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Article predicts 'tragic destiny' for the US

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posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 01:55 PM

Originally posted by xman_in_blackx
As I read this, my heart sank. It discussed the end of cheap oil for the US and how that alone will change it forever. Once we reach the peak of oil production, we will start to see the price of oil skyrocket due to the fact that everyone knows that we are close to the end of the supply.

You know, there is one source of energy that will never be exhausted. It is the


Man's policy regarding energy makes absolutely no sense. Instead of spending all these billions of dollars, euros etc for strategies regarding oil, we humans could have build giant platforms around Earth that harnessed the energy of the Sun.

Imagine, for example, an energy platform above the clouds at geostatic orbit with giant cables on the Himalaias...or Andes, or any other big mountain! free energy for all, without any trouble! It could certainly transform the world...

posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 05:39 PM
The Department of Energy's 2005 Annual Energy Outlook admits that we are past the point of inexpensive oil production (this is peak oil), but yet because of high oil prices, non-conventional methods that are not economically viable when the price of oil is low are now an option.

The quote listed below is on page 42 of the DOE report which confirms that we need to pursue non-conventional resources (why not enjoy larger profit margins if cheap resources are still readily available?). The projection in the last sentence indicates that our need to utilize costlier methods of production will grow more than threefold over the next 20 years---from 9% to 21% of our oil supply. As I expect that the government is being conservative in it's estimates, the situation is pretty serious.

No one doubts that fossil fuels are subject to depletion and that depletion leads to scarcity, which in turn leads to higher prices; however, there are many resources that are not heavily exploited because they cannot be produced economically at low prices and with existing technologies. With higher prices, the development of such resources could become profitable. Ultimately, a combination of escalating prices and technological enhancements can make more resources economical. Much of the pessimism about oil resources has been focused entirely on conventional resources. However, there are substantial nonconventional resources, including production from oil sands, ultra-heavy oils, gas-to- liquids technologies, coal-to-liquids technologies, biofuel technologies, and shale oil, which can serve as a buffer against prolonged periods of very high oil prices. Total nonconventional liquids production in 2025 is projected to be 5.7 million barrels per day in the reference case, up from 1.8 million barrels per day in 2003.

If the fact that the U.S. government has released a 248 page report that uses peak oil as a premise isn't enough of a hint, here are some other points to consider...

There have been no new major oil discoveries and current projects will not meet global needs

The "potential" reserves that we have been banking on were not what they were expected to be (Canada, ANWR) and the previously discovered projects are now sufficient enough to replace the oil that is being depleted--meaning that we are still not increasing reserves.

Russia's existing reserves are just about in decline, but there may be potential in new exploration. However, due to political instability, government intervention, and stringent laws that discourage foreign investment, new exploration has been stalled for years. Even if the laws changed today, it will take 10 to 15 years to produce any tangible volumes from regions where oil is expected to be found.

Natural gas is a costly, dirty option that is years away

Natural gas is only a economically viable solution when it can be transported via pipeline, which means that it needs to be located in a geographically suitable location. Canada's natural gas reserves are not expected to be able to meet our needs (see the 2005 AEO & the NPC report below), which will require us to seek natural gas from overseas, which is very expensive because it needs to be liquified & shipped in refrigerated tankers.

In addition, there are only 4 LNG terminals in the U.S. More are planned, but they are delayed because no one wants them in their state--they are horrible for the environment. But the 25 that are in the planning stages will all be approved eventually, but even so, it takes 5 to 7 years from approval for these plants to start receiving shipments and producing output.

Estimates of existing reserves are inaccurate

Shell recently revised downward by 20% their global reserves--and some of the other majors may also follow suit when they are faced with regulatory scrutiny. Oversight of how firms have been reporting reserves has been lax, resulting in different inventory methodologies being used and the opportunity for--and reality of--manipulation.

In addition, the largest field in Saudi Arabia (Ghawar)--the largest field in the world--responsible for 60% of all of the output in Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for 20% of the world's supply, is possibly unstable. If that field has been overproduced and loses pressure, a significant portion of the world's oil supply will be removed from the market with no warning.

Alternative energy sources are more expensive than oil

There are many alternatives, but they are more expensive than oil and will take years to develop into viable consumer applications--and even longer until they are fully incorporated into mainstream channels. Whether it is hydrogen/ethanol-powered cars, solar/wind energy, or just more nuclear power plants--these all will take a decade or more before they begin reducing dependence on oil (that is if they actually can do that at all...).

In addition, they all require the use of fossil fuels as part of the materials required to produce energy, to maintain the equipment, or even to run the equipment.

Take hydrogen, for example... Even if hydrogen is viable, the deals with Ballard, GM & DaimlerChrysler are to come up with prototypes of consumer vehicles with working hydrogen fuel cells in 5 a cost of $700k to $2.2 million each.

