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Peak Oil...Scary stuff

post #1 of 168
Thread Starter 
http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/


I just read the majority of this page, And while I think that the author is exaggerating at least a little, and most likely being overtly pessimistic, he speaks the truth. Whether or not 2-5 years from now will be the start of the end of the world or not is diminished to the fact that this will happen, and we really gotta start getting our butts into gear.

What are your thoughts on this?

I'm kind of torn because I want to just cast it off "oh, it won't happen in my lifetime" or "We'll think of something"

but, it doesn't seem like anything substantial can happen, not unlike apple ever reaching more than 10% market share, while it seems like it should happen due to apple's superior products, the decades of inertia against it, and the huge installed, saturated market, is preventing it from happening.

either way, I'm going to do my part, to help cope with this.

editanother link) http://www.dieoff.org/page224.htm
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post #2 of 168
It's true and it's very frightening.
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post #3 of 168
Nothing new there. We've known for years the we will use up the world oil supply sometime in the 21 centery. And that as oil becomes scarce there will be wars and death on a scale not seen since the last great ice age causing meteor impact.

The only plausible way to avid the destruction of civilization would be a massive push into space and the creation of solar power stations in orbit or on the moon that would beam power down to the earth. That would give us a stable source of power for the foreseeable future.

Of course, since the space program has been gutted, and our form of government is very short sighted, most likely civilization as we know it will crash in either our, or our children's lifetimes.
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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
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post #4 of 168
OK, you want to go out fighting or like a lamb?
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post #5 of 168
Reminds me of the GNR warning by Bill Joy. The difference with this one is that it is too paranoid. Worse, it uses paranoia as an excuse to justify new weapons development and war. The final advise from the site is as below:

Quote:
What are some steps that I can take in the next few days to begin addressing this situation?

The following list is by no means exhaustive. These are just some simple steps you can begin taking immediately.

(Listed in no particular order)

1. Educate yourself about Peak Oil and its ramifications. Read through the sites linked to in this site. Consider obtaining copies of books such The Party's Over: War, Oil, and the Fate of Industrial Civilizations by Richard Heinberg.

2. Educate others. If you're not sure how to go about doing so, consider forwarding them this site.

3. Seek out like minded folks. If you're not sure where to start, you may want to join the Yahoo group "Running on Empty 2." When I first learned about Peak Oil, that was the first place I went. I found the members of the group very friendly, helpful and patient with "newbies."

4. Perform Google searches for Peak Oil whenever you get the chance. As more people search for "Peak Oil", the folks at Google will take notice. This may result in increased mainstream media coverage.

5. Adopt a vegetarian/ vegan diet, or at least reduce your meat consumption as much as you can.

6. Start using your bicycle or public transportation instead of your car, whenever possible.

7. Limit your purchase of consumer items to those that you really need .

8. Reduce your use of electricity as much as possible. Consider investing in items such solar powered lanterns, battery chargers, radios, hot water heaters, laptop chargers, bicycled powered generators etc.

9. Consider converting your vehicle to Biodiesal.

10. Consider taking an organic farming class or joining a local food co-op.

11. Begin learning basic emergency medical procedures.

12. Investigate alternative forms of health care such as bioenergetic healing, self hypnosis etc. . .

13. Reduce your debt load as much as possible.

14. Begin thinking how you are going to survive through blackouts, food/water shortages and economic breakdowns.

15. If you own your home, start conducting research about installing solar panels or windmills.

Yawn! For all that you know, the world might be destoryed by a natural calamity tomorrow; Just because you start worrying about GNR (genetics, nano-technology, robotics), peak oil, comets striking the planet, natural calamities and what not, you are not going to prevent any of these from happening. Humans have a funny way of surviving; throughout our history, those who made a difference are not those who spent their time worrying about it.

You can either plan to be a silent spectator to armagadeon as suggested by this website or you can take control of your life and try to do something about it. How about inventing a machine that helps with the energy crisis? (as an example)
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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post #6 of 168
Talksense, you have a point ... the site is really paranoid and makes a couple of statements too obviously twisted.

But what I like about it is that it's not party-political. Bush? Bastard. Clinton? Bastard. That's refreshing.

I do disagree with you though. What you're suggesting is like saying that if we see the comet heading for earth we should do nothing about it! We can see this problem coming toward us, and we can see actions of our governments taking us toward calamity.

