Will Solar Power And Electric Vehicles Diminish The Need For Local Food?

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by insipidtoast, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Does anyone know why rai is so expensive? - about $1200 for a seat from Perth to Adelaide and The car is about another $800 - for a family of four its cheaper to get chaffeur driven over east. if we want a sleeper cabin for four with meals and car it's about $8000 one way!
     
  2. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
  3. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rai? i ment rail, i think that with Australia's low population density long distance rail travel and transport is going to be killed by maintenance - unless we hit some sort of peak oil scenario where people just give up on the open road and take the low carbon option so the government could shift it's money to rail. - still doesn't justify a $16000 round trip.
     
  4. Farago

    Farago Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Years ago, showed through a model, an example, how a 100% inorganic binder which can be made locally can be made thin shelled with a light weight natural fibre to make a vehicle body that 1 adult could pick up (without the axles and wheels)....however any of the people in the industry (which will fall imo on its arse this coming year) that I met had seen my attitude as eccentric (at best) and my attitude to them as delusional and out of whack priority wise (no surprise). Always was seeing the same thing over and over in their concepts of a vehicle future...sports cars. They saw my attitude that fire trucks and ambulances might be of higher priority, along with tractors,mass transport of material and people as really strange.

    Peak oil is a reality, and I agree with David Jacke that climate change is a little too 'nicey nice'(his words) and its more climate weirding and some other stronger terms.
    The EROEI accounting which until I was introduced to permaculture,was something that isn't taken into account amongst the very clever idiots that think they can cheat natural laws and be separate from every other living creature which instinctively knows this accounting. Lion isn't going to chase a swallow to Europe...yet many humans think they can be this absurd.

    As I was trained in my apprenticeship in constructing various 'trompe' designs that have been used in my family for ages, mainly for the use of cleaning and oxygenating water storage cisterns, but the surplus was used for everything from refrigeration to work tools (in more recent generations).Always saw that any future for vehicle would be going back to the future of compressed air....and it wasn't until I heard Bill Mollison talking of trompes, that I heard someone else who knew what it was and more importantly how damn net energy efficient they are. There are many ways of enhancing the power and effects of compressed air with a higher EROEI than any other system used.

    The other problem that I come across with people who think that technology in some way will allow us to continue doing things the way we have been doing them, is they don't take into account such simple and important things like the roads and the amount of energy and resources that goes into keeping them in the pristine condition they have to be kept in ,if anything traveling on them wants to go faster than 30kmh.Can't hit a pothole at 60 let alone 100kmh without causing wear or damage.

    Oh and if anyone is kidding themselves that we are not in a post peak oil energy decline, and anthro-global warming deniers imo are just delusional, you can take the word of any who in military service saw themselves sneak in places like Arabia taking photos of saltwater pumps back in the 90's , and then on leave finding out what they are used for and what that then means from retired ex-oil geophysicists, would tell you back then that peak oil is a reality, as Arabia has around a 1/4 of the worlds oil , as Matt Simmons said, when they hit peak... categorically the world has hit peak.Amazing what some hessian potato sacks, plaster binder,water, dried fruits and nuts, an advanced camera and a lot of patience can get you as an awakener....oh and those who served in this sort of mischief know what the strong plastic bags are for.

    Localised community food production is something of the utmost importance and that should be more obvious to everyone in the next year or so, as I just don't see any sane alternative being touted by the lamestream with any EROEI accounting.
    It annoys me and I'm sure alot of other permies that so much time,energy and resources that are currently available to us aren't being used on for eg P.A Yeomans swales and dams on contour as the 'big national' infrastructure works with food forest works following close behind instead of roads that probably have even less use than during the oil crisis of the 70's. People for the most part (the permaculture pirate ship excluded of course) it seems prefer to live in a delusional bubble and won't do anything about it till it pops.
     
  5. TheDirtSurgeon

    TheDirtSurgeon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    75% of statistics are made up on the spot. ;)

    I suppose you could say that 97% disagree, if you don't count all the ones who don't. I've read your posts. You're pretty damn sharp. Sharp enough to know what bullshit statistics can be.

    -------------------------

    I'll restate my position, yet again. It is my personal opinion, based on considerable reading, that humans are wrecking the environment. That's a no-brainer. Permaculture design gives us the tools to repair the damage. Another no-brainer.

    The big "BUT" -- there are aspects of the "climate change" propaganda that are either exaggerated, or simply false. Also, there are clear cases of people using this propaganda for personal and financial gain.

    Our lovely Mr Al Gore, for one. Everyone should take note of what he proposes to remedy the problem: carbon tax. What? Do taxes on alcohol stop people drinking? Do gasoline taxes make you reconsider driving? Further investigation will reveal that Mr Gore is poised to profit enormously via investment in carbon credit swapping schemes. This man, who lives in a mansion that costs more than my annual income to heat in a winter, and flies around the world in a private jet waggling his finger at us... wants to tax you and me for his personal profit. All in the name of "climate change," which we all know has been re-named from "global warming" due to lack of... you guessed it... consensus.

