Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Power The Almighty Buck The Military Transportation

German Military Braces For Peak Oil 764

Posted by timothy
from the malthus-was-right dept.
myrdos2 writes "A study by a German military think tank leaked to the Internet warns of the potential for a dire global economic crisis in as little as 15 years as a result of a peak and an irreversible decline in world oil supplies. The study states that there is 'some probability that peak oil will occur around the year 2010 and that the impact on security is expected to be felt 15 to 30 years later. ... In the medium term the global economic system and every market-oriented national economy would collapse.' The report closely matches one from the US military earlier this year, which stated that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

German Military Braces For Peak Oil

Comments Filter:
  • by unitron (5733) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @01:48AM (#33542618) Homepage Journal

    Well, the German military does have some past experience in having to manage without petroleum. : - )

    • by EdIII (1114411) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:09AM (#33543130)

      It's funny that you are getting modded funny on this comment.

      The Germans DO have experience with this. The article states that the German and US military both are planning ahead for this.

      On a serious note, I keep hearing that the next World Wars will be fought over resources. It might be hard for us to imagine this right now, since most Slashdotters get to wake up in soft beds, in airconditioned/heated rooms, take hot showers with nice smelling bath products, and drive the 1-2 miles to Starbucks to enjoy over priced coffee and free Wi-Fi.

      All of our amenities, seemingly abundant and unending, provide a natural barrier to understanding just how quickly and totally society can break down when the "basics" become extremely hard to obtain.

      Most of us probably don't remember World War II or the Great Depression. My grandparents do though. They always told me that I would never really understand just how good and easy that I have it.

      They are probably right.

      So although your post is modded as funny (which it really kind of is), I am taking it on a more serious note too.

      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:29AM (#33543192)

        Most of us probably don't remember World War II or the Great Depression. My grandparents do though. They always told me that I would never really understand just how good and easy that I have it.
        They are probably right.

        If peak oil is around now, and you're youngish, I think it's pretty likely you are going to understand very well.

        • by LordAndrewSama (1216602) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @07:20AM (#33543818)
          well, shit.
        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @11:12AM (#33545172) Journal

          Okay:

          Peak oil is not about shortages. There will be plenty of oil around, but the current inventory (underneath the soil) will be on a continual decline. It's like when Sega stopped making Dreamcasts. There was still a huge inventory that took ~2 years to empty out the warehouse. Same with oil. It will take another 100 years or so to empty out the existing inventory under the ground.

          Of course as oil grows more scarce, the price will climb. That's the real issue - how will people be able to afford $10/gallon gasoline.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by BasilBrush (643681)

            There will be plenty of oil in the ground, around as much as has already been used in all of history in fact. But the rate of production will slow. That means that there will be a limit to how much oil is available. That's what will cause the price to go steeply up. And it'll keep on going steeply up year on year to price more and more people out of the market. Pretty soon (a handful of years) ordinary people won't be able to afford it. It's not just that they'll feel they can't afford it. It's not just tha

            • by Jeremi (14640) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:35PM (#33546714) Homepage

              There will be plenty of oil in the ground, around as much as has already been used in all of history in fact.

              Well, here's the thing: collecting oil, like most other human activity, requires energy to accomplish. Currently, the amount of energy required to collect a gallon of oil is less than the amount of energy obtainable from a gallon of oil... but as the "easy" oil is used up, the remaining oil is (by definition) the oil that is more remote and harder to collect. At some point, the remaining oil will be difficult enough to collect that it will require the expenditure of more than a gallon of oil to get a gallon of oil... at which point, the remaining oil might as well not exist, because after collecting the oil you'd have less oil than you started with. So the fact that lots of oil still exists is a bit of a red herring.

              • by dakohli (1442929) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @02:33AM (#33550876)
                don't forget that oil is not just used for fuel. We make many synthetics with it as well. At some point we may well decide that it is too valuable to burn, hopefully, as the price of gas goes up, alternatives will be found to replace the gasoline buring internal combustion engine.