(Me, now I AM political.Oilmen should not be running the world at a time of crisis. Cheney was wrong when he said "The American way of life is not negotiable," as nature is shortly about to bitch-slap him.)
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post #7 of 168
Obviously, at some point we will run out of oil, but this guy raised a few red flags on my BS-O-Meter on page two of his article. Thinking that cold fusion or zero-point energy could help us out is not on the list of ways into credibility.

His comments about self-healing on page five don't help any either.
post #8 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by Whisper
Obviously, at some point we will run out of oil, but this guy raised a few red flags on my BS-O-Meter on page two of his article. Thinking that cold fusion or zero-point energy could help us out is not on the list of ways into credibility.

Whisper, he specifically says that cold fusion and zero-point energy will NOT help us because they are both bullshit.
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post #9 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by Harald
Whisper, he specifically says that cold fusion and zero-point energy will NOT help us because they are both bullshit.

No, he said that he's "the world's biggest advocate" of such things, but that there aren't even any prototypes yet so he doesn't think they'll be here in time to make a difference.

I'm not saying that there won't be an oil crash or anything, just that this guy's a nut so maybe we shouldn't be looking to him for guidance. For the record, he may well be right about how dire the situation is and how we should've seen this coming and done something about it a long time ago (in fact, I agree with him about that). It's just that this guy in particular is nuttier than a fruitcake.
post #10 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by Whisper
No, he said that he's "the world's biggest advocate" of such things, but that there aren't even any prototypes yet so he doesn't think they'll be here in time to make a difference.

Yeh, you're right about his position on this.
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post #11 of 168
It's true, and so is the 2nd ice age which is coming at about the same time.
post #12 of 168
2nd ice age?

There is evidence ice ages have gone on for, well, eternity.

Every one of our pharmaceuticals begins with starting materials derived from oil. But what most people do not realize is that there are already processes that can take every day refuse and convert it somewhat cheaply back into these basic compounds (these are energy requiring process though and the source for that energy is hotly contested).

Oil and coal for energy is a bad idea and these resources should be preserved for plastics, medicines, etc.

There may be a point when we are forced to bite the nuclear bullet until we have efficient ways of generating energy from the sun or other means.
post #13 of 168
The nuclear bullet may well need to be bitten; however the creation of nuclear reactors is hugely demanding of energy.

Where I'm sure we can agree is that a massive reduction of consumption is absolutely required immediately, to prevent an un-managed, forced supply constraint ... that will, WILL, cause catastrophic issues.

Obviously there's a problem. Massive reduction of consumption runs counter to Cheney's fairly hopeless "The American way of life is not negotiable." OK, we're all ****ed then Dick. Thanks.

International terrorism is far less of an issue then this. People like the right-wingers on these boards to realise this, and people like the left-wingers on these boards need to realise it too and work together on a realistic set of soluctions.
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post #14 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by billybobsky
2nd ice age?

There may be a point when we are forced to bite the nuclear bullet until we have efficient ways of generating energy from the sun or other means.

I, too, think that's where this is going - nuclear energy will be somewhat easier to do in the US, but I don't think that's not really a solution for the rest of the world's countries. Certainly not one that should be advocated, anyway. Our already sketchy control over non-proliferation would be non-existent if that were to happen.
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post #15 of 168
bah, we got the second ice age problem nailed, why else do you think all those SUVs are out there?
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ThunderPoit: ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US! YOU HAVE NO CHANCE TO SURVIVE MAKE YOUR TIME!

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post #16 of 168
Considering that practically every internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline could be converted - if not built new from the factory - to run on natural gas, and that there already exists a distribution network for this stuff, and that this stuff can be generated from refuse or pulled out of the ground, there is an exit strategy. With natural gas producing far less pollutants and greenhouse gases, maybe it will take a slap in the face to get people to accept technology already in use outside the USA.

The scary scenario described on Page 2 might happen if all of a sudden we wake up and say "Hey, there's no oil!" But escalating prices will be the impetus for folks to start converting. I've had two cars that run on the stuff and I really wonder what he's talking about that it can't happen fast enough or that it will all be used up. The problem is that it is not cost-effective for demand to get it out from certain areas or produce it from garbage - but that would change once automobiles started running on the stuff. A car would use more in a month than a house in a year. The NG companies really want to see this happen, but the laziness of the population to not even explore alternates is what keeps this from taking off.
post #17 of 168
One of the major problems with natural gas (read methane) is that it itself is a green house gas. There are literally uncountably many of these hydrated methane rock-like structures on the bottom of the ocean -- but how do you access them without bringing about a global catastrophe?