    This is common knowledge, and it's one reason there are so many skeptics. Well, two reasons, in that paragraph.


    So. If our goal is to get more humans on board with fixing the damage... why leave ourselves vulnerable to argument? Again, we need only stick to facts:

    Oil spills suck.
    Air pollution sucks.
    Solar power is free, and endless til the Sun goes supernova and burns out.
    Oil must run out sometime.
    The wind always blows, at least in Wyoming.
    Our current food production system is inefficient, wasteful, unhealthy, and generates unnecessary pollution.
    Lack of surface water storage and infiltration worsens drought, as in Texas.
    We are cutting forests faster than we replace them.
    Desertification is real, and happening -- and we can reverse it.

    That's just a few. Do you see any room for argument there?

    You don't have to be a "climate change skeptic." You can believe whatever you wish. My point is that if you wish to make converts, you have to put belief (true or not) aside -- and address the problems we KNOW we have NOW, not what we think might happen in the future.

    The added bonus is that addressing the obvious problems of today also prevents problems that may or may not happen in the future. What's wrong with that? That means we don't have to look like idiots to half the public.

    -----------------

    A similar problem has been stated on this very forum -- image. Attend any conference or gathering related to permaculture, and there will be tree-worshipping, tie-dye-wearing, pot-smoking, smelly hippies. That's all fine and dandy, except when you want to impress farmers, ranchers, businessmen, and politicians.
     
  6. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    The person who started this thread has asked that it not be derailed by a climate change debate. I agree. Can the moderators please step in here?
     
  7. geoff

    geoff Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In reply to the original question, I'm in the "no" camp, because the electric car is a dangerous distraction. It's a bit like having firewood, using it to warm water, which is then used to warm a brick, which everyone then sits around trying to stay warm. Every step loses energy, with the end result being that we might get 25% of what we started out with (estimated EV efficiency when 'fuelled' from conventional FF stations), and that's not counting everything needed to build the car in the first place.

    The question is, are we, and have we been, seeing the effects of "Peak Net Energy" throughout our global economy? Are our resources harder to access, less pure, harder to refine, more expensive? Yes. The "low hanging fruit" is gone, we don't need research papers and committees to tell us this. Are we suffering "overshoot" to the extent that first world nations are beginning a decline toward third world status? Will developing economies happily supply us with cheap lithium so we can continue with our BAU using battery powered vehicles at their expense, especially when they are paying ever increasing prices for all of the inputs into their mining operations? Did everyone see the article on the front page of PRI this morning?

    Every technology that uses an energy source that isn't oil is subsidised by oil. A barrel of biodiesel might take a barrel of oil to produce, but contain only 70% of the energy (not real figures, just for illustrative purposes), so we're throwing energy away so we can say we're using something else which we can market as being more "sustainable". What happens when we need to run that process on biodiesel? We'd need to put how many barrels in to get less back?! Ouch! And it's sadly the same for everything else we do, until we find some magical primary energy source that contains more energy per unit than oil does and is more easily accessed than our current oil is.

    The real question is: Can we not already see sufficient justification given the state of the world around us to turn society on it's head?
     
  8. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    G'day TheDirtSurgeon, All

    Part 1:

    With respect to the OP, I will return to that question at the end of this post. But first, please allow me to respond to the following:

    I don't know about that, maybe that's so, maybe it's not. However, what I can assure you is that the above statistic I offered was derived from 'an arithmetical observation from the primary observations', and certainly not "made up on the spot". Feel free to read about the methodology used, in the original link offered.

    I did, as did the author of the original paper I cited, because "all the ones who don't" were counted. I reiterate, I am of the opinion that the statistical methodology used in arriving at the figure is valid (i.e. all positions on the topic were counted), otherwise I would not have quoted the figure in the first place.

    What, all of them? Ouch, that must have hurt. Seriously, I've read most of yours, too.

    Thank you, I like your work, too. True, however in this case, there is no bullshit.

    Agreed. However, permaculture is but one tool of the many we have in our possession.

    True. It's a war out there. Nevertheless, in this case the above-quoted figure - in the context of which it was provided (i.e. 'climate experts') holds true.

    Al Gore aside (I don't know enough about the person to comment, nor would I waste time finding out), there has been a concerted effort among 'climate experts' to re-label the phenonema. However, this has only been necessary in order to help the layperson better appreciate the very important difference between weather ("Heck Mabel, sure is a cold winter this year. Those darn Climate scientists sure got at wrong, yessiree"), and climate, and to better understand that statistically-valid observation of climate change can only ever occur over hundreds of years, and not year-to-year (or decades, for that matter).

