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Peak Oil

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Posts

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    If gas goes up to $6 a gallon, more bus companies will open up. If need be, we can subsidize tickets for the poor or whatever.

    That seems a lot cheaper and flexible than pumping billions into trains that maybe, potentially, might see more riders sometime in the future, theoretically.

    The trains are guaranteed to have riders. Amtrak as it stands is a joke, and nobody actually wants to drive their car from Omaha to Rapid City because you're essentially just driving a train car that will go off the road and flip over and explode if you stop actively paying attention for more than 10 seconds. Or be able to jump down to Lincoln and back just as we ride the bus across the city now. Right now, you have one time of day to catch the train.. near midnight. When the busses in the city are no longer running.

    Plus we already have subsidized bus tickets/rides here. If your city doesn't have it, I guess they're just behind the times.

    Also, they wouldn't put cargo on HSR. Trucks and freight trains still do that better for the forseeable future, as we have to build seperate tracks for HSR anyway.
    I really don't see how your post supports this claim. The problem in most parts of this country when it comes to train travel is the issue of what do you do when you actually get to your destination, given the general lack of public transit in most of the country. Amtrak between DC and NYC works great because there are subway systems in each city. But to take your hypothetical train from Omaha to Rapid City, how do you get to the station without a car, and what do you do when you get off the train at your destination?

    Buses, at least, have some flexibility in this regard because they're not tied to rails and can pick up and drop off people based on customer demand and changes in demographics.

    And I still haven't seen anyone deal with the issue of cost. I have a family of 3, soon to be 4. Buying train tickets for all of us will almost certainly always remain more expensive, unless gas increases in price by a significant amount (maybe 5 times the current cost). I just ran a quick search on Amtrak, and it would cost the 4 of us $555 roundtrip to go to NYC and back. That's maybe 4-5 times what it would cost us to drive.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2011
    Since you can put rail systems right into the city, just add a bus route or a shuttle to the train station and back. Airports always need to be outside of the city and generally only have a cab as the way to actually get into it.

    It should be noted that Amtrak is the only way to get from Omaha to Lincoln without driving a car. There is no Greyhound service between the cities, even though the bus drives right through Lincoln on I-80 when going from Omaha to Denver or Denver to Omaha. It's only 14$ to do so.. but as I said, it comes through only at midnight, so you have to take a cab to get from/to the station here as the bus system shuts down by that time.

    If I could get on the HSR train from here to there and back for roughly the same price and not have it take an hour because the train is going slower than highway speed (an hour via Amtrak, 30 mins via car, so HSR could get there in 10-15 mins), not only could people feasibly have a job in Omaha while living in Lincoln, they wouldn't have to burn up gallons upon gallons of fuel driving between them. Now apply this to other states with populous cities in similiar situations and the benefits just multiply.

    We had no real economic incentive to build the highway system either (it was built under the auspice of being part of our defense system), but now it's a sacred cow (IMMA DRIVE MY CAR AND GET TO DECIDE WHICH OFFRAMP I GET OFF TO REFUEL AT). We build HSR and actually make it good, people will adapt to it and use it.

    Trains can:

    - Run in worse weather than bus or plane
    - be easily adapted to increased usage by simply adding another car to the train, versus having to spend thousands of exploratory dollars to add another bus route or millions of dollars to design a new airport or plane
    - planes maximize profit by squeezing more passengers into the same amount of space and can be fairly late and still make more money this way, trains maximize profit by being on time and as before, can simply attach another car to the train to increase capacity
    - faster than bus or taxi for many trips
    - faster than a plane for certain long trips
    - can have rooms with beds for long trips, so it's actually possible to sleep in them. Privately. Horizontally.
    - we can include internet infrastructure under or within the HSR's track right-of-way
    - HSR can technically be run down the existing highway system if need be
    - It wouldn't need to sit on the side of a track for two hours because the tracks it runs on wouldn't be privately owned and have to defer to freight trains
    - take people that cannot ride on a plane safely and cannot drive a car across the country cheaply and effectively