With the time it will take to productionize these vehicles, we probably won't see them on the road for a good 8 to 10 years as the infrastructure to support them needs to be built... and then Americans need to switch from what they are already driving--we are looking at 15 to 20 years until a there is a dent made in our fossil fuel needs. By that time, it may not even make a difference.

But hydrogen fuel is mainly natural gas (90%)--and the hydrogen needs to be purified using electrolysis--again requiring electricity, which typically uses a natural gas source. Even if biomass was substituted for natural gas, it would made development much more complex, and energy would still be required. Hydrogen cells are still mostly dependent on fossil fuels.

But lets not forget what cars are MADE of--the seats, the tires, all of the components--hydrogen isn't going to solve that problem. Fossil fuels are involved in the construction, production, manufacture, and maintenance of almost every fabric, building material, and machine that is required to keep the world clothed, fed, and housed.

Just changing the kinds of cars we drive isn't going to make us become independent from oil. We aren't going to invent a new technology for everything--from the keyboard you are typing on, to the chair you are sitting in, to the shirt you are wearing, to the contact lenses you are wearing, to every single fiber of the house you are living in... it is all made with fossil fuel.

I think that it is time to acknowledge that Peak Oil is a reality. Get used to the environment, safety, and personal freedoms taking a back seat to energy needs. Just read our nation's National Energy Policy--a hint of what is to come is in here.

This was proposed in May of 2001 by a group led by Dick Cheney, and a lot has been put in place already, and more to come. There is a lot of good stuff in here--and a lot of really scary stuff too, like more nuclear power plants, massive increases in use of the cleverly re-branded "clean" coal--and allowing plants exemptions from environmental standards, drilling in protected lands beyond ANWR, and adoption of controversial CAFE standards that would limit use and/or ban less fuel-efficient vehicles (and potentially require us all to drive in little deathtraps that could achieve 90 mpg).

Interestingly, there is a section in the NEPDG that proposes the following:

Reviewing and Reforming Sanctions
Economic sanctions include U.S. unilateral sanctions as well as multilateral sanctions, such as United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions. Sanctions can advance important national and global security objectives and can be an important foreign policy tool, especially against nations that support terrorism or seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, sanctions should be periodically reviewed to ensure their continued effectiveness and to minimize their costs on U.S. citizens and interests.

This was May 2001--wonder why terrorism and weapons of mass destruction are mentioned in an energy policy, prior to 9/11 and the war in Iraq...

I think that we also should get used to more conflict with imperialistic undertones in countries where oil is located (Iran, Venezuela, Sudan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia...) This could get ugly with Russia, Iran, China & Brazil (and potentially Venezuela) entering into their own trade & oil security "cartel" of sorts (the BRIC alliance).

I think that this has been something that has been an issue for quite a while (remember -- SchoolhouseRock from the 70's?), but we just didn't want to deal with it. If only we would have started conserving and developing alternative technologies 20 years ago....

posted on Apr, 1 2005 @ 05:06 AM
I hate to say this but you guys are thinking like consumers and not like companies.

These companies want to make money or they won't do anything. Why get rid of oil when they are making record profits because of believed supply and demand constraints. It doesn't matter how much is out there. Oil has doubled per barrel within the last year in price. And trippled in price since Bush took office.

Is that because there is less supply or oil suddenly within the last 4 years? We have Iraq. Remember Saddam invaded Kuwait in part because they were stepping outside of Opec to produce more to help out the United States. Saddam wanted prices to be high and when just one opec country steps outside of the quoto, it throws the prices all out of wack oil oil goes down. So now we got Iraq, we control opec essentially or it's no longer in existence as far as I'm concerned. And prices keep going up. Why, because Bush is an investor in oil (and also war). Remember he helped start Harken Energy Oil and Gas exploration.

He wants prices high just as much as Exxon Mobil.


Back to the original point I was trying to make, do you honestly think that the oil supply has changed that much since Bush has taken office, in respect to the quantity of barrels available? If you don't, which It's hard to justify a rise of 300% within his first term alone, you shouldn't be worried about the supply.

You should be worrying about the price manipulation. In fact, you should have expected it to happen. As long as a climate of terrorism and fear can persist, people will also being willing to carry a fear about oil, and oil prices will stay high. Like any market, when people start becoming more rational, the prices will come back down. I don't think you should worry at the level you are worrying.


Also regarding alternative sources which will happen obviously over time because of pure efficiency. I think the best choice would be solar power. And regardless of what people say or tell you, it's much cheaper, cleaner, and ultimately the best resource. I read an interesting article a while back regarding a solar powered city being in development in Australia. Basically one towered generator provides power for an entire city on an electronic grid.

