Trough Oil

The oil industry hasn’t even started to go seriously deep and dirty yet. Beneath the Canadian tar sands alone there are 500 billion barrels of bitumen carbonates. It’s way past time for peakers to abandon all hope that hydrocarbon reserves are simply going to peter out from their own finitude.

ADDED: Energy innovation round-up.

April 14, 2015admin 64 Comments »
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64 Responses to this entry

  • Exfernal Says:

    EROEI in general doesn’t rise, nor stays the same. When you’ll reach the point of ‘break even’ that would be something entirely different than ‘peak oil’.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    EROEI is a technologically contingent variable (as the capital signal in this case indicates).

    [Reply]

    NRx_N00B Reply:

    In this case, the only wiggle-room left to technology is gains in extraction efficiency.

    [Reply]

    Exfernal Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_energy – as you can see, primary energy consumption rises in the long run. That can’t continue indefinitely in a limited world.

    [Reply]

    dantealiegri Reply:

    Don’t change the subject.

    EROEI is a technically contingent variable. An example of this is a internal combustion engine. The EROEI of a system that includes one, all other variables held constant will change, if you use an engine from 1930 versus one from 2010.

    If you want to be very fine grained about it, not only does it require less direct fuel, but it also requires less maintenance, and thus less human time, less trips to on site.

    [Reply]

    NRx_N00B Reply:

    That’s where AI could come in handy; in optimizing extraction technology to maximize EROEI.

    42.80 Gigajoules/cubic meter: Bitumen
    38.51 Gigajoules/cubic meter: Light Crude

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 9:06 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    No mention of Gatwick oil?

    One could say that we’ve passed peak-easy-oil. If civilization drowns under 4 billion Africans invited by progressive bureaucrats, the second wave on high-IQ humans that come out in another 50k years won’t find the easy and cheap coal and oil that our grandfathers had. So no new industrial civilization if this one perishes.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Doesn’t follow. Other techne exist. In fact, making industrialization more difficult may just keep the Malthusian IQ-booster cranking a few more generations than in our civilization, which would be a good thing. And allow more time for social adjustments to technological change, which would also be a good thing. I have high hopes for civilization 2.0, by which I mean that there’s a good chance it won’t suck quite as bad.

    [Reply]

    Aeroguy Reply:

    Were the minds of the Renaissance superior to the minds of the Roman Senate who were in turn superior to the minds of the Greek philosophers who were in turn superior to the minds of the Pyramid’s architects? It would seem that human intelligence plateaued with the advent of language, agriculture and civilization. We have grown more domesticated with the millennia, an ice age and a bottleneck produced the forbears of civilization. A r-selection induced reset would be irrecoverable, conditions are far too pleasant to reforge a civilization building species.

    Civilization hit a local maxima for intelligence, a trap, something to be broken free of by pushing forward with our accumulated knowledge and engineering a new species, perhaps an entire phylum that can aspire beyond our collapsing plateau.

    [Reply]

    Darth Imperius Reply:

    Agreed. The Dark Lords have just given a sermon on that topic:

    https://youtu.be/UOvRMUbnHj8

    spandrell Reply:

    one could say thats what happened in China, for instance. But they weren’t getting any closer to industrialization. They achieved their high level equilibrium trap and stayed there for centuries.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Centuries, millennia, what’s the difference. As long as your civilization keeps experiencing periodic collapses and invasions and isn’t worldwide, you’ll get an industrial revolution eventually.

    Hegemonizing Swarm Reply:

    At a certain point it starts to depend on what one defines as oil. Is every hydrocarbon that can be extracted from the earth, at no matter how great difficulty, and can be burned for energy ‘oil’? If so, yes peak oil is very far away. Might have to break up earth in the process, but at least @admin won’t object to that.

    If ‘oil’ is defined as the easy, liquid stuff that can be pumped out of the earth the ‘peak oil’ argument is more believable.

    This reminds me how ‘AI’ (in common language) continuously gets redefined every time machine intelligence encroaches on an area of human thinking. Just so that people can keep talking about the status quo in the same way.

    [Reply]

    dantealiegri Reply:

    That is an irrational line of argumentation – we have proven we can create rather expensive hydrocarbons with algae, tying the entire question to solar radiation.

    [Reply]

    Hegemonizing Swarm Reply:

    I am only considering resources that are already there, such as crude oil, tar sands, bitumen carbonates – out of which hydrocarbons can be extracted.

    Synthesizing hydrocarbons with photosynthesis is obviously possible, but I don’t see how that makes any difference to ‘peak oil’ arguments. At that point you’re diversifying into “sustainable” solar energy, or bio-fuels, whatever you want to call it. If you still define the latter as ‘oil’ that exactly proves my point that one can just define the ‘peak oil’ issue away.

    Hegemonizing Swarm Reply:

    I am only considering resources that are already there, such as crude oil, tar sands, bitumen carbonates – out of which hydrocarbons can be extracted.