    Or we could just never be a great country again and let China pass us by while our infrastructure rots as people don't want to actually do anything anymore, that works too. But I guess some people just can't see how much of a gigantic game changer HSR is. Automated cars are still a ways off.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Since you can put rail systems right into the city, just add a bus route or a shuttle to the train station and back. Airports always need to be outside of the city and generally only have a cab as the way to actually get into it.
    And then what? People get to their destination city, and now they have to rent a car to get around. Which adds to the cost, and time.
    It should be noted that Amtrak is the only way to get from Omaha to Lincoln without driving a car. There is no Greyhound service between the cities, even though the bus drives right through Lincoln on I-80 when going from Omaha to Denver or Denver to Omaha. It's only 14$ to do so.. but as I said, it comes through only at midnight, so you have to take a cab to get from/to the station here as the bus system shuts down by that time.
    I don't know why Greyhound doesn't offer service between the two cities. But, unless I'm missing something, Lincoln to Omaha is a one hour drive. And the Midwest being what it is, everyone drives a car out there. Do you really think it's realistic to think that people will take a bus to the train station, ride the train to the other city and then take a bus or taxi, given that they could just drive and save themselves all the hassle?
    We had no real economic incentive to build the highway system either (it was built under the auspice of being part of our defense system), but now it's a sacred cow (IMMA DRIVE MY CAR AND GET TO DECIDE WHICH OFFRAMP I GET OFF TO REFUEL AT). We build HSR and actually make it good, people will adapt to it and use it.
    More likely, in places like Nebraska, it would remain empty and would be a giant money-sink. Because you're talking about low-density populations with little access to public transit at each end of the train lines (and little interest in using public transit when a car is available).

    The problem with a lot of proponents of HSR is that they think people are just ignorant of the benefits of public transit versus a private car. But that's not the case. HSR proponents just can't make an argument that makes sense to a person in Lincoln as to why they should take the train to Omaha when they can just drive there in an hour.
    Or we could just never be a great country again and let China pass us by while our infrastructure rots as people don't want to actually do anything anymore, that works too. But I guess some people just can't see how much of a gigantic game changer HSR is. Automated cars are still a ways off.
    HSR has little, if anything, to do with our future as a country. Its proponents are simply unable to make an argument as to how it would be viable outside of a few areas such as the NE corridor.

    Finally, you're still not addressing the cost issue. Do you expect gas to get up to $15+ a gallon? Because that's what you'd need to make rail competitive for mid-distance hauls for anyone other than single people.

    And for long-hauls, like from NY to LA, unless the train is significantly cheaper, people are going to take a 6 hour flight rather than spending days on a train.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited February 2011
    i love trains, but i think modern man is right about this. our cities and population and society are not oriented around public transit. outside of the metro NE, it doesn't even get much use within cities, to say nothing of between cities.

    it didn't have to be this way - we could have developed like europe or japan - but we didn't and it is

    a few months ago i visited NYC from boston. i wanted to take the train but it was $100 each way. i ended up taking the bus because it was $5 each way.

    also, i basically agree that america no longer has the juice or political will to do anything ambitious or creative in a large scale anymore. we just don't. we have too many bureaucratic impediments and too many private interests with their nose under the tent to really get anything done anymore. all we can really do is hope that private enterprise will kinda sorta take care of public needs, and they rarely do all that well.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    If gas goes up to $6 a gallon, more bus companies will open up. If need be, we can subsidize tickets for the poor or whatever.

    That seems a lot cheaper and flexible than pumping billions into trains that maybe, potentially, might see more riders sometime in the future, theoretically.

    The trains are guaranteed to have riders. Amtrak as it stands is a joke, and nobody actually wants to drive their car from Omaha to Rapid City because you're essentially just driving a train car that will go off the road and flip over and explode if you stop actively paying attention for more than 10 seconds. Or be able to jump down to Lincoln and back just as we ride the bus across the city now. Right now, you have one time of day to catch the train.. near midnight. When the busses in the city are no longer running.

    Plus we already have subsidized bus tickets/rides here. If your city doesn't have it, I guess they're just behind the times.

    Also, they wouldn't put cargo on HSR. Trucks and freight trains still do that better for the forseeable future, as we have to build seperate tracks for HSR anyway.

    Honestly I think HSR advocates are living in a completely different reality than the rest of the US.