The only problem with solar power and alternative sources where supply and demand can't be easily manipulated and anyone over time can design it, is you get a very saturated market.

So you're left with tons of electronic companies and energy companies designing solar power generators around the world for very low costs on a resource that is essentially unlimited. Which is great for us consumers.

But imagine how many industrial (big/old money) companies you will be wiping out of the game.

The ultimate fear isn't what happens when oil runs out. The ultimate fear is, what happens when nobody needs the middle east's oil or the companies built around the production and delivery of it. When just like food, energy is also technologically modified.

There will eventually be a corporate food chain that's wiped out like an endangered species. Obviously you'd say who cares if you don't live in the middle east. But if that occured, which it will as more car companies create alternative powered cars, and gas prices come down, and down, and over time, say 20-40 years when it would be foolish to own say a VCR (gas car) when you can own a DVD player (electronic car) and get more bang for your buck.

The only problem is, these U.S. companies want to push us toward hydrogen because they can keep selling natural resources when solar is better. Now what happens when they get screwed also by companies who say, you know what, solar power is better we're doing that instead.

And who do you think will screw the American energy market and car makers? Foreign automakers primarily willing to capitalize on the demand.

[edit on 1-4-2005 by Lord Altmis]

posted on Apr, 1 2005 @ 05:15 AM
All this 'economic' debate.

It isn't just about the classic relationship between supply and demand.

Sometimes people deliberately manipulate the 'market' to rip people off, remember Enron et al and the fake domestic 'energy crisis' a little while back, hmmm?

Rolling black-outs in the USA in the 21st century, who'd a thunk it?

(Talk about couldn't care less how they made their money, what kind of image of America they gave the world and not to mention such a corrupt US gov that did nothing at the time and has since done as close to nothing as possible.)

posted on Apr, 1 2005 @ 09:34 PM

Originally posted by skippytjc
Its starting baby!!

"DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Corp. Wednesday said it signed an $88 million deal with the Department of Energy to build a fleet of 40 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and further develop the technology..."

When the US drops its dependancy on middle eastern oil, the whole region will dry up into a desert sink hole. They will beg the rest of the world for aid as they export nothing else of value. Harsh? Yes, but 100% true.

First hybrids, then hydrogen powered. Its coming people, and soon too. Once oil demand is reduced to almost nothing, so will the middle east...

Ridiculous fantasy. Oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization. Almost everything you own or want depends on oil. The computer you type on. The dependance on oil is a double edge sword and now that sword is poised over your head.

Thank god, I think in the long run, for the world, the sword should fall now.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 09:31 AM
You could use all the alternative resources you want, like solar power, hydrogen cells, but the fact is they're not enough to supply us with the amount of energy that oil gives us.

Read it all (including the second page, which shows you why renewable resources won't work) and see the end of civilisation

This also means that diseases like the superbugs we've created (no medicine) and AIDS (no condoms) will spread very rapidly. Society will become very, very localised, there'll be mass-starvation because food won't be able to be delivered without the energy to run the transportation and all-in-all we'll be screwed. Just think of everything that you use in modern day life and there's a high probability that it depends on oil, either directly or from a factory that produces it that uses oil.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 10:09 AM

Originally posted by Lyriox
You could use all the alternative resources you want, like solar power, hydrogen cells, but the fact is they're not enough to supply us with the amount of energy that oil gives us.

We have plenty of energy right right here in the US. The following is from a speech made by Greenspan:

In the more distant future, perhaps a generation or more, lies the potential to develop productive capacity from natural gas hydrates. Located in marine sediments and the Arctic, these ice-like structures store immense quantities of methane. Although the size of these potential resources is not well measured, mean estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate that the United States alone may possess 200 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas in the form of hydrates. To put this figure in perspective, the world's proved reserves of natural gas are on the order of 6 quadrillion cubic feet.
Remarks by Chairman Alan Greenspan

Energy costs will stay high especialy while in a transition phase from oil to other sources of energy. It will cost alot of money to build the infrastructure for natural gas use.

If other countries can survive while paying 6 dollars per gallon of gas so can the US. My concern is that we make the transistion quick enough to avert nuclear war. It is my opinion that we are already engaged in war with China over oil. It has not yet turned into a shooting war but we are building our forces around China and at key oil choke points. China is building up its navy in order to be able to patrol and protect the shipping lanes from the middle east. Yes the oil wars have started look no further than Iraq.

Here is a very good article to read on the energy situation.

[edit on 30-6-2005 by cryptorsa1001]

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 02:01 PM

Originally posted by syntaxer
Please consider that our government heavily depends on 'gas taxes' to forward our economy and infrastructure costs etc. To simply suggest that battery or hydrogen operated automobile engines would "crush" other nations who heavily depend on oil exporting are completely wrong!