                I think transportation will get so expensive, that the 100 mile economy will become fact. This will destroy the economy of scale because we will just not be able to afford to transport goods over long distances. The good news is that there will be jobs all over the place, the bad news is we will be living in the 19th Century again.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Hadlock (143607)

            I think it's not a gradual climb in price, it's the immediate (we're talking 60-90 days) 50%-200% increase in price as demand outstrips supply. Yes, you can still afford to put gas in your car if gas climbs to $8/gallon, but most trucking companies will go under when their profit margins evaporate (see also: freight industry consolidation 2008-2010), and the cost of shipping doubles, causing those costs to be passed on to the consumer, instant 20-30% price spike in goods and services. So what started out as

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BrokenHalo (565198)
          Something I've noticed about deniers of "peak oil" and climate change is that they are very often affluent people with young children. I'm approaching my 50s (some days quite rapidly), and I make a point of telling them I'm probably going to be dead before the worst of it hits, and I have done without creature comforts like electricity before.

          But they should give the matter some serious thought if they have the slightest interest in the future welfare of their offspring.
      • by baderman (1898604) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:53AM (#33543258)
        Probably, most of people reading this story isn't aware, how much of whole german ww2 fuel production were not from crude. Here http://www.slcj.uw.edu.pl/htrp/PrezentacjePAA-RdSA-28-Jun-2006/Stanczyk-PaliwaPlynne.pdf [uw.edu.pl] (polish only) one can see volume of sythetic fuel produced by germans. And, personally i'm wondering if this technology will appear as one of most important technologies of times when technology of power productions changes?
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:57AM (#33543278)

        Petroleum is really convenient in terms of an energy source, but we have a whole lot of others. That means, when push comes to shove, we can find other ways of doing things. Thus we aren't likely to face a real wide shortage. Nuclear is a good example. There is lots and lots of power to be had from nuclear sources. No it isn't a 1:1 replacement for oil but that's ok, we can deal with that.

        Some of it is economic. The more expensive oil gets, the more alternatives are attractive. You may notice that there's been a big upswing in biofuel research and such things. This isn't coincidence or just green funding. It is the fact that the more oil costs, the more attractive an alternative is. Some of it is also just not listening to the crazies. Nuclear is a bad word in America and the green types lobby heavily against it. Well if it is that or no power, people will stop listening in a hurry and demand more plants be built. Some of it is just technological progress. We are getting better and better at alternative energy, energy storage and so on.

        Also please remember that this won't be a wall, as in suddenly we can't turn the lights on one morning. It'll be a gradual thing, an increase in prices as supplies dwindle and/or harder to reach deposits are tapped. That means that there is also time for replacements, and incentive for those, as prices rise. Gradual change is something economies cope with relatively well. It is sudden change that is the real problem. So if oil production has peaked and things start sliding down, that isn't likely to be a big issue unless for some unknown reason it is abrupt and production just grinds to a halt.

        One thing you may notice is that humans are pretty good at solving problems. They aren't so good at mitigating problems, looking ahead and making sure they never happen, but when a problem does happen they are pretty good and solving that problems. Thus it seems pretty likely that this sort of thing will get solved too. Supply starts going down, prices go up, alternatives are more profitable, etc, etc.

        • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Saturday September 11, 2010 @05:47AM (#33543488)

          One thing you may notice is that humans are pretty good at solving problems.

          smart people

          They aren't so good at mitigating problems, looking ahead and making sure they never happen,

          Management

          but when a problem does happen they are pretty good and solving that problems.

          the same smart people who have been warning about those problems for months/years/decades

          • by aurispector (530273) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @08:16AM (#33544082)

            Did you sleep through it when gas prices in the US were hitting $5 a gallon? It was unbelievable how many alt fuel technologies were crawling out of the woodwork.

            Peak oil is sensationalist bullsh*t. When petroleum based products become more scarce, prices will rise making these alternative technologies more attractive. Once they get established they get cheaper due to economies of scale, etc., and gradually oil isn't relevant anymore. The entire world economy is optimized for petroleum simply because it's cheap. When it isn't cheap anymore things will change.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by multi io (640409)
              Almost every product is in some way petroleum-based, so that "prices will rise" period may very well amount to an economic crisis that might later be called the mother of all economic crises.
              • by confused one (671304) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @09:15AM (#33544408)
                "Everything" is made from petroleum because it's convenient and it's cheap. When petroleum becomes expensive, stuff will stop being made universally out of plastics. So, you'll start seeing various alloys of magnesium, titanium, aluminum and steel being used again where there's a cheap plastic injection molded part now. The plastic will be saved for where it's needed. Yes, stuff will become more expensive and that will hurt the economy of the world somewhat. However, You'll likely see less disposable crap and more well built long-lasting repairable stuff to offset the cost somewhat.
        • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @06:16AM (#33543616)

          The more expensive oil gets, the more alternatives are attractive.

