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Old 05-17-2014, 05:39 AM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,493,841 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxinRearvyew View Post
Are there plans or contingencies for that... 50 or 100 years from now? Will the cities still exist as they do now?
When the oil runs out, there will be a violent and harsh time of adjustment... and when the smoke finally clears, our economy will have been set back, in essence, approximately two hundred years. Oh, we'll still have motorized transportation... but let's face it... if it were practical to develop such on a large scale using something like an electric grid, it would have been developed already. We could still generate as much electricity as is needed, by tapping natural sources like wind, solar, geothermal, hydro power, etc... and that could power a network of electric cars... but figure that the electricity that would be needed to power everything that needs power, in this entire world, would be astronomical. We will find that electricity will, at least temporarily, spike in price so that few of us will have the means or the desire to use it.

To put it simply, when the oil runs out, you'd better know how to feed yourself (as in, grow or raise your own food) and keep your core body temperature at 98.6 degrees in all seasons without electricity or fossil fuels... because if you don't, you're probably going to die.

I don't think the government has contingencies for this. Our government LOVES the petroleum industry because it makes tens of billions of dollars every year in taxes from that industry. It has no desire to kill it nor make it seem like there is much impetus to move away from petroleum. (This is why we have $4.00/gallon gasoline and NOTHING IS BEING DONE ABOUT IT.) Will cities still exist as they do now? Yeah. Cities have existed since long before petroleum. I don't know if they'll lose population or not... they probably will... because some people will have to grow their own food... but for others who won't have to do that, being able to live in an area where they won't need vehicular transportation will be a blessing because there will be no fuel (or, at least, no affordable fuel).

However, I don't think the oil will run out all at once. What'll happen as the tank nears empty is that it will become more and more scarce, the price will go up very quickly, and normal people will be eventually priced out of the market. The richy-rich people who can still afford it will become more and more visible as they're the only ones who will be able to afford to operate their cars... meaning that everyone who is still driving a car when gas is $50.00 per gallon is likely to be a target for crooks (or angry average Americans). Whatever happens, it won't be pretty. The time to get ready for it, if at all possible, is now.
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:17 AM
 
997 posts, read 839,659 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
everyone who is still driving a car when gas is $50.00 per gallon
This assumes there are no energy sources less expensive than 12.5 times what oil currently is. If there are energy sources cheaper than that, they'll take over when they become less expensive than the increasing cost of oil. If there were no alternative energy sources less than 12.5 times what oil currently is, oil would be much more expensive than it is now... Unless oil companies are voluntarily giving up 10's of billions of dollars of profit every year for the good of the average citizen
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:02 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,695,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
This assumes there are no energy sources less expensive than 12.5 times what oil currently is. If there are energy sources cheaper than that, they'll take over when they become less expensive than the increasing cost of oil. If there were no alternative energy sources less than 12.5 times what oil currently is, oil would be much more expensive than it is now... Unless oil companies are voluntarily giving up 10's of billions of dollars of profit every year for the good of the average citizen
Agree... You will be running cars on Ethanol and Biodiesel before it hits $50/gal. And if it hits $50 a gal, where are you going to drive to? Until Salaries rise to handle the $50/gal and $1250 a barrel oil price the economy will collapse. Certainly stores will be empty and as no one can afford to work in them. Many of the other products that use oil will be unaffordable too. It will also reduce the global economy and one can no longer get goods from one part of the world to the other.

One of the reasons that gas is $4 a gal is that many states have raised gas taxes. I noticed Alaska has one of the lowest taxes per gal in the US. The Northeast seems to the have the highest - and supposedly it is going higher, if it goes much higher the tax will be greater than $1/gal.

FWIW, I remember the target price of making BioDiesel and Ethanol production viable without subsidies is when gas hits $5/gal. It may have changed since that study was done awhile ago and fuel taxes were lower...