    Guaranteed to have riders and guaranteed to have enough riders to make the train viable are completely diffrent. The reason no one 'wants to drive' from Ohama(pop 420k/829k metro) to Rapid City(pop 60k/120k) is that its fucking Rapid City. You think its a good idea to build HS rail line to connect to a city with a population of just 60k. Trains aren't free to run, and the train between Milwaukee(605k/1.76mil) and Chicago(2.85mil/9.79mil) can't get enough riders to break even, and thats with the incentive of avoiding the potential hell that is Chicago traffic(maybe it'll take 90m to drive maybe it'll take 3 hours, roll the dice to find out), not 'Set the cruse control to 75 and jam out' on empty interstate.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Irond Will wrote: »
    also, i basically agree that america no longer has the juice or political will to do anything ambitious or creative in a large scale anymore. we just don't. we have too many bureaucratic impediments and too many private interests with their nose under the tent to really get anything done anymore. all we can really do is hope that private enterprise will kinda sorta take care of public needs, and they rarely do all that well.

    I learned about the early history of Seattle a few days ago. When first built, the fledging town had many infrastructure problems, such as plumbing that shot water out of the toilets if you flushed them at high tide.

    A fire broke out, burning down the majority of the settlement. One historian referred to this fire as the "Great Seattle Fire"; the reason he called it "great" is because it gave people the chance to redesign the infrastructure of Seattle so it wasn't so damn terrible.

    Maybe all we need in America is a few city-destroying disasters that will give us the chance to change our infrastructure over to something that isn't totally shitty?

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    also, i basically agree that america no longer has the juice or political will to do anything ambitious or creative in a large scale anymore. we just don't. we have too many bureaucratic impediments and too many private interests with their nose under the tent to really get anything done anymore. all we can really do is hope that private enterprise will kinda sorta take care of public needs, and they rarely do all that well.

    I learned about the early history of Seattle a few days ago. When first built, the fledging town had many infrastructure problems, such as plumbing that shot water out of the toilets if you flushed them at high tide.

    A fire broke out, burning down the majority of the settlement. One historian referred to this fire as the "Great Seattle Fire"; the reason he called it "great" is because it gave people the chance to redesign the infrastructure of Seattle so it wasn't so damn terrible.

    Maybe all we need in America is a few city-destroying disasters that will give us the chance to change our infrastructure over to something that isn't totally shitty?

    NOLA says: Hi, come visit, get shot.

  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I really don't see how your post supports this claim. The problem in most parts of this country when it comes to train travel is the issue of what do you do when you actually get to your destination, given the general lack of public transit in most of the country. Amtrak between DC and NYC works great because there are subway systems in each city. But to take your hypothetical train from Omaha to Rapid City, how do you get to the station without a car, and what do you do when you get off the train at your destination?

    Buses, at least, have some flexibility in this regard because they're not tied to rails and can pick up and drop off people based on customer demand and changes in demographics.

    What? What do you think people do when they fly Omaha to Rapid City? Or do people not fly Omaha to Rapid City?

    And I still haven't seen anyone deal with the issue of cost. I have a family of 3, soon to be 4. Buying train tickets for all of us will almost certainly always remain more expensive, unless gas increases in price by a significant amount (maybe 5 times the current cost). I just ran a quick search on Amtrak, and it would cost the 4 of us $555 roundtrip to go to NYC and back. That's maybe 4-5 times what it would cost us to drive.

    Well, even if you factor in the cost of the car and associated costs of ownership, yes it will cost more for your whole family to take the train (though it does save you the work of driving).

    A couple things to few though: It is probably cheaper and easier for an individual traveler to take the train, gas prices are only going up, and traffic.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    High speed rail would be a kick ass alternative to short flights or long drives....between major cities that have solid metropolitan transportation systems. Anywhere out west that was really built up after auto transit become commonplace and the transit systems are shit? Fucking forget about it.

    The real issue is that our development in general is retarded and impossible to use if you don't have autonomous control over your transport. The western US is just incredibly stupidly built in the vast majority of places if you're trying to use anything other than a car as your basic transport, however it's fueled.

    In order for it to work, mass transit has to be not only cheap but ubiquitous, convenient, and fast enough that you can drop your vehicles. That's damn hard outside of a few urban areas out here - and even then probably pretty damn hard for many people since they work in one area, which may be dozens of miles from where they live, which may be 10 miles from where they shop, which may be 10 miles from their kids' schools, which may be 20 miles from where their select soccer team practices 45 minutes after classes end. And so on.

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  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    oldsak wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I really don't see how your post supports this claim. The problem in most parts of this country when it comes to train travel is the issue of what do you do when you actually get to your destination, given the general lack of public transit in most of the country. Amtrak between DC and NYC works great because there are subway systems in each city. But to take your hypothetical train from Omaha to Rapid City, how do you get to the station without a car, and what do you do when you get off the train at your destination?

