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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:09 pm 
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Nemo wrote:
Halliburton knew the cement they supplied would fail. It failed in their own tests. If it had met the engineering requirements Deepwater would have been safe.


Is nuclear viable without all the government subsidies?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:12 pm 
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As viable as the internet, vaccines, communication and geolocation satellites.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Nemo wrote:
As viable as the internet, vaccines, communication and geolocation satellites.


None of these are ultimately sustainable in their current forms.

The internet uses more energy than the US automotive industry, so I hear. Those server farms don't run on little power.

I believe ultimately with the end of fossil fuels we will see a gradual demographic shift back to the countryside, as was the case with the upward slope of industrialization in the opposite direction, which will render a lot of technical trades ultimately unmanageable. Consider that a barrel of oil has eleven years worth of human labour contained within as portable liquid energy. Without that you can't run the current social and economic arrangements in the first world. Solar and wind depend on a fossil fuel driven economy to be produced and maintained.

As the cost of fuel rises and there is a shift more and more towards unconventional fuels (tar sands, heavy crude, etc...), other parts of society will be sacrificed to prop up what is essential. Nuclear energy will be used for decades to come, but I suspect in due time it will be infeasible without subsidies that will become unaffordable.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:38 pm 
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If people are allowed to move back. Arable land may become a strategic resource. The gains in computing and automation means that nuclear power is no longer a risk to the means of production. Uranium is already mined by robots. Most nuclear reactors are maintained by robots. America now fights wars with robots. They can take any post industrial wasteland, no matter how uninhabitable, and turn it into military power. The killer flying robots will be powered by nuclear reactors and have unlimited range. The largest problem with nuclear jets in the 50's was shielding the human occupants. No need in a drone. Plans for nuclear drones were already done but DARPA dropped it because of political blow back.

The elite will find the majority of people surplus and a drain on societies few resources. I doubt simply going back to the land will be an option without armed insurrection.

I don't think this will be in our lifetime. Finding a solution to our energy problems only gives us different problems

If we solve our energy problems automation and computing will still make about 70% of the population useless. Machines will be the working class. Perhaps the energy collapse is a better outcome for humans.

Think of a flying aircraft carrier powered by a nuke with hundreds of these tiny drones attached to it.



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
Aemilius wrote:
Below the Earth's crust is a layer of hot and molten rock called magma. Heat is continually produced there, mostly from the decay of the naturally radioactive materials such as uranium and potassium. The amount of heat within the
10 000 meters (about 33 000 feet) of Earth's surface contains 50 000 times more energy than all the oil and natural gas sources in the world.

source: Union of Concerned Scientists


Sure but we can't seem to make use of it.


Geothermal power is used by 70 countries worldwide to produce some heat. About 24 countries use geothermal for electricity (Costa Rica and El Salvador get about 24% of their electricity from geothermal power). Although Iceland began using geothermal power in the 40's (and humanity overall for millennia) geothermal use really dates from the 70's so we've only been at it for 40 yrs.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:47 am 
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kirtu wrote:
Geothermal power is used by 70 countries worldwide to produce some heat. About 24 countries use geothermal for electricity (Costa Rica and El Salvador get about 24% of their electricity from geothermal power). Although Iceland began using geothermal power in the 40's (and humanity overall for millennia) geothermal use really dates from the 70's so we've only been at it for 40 yrs.

Kirt


I should have said, "We can't make use of it to power an industrial first world western economy."

From everything I've seen, alternative energy sources pack nowhere near the same punch as petroleum, hence when the petroleum is scarce the alternative energy sources will provide a fraction of the energy we consume today.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:26 pm 
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There's always nuclear :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:22 am 
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Huseng wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Geothermal power is used by 70 countries worldwide to produce some heat. About 24 countries use geothermal for electricity (Costa Rica and El Salvador get about 24% of their electricity from geothermal power). Although Iceland began using geothermal power in the 40's (and humanity overall for millennia) geothermal use really dates from the 70's so we've only been at it for 40 yrs.

Kirt


I should have said, "We can't make use of it to power an industrial first world western economy."

From everything I've seen, alternative energy sources pack nowhere near the same punch as petroleum, hence when the petroleum is scarce the alternative energy sources will provide a fraction of the energy we consume today.


"punch" is a metaphorical expression. Energy as kJ is same energy, same amount of energy, regardless of the source. It is a question of the habitual tendencies of humanity. We are psychologically attached to the primeval idea of "fire" and "burning". You have to release your hold on the primitive idea that "fire" equals energy. It has no place in scientific knowledge.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:16 pm 
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It would also be good to get a grip on some thermodynamics. Not all kJ's are created equal, from a human point of view. Some are much more compact and provide much more useful work than others. For instance, it is good to ask which is more energy-dense, a cubic meter of gasoline or a cubic meter of molten rock? Which weighs more? Which stores best? Which can power a vehicle, and how efficently?

The answers to these questions are the reasons why our society is oil dominated and not geothermal dominated.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:52 pm 
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catmoon wrote:
For instance, it is good to ask which is more energy-dense, a cubic meter of gasoline or a cubic meter of molten rock? Which weighs more? Which stores best? Which can power a vehicle, and how efficently?

A lava powered car? You might be on to something there.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:29 am 
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Energy is defined as an ability of a physical system to exert force on an other physical system, i.e. to move it normally .
Geothermal energy is only an example from a vast array of different potential and actual sources of energy.

It is difficult to foresee the future development. In the past we have seen for example how the very modest Light Emitting Diode of 1970's has developed into the unimaginably powerful light sources and visual displays of today.

