"Peak Oil" ABC TV Four Corners 8.30 pm Monday 10 July

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by ecodharmamark, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. Mungbeans

    Mungbeans Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    After the show I was discussing how the rising cost of fuel would impact on us and our immediate family.

    Hubby travels to the CBD in crowded, slow trains every day. As more people leave their cars at home and use public transport the trains will only get more crowded and slower. Solution: work locally.

    Rising fuel prices will mean food will become more expensive, both for growing and transporting to market. Solution: grow as much of own food as possible. This will be difficult, if not impossible, for most urbanites. Even if we were to get rid of our dog (a member of the family) and plant out our tiny backyard, we still wouldn't be able to grow enough food to make a sizable dent in our needs. Most urbanites would be in the same boat as us. People living in flats might be able to grow chives and maybe some tomatoes on their balconies - hardly self-sustaining.

    I'm not very good at economics but rising fuel prices would eventually lead to negative growth. Most people have huge mortages and debt burdens. If the economy goes into recession then the number of bankrupcies will skyrocket. Many people will lose their jobs and homes. Solution? No idea.

    Are there any economists out there who have any idea how to make a negative growth economy work?
     
  2. Cornonthecob

    Cornonthecob Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Turn all the communtiy parks into community farms. One way of bringing communities together.

    I started to look into setting one up last year where I was living...unfortunately 'politics' would have made it a nightmare for all.

    Still it can be done.

    :)
     
  3. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why is everyone worried So Much?

    We The select few who Know what Is/will happen have the TIME NOW to sort our lives out..


    We know what to Do,We know when to Do It.We know how to do it..

    Im afraid Sitting here worrying Aint going to solve our/your problems

    If were not ready we can only blame one Person.............Us,Me,You

    Next time your watching TV and seing those poor refugees,walking miles carrying anything they can.....Just remember ..It could be Me or YOU next time..

    As I been telling my kids since they were old enough to understand

    "Dont Be A Sheep Be a Sheapard"

    Who gonna let Run Your Flock? GW or YOU
    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


    Tezza
     
  4. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry Corny I dont think Community farms will help much......

    The SYSTEM is #$%^&@...If we DONT change the system Soon,It wont make a difference....Take Global change, Take wars.Take Bird Flu,Take Dupont.

    Too many variables to just worry bout OIL only........

    Time for me to get back into my garden....

    I know i may come across as Negative to Some.

    But Im Positive Im just not going to wither away and Die and Let The system
    win............

    I gunna make sure Uncle BILLS system looks after my family.....Be cause sure as pigs shit.....No one else is going to look after me..

    Time to take responcibility for ones self...

    Im not risking my life relying on a 4 eyed W$%@&% in Canberra to feed me and cloth me.......

    Tezza 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
     
  5. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,405
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ok, sorry that I didn't use the quotation function to make it more clear. Basically, that guys transcript starts after it says, Transcript, and continues for the rest of the post.

    I don't know, you guys. His point is that after oil runs out, there are a lot other kinds of fossil fuels, and that it basically is up to our imagination and ingenuity to come up with emmissions free technology to extract and use that fuel.

    Given that we have only begun to recognise the problems of global warming relatively recently, and that we are actually getting better all the time at developing technology, I have to think that he might have a point.

    Which is not to say that we don't have a problem, but that the solution to the problem might not be to avoid using to fossil fuels, but to use them more wisely.

    Jez's arguments about using finite resources is very valid, but it is all relative. THe sun is a finite resource too, brah.

    Hell, I don't know... I'm not an economist, but while things might get shaken up a bit, at the end of the day, the way that we measure our wealth is so abitrary that we really would have to be incredibly stupid as a species to go into one hell of a mortality spiral just because our old ways of refining oil don't work with the kind of oil we have to work with. I hate people as much as the next guy, :shock: , but I don't think we are that stupid. We're pretty smart really.

    I'll read the Weather Makers one of these days. I can tell you now though that I think Flannery is a bit of a mug for considering nuclear power as an alternative to global warming. Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire!
     
