A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

Post 1

Maria


I wonder weather governments are preparing anything or are just busy filling their wallets.

Can the economy collapse?

How much time and riots would we need to get used to a new way of using resources, of de-growing, of changing the buy-and-throw system we are living on?

Maybe it is the end of capitalism,or at least that kind of predatory limitless capitalism that uses financial terrorism and wars to keep itself alive.

what about tourism? back to pilgrimages on foot? by horse? by solar-fuelled cars?


Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

Post 2

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Hydroelectric seems to dwarf all other forms of non-fossil-fuel energy. I agree that solar has a lot potential. The plant kingdom has a two billion year head start on us, aided by cyanobacteria that developed perhaps 3.5 billion years ago. At some point, cyanobacteria went to live in plant cells, and helped the transformation of the Earth's atmosphere from carbon-dominated to oxygen-dominated.

The science that our species has developed has not had nearly that much time in which to develop ways of trapping and using the Sun's energy.

Photovoltaic cells have improved form what they were initially. In parts of Africa, a solar cell the size of a ipad can be put on the roof of a house and provide enough electricity to power one electric light and recharge the batteries for radios. Despite this minimal amount of power generation, there has been a measurable *decrease* in kerosene use in Africa.

Governments filling their pockets? Well, they have rather a lot of expenses, though these will vary form country to country. Take Greece (please!). They have a lot of shoreline to defend, so much so that the expense of patrolling it keeps their budget stretched very thin. There are some northern European countries that spend less on defense than they otherwise would because of the American troops stationed there.

Defense needs have evolved to include protection against cyberterrorism. Not a month goes by that we don't hear of some big company admitting that hackers gt into their databases and stole sensitive data about their customers. Marriott is the latest one, with 500 million customer accounts breached. That's about 8% of the population of the planet.

I have an elderly aunt who is gung ho about abolishing fossil fuels. Before my uncle died, she lived with him in a passively solar-heated house. Recently I told her about a type of plant in the grass family that could be used for heating people's homes even in treeless areas.
Just an acre or so of this grass will provide enough heat to keep a house warm through the Winter. People who live in cities don't have an acre per family. smiley - sadface

I like the science of the problem. This is mainly because I like and admire plants. 95% of the planet's biomass is plant material. You and I and the rest of the animal kingdom account for the other 5%.





Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

Post 3

Bald Bloke

In the UK the biggest clean energy source is wind by quite some way.
Although that doesn't count the large number of small solar / wind installations on houses etc.

https://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/


Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

Post 4

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Spain has a huge amount if wind-powered electricity, though it may be seasonal.

Many nations are proceeding with wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal power generation.


Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

Post 5

Baron Grim

I think we would have been at "Peak Oil" if not for fracking. Fracking enables oil to be retrieved from regions previously considered too difficult and expensive. Ironically, the American fracking oil has put a glut on the market lowering the price of oil and gas. This means most people are again, not concerned at all about vehicle mileage and are again, buying predominately large vehicles and SUVs. The Chevy Volt, which was supposed to be the Tesla beater, the plug-in electric vehicle for the masses but their sales figures were too low so GM is shuttering the plant that builds them.


Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

Post 6

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

I read about the closing of GM plans, which drew the wrath of Donald Trump. If he would start riding in Volts, he could help revive that line of cars. smiley - sigh


Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

Post 7

Rev Nick - give me poutine, or give me death

Earlier today, his wrath was focused on any country with national health care. They negotiate cheaper prices for medications than the individual, money driven insurance companies of the US. Bad for big funders of his party means bad for the US. First official target - the UK NHS. I am sure that Canada will also soon be in those squinty sights.


Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

Post 8

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

If they ever write a new Bible based on the events of our lifetimes, perhaps Trump will be one of the seven plagues.... smiley - winkeye


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Are we in the Peak Oil stage?

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