First I'd like to say Props to the ATS admin for setting up a Peak Oil forum. Undoubtedly there will be a lot of useful information there.
Right. When are we going to run out of oil? It is my understanding that M. King Hubbert was one of the first to suggest that we might actually one day
run out of oil. Now, what I have just said is ridiculous. Fossil fuels were always limited and ever suggesting otherwise would have either been very
foolish or a badly placed propaganda ad. You can view some scientific and geological predictions
. The scariest thing about this article is that, according to the most biased source (our own
energy department), we have a MAXIMUM of 30 years of crude left in the ground.
There are no real questions about when we started using fossil fuels regularly for combustion... we can just look at history. I'm wondering at what
point did the public eye lose sight of the fact that oil is not renewable? At what point did we decree that it was ok for the world to be so totally
dependant on something that's only going to last one and a half centuries? Yes, we can use small amounts of the stuff to lubricate our machines, but
if you take a match to it, it'll burn until it's gone.
So. We know that
A. As of today, we're almost completely dependant on oil as a precursor all combustion fuels
B. Oil will literally run out in about 30 or so years and
C. Oil is one of the most valuable natural resources and thus a prized item to wage war over
Now, there is an obvious solution to A, B, and C. The answer is: stop using oil. More difficult than it sounds? Not really. Not everyone can drill and
process their own oil, but everyone CAN grow and refine their own biofuel. This biofuel is sometimes called "biodiesel". There is a TON of free
information on the net on how to make the stuff and it's relatively simple.
Where does bioenergy come from? One of the most energy efficient devices known to man is actually the green plant. Plants mostly use the wastes of
other life forms to grow. They use energy from the sun, they "breathe" in CO2 (the very stuff we breathe out) and give us oxygen in exchange, and
they pull nutrients out of dead and decomposing life forms and out of animal waste. What a perfect recycling machine. Plants are the only necessary
ingredient of biodiesel... and all we need to grow them is essentially sunlight, CO2 and other plants (though you can use any decomposable waste to
provide the necessary nutrients needed to grow a plant).
Carbon exchange is one of the biggest factors in matter-to-energy conversions. This is due, in no small way, to the fact that Carbon can make four
bonds (four single or two single and one double, etc.) at a time. Unlike Solicon, however, carbon can also can easily create long, complex, and
chemically stable bonds (stay tuned for all the boring science behind this concept). Now you can only burn the amount of carbon out of biodiesel as
the plant originally took in. Doesn't this sound a lot more renewable than crude oil?
Can biodiesel replace crude oil? No, not by a long shot. But it can help. Currently biodiesel is being sold as a 20% biodiesel to 80% diesel mixture
because biodesiel itself does not get very good mileage. When thinking about biodiesel it is important to remember that it is practically free, comes
from plants, and no one will want to fight any wars over it, and that you need no conversion to run biodiesel (and most other combustibles) through
your diesel engine. There are currently concoctions being concocted to use a type of biofuel in regular gas engines without conversion (many Brazilian
farmers use what can best be translated as "gasohol"). Wouldn't the benefits of biofuel outweigh the low mileage problem?
If biodiesel can't replace oil, what can? Well, that's what this thread is all about, isn't it? Hopefully in the future we will never be so
dependant one one type of fuel that this problem will ever arise again. Biodiesel is less of an outright replacement of crude oil and more of an
additive (though it can be used by itself) that will help us as a society make the switch from crude oil.
This is something that everyone's been screaming about for a long time, but no one seems to be doing on a good enough scale. Ok, we have a maximum of
30 years of oil left... we whould stop using so much of it. We have the technology to make every vehicle have excellent mileage, so we should do that.
We should give larger tax incentives to cars with better mileage and to companies that make cars with better mileage. Unfortunately it seems that most
of our politicians own (or are trying to control) most of the world's oil... so as long as the people in power are getting rich off of something,
they tend to use their power to protect their investment. Never fear! I will post (in detail) everything you need to do to make your own, cheap,
biodiesel. You can stick it to the man individually!
(if I should die from unnatural causes anytime soon, suspect the oil companies)
Alternate fuels aren't secret, they're just not believed to be very profitable. Well, I have an idea... STOP trying to capitalize on the end of the
world! Heheh... but seriously... if companies don't step up the pace, I'm afraid that we're just going to have to make our own energy (and not pay
a dime for it).
While I am going to stick more to the topic from now on, I want it to be known that I BELIEVE that oil companies are lying about how much oil we have
left. I also believe that oil companies are raising the prices of oil at its various stages artificially and I believe that if we outright refuse to
buy the stuff, we can put them all in their places.
I am actually taking action in Westwood, California to raise awareness of the end of oil and (the beginning of) bioenergies. I'm trying to get a
project off the ground that will provide free biodiesel conversions from lawn leavings. I hope everyone can find a way to take action to help reduce
energy use and to stop using crude oil.
Until next time,
P.S. Please give me feedback (positive or negative) on any or all of my essays and research. Thanks!
[edit on 11-4-2005 by ServoHahn]