  6. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    G'day Heuristics,

    Indeed mate. The three most relevant things I think we can take out the Great Depression - apart from what you've mentioned about the time frame - is that:

    a) No economists predicted the Great Depression (GD) could or was going to happen - none. So there is certainly a historical precedent for silly automatons in suits trying to convince the rest of us these things are impossible and that the current paradigms of the day can and will last largely unchanged forever.

    b) What dragged the world out the depression era was massive global government expenditure on WWII, and for the Western world, the overwhelming facilitator of that growth was the massive US reserves of oil which have peaked and declined drastically since then...to the point where the US is now the world's biggest net importer of oil. During the years immediately prior to WWII - the supposedly 'post depression' years - economic growth was totally stagnant...things were not getting better. In short, oil was the cheap, abundant energy source which allowed the world to spend its way out of the GD - via a massive world war fought on borrowed paper money.

    c) Huge amounts of evidence gleaned through oral histories from around the Western world during the GD era, tell us that most 'common people' got the majority of their food from the backyard vegie patch/animals and from 'wild food' sources (berries, wild vegetables and fruits, game, fish and the like). With a massive reduction in the availability of these wild food sources due to land clearing and general population growth, AND the virtual death of the once standard 1/4 acre block in suburbia - not to mention a massive loss of the necessary skills required to access most of these resources - it'll be impossible for all but a very few to avail themselves of the resources which kept so many people fed during the GD.

    Three pretty sobering points to take out of the GD era IMO.


    G'day Richard,

    I can't stress enough Richard, the problem isn't about running out of fossil fuels - it doesn't matter what technology we come up with, the sticking point is that it all adds up to dramatically higher energy costs forever which will have an increasingly negative impact on the global economy (Unless of course we happen to master large scale perpetual motion! :D) The Great Depression was a tiny blip on the radar compared to the economic consequences of the negative growth levels which would eventuate from ever increasing energy costs.

    I thought about this a little more today with the benefit of a non-sleepy mind, and if you want the simplest refutation of Jaccard's theories, ask yourself mate...if the US has enormous amounts of coal in the ground (Pennsylvania alone has more coal than the globe uses) and is conversely also an enormous importer of oil to the point where they are running up trillions of dollars in debt they can never ever hope to pay off, why aren't they using those massive amounts of coal (or even researching its potential to any significant degree) instead of digging themselves deeper into bankruptcy?

    ------------------
    *Sidenote: the US has been technically bankrupt since the early 70's when they defaulted on their international debts to be paid in gold and instead effectively switched to the oil standard backed by OPEC - essentially the whole reason OPEC exists. I only add this because as most know...when the US (economy) sneezes the world catches a cold...their economy is beyond fragile and teetering further with the prospect of massively higher energy costs.
    -------------------

    Furthermore, why is the US piddling around on energy negative flights of fancy like ethanol/biofuels, hydrogen, nuclear and tar sands when they have such massive coal resources? The answer is that coal liquification or similar solutions are even less viable than other non-worthwhile options and come with even more problems.

    Finally, another classic example of the fanciful thinking (I won't call it deliberate deception though I suspect it is given the coincidence of his country of birth) in Jaccard's article is his '1000 years of coal at current usage levels' quip. Sounds comforting at face value, but how many of the world's ever increasing amount of automobiles, trucks, aircraft, plastics, fertilisers etc are currently reliant on coal for their production/usage? None...therefore we are currently only drawing on a minute fraction of what we would actually need to draw on for coal to replace or even just compliment oil usage. And when was the last time resource use and population growth stayed the same for 1 year...let alone 1000? What happens when coal reliant electricity generation (currently extremely cheap as coal is largely unwanted for anything else) which is so prevalent, will be subsequently priced according to its new demand/extraction/refining cost when it is the dominant source of energy for so many other things. Hello electricity bill from hell, hello massive increase in operating costs for the majority of businesses accompanied by massive price hikes.

    Unfortunately, there's no comfort to be found when you genuinely scratch the surface of face value, highly qualified and selected statements like Jaccard's above about our global coal resources.

