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Old 12-01-2005, 04:59 AM
mr_whomp mr_whomp is offline
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Default Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

first off, go to dieoff.org and check out some of the articles. I'm trying to figure out how much of this is fair science and how much is mumbojumbo manipulation of the facts, IE with the wheat shortage how much of that would be avoided based on the fact the price of wheat would increase until the point at which people started planting more grains.

Some of the interesting things on the website
1) The Economics of spaceship earth

2) 58 National Science academies think we are overpopulated

3) Optimal Human Population Size

4) Look for a title about 3/4 of the way down the pageWho will feed China

I think that there is some validity to all this. I also think it puts Canada in a pretty good looking spot. We have a crapload of oil, a shitload of Wheat, and rediculous amounts of fresh water.
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Old 12-01-2005, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

If you'd like to panic over humanity outstripping its resources, this is my current favorite:

http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/Introduction.html

Or, roughly the same types of conclusions without the hype:

http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-57/iss-7/p47.html
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2005, 05:35 AM
Il_Mostro Il_Mostro is offline
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

LATOC is quite a bit over the top. But there is a kernel of truth.

"The Limits to growth" is a good start, a very interesting read. They argue, fairly persuasively, that for at least the last 20 years we have been in overshoot, i.e. the material throughput through our economy cannot continue at this level sustainably.
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2005, 05:47 AM
Il_Mostro Il_Mostro is offline
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

Ohh, and by the way, yes, we are screwed.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2005, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

I have been watching the oil "crisis" for a while, at this point I say it's 70-90% hype. There is a lot more oil in the world then doomsayers think, even without consideration of the oil sands in Canada and Colorado. There is a ton of oil in Alaska, Canada, and Siberia. There seems to be a ring of oil around the North Pole, add-in at the North Sea. Also, keep in mind, they oil crisis doesn't mean no more oil. It means the rate at which oil leaves the ground begins to slow, but at least half of the reserve is still in the ground. New technologies can be developped to increase the rate of extraction. I just read that that USDE funded a project where 5 million tons of CO2 were pumped into a peaked well, and production rates shot up incredibly.

That said, running out of oil doesn't seem to be the problem. Having lots of it is. There is no doubt, except among republicans who own oil, auto or otherwise accept their bribes, that we are on the precipe of the worst man-made natural disaster ever. If oil ran out tomorrow I would be happy.

It is a proven fact that warmer oceans mean more violent storms. Thus hurricanes and monsoons are only going more numerous, stronger and travel further north. Imagine Katrina hitting NYC. Just the beginning as sea levels are expected to rise significantly, meaning established sea walls will be rendered ineffective, and unprotected coastal plains will become inhabitable. Yet no one in Washington cares.

It's pretty depressing actually. I actually wonder if they know something we don't, like hey there's this asteroid coming in ten years and we are FUBAR anyway. (Maybe that explains the renewing space race? Nah, you couldn't keep something like that a secret, based on military tech race IMO.)

I am not particularly worried about food shortages either. GMO's will take care of that, and even if you are against them, it's doesn't matter because people have to eat and the existing agriculture system will become unsustainable in the imminent climate change we will see in our life times. Yeah, the population is becoming big, but you really can't tell people to stop making babies, and it's stupid to stop making them here (US or Canada). The third world is not going to stop reproducing, and as they become more technological, their mortality rates will plummet. That means we are going to need bodies to keep ourselves from being unfairly out-numbered.

I actually believe if the governments would begin to act in the interests of the people, instead of the interests of the few, Earth could be "green" and sustain a population of at least twice what we have now through GMO's, recycling, alternative enery, and effectively managed cities. For example, is there really a need to run errands now? I don't mean not going to the mall, but it's stupid to drive to the store for groceries, etc. There is already a huge door-2-door delivery system (UPS, USPS, FedEx, Airborne Express, G.O.D.) so fine tune and use those. Digital imaging is on the verge of making paper obsolete. Fusion may be controlled within 20 years, tides may be harnessed, and an incredibly more efficent windmill has been developped in Wyoming.

It's not the end of the world yet, but we really need to begin making the hard choices now. It's time for the US to reinstate the gas guzzler tax. It's time for the USDA, and every other country, to have serious look at Cargill's farming practices, because they are destroying top soil around the world. It's time to begin letting the airlines go out of business while ticket prices shoot up. Imagine the famines, disease and wars we are leaving for our children if we don't do these things.
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:59 PM
SomethingClever SomethingClever is offline
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

Dude, you're all over the map. And then this:

[ QUOTE ]
I don't mean not going to the mall, but it's stupid to drive to the store for groceries, etc. There is already a huge door-2-door delivery system (UPS, USPS, FedEx, Airborne Express, G.O.D.) so fine tune and use those.

[/ QUOTE ]


Do you think there is any savings in gas by having the groceries driven to you rather than you driving to get them? Any small efficiences based on multiple deliveries to the same neighborhood would likely be evened out by the poor fuel efficiency of the delivery truck.

If you want to save resources, walk or ride your bicycle to the grocery store. Or get a more fuel efficient vehicle.
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2005, 02:26 PM
purnell purnell is offline
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

Ever see a ball of bread dough as the bacteria in it gradually consume the sugars in it and pollute it with alcohol until they are all dead? Why is our situation any different?
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2005, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

Intelligence and awareness of our environment...

Except the world is beholden to the economic and industrial giant that is the USA...

Next time, vote for a President that will ratify the Kyoto Agreement.

Although, just to keep everything even with the corporations, they'll probably nuke Afghanistan back into the stone age (and all the Afghani's go "Oooh, upgrade!").
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2005, 04:14 AM
Il_Mostro Il_Mostro is offline
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

[ QUOTE ]
oil sands in Canada

[/ QUOTE ]
Ever heard of extraction rates? If you have 1000 trillion dollars in your account, but can only withdraw 10 dollars a day, are you rich?

[ QUOTE ]
There is a ton of oil in Alaska,

[/ QUOTE ]
Yeah, about 2 years of current consumption, give or take.

[ QUOTE ]
Canada, and Siberia

[/ QUOTE ]
yes, quite a lot

[ QUOTE ]
the North Sea

[/ QUOTE ]
In decline

[ QUOTE ]
New technologies can be developped to increase the rate of extraction

[/ QUOTE ]
And what do you think we have been doing for 100 years? Faster rate of extraction only means that the depletion, when it comes, will be much steeper.

The oil problem is not about "no oil" it's about expensive oil.
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2005, 04:39 AM
baumer baumer is offline
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Default Re: Are we screwed? - oil/wheat/water shortages

[ QUOTE ]
If oil ran out tomorrow I would be happy.

[/ QUOTE ]

Would you be happy if all the blood in your veins disappeared without warning? Probably not.

The earth needs a transfusion, not to be bled dry, be it fast or slow.
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