Methane is as much as a temporary fix as nuclear power if not more of one.

Solar generated hydrogen is probably the easiest way to a storable fuel but there are unprecedented problems with this as a solution. What happens as hydrogen escapes and the atmosphere becomes more reductive (read less oxygen, with no concomitant increase in carbon dioxide so even the plants are unhappy -- this is assuming that neither O2 nor CO2 are produced or released in the process of making H2, which actually isn't quite fair but let's run with it). What we need is direct power from the sun. Everything that involves a temporary storage of fuel in chemical form is wasteful.
post #18 of 168
I agree that methane is a greenhouse gas, but what comes out of a tailpipe on a car running methane verses a car running gasoline is 80-90% less greenhouse gases and pollutants. In fact, carbon monoxide is almost immeasurable. The sad thing is the inertia of the average consumer. And this is one of the reasons I support a massive increase on gas taxes and using that money to encourage people to search out alternatives - and help them pay for it. There has to be a breaking point for the wallets of SUV owners where they will say that gasoline is expensive and alternative have to be considered.

Being a quick fix, it is the best quick fix that can be used today. Every car that gets converted - or built this way - will immediately reduce undesirable emissions drastically until society can start planning on exotic technologies for our energy needs. The time for legislators to tax gasoline and for consumer to act is now! The technology is here, we just need the push.
post #19 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by JimDreamworx
Being a quick fix, it is the best quick fix that can be used today. Every car that gets converted - or built this way - will immediately reduce undesirable emissions drastically until society can start planning on exotic technologies for our energy needs. The time for legislators to tax gasoline and for consumer to act is now! The technology is here, we just need the push.

Oil seed rape works too.
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post #20 of 168
What's the typical price for converting a petro engine to natural gas?
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post #21 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by fred_lj
What's the typical price for converting a petro engine to natural gas?

Right now, due to supply and demand, and the fact that I did this in Canada at the time, the equivalent cost in US dollars would probably be about $1,000 - a cost that could be borne by the government if they increased taxes on gasoline and earmarked that money to pay for conversions. Or apply a tax to the sales of gasoline vehicles that would be used, but alternate fuel vehicles would not have this tax.

In Canada, the NG companies also tossed in a few bucks because they knew full well a car uses more in a month than a house in a year, and it was in their best interests to have car owners running on their product. And the comparative prices for the fuel more than offset such a conversion with two-years of regular driving - so even if the govt didn't pay for it, it made sense from a business case. Even more savings if a local slow-fill appliance was installed on your property as opposed to getting quick fills at a gas station.

The best thing about such a conversion is that it is dual fuel. Nobody loses gasoline ability, lest you are out in the boondocks and run on empty. I still wonder why people don't take advantage of it in Canada.
post #22 of 168
stop driving your SUVs and pick-ups people
post #23 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by burningwheel
stop driving your SUVs and pick-ups people

I feel excellent about myself, as I rode my bike to work today (as I usually do.) However, where is the rubber going to come from for my tires (trees?) and the grease for my chain when the oil goes away? Whales?
\
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post #24 of 168
Thread Starter 
Start Stock-piling Tires now
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post #25 of 168
This is what the government should do, in my opinion:

- tax oils far more
- tax electricity to push industry and people to adopt energy-saving methods
- sponsor fusion, solar and wind power research sparing no expense
- sponsor research in energy-saving methods in construction, lighting, and heating
- shut down all gas and oil powerplants ASAP, replace them with nuclears as a short term solution

Car pollution is not a real problem. Modern catalysators have cut it down drastically. The real problem is that cars eat up the oil.
post #26 of 168
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that's an interesting thing about this article, it's not really listing pollution as a major concern, just the consumption of oil, how much we depend on it, and how it's running out faster than we think.
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post #27 of 168
Does the guy have an agenda besides just "educating people" on Peak Oil? Almost certainly, though I doubt it's political. Either way, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the westernized lifestyle (everyone having a car, everyone eating two or three big meals a day, everyone stuffing their house full of plastic-based products, everyone using a ton of electricity), that we have "modernized ourselves into a corner".

Everyone knows the oil reserves are about to or have already hit their peak production levels, and everyone knows it takes millennia for the earth to create "new reserves"...