    LOL...can't deny that mate, but we're not going to have to worry about that one for a very long time. :lol:
     
  7. Melissa

    Melissa Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Catalyst

    Catalyst on the ABC aired
    Real Oil Crisis

    on 24.11.05. A good program also.


    Reporter: Jonica Newby
    Producer: Greg Swanborough
    Researcher: Leonie Hansell

    Transcript
    Related Info
    24 November 2005
    What would happen if the world were to start running out of oil? Conventional wisdom says we’ve got 30 years, but there’s a growing fear amongst petroleum experts it’s happening much sooner than we thought – that we are hitting the beginning of the end of oil now. So how soon will the oil run out, and can we stop our economy collapsing when it does? How prepared are we for the real oil crisis?
     
  8. Richard on Maui

    Richard on Maui Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,405
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, I guess my point Jez, is that cost is relative. HOw we measure our wealth is such an arbitrary ridiculous thing. For sure, the end of crude oil is going to bring about change in the way we do things. If we embraced Amory Lovins "Natural Capital" ideas and truly valued that sandy oil or deep sea natural gas or whatever it is that will be left when the crude is gone, then we would make solar panels out of it, and not run around in passenger vehicles etc.
    You are right, of course, the end of "cheap" oil will force us to rethink our attitude to energy, but I don't think it is going to bring about the end of civilisation. I think that it will help us as a species to grow up a whole lot.
    Oh, and you are right. The sun will probably come up tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that... :D
     
  9. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Unfortunately mate, cost can't be separated from the economic system we've built. I agree, it is arbitrary and ridiculous, but there's only a tiny portion of people in the Western world who can escape from it.

    Lovins has some worthwhile ideas about conserving energy and truly valuing natural capital, but IMO (and that of quite a few others) he fails to truly factor in the economic consequences of doing so, fails to account for the necessary associated infrastructure shift in terms of both timeframe and expenditure, and perhaps most importantly, fails to account for the fact that the world turns purely on short term profit at a corporate level and short term 'painless' fixes at both corporate and governmental levels.

    He's also another analyst who has a lot of fanciful theories about alternative fuels which sound impressive at face value, but don't stand up to the scrutiny of his peers...and he's become a lot quieter and more circumspect lately because of it.

    There aren't many Peak Oil analysts out there who do think civilisation will come to an end (I certainly don't take that view), far more think that after a painful (possibly very painful) initial period we will be forced to restructure our societies along very different lines, and that the world will be a better place for having done so.

    But as we stand on the verge of this initial painful period (just one of numerous incidents could tip the price of oil well over $100 a barrel or much higher because global supply is stretched to the limit already), it's highly important IMO for as many people as possible to both understand the consequences of what can and will happen, and how best they can insulate themselves from that economic harm.
     
  10. jackie

    jackie Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    peak oil

    Nice to see this topic being aired on the permie forum. I was first introduced to it at David Holmgreins opening talk for the Permaculture Convergence in Melbourne Last year. It's a life changing relelation, tp begin to comprehend the end of the "oil age" so to speak. Unlike the stone age, iron age, bronze age etc, we don't have something 'better' to move onto and with the size of the world population it's quite scary.

    My journey so far has led me to *
    https://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.com a great starting point and good regular source of relevant world news.
    * book "the long emergency" great all round sum up of the topic
    * a trip to tassie with the idea of moving. Living on 20 acres walking distance to a town of 20-30000 may sound a good start but when there are 3 million melbournians an hours drive or 6 hour run from my furtile little part of the world it scares me.


    I hope people can begin to look beyond the obvious cost of fuel. Nearly every thing we buy is packaged in oil (plastic) , has traveled by oil, been farmed and fertilised by oil and global trade is cheap based on oil. Oil has artificially keep prices and the value of things low, it is like many many man hours a litre and when a little of petrol is $1.50how can may hours compare. When we are faced with the true man hours cost of things life will be very different and that's just the start.

    We have lost our rail networks, the most efficient method of transporting large quantities of goods and people, so my husband says. We can import vegetables cheaper than we can grow them in our own town. ,...

