Comments on: The Magic of the Words “Technically Recoverable” http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Tue, 19 Aug 2008 22:32:25 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Greenpa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4461 Greenpa Tue, 15 Apr 2008 22:50:47 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4461 Ceridwen- good for you. I've thought for quite some time that rationing is going to be inevitable. It'll be painful getting there- but it's really the only equitable possibility. Infuriating that people had to start dying (they are) before the topic could be raised. More will die before it gets instituted. Yes, it's time to bang that drum. Ceridwen- good for you. I’ve thought for quite some time that rationing is going to be inevitable. It’ll be painful getting there- but it’s really the only equitable possibility. Infuriating that people had to start dying (they are) before the topic could be raised. More will die before it gets instituted. Yes, it’s time to bang that drum.

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By: ceridwen http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4456 ceridwen Tue, 15 Apr 2008 20:33:25 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4456 PS; re car fuel rationing - I have just seen a very topical post on this on our Transition Towns website: http://transitionculture.org/ see the 15 April post on this. PS; re car fuel rationing - I have just seen a very topical post on this on our Transition Towns website:

http://transitionculture.org/

see the 15 April post on this.

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By: ceridwen http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4454 ceridwen Tue, 15 Apr 2008 20:14:42 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4454 I've been thinking further today re biofuels. I dont know how much the American media is reporting the way things are on this front. Here - in Britain - our quality media is making it quite clear that there is a stark choice between land for biofuel growing and land for food growing. There is NOT enough land in the world for both. So I'm now going to start "banging the drum" for petrol rationing. "Our greed is their need" is the slogan that comes to mind here - in that, when someone uses any biofuel in their cartank what they are doing is depriving someone else somewhere else in the world of food to go in their stomach. The choice is simple our fuel for cars OR their food in their stomachs. Put like that petrol rationing is the only game in town. I think a ration of 50 miles worth of fuel per household per week sounds like a fair start for an urban household (ie city or town dweller) and proportionately more for people living further away from urban centres and without good access to public transport. Its time ideas like "going for a ride" in cars or getting in cars to take a trip that would take 30 minutes or less to walk were consigned to the history books. Its selfish to use cars unless genuinely necessary. A basic 50 miles worth of use per household per week sounds like a good starting point to me. The rationing is necessary because many people are too selfish to do the right thing on their own bat. Now - how do we push for this against the vested interests of the car manufacturers and the more selfish members of our own Western societies? I’ve been thinking further today re biofuels. I dont know how much the American media is reporting the way things are on this front. Here - in Britain - our quality media is making it quite clear that there is a stark choice between land for biofuel growing and land for food growing. There is NOT enough land in the world for both.

So I’m now going to start “banging the drum” for petrol rationing. “Our greed is their need” is the slogan that comes to mind here - in that, when someone uses any biofuel in their cartank what they are doing is depriving someone else somewhere else in the world of food to go in their stomach. The choice is simple our fuel for cars OR their food in their stomachs. Put like that petrol rationing is the only game in town.

I think a ration of 50 miles worth of fuel per household per week sounds like a fair start for an urban household (ie city or town dweller) and proportionately more for people living further away from urban centres and without good access to public transport. Its time ideas like “going for a ride” in cars or getting in cars to take a trip that would take 30 minutes or less to walk were consigned to the history books. Its selfish to use cars unless genuinely necessary. A basic 50 miles worth of use per household per week sounds like a good starting point to me.
The rationing is necessary because many people are too selfish to do the right thing on their own bat.

Now - how do we push for this against the vested interests of the car manufacturers and the more selfish members of our own Western societies?

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By: Greenpa http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4443 Greenpa Tue, 15 Apr 2008 15:14:47 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4443 Sharon- I HATE to be glum... (roars of laughter all around) - but about "peak coal" - your numbers and info are fine; but you left out a whole continent. Antarctica. There IS coal there, that I know. Certainly copper- gold, silver- all of it "technically recoverable", and with melting, easier. There are a lot of parts that are free of ice, actually. The current "hands off" treaty comes up for review in 2011. Will things be worse by then? Yup. Will all the nations agree to keep hands off? Nope. Is this a huge can of worms? Yup. Another one; just what we needed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Treaty Sharon- I HATE to be glum… (roars of laughter all around) - but about “peak coal” - your numbers and info are fine; but you left out a whole continent. Antarctica. There IS coal there, that I know. Certainly copper- gold, silver- all of it “technically recoverable”, and with melting, easier. There are a lot of parts that are free of ice, actually. The current “hands off” treaty comes up for review in 2011. Will things be worse by then? Yup. Will all the nations agree to keep hands off? Nope. Is this a huge can of worms? Yup. Another one; just what we needed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Treaty

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By: Idaho Locavore http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4442 Idaho Locavore Tue, 15 Apr 2008 14:33:38 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4442 Here is something I found while looking around for wheat info this morning. <a href="http://tinyurl.com/5ftvrl" rel="nofollow">World Wheat Supply and Demand Situation, US Wheat Associates, April 2008</a> Good news is, looks like they are projecting a 14% increase in supply from this year's US wheat crop. Bad news is, that doesn't cover projected losses from Canada, Australia and Argentina this year. It also doesn't cover projected increases in worldwide demand for the year. Stocks are expected to decline by 13 million metric tons this year, probably because of this discrepancy. Looks to me like it's a good idea to keep the whole wheat and flour buckets as full as possible throughout this year. Here is something I found while looking around for wheat info this morning.