          Like strip mining the Rockies for Oil Shale.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Urkki (668283)

          Also please remember that this won't be a wall, as in suddenly we can't turn the lights on one morning. It'll be a gradual thing, an increase in prices as supplies dwindle and/or harder to reach deposits are tapped.

          The moment supply does not meet essential demand, the price will pretty much skyrocket to a more realistic value of the limited oil supply. Only way it can be made gradual is to tax oil heavily now, and then as the price of crude goes up, taxes could come down (in a theoretical world where the oil tax money would be put into a fund, and not in increased spending which can't be cut back when it'd be time to lower that tax).

      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @05:18AM (#33543380) Homepage Journal

        ``On a serious note, I keep hearing that the next World Wars will be fought over resources. It might be hard for us to imagine this right now, since most Slashdotters get to wake up in soft beds, in airconditioned/heated rooms, take hot showers with nice smelling bath products, and drive the 1-2 miles to Starbucks to enjoy over priced coffee and free Wi-Fi.

        All of our amenities, seemingly abundant and unending, provide a natural barrier to understanding just how quickly and totally society can break down when the "basics" become extremely hard to obtain.''

        Paradoxically, they are exactly what will bring about that breakdown. We _could_ live at a sustainable level, if we were (collectively) willing to give up some of our luxuries.

        I, for one, am willing to reduce my footprint, but I need some help. A few years ago, I was a student, lived in a small apartment with my girlfriend, and we both went everywhere on foot, by bike, or, occasionally, by public transport. We cared about energy efficiency and had far below average energy consumption. I had everything I wanted, and, according to a test I did, lived at a sustainable level.

        Now, I have a full-time job, drive a car, and live alone in an apartment that is much larger than I need. I still care about energy efficiency and have below-average energy consumption, but the changes really ruin it. I invest in new technologies that aim to obviate the need for burning fossil fuels in my car, and I buy carbon offsets for my gasoline, electricity, and gas use. Still, I am required to work on site (hence the car), and my income disqualifies me from living in a smaller (cheaper) place. These inefficiencies, which are pressed on me, have lifted me from living at a sustainable level to living at an unsustainable level. If I could move back to my old place (or to something similar) and have everything I need within cycling distance, I would jump at the opportunity. The challenge is doing that and making enough money to sustain myself (at the time, I was racking up debt, which I am now paying off).

      • I keep hearing that the next World Wars will be fought over resources

        The previous world war was fought over oil too. After the US cut off oil exports Imperial Japan decided to invade Indonesia to acquire its oil. The British in Singapore and the US in the Philippines were on the supply line that the oil would have to travel. Imperial Japan decided to remove the British and the US from the western pacific to secure that oil supply.

      • by Provocateur (133110) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @06:12AM (#33543596) Homepage

        since most Slashdotters get to wake up in soft beds, in airconditioned/heated rooms, take hot showers with nice smelling bath products
         
        //me hears jarring sound of needle scratching record and music suddenly stops

        Did he just mention "showers"?

      • by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @08:17AM (#33544088) Homepage

        The problem is that that there are 2 ways to deal with a resource shortage :

        1) the "gaia" way : you conserve. You limit your resource usage and try to save what's left.
        2) the "american way" (investment if you like) : you spend MORE, not less, and go looking for a solution to the problem. And quite frankly, while one is to avoid going totally off the rail, you don't really care what (or even who) you destroy in the process and you promise yourself to "fix it later if I find a solution"

        Now, intuitively you might think that 1) is the way to go. It's nicer. It's "green". It's "natural". It's everything the current media loves. It's "nice". It's "the right thing". It's "risk free". Unfortunately it's only risk free in the sense that it leads to the abyss with 100% certainty.

