Higher Oil Prices Coming

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by brian eiland, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    What mostly troubles me is that the West (mainly USA and Europe), who considers itself in many ways superior to the rest of the societies around the world, calmly accepts the fact which you have written here. We all know this was not a war for democracy, or against despotism, or whatever else. We all know it was a war for oil right from the beginning. But we all calmly accept this fact, and feel as there were no (im)moral issues to this fact.
    from the moral point of view, it looks like that the Western-world population has been gradually but successfully lobotomized over the years. We fight wars for convenience, we disguise them with heroic blankets and know that we do, but we accept it as normality. It is IMO a very sad and worrying situation. Worrying for the future of truly free and truly democratic Western societies, if there are still any left.


    But, to get back to the technical aspects of the OP...
    The hydrocarbon-based fuels are not found only under the Earth crust. Pumping it out in the oilfields and off-shore oil platforms is simply the most convenient way of production, in the current social and economic framework which makes the world go round.

    The fuels can be obtained via technological (electrochemical) processes too. a lots of efforts are being focused on the development of ways to produce carbon-neutral fuels, like the so-called solar fuels:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-neutral_fuel
    http://www.solarfuelsnetwork.com/about/
    http://www.solar-jet.aero/

    Basically, we have a huge bright nuclear reactor working 24/7 at just 150 million kilometers form the Earth, and sending us more energy in one hour than the humanity uses in one whole year. The only problem we have to solve is the storage of that energy, and that's where the projects like Solar-Jet are aimed at. the idea is to use that enormous energy to produce hydrocabon-based fuel, which can be used by the existing IC engines with very little modifications required.

    And once we manage to develop a suitable technology, guess which regions of the Earth shall have the biggest potential for using the solar radiation? Try to make a guess... :p
     
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    We always have wars for convenience or over commodities or mineral rights. There's nothing new about this. The world has fought over everything it has to offer, better farm land, water, food, better looking women, precious metals and other commodities, you name it. We don't need provenance or a righteous cause, just envy and/or greed will suffice. I'm surprised your having a moral issue with this, but more importantly don't understand your thought that western societies have an arm lock on this approach. Middle and far eastern societies have long before the west shown us precisely how to accomplish these deeds. Simply put, history of the region (middle east) is riff with wars for the exact reasons, though the commodities may differ, the logic and approach is the same.

    As to the alternative fuels thing, well it's a relatively easy cost comparison that shows why sucking crude up is the popular choice. When you combine this with the fact that the petroleum molecule is the most developed in the world, it becomes almost obvious. Maybe it would be easier to think of it from a different angle, such as what would we not have, if it weren't for the development of the petroleum molecule.
     
  3. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I am well aware that the human history has been an endless list of wars for resources. But I don't like the fact that we accept it so easily and without raising any moral issues associated to it. It suffices for us to give a just and heroic name to our war efforts - like "war for freedom", "war for democracy", "war on terrorism", "legitimate defensive war", or that incredibly cynical Bushism: "war for peace" - and we live happily with any amount of destruction and casualties we inflict to other human beings.
    When it's happening far away from our homes, of course.

    Today we have all the technological means (transportation, communication, easy information and opinion exchange) necessary for a peaceful and collaborative living of populations on this planet, yet it looks like our mindset has not made much progress from the stage of apes. Most of our intellectual efforts are concentrated to finding more sophisticated and effective ways of killing each other and dominating other populations. See, for example, if there is any significant technological research in which the DoD is not involved, with the omnipresent goal of further enhancing its military capabilities. I am surprised that you are not disgusted with this situation and the road the mankind has undertaken. I am, and am very worried too. Can't see any good in the future in which militaristic thinking and acting predominates over the civil and collaborative one.