    Buses, at least, have some flexibility in this regard because they're not tied to rails and can pick up and drop off people based on customer demand and changes in demographics.

    What? What do you think people do when they fly Omaha to Rapid City? Or do people not fly Omaha to Rapid City?
    I doubt many people do, frankly. How big of a market is that? It's 500 miles between the two. Maybe there are a handful of business travelers every day, I don't know. But if you're taking your family to visit the grandparents for the holidays, you're almost certainly driving. There's no way to make that market profitable for HSR, given the distances and the relatively small populations.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • override367override367 misogynist/MRA/socially irresponsible Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Irond Will wrote: »
    i love trains, but i think modern man is right about this. our cities and population and society are not oriented around public transit. outside of the metro NE, it doesn't even get much use within cities, to say nothing of between cities.

    it didn't have to be this way - we could have developed like europe or japan - but we didn't and it is

    a few months ago i visited NYC from boston. i wanted to take the train but it was $100 each way. i ended up taking the bus because it was $5 each way.

    also, i basically agree that america no longer has the juice or political will to do anything ambitious or creative in a large scale anymore. we just don't. we have too many bureaucratic impediments and too many private interests with their nose under the tent to really get anything done anymore. all we can really do is hope that private enterprise will kinda sorta take care of public needs, and they rarely do all that well.

    While I'm probably the most pessimistic person ever most of the time, I have a feeling this will change when our empire finally falls apart and we're facing a real crisis. NOLA was ignored because... well ask Kanye, there's more to it but that's the gist.

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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2011
    Modern Man wrote: »
    oldsak wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I really don't see how your post supports this claim. The problem in most parts of this country when it comes to train travel is the issue of what do you do when you actually get to your destination, given the general lack of public transit in most of the country. Amtrak between DC and NYC works great because there are subway systems in each city. But to take your hypothetical train from Omaha to Rapid City, how do you get to the station without a car, and what do you do when you get off the train at your destination?

    Buses, at least, have some flexibility in this regard because they're not tied to rails and can pick up and drop off people based on customer demand and changes in demographics.

    What? What do you think people do when they fly Omaha to Rapid City? Or do people not fly Omaha to Rapid City?
    I doubt many people do, frankly. How big of a market is that? It's 500 miles between the two. Maybe there are a handful of business travelers every day, I don't know. But if you're taking your family to visit the grandparents for the holidays, you're almost certainly driving. There's no way to make that market profitable for HSR, given the distances and the relatively small populations.

    Do you even know what is sitting just outside of Rapid City?
    Spoiler:

    $Tourism. That's what.

    But to even take a train to PAX from here is a 5 day trip.. which is lengthened by the fact that the train takes this route to get there. At sub highway speeds.

  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If you build it, they will come.

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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    oldsak wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    I really don't see how your post supports this claim. The problem in most parts of this country when it comes to train travel is the issue of what do you do when you actually get to your destination, given the general lack of public transit in most of the country. Amtrak between DC and NYC works great because there are subway systems in each city. But to take your hypothetical train from Omaha to Rapid City, how do you get to the station without a car, and what do you do when you get off the train at your destination?

    Buses, at least, have some flexibility in this regard because they're not tied to rails and can pick up and drop off people based on customer demand and changes in demographics.

    What? What do you think people do when they fly Omaha to Rapid City? Or do people not fly Omaha to Rapid City?
    I doubt many people do, frankly. How big of a market is that? It's 500 miles between the two. Maybe there are a handful of business travelers every day, I don't know. But if you're taking your family to visit the grandparents for the holidays, you're almost certainly driving. There's no way to make that market profitable for HSR, given the distances and the relatively small populations.

    Do you even know what is sitting just outside of Rapid City?
    Spoiler:

    $Tourism. That's what.

    But to even take a train to PAX from here is a 5 day trip.. which is lengthened by the fact that the train takes this route to get there. At sub highway speeds.

    Yeah, but people go and see that...once(twice counting when they have kids)? Generally people head out there and do the Badlands/Mnt Rushmore/Yellowstone etc tour circuit. They don't head to the middle of nowhere, look at the mountain then leave.

  • monkeylovemonkeylove Registered User regular
    Peak oil is a done deal. BP has shown that energy demand has been exceeding production from conventional sources since 2006. The excess demand is met by using non-conventional sources which are more expensive energy-wise.

