Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
deronmoped
Offline
Last seen: 11 years 11 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 25, 2007 - 08:18
Points: 342
Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

Because of our environmental concerns there is talk that OPEC is going to take the USA over. Here is how they say it is going to work.

1) Because we will not drill for out own oil we are vulnerable to outside oil suppliers.

2) OPEC and other countries that do not care about the environment are unrestricted in how much oil they can pull from the ground, but they are not increasing oil output to keep up with demand so as to drive prices up.

3) OPEC is shooting for $200.00 a barrel and if they can drive it higher, so much the better for them.

4) OPEC is getting hundreds of billions of dollars out of the USA right now.

5) OPEC is using this money to fund terrorism, causing the USA to spend hundreds of billions on security and fighting terrorism, trying to bankrupt us.

6) OPEC plans on buying up our core companies over the years that we are at their mercy.

What can we do about the our current dependence on oil?

Our military has been used to keep oil flowing freely. Kicked Sadam out of Kuwait, they patrol certain areas keeping the oil tankers out of harms way. Forced conservation did not work in the 70's, it is being tried all over again, but the only thing that makes the majority of people conserve is higher prices. They could try taxing the hell out of oil, say drive the price up to ten to fifteen dollars a gallon, that would work, but would be political suicide and ruin the economy.

OPEC could very well make a huge mess out of the good old USA, they will have enough money to do it if the prices keep going the way they are going and we still refuse to defend our economy.

Deron.

reikiman
reikiman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 4 days ago
Joined: Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 17:52
Points: 8447
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

I interpret the situation differently than you do. But I agree very widely with what you're saying.

First, do you understand 'Peak Oil'? The U.S. went past it's peak oil point in 1971 and try as you might it's not possible to significantly increase the amount of oil produced by U.S. oil fields. Yeah sure there are environmental concerns in some cases which are preventing some oil fields from being drilled. But that's small beans compared to the fact the U.S. has gone past its oil peak.

In 1973 when the first of the fake oil crises occurred the U.S. imported 35% of it's oil. I think it's significant that OPEC staged those fake oil crises shortly after the U.S. went past it's oil peak. Today the U.S. is importing approx 70% of its oil. That does result in huge exporting of dollars to pay for importing oil. And consider that in 1973 when OPEC staged the first fake oil crisis it threw a major negative spin on the U.S. economy, and we were only importing 35% of our oil needs. Clearly today if OPEC were to do something similar it would throw an even more major negative spin on the U.S. economy. That strongly incentivizes the U.S. government to do whatever OPEC tells us to do.

Conservation in the 70's did have an effect. If you look at charts of oil usage you see there was a plateau in the period from 1978-1982 or thereabouts. Oil usage has historically been in a continuing increasing level of demand and I think this continuing increase stems from a) increasing population, b) increasing intensivity of energy use. However it's interesting that from 1978-1982 there was no increase in oil use. In the 70's to early 80's there was a lot of concern about gas mileage, and various attempts at conservation. I think the plateau of oil use came from those effects and then when Reagan was elected he deinstalled the solar panels which Pres. Carter had installed on the Whitehouse, and America went back to driving SUV's and forgot the lessons they had learned in the 70's about conservation.

Of course conservation and other ways to decrease oil use would negatively impact the incomes of the oil companies. Since the oil companies have a large political impact in the U.S. (President Enron, Vice President Halliburton, Sec of State Chevron, etc) "conservation" has become one of these demonized words. In 2001 when California was being gamed by Enron and having blackouts etc and our governor was screaming for federal help, there was no federal help and instead VP Cheney was making fun of "Conservation" etc but in the end it was "conservation" which made a big impact on California's ability to navigate the power supply problems.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
- Electrified Electra To

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 15:27
Points: 3739
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

One would think that the most intelligent approach in a situation where oil prices will continue to rise steeply for the next few decades would be to leave your national oil supplies in the ground for as long as you can.

