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Re: Homer wipes out a species

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  • turpin <turpin@yahoo.com>
    ... Possibly. But I doubt it. The lights didn t go out when whaling reached its peak and started to decline. There are other sources of energy besides oil and
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 1, 2003
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      "Mike Harrington" <mike@p...> wrote:
      > The consumer-oriented lifestyle, urban sprawl,
      > and the automobile, all of which were embraced
      > in the mid-twentieth century, will be just a
      > bad hangover sometime early in the twenty-first
      > when oil and natural gas shortages become the
      > rule.

      Possibly. But I doubt it. The lights didn't go out when whaling
      reached its peak and started to decline. There are other sources of
      energy besides oil and natural gas. That these haven't had more use
      is only because oil and natural gas have become even cheaper, in real
      terms, than they were at times past. Oil has other uses, of course,
      and the materials and chemical industries could be hard hit by an oil
      shortage. On the other hand, these industries also will be
      revolutionized by some coming technologies.

      I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
      transportation on where the energy will come from. The energy *will*
      come from some place, and likely will be even cheaper per BTU a
      hundred years from now. In fifty years, electric vehicles with nano-
      manufactured components zipping down minimal-asphalt roads charged by
      non-petroleum energy sources could present exactly the same problems
      as do today's gas-fueled cars: congestion, danger to pedestrians,
      sprawl, inconvenient commutes, etc. These problems do not originate
      in where the energy originates, but in how transportation is
      subsidized and how cities are organized.
    • J.H. Crawford
      ... While we shouldn t downplay the potential role of energy shortages in moving the carfree agenda forward, neither should we hang the whole thing on this one
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 2, 2003
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        turpin said:

        >I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
        >transportation on where the energy will come from. The energy *will*
        >come from some place, and likely will be even cheaper per BTU a
        >hundred years from now. In fifty years, electric vehicles with nano-
        >manufactured components zipping down minimal-asphalt roads charged by
        >non-petroleum energy sources could present exactly the same problems
        >as do today's gas-fueled cars: congestion, danger to pedestrians,
        >sprawl, inconvenient commutes, etc. These problems do not originate
        >in where the energy originates, but in how transportation is
        >subsidized and how cities are organized.

        While we shouldn't downplay the potential role of energy shortages
        in moving the carfree agenda forward, neither should we hang the
        whole thing on this one issue. As we all know, there are many reasons
        to make the change, and we should always try to bring all of them
        forward, even in this day of simple-minded media.

        Regards,



        -- ### --

        J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
        mailbox@... Carfree.com
      • Richard Risemberg
        ... All the more important, as one energy field the car addicts will certainly approach--it can work with present-day engines after a slight tweak--is
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 2, 2003
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          J.H. Crawford wrote:
          > turpin said:
          >
          >
          >>I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
          >>transportation on where the energy will come from. The energy *will*
          >>come from some place, and likely will be even cheaper per BTU a
          >>hundred years from now.


          > While we shouldn't downplay the potential role of energy shortages
          > in moving the carfree agenda forward, neither should we hang the
          > whole thing on this one issue. As we all know, there are many reasons
          > to make the change, and we should always try to bring all of them
          > forward, even in this day of simple-minded media.


          All the more important, as one energy field the car addicts will
          certainly approach--it can work with present-day engines after a slight
          tweak--is ethanol/methanol. The call for more fuel plantations could
          make rainforest destruction seem paltry by comparison.... Even a
          mythical car that used NO energy would still cause extreme social and
          environmental damage.

          Richard
          --
          Richard Risemberg
          http://www.living-room.org
          http://www.newcolonist.com

          "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
          just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
          to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."

          Lu Hsun
        • Erik Rauch
          ... Yes - if we don t stress the positive reasons for carfree development, people will continue to ignore the disadvantages to how things are done now, even as
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 2, 2003
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            > turpin said:
            >
            > >I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
            > >transportation on where the energy will come from.

            On Thu, 2 Jan 2003, J.H. Crawford wrote:

            > While we shouldn't downplay the potential role of energy shortages
            > in moving the carfree agenda forward, neither should we hang the
            > whole thing on this one issue. As we all know, there are many reasons
            > to make the change, and we should always try to bring all of them
            > forward, even in this day of simple-minded media.