World Wheat Supply and Demand Situation, US Wheat Associates, April 2008

Good news is, looks like they are projecting a 14% increase in supply from this year’s US wheat crop. Bad news is, that doesn’t cover projected losses from Canada, Australia and Argentina this year. It also doesn’t cover projected increases in worldwide demand for the year. Stocks are expected to decline by 13 million metric tons this year, probably because of this discrepancy.

Looks to me like it’s a good idea to keep the whole wheat and flour buckets as full as possible throughout this year.

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By: Sharon http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4440 Sharon Tue, 15 Apr 2008 12:21:13 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4440 Lots of things to address here - Roger, it is true that we had grain reserves before - but not 30% of the annual crop - the projected amount of the US grain crops to be used in ethanol. So yes, it is ethanol driving the price of food up at the root. There are certainly other factors - climate change, export limits, etc... but biofuels are the thing that has pushed a low level concern into crisis mode. You might look at Stuart Staniford's essay "Fermenting the Food Supply" over at www.theoildrum.com. Elizabeth - Actually, coal reserves may well be as dramatically overstated as oil - two major reports on coal came out last fall that suggested the US was already past its coal peak and that world supply might peak in the 2020s, actually. Hydrogen is just a way of storing energy - it isn't energy itself. So creating hydrogen requires some kind of energy - most of it fossil fueled at the moment - it doesn't actually save us any energy. The Brazilian ethanol model is fascinating, but also comes with some fairly high costs in both food security and rainforest destruction. Moreover, most of the US can't grow sugarcane at all - only the very southern portion - and even then, we would be using land used to grow food for fuel. It adds up. Sharon Lots of things to address here - Roger, it is true that we had grain reserves before - but not 30% of the annual crop - the projected amount of the US grain crops to be used in ethanol. So yes, it is ethanol driving the price of food up at the root. There are certainly other factors - climate change, export limits, etc… but biofuels are the thing that has pushed a low level concern into crisis mode. You might look at Stuart Staniford’s essay “Fermenting the Food Supply” over at http://www.theoildrum.com.

Elizabeth - Actually, coal reserves may well be as dramatically overstated as oil - two major reports on coal came out last fall that suggested the US was already past its coal peak and that world supply might peak in the 2020s, actually.

Hydrogen is just a way of storing energy - it isn’t energy itself. So creating hydrogen requires some kind of energy - most of it fossil fueled at the moment - it doesn’t actually save us any energy.

The Brazilian ethanol model is fascinating, but also comes with some fairly high costs in both food security and rainforest destruction. Moreover, most of the US can’t grow sugarcane at all - only the very southern portion - and even then, we would be using land used to grow food for fuel. It adds up.

Sharon

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By: Elizabeth http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4439 Elizabeth Tue, 15 Apr 2008 09:57:29 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4439 Hmmm...not sure we have the food in stores that Roger thinks we might. What I have heard is the recent flooding in the midwest (arkansas, missouri) have wiped out that wheat crop and much (if not all) of the remaining wheat crop has been sold overseas... GM food is not edible -- or if it is it does not taste good and who know what it does to humans if it is in fact destroying the bees... Shale oil -- has always been there -- it has always (always is since I have been in high school or college) been available at some price -- probably not at $3.50 a gallon regular, but I don't know at what price. We have 200 plus years of coal supply -- yes it burns much cleaner now thanks to scrubbers and other technology and we have the knowledge to convert it to gasoline, too. I am amazed that I cannot find solar panels, etc. for my home that would be a perfect candidate for solar power in TN. Still working on this one... Hydrogen -- what am I missing on this one -- we have the technology, Honda, GM, others have the vehicles...what is wrong with hydrogen? Ethanol -- the US is doing it all wrong. Using corn to covert to ethanol requires a huge amount of oil based energy. What Brazil has done so successfully is use cane to convert to ethanol. All the US has done is paid more to greedy corporate farmers, damaged severely the bees and reduced the amount of food for those of us in the US and the world. Personally...we should stop growing corn for fuel and use our food for trading for fuel while we quickly become self - sufficient -- if not for my sake then for my kids... I am very scared for my kids and what the future holds for them... Hmmm…not sure we have the food in stores that Roger thinks we might. What I have heard is the recent flooding in the midwest (arkansas, missouri) have wiped out that wheat crop and much (if not all) of the remaining wheat crop has been sold overseas…

GM food is not edible — or if it is it does not taste good and who know what it does to humans if it is in fact destroying the bees…

Shale oil — has always been there — it has always (always is since I have been in high school or college) been available at some price — probably not at $3.50 a gallon regular, but I don’t know at what price.