Our government is currently researching GPS logging technologies to track mileage so if in fact one day hydrogen cars are mainstream, they'll continue on taxing our existence to death per the mile..

Freedom, but with a noose huh?

Yeah I remember the UK government looking into this (apologies if it was the UK you meant) I hadn't thought about it though in that way of replcing a fuel tax!

[edit on 30-6-2005 by arnold_vosloo]

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 02:12 PM
The only thing will hurt worse than the U.S., if the drastic loss of oil comes about is the rest of the world.

The U.S. may be the only country able to quickly develop a strategy to replace oil as a fuel source. Now, when I say quickly I mean 10 years or more. We already pay about $3.50 per gallon less than the European average, I believe. Europe should be more scared about 2 Euro per liter than we should be about $3 per gallon. With the world economy already shaky, the U.S. and Asia are the only areas with steady rises or at least stability in the economy. A drastic event in Europe (a terror attack on a LNG freighter or an attack on a significant monument) might destabilize the Euro and the European economy in general, since high unemployment is already lowering public confidence numbers.

In a worst case scenario, the U.S. could suspend the Gas Tax in order to prop up the economy in the short term.

[edit on 6/30/2005 by soulforge]

[edit on 6/30/2005 by soulforge]

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 02:54 PM

Originally posted by xman_in_blackx
I would imagine that most people in the US would approve unanimously of a war being fought to keep gasoline cheap and their way of life the same as it has been for the last century.

Only the neo-con right wing jerks who spout garbage like "bomb them all" and "our army can beat their army", "the war is worth it as long as I have cheap gas" think that way.

I'd rather see every roadside, wasteland, abandoned lot, sports field and arena converted to the production of hemp for food, fuel and fiber. Do we need football? No. Do we need fuel to heat our homes? YES!

There is an alternative to oil wars, and we will see it once the profit is entirely in the
hands of those scum who run the money circus.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 04:26 PM
I agree with edsinger. I too remember the '70's oil embargo, and I also remember it being said that the oil supply would run out in about 1985, they
evidently found some new oil fields just in the nick of time (conveniently so???)
since we are still using gasoline in our vehicles.

People go on about the internal combustion engine being wasteful and ineffecient but my brother, who is a retired mechanic and has worked on everything from farm machinery to aircraft, says it is very adaptable and could
be modified to use many different fuels other than gasoline, the engine would
actually run better on some of them, than on gasoline. Whatever waste and
inefficiency is not due to the engine being outmoded and outdated (since it has
been around for over a hundred years, [and the wheel for many thousands of
years before that, nobody's come up with anything better...]), like most people think, but due to the way that it is presently set up.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 04:36 PM
This article is a load of melancholy crap. We are choking on alternatives to petroleum as our main energy source. Petroleum is still just the cheapest alternative.

The cultural 'de-evolution' predicted in the article will not happen. People have this thing called adaptation. What we will see is more conservation, smarter homebuilding, cars that get far better mileage, and alternative sources of energy. Hell, in Marseilles a fusion reactor is being built. Energy from seawater to charge our electric cars.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 04:53 PM
We are choking on alternatives to petroleum as a fuel source, but as a key ingredient in plastics and composites there is no substitute that I'm aware of.

Bio-fuels are steadily gaining ground in the US. And yes our current gasoline / diessel engines run them as well or better then gasoline / diessel with limited changes.

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 05:43 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Canada is going to be one of the richest nations in the world in the next 10-20years. We have the Tar Sands with an estimated 2 trillion barrels of recoverable fuel. The offshore BC fields in the Hecate Strait, the arctic, etc, etc. Not to mention hydroelectricity and such. As long as we are smart about it and don't let our friends to the South(Yes Canada is north of the US) exploit it, we should use the money gained to further new technologies for our own domestic power production.

Oh Canada, our home and native land!

[edit on 30-6-2005 by DEEZNUTZ]

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 06:39 PM
Here is an excerpt of an article that I just glossed over:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 21, 2005 – Despite current fears that oil will soon “run out,” global oil production capacity is actually set to increase dramatically over the rest of this decade, according to a new report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). As a result, supply could exceed demand by as much as 6 to 7.5 million barrels per day (mbd) later in the decade, a marked contrast to the razor-sharp balance between strong demand growth and tight supply that is currently reflected in high oil prices hovering around $60 a barrel.


Whats up Canada old buddy!!!!

Jackson and Esser argue that “unconventional” oil will play a much larger role in the growth of supply than is currently recognized. These unconventional oils include condensates, natural gas liquids (NGLs), extra heavy oils (such as Canadian oil sands), and the ultra-deepwater (greater than 2,500 feet deep). By 2020, they could be almost 35 percent of supply.

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