            Yes - if we don't stress the positive reasons for carfree development,
            people will continue to ignore the disadvantages to how things are done
            now, even as they get worse. If we present it only in terms of fixing a
            problem, it's easier for people to deny that the problem exists.
          • Mike Harrington
            You have more faith in technology than I do. Oil, a high-density hydrocarbon that has no known replacement, will see declining production worldwide early in
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 3, 2003
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              You have more faith in technology than I do. Oil, a high-density
              hydrocarbon that has no known replacement, will see declining production
              worldwide early in this century, so I don't think traffic jams will even be
              remembered fifty years from now. There is no substitute that can replace
              oil, and humanity uses four barrels for every barrel found. The only thing
              I can think of that might produce cheap energy to make the scenario you
              describe possible, is controlled hydrogen fusion. Fusion's chances as
              things stand now are pretty remote, and throwing a lot of money at fusion
              development may not help, since no one alive knows if it could even be made
              to work, wishful thinking notwithstanding. The perilous global energy
              situation will become clearer as time goes on, and Carfree Cities, a great
              idea today, will be a economic necessity well before fifty years is up.

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: <turpin@...>
              To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 5:51 PM
              Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Homer wipes out a species


              > "Mike Harrington" <mike@p...> wrote:
              > > The consumer-oriented lifestyle, urban sprawl,
              > > and the automobile, all of which were embraced
              > > in the mid-twentieth century, will be just a
              > > bad hangover sometime early in the twenty-first
              > > when oil and natural gas shortages become the
              > > rule.
              >
              > Possibly. But I doubt it. The lights didn't go out when whaling
              > reached its peak and started to decline. There are other sources of
              > energy besides oil and natural gas. That these haven't had more use
              > is only because oil and natural gas have become even cheaper, in real
              > terms, than they were at times past. Oil has other uses, of course,
              > and the materials and chemical industries could be hard hit by an oil
              > shortage. On the other hand, these industries also will be
              > revolutionized by some coming technologies.
              >
              > I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
              > transportation on where the energy will come from. The energy *will*
              > come from some place, and likely will be even cheaper per BTU a
              > hundred years from now. In fifty years, electric vehicles with nano-
              > manufactured components zipping down minimal-asphalt roads charged by
              > non-petroleum energy sources could present exactly the same problems
              > as do today's gas-fueled cars: congestion, danger to pedestrians,
              > sprawl, inconvenient commutes, etc. These problems do not originate
              > in where the energy originates, but in how transportation is
              > subsidized and how cities are organized.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
              carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
              > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
            • Mike Harrington
              The problem with ethanol/methanol production is that it is much more expensive than refined oil products. It is also dependent upon cheap energy prices,
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 3, 2003
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                The problem with ethanol/methanol production is that it is much more
                expensive than refined oil products. It is also dependent upon cheap energy
                prices, because refiners need to add 70% more energy than customers get out
                of it. When energy prices go up, the price of ethanol will rise even
                faster.

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Richard Risemberg" <rickrise@...>
                To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 8:30 AM
                Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Homer wipes out a species


                > J.H. Crawford wrote:
                > > turpin said:
                > >
                > >
                > >>I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
                > >>transportation on where the energy will come from. The energy *will*
                > >>come from some place, and likely will be even cheaper per BTU a
                > >>hundred years from now.
                >
                >
                > > While we shouldn't downplay the potential role of energy shortages
                > > in moving the carfree agenda forward, neither should we hang the
                > > whole thing on this one issue. As we all know, there are many reasons
                > > to make the change, and we should always try to bring all of them
                > > forward, even in this day of simple-minded media.
                >
                >
                > All the more important, as one energy field the car addicts will
                > certainly approach--it can work with present-day engines after a slight
                > tweak--is ethanol/methanol. The call for more fuel plantations could
                > make rainforest destruction seem paltry by comparison.... Even a
                > mythical car that used NO energy would still cause extreme social and
                > environmental damage.
                >
                > Richard
                > --
                > Richard Risemberg
                > http://www.living-room.org
                > http://www.newcolonist.com
                >
                > "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
                > just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
                > to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."
                >
                > Lu Hsun
                >
                >
                > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                >
              • J.H. Crawford
                ... Gas and coal can easily substitute for petroleum. The conversion is not especially efficient or inexpensive, but it s quite feasible at costs not far above
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 4, 2003
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                  Mike Harrington said:

                  >You have more faith in technology than I do. Oil, a high-density
                  >hydrocarbon that has no known replacement, will see declining production
                  >worldwide early in this century, so I don't think traffic jams will even be
                  >remembered fifty years from now.