Whether this guy is a kook or not, those who are 50 and under are basically fvcked. We are about to encounter some HARSH TIMES. Period. There may even come a time when "The Road Warrior" lifestyle is not that far from the truth (people eating out of dog food cans, little pocket communities of "hoarded oil" protected by an armed militia, etc.) Whether it comes as a result of nuclear war or starvation or something else is irrelevant.

What IS relevant, and what this guy said accurately, is that we have no existing alternative energy source that is:

a) ready to be distrubuted across industrialized nations on a massive scale and on short notice

b) able to easily provide a source of power for any kind of mechanized vehicle

c) able to be easily adapted to grow, package and distribute food



And ugly end of one sort or another is coming for many of us... whether you believe it for religious reasons or scientific ones or political ones... there is simply not enough oil left in the world to support a population of even 4 or 5 billion people, let alone "6 and growing".

The greatest thing about an oil-based civilization, is how easily it can support millions upon millions of people. The worst thing about an oil-based civilization... is how easily it can suport millions upon millions of people. I'm sure there was some visionary 100 years ago who recognized that the oil-based civilization would lead to a civlization so large, as to eventually implode or come crashing back in on itself to a more sustainable level.

Barring a meteor impact or nuclear war, I have little doubt there will be millions of humans populating this planet 100 years from now. But there won't be billions. That is assured.

Sweet dreams, friends. We are guilty of little more than being born too late and taking advantage of some amazing technologies that have made our lives as easy as can be imagined. We did what everyone has always wanted to do, and now the party is coming to and end....

\ I think I'll go watch the Passion of Christ now. It might cheer me up after this thread / reading that site.
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post #28 of 168
Hey..
How about investing in stock of the companies that do energy research and low-consumption products. I wonder which ones are most promising?
post #29 of 168
Oh I almost forgot: the one Biblical saying that I've always believed as being strongly grounded in science... "The meek shall inherit the earth."

Those, IOW, who already live lives not bound by the constraints of oil and machinery. Native tribes in S. America, Africa and even Australia. Maybe small towns in remote mountain areas around the world (hard to get to / only one road leading in or out of)...

...People who know how to farm a few crops, can drink non-chlorinated water without taking ill, who ride horses or walk most places.


Something to think about.
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post #30 of 168
Thread Starter 
Everything just seems like it's too little too late, very depressing.
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post #31 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by Moogs
Does the guy have an agenda besides just "educating people" on Peak Oil? Almost certainly, though I doubt it's political.

If you don't like him, just google for peak oil. You'll find a bunch of petrochemists, geologists, sociologists, economists, executives and historians who write about it ...
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post #32 of 168
Strangely enough, I, of all people, am fairly optimistic about the human future:

you see, we are going to meet the 'helpers' from Alfa-Centaury and they will move us through "The Great Harvest Of Souls"





no, but seriously folks . . . I think that something will happen . . we will adapt . . . though we need to have leadership that recognizes reality as opposed to waiting for Angelic Hosts while the world burns . . .

We not only can synthesize many of these compounds from organic waste, as Billybobsky said, but there are even plants (or was it bacteria?) that can grow oil!!

anyway . . . I am not religious, but I do have faith . . . and we are going to adapt . .

BUT
in order to adapt successfully, I think that the suggestions made by this fellow and others, will be of aid . . . and perhaps we can lessen the transition trauma: trauma which will take the form of warfare, strife, famine, and huge loss of life . .. and worse of all: Apple will have to make wooden computers
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"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

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post #33 of 168
Thread Starter 
I too am fairly confidant that we can adapt, that doesn't mean I'm not going to start doing my part.

The article is so bleak though, it's like, it doesn't even make me want to do anything, like, there is nothing I can do in time so why even bother
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post #34 of 168
We will adapt, but only a very small percentage of us. Unless we get hit by a giant asteroid, then we are just f***ed.
post #35 of 168
Thread Starter 
I'm more scared of nuclear war.
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post #36 of 168
I didn't mean to imply I think the guy who wrote that Peak Oil piece IS a kook. I'm just saying he made enough pertinent points that it really doesn't matter what he is. He has simply reminded us of what we have known all along, had we just taken the time to stop and think about it. The conclusions are pretty unavoidable, all you have to do is understand the laws of supply and demand, and the tenets of human behavior when put under certain stresses.

