Are the worlds economies too reliant on oil?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by nitro, Jun 5, 2010.

Even if we innovate, are capitalists societieson course to destroy ourselves per Marx

  1. Yes. The logic is innevitable.

    9 vote(s)
  2. No. We will figure it all out, or maybe the Messiah will come.

    3 vote(s)
  3. I don't know.

    2 vote(s)
  4. I don't care I already told you the world is comming to an end.

    3 vote(s)
  1. nitro


    First off, I believe in peak oil. Imagine this scenario if you believe it too: The year is 2030. Oil is $500 a barrel and rising exponentially. As a result, the cost of food skyrockets to the point where people start to stock pile it. The FED is helpless, as raising IRs doesn't help this kind of runaway inflation (they don't target it anyway.)

    Imo nations are putting themselves at extreme risk with their over reliance on oil to power economies. While I do believe in peak oil, I also believe that synthetic biology

    will likely be able to create endless (synthetic ) oil at will. Be careful what we wish for. If every one in the world owned a car powered by oil, what would our atmosphere look like?

    Once again, synthetic biology may come to the rescue. Maybe we will grow synthetic cells that love to feed on CO2, negating the effects of burning hydrocarbons.

    Be careful what we wish for. We are rapidly going through natural resources as more and more people on the planet become middle class. What happens when all these people start to want bigger houses, more kids, better schools, in other words, what happens when the entire world becomes like the US with a population of 25 billion people, with a mean lifespan of 120 years?

    The more I read Marx, the more inevitable it all seems.
  2. nitro


    There is a book

    The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence (Hardcover)

    that argues that we should be baffled by the fact that we have not been contacted by alien civilizations.

    I wonder, maybe there were intelligent beings in our galaxy long ago. Maybe the reason for the silence is that the odds of a civilization of overcoming the problems listed above without destroying themselves are close to nil.

    In "Contact", when the world governments are interviewing candidates to represent Earth as an ambassador, Ellie is asked what question she would ask an advanced civilization:

  3. I too believe in peak oil.

    But it's difficult to asses the future price of a barrel of oil without knowing what the value of currencies is in that same time period.

    If you believe in strong inflation, then yes, $500 a barrel is not too extreme because it's not $500 in today's dollars. In today's dollars, it could be say, $150.

    But if the economy tanks and we have 20-30% unemployment, even 100 barrel of oil will look high. Demand could plummet, even in an era of scarcity. Thus, even $100 a barrel in the future could be a higher percentage of a nation's gdp than $100 a barrel today is.

    There is a strong feedback loop between the price of oil and gdp growth/contraction. Price goes up too high, economies shrink, then the price drops - yet the reseource remains unattainable for many due to high unemployment.
  4. No. At (nominal) $500/bbl oil you aren't talking "stockpiling" of food, you're talking mass starvation.

    The global food system is completely reliant on petroleum, not just for shipping, but for fertilizing over-used land and wetting dried out land. At those kinds of costs, we are looking at least 1 billion people literally starving to death, and quite possibly a great many more.
  5. Yeah this is my anticipation. Also the population is largely children. In a few years there will be two more billion children who will just starve. It upsets me deeply. I just can't get over the mentality of people having children they can't afford to feed.

    I think this is the way things are going. The next thing you know people will be starving mainly in the third world and no matter how you try to avoid it you will feel guilty. Even if you don't people will say you are greedy if you have any wealth. I can't see the next twenty years being pleasant or even only as bad as the second world war. There are so many things hitting energy, population, environment, corruption, immorality, religious wars. The world is at boiling point.
  6. There are very few exponential growth rates in nature.

    All instances of exponential growth in nature results in a eventual collapse of that population sample. Take malignant cancer, eventually the cells kill the host and the host dies taking the cells with it.

    Similarly nature will correct the exponential rate of human population growth. It is simply unsustainable.

  7. the peak oil theories are silly and derived by people with a 6th grade education on economics.

    oil will never reach $500/bbl (in 2010 dollars). as its price climbs, it becomes less attractive against the many other energy sources out there: solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, NG, nuclear, biofuels, and on and on and on. those competing products will put downward pressure on oil prices. seriously, why would anyone be stupid enough to buy gasoline for $10/gallon when you can "fill up" your electric vehicle for less than that?? and if oil reaches $500/bbl do you seriously think consumers would still buy 20mpg vehicles and commute 70 miles per day?

    peak oil is stupid. i can't believe on an financial forum people don't understand how prices affect demand and just assume oil consumption simply increases forever regardless of prices.
  8. I'm not sure you have a clear understanding of where most electricity comes from.

    I'm also not sure you have a clear understanding of where oil consumption actually goes, and which parts of the societal infrastructure are actually dependent on it (eg, fueling a car is not one of them).
  9. Pekelo


    Neither gonna happen:

    1. Earth simply can not supply that many people and population growth is already slowing. They predict a peak around 9-10 billion, although personally I think we will have a world war or epidemic taking care of it before that.

    2. Today's kids in the US is the first generation that is NOT going to live as long as their parents, mostly due to obesity. Now you could argue that with starvation obesity won't be a problem, but again, I don't see life expectancy going much higher, specially not for the whole world....
  10. Pekelo


    Peak oil is stupid? So is gravitation, nevertheless there are plenty of companies making money out of it, like you know, airlines and such.

    Sir, you are incredibly dumb. But there is good news for you, it is curable. Here is what you should do:

    With a knife, stab yourself in the scrotum 8-10 times. Then throw a cup of Clorox on it. That will cure your imbecility.

    Oil consumption doesn't need to increase and specially not forever to run out of a limited resource. By the way we already passed peak oil, just so you know...

    And yes, we will never run out of oil (but that doesn't mean we won't have a peak oil), because just about 30% of it will be left in the ground long after we abandoned its usage...
    #10     Jun 6, 2010