    Any way another great article on relocation can be found on 'adaptiion' a web site mag by Paula Hay. It's also in the preparedness section of life after the oil crash. I'm interested in talking to people about preparing and relocation in australia may create a separate posting.

    Knowlege is power be empowered by it rather than feeling it's all to big.

    I read that there are 3 common reactions to Peak Oil Awareness
    1) DENIAL technology and market forces will prevail.
    2) DEPRESSION it's all too big and uncontrolable
    3) ACTION, PREPAREDNESS, TELLING OTHERS(this last bit is tricky) as the ones you most care about and want to be acting on this may exhibit reaction 1 or 2.)

    I figure being a Permie gives us the advantage of having the mindset and beginnings of ideas for self and community preparedness. Good luck.
     
  11. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)



    Tezza
     
  12. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi Jez, have been enjoying your posts and agree with what you say.

    I am loathed to be a pedant, but I cant help myself with regard to your comment:
    Last year I read John Kenneth Galbraith The Great Crash 1929.

    My thinking was that those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.... so while each period is unique, there are also a lot of patterns in events....
    My thinking was: If I knew it was 1927/8 what would/could I do??
    Ok it was 2005 - the crash may come 2006 or 2010, but it seemed/seems very certain the crash will come... so what can I do?

    I highly recommend Galbraith's book and reading your posts I think you'd enjoy it. I never expected to be laughing out loud reading a book by an economist - but his guy missed his calling - he's 50 years ahead of say, Seinfield... a real comedian, but a historian and a teacher too... brilliant.

    I'll get to my point now: Galbraith points out there WERE many MANY economists and sober commentators in 27-28-29 who were flabaggasted with the way the stockmarket was behaving, and were counselling caution and doom and gloom - of course they were RIDICULED by those who were cleaning up big time from the booming market - and after the crash no-one wanted to hear "Ï told you so", so the words of caution have been overlooked from history.

    Just like now - there are many many websites and other publications and analysts who are alarmed - make that - UBER ALARMED - at the state of the global economy, esp the US deficit. But they are being mostly ingored and riciduled by those that are benefitting from the way things are, or who don't want to scare the great unwashed dumbed-down joe public... cause if people knew how precarious the system is right now, they'd want to get off the carousel, and that'd bring the whole fairground to a standstill even sooner ...

    IMO the www is one thing we have ahead of people of 1928. Now, we can link up globally with people of same thinking and share concerns... whereas in 27/8 the mass media had a greater grip on public thinking..... people weren't as aware of the media's ability to manipulate, and weren't as cynical of the self-interest of the media owners and other elites....

    but that could take us off onto a whole other debate....
     
  13. RobWindt

    RobWindt Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good points Heu, just noticed a chart over at https://urbansurvival.com/week.htm which shows that "program trading" (automated computer trading of shares) has reached 92% of share trade volume on the New York stock exchange, when this goes down it will go down fast.
    Rob
     
  14. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My favourite quote from Galbraith, pg 97 Penguin edition:

    .......Moreover, by 1929 numerous journalists were sternly resisting the more subtle blandishments and flattery to which they have been thought susceptible. Instead they were demanding cold cash for news favourable to the market. A financial columnist of the Daily News, who signed himself The Trader received some $19,000 in 1929 and early 1930 from a free-lance operator named John J Levenson. The Trader repeatedly spoke well of stocks in which Mr Levenson was interested. Mr Levenson later insisted that this was a coincidence, and the payment reflected his more or less habitual generosity. ...........

    There's plenty more in that style - as I say, I found a sardonic chuckle on almost every page!
     
  15. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Heuristics - I'm suprised to hear that as not only did I learn that in History at University, I've also read the same statement I made many times since with regard to the GD by some highly acknowledged authors and historians.

    By coincidence, I still have the overview text from that specific lecture and I just looked at it again to confirm I didn't just remember it wrong...and there it is large as life - the same statement. :lol:

    I caused a couple of relatively minor things in the core lecture notes for Indigenous Studies and History to be re-written when I was an undergraduate...I'll have to give them a blast from the past and email them a new one! They really love getting things wrong and having them pointed out by us lesser mortals. :lol:

    Nah, they usually take it very well...with the life of a full-time academic these days, these sort of amendments help prevent them zoning out by midday from sleep deprivation. :D

    Very interesting to see such an important fact overlooked and then repeated so many times...not uncommon though I guess for all the reasons you suggest.