Let the others deplete their resources and sell them at the current very low prices...

And, of course, reduce the amount of oil you have to buy today by feeding whatever you have into the alternatives.

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

jstept
jstept's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 years 6 months ago
Joined: Friday, August 24, 2007 - 13:11
Points: 57
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

First, let me say that I'm not an economist, but I came up with this: maybe 8 or 9 years ago I had the idea that the federal government should impose a steadily increasing tax on gasoline and use the revenues to fund alternative energy research. The tax would start at $.01 per gallon and increase by $.01 per gallon per month indefinitely. This would not have a huge impact initially, but everyone would know that higher gas prices would be coming in the future, and the slow increase would give everyone time to plan ahead and decrease their individual dependence on petroleum by buying more fuel-efficient cars, decreasing the distance of their commutes, etc. The revenue generated should be enough to fund a program on the scale of Apollo, where we could develop all kinds of alternatives to petroleum, including electric vehicles, wind and solar power, hydrogen distribution systems, etc.

Alas, the oil companies and automobile manufacturers appear to have too firm a stranglehold on the government and the economy. Americans have been getting far too good a deal on gas for too long, and we have allowed ourselves to become almost irrevocably dependent on oil, to the point where hardly any of us can imagine how our lives would be without it. Anyone who doesn't realize that ensuring a continued oil supply wasn't a huge reason for the invasion of Iraq is completely fooling themselves.

Maybe it's not too late. Would it be possible for the government to buy (or even take) back the rights to the battery chemistries and other technologies that the oil companies have bought and squelched? Is it too much to hope for our leaders to show some genuine leadership and foresight? I think the only way to get people to think about these issues is to gte their attention with higher fuel prices.

Jake

The Rezistor: 1970 Vespa 50S Special conversion w/ Mars brushless motor, Sevcon Millipak controller, 36V 40Ah YESA LiFePO4 batteries

PJD
PJD's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 05:44
Points: 1416
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

Deronmoped wrote:

OPEC is using this money to fund terrorism, causing the USA to spend hundreds of billions on security and fighting terrorism, trying to bankrupt us.

I've heard this or similar comments a few times on this forum. So, I think some clarification is on order. I'll try to be polite about this, but this common belief among Americans - that OPEC wields all this power over the US, and somehow funds terrorism through oil revenue, is one of a whole family of popular notions among average Americans that is absolutely, dreadfully, even catastrophically, untrue. It is in the same league as the Saddam having something to do with Sept. 11, and the dreadful, deliberate Bush lies about the Iraqi WMD's.

The 1973 OPEC embargo was largely a solidarity action with the Palestinians/Egypt/Syria in the 1973 war - They certainly wielded some economic power back then. But since then, The US has worked very hard through economic and political means to economically reign nearly all of OPEC's independence. And politically speaking, the Arab OPEC countries are run by corrupt kings and emirs who are entirely in the US's pocket. The only ones still with some independence are Iran and Venezuela (and now, Ecuador).

The rise of Al-Qeida and similar Islamist movements was largely because of the poverty caused the corrupt leaders economic policies - busting unions, eliminating oil funded social programs and shipping their wealth overseas. Average household income in Saudi Arabia declined from more than $25,000 in the 1970's to a few thousand now (1970 dollars) There was also a (correct) sense that their homelands and independence was sold out by their corrupt leaders, backed by US bases on their soil.

Sympathizers and new recruits for militant Islamist movements grow daily with every violent, bloody, and idiotic military action the US and Israel takes.

