Skip to comments.Peak Oil, Carrying Capacity and Overshoot: Population, the Elephant in the Room
Posted on 02/24/2008 1:41:05 PM PST by ScratInTheHat
As we all know but are sometimes reluctant to contemplate, oil is a finite, non-renewable resource. This automatically means that its use is not sustainable. If the use of oil is not sustainable, then of course the added carrying capacity the oil has provided is likewise unsustainable. Carrying capacity has been added to the world in direct proportion to the use of oil, and the disturbing implication is that if our oil supply declines, the carrying capacity of the world will automatically fall with it.
These two observations (that oil has expanded the world's carrying capacity and oil use is unsustainable) combine to yield a further implication. While humanity has apparently not yet reached the carrying capacity of a world with oil, we are already in drastic overshoot when you consider a world without oil. In fact our population today is at least five times what it was before oil came on the scene, and it is still growing. If this sustaining resource were to be exhausted, our population would have no option but to decline to the level supportable by the world's lowered carrying capacity.
Skip over the global warming crap it's the population projections that are interesting.
The numbers may not be exact but give a world with rising population and finite oil to use this IS going to happen mainly because we are not building a butload of nuclear power plants now.
“As we all know but are sometimes reluctant to contemplate, oil is a finite, non-renewable resource. “
we don’t all know this, in fact, it has never been proven. it is only conjecture. there have been many articles posted on this forum that theorize that oil is being continuously produced in the earth’s crust.
that oil is a product of ancient animal or plant life has never been proven.
this is right up there with Global Warming in theories that have been repeated so many times they have become a mantra.
It’s the donkey in the room, in my opinion. Hillary and Obama ought to propose banning procreation.
A major concern around 1900 was that, given the rapid increases in population, by the end of the century, our cities would be buried in horse manure from the increased need for transportation. I consider both ‘peak oil’ and ‘global warming’ as posing similar levels of a threat.
“As we all know but are sometimes reluctant to contemplate, oil is a finite, non-renewable resource.”
Is this slam-dunk or subject to debate?
Without US price supports from the federal government, Sugar Cane = $40 per barrel oil.
The more I hear this the more I wonder. Even if true, when you add the oil shale and other recoverable deposits and coal that can be converted we have a 500+ year supply.
Oil costs, but at the moment those costs are artificially inflated by producers suppressing supply and taxation of use by world governments.
Were this truely the 'crisis' they claim we would have alternatives being offered daily. Not the government subsidy supported media-hyped but never get to market BS we hear about now, but real on the shelf buy it now stuff.
The market will sort out what will and will not work, IF we ever allow it to happen.
Did Paul Ehrlich write this crap?
Corn yields have gone from 20 bu/ac to 140 bu/ac in the last 80 years.
Soybean 13 to 40
Wheat 15 to 40
If there is an event that disrupts the supply of hybrid seed grain, the yields will drop right back down to the levels of the 1930s, and so will the population.
A bad summer — volcanic ash clouds or a meteorite, or just a plain old bad summer.
Social disorder (”Mexican” uprising in the USA)
And so on. . . .
This is according to the gospel of the flat earthers. Have you noticed that air and water are also finite? We need to ration air just as the water police are trying to force us to ration water. Life, nature and the earth are not zero sum games. Everything is renewable and everything cycles. It is a categorical impossibility to run out of anything since we do not get rid of anything. In fact the sky is not falling. That spec is merely star dust in your eye.
The Leftists' Stock and Trade.
As petroleum becomes harder to obtain, that inaccessibility is signalled to the world at large by a slow rise in price over the period of several decades. People adjust, companies adjust, they choose different tecnologies, they invest in different technologies. They order their lives differently, where to live, how to get around, how many kids to have, at what age to have them. Companies make decisions about where to locate their operations, what kind of equipment to buy, and they do all of this amazingly (or not) without anyone having to tell them what to do.
As the relative price of one form of energy becomes cheaper than another, groups of investors pool their money and go after the opportunity. You don’t have to tell them to do it.
All you have to do is get out of their way.
Look back at how much you made when gasoline was a buck a gallon, and compare it to what you make now. Probably gasoline is about the same relative price, or cheaper. What matters is the relative price and as prices vary in relation to one another, you make decisions about your life accordingly. No one has to tell you anything, you figure it out, and the means of communication is the price.