    Citibank reports that, following EIA findings, North America will be able to add only 4-6 mb/d to production for the next two decades. Unfortunately, global oil demand has to go up around 2 mb/d a year in order to maintain economic growth.

    Similarly, the IEA reported that at best all oil and gas sources worldwide will lead to a 9-pct increase in production. Unfortunately, global demand has to go up by around 2 pct a year in order to maintain economic growth. The IEA maintains that we will need the equivalent of one Saudi Arabia every seven years just to maintain growth. Oil discoveries peaked in 1964. Oil production per capita peaked in 1979.

    Finally, the 9-pct increase is based on the assumption that conventional oil production won't drop, but it will. Oil production from the U.S. peaked back in 1970. Production for two-thirds of oil-producing countries have peaked or have gone past peak. That leaves very few

  • monkeylovemonkeylove Registered User regular
    ...countries to export oil, including Saudi Arabia. Morgan Stanley forecasts negative spare capacity for Saudi Arabia soon, even as it puts Manifa online, which contains heavy-sour oil, like the rest of what the world is using.

    Thus, we face more expensive oil energy-wise needed to support a global manufacturing and mechanized agricultural system that are heavily dependent on oil (not just for energy but also for petrochemicals), increasing population and resource demand per capita (due to a global capitalist economy and a growing global middle class), resource shortages due to depletion and environmental damage, and with that more expensive alternative sources of energy, all amid high fuel and food prices worldwide coupled with unemployment and threats of shortages for other resources (including phosphates).

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    All of that discounts the tendency of more expensive sources to become less expensive as technology advances.

  • Delta AssaultDelta Assault Registered User regular
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

  • CasualCasual Ho Ho Ho Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

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  • Delta AssaultDelta Assault Registered User regular
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

    Or with science.

    Ethanol is a rabbit hole we never should have gone down.

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  • The Fourth EstateThe Fourth Estate Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

    Pretty crude arithmetic; there is a finite supply of arable land in the world, and an ever increasing number of mouths to feed. Biofuels are a non-starter.

    The Fourth Estate on
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  • TerribleMisathropeTerribleMisathrope 23rd Degree Intiate At The Right Hand Of The Seven HornsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.
    Not even without. Optimism is not a magic wand that makes the quantitatively impossible come into being. It is physically impossible to grow enough corn to do anything more than use corn-ethanol as a fuel supplement. There is simply not enough arable land on earth to make enough corn, or any food product, for Ethanol to be a viable primary fuel for national, let alone global, transportation demand. The main problem with biofuels, aside from the fact that Enthanol is much less fuel efficient and has a much lower energy density than gasoline, is that when food sources are used for Ethanol production, then people that eat corn or corn fed animals are now competing to get a commodity that is also a fuel, and this has already lead directly to food price spikes all over the developing world, where they rely on corn gifts from the U.S.to evade starvation. There is some hope that bio-waste products (corn stalks, or the infamous "switchgrass") may eventually be a primary source of Ethanol, now that cellulosic Ethanol production is actively occurring in several plants in the states (see NPR story from last week), but it will be a very long time before they produce enough to compete with corn based Ethanol, let alone Oil.

    If you are looking for a viable replacement fuel for Gasoline & Diesel, then compressed natural gas (CNG) is the optimal choice, thanks to ridiculous abundance, low cost and the ease of converting existing diesel engines to CNG. The only thing missing right now is pipeline infrastructure to convenience stores outside of Natural Gas Industry hotspots, like Oklahoma City, OK. In addition, there are a number of exceptionally effective and simple Natural Gas Fuel Cells (Bloom Box, for one), that would make the most efficient power plant for home and vehicle electricity generation known to man. If those two things were combined it would revolutionize transportation in the U.S., because at that point you could have electric engines powered by an NG fuel cell converting natural gas (mainly methane) and O2 into electricity, H2O and CO2. Bloom and Tesla should team up to create such a car, IMO, before someone else figures that out, since a CNG tank + Bloom Box would be far cheaper energy storage/generation than the Lithium batteries they currently use for energy storage (plus Lithium is mostly found in China and the U.S. is one of the largest NG producers in the world). The other cool thing about Natural Gas is that there are also many renewable sources of methane like garbage dumps, cattle, swine, poultry, sewage plants, etc., that could be harnessed and brought into that marketplace once NG infrastructure is in place and it begins to be a popular transportation fuel. Right now you can get factory made trucks that are dual fuel: CNG and Diesel, so this is practical and not really too far off. It's a nearly perfect bridge fuel to replace Coal and Gasoline, until we are all-electric on a smart grid capable of handling the ebbs and flows of solar and wind power.

