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Author Topic: Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?  (Read 4653 times)

Offline wobblybob

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« on: 09/06/2008 20:01:19 »
Hi, new to the forum, but long time listener of the show.

I keep on hearing a lot these days about peak oil and the eventual total depletion of oil. It's been said that the world is "addicted to oil." Obviously, oil keeps our vehicles running. Our personal transportation is the least of our worries, although it's difficult to imagine a world where tourism is almost a thing of the past. What happens when the ships can no longer bring vital goods and food? Very few countries in the world are self sufficient and produce nearly enough food. Plastics are manufactured using oil. Can you imagine a world without plastics? Try to think of something that hasn't got plastic in is very difficult.

As I said, I keep hearing about peak oil and the eventual depletion of ( not just oil, but the other fossil fuels also ) and it could happen in our generation so is there a solution? What happens when we run out? Can we make plastic from other stuff? Is there a way to power the vast ships that supply us with food? I know bio fuels are stepping in to fill some of the slack at the moment, but can it really replace oil? Surely it's not possible? Even if there are solutions to the energy needs and manufacture of plastics can the world adapt fast enough? 50 years is a very, very short time when you are talking about a global civilization.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2008 09:13:14 by chris »


 

Offline chris

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #1 on: 10/06/2008 09:20:38 »
Hi Wobblybob, welcome to the forum!
 

Offline wobblybob

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #2 on: 10/06/2008 16:04:11 »
Thanks :)
 

lyner

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #3 on: 10/06/2008 22:45:40 »
I recently heard the opinion that it will never actually run out. What will happen is that it will get more expensive and less convenient so people will use less and less. But they will only turn to alternatives or decrease consumption when the going gets tough.
The poor and underprivileged will start suffering first (if they are not doing so already) I fear.
Wars, famine etc. etc.
We're all doomed.
 

Offline wobblybob

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #4 on: 11/06/2008 19:18:53 »
Hi, thanks for the reply.

If you are dealing with a finite resource then logically it's going to run out at some point be it 20, 50, or 150 years. It's a question of when it will run out and how rapid will the process be? Have we reached peak oil? If this is true then our civilization is in for some very serious problems. Of course, it could be as you suggest and the process be very slow with oil, food, and petroleum based products becoming ever more expensive. However, as a finite resource it's going to run out at some point or become so expensive it's not worth extracting and at this point what do we do? Is there a way to make fertilizers, plastics,detergents, solvents, adhesives without using oil? Can we provide the world's power needs without burning oil? Of course there is nuclear but even that is finite.

I have the feeling that this thing is going to hit us fast and hard. I think this because of the way our societies are politically structured ( at least for most of the world ) when politicians are elected every few years and will only ever tackle issues that are going to give them problems in the their term. Long range issues like peak oil will simply not even show up on their radar. For an example just look at global warming and how difficult it is, and has been, to get nations to do anything meaningful. Additionally, governments and oil companies tend to follow their agenda first and formost. I don't think any government or large oil company is going to be open and honest until it all comes crashing down about our ears. Maybe this is a pessimistic view, I'm not sure.

I also have the feeling that no matter how things turn out that future historians will look back on our age as a golden age of plenty and marvel how we lived so lavishly, irresponsibly, and wastefully. We live, as ever, in interesting times.
 

lyner

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #5 on: 11/06/2008 21:59:11 »
The decline and fall . . . . . .
God that's bleak.
 

Offline wobblybob

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #6 on: 11/06/2008 22:52:37 »
Yeah... It's the way of things, I suppose.

Although on the bright side maybe we will all be living in a world where the impact of mankind was far less - a greener and less polluted world  :)
« Last Edit: 11/06/2008 22:54:27 by wobblybob »
 

Offline LeeE

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #7 on: 11/06/2008 23:04:48 »
Yeah... It's the way of things, I suppose.

Although on the bright side maybe we will all be living in a world where the impact of mankind was far less - a greener and less polluted world  :)

For the few (read politicians) who survive, that is.
 

Offline tedstruk

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #8 on: 12/06/2008 02:14:46 »
If we start tomorrow, and recycle all the natural oils we have with compatible synthetics, all the oil we have right now will be usable in the future, and maybe even more efficient. The problem is not the oil supply, it is the usable refinable oil to gas supply that is running low.
We need to build a prill engine.  Prills are cheap to make and deliver efficient combustion.
 

Offline wobblybob

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #9 on: 12/06/2008 15:55:39 »
I did a Google search, but can't find what a prill engine is. Can you explain, please?
 

Offline neilep

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #10 on: 12/06/2008 16:09:57 »
I did a Google search, but can't find what a prill engine is. Can you explain, please?

I think a Prill is a type of Mackerel and is therefore a very oily fish !!

I wonder if tedstruck (welcome Tedstruck !)...is referring to an engine that runs on this type of oil !!

I only know this because I eat a lot of mackerel !!...which is nice !!

Oh..WELCOME Wobblybob !!!..LOL...I love your name !!!
 

Offline neilep

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #11 on: 12/06/2008 16:12:05 »
erhmmmm....LOL..I think I may have got it totally wrong but I hope you can see where I was coming from cos I just found this http://www.airport-data.com/manuf/Prill_Charles.html
 

Offline wobblybob

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #12 on: 14/06/2008 12:48:05 »
Thanks for the welcome!  :) Glad the name gave you a smile!

Thanks for looking! I did a little more digging myself and found nothing. I'm still in the dark as to what a Prill engine maybe.

I'm not so sure that recycling all the plastic for it's oil is really viable, is it? I would have thought that the problems would be that a lot of it is in use already so not available for recycle. Obviously there is a lot of refuse plastic, but I would have thought not nearly enough. What of the cost? Is it really cost effective or even possible? Surely even if it's possible and cost effective there wouldn't be enough to be worth doing it?
 

Offline neilep

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #13 on: 14/06/2008 13:07:49 »
Ho Wobbybob ! :)

We just need tedstruck to come back and tell us what a prill engine is !!

Not too sure if your reference to plastic was aimed at my mentioning mackerel but I was referring to harvesting the oil from the fish directly !!....I know that sounds bizarre and then I of course subsequently found some kind of reference to a ' Prill ' engine !

Come back tedstruck...what's a Prill engine ?
 

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Is there a solution to depleted oil supplies?
« Reply #13 on: 14/06/2008 13:07:49 »

 

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