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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,robomatic BS: Oil will run out (221* d) RE: BS: Oil will run out 12 May 04

I'm real impressed, there's been a lot more common sense than nonsense in this pile o'words. I've got two cents, or tuppence ha'penny:

Alaska. I've worked around the oil 'bidness' up here for a few years and while there is a great deal of oil left up here, the rate of oil flow has already maxed out. The question here is if the U.S. will take advantage of the fact that there is more oil available (both in ANWR and NPRA). It will not threaten any endangered species. It will turn some pristine coastal land into non-pristine coastal land. It will not take the place of existing oil imports, it will simply defray having to increase our dependancy even more than it is right now.

Hydrogen. As stated above, hydrogen comes from hydrocarbons in a process called 'reforming'. You feed natural gas into a reformer, you get out hydrogen which is your fuel and what do you know, you also get out hydrocarbon waste products. In theory you can reform any hydrocarbon fuel, but you have to deal with the waste products. Where fuel cells become efficient is when their heat output, which is usually extensive, can be utilized to keep living areas warm. (This procedure is also used with local diesel generators and sometimes called co-generation).

Wind & Solar. Other folks have already had plenty of information on these, they are wonderful local energy sources but they aren't 'friendly' in that when you need the power you can't count on the wind to be blowing enough or the clouds to be out of the way of the sun. Wind & Solar can be used to supplement a power grid, i.e. help take care of the base energy demands. You still need generators to keep up with the sudden demands. The other thing going on right now is that design and manufacturing of better generators and more efficient and cheaper solar arrays is happening at such a pace that whatever you buy, you can be sure something cheaper and better will be available next year. So a lot of people sit on the fence, manufacturers can't find buyers and development gets stalled.

And here is where we are facing lack of leadership on the part of our political leaders. How about some CONSERVATION? How about mandating that the automobile companies live up to their fleet averages and closing the loophole that lets them sell Ford Excursions and GM Hummers as 'trucks' and doesn't require them to be counted in the fleet averages?

Ultimately, the market will sort things out. You've probably seen LED flashlights hit the market, LED turn signals, and now LED traffic lights. Pretty soon we'll be able to light houses with LEDs, heavy loads like television sets and computer terminals should become a great deal more efficient, and other gains will get made. Oil will creep up in price but we won't need as much.

As for predictions, I think you'll find that real scientists are not making predictions, just some media gurus and they're probably using weasel words that the broadcasters edit out.

I remember in about 1999 when the price of oil went down to $9 a barrel and there were media 'experts' saying that could last for 5-10 years. So take predictions with a grain of salt.

Oil will not suddenly run out. And as it goes up in price, a whole lot more energy sources become available. The real danger is that at some point China could go to high sulfur coal in a big way, and we folks living downwind will suffer.

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