million = 15*10^9. They then avoid the difference between US and British definitions of billions (anyway Brits favor discussing things in thousands of millions).

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Re: Peak oil

Postby Aemilius » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:22 pm

That graphic gives a false idea of the overall situation, most of the growth occurs in only one continent, namely AFRICA. Elsewhere there is little growth and decline of population. Therefore the situation as a whole is really quite different.
See the UN World Population Prospects, the 2012 Revision
http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/trends/WPP2012_Wallchart.pdf
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:23 pm

kirtu wrote:
The graphic is in millions. 15000 million = 15*10^9. They then avoid the difference between US and British definitions of billions (anyway Brits favor discussing things in thousands of millions).

Kirt


I am reporting (sans typos) what an article cited from the UN report that accompanied this graph.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Zhen Li » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:30 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:(1) What on earth is the :rules: smiley supposed to mean here?
(2) Have you looked up Tverberg's background? If not, you have no foundation for commenting on my rating of her. If you have, how do you justify valuing her thoughts above those of http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/2014/2006.xhtml, cited and quoted in dzogchungpa's recently-posted links?

It's all about the quality of our information sources. If we read ill-informed and biased writers, the foundations of our knowledge are as cracked as they are.

If everyone read only writers who the cathedral sanctioned, Galileo would be a footnote in history.

If you want to go back to renaissance Italy you will have to give up the internet ... which is another way of saying things don't work that way now.
Please answer my questions.

:jedi:
Kim

The problem with blacklisting is that you end up ignoring all of the arguments of people who you disagree with.

I'm perfectly comfortable with X challenging the views of Y. And vice versa. Regardless of who X and Y are. It's the arguments that matter.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:42 pm

Zhen Li wrote:The problem with blacklisting is that you end up ignoring all of the arguments of people who you disagree with.

I'm perfectly comfortable with X challenging the views of Y. And vice versa. Regardless of who X and Y are. It's the arguments that matter.

Granted, so long as you examine the arguments and the premises and information (or lack thereof) they are based upon.
Now ...
Zhen Li wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:(1) What on earth is the :rules: smiley supposed to mean here?
(2) Have you looked up Tverberg's background? If not, you have no foundation for commenting on my rating of her. If you have, how do you justify valuing her thoughts above those of http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/2014/2006.xhtml, cited and quoted in dzogchungpa's recently-posted links?

It's all about the quality of our information sources. If we read ill-informed and biased writers, the foundations of our knowledge are as cracked as they are.

If everyone read only writers who the cathedral sanctioned, Galileo would be a footnote in history.

If you want to go back to renaissance Italy you will have to give up the internet ... which is another way of saying things don't work that way now.
Please answer my questions.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Zhen Li » Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:59 pm

1) It's a representation of you pointing at your black list. :P

2) My reply was "I'm perfectly comfortable with X challenging the views of Y. And vice versa. Regardless of who X and Y are. It's the arguments that matter." You can value the arguments based upon their merit as arguments, I'm not interested in the background of the person who speaks them. I don't do a background check before I reply to you Kim, for all I know, you could have all sorts of skeletons in your closet. Anyway, I did look her up and couldn't find anything very juicy.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby kirtu » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:06 am

Malcolm wrote:
kirtu wrote:
The graphic is in millions. 15000 million = 15*10^9. They then avoid the difference between US and British definitions of billions (anyway Brits favor discussing things in thousands of millions).

Kirt


I am reporting (sans typos) what an article cited from the UN report that accompanied this graph.


No one on the planet, and certainly not the UN, is talking about trillions of humans. That's vastly exceeding the capacity of the Earth.

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Re: Peak oil

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:09 am

kirtu wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
kirtu wrote:
The graphic is in millions. 15000 million = 15*10^9. They then avoid the difference between US and British definitions of billions (anyway Brits favor discussing things in thousands of millions).

Kirt


I am reporting (sans typos) what an article cited from the UN report that accompanied this graph.


No one on the planet, and certainly not the UN, is talking about trillions of humans. That's vastly exceeding the capacity of the Earth.

Kirt

I believe Malcolm is saying that when he wrote 'trillion' it was a typo.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:14 am

Zhen Li wrote:1) It's a representation of you pointing at your black list. :P

Okay - understood.
Zhen Li wrote:2) My reply was "I'm perfectly comfortable with X challenging the views of Y. And vice versa. Regardless of who X and Y are. It's the arguments that matter." You can value the arguments based upon their merit as arguments, I'm not interested in the background of the person who speaks them. I don't do a background check before I reply to you Kim, for all I know, you could have all sorts of skeletons in your closet. Anyway, I did look her up and couldn't find anything very juicy.