As for adapting, that's really not in question. Though the extinction of our race is possible, should the coming oil crises lead to nuclear war, it's more likely they will lead to something less (but not much less unappealing).

Sure we will adapt. Humans always adapt when given a chance and the conditions for basic survival. But adaptation for millions does not imply survival of billions. I suspect, that after hitting a plateau (before the poop hits the oscillating wood paddles), the world population will be at least cut in half by this, if not cut by two thirds or more.

More drastically it could literally become a "meek inherit the earth" type deal where no modern society survives intact (by that I mean the vast majority of its population decimated).
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post #37 of 168
Plastics were only invented 55+ or so years ago . . . the disposable garbage bag, pharmeceuticals, umbrellas, iTunesMS yellow caps and computers etc will have to made with alternative substances . . . there will be plenty of compounds synthesized to step in. . .
for exmple: in Japan there is intense research on new forms of ceramics that would make your mind boggle . . .they even have made cars -that work and are supposedly tougher, more heat resistant and faster- completely out of new lightweight ceramics . . . I mean all of the car except the rubber and electrical and glass . . . I'm sure that ingenuity will step in

but what we need is a "Manhatten Project Phase 2: The Alternatives to Oil Years" . . . and this needs to be acknowledged by leaders unafraid that science might run counter to Big-Bearded-Guy-Retribution-Day.
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

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"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

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post #38 of 168
I can almost guarantee you the equipment used to manufacture that ceramic car, depends (at some stage) on oil to make it happen. Either in the manufacturing of the equipment itself or in running it or both.

I'm not trying to say there is nothing anybody can do to lessen dependancy on oil in general, but even if say several million people all across America and Europe suddenly (as in tomorrow) started supplementing their house with solar or wind energy, and suddenly cut back on plastics, and drove half as much per year... it would barely make a *dent* in overall consumption. And what we would need is to mobilize well over a billion people to do these sorts of things, in order to actually "make a dent".

Ain't gonna happen, friend. We're a generally cooperative species, but we're not that cooperative.

The issue too, isn't that we're going to "run out" of oil so much as it will become so expensive to acquire and process oil (long *before* it runs out), that the price of just about everything (especially food and vehicle fuel and home heating) will go through the roof. That's where all the troubles will start. There will be no such thing as "disposable income" for the middle class anymore. Add a necessaily slackening economy to those spiking prices and people will start to get desparate... we know the rest.
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post #39 of 168
Quote:
Originally posted by Moogs
The issue too, isn't that we're going to "run out" of oil so much as it will become so expensive to acquire and process oil (long *before* it runs out), that the price of just about everything (especially food and vehicle fuel and home heating) will go through the roof. That's where all the troubles will start. There will be no such thing as "disposable income" for the middle class anymore. Add a necessaily slackening economy to those spiking prices and people will start to get desparate... we know the rest.

I hate to sound like an insufferable capitalist . . . but I think that the reason above is exactly why the people who CAN change consumption on a global wide scale, by retooling manufacter etc, WILL do so . . . for example: the profit motive will make the oil companies decide to stop holding out on Hydrogen, and they will retool distribution and production because they will see the economic writing on the wall . . . they will provide alternative organic based substances becasue it will be in their interest to do so . . .

But once again, I think that we need imaginative leadership that can point this out to the stodgy old men on the boards . . .
also this investing idea is truly a good idea . . .
Becoming a chemical compound physicist (billybob) who knows where to see possibilities and also has the entrepenuerial gumption to make a difference is also a good idea . . . so what are you waiting for Moogs?!
"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

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"They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
--George W Bush

"Narrative is what starts to happen after eight minutes
--Franklin Miller.

"Nothing...

Reply
post #40 of 168
OK folks. Let me offer a different perspective.

That article is total bullshit! We are NOWHERE NEAR "running out of oil" on this planet. There are vast untapped and undiscovered reserves. ANWAR alone could satisfy the US demand for oil for 40 years. 2020 for peak production? I don't think so. We haven't begun to explore the potential of reserves in places like the Gulf of Mexico and such. Even the Middle East, while experiencing production limits (some artificial) has ABUNDANT oil for years to come.

Look at the "sources, graphs and charts" linked to on the website. They're absurd. It is amazing that people here and elswhere can actually believe a website called "dieoff.orf". Really...the hilarity is beyond all measure. The "World Resources Institute"? HAHAHAHAHA. Oh my god.
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