    Edit: Also, shale oil is now in play, because Oil prices are sufficiently high and many companies are investing heavily in this new source at this very moment. The OP is wrong that this is not viable: it is and is coming online now (see Chesapeake Energy's announcement of shale Oil production a few weeks ago). The difference is that most of the technology and capacity to perform that work lies with the Natural Gas Producers, since big Oil, never wanted to take the risk and develop horizontal drilling and hydrological fracturing technology. It is possible that we will see a big shift in Energy power away from Standard Oil's children and the other Big Oil players, to other, newer players, and this would be a big positive in my book, because then we might see a shift to NG, which is a lot cleaner and cheaper than Oil.

    Frankly, there is really no way to know if Peak Oil has really happened yet. I've heard insider estimates that the shale formations in the Dakotas alone contains larger reserves than Saudi Arabia had, and that is only 1 of numerous shale plays in the U.S., and that's only the U.S.! I think we'll just have to see what happens, but I certainly hope that NG becomes the predominant transportation fuel in the U.S. over the next 20 years, and Peak Oil might accelerate that, to our collective benefit, so even if Peak Oil happens/happened it could be a net positive.

    Edit x2: Did anyone else notice the precipitous drop in Oil prices recently? What does that tell you? To me it says that either Peak Oil is not correct or demand is weakening so fast that Peak Oil doesn't matter.

    TerribleMisathrope on
    The One Can't-Do-Without Source Of Underground Metal: http://autothrall.blogspot.com/
  • CasualCasual Ho Ho Ho Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

    Pessimism has nothing to do with it. I work in the oil industry, it's common knowledge here that biofuels are a PR exercise oil companies pour a few bucks into to keep environmentalists happy and have something to show the government on their reports. They were never meant to work, they're like the original arc reactor in iron man. :P

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • TerribleMisathropeTerribleMisathrope 23rd Degree Intiate At The Right Hand Of The Seven HornsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Casual wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

    Pessimism has nothing to do with it. I work in the oil industry, it's common knowledge here that biofuels are a PR exercise oil companies pour a few bucks into to keep environmentalists happy and have something to show the government on their reports. They were never meant to work, they're like the original arc reactor in iron man. :P
    :^: :^: and a (*) (for Iron Man and correctness, but mostly for Iron Man :) )

    TerribleMisathrope on
    The One Can't-Do-Without Source Of Underground Metal: http://autothrall.blogspot.com/
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    I just made enough methane to drive a quarter mile. I live a quarter mile at a time.

  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    mrt144 wrote: »
    I just made enough methane to drive a quarter mile. I live a quarter mile at a time.

    Yeah, can I set up a machine to capture my farts and fuel my car? That would be great.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Casual wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

    Pessimism has nothing to do with it. I work in the oil industry, it's common knowledge here that biofuels are a PR exercise oil companies pour a few bucks into to keep environmentalists happy and have something to show the government on their reports. They were never meant to work, they're like the original arc reactor in iron man. :P

    That's weird. Biofuels are just as bad as any other fossil fuel for the environment (well maybe slightly better but still pretty bad). I really don't know why they'd be considered environmentally friendly.

    They're not going to completely replace oil of course- we use oil to make fertilizer for our crops, so of course we can't turn around and use the same crops to make more oil- but I do think they could have a place in supplementing alternative energy, for niche areas where non fossil fuel just doesn't work as an energy source, like running heavy machinery in remote locations.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

    Pessimism has nothing to do with it. I work in the oil industry, it's common knowledge here that biofuels are a PR exercise oil companies pour a few bucks into to keep environmentalists happy and have something to show the government on their reports. They were never meant to work, they're like the original arc reactor in iron man. :P

    That's weird. Biofuels are just as bad as any other fossil fuel for the environment (well maybe slightly better but still pretty bad). I really don't know why they'd be considered environmentally friendly.

    They're not going to completely replace oil of course- we use oil to make fertilizer for our crops, so of course we can't turn around and use the same crops to make more oil- but I do think they could have a place in supplementing alternative energy, for niche areas where non fossil fuel just doesn't work as an energy source, like running heavy machinery in remote locations.

    Biofuels are marketed by PR departments as a Green Solution to fossil fuels.

