[ExI] Doomsday Oil Price: (was RIP: Peak Oil)

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Tue Mar 6 19:08:32 UTC 2012

On Mon, 5 Mar 2012, Kelly Anderson wrote:

> I'd much rather be the US than Germany economically right now. Greece
> and friends are dragging you down pretty heavy, and that's not pretty.
> Solar or lack of it is the least of the problems Europe has at the
> moment... at least according to the media reports I've heard.

If we are at it, links, please? I am just interested, not challenging your 

> >> >> it is certainly less expensive than new nuclear,
> >> >
> >> > If you make the solar jump in the loops as you do with new nuclear
> >> > plants it would be much more expensive than new nuclear.
> >
> > Er. New nuclear is expensive because of safety requirements.
> > Obviously PV panels don't have corium as main failure mode and
> > millions of pipe welds to control.
> Nuclear is expensive because it is caught between brain dead engineers
> that think they need to design each plant from scratch, and brain dead
> tree huggers on the other side that think it's dangerous, when it
> clearly is not statistically, even when you take Chernobyl and
> Fukashima into account. Yet people think bears are dangerous when they
> kill relatively few people too... it's part of the human psychology to
> be afraid of a strange form of death more than a familiar form of
> death.

There seem to be mixed reports (no time to analyse in depth) about coal 
power station producing quite some amounts of radioactivity - because coal 
is not pure, it contains lots of additional substances. Even if there is 
not radiation from coal burning, there is a lot of other stuff going into 
air, contributing to acid rains, smog etc etc.

But. A vision of fireplace full of burning wood, distributing nice heat in 
your room/house is so heart catching. Truly a coal power station is in the 
same league, and I would expect Snow White working there, too.

This was a moment when I realized tree huggers are emotion-driven. 
Unfortunately, I expect good decision making to be based on facts, 
emotions have some place but not much (eradicating emotions is not good, 
humans are not robots, yet humans who only know emotions are IMHO closer 
to animals than to rational beings).

Since that time, whenever I hear tree huggers oppose something, in my mind 
I add one point in favour of this thing, even before I start gathering 
facts to judge it.

Questions remain. Like, who gives those guys money. From what I've heard, 
western Greens had been backed by Red money, but Red is long dead now.

People are idiots but the money says truth.

> >> We don't have a huge problem right now. If we did, we would have $15 a
> >> gallon gasoline.
> >
> > We have 1.70 EUR/l at the moment, FWIW.
> I have never truly understood why gasoline is so much more expensive
> in Europe than in the US. I always assumed that it was because the
> European governments were screwing up the free market or taxing the
> hell out of it, but I don't know if that's the case or not. Maybe the
> US government subsidizes the prices here somehow to keep them
> artificially low. I don't understand that part. Wish I did.

Oh, if you were a Pole, or (I guess) even better, a Russian, you would 
have had inborn understanding there is a theoretical economy (which says a 
lot about "better wins", or "mutual exchange of surplus goods") and a real 
economy, which is real.

I am used to see, in the same news, talk about oil prices going down on 
"world markets" and oil going up here in PL. The first reasonable thought 
I had after hearing we would be fraking shale gas was "ok, we are going to 
have our own gas, so how much the price will increase this time". Indeed, 
fraking is yet to start and we already had two increases, if memory serves 

The real economy is not limited to old-style industry. Consider a 
software, for example, where a small business starts selling a half-baked 
software and goes into global domination, while at the same time kicking 
better alternatives out of the market. I could argue their soft is 
half-baked even now, but on the other hand, I admire those guys. Their 
understanding of reality is so good, I almost feel shivers on my back when 
I try to imagine it. Of course I stay away from their products, which 
doesn't diminish my fascination with their success.

> Do we really need to plan 30 years ahead in energy? What would that
> long term a plan even look like? What would it even say?

I guess it should start like this: "Those who don't plan their future will 
have none. Yes they may be alive, only spending their days in Ethernal 
Present, not remembering and not prospecting."

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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