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Peak Oil~Rising Gas Prices~The Future of The World


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#1 Yajimari21

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 08:30 PM

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Well I've been reading about this for quite some time now, and find it very intriguing, as most people are expecting the currently high gas prices to eventually decrease over time (as they have been trained by other spikes and decreases in prices), and do not believe that oil supplies will peak during their lifetimes, yet many specialists are pointing out that global oil supplies could peak as early as Thanksgiving of 2006 or sometime into 2007.

However, the big question is: What will humanity do to deal with this crisis? There are many alternatives in the way of energy resources, but 70% of all oil is consumed by automobiles, airplanes, trucks, etc. With diminishing oil resources, gas prices will spike to well over $7 / gallon and many airliners will go out of business because of the high jet fuel prices. With all of these domestic problems in developed countries (and also big developing countries like India and China), a great deal of tension will form between the large consuming nations and the producing nations, leading to "oil wars" (some point to the Iraqi War as a preindicator of this).

The world is incredibly unprepared for this crisis (probably to be one of the biggest in human history) and will almost definetly lead to a large-scale global recession of some kind.

It is also predicted that the,currently, enormously popular suburbs of the world will turn into the global slums as people will be unable to pay $100 USD+ per day on fuel.

Some people point to hydrogen cars, but that technology is far from being developed enough to be of use in the near future (maybe by 2015?) and biodiesel supplies are far from being ready for widespread use. Also, non-conventional supplies of oil are much harder to extract and utilize, and even though they could help keep some moderate oil supplies, it would still be far from being enough for widespread global use and distribution.

Is humanity capable of overcoming these future problems? The governments of today are making small but largely ineffective efforts to curb this future crisis (The U.S. just passed its first "suggested" gas efficiency for cars~ I think), so most people are looking to a much more difficult "market solution". With a market solution, the skyrocketing global prices of oil will inspire wide-spread investment in "green" technologies to help replace oil, but the problem is that many of these "green" technologies require oil for their research and development phases.

So, what will humanity do to overcome this?

A few oil based products:

Fertilizer (oil based fertilizer and machinery allowed for the "Green Revolution" that allowed many people to move to the cities, and drastically improved the amount of food available. Some fear that a global oil crisis may lead to mass starvation.

Plastic (... self-explanitory)

Gasoline

Jetfuel (no more airplanes? more efficient engines are being made that could possibly utilize the more expensive non-conventional oil resources to allow for the coninuation of flight ^^... increase in ticket prices?)

There are alot more but I am tired and weak from my wisdom-teeth removal <_<

Could there be replacements to oil?

Possible conversion of coal into oil

~(?) I read on the new york times about conversion of pig feces into oil O.o (not sure if this could ever be a major replacement)

Non-convention oil resources: tar-sands, and other things

So what are your ideas and comments? (sorry if I didn't write this well enough and my ideas are scattered... I'm tired and my mouth is really soar :( )

This was mainly based on the Hubbert Peak Theory which you can read more about here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

#2 JWu

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 10:15 AM

Shell recently opened a Hydrogen station in Washington D.C. Even though the hydrogen car fleet there consists of a whopping 4 cars, it's widely believed to be the wave of the future (at least in terms of oil-replacement).

In the short-term, hybrid cars are a stopgap solution to help reduce our dependency on oil. Otherwise why would the government offer tax incentives to those who purchase hybrid cars?

In the long run, it will take many years before we are completely nondependent on oil. It's not just automobiles and gas. Our military is highly dependent on oil. How many barrels (of oil) do we use per day in our "War on Terrorism"? And then look at all the products we have that are made out of plastics or plastic-derivatives (which come from oil).

But hybrid cars and hydrogen-powered vehicles is certainly a start. There will also probably be a revival of nuclear power and wind-generating stations.

#3 kingster0517

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 07:54 PM

Well, the hydrogen cars are probably just as toxic to make as the fumes that gasoline gives off in cars. But I guess since it lets out water it would be a better payoff. I would rather spend a billion dollars trying to perfect the hydrogen cars then spending billions of dollars buying oil. I heard they came up with the idea of cars running on corn starch or something weird coming out of corn. I forget the name but it starts with an N. Nobody is willing to invest in that though. If you think about, most car companies will decide not to spend money on research for finding new ways to get energy because they just lose that money in the long run. There will probably be decrease in people buying their cars and gasoline and that will harm the gas and car companis so they wont help promote or invest that. Though, I think we should still work on the new methods and stop selling the Hummers and SUVs that eat all the gasoline. Selling more hybrids for a cheaper price and maybe SUVs for a more expensive price would be a better alternative also. Anything to help the oil issue. I think it is one of America's biggest problems or atleast somewhere in the top 5.