    Cause it's like, from the Earth, man.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • TerribleMisathropeTerribleMisathrope 23rd Degree Intiate At The Right Hand Of The Seven HornsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

    Pessimism has nothing to do with it. I work in the oil industry, it's common knowledge here that biofuels are a PR exercise oil companies pour a few bucks into to keep environmentalists happy and have something to show the government on their reports. They were never meant to work, they're like the original arc reactor in iron man. :P

    That's weird. Biofuels are just as bad as any other fossil fuel for the environment (well maybe slightly better but still pretty bad). I really don't know why they'd be considered environmentally friendly.

    They're not going to completely replace oil of course- we use oil to make fertilizer for our crops, so of course we can't turn around and use the same crops to make more oil- but I do think they could have a place in supplementing alternative energy, for niche areas where non fossil fuel just doesn't work as an energy source, like running heavy machinery in remote locations.

    Biofuels are marketed by PR departments as a Green Solution to fossil fuels.

    Cause it's like, from the Earth, man.
    It's a bait and switch. Biofuels are touted by clueless politicans, because they are renewable (is in they come from recently dead plants that we can grow more of instead of long dead plants and animals that we cannot) and renewable is a green buzz word, not because biofuels are actually environmentally friendly. Using biofuels is still burning shit, which still makes CO2 and other pollutants. Basically, renewable is a concept that is part of the environmental movement and the public is too stupid to get the nuance between renewable in the environmental movement (keeping fish stocks high with limits, using sustainable agricultural practices, recycling, etc.) and renewable that still pollutes and naturally politicians just want sound bites that make them look green, not to mention the corn lobby also happens to have lots of money to buy politicians with.

    As an interesting bit of trivia: if you use renewable natural gas sources for fuel, such as the aforementioned farts, you'd actually be reducing global climate change via the greenhouse effect, because CO2 has a far less powerful greenhouse effect than Methane. :)

    Save The Earth: Burn Farts!!

    TerribleMisathrope on
    The One Can't-Do-Without Source Of Underground Metal: http://autothrall.blogspot.com/
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    I could see their niche being for small scale home use (or perhaps supplying a farm) based off waste. A bit like solar panels are used now. Nothing you'd want to run a national grid off, but still worth looking at as far as turning your waste into something some of your things can use, at the low cost of adding some specialised yeasts to a bin/vat.

    Does a lawn contain anywhere near enough energy to run a lawnmower?

    Tastyfish on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    I could see their niche being for small scale home use (or perhaps supplying a farm) based off waste. A bit like solar panels are used now. Nothing you'd want to run a national grid off, but still worth looking at as far as turning your waste into something some of your things can use, at the low cost of adding some specialised yeasts to a bin/vat.

    Does a lawn contain anywhere near enough energy to run a lawnmower?

    We shouldn't even have lawns. Sure, they're nice to look at and put your feet on but they consume so much water. It's insanity. And then you have people that fight the use of grey water to use for lawns because they're ignorant assholes that are easily grossed out by things they dont understand.

    mrt144 on
  • TerribleMisathropeTerribleMisathrope 23rd Degree Intiate At The Right Hand Of The Seven HornsRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    I could see their niche being for small scale home use (or perhaps supplying a farm) based off waste. A bit like solar panels are used now. Nothing you'd want to run a national grid off, but still worth looking at as far as turning your waste into something some of your things can use, at the low cost of adding some specialised yeasts to a bin/vat.

    Does a lawn contain anywhere near enough energy to run a lawnmower?
    You might get a useable amount of gas from composting your lawn waste AND vegetative food waste and with those 2 sources, and a sufficiently good/clever collection and storage system, the compost pile might make enough usable gas over a week to run a small lawnmower. Plus, then you'd get methane and fertilizer. IDK, it might not be worth the effort for something like that, but who knows? Technology/engineering is the missing piece for something like that and it would have to be very cheap and there would have to be CNG mowers for something like that to take off.

    The more common and existing application is collecting methane from trash dumps and using it in power generation for some of the power needs of small cities.

    TerribleMisathrope on
    The One Can't-Do-Without Source Of Underground Metal: http://autothrall.blogspot.com/
  • CasualCasual Ho Ho Ho Flap Flap Flap Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    I could see their niche being for small scale home use (or perhaps supplying a farm) based off waste. A bit like solar panels are used now. Nothing you'd want to run a national grid off, but still worth looking at as far as turning your waste into something some of your things can use, at the low cost of adding some specialised yeasts to a bin/vat.