                  Gas and coal can easily substitute for petroleum. The conversion is
                  not especially efficient or inexpensive, but it's quite feasible at
                  costs not far above today's oil prices.

                  >The problem with ethanol/methanol production is that it is much more
                  >expensive than refined oil products. It is also dependent upon cheap energy
                  >prices, because refiners need to add 70% more energy than customers get out
                  >of it. When energy prices go up, the price of ethanol will rise even
                  >faster.

                  According to the latest information I have seen, ethanol production is
                  now a net energy gainer, albeit not by all that much. One of the questions
                  will be whether or not we have enough land and water to use it for growing
                  a crop that produces only moderate net energy gain.

                  Regards,


                  -- ### --

                  J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                  mailbox@... Carfree.com
                • turpin <turpin@yahoo.com>
                  ... Fifty years from now, I would not be the least surprised if phytogenetic engineers design artificial plants that not only produce ethanol, but whose
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 4, 2003
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                    "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...> wrote:
                    > According to the latest information
                    > I have seen, ethanol production is
                    > now a net energy gainer, albeit not
                    > by all that much. One of the
                    > questions will be whether or not we
                    > have enough land and water to use
                    > it for growing a crop that produces
                    > only moderate net energy gain.

                    Fifty years from now, I would not be
                    the least surprised if phytogenetic
                    engineers design artificial plants
                    that not only produce ethanol, but
                    whose growing roots link into a
                    network allowing the workers to plug
                    the field straight into a collection
                    pipe. Of course, this is as
                    speculative as betting on fusion or
                    any other plan. It is even more
                    speculative think that the 21st
                    century will be the one where energy
                    availability declines. My suspicion,
                    which I'll repeat, is that we'll see
                    a bigger problem in the materials
                    and chemicals industries. It's one
                    thing do something other than burn
                    oil for energy. It's harder to find
                    CHEAP replacement processes for
                    making plastic or asphalt. But in
                    fifty years, we'll see something
                    better than rubber tree plantations.
                    There's no going back.
                  • Mike Harrington
                    I m no scientist, but I recognize unbridled optimism when I hear it, and expensive processes like coal gassification and ethanol from bio sources will be poor
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jan 5, 2003
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                      I'm no scientist, but I recognize unbridled optimism when I hear it, and
                      expensive processes like coal gassification and ethanol from bio sources
                      will be poor substitutes once the primary energy sources, oil and natural
                      gas, start their permanent production declines. I stand by my original
                      statement that there are no good replacements for these primary energy
                      sources.

                      Hydrogenation of coal was widely used by the Nazis because of the sparse oil
                      reserves in their blockaded territory. It requires much energy input, and
                      was made "economically" possible only by a million slave laborers that were
                      worked to death. Coal gassification also has serious environmental
                      consequences when employed on a vast scale. Oil shale processing is even
                      more environmentally destructive.

                      Your claim that the 71% additional energy required to transform biomass into
                      fuel has now turned into a net energy gain sounds like the information
                      recently intimated to Congress by well-paid agribusiness lobbyists. When
                      you look at the subsidies and tax breaks companies like Archer Daniels
                      Midland get, it's not surprising that they would attempt to circulate
                      fraudulent scientific "facts" about ethanol production to get Washington to
                      send them even more money. The agricultural oligopoly pay off both the left
                      and the right, there doesn't seem to be much difference between Bush and the
                      Democrats:
                      http://www.townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/mm20020828.shtml

                      Whether your production cost savings claim is correct or not, when energy
                      prices permanently rise at the time global production peaks, the cost of
                      agricultural products will climb accordingly, likely leading to widespread
                      famine.