Edited by kingster0517, 02 September 2005 - 07:58 PM.


#4 JWu

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 10:03 PM

Well, the hydrogen cars are probably just as toxic to make as the fumes that gasoline gives off in cars.

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The reason hydrogen is touted over "traditional gas" is that hydrogen is a renewable resource whereas once the oil in the Earth is gone, it's gone. It'll take hundreds of thousands of years (if not millions) for oil to replenish itself.

Selling more hybrids for a cheaper price and maybe SUVs for a more expensive price would be a better alternative also. Anything to help the oil issue. I think it is one of America's biggest problems or atleast somewhere in the top 5.

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There are hybrid SUVs. Well at least I know of one, Lexus released a hybrid SUV in the beginning of 2005. ^_^

#5 kingster0517

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 11:29 PM

^ True. I say we work to perfect the hydrogen cars. Is it a renewable fuel then? Hydrogen turns to water then we somehow chemically unbind the hydrogen and oxygon elements to provide more fuel. I think thats how it works, just a guess though.

^Didn't know there were Hybrid SUVs. Thanks for telling me. I guess people should buy those if they want to buy any SUV.

#6 legendsofaranna

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 06:57 PM

No. Hydrogen cars won't be likely to replace our gas engines in the next 10 years. Look at hydrogen itself. It can react with other elements easily. On Earth, it is very rare to find pure oxygen. So how do you seperate hydrogen from a compound so that you can find pure hydrogen? Well, it's electrosis. Electrosis needs electricity. So where do you find electricity? We're back at fossil fuels. See, we will still need fossil fuels.

But after 10 years, we see a better possibility. When the nuclear fusion reactor completes, we will be able to use fuel cells. Nuclear fusion is very efficient, safe and clean. This way, we can easily have pure hydrogen from the energy of a nuclear fusion reactor.

Hybrid cars are nice. They combine the cleanest of a smart car with the power of a gas powered-car. But, they will still produce pollution.

I heard they came up with the idea of cars running on corn starch or something weird coming out of corn.


I think you're talking about Diesel Fuel. Diesel fuel is exactly what the idea you just described. I noticed some gas stations offer diesel fuel here in Toronto.

What I am currently anticipating is the use of nanotechnology. With nanobots, they can easily re-arrange atoms in the atmosphere so that they can clean up the air pollution. We have a method of reducing our dependency on gas or totally demolish our dependency on gas but do we have a efficient method to clean off our atmosphere. Currently, nanotechnology is the most efficient way to do this.

#7 Yajimari21

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 08:00 PM

^ a nuclear fusion reactor (for commercial purposes) isnt planned on being ready until 2050 (much to late to help us right now x__x)

#8 legendsofaranna

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 08:04 PM

^ a nuclear fusion reactor (for commercial purposes) isnt planned on being ready until 2050 (much to late to help us right now x__x)

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Disagree. The earliest nuclear fusion reactor will be ready on 2015.

A long and bitter dispute about where to site the world's largest nuclear fusion reactor looks all but certain to end in favour of France.

Countries have been arguing since 2003 over whether to site the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) at Rokkashomura in Japan or at Cadarache in France. The French bid has been backed by the European Union, China and Russia, while Japan has been supported by the US and South Korea.

Recent reports that Japan has accepted that the reactor will be built in France are accurate, UK government sources have told New Scientist. But officials are nervous about publicly confirming the agreement in case it falls apart at the last minute.

The European Union stressed that no final decision would be taken until ministers from all six parties meet in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday 28 June. "We are optimistic that we will reach a decision on the site then," said the EU's science spokeswoman, Antonia Mochan.

High-energy bombardment
ITER is expected to cost up to $10 billion and is the next step towards tapping the inexhaustible power that could be released by fusing together atoms of hydrogen. Scientists have been pursuing the idea, which mimics the reaction inside the sun, for 50 years.

