I know I blindsided some people with the whole oil situation, so I thought it might be fair to share this, which is a good overview of the fundamentals. Just ignore the subtitles.  I’ll have the next thing before too long.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Up to Speed

  1. “The bad news is that people are swiftly being herded into a number of alternatives. We have the Hellworlds of ‘war that won’t end in our lifetimes’ , ‘ peak oil’ , ‘clash of civilizations’ , ‘climate collapse’ or ‘the new world order’. People wander into these headspaces because for whatever reason they feel like this stuff represents some unavoidable modification to the game rules they’ve already laid out. Is it your secret desire to run free across the decimated wasteland of a collapsed western world? Maybe if your name is Ran Prieur. But chances are the only reason you’re there is because you convinced yourself that the carrot at the end of the stick just got yanked into the bowels of post apocalyptic nightmare and you can’t help but follow it. Until you see what’s leading you into these places you’ll never be free of them.” — Alchemy for the Braindamanged XV: Hellworlds and Hyperworlds

    So would you say that your thinking has changed since then?

  2. there’s a difference between a perceptual tunnel and a best-fit interpretation of facts.

    it’s a fine line to walk between playing with reality tunnels in a magickal way and getting owned by them. I’ve spent a long long time now holding this as an open question, and I’m feeling like it’s time to incorporate it as an unfolding reality instead of trying to wish it away.

    the difference may be lost on some people, but I couldn’t care less.

  3. If only poor people will starve then there is no problem, except if you’re worldcentric or something, as long as we have food for the “tribe” then I don’t see a problem.

  4. “there’s a difference between a perceptual tunnel and a best-fit interpretation of facts.

    it’s a fine line to walk between playing with reality tunnels in a magickal way and getting owned by them. I’ve spent a long long time now holding this as an open question, and I’m feeling like it’s time to incorporate it as an unfolding reality instead of trying to wish it away.

    the difference may be lost on some people, but I couldn’t care less.”

    But, like, all reality tunnels are, like, equal and stuff! That’s why, like, we call them “tunnels!” Just, like, change your perceptions, dude! You ca

    For those who don’t know, that’s me holding the broken sheild of sarcasm over my bank account after the latest series of grocery bills. Serious comments to follow.

  5. I think I came out a bit harsh in my last comment and I’d like to elaborate, what I mean is that all I see here is change not a problem, we are shifting away from oil to other energy sources with a big energy “crises” in the middle of it, as long as we have enough food and shelter there isn’t really a problem, just a degeneration of non-essentials, the only problem is that death will be concentrated on the poor, but they’ve been dying for god knows how long and I wont try to fake any compassion for that, even if I vaguely realize the suffering it will cause.

    Am I missing something?

  6. I guess it depends on how many people your region can support on it’s existing agricultural base.

    what’s interesting, actually, is that there are a lot of poor regions where the energy inputs are small-to-nonexistent, so they wouldn’t necessarily be affected directly in that way except to damage their ability to export what little they might have. whereas there are a great number of western cities which will become utterly non-viable if the energy equation changes too much.

  7. Maybe if these poorer areas are left alone, it will be a good thing for them. If the poorer regions are no longer managed/pillaged by the richer nations, and the richer nations are brought down lower by the oil crisis, the poorer ones might have a chance to catch up a little (or at least even things out).

    Assuming they don’t all die, that is. But like you said recently, poor living conditions = high birth rates…

  8. “I guess it depends on how many people your region can support on it’s existing agricultural base. ” – bingo, that’s what I was looking for, now I can evaluate my region since I’m aware of this

    So we have food production NOW, but if I understand you and peak oil correctly wont that food production drop by approximately 70%? So to see if my region has a problem I need to see how many people it supports on current food production and then decrease the food production by 70% and see how many people that supports, right?

  9. not exactly. even regions that technically should have zero people ( like las vegas, or parts of southern california ) can carry a population with irrigation, fertilizer and mass imports.

    a simpler way is to assess what the place would look like if you took away the electricity, the irrigation, the motor vehicles and the air conditioning. that’ll give you a continuum to estimate how bad it might get. there are regions that would simply disappear if you stopped pumping in water, so looking at what they might produce now is sort of deceptive.

  10. I, admittedly, am not particularly well-versed in the numbers all this peak oil business, but I do have a nagging concern that perhaps somebody with better background into this subject can clear up. It seems that the predictions for a post-peak downslope of energy production is based off observed downslopes for post-peak regions, such as the United States. In the 70s, this makes sense, as demand is able to continue rising with the input of foreign sources of oil, while the curve for domestic (U.S.) production goes sharply downhill.

    But, if WORLD production has now peaked, then demand cannot continue to rise. If demand does not rise, then wouldn’t we have more of a plateau in post-peak production than a sharp decline?

    Like I said, I don’t know a whole lot about this, so I might be missing something very obvious, but I’m curious if anyone has an answer for me.

  11. you’re right, wulf, but in the aggregate world peak, there are still regions that are net exporters, and they will continue to increase their demand by upping the fraction of their own production that gets used domestically, which bites into the exports that everyone else has to use. which basically means that a few places will still be increasing demand long after the rest of us have started undergoing major demand destruction. if you google something called the export land model it’ll explain it better.

    also we have more or less been living in the plateau since about 2005, and production has been more or less flat. we’ve been eating into reserves and curtailing demand for awhile now. but when too many of these fields go into a major decline phase, there will be no way to maintain a flat production level, and that’s probably exactly what has started happening in the last few months. we won’t know for sure until the numbers come out.

  12. That makes sense, but wouldn’t the net exporters just be hurting themselves by using increasing levels of production domestically, as their economies tend to be held afloat by the exports? Maybe I’ll have to take a good look at the numbers, but when I see all this stuff, I tend to envision things scaling down, with people forced to ride bikes, mopeds, etc. The “new stone age” idea seems a bit farfetched, but again, I’ll have to get a better sense of the numbers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s