[ExI] Wash post comment

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun May 20 08:40:58 UTC 2012

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 06:25:49PM -0700, Jeff Davis wrote:

> > No, it is a real problem.  Sets the lower limit on what is useful.
> Sets the lower limit.....  Yes, it does that.  The lower "limit" is
> 1:1.  That's where you put in as much as you get out, so you actually
> get nothing out.
> Yes this is informative.  Yes, this is helpful,... educationally,... I
> suppose.  But, with respect, as long as one gets 2, or 3, or 4:1,
> what's the problem?  If abundant tar sands and abundant shale oil/gas
> mean even 100 years of affordable energy -- ie sufficient for steady
> global economic growth -- then we have plenty of time to transition to
> replacement energy sources, and the whole "We're doomed, we're
> doomed!" thing is commercial and political hysteria fomented for
> commercial and political profit.

Jeff, I know that you're very good with finding information.
It's strange that you do not put these talents into use to
find materials like this
and http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8625
> Your "real world" example ***explains*** EROEI well enough, but can't
> make it relevant if there is not no chance of getting to 1:1..
> ***IF*** food gets to 1:1, people are in trouble.  ***IF*** energy
> gets to 1:1 modern civilization is in trouble.  But these things are

If oil goes below 25:1 the economy is in trouble.
If fossil goes below 7:1 to 5:1 than the civilization is in trouble.

> not happening, so it's like saying "If an asteroid strikes the earth,
> we're in trouble."  So what?  It's not happening.  Going from an EROEI
> of 100:1 to an EROEI of 5:1 is irrelevant if we never get to 1:1, and
> as long as there is enough at 5:1 to do the job. Sure, 1:1 is doom,
> but since we won't ever get there, it's just scaremongering.
>                                ***************************************
> For the record, I'm on board with your space solar advocacy, though

I'm not against space solar at all. 

I'm just against spending any resources we don't have while we're
sliding along towards the energy cliff.

> personally I value it more for its usefulness in space than down here
> in the gravity well (where it's also useful).

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