The Japanese government was persuaded to concede to France by the promise of several sweeteners. Over $500 million worth of contracts for constructing ITER could go to Japanese companies, and Japan could provide 20% of the 200 researchers in return for meeting just 10% of the total cost.

Japanese newspapers have also reported that the EU might help fund the building of a related facility in Japan to test how various materials stand up to bombardment by the high-energy neutrons produced in fusion reactions. That could cost up to $2 billion.

"I am excited about the possibility of a site decision, and believe it will be a very important and positive step," says Raymond Fonck, an expert on nuclear fusion from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Of course there remains much to be done after that."

Collide and fuse
The earliest ITER could be up and running is 2015. It would work by heating isotopes of hydrogen to hundreds of millions of degrees, creating a plasma of charged particles.

The particles would be confined by magnetic fields in a doughnut-shaped machine called a tokamak. There they would collide and fuse, producing high-energy helium nuclei and neutrons.

The uncharged neutrons would escape the tokamak, creating heat that could be used to generate electricity. But the positively charged helium nuclei would be trapped by the magnetic fields and would help sustain further fusion reactions.


From: http://www.newscient...le.ns?id=dn7573

Edited by legendsofaranna, 17 September 2005 - 08:04 PM.


#9 Yajimari21

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 08:09 PM

^ thats the expiremental reactor ~_~; fully functional fusion power plant and other commercial uses will not be until 2035+

#10 Mikenyhk

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 06:36 AM

When oil prices peak, the whole world will suffer.. it will make everything more expensives..I dont know y the government is not doing anything.. but the good part is someone will solve this problem.. like hybrid cars, or electric ones if they can make it go faster n charge lesser time.

I know the US has oil reserve.. they have tons of it.. IF this happens, it happens, we do something else .. the price of oil is already expensive now..

#11 hikkichan

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 07:24 AM

I don't think that gas prices jumping up will turn places into slums...

Hell, it's about $7 US for a gallon of Gas out here in Japan... and that's nothing new...

A good solution is walking... too many folks in the US use cars when something is just a few miles away... Just imagine if everyone walked the few extra miles instead of driving every day... it'd make a huge difference.

Until technology builds something solid and favorable enough to cause a shift in what we use for fuel... things are just going to stay the way they are.

#12 legendsofaranna

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 08:38 AM

^ thats the expiremental reactor ~_~; fully functional fusion power plant and other commercial uses will not be until 2035+

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The experimental reactor could turn into a fully functinal commercial nuclear fusion reactor. That could happen a few years after 2015. But to put nuclear fusion into widespread use, it would be around 2030. Hope that made myself clear. \

Posted Image

For those of you who are too lazy to ride a bike or walk, there is a solution for you. There is something called "Segways" and it doesn't require a muscle to move around and it's for all ages. Full info is here: http://travel.howstu....com/ginger.htm

This thing is an alternative way to travel around it urban areas. Of course, it won't replace fossil fuels but it can help reduce our dependency on it. It is powered by electricity.

We can also reduce our dependency on cars by using exoskeletons. Exoskeletons allows us to run faster. So fast that even bicycles cannot rival with its speed. Exoskeletons is about morphing the man with the machine. It won't be widely available to the public because this technology is for the military but it could be possible that one day, we will be able to wear it in our daily lives. For example, carrying our backpacks and then run to school at the speed of the bicycle! There are challenges to the development but they will eventually be solved.

Full info found here:
http://science.howst...exoskeleton.htm

The biggest problem in our society is how people just don't want to walk or run. They think it's too slow. In our modern society and business world, time is money. They just can't waste time travelling around. They need to go to their destinations as fast as possible. Riding a bike is fast but you can't maintain that speed because your muscles will eventually be tired.

My quick guess is, once oil peaks, we will start using nuclear fission. It's not very clean but it's cleaner than fossil fuels and hydroelectricity (2 most commonly used fuel source right now in our modern society). There are some research that states hydroelectricity isn't very clean . " Recent studies, however, challenge some of these claims and suggest that hydroelectric dams can produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane through the decay of submerged plant material. In some cases, these emissions rival that of power plants running on fossil fuel. " Hydroelectricity also uses a lot of space and can cause flooding. "Compared with a coal-fired power plant, nuclear power plants are a dream come true from an environmental standpoint." Also, nuclear power plants can be built anywhere as long as there is uranium.

