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Re: oil replacement

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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
          >
          >
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          >
          >
        • 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 4 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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