That goes about half way to an answer. Like you, I don't mind X challenging Y - but after that, we need to decide whether X is correct or Y is correct.
I do that by checking, as much as I can, their expertise. How do you do it? If you do it the same way I do, I think you have to dismiss Tverberg whenever she disagrees with what the other study says. If you don't, how do you do it?

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Edit: fixed typo :emb:
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Zhen Li » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:26 am

I already said, I judge based on the argument.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:25 am

Zhen Li wrote:I already said, I judge based on the argument.

That's still not really an answer, since how you judge is critically important to the results of your judgement.
For instance, you could judge based on whether the argument agrees with your current beliefs about the matter. That is really, really common and it is responsible for most of the :alien: :crazy: stuff people believe as well as some perfectly well-founded judgement calls. The difference is largely due to how well informed you are about the topic.
So ... how do you judge based on the argument?

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Re: Peak oil

Postby Zhen Li » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:42 am

By not judging based on the background of the individual, and trying to falsify it as best as I can.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:00 am

Zhen Li wrote:By not judging based on the background of the individual, and trying to falsify it as best as I can.

If you can falsify something because of its internal inconsistency, that's fine. But do you still try to falsify it if it's internally consistent? If so, how?
I can see two general approaches:
(1) "This conflicts [agrees] with what I already know so it must be wrong [right]." I have already mentioned the problem with that.
(2) "This conflicts [agrees] with what source/s X, Y and Z say so it must be wrong [right]." That's what I do but it takes us straight back to why we trust some sources more than others.

Do you judge according to (1), (2) or some completely different method I haven't thought of?

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Re: Peak oil

Postby Zhen Li » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:06 am

Both are fine, so long as you haven't falsified them already. Either accept agnosticism, or continue being open to falsification of each successive view point.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:36 am

Malcolm wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:We can be much smarter about energy efficiency, for instance - and it's already happening.


Jevons observed that England's consumption of coal soared after James Watt introduced his coal-fired steam engine, which greatly improved the efficiency of Thomas Newcomen's earlier design.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

So no, I don't share your technological enthusiasm. I am rather skeptical of it, actually.

Hi, Malcolm,
Here's another - and better - response to your concerns:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/29/3220341/energy-economic-growth/
Up until the late 1970s, energy consumption grew in tandem with the economy. But after that, the two trends split, with economic growth continuing to go up and energy use increasing at a far lower rate.
At this point, America’s energy consumption is well below where it was predicted to be in the 1970s. The Coalition quoted Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good that “improvements in energy efficiency for buildings and appliances appear to have broken the traditional connection between electricity demand and economic growth.”

There's a really pleasing graph in the article - please click on the link above to see it.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:41 am

Zhen Li wrote:Both are fine, so long as you haven't falsified them already. Either accept agnosticism, or continue being open to falsification of each successive view point.

Sheesh ... I can't think of any suitable response to that except :crazy: and I don't want to be rude so please just consider that I haven't actually said it but have gone away to see if I can think of something more polite.

:meditate:
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Zhen Li » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:59 am

I'm not sure why it's surprising in any way. It's more or less how the world works when you're following the argument wherever it leads. Falsifiability is the most obvious reason to reject a theory, and when you're not taking the time to check it's falsifiability, then the only rational option is to withhold judgement.

Supposing two theories are currently not obviously falsified. The following criteria given by Kuhn, I would accept as most convincing of a theory's acceptability to my mind:
1. Accurate - empirically adequate with experimentation and observation
2. Consistent - internally consistent, but also externally consistent with other theories
3. Broad Scope - a theory's consequences should extend beyond that which it was initially designed to explain
4. Simple - the simplest explanation, principally similar to Occam's razor
5. Fruitful - a theory should disclose new phenomena or new relationships among phenomena

When a theory is accepted by many scientists or experts, it becomes "normal science." This is not the same as saying it is the truth, but being able to work within a paradigm that is internally consistent and acceptable by those criteria, is what produces the most fruitfulness at large in the scientific community. Normal science is occasionally abruptly interrupted by widespread acceptance of a new theory, either due to falsification, or being better suited to the 5 criteria above. And so forth. What this means is that normal science is fundamentally subjective, and more acceptable theories may arise at any time.
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:23 am

The Pentagon is taking peak oil seriously:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/ ... scompanies
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Re: Peak oil

Postby Kim O'Hara » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:33 am

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