My 2 quotes came from here:

http://science.howst...lear-power6.htm
And here:
http://www.livescien...tcentury-5.html

Solar/wind/wave energy are clean but wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. Solar energy is expensive. Wind energy is noisy and it can kill birds. It can also affect television reception if you live nearby. There is also a speculation that if we alter wind direction, it could affect some places. For example, some places are cool because wind blow the cold air from the sea. If we stop the flow of the wind, that place could eventually turn hotter. Wave energy doesn't supply enough energy because we cannot harness all the energy the waves supply, and not everywhere in the world can use it. It's also noisy and has to withstand rough weather. However, if used together with hydro power, they can be quite useful. My prediction is that they can supply up to 20% of electricity to the world. That's an enormous amount of energy produced together. Although 20% is big, it's not enough to replace gas engines.

In the next 200 years, we can see anti-matter in experimental stages. This is possible with the invention of nanotechnology. Now, it has been speculated that it can produce large amounts of energy but there's the safety issue. If there's enough anti-matter, it can seriously react with all the matter on Earth and destroy Earth completely.

Edited by legendsofaranna, 23 September 2005 - 01:40 PM.


#13 Yajimari21

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 09:44 AM

mmm... fusion is very clean... you take a few pounds of tritium and duotrium (I know i spelt that wrong =.=:thumbsup: and your biproducts are just a few pounds of helium and another element... (not like nuclear fission which creates hundreds of pounds of radioactive waste, or coal which proudeces thousands of pounds of CO2 gas as waste)

#14 legendsofaranna

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 10:01 AM

mmm... fusion is very clean... you take a few pounds of tritium and duotrium (I know i spelt that wrong =.=:thumbsup: and your biproducts are just a few pounds of helium and another element... (not like nuclear fission which creates hundreds of pounds of radioactive waste, or coal which proudeces thousands of pounds of CO2 gas as waste)

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Yes. I agree that nuclear fusion is cleaner than nuclear fission and fossil fuels. Here is why:

Abundant fuel supply - Deuterium can be readily extracted from seawater, and excess tritium can be made in the fusion reactor itself from lithium, which is readily available in the Earth's crust. Uranium for fission is rare, and it must be mined and then enriched for use in reactors.

Safe - The amounts of fuel used for fusion are small compared to fission reactors. This is so that uncontrolled releases of energy do not occur. Most fusion reactors make less radiation than the natural background radiation we live with in our daily lives.

Clean - No combustion occurs in nuclear power (fission or fusion), so there is no air pollution.

Less nuclear waste - Fusion reactors will not produce high-level nuclear wastes like their fission counterparts, so disposal will be less of a problem. In addition, the wastes will not be of weapons-grade nuclear materials as is the case in fission reactors.


What is better than that? But in the meantime, there are only 3 efficient ways to power our economy. 1) Fossil fuels 2) Hydroelectricity 3) Nuclear Fission

Nuclear Fission is the cleanest out of those 3 (Look back at my previous post). Take a look at this chart to see the percentages of commercial energy production.

Posted Image

This is where I got the chart from

You can also see that 85% of our energy comes from fossil fuels. That ain't good. Imagine if we took 85% of our energy away and only that 15% remains. Now, you know what I mean.

I also don't like the idea of wood. Deforestation is bad and it can worsen air pollution. How? Trees consume CO2 so if we cut them them, we'll have more CO2 in the atmosphere. " If deforestation continues at its current rate, the world's tropical rainforests will be wiped out within 40 years. "

Quote came from this site: http://science.howst...rainforest5.htm

Although nuclear fission is good as a fuel, it poses a big danger. Since nuclear fission plants create radioactive wastes, it poses a target for terrorists. They can blow up a nuclear fission plant. Not only will that cause blackouts, but it will also release tons of radioactive wastes to the atmosphere. Also, the spread of nuclear technology are crucial to the development of nuclear weapons. If a country have the potential to mine uranium, they have the ability to create nuclear weapons. You all heard about the iran story right? If not, this is a new article published today:

International pressure on Iran will affect oil market - Venezuela

http://www.forbes.co...afx2230152.html

Edited by legendsofaranna, 23 September 2005 - 02:13 PM.