        And then you start checking. Just how natural is it ? What do bacteria do, when their food source is threatened ? Well, with but a few exceptions they invest all their remaining energy in a desperate attempt to expand their territory. What do plants do ? The same (again 99.99999999% of plants do this). What do animals do ? ...

        So after researching this you start thinking the "natural" way is definitely option 2). But why ?

        Well, simple. While option 1) might look nice rationally, but it is a trap : it is guaranteed to fail. Option 2) has some unknown amount of chance (probably more than 50%) of failure. But NOT 100%. Humans don't like it. We really don't know what will happen. Easier to go with guaranteed failure where no-one can be blamed. But unfortunately, the reaction to running out of resources cannot be conservation : it won't work. Society will wither and die if you do that.

        At every point in time, there are 2 forces in nature. A force that is trying to advance by advancing the "state of the art" (in nature's case, the DNA library), species are trying to expand into areas where they couldn't exist before. They're trying to discover, and consume, resources they couldn't consume before. They're learning to create or replace critical molecules by alternative, less demanding versions. They're competitive and "weird things" happen. Lots of survival matches between all sorts of different species, which are rarely ever entirely won or lost by one or the other species.

        But there is also a part of nature, a significant part, that lives on conservation. The main tactic to conserve, in nature, is to poison everyone else's chances for expansion, so as to take more for yourself. Lots of species do this, including several well known ones, and everyone (should) know the consequences. There are oak forests, and there are beech forests. Oak forests are big, extremely rich in biodiversity and house lots and lots of animals. Beech forests, by contrast, are sad, empty things, that look as if they're heavily poisoned, except for the beech trees. That's because they are heavily poisoned. By the beech tree (but there are other species like this).

        Humans work in the same way. Expansion leads to rich, open societies that, above most all else, encourage discovery and change. Conservation leads to what you might call a taliban society.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ash Vince (602485) *

        On a serious note, I keep hearing that the next World Wars will be fought over resources

        Nearly all wars are about resources.

    • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @05:34AM (#33543432) Homepage Journal

      >>Well, the German military does have some past experience in having to manage without petroleum. : - )

      Right. They used the Fisher-Tropsch process (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer%E2%80%93Tropsch_process) to generate oil from coal.

      Or, as our lovely senator from California, Diane Feinstein put it, "An unproven, untested, and new method of generating gasoline."

      Right before she voted against it in the senate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765)

        *sigh* fisher-tropsh is a way to ADD energy to coal to make oil. Nobody doubts it's going to work, IF we find this outside energy source. Nuclear *might* work.

  • People have been planning for this since the 70's. If you think gas is expensive now, wait ten years.
    Profits are going to be amazing as shortage will mean name your price economics.
    • by 0123456 (636235)

      People have been planning for this since the 70's. If you think gas is expensive now, wait ten years.

      I remember back in the 70s that oil was going to run out by the 90s. Now in 2010, oil is going to run out by the 2030s. In 2030 I guess oil will be going to run out by the 2050s.

      • by keeboo (724305) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:27AM (#33542770)

        I remember back in the 70s that oil was going to run out by the 90s. Now in 2010, oil is going to run out by the 2030s. In 2030 I guess oil will be going to run out by the 2050s.

        I don't think that oil will run out by 2030s either, but it will be a lot more expensive.
        There are oil basins that were considered unprofitable years ago but now, after the low-hanging fruits are gone, are being exploited.
        Right now there are known hard-to-exploit reserves just waiting for a higher oil price in order to make economic sense.

      • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @03:01AM (#33542902) Homepage Journal

        Nobody (except maybe the usual few paranoids, and perhaps the usual tabloid corporate mass media that loves them) said in the 1970s that oil would run out by the 1990s. What was said, by Kingman, who said in the 1950s that American oil would peak in the early 1970s and was right, was that global oil would peak in the 1990s. Peak does not mean end - it means the opposite, the maximum production. But Kingman's research showed in both cases that the peak would be followed immediately by a dropoff as steep and as short as was the ramp-up leading to the peak. However, demand continues to increase, so the shortfall grows even more rapidly, and immediately after the peak (once any relatively small surplus is consumed).

