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February 02, 2008

Comments

BarnGoddess

the whole fossil fuel (oil in particular) strikes close to home for me. It is how my husband makes our living in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma oil industry makes thousands of barrels of oil a day. My husband and everyone else in the industry (in our area) says with conviction, we have enough fossil fuels in our supply to furnish the USA without hurting the enviornment any more than it already has been.

I would like to see the US become independant from foreign oil BUT at the same time, we need to find another solution to the use of fossil fuels.

Transylvanianhorseman

BG: Thank you for commenting. Speaking as an engineer, I know that world demand for oil is increasing, and that supply will peak at some point soon. I also know that developing new technology takes time, so we need to start early to develop the means to keep going when oil becomes scarcer and more expensive. This may be a more immediate problem in Europe, which has less of its own oil. It will certainly become a big problem for China and India. My immediate point is that growing crops for ethanol has some unpleasant side effects (of which rising hay prices is one, as we are seeing). There is a US government target for a percentage gasoline to be provided by biofuels, and that is having an impact on land use, just like in Europe. I would also comment that oil company share prices depend on declared reserves, so no oil company is going to be pessimistic about its reserves. Being bullish is worth money on the stock market. Luckily, if "peak oil" is in 10 or 20 years, we have time to find the way forward. Personally, if I didn't do this job, I'd like to work in futurology. It's interesting.

Jo

I just recently found your blog, and I love it. :-)

One thing that is rarely reported about using biofuels is the use of water. I live in New Mexico, and before that, I lived in northwestern Nebraska and in Texas. Water is in short supply, and it's going to get shorter. A lot of those crops are using precious water, and they are being watered in unsustainable ways.

People need to really stop and realize what is going on. But to do so is scary because a lot of people feel like they can't do anything, so they don't want to know about it. We can do things...we just have to face the problems first and foremost and then work to find solutions.

risingrainbow

We are already being affected by the conversion of growing fields from hay to corn. I'm told by my hay man that one third of his usual sources for product had converted their fields to corn for this last growing season and more are doing so for next year.

I can tell you that being a breeder with a herd of 27 to feed is getting downright scary. With the added expense the price I will need to get for my young stock to be able to keep staying in business will be more than the market can bear. My dream may be coming to an end.

Cezar Palaghita

In my spare time, I aspire to broaden my knowledge by reading articles on the internet especially those that are concerned with new sources of energy. As I try to be a diligent student of the “university of google” one can imagine that a considerable amount of information is to be filtered through one’s critical thinking but most of the times it leaves me unable to differentiate between anecdotal, unsubstantiated, unreliable material and true facts.
There is one topic which if I had the money, the time and the expertise I would investigate thoroughly. Name of the topic: Implosion (or Vortex) Technology
Its discoverer: Viktor Schauberger
It seems that the concept of free energy or inexhaustible energy is not at all far-fetched

Transylvanianhorseman

Jo: I agree that water consumption is going to become a huge problem. The future does seem scary. I live in a relatively low consumption society, and we still have a sense of community. Maybe becoming part of a community again will become a postive benefit of a modified lifestyle?

RR: I'm sorry to hear of your predicament. The world seems to be turning on its head. Can animal breeders combine and take political action? The more noise you make, the more notice might be taken.

Cezar: There is a lot of interesting material out there. It seems to me that a country like Romania (to take an example) can build a mixed power generation system including hydro-electric on the Danube, wind turbines on the flat Baragan (which also has little scenic merit, so the good landscapes are not ruined), solar in the south, forestry biomass generating electicity in the mountains, pumped storage reservoir systes for absorbing peaks and troughs in supply and demand, and a certain amount of biofuel for trucks and tractors. This would generate plenty of electricity. The only "problem" is providing gasoline for cars. From what I can see, providing for the private car is going to be the biggest challenge. Perhaps the one that, ultimately, that cannot really be fulfilled?

Joanne

All of those power generation ideas sound great! I have wondered about some of them being the wave of the future too. What about electric cars? At the moment, hybrid cars seem to be the best that the big automakers can do, but they are catching on, at least in the US. Maybe in 20 years we will all be driving hybrids and all-electric cars will become widely available.

Deborah

Feed is going through the roof in the area where we live, too, on account of everyone in Minnesota upping their corn production. We've had four miserable years in a row when the hay crop has been ruined by shifting weather patterns and farmers are just desperate to make a dollar so don't have much choice. However, switchgrass is a biofuel worth reading about at the University of Google. Personally, I don't believe that there is one single source of energy which will replace fossil fuels, but an entire menu of energy sources and energy conservation, including buying and eating locally produced meats and produce, needs to be implemented. Windmills on every farm, and especially a cheap solution to the high cost of photovoltaics.

Cezar Palaghita

It appears that vortex technology holds the key to solving the problem of individual mechanized mobility as well. Ad astra per aspera are wise words used by those who glorify war as the best catalyst for human inventiveness. However, must we be confronted with the imminent danger of extinction, war or extreme adversity to become receptive enough to the outstanding discoveries of so-called “eccentric” geniuses like Viktor Schauberger when in fact he was the most gifted, clear-sighted and sensible among us?
Power out of thin air. A perpetuum mobile in which centrifugal and centripetal movement of fluids (air or water) work together - one creating heat and expanding, the other cooling and shrinking volume creating suction. This is the power of the coming future. Bad news for tyre manufacturers and oil companies.

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