We have 200 plus years of coal supply — yes it burns much cleaner now thanks to scrubbers and other technology and we have the knowledge to convert it to gasoline, too.

I am amazed that I cannot find solar panels, etc. for my home that would be a perfect candidate for solar power in TN. Still working on this one…

Hydrogen — what am I missing on this one — we have the technology, Honda, GM, others have the vehicles…what is wrong with hydrogen?

Ethanol — the US is doing it all wrong. Using corn to covert to ethanol requires a huge amount of oil based energy. What Brazil has done so successfully is use cane to convert to ethanol. All the US has done is paid more to greedy corporate farmers, damaged severely the bees and reduced the amount of food for those of us in the US and the world.

Personally…we should stop growing corn for fuel and use our food for trading for fuel while we quickly become self - sufficient — if not for my sake then for my kids…

I am very scared for my kids and what the future holds for them…

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By: Alan http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4438 Alan Tue, 15 Apr 2008 06:08:06 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4438 It is notable (although almost never noted by "journalists") that press releases about the amount of "technically recoverable" oil in some difficult form or remote location never refer to the cost of the "recovered" oil. We can be certain that if the projected cost of this oil were lower than the current price of oil, then this fact would be trumpeted. Since it's not mentioned, we can be quite sure that the cost will be higher -- probably much higher. A similar case is that of the "oil shale" underlying wide swaths of the Intermountain West. In the mid to late 1970s, when oil was $25 a barrel, then oil from oil shale could be recovered, they said, when oil reached $30 a barrel. When oil reached $30, then they said shale oil would be economically feasible when oil reached $35 or $40. Then the Feds dropped the subsidies which were paying for the pilot projects and the bottom dropped out of oil prices. The whole "oil shale industry" faded away in a year or two. A cynic remarked that "Oil shale is energy source of the future and it always will be." It is notable (although almost never noted by “journalists”) that press releases about the amount of “technically recoverable” oil in some difficult form or remote location never refer to the cost of the “recovered” oil. We can be certain that if the projected cost of this oil were lower than the current price of oil, then this fact would be trumpeted. Since it’s not mentioned, we can be quite sure that the cost will be higher — probably much higher.

A similar case is that of the “oil shale” underlying wide swaths of the Intermountain West. In the mid to late 1970s, when oil was $25 a barrel, then oil from oil shale could be recovered, they said, when oil reached $30 a barrel. When oil reached $30, then they said shale oil would be economically feasible when oil reached $35 or $40. Then the Feds dropped the subsidies which were paying for the pilot projects and the bottom dropped out of oil prices. The whole “oil shale industry” faded away in a year or two.

A cynic remarked that “Oil shale is energy source of the future and it always will be.”

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By: Roger http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4437 Roger Mon, 14 Apr 2008 22:15:47 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4437 Since we in the US have been paying massive bucks to store excess corn, cheese, well, most stuff, this really isn't a particularly valid point. Ye, people are starving, yes, food prices are zoomong up there, and yes, burning food for fuel is a stupid waste, but as Greenpa# says it aint a matter of how much but how mean.(Paraphrasing here).In other words, there is PLENTY of food, but it isn't going anywhere if there isn't profit in it. Roger Since we in the US have been paying massive bucks to store excess corn, cheese, well, most stuff, this really isn’t a particularly valid point. Ye, people are starving, yes, food prices are zoomong up there, and yes, burning food for fuel is a stupid waste, but as Greenpa# says it aint a matter of how much but how mean.(Paraphrasing here).In other words, there is PLENTY of food, but it isn’t going anywhere if there isn’t profit in it.
Roger

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By: ceridwen http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4436 ceridwen Mon, 14 Apr 2008 21:16:40 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2008/04/14/yay-peak-oil-is-over-or-the-magic-of-the-words-technically-recoverable/#comment-4436 Hi Having recently found your blog - I'm wondering if you have covered the subject of land for biofuel v. land for growing food. That is - that land is being diverted from growing food into growing biofuel - as I understand it this being basically to put fuel in peoples petrol tanks in the developed countries at the expense of food going in the stomachs of people elsewhere. Hence - food riots are coming about indirectly because Peak Oil is right here, right now. I think this is a subject that urgently needs discussion everywhere - as I am guessing the majority of car owners are going to need a LOT of convincing that other peoples right to food comes before their "right" to fuel in their cars. Hi

Having recently found your blog - I’m wondering if you have covered the subject of land for biofuel v. land for growing food. That is - that land is being diverted from growing food into growing biofuel - as I understand it this being basically to put fuel in peoples petrol tanks in the developed countries at the expense of food going in the stomachs of people elsewhere. Hence - food riots are coming about indirectly because Peak Oil is right here, right now.

I think this is a subject that urgently needs discussion everywhere - as I am guessing the majority of car owners are going to need a LOT of convincing that other peoples right to food comes before their “right” to fuel in their cars.

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