Buddhism and Peak Oil

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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby catmoon » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:36 am

kirtu wrote:
catmoon wrote:Fusion is the long term solution? How long?


If we develop fusion power then energy scarcity is eliminated for the lifetime of the planet. For real.

Kirt


Well yeah, but the point was, doing that could be a worse disaster than doing nothing at all. It might simply shorten the lifespan of the planet.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:56 am

As Huseng said earlier, the developed countries are like junkies or alcoholics, they can in no way imagine life that exists without drugs and without alcohol! They can only imagine somekind of hell or another hell, when they try to imagine a society without crude oil! The best they can imagine is a new miracle medicine, which is called fusion.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:18 pm

Huseng wrote:The Mayan civilization collapsed partially due to overshooting their resource base. In their case it was diminishing production of corn.


That is a nearly eternal cause of speculation, ie why the Mayan cities were depopulated? I believe there is something in the view that mayans decided voluntarily to abandon their newly acquired life style based on cities.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:34 pm

Aemilius wrote:As Huseng said earlier, the developed countries are like junkies or alcoholics, they can in no way imagine life that exists without drugs and without alcohol! They can only imagine somekind of hell or another hell, when they try to imagine a society without crude oil! The best they can imagine is a new miracle medicine, which is called fusion.


That's basically what the religion of progress and the machine promises.

Despite reaching ecological limits, people believe technology, driven by humanity's unstoppable progress from the caves to the stars, will be developed just in time to save us from the consequences of our past collective actions.

It is easy to believe this because in the last century of abundant energy machines and technology have cleared away a number of our past problems (although created a lot more in the process of course).

The problem is that our whole global culture and infrastructure is setup for a time when we had abundant energy supplies, but few recognize this. This is not unlike the Romans trying to maintain an empire that might have been feasible in times past, but stopped being maintainable and defensible. The result was the Dark Ages.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:34 pm

Aemilius wrote:
Huseng wrote:The Mayan civilization collapsed partially due to overshooting their resource base. In their case it was diminishing production of corn.


That is a nearly eternal cause of speculation, ie why the Mayan cities were depopulated? I believe there is something in the view that mayans decided voluntarily to abandon their newly acquired life style based on cities.


That sounds unlikely
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Nemo » Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:20 pm

kirtu wrote:
Nemo wrote:Having lived off of solar power for years your ideas are fanciful and unrealistic. They would make a great cover for popular mechanics but they are completely unworkable with present technology.


I'm not sure how you've come up with this mischaracterization. What do you find ripped from the pages of Popular Mechanics?

Since solar does not have reliable output it can only make up a small part of total power generation.


I have not said otherwise. Nonetheless the Germans have demonstrated that they can provide 1.3% of their total electric production from solar energy, primarily from photovoltaics. They have also demonstrated that they can provide 20% of their total energy from renewable sources.

If you read what I wrote you will see that I have said from the start that energy production has to be from a mixture of sources but I have also said that solar energy has not been tapped sufficiently. I have never proposed solar energy as a single solution (except for the possibility of massive numbers of O'Neil collectors proposed in the 70's and 80's but which no one has yet developed a prototype of). In fact in other threads I have been ripped for flatly stating that nuclear power is something we will have to live with.

Kirt

I only read the last three pages before jumping in. I'll take your word for it and apologize now. :oops:
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Nighthawk » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:19 am

In fusion we believe.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Fri Feb 03, 2012 2:22 pm

Huseng wrote:
Aemilius wrote:As Huseng said earlier, the developed countries are like junkies or alcoholics, they can in no way imagine life that exists without drugs and without alcohol! They can only imagine somekind of hell or another hell, when they try to imagine a society without crude oil! The best they can imagine is a new miracle medicine, which is called fusion.


That's basically what the religion of progress and the machine promises.

Despite reaching ecological limits, people believe technology, driven by humanity's unstoppable progress from the caves to the stars, will be developed just in time to save us from the consequences of our past collective actions.

It is easy to believe this because in the last century of abundant energy machines and technology have cleared away a number of our past problems (although created a lot more in the process of course).

The problem is that our whole global culture and infrastructure is setup for a time when we had abundant energy supplies, but few recognize this. This is not unlike the Romans trying to maintain an empire that might have been feasible in times past, but stopped being maintainable and defensible. The result was the Dark Ages.