#15 dictatormax84

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 10:37 AM

WAVE POWER
http://www.greenpeac...FTOKEN=25453835
credit: greenpeace.


snippets from the link:

The World Energy Council has estimated that the world's waves contain two terrawatts of energy, that's 2,000,000,000,000 watts or roughly the equivalent to the energy from 2000 large oil, gas, coal or nuclear power stations. While not all of this energy can be harnessed, it is clear that there is a massive clean energy resource in our oceans and crashing onto our shores every day. The International Energy Agency, usually a conservative voice on renewable energy, predicts that wave energy may eventually provide 10 per cent of the whole world's needs.


few people know of this power surprisingly(thou founded some long time ago.)... if in doubt of its devastating force please be reminded of <Tsunamis>. :bash:

SOLAR ENERGY
http://www.greenpeac...ution/solar.cfm
credit: greenpeace
extracts: Solar generated power could provide 10,000 times more energy than the world currently uses.

think of the inhibited land in the world and vast plains in the world covered with "solar plains"... outstanding. Let's just wait for this technology to be widely adopt/matured into one where the cost of producing solar panels will be relatively cheap. :wub:

OIL

not forgetting that oil reserves could be found every now and then. as well as the maturity of technology to gather oil in low oil yield region effectively and cheaply. (for those who don't know, some oil were discovered but due to higher cost of obtaining the amount of oil than the sale of oil, these oil fields/spots are abandoned e.g. caspian reserves)

present oil field/spots :

Russia has as much as 67 billion barrels of untapped oil reserves along the pipeline route(referring to Trans-Siberian Railway ).

source: New York Times <Disputes at Every Turn of Siberia Pipeline By JAMES BROOKE Published: January 21, 2005>
referring to alaska oilfield(largest onshore oil reserve to USA)

Oil potential: Up to 16 billion barrels

http://news.bbc.co.u...cas/4355871.stm
credit: BBC

<a href='
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/16/politics/main680450.shtml' target='_blank'>http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/16/...ain680450.shtml</a>
credit:CBS
thou cbs states:

likely — though not yet certain — 10.4 billion barrels of crude in the refuge.

but it states: The first lease sales would not be issued until 2007, followed by development seven to 10 years later, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said.

<a href='
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/15/opinion/main680225.shtml' target='_blank'>http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/15/...ain680225.shtml</a>
credit:CBS
one part of this report stands out:
Which brings us to the demand side of the oil market. Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, head of international independent Mondoil Corporation, says that exclusive concentration on increasing supply is consuming nations' way of avoiding responsibility for adopting sensible polices to limit demand. "If the consumers don't like growing demand and prices to match, they can raise taxes on petroleum products, mandate conservation measures, loosen environmental standards, invest in alternatives, open up their own backyards to drilling, and draw down strategic and other reserves. Bitching about Arab sheiks and Venezuela's Chávez won't do it." :P

also note of the maturing of Deep offshore drilling. i believe this will also yield quite some "gigantic amount of oil" (3/4 of world covered in water !!!) :D

lest people forget: amazon forest contained a few oil reserves in the region.
http://www.climatear...sp?linkid=27653
Source: Copyright 2003, New York Times

If development in the jungle moves unhindered, the Ecuadorean Amazon could yield as much as 26 billion barrels in oil reserves



the following article supports Yajimari21's view:
http://news.bbc.co.u...ess/4077802.stm
credit:BBC
so output of oil will peak at our time.... :(

NUCLEAR POWER

how to dispose the harmful nuclear waste from nuclear plants is also worth looking into. :huh:
my suggestion: sent these waste in capsules into the deep space,preferring to sent it near the sun(cause unless a supermaterial is found, no space shuttler/lifeforms will be near it :thumbsup: .) this will reduce the deposition of waste in Yuca Mountains.
nuclear power is the way to go if oil really gone out. cause it is a proven high yield power(other than oil). :D
at the same time we had to be careful with it (remember Three mile island incident and chernobyl incident? :ph34r: ) so safety research is also important.

hope by the next 10 years is up, the world have found life to be easier... :D

psss: may be Hurricanes/tornadoes/typhoons could be tapped by then? :D (reducing their powers before reaching urban areas while tapping into their awesome davastating powers) :glare:

Edited by dictatormax84, 18 September 2005 - 10:42 AM.





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