                      Rationalizations such as these come from the last, desperate attempts of the
                      elites to sustain the twin urban sprawl/unlimited auto use taxpayer subsidy
                      schemes hatched in post-WWII America. The whole system presumes unlimited
                      cheap land and energy, and both Bush and the Democrats are grasping at
                      straws to maintain the fiction that this wasteful, high-consumption economic
                      system can somehow perpetuate itself, rather than the more realistic option
                      of coming to terms with energy conservation. Unbridled optimism is just
                      another term for wishful thinking, and that will increase as the end of the
                      current era gets closer. The obligation to extend utilities and highways
                      into greenfield areas at the expense of taxpayers and utility ratepayers has
                      created a mechanism of spiraling energy and land use. Developers build
                      gated subdivisions, big box stores with wraparound parking lots, and
                      business strip centers which then become suburban slums in twenty years.
                      The whole cycle repeats endlessly as new heretofore rural areas are
                      expropriated due to the pressure of developers and highway interests. This
                      cycle always results in increased energy waste, since the normal constraints
                      against ever more land and energy use are subsidized out of existence. It
                      always has been a real house of cards, and the leadership have been in
                      denial since US domestic oil production hit its peak in 1970. Economists
                      religiously avoid the topic of the coming energy crisis, as if energy
                      problems weren't at the root of the most recent stock market crash. Even
                      though all the warning signs are clear, the economics community chooses to
                      ignore them.

                      The longing members of carfree_cities have for a society built on the scale
                      of the individual, not the automobile, is a lawful result of the perversion
                      of the laws of science and economics by the unnatural influence that
                      taxpayer subsidy of sprawl has had on North America. Urban sprawl is not
                      the result of a free market, but is instead reflective of governments that
                      attempt to legislate and adjudicate against a free market, by making people
                      in existing developments subsidize the suburbanization of greenfields. In
                      addition to the unconscionable squandering of energy resources, the
                      phenomenon of carburbs has created the loneliest, most isolated and obese
                      society ever known. There are more people physically stranded than ever
                      before in North America since walking, bicycling, and streetcars were
                      replaced by the automobile and the off-ramp, and their numbers will only
                      increase. Until the greenfield development/brownfield abandonment cycle is
                      broken, things will get worse, not better. Fix the problem in North America
                      and the rest of the world will follow. There's never been a more important
                      time for a group such as this.

                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
                      To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 2:48 AM
                      Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: oil replacement


                      >
                      > Mike Harrington said:
                      >
                      > >You have more faith in technology than I do. Oil, a high-density
                      > >hydrocarbon that has no known replacement, will see declining production
                      > >worldwide early in this century, so I don't think traffic jams will even
                      be
                      > >remembered fifty years from now.
                      >
                      > Gas and coal can easily substitute for petroleum. The conversion is
                      > not especially efficient or inexpensive, but it's quite feasible at
                      > costs not far above today's oil prices.
                      >
                      > >The problem with ethanol/methanol production is that it is much more
                      > >expensive than refined oil products. It is also dependent upon cheap
                      energy
                      > >prices, because refiners need to add 70% more energy than customers get
                      out
                      > >of it. When energy prices go up, the price of ethanol will rise even
                      > >faster.
                      >
                      > According to the latest information I have seen, ethanol production is
                      > now a net energy gainer, albeit not by all that much. One of the questions
                      > will be whether or not we have enough land and water to use it for growing
                      > a crop that produces only moderate net energy gain.
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      >
                      >
                      > -- ### --
                      >
                      > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                      > mailbox@... Carfree.com
                      >
                      >
                      > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                      carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                      > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • John O. Andersen
                      ... This is one of the negative fallouts from teamplayermania. After so much teamplayerish brainwashing, people start to believe that anything of value is
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jan 23, 2003
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                        > And from these conversations, which happened quite often (hmmm, maybe
                        > that's why I don't work there anymore ;-) it occured to me that many
                        > if not most people feel that they as an individual can't make a
                        > difference. This feeling seems to involve not only making a
                        > difference positively but also making a difference negatively.

                        This is one of the negative fallouts from teamplayermania. After so much
                        teamplayerish brainwashing, people start to believe that anything of value
                        is accomplished by a team. Individualism, by implication, is inferior.

                        John Andersen
                        http://www.unconventionalideas.com
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