    Does a lawn contain anywhere near enough energy to run a lawnmower?

    We shouldn't even have lawns. Sure, they're nice to look at and put your feet on but they consume so much water. It's insanity. And then you have people that fight the use of grey water to use for lawns because they're ignorant assholes that are easily grossed out by things they dont understand.

    Japanese gravel gardens for everyone! I'm totally on board with this, I fucking hate mowing the lawn.

    In all honesty though, I probably live in one of the few places on earth where we can have lawns 100% watered with rain. Which is annoying.

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Having grown up in the country I have a predilection for lawns. But I also hate people who create lawns.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Grass lawns work fine in some places.

    Those places are not the American South-West. Pictures of Golf courses in Arizone are rage inducing in their conspicuous waste.

    In general, you should be growing whatever grows naturally in your location. There's plenty of things like that around.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    We can make biofuel from corn, right?

    We can grow lots of corn.

    Well sure if we had waaaaaay more cultivated farming land than we currently do and were willing to let a few million people starve. Let's not even talk about the enviromental impact farming on that scale would have, and that's before you've used the produce to to run an engine that makes green house gassess ect ect.

    Biofuels are a PR exersice, not a meaningful fuel source.

    Well not with your pessimism, they won't.

    Pessimism has nothing to do with it. I work in the oil industry, it's common knowledge here that biofuels are a PR exercise oil companies pour a few bucks into to keep environmentalists happy and have something to show the government on their reports. They were never meant to work, they're like the original arc reactor in iron man. :P

    That's weird. Biofuels are just as bad as any other fossil fuel for the environment (well maybe slightly better but still pretty bad). I really don't know why they'd be considered environmentally friendly.

    They're not going to completely replace oil of course- we use oil to make fertilizer for our crops, so of course we can't turn around and use the same crops to make more oil- but I do think they could have a place in supplementing alternative energy, for niche areas where non fossil fuel just doesn't work as an energy source, like running heavy machinery in remote locations.

    Biofuels are marketed by PR departments as a Green Solution to fossil fuels.

    Cause it's like, from the Earth, man.
    It's a bait and switch. Biofuels are touted by clueless politicans, because they are renewable (is in they come from recently dead plants that we can grow more of instead of long dead plants and animals that we cannot) and renewable is a green buzz word, not because biofuels are actually environmentally friendly. Using biofuels is still burning shit, which still makes CO2 and other pollutants. Basically, renewable is a concept that is part of the environmental movement and the public is too stupid to get the nuance between renewable in the environmental movement (keeping fish stocks high with limits, using sustainable agricultural practices, recycling, etc.) and renewable that still pollutes and naturally politicians just want sound bites that make them look green, not to mention the corn lobby also happens to have lots of money to buy politicians with.

    As an interesting bit of trivia: if you use renewable natural gas sources for fuel, such as the aforementioned farts, you'd actually be reducing global climate change via the greenhouse effect, because CO2 has a far less powerful greenhouse effect than Methane. :)

    Save The Earth: Burn Farts!!
    You do know that burning biofuels returns the same CO2 to the atmosphere that the plants took out of it during the previous growing season(s), right? Theoretically the whole cycle could be carbon-neutral. There are various other reasons that make their use impractical on a large scale, but "burning shit" is not automatically bad for the environment.

    MWO User Name: Gorn Arming
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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger Registered User regular
    Casual wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    I could see their niche being for small scale home use (or perhaps supplying a farm) based off waste. A bit like solar panels are used now. Nothing you'd want to run a national grid off, but still worth looking at as far as turning your waste into something some of your things can use, at the low cost of adding some specialised yeasts to a bin/vat.

    Does a lawn contain anywhere near enough energy to run a lawnmower?

    We shouldn't even have lawns. Sure, they're nice to look at and put your feet on but they consume so much water. It's insanity. And then you have people that fight the use of grey water to use for lawns because they're ignorant assholes that are easily grossed out by things they dont understand.

    Japanese gravel gardens for everyone! I'm totally on board with this, I fucking hate mowing the lawn.

    In all honesty though, I probably live in one of the few places on earth where we can have lawns 100% watered with rain. Which is annoying.

    Most of the US that is not the southwest?

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    You seem very knowledgeable about this kind of stuff @terriblemisanthrope and I'd love to sign up for your newsletter. I remember hearing something about algae, know anything about that?

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