Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Draft horses and steam power

Expand Messages
  • Bob Orser
    I think, Siobhan, that it is precisely because we cannot change the laws of the universe that over the next century or two animal power, including horses, will
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 2, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      I think, Siobhan, that it is precisely because we cannot change the laws of
      the universe that over the next century or two animal power, including
      horses, will regain a larger role in sustaining our civilization. We
      certainly had steamboats and steam railroads in this country before the
      first barrel of oil was pumped from that well in Pennsylvania. It is
      possible to smelt iron & power steam engines with wood (a renewable
      resource, not a one-time bonanza like petroleum.) Solar thermal electric
      generation may be sustainable. At age 76, I don't expect to see more than
      the very beginning of the descent from peak oil, but I expect to see ever
      increasing fuel prices. You younger folks will need to adapt a lot longer.
      Learn to use that good horse manure to produce good organic veggies for
      yourselves. I'm not talking about sudden collapse, just an ongoing process
      of adapting to ever-scarcer & costlier fossil fuels. Supporting increased
      standards of energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, vehicles,
      agriculture, etc. will help make it happen less painfully. And at some
      point, it will become cheaper to farm with horses again (as my uncle did
      until 1950) than with fossil-fueled tractors. The Cubans have learned how
      to feed themselves again with organic farming using oxen & human labor,
      growing veggies in every city yard. They were forced to do so by the loss
      of Soviet oil, but they showed it could be done.
      - Robert
      p.s. - on another subject, I've been friends with Henrik for 42 years and
      that was the most creatively hilarious thing I've seen from him ever.




      dunharrow@...
    • Aurora Komene
      Actually, studies have already shown that it is cheaper to farm with horses than tractors if one is farming less than 40 acres. As the oil discussion is off
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 2, 2009
      • 0 Attachment

        Actually, studies have already shown that it is “cheaper” to farm with horses than tractors if one is farming less than 40 acres. 

         

        As the oil discussion is off topic I will limit my soapbox just to this:  The US of A has MORE oil than the rest of the world in our various deposits including the shale oil deposit that covers much of the West (geo region, not kingdom, not coast).  There is more than three trillion barrels of oil there (to date the entire world has not used an equal amount to what we are sitting on – I believe the consumption number I read was 1 billion, since oil’s inception and use) that we CHOOSE not to use.  We are not the least bit “dependent” on foreign oil.  We merely choose to use all of theirs first.

         

        Thank you for recognizing and pointing out below that wood is a renewable resource – the “don’t use paper, save a tree” campaign drives me nuts.  Paper trees are a specific species/crop of trees that wouldn’t be grown if it weren’t for paper consumptions.  These trees are planted and harvested in a 10 year span.  There is a 25 mile square of paper trees on I84 near Boardman, OR I drive past several times a year.  These trees will never be grown (and therefore never scrub the air) if there is insufficient demand for paper.  The save paper/save a tree campaigns make it sound like a random pine, oak, maple, or alder tree is ripped out of the forest because someone printed a document.  (Those trees are all crops as well – it’s just a crop with a 25 year growing cycle.)

         

        -        A

         

        From: WestKingdomEQ@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WestKingdomEQ@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bob Orser
        Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2009 11:41 AM
        To: WestKingdomEQ@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [WestKingdomEQ Draft horses and steam power

         




        I think, Siobhan, that it is precisely because we cannot change the laws of
        the universe that over the next century or two animal power, including
        horses, will regain a larger role in sustaining our civilization. We
        certainly had steamboats and steam railroads in this country before the
        first barrel of oil was pumped from that well in Pennsylvania. It is
        possible to smelt iron & power steam engines with wood (a renewable
        resource, not a one-time bonanza like petroleum.) Solar thermal electric
        generation may be sustainable. At age 76, I don't expect to see more than
        the very beginning of the descent from peak oil, but I expect to see ever
        increasing fuel prices. You younger folks will need to adapt a lot longer.
        Learn to use that good horse manure to produce good organic veggies for
        yourselves. I'm not talking about sudden collapse, just an ongoing process
        of adapting to ever-scarcer & costlier fossil fuels. Supporting increased
        standards of energy efficiency in buildings, appliances, vehicles,
        agriculture, etc. will help make it happen less painfully. And at some
        point, it will become cheaper to farm with horses again (as my uncle did
        until 1950) than with fossil-fueled tractors. The Cubans have learned how
        to feed themselves again with organic farming using oxen & human labor,
        growing veggies in every city yard. They were forced to do so by the loss
        of Soviet oil, but they showed it could be done.
        - Robert
        p.s. - on another subject, I've been friends with Henrik for 42 years and
        that was the most creatively hilarious thing I've seen from him ever.


        dunharrow@...

      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.