    Thanks again mate - better to be pedantic (not that I think you were) than factually incorrect I say. 8)
     
  16. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Jez,

    ... in the same vein, and if you REALLY want to review and correct “popular” history, another great MYTH about the GD was the number of suicides, especially if stockbrokers leaping form the windows of their tall buildings.

    Galbraith dissects the suicide rates for the period pre and post 29 and finds nothing particularly different from the standard “usual” annual number of suicides.

    There were one or two extremely high profile suicides and it seems, over the decades, this had exaggerated to the point where the streets were littered with corpses and you had to duck and weave to miss the falling bodies ....
    Elsewhere I read that another contributing factor to this mythology was that many of the tall buildings were built during the years of excess, so in the minds of people later suffering the GD, the excesses of the stockmarket, and the excessive tall buildings, were one and the same. In the way of a morality play, it was only natural that the people “responsible” for the GD – the stockbrokers - should die by jumping out of their buildings.
     
  17. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Cheers Heuristics, yep, I was aware that was well and truly overblown in popular memory...to the point where I saw an ad on TV the other day and the stockbrokers all jumped from the window when the market crashed...then flew back up to the windows in reverse and started cheering when it went back up. :lol:
     
  18. heuristics

    heuristics Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jez - just for fun, and cause I love Galbraith's phrasing so much - I've reproduced - (for education purposes only!) pages 97-98. These pars follow immediately on from the earlier extract::::


    A radio commentator named William J McMahon was the president of the McMahon Institute of Economic Research, and organisation that was mostly McMahon. He told in his broadcasts of the brilliant prospects of stocks which pool operators were seeking to boom. For this, it later developed, he received an honorarium of $250 a week from a certain David M Lion. Mr Lion was one of several whom the Pecora Committee reported as making a business of buying favourable comment in the necessary amount at the proper moment.

    At the other extreme was the best of the financial press. The established financial services like Poor's and that of the Standard Statistical Company never lost touch with reality. In the autumn Poor's Weekly Business and Investment Letter went so far as to speak of the 'great common stock delusion'.
    The editor of The Commercial and Financial Chronical was never quite shaken in his conviction that Wall Street had taken leave of its senses. The weekly reports on the broker's loans were regularly the occasion for a solemn warning; the news columns featured any available bad news.

    However the greatest force for sobriety was the New York Times. Under the guidance of the veteran Alexander Dana Noyes, its financial page was all but immune to the blandishments of the New Era. A regular reader could not doubt that a day of reckoning was expected. Also, on several occasions it reported, much too prematurely, that the day of reckoning had arrived.

    Indeed the temporary breaks in the market which preceded the crash were a serious trial for those who had declined fantasy. Early in 1928, in June, in December and in February and March of 1929 it seemed the end had come. On various of these occasions the Time happily reported the return to reality. And then the market took flight again. Only a durable sense of doom could survive such discouragement, The time was coming when the optimists would reap a rich harvest of discredit. But is has long since been forgotten that for many months those who resisted reassurance were similarly, if less permanently, discredited. To say that the Times, when the real crash came, reported the event with jubilation would be an exaggeration. Nevertheless, it covered it with an unmistakable absence of sorrow.
     
  19. RobWindt

    RobWindt Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    While we're quoting the classics...

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, followed by a dictatorship.

    The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."
    -- Alexander Fraser Tyler (later Lord Alexander Fraser Woodhouslee), in "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic", published - 1776
     
  20. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks again Heuristics, certainly a book I'll be looking up next wet season. Is it referenced at all (sources)? I meant to ask you that earlier but forgot.

    Classic indeed Rob...8)

    A couple of Voltaire's have been running around my head lately:

    The latter more aptly placed on the Howard thread perhaps... :lol:
     

Share This Page

-->