And yet another popular cause of speculation:" What caused the fall of Roman empire?" There have been much better analyses about it, with more depth to it. What the Romans did was feasible exactly because they achieved it all! They set a wonderful example for the rest of the world, even after its fall its principles of government and technological advancements gradually spread world wide. The Roman Empire existed far longer than the relatively short period the United States have now existed !!

Time line of Roman Empire :http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/romans.html
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:08 pm

Huseng wrote:That's basically what the religion of progress and the machine promises.

Despite reaching ecological limits, people believe technology, driven by humanity's unstoppable progress from the caves to the stars, will be developed just in time to save us from the consequences of our past collective actions.

It is easy to believe this because in the last century of abundant energy machines and technology have cleared away a number of our past problems (although created a lot more in the process of course).


Actually crude oil is even more important for the procuction of plastic, pesticides and six thousand other common products. These cannot be replaced by nuclear power or by solar power. Here is a short list of products made from oil:
http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20petroleum.htm
Imagine life without them !!
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:29 pm

Aemilius wrote:Imagine life without them !!



Imagine life without golf balls! How will we live? :|

Actually there will be a long period of salvage where everything we have produced in our age of abundance will essentially be recycled for use.

After Rome fell a lot of things survived, though people might not have been able to reproduce them. For example even pottery. When Rome fell a lot of potters and pottery factories were erased from the economy. What used to be standard tableware for a country dweller became exquisite pieces for a nobleman's table. The aqueducts likewise were repaired for many centuries after Rome's fall, but nobody at the time could have reproduced them. The masonry skills that built them took many years to re-emerge.

A lot of high-tech machines will go the same way. Consider all the factories, specialists, labs and so on that go into just producing your PC, plus the electrical grid and all the resources and people that go into keeping it running with electricity. When the fabric starts unravelling, we'll still have old computers, but no way of building new ones from scratch.

In other words, with decreasing complexity, the old complex things will remain for a time, but much will be made simple as it was prior to industrialization. Not for cosmetic or nostalgic purposes, but out of necessity.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:57 am

History of golf balls http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf_ball, basically there have been several varieties of golf balls before the invention of plastic materials.

It is difficult to foresee the future, but lack of plastic etc will increase our the demand for wood, cellulosa and paper thousandfold. In our bottomless greed we will probably cut down most of the forests on thís planet. Addiction for wealth and plenty is not easily stopped, or reduced radically. You can search for pictures of erosion in Madagaskar, to see what the greed for money and wealth has achieved. Nothing will grow there now, a vast land area is turning into an eroded desert.

A more ascetic lifestyle will be necessary for humanity in future. Intelligence is also necessary, to prevent the destruction of land, the destruction of everything. But how could that happen?
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:54 pm

Aemilius wrote:
It is difficult to foresee the future, but lack of plastic etc will increase our the demand for wood, cellulosa and paper thousandfold. In our bottomless greed we will probably cut down most of the forests on thís planet.


I think before that happens it'll cost too much in terms of petroleum and other fossil fuels to hack down forests on that scale to run papermills which likewise demand a lot of energy. Having people doing the cutting is a lot more difficult and probably not worth the end profits.

The cost of everything, including paper, will go up.

A more ascetic lifestyle will be necessary for humanity in future. Intelligence is also necessary, to prevent the destruction of land, the destruction of everything. But how could that happen?


It won't happen. We're headed for a dark age. When we look back over the last two hundred years we see a narrative of increasing technological development and resource consumption until the present time. From this point it will be a narrative of decrease and decline. In two hundred years people will look back and see a kind of resource rich age that they could never have even if they tried. When the fossil fuel reserves are gone, they're gone for good.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:29 pm

You got it all wrong, I'm afraid. People have a strong instinct to live, to survive. They can easily cut down the trees by axes, or with two handed saws. As they have been doing for milennia. All of this because they want something, because they will get a couple of coins for it. What is your family background? Have you never seen how trees are felled? Have you never seen people work in the rural areas of developed countries ? Have you never seen them work in poorer countries, and found out what they get as a salary, as a compensation?? Open your eyes and see the world around you!! There is a statistic of how many people in the world work for a wage of 1$ per day! That was in 1990's, so it would have increased now somewhat.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:57 pm

Aemilius wrote:You got it all wrong, I'm afraid. People have a strong instinct to live, to survive. They can easily cut down the trees by axes, or with two handed saws. As they have been doing for milennia. All of this because they want something, because they will get a couple of coins for it. What is your family background? Have you never seen how trees are felled? Have you never seen people work in the rural areas of developed countries ? Have you never seen them work in poorer countries, and found out what they get as a salary, as a compensation?? Open your eyes and see the world around you!! There is a statistic of how many people in the world work for a wage of 1$ per day! That was in 1990's, so it would have increased now somewhat.