Americans seriously need to inform themselves better of the nature of US foreign policy. They can start by getting their information from other sources than the corporate media. A few good books and web sites:

Killing Hope - US Military and CIA intervention since WW2

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - By John Perkins

Everything by Noam Chomsky

Everything by Howard Zinn

Everything by Chalmers Johnson

Prof. Juan Cole blog "Informed Comment"
http://www.juancole.com/

News/comment sites:

http://informationclearinghouse.info/

http://www.zcommunications.org/znet

http://www.counterpunch.org/

good local Palestinian news site:

http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php

Or, at very least, go out and rent the good movie "Syriana"

PJD
PJD's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: Wednesday, November 22, 2006 - 05:44
Points: 1416
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

More news here:

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/B243A777-17B6-4648-9F34-C5D7AD9569D7.htm

Note Saudi's promise of a 3.3% output when Bush comes visiting. And please note - Oil reservoirs have their own "Peukerts Effect" - just like lead-acid batteries - the higher the output, the less oil you can practicably get out of them. Supposedly, Saudi has ruined their huge Ghawar Oil field in their efforts to please the US (and now, China)

The collision of shortsighted oil-based development and Hubberts curve may be more abrupt than expected. If only the US had continued Carter's energy policies instead of fallen for the sweet-talking cowboy Reagan ("America did not conserve itself to greatness"). We have squandered 30 years of working to a solution, now we (or, more severely, the developing world) will pay.

spinningmagnets
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 11 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 20:48
Points: 295
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

There is no constitutional "right" to cheap fuel. Asia and Europe have been paying near twice what US consumers have for a long time, and we're outraged at $4 gas?

Pumping more oil is only half of it, we havent built a new refinery in over 30 years, and current refineries are working 24/7. Last year was the first year we imported refined fuel to keep up with the demand. Canada and Mexico have built refineries to profit from the US market.

If you worked in the past to stop the US from building new refineries to help pollution, guess what? The new Mexican refineries are HORRIBLY dirty and unsafe (no OSHA or EPA there!) Enviro-lawyers use the endangered species act and endless environmental impact surveys to guarantee there will be no new refineries anywhere in the US (The oil company execs have all moved their headquarters off-shore and laugh behind closed doors, they're getting more money from less oil, and the evironmentalists are doing the heavy lifting for them!).

We want more gas, but we apparently also want Canada and Mexico to get the refining jobs and tax revenue.

If the new president puts an obscene-profits tax on the oil companies, they just add the cost to the pump price. If we buy less, China/India will buy ALL the oil Chevron/Texaco, Exxon-Mobil, and Shell-BP pump.

The price of oil is determined by commodities auction, and the price of refining output is also determined by commodities auction. If I found a huge oil supply on my property and decided to sell it for $20/barrel just to make a point, someone would contract for it, and then turn around and re-sell it to someone else for $100/barrel.

Unless someone discovers a China-sized pool of "unobtainium", we know what the alternatives are, all thats left is to try and make the alternatives cheaper. Bio-diesel is good, but its going to be more expensive than pumping up liquid oil and running the oil through a simple refining process. When oil-diesel is $8/gal, and we suddenly realize it takes years to build a new refinery, meybe bio-diesel will boom. (I hope algae-diesel works out soon)

There's a brewing water shortage now, if we divert even more of our declining water to make bio-fuels, won't that make bio-fuels more expensive?

Ethanol is made from corn because the big producers give big political donations during the Iowa caucuses. Sweet sorghum is 4 times better, Brazil uses beets and cane.

When crop prices are low, federal subsidies keep farmers from bankrupting by limiting crop output to keep prices up. They are "paying farmers to not to farm". But why during this time of soaring crop prices are we giving subsidies (tax money) to pay land-owners to "not farm" (hint: some farm-land owners on "the list" are congressmen and wealthy contributors).

If you're reading this website, you're part of the solution, but its a mess and its going to get messier.

The majority of environmentalists get to the "I hate oil" rallies in cars that burn gasoline.

