Author Topic: * Connected Dots ~ Triple Crisis  (Read 721 times)

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Offline Sue

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* Connected Dots ~ Triple Crisis
« on: October 29, 2011, 10:34:07 PM »
Peak Oil, Climate Chaos, Overshoot

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
-- John Muir, "My First Summer in the Sierra" (1911)



^ source ^

Peak Oil and Climate Change resemble the parable of the blind men touching an elephant. Each observer is correctly describing what a part of the elephant is, but none have a holistic understanding. Peak Oil and Climate Change are two facets of the problem of overshoot, and neither can be mitigated in isolation from the other.

Peak Oil and Climate Change can only be addressed in combination, trying to tackle one without the other is a proven failure. Efforts to deal with Peak without Climate awareness leads to tar sands, coal to liquids and other eco-disasters. Efforts to deal with Climate without Peak fail to understand what is happening, and rarely consider how dependent our food system is on concentrated fossil fuels.

Focusing solely on oil depletion leads to destructive policies aimed at increasing liquid fuels production -- “alternative” fuels that can have worse environmental impacts than conventional petroleum, including accelerated climate change.

Concern about melting glaciers and extinction of charismatic megafauna is less likely to influence governmental energy policies than desperate scrambles to replace depleting fossil fuels.

Most projections of future carbon levels ignore the fact that fossil fuels are peaking in extraction rates. Focusing solely on climate change ignores the most important question facing humanity -- whether to "spend" the remaining oil on solar panels or battleships (a simplified version of the choice).

This is the way that carbon emissions are going to be reduced, not through voluntary simplicity nor offset campaigns. Efforts to “reduce carbon by 2050” are a subtle way to acknowledge Peak Oil. We will reduce our carbon footprint before 2050 whether we choose to or not, because we cannot burn fuel that does not exist.

If Peak Oil results in severe hardships -- massive unemployment, a financial crash, food shortages, transportation disruptions -- it will be difficult to convince many people that we need to leave the oil, natural gas and coal in the ground to keep planet Earth stable enough to support human civilization. Framing the energy crisis as a decision about how to use the remaining oil can shift the debate toward more productive discussions: solar panels or battleships, relocalizing production or globalization, high speed trains or NAFTA Superhighways, boosting local businesses or subsidizing Wal-Mart big boxes. Each of these decisions is a choice whether to address the end of cheap oil and the start of climate change through accelerated business as usual or whether we will shift toward more sustainable behaviors. Unfortunately, these decisions are made by small elites that became wealthy and powerful through the destructive practices, and shifting course would be an admission that they screwed up.


Tar Sands vs. clean water ~  eating the Earth for cars









source: Energy Watch Group: “Crude Oil the Supply Outlook” October 2007

The tar sands production center in northern Alberta in Canada is one of the clearest signs that the easy to get oil is on the wane. Tar sands are a low grade hydrocarbon deposit that requires enormous energy input to process and convert it into something resembling petroleum. They are not technically petroleum, but a sludge that can be turned into petroleum if washed and cooked with steam (which is not an abundant natural resource in the boreal forest of northern Alberta, especially during the Canadian winter). Turning tar sands into oil requires almost as much energy input as they contain at the end of the processing - so they are barely a "source" of energy. To date, vast quantities of natural gas have been used to make the steam to process the tar sands to create something resembling petroleum, but natural gas has its own supply problems that make dedicating gas to tar production difficult to maintain. There are serious proposals to build nuclear reactors next to the tar sands, which is a sign of lunacy, to be polite about it.

Tar sands extraction causes enormous ecological destruction. The process begins with clearcutting the boreal forest, destroying habitat and soil. The trees are either milled into lumber, which releases some of the carbon into the atmosphere, or the trees are burned as slash, which releases nearly all of the carbon into the atmosphere. The carbon reserves locked up in the forest soils are also released into the atmosphere.

After the land is cleared, the "overburden" subsoils and rock are strip mined using enormous dump trucks the size of a house. Eventually, the mine reaches the layer where the tar sands congealed eons ago, and then the tar sands are mined. It is possible that the tar sands are the single largest strip mine anywhere on Earth.

The waste "tailings" left over when the mining is finished are a toxic slurry that is poisonous to life. In addition to huge amounts of energy, vast quantities of water are also needed in the tar sands industry. While Canada has more water than any other country -- it is the Saudi Arabia of water -- polluting the planet's largest supply of fresh water for a short term burst of energy production is one of the most insane behaviors imaginable. After the era of fossil fuels winds down, and the era of climate change starts up, access to clean drinking water will be unbelievably important. Tar sands production threatens to turn much of central Canada's water reserves into oily wastes unfit for consumption.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of the rise of the tar sands industry is that all of this destruction is only expected to supply a small amount of the demand for oil. In 2007, about one million barrels per day of tar sands is produced in Alberta -- about one percent of the global consumption of about 85 million barrels per day. It is predicted that with considerable investment, Canadian tar sands production might reach a couple million barrels per day within a decade. This means that an area the size of Florida will be totally deforested, strip mined, drained of clean water, and doused with toxic effluent to meet a small percentage of global oil demand for a couple of decades (at best).

A reader of this website suggests that the rush to mine tar sands resembles an indigent cigarette addict looking through ashtrays to find a couple of butts that can be relit to get a couple final (nasty tasting) drags of tobacco smoke.

This is still going on today, the Raping of Northern Alberta.

Tar Sands 101

The Tar Sands "Gigaproject" is the largest industrial project in human history and likely also the most destructive. The tar sands mining procedure releases at least three times the CO2 emissions as regular oil production and is slated to become the single largest industrial contributor in North America to Climate Change.