    Don't know enough about the premise, nor do I have the time to research it, so I cannot comment. However, if it is truly a skeptical perspective you seek, try this one:

    Schneider, T. (2008 ) How We Know Global Warming is Real: The Science Behind Human-induced Climate Change. Skeptic, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 31-7.

    There is no argument, at least as far as I'm concerned, and 97% (actually, if we want to be specific, it's 97.4%) of 'expert climate scientists' agree...
     
  9. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Part 2:

    ...
    Of course, I am a (applied) scientist; a true skeptic. It is in my blood to argue. However, I do agree with most of the above, but I would like to point out just one example of where generalities can fall down:

    Everything costs. Nothing comes for 'free'. Take 'solar power', for example. If it is generated via photovoltaic (PV) technology, then the components that make up that PV array 'cost' someone or thing (the 'environment', perhaps, of which we are part of, no?) something. Of course, it's all (permaculture, that is) about keeping the energy cycle in balance. If we take, say for example, antimony from someplace in order to help build our PV systems, and in the process leave alone a deposit of coal someplace else, then maybe, just maybe (if we get our sums right) we maintain the right balance.

    As to the first point: I'm not out to 'convert' anyone (well, not directly, anyway ;)). I leave the 'conversion' process to our religious friends - they are very big on 'belief'. I deal in fact. Which brings us to the second point: We must acknowledge that anthropogenic climate change is occuring, this 'we KNOW'. It is not some far off, yet to be determined fact. It is real, in the here and 'NOW'. Fine, don't take my word for it. But perhaps the words of Holmgren (co-founder of the permaculture concept) might cause you to think differently:

    ...climate change has gathered speed as the key environmental issue demanding attention alongside more traditional concerns about economics and security. The creation of the IPCC in 1988 reflected the scientific consensus in the mid 1980’s that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide was caused by human emissions but the realisation that climate change was already happening began to take shape in the 1990’s and by 2007 even political leaders in the USA and Australia (who had become infamous for denying climate change) began to accept it as a reality. It has been the increase in drought and extreme weather events more than increases in average temperatures or subtle ecological changes that have spurred the political and public realisation that climate change is already happening. The focus has shifted from impacts on nature to impacts on humanity.

    Don't worry, I'm sure those who truly adhere to the permaculture precepts don't see you as an 'idiot'. Whether you accept the science or not, there is room for all trains of thought in Mandala Town. What you are doing today (my understanding of which is gleaned from reading your posts) is a good thing.

    True, in part. However, in my part of the world, 'tree-worshipping, tie-dye-wearing, pot-smoking, smelly hippies', and 'farmers, ranchers, businessmen, and politicians' are sometimes one-in-the-same thing. Take for example a friend and colleague of mine, he's involved in a business that produces electric cars (they also retrofit, and in the process claim to save '9 tonnes of CO2 emission' - see, it is difficult to have a conversation about one without mentioning the other). Now, I could say to my friend, "I think you are an idiot because you are helping to perpetuate a system that is inherently flawed (i.e. the capitalist paradigm)". But I don't. Instead, I encourage him (usually at the Beer Hall) to continue to think about and develop new ways of furthering the process of getting the energy cycle back into balance (he's a permie too, he just doesn't know it).

    I'd like to go on, but I fear I have held enough of your time already, and I certainly must get back to my work. I appreciate that people might like to debate the science of human-induced climate change, however I trust you will also appreciate that I have not the time (nor the 'energy') spare to do such, other than for what I have provided above.

    Cheerio, keep up the great work, good people. Catch you in the Beer Hall sometime, Markos.
     
  10. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK, OK, just a little bit more...

    True, geoff, but they do help. For the first time since its inception - '[f]ounded in response to the 1973/4 oil crisis' - the IEA came out in 2010 and confirmed this fact in their World Energy Outlook. It will be interesting to see if they further cement this position next month (November) when the 2011 World Energy Outlook is published.

    ....and, what a good question it is. My response is, yes 'we' (generally most of those that have an inteerst here, at the PRI Forum) can and do. However, I'm afraid many of those in the emerging economies of the world do not. For just one example, a couple of years ago it was estimated that 1 in 40 Chinese people own (fuel, and drive) a car. It was further posited that this figure would rise to 1 in 4, in (then) 10-years time (now, 8-years). This is not to mention all of the people in India, or the African and South American nation states that will, one day (perhaps sooner than we can even comprehend?), wish to go down the same path. Can the planet sustain this extra amount of CO2 output? Obviously the answer is, no. Are electric-powered vehicles merely just prolonging the inevitable? Most likely, yes. In all likelihood, we are fucked. Unless... we 'turn [global] society on it's head'. How do we do this? Here's just one path: Social Ecology (otherwise known as, permaculture).