To hack down the whole Amazon rain forest with axes and hand tools would divert an army of people out of necessary activities such as agriculture.

You have to remember that as industrialization comes apart the population will shift back towards pre-industrial models where 80~90% of most populations are agriculturalists or food producers. If you wanted to hack down the whole Amazon rain forest with such a population model you would be diverting a lot of individuals out of necessary food production into the timber industry.

It is unlikely to work like that.

More likely as times get tougher and the government is unable to provide people with even the basics of life, there will be a shift back to the country.

We're going to run into food production problems long before we run out of plastic.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:34 am

Human beings are capable and industrious of beings. They have cut down whole forests in ancient Greece, the bare mountains of Greece today were in ancient times covered with forests. The unending comsumption of wood for ship building and other purposes led already in the ancient world to erosion and deforestation. There have been TV programs on this topic many times, and there is an abundant amount of literature and studies on it.
Environmental History Timeline http://www.radford.edu/wkovarik/envhist/1ancient.html
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:24 am

Aemilius wrote:Human beings are capable and industrious of beings. They have cut down whole forests in ancient Greece, the bare mountains of Greece today were in ancient times covered with forests. The unending comsumption of wood for ship building and other purposes led already in the ancient world to erosion and deforestation. There have been TV programs on this topic many times, and there is an abundant amount of literature and studies on it.
Environmental History Timeline http://www.radford.edu/wkovarik/envhist/1ancient.html


Okay, but the timber of Greece isn't much compared to the Amazon Rain Forest.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Aemilius » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:16 am

It isn't only Greece, this is a highly political issue, and most countries are unwilling to accept anything of that kind happening in their past. It means that they are polishing up their image and their history, and that there is a lot of pseudo science with a political or propaganda purpose behind it.
It would be easy and natural to think that the building of enormous fleets of wooden ships, for war and for conquering the world, have caused in Spain, Portugal, and North Africa their present rather arid landscape.
There are scientist who have said that desertification of Sahara and Gobi have been caused by human activity. You will then have to postulate a different past history than is generally accepted now. They are quite serious that Sahara was a populated and flourishing land at some point in time.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby kirtu » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:19 pm

This is the closest thing we have to an energy thread so: a new report from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory asserts that the US could provide the vast bulk of U.S. electricity by mid-century using only current technology:see the summary here.

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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:30 am

kirtu wrote:This is the closest thing we have to an energy thread so: a new report from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory asserts that the US could provide the vast bulk of U.S. electricity by mid-century using only current technology:see the summary here.

Kirt


Solar and wind only pack a fraction of the punch as oil does.

Moreover, you have a transportation infrastructure worth trillions and trillions that operates with petroleum, not solar or wind.

Electricity issues aside, petrochemicals also produce a lot of food, plastics and pharmaceuticals. When they are in short supply, you will get shortages of everything they produce.
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Re: Buddhism and Peak Oil

Postby Challenge23 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:22 pm

Huseng wrote:
Aemilius wrote:Human beings are capable and industrious of beings. They have cut down whole forests in ancient Greece, the bare mountains of Greece today were in ancient times covered with forests. The unending comsumption of wood for ship building and other purposes led already in the ancient world to erosion and deforestation. There have been TV programs on this topic many times, and there is an abundant amount of literature and studies on it.
Environmental History Timeline http://www.radford.edu/wkovarik/envhist/1ancient.html


Okay, but the timber of Greece isn't much compared to the Amazon Rain Forest.


How about the city of Ephesus? They seemed quite capable of deforesting the entire area so that the city had to be abandoned a long time before oil was used for anything other than lighting lamps and enemy soldiers.

The thing is, Huseng, is that I think you are going too much in the other direction in regards to peak oil. If it is true, yes, things will change. But I don't think that it will be quite as massive as you think it will be.

To take farming as an example. Inorganic fertilizers have only been around for about 50 years. People seemed to be quite capable and willing to chop down lots of trees in 1895. We also had Sears catalogs and all sorts of things. True there were less people, more of them had to work on farms, and they didn't have kindles or ipads but that didn't mean that it was a Dark Age.
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