The tar sands are already slated to be the cause of up to the second fastest rate of deforestation on the planet behind the Amazon Rainforest Basin. Currently approved projects will see 3 million barrels of tar sands mock crude produced daily by 2018; for each barrel of oil up to as high as five barrels of water are used.

Human health in many communities has seriously taken a turn for the worse with many causes alleged to be from tar sands production. Tar sands production has led to many serious social issues throughout Alberta, from housing crises to the vast expansion of temporary foreign worker programs that racialize and exploit so-called non-citizens. Infrastructure from pipelines to refineries to super tanker oil traffic on the seas crosses the continent in all directions to allthree major oceans and the Gulf of Mexico.

The mock oil produced primarily is consumed in the United States and helps to subsidize continued wars of aggression against other oil producing nations such as Iraq, Venezuela and Iran, Libya, etc.

If you desire to know more, please continue reading here
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline Sue

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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011, 11:00:08 PM »
If Alberta were to shut down the Tar Sands, O'Bummer would bring us Democracy!

The raping of oil rich countries will continue.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline EyeBelieve

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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2011, 06:14:01 PM »

Peak Oil & Climate Change are both scams.  While the banksters are pushing destructive Canadian tar sand production they're simultaneously shutting down Libya & Iraq not to mention their ongoing campaign vs nuclear energy.  Banksters are using Japan as yet another excuse to shut down nuke instead of sensibly calling for construction of new-tech plants.  Jeez, think of how many people would die in car crashes if we used 50-yr old car designs?

BTW it's 2o in DC area & 12o C in Calgary.  Not esp significant, just a funny aberration.

Offline Sue

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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2011, 07:14:18 PM »
Peak Oil & Climate Change are both scams.  While the banksters are pushing destructive Canadian tar sand production they're simultaneously shutting down Libya & Iraq not to mention their ongoing campaign vs nuclear energy.  Banksters are using Japan as yet another excuse to shut down nuke instead of sensibly calling for construction of new-tech plants.  Jeez, think of how many people would die in car crashes if we used 50-yr old car designs?

Yes. Peak Oil is a farce, it helped the oil barons and their shareholders to get rich and richer with increased prices, more taxes in the kitty to pay for perpetual wars. Climate changes we've have had throughout history. Plus, we have lots of Natural Gas. 

''While it cannot come as a surprise after so many liberal hoaxes, it’s still shocking to find we’ve been duped again—this time by the “Peak Oil” myth. Peak Oil is the theory the world is on the verge of a catastrophic decline in global petroleum reserves that will result in major energy crises causing chaos across the world. This notion has now been proved demonstrably false—yet, how was it accepted in the first place?''

http://arcticcompass.blogspot.com/2011/09/peak-oil-scam.html

Anyway, what they are doing to Northern Alberta is a crime against nature and most of all against the people in the area. Alaska has lots of oil too. 

Quote
BTW it's 2o in DC area & 12o C in Calgary.  Not esp significant, just a funny aberration.

Yes, I know, Calgary gets 'Chinooks', that is nothing unusual. You can go to the movies in your fur coat and by the time movie is finished, you carry it. It was colder when I fist moved to Canada, where I experienced minus 40F and even colder when it was windy (windchill factor). Everything goes in cycles.
"At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done".
...Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with.

Offline EyeBelieve

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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 06:10:06 PM »
Yes. Peak Oil is a farce, it helped the oil barons and their shareholders to get rich and richer with increased prices,

I remember the (London-Saudi contrived) oil boycott scams of the 70's, IIRC there was a version of Peak Oil used by the media/gov't then.  Of course the authorities did dumb stuff like force gas stations to close every other day to make gas lines even longer, just to get the bogus message thru.


Quote
Yes, I know, Calgary gets 'Chinooks', that is nothing unusual. You can go to the movies in your fur coat and by the time movie is finished, you carry it. It was colder when I fist moved to Canada, where I experienced minus 40F and even colder when it was windy (windchill factor). Everything goes in cycles.

I remember the chinooks from the old Calgary Olympics, also a show about Munich talked the föhn, makes 'em cranky heh.  BTW I learned how to do umlaute with ALT+numeric keyboard numbers but I'm wondering if the forum accepts special html characters like shown on http://www.lookuptables.com/ (HTML tab)?  TIA

Offline wag

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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 06:20:57 PM »
I remember the (London-Saudi contrived) oil boycott scams of the 70's, IIRC there was a version of Peak Oil used by the media/gov't then.  Of course the authorities did dumb stuff like force gas stations to close every other day to make gas lines even longer, just to get the bogus message thru.


I remember the chinooks from the old Calgary Olympics, also a show about Munich talked the föhn, makes 'em cranky heh.  BTW I learned how to do umlaute with ALT+numeric keyboard numbers but I'm wondering if the forum accepts special html characters like shown on http://www.lookuptables.com/ (HTML tab)?  TIA

I have a jewish friend who has been both investing in and promoting bullshit peak oil for the last ten years or so.  He seems to have benefited greatly. 
Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Offline EyeBelieve

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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 09:00:37 PM »
I have a jewish friend who has been both investing in and promoting bull$h^t peak oil for the last ten years or so.  He seems to have benefited greatly.

Really.  He must have some special info I guess since oil price swings so wildly even with the general peak oil tone.  That is, before the "Greatest Recession" hit the big boys were already moving into commodities since they were undervalued at the height of the boom.  Gasoline price set a record $4/gal high in summer 2008 & quickly plummeted to <$2 before steadily gaining over next 3 years.