        What Kingman's research did not have was the self-reflexive consequences of his research on the supply and demand curves. When America's oil peaked in the early 1970s, the resulting oil crunch not only changed the supply and demand curves that Kingman couldn't account for because the crunch and response data had never existed before. It also changed the appreciation of Kingman's research, and of his prediction that the global peak was coming. So that the world prepared in many ways for the next predicted peak, the global one. By the time the 1990s came, the effects were around: some peaking in large Saudi fields helped create the shortage pricing that we've never left since then. And the peak was delayed. But not for very long. Mainly what happened was that estimates of reserves were exaggerated (lies), in large amounts.

        So we are indeed in the global peak oil period now, and in some ways have been since the 1990s.

      • by arivanov (12034) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @03:02AM (#33542904) Homepage

        Gulf oil may run out. Which is good. No more money to sponsor Taleban and Hezbollah.

        Other oil? Not so sure. Russians have always been operating a policy of "use 1, save 1". They have a considerable state reserve, so does USA in Alaska. Then there are all the fields that are in the Arctic or other places that are beyond current tech. Then there are all the fields that are not economically viable because of current land prices and environmental regs. Britain has petrol so does Germany, Netherlands, etc. However nobody wants to see an oil well in their backyard. Then there are all the places around the world with high density oil which are too difficult for current drilling processes. I own land on top of one of these fields in Eastern Europe and frankly I am eagerly waiting for oil to "run out". There is also a lot of high density leftovers which were never pumped out from fields that have been declared exhausted in Texas, Caucasus, etc. And so on.

        Oil is not running out any time soon. It will just become more and more expensive. 200$ a barrel and 4-5$ per litre (not per gallon) at the pump are coming this way within the next 10 years and there is little we can do about that.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bjourne (1034822)

          Other oil? Not so sure. Russians have always been operating a policy of "use 1, save 1". They have a considerable state reserve, so does USA in Alaska.

          Estimates [nwsource.com] say there are 10 billion barrels of oil in Alaska. The US consumes about 20 million [nationmaster.com] barrels per day. So all the oil up there will only be good for about 500 days or one and a half year. The point is that the oil will run out whether the Alaskan oil fields are exploited or not. Delaying the inevitable with, at best, 1.5 years is hardly worth the ef

      • by bananaendian (928499) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @03:32AM (#33542996) Homepage Journal

        Its so simple. 'You' were wrong in 1970 - "haha" - therefore any prediction of oil running out, including the fact that oil is running out right now and has ran out any many places already, will be automatically dismissed and ridiculed by us no matter what. No analysis, no fact checking, onward christian straw men...

        Peak Oil is not the same thing as running out of oil.

        What these systems analysts working for the military industrial complex are saying is that the rate of production of oil can no longer keep up with our increasing demand for it. And increased demand does not automatically create new oil into the market forever - the same way that the hunger of the economists locked up in my cellar do not create sandwiched for them. At some point the 'laws' of economics meet the laws of physics - one of them wins and its called resource depletion.

        Resource depletion is just that: depletion. Initially you discover a resource, you bring it to production at a certain rate. That rate is not arbitrary. The more 'contact area' you have with the resource, the greater the rate can be. Eventually however the resource depletes to a 'level' where your contact area can no longer increase but begins to decrease. From this point on your rate of production will decrease no matter what until the resource is exhausted or the rate of production no longer justifies continuing. The rate of discovery did peak at 1970. Finally now its the turn of production.

        This is exactly what you are taught if you're into petroleum engineer. The rigs out there aren't simply sinking their pipes into liquid gold and sucking free money to the surface. Every stake is carefully evaluated, every well is a huge risk to take. Will it produce, at what rate and for how long? And there is no technological fixes left. We have already thrown the kitchen sink into the play for decades: from 3D-seismic modeling, from fracturing to horizontal drilling. All used extensively in all the largest oil fields of the world - most of which are now in decline. The reason is that many of these 'production enhancing technologies' are just 'super straws': they artificially increase your initial rate of production - but they don't increase the amount of oil down there - you are just sucking it dry faster. There is no engineering around Peak Oil.