An other interesting source of energy is DUNG. Two tons of dried dung equals 4 or 5 barrels of crude oil. Just imagine the waste that is occurring when this valuable material is flushed into the ocean!
There are very many avenues open for future development in the field of energy sources.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Aemilius wrote:
It is difficult to foresee the future development. In the past we have seen for example how the very modest Light Emitting Diode of 1970's has developed into the unimaginably powerful light sources and visual displays of today.


Current trends suggest that as conventional oil production declines less bountiful liquid energy sources in the form of heavy crude, bio-fuels and syncrude (tar sand extracts) will be used to prop up the system, but not at the expense of other sectors where energy will be redirected. They don't possess the same stored energy as sweet crude does, which is why other sectors of infrastructure and society, which were built when much more abundant energy was available, will have to be sacrificed to maintain the core components of the system.

We are already seeing this happen.

Quote:
An other interesting source of energy is DUNG. Two tons of dried dung equals 4 or 5 barrels of crude oil. Just imagine the waste that is occurring when this valuable material is flushed into the ocean!
There are very many avenues open for future development in the field of energy sources.


You're dreaming if you think you can maintain let alone grow industrial civilization with cow dung.

The reality is we as a civilization used up hundreds of millions of years of precious concentrated solar energy in liquid form. There are no comparable energy sources to fossil fuels. They don't provide the same energy return on investment. People boast solar as the future, but solar energy isn't so easily stored like liquid fuels and moreover you probably couldn't maintain current standards of living and the global infrastructure on it.

I mean do you think you could build Hoover Dam or run a fleet of commercial jet liners on solar energy with maybe some bio-fuels thrown in?

We should accept that ultimately industrial civilization will fail and we'll revert back to standards of living like we had in pre-industrial times. It will be a long drawn-out process.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:12 pm 
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The future is nuclear energy according to Bill Gates.



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:58 pm 
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One of our local universities(Carleton U) poli sci department was sold to an oil company for 15 million. It was then handed over to our ulta right wing Reform party. No really, this actually happened. This after the controversy of Geology Professor Tim Patterson. He was outed years ago for accepting money from American think tanks funded by coal companies. He then proceeded to deny global warming. Capitalism will kill us.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Carle ... story.html

My mistake. It's actually happening everywhere.
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/ ... _oil.html/


Last edited by Nemo on Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:22 pm 
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Nemo wrote:
One of our local universities poli sci department, Carleton, was sold to an oil company for 15 million. It was then handed over to our ulta right wing Reform party. No really, this actually happened. This after the controversy of Geology Professor Tim Patterson. He was outed years ago for accepting money from American think tanks funded by coal companies. He then proceeded to deny global warming. Capitalism will kill us.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Carle ... story.html

My mistake. It's actually happening everywhere.
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/ ... _oil.html/


Man, Canada is going down hill politically, academically, economically, environmentally...

As a canuck abroad it all seems so pressing, yet the citizens seem so helpless.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:26 pm 
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This is the true face of capitalism. I think it may be time to look at alternatives.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:28 pm 
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Nemo wrote:
This is the true face of capitalism. I think it may be time to look at alternatives.


There is increasing interest in socialism and communism in the west.

When a system is failing and a lot of people are being oppressed, they might start revising their earlier opinions about alternative systems which are not agreeable with the contemporary elite's objectives and positions in a given society.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Nemo wrote:
This is the true face of capitalism. I think it may be time to look at alternatives.


High time. Last time, very likely.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Huseng wrote:
There is increasing interest in socialism and communism in the west.

When a system is failing and a lot of people are being oppressed, they might start revising their earlier opinions about alternative systems which are not agreeable with the contemporary elite's objectives and positions in a given society.

Unfortunately, we don't have many functioning examples. History shows that socialism can be co-opted and screwed up just as badly as capitalism, and that the consequences can be just as deadly.

We need a whole new system. Socialism and capitalism have too much in common. They share the "don't" side of the equation against some as-yet-unnamed "do" side that would embody a whole new way of thinking about resources and social responsibility. One that incorporates the idea of zero growth as a basic tenet.

There are some interesting zero-growth economists, but their work is marginalized by the established order.

Om mani padme hum
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:28 am 
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KeithBC wrote:
There are some interesting zero-growth economists, but their work is marginalized by the established order.

Om mani padme hum
Keith


I like the idea of putting the environment before economic growth and personal wealth (and personal standards of living), though that would take generations to implement, if it is even possible with the whole system collapsing first.

"It is -my- land, so why can't I chop down the trees to sell?"

"Why can't we have air conditioning? We paid for it!"

There needs to be some kind of incentive as people can't be forced into it without there being a usually violent reaction.

Personally I believe our current system will run its course, self-terminate and from its ashes after many have died and suffered as a result new social arrangements will emerge that will be eco-friendly by default there won't be the means to pollute on industrial scales.


For example, nuclear energy is unsustainable without fossil fuels. It isn't just the infrastructure that requires it (think of all the diesel machinery that would go into building a single plant plus the transport of components, cement, people, etc...), but that complex social arrangements that allow for 95% of a population to not be engaged in agriculture and rural lifestyles. You need vast amounts of energy to have a demographic system that allows extremely complex knowledge traditions like nuclear physics and nuclear energy production to be sustained and transmitted. If even 80% of the population was living rural lifestyles, primarily as food producers, then you will not have sufficient social complexity to have such complex institutions as nuclear energy (or the internet for that matter).

So, in the end after industrial civilization dies from its own gluttony new social arrangements will emerge. Capitalism and communism are predicated on industrialization, so after industrialization is gone they'll also be untenable.

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