The dangers of Oil

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Golem, Jun 8, 2023.

  1. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Do we, or do we not, 'produce' oil? Obviously we drill for it, collect it, and process it into something useful. Is it reasonable to call that 'production'?
     
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  2. Bullseye

    Bullseye Well-Known Member

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    They won't use them because they have no faith in government in Washington. It's a huge effort to turn a lease into a producing well and with the government going bonkers on "climate change" it makes no sense to even begin. I wouldn't count on many countries moving away from metro power anytime soon, BTW. Most countries haven't even reached their Paris Accord levels, let alone anything more recent.
     
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  3. Quantum Nerd

    Quantum Nerd Well-Known Member

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    It is a fascinating subject. In fact, the losses in biofuel energy production are pretty well known. The important quantity for any energy source is energy return on energy invested (EROI). If EROI is 1 or <1, the energy source is useless because it takes more energy to harvest the fuel than it returns in energy. Here is a table of EROI of corn-based ethanol:

    [​IMG]

    As we can see, EROI is close to 1, essentially corn-based biofuel is almost useless, because it returns almost the same energy than what is needed to generate it. In contrast, sugar cane ethanol has an EROI of about 8, much more useful, but, unfortunately, sugar cane doesn't grow much in the US.

    Here is an EROI chart:

    [​IMG]

    As we can see, domestic oil is poor, biodiesel even much more so. Photovoltaic is not great either, but at least it is renewable. Firewood is pretty good, but we don't have enough of it, and it doesn't power cars. There is no silver bullet that will save humanity from its energy addiction.
     
  4. kriman

    kriman Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It makes no difference what the median plot size is. What is important is the total bio mass on the face of this earth and the average number of BTUs per unit of biomass and the total BTUs used per year. There is no way that is going to be 1/10 of that available.

    I doubt that average used is even equal to the amount which dies and regenerates each year. i.e. leaves grass and other vegetation.
     
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  5. Quantum Nerd

    Quantum Nerd Well-Known Member

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    I, and @557 did the math, you are welcome to show your own math. Of course, you can just say you doubt our numbers, but that's just the lazy way out. Come on, give it a try, the info is all available, if you are willing to invest the work to look for it. I'd be happy to be proven wrong.
     
  6. LangleyMan

    LangleyMan Well-Known Member

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    Free peoples need to stick together.
     
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  7. kriman

    kriman Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I am not interested. I just look at this massive earth and see how trivial man is in proportion.

    Second, it does not make a difference anyway. I am not into useless exercises. At some point we will be getting a large proportion of our energy from solar and wind and the use of bio fuels will be limited to a few applications where stored energy is not practical.
     
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  8. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member Donor

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    I wonder if you have the slightest appreciation of our entire dependence on the millennia it took to establish the worlds organic oil and gas reserves and how we are squandering these resources.....
     
  9. LangleyMan

    LangleyMan Well-Known Member

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    What do gasoline fumes have to do with anything?
     
  10. LangleyMan

    LangleyMan Well-Known Member

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    So what?
     
  11. LangleyMan

    LangleyMan Well-Known Member

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    It filters 99.97% of particles from the fires.
     
  12. LangleyMan

    LangleyMan Well-Known Member

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    The anti-drilling, anti-pipeline crusade. The problem environmentalists have is they don't know how to say "yes" to useful projects.
     
  13. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    That's darn good!
     
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  14. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    This entire thread is based on the dangers of oil .

    And one of the main petroleum products is gasoline
     
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  15. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Ethanol today is far more efficient than in 2005. Here is some information on current ratios of energy input/yield.


    B98F7E72-E6F9-4F04-96AC-5E148C288043.jpeg

    12478B45-033A-4881-B38A-07B357307FA4.jpeg

    We are also getting better at determining the value of coproducts like feed and corn oil that result from ethanol production. But I’m not aware of any analysis that includes the value of the ethanol as an oxygenate when added to petroleum fuels. That should be accounted for as well.

    For decades now we’ve been told cellulosic ethanol will supplant corn ethanol but the transportation, storage, and handling costs of bulky biomass sources just can’t compete with current US grain handling infrastructure efficiencies. We could grow similar crops to sugarcane but we just don’t have the handling, storing, transportation infrastructure to make it competitive with corn.

    As I said, I’m comfortable with the market deciding if ethanol makes sense. In many cases it certainly does. In my part of the world the beef industry has become dependent on the coproducts of corn ethanol. Most distillers grains are fed “wet” with little to no energy inputs to remove moisture. This works because we have corn, ethanol plants, and cattle all in the same place. Much more efficient than drying distiller’s grains in Illinois and shipping them by rail to California to feed dairy cows. Ethanol isn’t THE solution to anything but can be part of the solution. And it certainly helps get rid of excess corn production.
     
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  16. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    The regeneration point is a good one. If there is 550 GtC equivalent biomass on the planet and 100 GtC equivalent biomass is “created” annually that’s 18% turnover rate annually. So in theory we could be using a lot of that turnover for energy. A rotting log emits CO2 and methane and does little except possibly sequester a little carbon (temporarily) in the soil. If that dead tree were used as biofuel we would have an energy yield to show for the emissions of CO2. Even better would be turning that dead tree into biochar. You would get a lower energy yield perhaps, but much less CO2 emissions and you have biochar that when used as a soil amendment (one of the best soil amendments known to man) sequesters carbon in the soil almost indefinitely.

