AuthorTopic: Energy, Oil & Money: Interrelationships  (Read 1172 times)

Offline roamer

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Energy, Oil & Money: Interrelationships
« on: May 13, 2012, 06:12:16 AM »
I really found RE recent discussion on this subject scarily compelling.  Early on I made a similar association with money and its relationship to energy, it proceeded to depress and scare me though when I worked through the conclusions. 

My own simplistic interpretation is that above all else our money system seeks to grow, the growth is achieved through interest and a whole culture that buys into the notion we can and should be materially wealthy.  In order to do that in the most effective manner money has to be pegged to the most effective energy available.  In olden times this may have been a simple grain commodity, which could fuel slaves, horses and other beasts of burden so that one could go on acquiring and controlling more land and people.  Food energy though was  a childs game because the energy returned on energy invested (EROEI) available in an agricultural system is weak ~4:1 (Average based on Pimentals study of various pre-industrial food systems).  Coal was quite an improvement, enough to kickstart the industrial age, oil though at 100:1 EROEI seems to be the equivalent of a society shooting heroine. Unfortunately I think that analogy just might fit too well, right now in the US we are just beginning to sense that the high can't quite last and that some sort of withdrawal is approaching us. 

In my mental model of the world economy we are always seeking to maximize total energy availability since this correlates with maximal wealth and all things being equal the energy source with the highest EROEI is the best one for this task. So assuming that is remotely logical it seems that as oils EROEI declines and necessarily the total energy declines the dwindling money pool will go looking for better options to maximize total energy availability.  So how far down do we slide before solar and all other natural energy sources and organizational strategies become economically competitive?  My hunch says that we might be able to pull off something like a 15:1 solar/renewable energy society but that is a far far cry from the wealth of our current oil society.   Is it just too far of a fall for current monetary systems to stay intact?  If so is there any way to create micro solar economies that are decoupled from the petro financial system?  I don't know I really don't like thinking about this stuff, makes my head get pretty twisted but I'm curious to hear if any of you follow my twisted logic and or have any good ideas to thwart off the peak oil dark ages???



Offline Surly1

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Re: Energy, Oil & Money: Interrelationships
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 05:21:58 PM »
IMHO...

An 11th hour energy game changer (thorium or "pebble" reactors, or a quantum leap in solar cell efficiency might rasp some of the burrs off the leading edge of doom, but I'm not sure that any of that is enough to dissuade TPTB to cull the herd. If we were serious about maintaining life on this planet, we would have an international team descending on Fukushima right now to mitigate the potential disaster that awaits, many multiples of Chernobyl. There is a reason they built the Arctic seed vault, the underground cities, the bunkers and the FEMA caps. Not to mention the Georgia Guidestones.

I have connected enough dots in one lifetime to give myself a headache.

In Virginia where I live, our Rethuglican Governor Transvaginal Ultrasound wants to lift a 30 year ban on uranium mining, in a state prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes. The arrogance is astonishing. Previous scientific studies advising against lifting the ban, he has commissioned another. He has formed a private committee to study the matter, apparently beyond the reach of FOIA. It is madness, with the potential to poison multiple watersheds in Virginia and North Carolina.

Oh, almost forgot-- the profits will once again go to foreign corporations.

You can't tell me they are not trying to kill us all. I hope to slip into the sunset before they get around to me.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline roamer

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Re: Energy, Oil & Money: Interrelationships
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 07:04:45 PM »
Yeah we either throw our best hail mary pass for the next best thing to oil, or just keep on clunking our way down the rungs of lower order civilizations, all the while culling the herd as needed for to stay within the support limits of that system.  Depressing, but just too darn likely, its like we are at the edge of a 10000 year wave that is just starting to recede....

Offline RE

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Re: Energy, Oil & Money: Interrelationships
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 08:27:08 PM »
Yeah we either throw our best hail mary pass for the next best thing to oil, or just keep on clunking our way down the rungs of lower order civilizations, all the while culling the herd as needed for to stay within the support limits of that system.  Depressing, but just too darn likely, its like we are at the edge of a 10000 year wave that is just starting to recede....

The ladder clunking thing is rather a long Boiling Frog scenario.  I think just getting it over with would be better.  Of course, it would be nice if we could keep it together to decommission all the Nukes first and dispose of the fuel in the Marianas Trench.

RE
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