The biggest hold-up I see is the ready availability of large format LifePo4 batteries. Then conversion shops will take off all over the country, and nobody will care if GM makes an EV.

dogman
dogman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 11 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 15:41
Points: 830
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

We all see the world different, so here goes with how I see it without knowing any answers to it. Its a world market, and what I have noticed is so different this time around, is that price increases used to result in decreased demand. In 1973 in my town no house was much further than 5 miles from work, groceries etc. Now many live 20 miles from work and quite a few go to El Paso and drive 100 to 150 miles a day. I did too at one point and changed the oil on an old bug every ten days. Back then conserving was as easy as not going home for lunch anymore, and no gas was sold on sundays, period.
Anyway,now that the house may be 50 or more miles from work, conserving requires a new vehicle purchase. So the guys that bid the barrel of oil on the futures market aren't really sweating getting stuck with overbid oil like they used to. As they bid higher and higher in the last few years they realized they can't lose since oil never drops anymore. Fast forward a few years and now with a history of record breaking profits, a few rich folks realize thier dollar based investments aren't too hot these days in american banks holding too much bad house loans. Guess what looks like a good place to park cash for a few months and stay liquid instead of buying falling real estate. You guessed it, oil futures. So they try it and, gee, that was kinda profitable, lets do it again. And the world economy goes along for the ride. No conspiracy, just another market gone whacky. Unfortunately its not just cofee this time, but something that our whole world is based on. A few years ago i thought the govt should put a tax on every dollar per barrel oil went over 50 bucks. Now I see it's not a problem any individual country can do anything about unless you are sugar rich brazil or thermal rich iceland. In the long run it will be a good thing if not too many people get to die over it. WWII was definitely a war for oil in a lot of ways. But if we can keep a cool head here and ride this out we will emerge with ev's everywhere, and solar cells on every roof. Canadian tar sand will be turned into something that can burn in power plants and the extra co2 will make greenhouse plants thrive using the waste heat from the power plants. All kinds of cool stuff is ready to do, but why do it if oil is cheap and plentiful. I was so dissapointed in the 90's when we blew off all that stuff, and continued to make it hard to permit an earthship or haybale house. Right now solar cells on my roof will cost more per month than my electric bill but as soon as that tips a few more cents per kwh I will start installing asap. For now I'm increasing the insulation and will have passive solar heat warming my house better by next winter. Four buck gas is harsh, but i had a lot harder time affording gas in 1981 myself.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

spinningmagnets
Offline
Last seen: 9 years 11 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 20:48
Points: 295
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

I hope I didn't sound too ranty or frustrated, but I feel I'm surrounded every day by people who are headed for a cliff, but they just don't believe it's a big problem.

In high school (1977) gas was $.70/gal, and minimum wage was $2.35/hr, now its ~$3.50 and $6.50. This is the creeping tax called inflation. The big problem is that now, fuel prices will go up, but with globalization wages will not.

Remember when only a few things in Wal-Mart/Home-Depot came from China/India/Mexico? Unions going on stike to keep wages up, just speeds up the factories moving overseas.

I believe the U.S. WILL survive, but it will experience a painful and drawn out transition. As fuel prices continue to go up, people will realize that they just can't afford to commute. They will either have to find a job (or two, depending on pay) near their home, or move closer to work, or change both. This will cause house prices to continue a steady slow decline until the new prices reflect the current average wages.

Everyone WILL be forced into using more alternative fuels and alternative modes of transportation, simply because of supply and demand. If I have a message, it is that the era of cheap fuel (relative to wages) is over. All the possible viable alternatives are more expensive and less effective.

dogman
dogman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 years 11 months ago
Joined: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - 15:41
Points: 830
Re: Will our environmental concerns wipe us out?

No more frustrated that any of us, we are all going for the same ride while bankers and oil speculators wreck world economies trying to make the same killing they did in the nineties, at our expense, again. I grew up certain sure we'd all be nuked in a huge war by the time I was 25 so i look at oil running out and global warming as being at least problems we can adjust to at a heavy price. MAD was a lot more frightening

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

Log in or register to post comments


Who's online

There is currently 1 user online.

  • flapjacksbestof

Who's new

  • jgwartney11
  • Copedawg
  • dtaylor123
  • juliekouba
  • Cornishwoodsman

Customize This