    Regarding the synthetic fuels, we agree that the price of oil extraction is currently much smaller than the price of synthesizing the fuel molecules through the use of solar energy. But in my previous post I had added one imo important note to that phrase: "in the current social and economic framework". In other words, it is a matter of rules. The economy is governed by the rules, which in turn determine the price of goods. We have two options here:
    1) wait until the price of oil gets so high to make alternatives more competitive. But by the time it happens the oil resources shall be nearly depleted, and we might have a period of insufficient energy and raw materials supply until the alternatives catch up. That could be even fatal, if the nature decides to give us at the same time a period of extremely adverse environmental conditions.
    2) modify the rules in order to favor the development of alternative energy sources and to prevent the first situation from happening. This seems to be the path which the governments are currently choosing (carbon tax, renewable-energy subsidies etc.), paving the way through a lots of resistance of the conservative and corporative establishment.​
    Going solar is a very viable option, it just requires a new mindset and a new set of rules. Which is a normal and natural fact. Our world is physically changing and we cannot ignore it and keep doing business as always.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
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  4. PAR
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    I do think societies have advanced considerably, though from our perspective, maybe not as fast as we'd like, but from a historical one, huge gains in the last half century.

    Petroleum is responsible for most of the things we take for granted. Plastics, cosmetics, wax emulsions, construction board, matches, candles, rust protection, vapor barriers, frozen food packaging, inks, ball point pens, the list is huge. Let us not forget epoxy too. I remember reading once there are over 5,000 "by products" of this molecule, making it easily the most important on the planet.

    It's simply not a matter of rules, but development. This molecule has seen more development than any other, so it has a significant place to reside.
     
  5. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Agreed, and I am not advocating an abandonment of petroleum as raw material for a range of products. Hell, our world is made of plastics... What I am saying is that we have technological knowledge which can allow us to synthesize it from basic elements or other raw materials and from the solar energy. Which is the same way the nature has synthesized the current underground oil reserves during the last couple of millions of years.
    It is all a matter of price now, and the price depends on the pricing rules the society will adopt. I am pretty sure a lots of things will change in that regard in the near future, and Adam Smith will be turning a lots in his grave.
     
  6. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertilizer#Inorganic_commercial_fertilizer

    And that doesn't include the amount of food made possible through the use of petrochemical pesticides and herbicides.

    Why is it we need Iraq's oil?
    http://rt.com/usa/168248-us-allows-crude-oil-export/

    Do 'we' need it as fuel for our cars etc, or do 'we' suffer if ExxonMobil doesn't make money? If profit for XM and a smooth running economy is the answer, then we need war to employ excess/unemployable labor and to keep the MIC profitable and smooth running.
     
  7. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    It may not be all bad if the Military is involved. The Department of Defense sponsors a lot of basic research in areas that aren't profitable for private companies, or in areas which aren't politically acceptable. For instance, a group of 16 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals who compose the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board (MAB) have just issued a report on National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change. It may be that much of the funding to create technological solutions to climate change, or oil depletion, will come from the military because they seem to be willing to look further down the road than are many partisan politicians needing to be re-elected every few year by a clue-less populace, or by private companies needing to make a profit every quarter.
     
  8. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Concerned rants

    Korean War, Vietnam War, Serbo-Croatian War, and first Gulf War did NOT start with USA and they were legitimate defensive war for most part.

    The two major problem with solar PV collection is capture and storage. It is a huge problem that will take time, not money. Akin to 'we have enough wind/solar/tidal/storm energy in ocean everyday to last all of humanity a million years, why can we make my boat go 60 MPH with all the comforts of home?' All boat designers and NAs say boat is a compromise, and it is a truth because it is a science. Energy technology is also a science, it is a compromise and the solution will take lots of time and some money, not lots of money and little time. Current best commercial PV panels are 12-14% efficient. Solar electricity storage is most practical with AGM batteries atm.


    We are all in agreement then.

    We in USA may not need it, but Japan and some European countries need Iraqi oil otherwise their poor economy affects US economy. China gets most from Iran. Germany now needs lots of Iraqi oil since Russia invaded South-Eastern Ukrainia.

    SamSam, RT is Russia government funded news organization. Lotta propaganda. Just like CCTV, Chinese government funded propaganda. Totally different than Fox or NPR. But, it is a good thing that RT is reporting that, since major US media are not, not even Fox. Obama has good control over them. Much better than Cheney.
    For a mean time, it is drill-drill-drill baby. No, Sarah is not singing that. It is Barak in his basement, so his critiques won't hear it, and liberals are singing it quietly too. Meanwhile, everyone is still ignoring nuclear energy. Quite unscientific minded people out there :confused:

    BTW, last three years of Cleantech funding by angels and venture firms have shied away from anything "solar" in their funding request. This is heavily Liberal dominated VC funding and incubation program. It all started after almost a decade of funding failures and Solyndra granted by Obama was the death nail. NSF funding is quite difficult too. Fortunately, DoD still funds certain energy programs such as battery technologies and Navy algae biofuel research. Any brilliant minds here should come join us! Not much money since our economy is quite fragile atm, but lots of opportunity to do good.
     