        The many years I have been following theoildrum [theoildrum.com] and I have come to learn a great deal about the capability of people to deny and dismiss the reality around them. With the global warming it was way too easy for them - the science was difficult even for the experts. With Peak Oil it was always only misunderstanding or pure ignorance that worked - because a lot of the facts were out there plain to see with no complex math involved. In fact there was no debate amongst the 'experts' either. Any rig hand you talked to seemed to know exactly what you were talking about and some of the big oil companies like Shell, PB for example are now publicly talking about Peak Oil as well as some governments and the military are starting to publicly use the Peak Oil term.

        What is left then for the denilists? Hide in slashdot world? At least have the courtesy of informing yourself [wikipedia.org] and coming up with more then the lame same cliches. There is the mandatory criticism section [wikipedia.org] down there although its been struggling recently. Good luck.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @01:59AM (#33542642) Homepage Journal

    a German military think tank

    Ein Denkenpanzer?

  • Prophecy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by flatulus (260854)

    A year or two ago I posted to some thread where I remarked that "global warming" was a self-limiting concern, because of declining oil production. I was blasted as being a selfish, ignorant &)*(&%&$$.

    SO.... This is what I was talking about. The day will come (before you're ready) when you will look back wistfully at the time when you COULD afford to damage the environment :-)

    Many will die, many more will suffer, when the resource depletion culls the winners from the losers. Survival will rei

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Konster (252488)

      Global warming won't be a self limiting concern until we run out of things to burn.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      A year or two ago I posted to some thread where I remarked that "global warming" was a self-limiting concern, because of declining oil production. I was blasted as being a selfish, ignorant &)*(&%&$$.

      The funny part is that many of the 'peak oil' doomers I know are also 'global warming' doomers and don't see any inconsistency in these positions; we're all about to die because oil is about to run out, but we're also all about to die because the ice caps are melting due to burning oil.

      • Re:Prophecy (Score:5, Informative)

        by General Wesc (59919) <slashdot@wescnet.cjb.net> on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:22AM (#33542754) Homepage Journal
        It's not about to run out. It's about to--wait for it--PEAK. Production has been increasing since its discovery and soon it will begin to decrease--but 'decrease' (or even 'decrease fast enough to be big trouble) does not equate 'decrease quickly enough to solve global warming', especially considering the time lag.
      • Re:Prophecy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rorrison (74822) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @03:00AM (#33542896)

        The climate is already changing because of the CO2 currently in the atmosphere. We could stop burning fossil carbon today and global warming would still be a problem.

        And what, you don't believe in peak oil? You think the earth is like a Tardis, bigger inside than out, with infinite reserves of oil? There will have to come a time when production starts to decline.

        I just don't get how deniers can ignore simple logic. Oil companies will always find new reserves. We can keep pumping CO2 into the atmosphere without it ever affecting anything. Yeah, right. Just because things are bigger than your tiny mind can comprehend doesn't mean they're infinite. If something isn't going to happen in your lifetime, that doesn't mean it's never going to happen.

        Do you have children?

        • Re:Prophecy (Score:4, Informative)

          by AbRASiON (589899) * on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:03AM (#33543108) Journal

          Someone please moderate +5

          The deniers seem to be incapable of simple logic and mathematics, it's nothing short of fascinating just how short minded these people are.
          The earth is not limitless in it's capability of producing food, oxygen, oil and hell even landmass and space to live in.
          Sooner or later, oil will run out - once you understand just what's made with oil (hint: It's a hell of a lot more than just being used in vehicles) you'll start to understand.
          Even if oil doesn't run out soon, eventually it will, it doesn't magically grow back every 6 weeks.

    • Re:Prophecy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by imroy (755) <imroykun@gmail.com> on Saturday September 11, 2010 @03:00AM (#33542892) Homepage Journal

      I remarked that "global warming" was a self-limiting concern, because of declining oil production

      So you think that as soon as we run out of fossil fuels, all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will magically disappear?

  • Tar sands (Score:2, Interesting)

    by flyingfsck (986395)

    Bah, humbug. There are vast amounts of tar sands in Canada and Saudi Arabia and probably in a few other places...