    Now, my morning is shot. No matter, it's been fun (as always). But seriously, I must get out into the garden...

    Cheerio, my dear friends, Markos.
     
  11. TheDirtSurgeon

    TheDirtSurgeon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If I may politely point out, the first derail was in post #2 in this thread (where the phrase "climate change" is first used); the second is in post #7.

    Further, taking note of the fact that it was not I who derailed it, I did attempt to explain exactly how it was not relevant to the matter at hand, which is electric vehicles.
     
  12. TheDirtSurgeon

    TheDirtSurgeon Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Markos, the ;) by my statement about statistics was the clue that I was being facetious. A re-read might show you the irony. Have a chuckle once in a while. :)


    I know well that trapping, storing, using that energy costs. I was referring specifically to the fact that solar energy -- radiation from the Sun -- comes to us for free, and will continue to do so until the Sun burns out. You'll give me that much credit, yes? 8)


    The culture and history of our two countries is a bit different, reckon. You may be thinking it's figurative when I say "smelly hippies," but it's not. I'm talking about in-the-flesh, honest-to-gods, dirty smelly idiots who think smoking dope and banging drums will fix the world, literally. No kidding. I was at a permaculture convergence that had guitars and "vision quests," whatever the hell that is.

    ---------------------------
     
  13. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    I don't see that referring to climate change in a conversation about energy is derailing the conversation. Debating whether human generated climate exists or not on the other hand... personally I just find it tedious and irrelevant (like I said, that's personal). I also don't see it as relevant to this conversation and when I asked if you believed that human generated CC existed I would have been happy with a couple of sentences as an answer. I wasn't interested in debating our different views, but it was relevant to understand what your views are :)

    As it is, this is now a thread about CC and I will leave, as I'm sure others will. It would have been a fairly simple matter to start another thread so that this one could stay on topic.
     
  14. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Damn guitars.
     
  15. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wonder if they were solar-powered, electric guitars?

    [video=youtube;sK9XQLSpFBA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK9XQLSpFBA&ob=av3e[/video]
     
  16. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Back on topic?
    "Will Solar Power And Electric Vehicles Diminish The Need For Local Food?." - I think not, as indicated somewhere in this thread there are not many real options for oil replacements with good energy density and ease of use into mechanical power, battery powered cars will always have limited range and longer charging times. Short of nuclear power, nothing at present is going to power a truck or road train long distance. This means people will ulimately move around less.
    With people staying local it is most likely that food production will also stay local and even become more so, as transport becomes a greater factor in the total cost of any item.

    I think electric cars are a good way to ease the masses into a low(er) energy existence - of course they will produce their own problems as i have said a few times in the past but i do believe there is a chance of a George Miller future if society crashes quickly - he did get some inspiration from the 70s oil crisis after all.
     
  17. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,046
    Likes Received:
    199
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    E Washington, USA
    Climate:
    Semi-Arid Shrub Steppe (BsK)
    Hoka Hey, guess I'm a little late to the party but better late than never I guess.

    Please refrain from discussing climate change here and stick to the original topic. The OP requested this and several posters have "seconded". I say the motion has carried and we should respect that.

    If you'd like I can extract and start a new CC thread where you may continue. Or you may do so. Mention of CC within the context of the original post is certainly acceptable but hashing out the whys and wheretofores is out of scope in this thread. No need to post replies to me here, any responses are best sent via PM.

    Thanks all. Please carry on with the original topic ... very good subject IMHO.
    Bill
     
  18. insipidtoast

    insipidtoast Junior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hahahahah. I feel your pain! Sometimes I feel that permaculture is just a code word for modern-day hippy. I have to admit it's been getting better in my town recently though.
     
  19. macousin

    macousin Junior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If I may add my humble opinion to this elaborate discussion. I don't think that peak oil or electric cars will have anything to do with Permaculture development. PC is only remotely market driven (organic farming is much more so), it is fueled by a feeling that people have about the grind of life and the vanishing beauty of natural habitats. It is heart driven not mind driven. At least that's how I see it.
     
  20. springtide

    springtide Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good to see your not a "doomer" macousin - a few people (myself included) sort of see peak oil and peak phosphorus as the beginning of the end of big agriculture so that motivates me a little - electric cars are probably going to be more trouble that their worth, but when someone wakes up a little these cars are probably going to get rolled up into little mindset packages along with permaculture, led lights and heirloom vegetables (pollution is bad, healthy everything is good) - there is a market and elec cars will be sold with advertisments of white doves, green trees and healthy living.
    It would be just awesome/perfect if people could see the light with only the carrot - but i think toyota, gm, and nissan/etc will use the stick.
     

Share This Page

-->