    The most upsetting thing to me about “climate science debates” is the almost total lack of discussion about solutions. There is a binary thought process that reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuels is the only path forward. This is actually based on the false premise that carbon (CO2 etc.) is “bad”. The carbon cycle is real, and any problems we have with excess atmospheric CO2 can be addressed just as effectively from the usage/sequestration side of the equation as from the emissions side of the equation. Unfortunately, “greens” aren’t as interested in a green planet as they lead us to believe. :)

    All those who understand what biochar is and its potential in the context of carbon sequestration, soil regeneration, and increased water use efficiency raise your hands. Those that can’t raise their hands need to question why something ancient indigenous Amazonians leveraged into some of the most productive soils in the world isn’t part of the current climate narrative.
     
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  17. Polydectes

    Polydectes Banned

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    environmentalism was about preserving the environment. communists hijacking it to push communism is laugable. also you have soured most people from doing things that will benefit the environment.

    never ever trust a watermelon.
     
  18. Quantum Nerd

    Quantum Nerd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting those data, it is good to know that innovation is helping to increase the EROI of corn based ethanol and other biofuels. I agree that biofuels should be a significant part of the renewable energy mix, together with wind, solar, hydro and geothermal. In particular ground source geothermal has the potential to alleviate a lot of residential fossil fuel usage for heating and cooling.

    Having said all that, we NEED to lower the 80% of current energy use based on fossil fuels. I know many want the free market to be the drive of this process. The problem is that the free market is based on cost, and the cost for fossil fuels is not based on how much is left in reservoirs/deposits, but rather on the cost/rate of extraction. Its like drinking from a glass of water with a straw. It doesn't matter whether the glass is full or almost empty, the effort/cost it takes to drink is pretty much the same. That's the danger letting the free market figure this out: When it becomes widely known that the fossil fuel reserves are pretty much gone, cost for fossils will go through the roof. This will lead to a depression. Will people at that tome have money to invest in solar/wind/geothermal? Probably not. Letting the free market decide comes with the risk of total collapse of the system.

    Why is this so? In previous energy transitions (for example wood to coal), we went from a lower density energy source (wood) to a higher energy density one (coal). That was advantageous. In contrast, in the upcoming energy transition, we have to go from a high energy density source (fossil) to a lower density one (renewables). That's not advantageous, which is why the free market fights tooth and nail to prevent it from happening. Now, when I'm dead, this transition WILL be forced on our children/grandchildren. I just hope that they don't have to pay a steep price for our foolishness.
     
  19. Green Man

    Green Man Banned

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    If I'm going to have to have an electric car, then I demand that vehicle have the ability to burn the coal that makes the electricity for it on board.

    I need a coal-electric vehicle. For efficiency. No sense in burning the coal a hundred miles away and wiring it over. Too much loss to electrical resistance. We need to be efficient! :)
     
  20. LangleyMan

    LangleyMan Well-Known Member

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    It is. A responsible government would be telling those with conditions like asthma how they can protect themselves.

    An N95 may not be good enough for some people.
     
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  21. Green Man

    Green Man Banned

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    That N100 respirator has a bit more resistance than a n95 filter mask. Not a comfortable thing to wear eight hours a day. I suppose for short trips outside such as fetching the mail it will work swell. But for all day hazardous air quality alerts you are better off inside with a HEPA filter running.
     
  22. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    The market determination of current cost can’t be based on remaining supply because there is no deficit in supply. Supply is limitless at this point. We are still discovering new sources faster than we can use them. I know folks still talk about peak oil but that’s just theoretical at this point. If a time ever comes when usage outstrips new discoveries you will see supply/demand forces in price discovery. And gradual increases in price will make alternatives more cost effective. Today, cost of extraction and artificial supply restrictions are all that can influence price.

    Decreased demand from transition to other energy sources will kick in before short supply limits demand through higher price. We will stop looking for new proven reserves before we stop finding reserves while looking. I can’t conceive of a situation where there is some big surprise discovery that peak oil has been reached and markets react violently.

    If one wants to make a valid case for reducing fossil fuel use I believe the only valid argument today centers on pollution like NOx and particulates. Supply is a non issue and CO2 can be easily leveraged to our advantage. But particulates, NOx, ozone etc. are good enough reason on their own to cut usage in my opinion.

    I agree geothermal is underutilized both at the consumer level with ground source heat pumps etc. and at the commercial energy supply level. Also, there has been very little emphasis on energy usage reduction through insulation technologies and solar aspect. I remember back in the 80’s solar aspect was “cool” in the environmental community to some extent. My dad was in construction and many houses included some form of solar aspect planning. Today I don’t see much of that. There might be some solar panels somewhere, but use of placement of houses on the property and use of landscaping etc. to increase energy use efficiency seem to be out of style. I miss the environmentalists of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s that believed personal actions were important. Now everybody just wants government to force others (and oddly enough themselves) to do things nobody will do willingly of their own volition.

    Back to (corn) ethanol and markets. The more the free market is allowed to function without government subsidies the more efficient the process becomes. That’s the real danger in messing with markets too much. The things that are implemented through central planning are often far less efficient long term than market solutions.
     
  23. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    Well, you're doing your part.
     
  24. Golem

    Golem Well-Known Member Donor

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    State your point, please. I'm kinda tired of trying to guess.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2023
  25. Golem

    Golem Well-Known Member Donor

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    And they are right in being apprehensive. We did elect a "Trump" once who almost blew up the economy.
     

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