Some valid points are mixed in with a lot of wishful thinking. This is peak oil now. This is what peak oil is like.
Nuclear power is also a peak type of resource, as is coal. Even renewable resources can be peak type.
The peak does not mean that the system will crash at the very time it is at maximum production.
Yeah, we should have all died when the whale oil ran out.....
“Peak Oil” is no more about the availability of crude oil than “Global Warming” is about the ever-changing climate.
People who worry about “Peak Oil”, are ignorant about basic economics: substitution, innovation, improvements, efficiency. At $3/gallon, the price of gasoline is already at or above the break-even cost of some other proven conversion technologies. Gasoline in Europe is around $6/gallon. At that price, we could convert municipal garbage and sewage sludge into motor vehicle fuels and have all we wanted to buy.
FWIW, Obama gets a 100% rating from the “Population Connection,” which are the Zero Population freaks.
Good thing those 44 million abortions or so to date are keeping the US population in line. I mean, if we didn’t have abortion, the left would easily be able to pin over population completely on the Good Old US of A. See? They’re just killing babies “for the children.” ;)
But...we were talking about oil, right? Well, when it gets to dire straights, whadda ya wanna bet the market miraculously “finds” more oil? Remember the gas lines in the mid-70’s? After that Carter-manufactured crisis...where the heck did oil come from to re-fill that need, and the expanding needs of the rest of the world?
I thought the oil was either all gone, or would from that point on, be very hard to come by? ;)
ha ha ha ha ha ha ...
Stop it, please ... you're killin' me.
Nonsensical articles selling a fantasy written by people without the vaguest understanding of geology, posted by people that literally believe the theory they're attacking is that "oil comes from dinosaurs." Nobody is finding any oil based on the idea it's being continually produced in the crust - it's being found in or near sedimentary basins that used to be ancient shallow seas or lakes.
that oil is a product of ancient animal or plant life has never been proven.
Something tells me your claim is not based on a careful review of the literature of petroleum geology.
Oil matches the composition of the microscopic diatoms and algae it comes from. Repeatedly demonstrated.
"Present-day analysis of petroleum systems, when performed integrated with direct geochemistry, remote sense and high resolution geochemistry technology (HRGT), can provide irrefutable proof that 99.99999% of all the oil and gas accumulations found up to know in the planet earth have a biologic origin. The technologies can be so accurate and useful that they can predict pre-drilling insights regarding the quality and potential volumes of hydrocarbons to be found, including deep gas reservoirs, oil versus gas prone areas, degree of oil and gas cracking and of mixture of hydrocarbons derived from different sources, from different petroleum systems."
"With the advances of analytical chemistry, around the fifties, geochemical evidence start to suggest, and latter proved that oils are related to biological precursors (Forsman and Hunt, 1958; Eglinton and Calvin, 1967 and Tissot, 1969). In the late seventies Albrecht, Seifert, Moldowan and Maxwell performed numbered studies that definitively proved the relationship between hydrocarbons and their putative biological precursor, burying the abiogenic hypothesis forever."
"The application of high resolution biomarker technologies using GC-MS, GC-MS-MS, Diamondoids, CSIA-B and CSIA-D methods, integrated with detailed geological and paleontology cal characterization, provide scientific evidence that that oils can be attributed to organic-rich sedimentary rocks of specific geological age and depositional environments."
Energy independence now. We ignore this situation or drag our feet at our peril.
Except that the higher price in Europe isn't a reflection of differing market forces .. it's simply the result of higher taxes there than here.
This is one of the biggest lies ever told.
There has never been a year in my life where our proven oil reserves has failed to increase. Meanwhile the scaremongers keep screaming that the sky is falling. Oil is not a fossil fuel, and the earth is making more than we are using.
Can we move on to some intelligent discussion?
It's "Brittany Spears"
Sure, exactly! My reason for mentioning this is simply that Europeans have gotten used to paying that much and their economy still functions at that higher price. If we wanted to be totaly free of oil imports, the price in Europe shows how much ‘headroom’ we have and can still function, not that it would be pleasant.
Happily, there are plenty of conversion technolgies that have a break-even point that is close to the present world price of crude.
I’m beginning to wonder about the limits of fossil fuels. I read the other day that by 2020, China will have 350 million middle-class people with automobiles, more than the U.S. This demand for oil from China did not exist at all 30 years ago. Combine that growth with the middle-class growth in India and I have no doubt we are definitely straining the world’s oil production capability.