  9. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    "Legitimate defensive war". Thank you, I have forgotten that one. Will include it in the previous list of adjectives to be conveniently put before the word "war" in order to justify it.

    All correct. What I am wondering is - where did I ever mention PV panels and batteries? I was talking about the solar-assisted fuel synthesis. Like hydrocarbon fuel, something we already use and know how to keep stored and ready for future needs.

    Not sure it is really so. I am more inclined to think that, after the mediatic waters and the political pressing from the US have slowed down, the EU will carry on doing its business as usual with the Russia. Too much money and mutual interests are at stake in this relationship to blow it up because of a regional conflict in Crimea. It's spelled Ukraine, btw.

    And this looks like a good occasion to ask: what does the word "Liberal" means, and what would be the opposite of that word?
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Wow, lots of miss understanding here about crude distribution and pricing, appropriation programs, research and what the executive or legislative branches can do.
     
  11. brian eiland
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    brian eiland Senior Member

    Very good posting Daiquiri
     
  12. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Opportunity to Learn

    You didn't mention PV panels. I was adding side bar to your comment. It seems like you are familiar with the solar-assisted fuel synthesis. Would you share your definition of that, and any particulars to educate us? Which flavor and how are they coming along? Hydrogen, algae farming, Fisher-Tropsch, etc?

    That probably is more prudent for Germany's interest for now, since Europe lacks standing army to stand up to Russia besides the Russian energy blackmail over Europe. But, Europe also needs to think about long term relationship between US, Russia and its' own military strength.
    As for Ukrainia, yes I understand the current nation of Ukraine but I was specifically trying to focus more on traditional and cultural territories of Ukranian people, kind of like Scandinavia. What would be the proper spelling for that?

    The meaning of 'Liberal' definitely have changed over the centuries but definitely over last couple of decades. If you need good description then google it. If you want my definition of "true Liberalism" then it would be too conservative for most liberals today. I guess they don't like term liberals now days, what do they call... progressives? Liberals I remember were democratic, strong family values, and conservative fiscal policies BUT not restricted by absolutism. These days in US, that would be part Democratic party, part Republican party and part Libertarian party. The reason why I am an independant. If you are fair about any criticism of any political views then I can agree with that. We can discuss any grey areas and agree to disagree too, civilly.

    P.S.: Thanks for your attempt to correct my spelling, you would get along fine with my daughter (English major/linguist) I can take criticism, and it would be wonderful if you can prove me wrong on any of my points, provided that you tell me what is wrong and what the answer is, then I can learn something.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  13. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Completely agree ImaginaryNumber.
    I have no connection to any military other than incidental commercial transactions and my brother served in Military. Militaristic may be bad but, I do believe in strong military for protection of our people.

    Daiquiry, this is very good. Back in 2008, I was involved with some public policy panel discussions over this exact issue. Do we force codes and policies to the public and cause hardship to poors, or do we have longer term gradual implementation (~10 years) and suffer the damage from pollution/climate change? We decided to do latter, kinder and gentler for poors. Then watched politicians waste budget and political clouts over dumb things (2009-2011). We could have spent those budgets and political assets for better things. So, in some ways I do share your disgusts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  14. thudpucker
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    By the time America gets the Shale oil coming, the Canadians will have sold it all to the Chinese.

    By then we won't have enough tillable land to make Vegetable oils in quantities to keep America's Industries going.
    Looks like the Solar, Wind and Algae fuels are going to be a reality after all.
     

  15. Yobarnacle
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    Yobarnacle Senior Member

    I think we have constant wars, because our eyes face forward and we have fangs. Small fangs, but still canines.
    In other words. We are predators. It's our nature. Hardwired design.
     
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