If all of the sudden the taps stop flowing, it will be worldwide chaos though... However, if we go by history of wells drying up, it will be a slower process.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 6,830,316 times
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The oil never runs out. We ultimately develop better technology, at which point the remaining oil will not be extracted.

The easiest oil to extract has been extracted. But technologies keep getting developed to allow previously unavailable oil to be extracted. That will prolong things for awhile, but not indefinitely.

Ultimately, it's not as if suddenly, the crude tap runs dry. Oil will simply, gradually, become more expensive due to both increasing difficulty in obtaining it, as well as increasing demand for it as counties like China and India develop larger and larger middle classes. Higher prices will spur investment in other technologies. Eventually, one of those technologies will emerge as superior in practice to oil. It will be a gradual process.

Oil is nothing but a storage device for solar power. Almost all life, that either photosynthesizes sunlight directly, or consumes life that consumes plants that photosynthesized sunlight, or is at the more distant end of a carnivorous chain that ultimately begins with an animal eating photosynthesizing plants, is based on power from sunlight. And oil is long-dead life. We will continue to develop and exploit other ways of harvesting and storing solar power (solar itself, wind power - weather patterns being largely depending on solar radiation, etc.) and non-solar energy (nuclear, geothermal, etc.) and ones not yet developed or even imagined.

The Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones - it ended because we developed better materials. So, too, will the Age of Oil end.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:24 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 3,493,841 times
Reputation: 3217
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
This assumes there are no energy sources less expensive than 12.5 times what oil currently is. If there are energy sources cheaper than that, they'll take over when they become less expensive than the increasing cost of oil. If there were no alternative energy sources less than 12.5 times what oil currently is, oil would be much more expensive than it is now... Unless oil companies are voluntarily giving up 10's of billions of dollars of profit every year for the good of the average citizen
It's not about price, it's about infrastructure. Natural gas is cheaper to run vehicles on, than gasoline or diesel... but you can't just pull off at an exit and fill up with natural gas. Electricity is cheaper still, but again, you can't just pull off at the nearest gas station and fill up with electricity. Tesla had an idea to do a battery-swapping thing when yours is nearing empty, but again, are you going to go to Joe's Service Station and ask to swap your Tesla battery?
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:31 PM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,695,637 times
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Tesla's way of battery swapping is automatic... Pull in and a robot does it.
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Northeast
1,887 posts, read 1,710,950 times
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Plenty of natural gas there for sure..but why not just go with Nuke power..

Is this thread for real!! Build a small nuclear reactor that are already in production in Alaska..They can sustain
their energy needs for god knows how many years. I know nuclear is not green but at the end of day it's the cheapest way to go.
And I'm sure some 50 years down the road they will figure out what to do with nuclear waste. They will then be recycling it..
Green baby!!
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Old 05-17-2014, 04:50 PM
 
997 posts, read 839,659 times
Reputation: 860
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
It's not about price, it's about infrastructure. Natural gas is cheaper to run vehicles on, than gasoline or diesel... but you can't just pull off at an exit and fill up with natural gas. Electricity is cheaper still, but again, you can't just pull off at the nearest gas station and fill up with electricity. Tesla had an idea to do a battery-swapping thing when yours is nearing empty, but again, are you going to go to Joe's Service Station and ask to swap your Tesla battery?
The infrastructure will be created if oil prices get too high. There's little incentive to spend a lot on new infrastructure when the existing solution, oil, is still the low cost solution. When oil is no longer the low cost solution, there will be a lot of profit for whoever can create the new low cost solution. Trying to capture that profit will motivate companies to create the new infrastructure.
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
3,843 posts, read 3,669,431 times
Reputation: 3071
I want a Mr. Fusion on my car.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Austin
52 posts, read 68,166 times
Reputation: 36
But, do you all think AK will become closer to what it was 70-100 years ago?

And, are the oil companies building huge libraries / long term infrastructure in AK like the Carnegie's did way back when?

Also, will oil 'dry up', assuming its not abiotic, in our lifetimes?

A lot of speculation...but interesting answers so far, thanks.
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