    It is a problem for Germany though, since they refuse to build new nuclear power stations. For everybody else, it is not a problem aqnd I suppose France will be the next major exporter of energy - from their nuclear stations.

  • by jafo (11982) * on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:12AM (#33542712) Homepage
    I'm sure the hybrid tanks and APCs probably won't run into the stuck accelerator thing.

    Probably.

    Sean
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      Actually, german cars (Audi [audi.com]) have already been investigated on sudden unintended acceleration charges in the 1980s.

      Turns out it was driver error. Just as with the recent investigation of Toyota.

      But you're right. There is still a chance that sudden unintended acceleration will occur because of bugs in the product. Although it probably won't. Probably.

  • They'll discover vast new reserves under Poland.
    • by MachDelta (704883)

      Or Canada.

      Oh, wait...

    • by keeboo (724305)
      Uh.. Poland is full of coal, not oil.
      • by tibit (1762298)

        There's some natural gas, too. As for oil: who knows what's a couple miles down. I don't know there's much in the way of exploration going on there. I've seen some seismic sounders (humongous machines) in a forest once, but that was in an area rich in natural gas. Rich as in natural gas seeping out in places, leading to closing up a small sand quarry, etc.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:18AM (#33542732)
    Seriously this is exactly what I said during the oil spill. People were shouting from the hills there should be a ban on deep sea drilling. Well when our reserves runs low the result will be drill baby drill.
  • The paper which can be got in German here has almost no signs of ability to think. Consider - there is DME http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyl_ether [wikipedia.org] , which can be produced from coal/biomass, then read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_fuel [wikipedia.org], then figure out , as Gregory Clark did http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/12/life-after-peak.html [typepad.com] that up to the price of 500 dollars per barrel of oil will decline the economy for only 11 percents and at such prices - DME other synfuels will
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      That, and I think Germany is actually doing pretty well in making renewable fuel an attractive option. For example, IIRC, biodiesel [wikipedia.org] is excise-exempt and available at various pumps throughout Germany. Many German cars will run on it, and more can be made to run on it by replacing a few parts.

      Also, with German gasoline prices as they are, they are actually not that far away from pure electric vehicles achieving price parity with gasoline-powered vehicles. Since the extra cost of electric vehicles is in the ba

  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:22AM (#33542756)

    Check out this google tech talk on Thorium reactors; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHs2Ugxo7-8 [youtube.com]
    Some Wikipedia Articles:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten-salt_reactor_experiment [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten-salt_reactor [wikipedia.org]

    Thousands of years of safe carbon-emission free energy. Working reactors were developed and operated successfully in the 60s. Small scale reactors are currently running in India with plans for larger scale reactors. Nobody put any research effort into it back in the 60s because you can't make nuclear bomb material with it and the government wanted to go with only one design. Anyway, check out the video, it explains all the nitty gritty technical details.

  • As I know, lot of Western Europe countries already laying out plans of going cold turkey of petroleum (first for warm distribution). In fact, Europe is more ready than US, where Obama and similar thinkers are struggling to get message out - even after bay nightmare.

    It can get nasty, but we still have time to fix it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Elfich47 (703900)
      Unfortunately the Hirsch report (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirsch_report) has been out for 5 years and people still ignore it.
  • Oil From Coal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Barrinmw (1791848) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:42AM (#33542840)
    At what point will it become cheaper to just turn our massive coal deposits into usable petroleum?
    • Re:Oil From Coal (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dbIII (701233) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @06:04AM (#33543566)
      It doesn't.
      The second half of the "peak oil" phrase is oil - that stuff you can get out of the ground and turn into liquid fuel without much effort at all.
      Coal seam methane could fill some of the transport gap without having to go the expensive and wasteful step of making a liquid fuel from coal. The entire point of oil as fuel is cheap energy, and it's no longer cheap if you've got to muck about with a complex process with a fairly large energy input.
  • It's In the Air (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:53AM (#33542874) Homepage Journal

    The Baby Boomers put all the oil into the air as CO2.