I also believe that the 500 year supply of coal was for a fixed U.S. population that existed around 1970 and that per-capita energy consumption would not increase.
Lastly, “net energy” from oil shale and oil sands is considerably below “net energy” from petroleum extraction. In other words, it takes a lot more energy to extract and process a BTU of liquid fuel from oil sands and oil shale than it does to pump oil out of the ground. That doesn’t bode well for liquid energy prices.
The sky is falling again.......
At least Hillary and whoever only had one child.
Who are you trying to fool, Thomas Gold doesn't know anything about geology?? Really?
Adjust to The Reality
"The study also confirmed a major argument of Cornell University physicist Thomas Gold, who argued in his book "The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels" that micro-organisms found in oil might have come from the mantle of the earth where, absent photosynthesis, the micro-organisms feed on hydrocarbons arising from the earth's mantle in the dark depths of the ocean floors."
Just remember that the current population of the earth could fit into an area the size of Texas - 35 people to an acre. That would leave the entire rest of the earth unpopulated. Our population could multiple many, many times before critical mass is reached. Would lifestyles have to change? Of course. But all any of us really needs is a warm place during the winter and food to eat. Those things come pretty cheaply - a sustainable forest and arable land.
This is where everyone has there heads in the sand.
It’s like the wind energy crap. The amount of energy it takes to build the machine to capture wind energy negates the amount you will get out of it over it’s working life.
Without Oil everything they are working on gives back so little return (except nuclear) that it’s just never going to fly.
Consumption is going to outpace supply in the next 10 to 20 years at the latest.
Like I posted in the header.
Jump over the lib crap.
And it doesn’t matter if the earth produces it naturally (which I believe is very likely). That production will not keep up with the consumption rates.
Sounds like just the kind of place that everyone would be killing everyone else.
This explains all the hydrocarbons on Europa. See, all the dinasaurs who died eons ago, on Europa, they created the finite amount of hydrocarbons present on that moon.
>oil is a finite, non-renewable resource<
Well, let’s start by not accepting this premise.
Then we’ll move on, if you don’t mind, and reject any assertions that point in the direction of the need for “population control”.
Nonsense. I can show you wind turbines that have been running, producing more energy each day that they run than it took to manufacture them, since the mid 60s.
The hills near our ranch are dotted with old, still working wind turbines, that require almost no maintainance (and that is a lucky thing, since people are not inclined to maintain things until they fail).
So is the earth and the sun; in fact, most of their usable 9 billion years have already been mindlessly and greedily consumed.. Sure, nobody seems to worry much about it because we all know that there's plenty of earth and sun left for us to enjoy while we leisurely find replacements; but I say the same applies to oil.
>Stop it, please ... you’re killin’ me.<
People still don’t understand the difference in BTU value between a barrel of crude, or gasoline for that matter, and a barrel of ethanol. They also do not understand how many BTUs it takes to make a barrel of ethanol from sugar cane vs. a barrle of gasoline from crude oil.
Always remember: sugar is made for sweetening and ethanol (with a few additive) is made for drinking.
Hmmm... Does that acre have enough "fertility" to feed the 35 people living on it?
I seem to recall reading that feeding a family of four by subsistence farming takes more then two acres.
LOL. It sure didn't take long enough for people to show up and reveal their ignorance by posting about the alleged production of oil by "dinosaurs." You're right, of course.
So if you took the energy output of that windmill it could produce all the energy it takes to smelt the ore, run the machines, etc. etc. without any other energy from any other source to reproduce itself?
That is a tall order.
I just wonder how long it would have to run just to heat a blast furnace one time.
Most of it is a product of cheap oil, or coal.
And just how long will it take to build that amount of nuclear plants?
And how long will the uranium mines last?
Unfortunately, the abiotic response singularly fails, in all cases, to explain why 60% + of the worlds oil fields are in depletion.
I don’t have a problem with whether it’s biotic or abiotic - whatever!
Truth is we are approaching crunch time when, however it is produced, we are not getting it out of the ground fast enough.
Yep, the people starve. Good call!
Yes, I agree, the supplies are there. Can they get it out of the ground at multiple millions of barrels a day?
Don’t think so! So in the larger picture it’s a dead donkey.
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