    We should put solar panels on the moon, laser the power down into the Earth's atmosphere, and crack that CO2 back into liquid hydrocarbons for making plastic, releasing its oxygen for the double whammy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ibsteve2u (1184603)
      It wasn't "the Baby Boomers"...we inherited a hydrocarbon-dependent world, and there were powerful forces at work to ensure that we remained dependent. Big Oil and the Republicans, for instance, who blocked all conservation and alternative energy measures that were attempted after the the birth of OPEC sent energy shocks hammering our economy...instead, we were handed voodoo economics by Reagan and others like him, who were hardly "Baby Boomers".

      We did, however, invent the Green Movement, the demand for
      • Re:It's In the Air (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @03:41AM (#33543038) Homepage Journal

        The Baby Boomers voted in Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes, and Clinton too who didn't undo the Reagan/Bush setbacks. They bought and burned more of that oil than anyone else.

        The Boomers who invented the Green movement were the tiny minority of Boomers, who the majority of Boomers mocked and beat up from high school to the country club.

        I asked my Baby Boomer parents for their old station wagon, and have driven only used cars getting above the median MPG ever since. Though I've also driven motorcycles and mostly have mass transited, though even more than that I've telecommuted. My Baby Boomer parents have driven the biggest cars and trucks with the lowest MPG available, just like the vast majority of Baby Boomers. Like the rest of the Boomers' children and grandchildren (etc), I've learned from their mistakes as I clean up their mess and learn to survive the aftermath.

        But nothing amazes me about you Baby Boomers more than your deathless commitment to sticking together, regardless of how your own generation screws you.

        • Re:It's In the Air (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ibsteve2u (1184603) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:02AM (#33543104)
          Can you document your inference that the vast majority of your generation, on the other hand, are more environmentally responsible? For instance, by providing proof that the fleet mileage of your generation greatly exceeds that of an equivalent random sample of "Baby Boomers"?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Doc Ruby (173196)

            No I can't. Because any "inference" is yours, not mine. Look it up: inference [reference.com].

            Besides your problem with the language, I never implied what you inferred, either. I spoke only about myself, in response to a direct question about myself in the post to which I replied.

            I hold only you, not your generation, responsible for the fundamental errors you just made to invalidate the argument you are implying.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ShakaUVM (157947)

          >>I asked my Baby Boomer parents for their old station wagon

          You know that greens like you killed the station wagon and gave us the SUV, right?

          >>as I clean up their mess and learn to survive the aftermath.

          What aftermath? Has there been some sort of disaster I've missed? Is driving a wood-paneled station wagon cleaning the environment somehow?

          The problem with greens, is that they're by and large complete fucking idiots.

          No offense.

  • Go Nuclear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BangaIorean (1848966) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @02:56AM (#33542878)

    Some people here are confusing 'global warming' and the 'green movement' with peak oil. You can argue all you want about whether global warming is really true or not, but Oil is limited, and we're running out fast. That is reality, face it.

    The real enemies are those who scream bloody murder whenever the N-word is brought up. Mankind needs energy, and in the near future, our best and cleanest bet is nuclear power.

    • by AfroTrance (984230) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @03:09AM (#33542916)

      The real enemies are those who scream bloody murder whenever the N-word is brought up.

      Naggers?

  • by lobiusmoop (305328) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @04:08AM (#33543124) Homepage

    In 15 years? We already have a dire global economic crisis right now, its roots, I believe, in the fact that global oil production has been on a plateau for the last 4 years instead of growing in step with the economy. It is only the government and Fed injection of trillions of dollars into the European and American economies that is (temporarily) masking the effects somewhat just now.

  • EU has it right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Saturday September 11, 2010 @08:54AM (#33544272) Journal
    Most of western Europe has a hefty tax on gas/diesel that leads to the move of smaller vehicles and rail systems. OTH, USA has a very small tax on it, to the point where other subsidies on Oil (ignoring the 'subsidy' of military) pretty much wipes it out. And then you have nations like Venezuela, China, Brazil, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc that actually HEAVILY subsidize their oil.

    The West, mainly none EU nations, needs to put on a slowly increasing tax on fuel. In addition, use part of that tax to build up railroads as well electric cars. This approach is far better than spending money later on the military.

10 to the 12th power microphones = 1 Megaphone

Working...