    Synthesizing hydrocarbons with photosynthesis is obviously possible, but I don’t see how that makes any difference to ‘peak oil’ arguments. At that point you’re diversifying into “sustainable” solar energy, or bio-fuels, whatever you want to call it. If you still define the latter as ‘oil’ that reinforces my point that one can just define the ‘peak oil’ issue away.

    dantealiegri Reply:

    Replying to your inner here.

    Peak oil as a concept is a essentially a giant environmentalist concern troll/wet dream. They want all the poor people to stop using their nice toys and go back to living in dirt holes ( or preferably die, see human extinction movement ).

    All oil, from NRx’s point ( as I seize the scepter ) is as a input to economy. It is fungible. Thus the only reason to be concerned with easy oil is as a quick booster to a new civilization. Otherwise as long as we have a positive EROEI, we continue on the current path.

    As we have a method to tie oil production to the heat death of the sun – “peak oil” for all known values it is now an irrelevant question. @admin is simply beating a dead horse noting that the UK has realized that “hey, if we dig DEEPER, we have oil, ON LAND!”

    I don’t sit for the wet dreams of resetting civilization. We have not yet improved humans, and thus resetting without the mass of information we have accumulated is a waste, as it is highly unlikely to produce a better end result.

    Thus: there is no reason to limit your thinking to “already existing hydrocarbon stores”.

    [Reply]

    scientism Reply:

    Yes, this is my concern. To reboot, extraction of fossil fuels has to be available at agrarian energy levels, using only human and animal power (with some available wind and water power at that technology level). We’re probably long past the possibility of reboot. You can lose everything very quickly because of technology interdependence (think of the effect of fossil fuels on metallurgy, production of electricity, chemical manufacturing, and transport, and the effect of these on the manufacturing and operation of machinery and other technology). We’d probably be getting around by horse and cart, with rusted out tech sitting at the sides of the roads. We wouldn’t have the machinery or the materials to maintain anything and it’d all become useless very quickly.

    This is why I think the Great Filter is probably industrial collapse.

    [Reply]

    dantealiegri Reply:

    scientism!

    please!

    ethanol.

    EOT

    [Reply]

    nydwracu Reply:

    Why did ethanol fuel take so long to be developed? (Or did it?)

    R. Reply:

    @nydwracu

    It didn’t. It was used as fuel in ICE’s in the 19th century. However, in the long run oil was cheaper..

    scientism Reply:

    Can an agrarian society afford to set aside land for growing fuel? Agricultural efficiency is due to mechanisation (and chemicals), so maybe you can use machines running ethanol to improve efficiency and make it possible. Do the numbers work out? Is there enough excess energy to then extract other form of energy, re-industrialise, etc? I’m skeptical.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Once you understand what nuclear energy is, an advanced pre-industrial society should be able to create nuclear power. It might be kludgy, and not very safe. Some slaves might die. The prospect of slaves dying has not proved a notable deterrent and won’t then either. And there are plenty of nuclear ores still accessible by ordinary mining techniques.

    [Reply]

    Nathan C Reply:

    The main problem with nuclear bootstrapping is power distribution and storage. Portable nuclear power is possible but only at a rather mature technological level, while the energy density of chemical batteries is appalling now and would be even worse with crude lead-acid ones, so it would be necessary to recreate or resurrect the existing power distribution network, indeed to go beyond it in terms of the mining and refining industries. At that point you might as well be bootstrapping with hydro.

    Nathan C Reply:

    Actually, now I think about it, there’s no need to focus on mining and refining, early on. There ought to be plenty of reactor-grade fissile material lying around after a collapse. Just use that to get started, and by the time you need to mine more uranium, that should no longer be particularly difficult.

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    With cheap electricity and cheap heat, 19th C. industrial chemical techniques would allow you to synthesize methane or methanol.

    Alternatively, industry would be more concentrated than it is now.

    Remember that while an operating nuclear power source isn’t very portable, the nuclear material is extremely portable, so it would be simpler than it is for us to set up and fuel power plants in remote locations. Where our civilization has an extensive distribution network, Civ. 2.0 might have an extensive generation network that is more decentralized than ours.

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 10:27 am Reply | Quote
  • Brett Stevens Says:

    The fact remains that peak oil, like climate change, is a distraction from the real problem: a combination of ecocide and civilization collapse originating in the same factor.

    [Reply]

    A.B Prosper Reply:

    Eccocide. Now that is useful word and it cuts right to the heart of the matter.

    Also the collapse we are undergoing is certainly catabolic in origin and even a huge cheap oil find if we had one will only slow the inevitable. On those grounds, peak oil is an irrelevant concern.

    simply, civilization can’t, well civilize and its as much a social problem as a technical one.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 12:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRx_N00B Says:

    The distinction between resources and reserves—there is a big difference:

    Proved Developed: The fish is in the boat. You have weighed him. You can smell him and you will eat him.

    Proved Undeveloped: The fish is on your hook in the water by the boat and you are ready to net him. You can tell how big he looks (they always look bigger in the water).

    Probable: There are fish in the lake. You may have caught some yesterday. You may even be able to see them, but you haven’t caught any today.

    Possible: There is water in the lake. Someone may have told you there are fish in the lake. You have your boat on the trailer but you may go play golf instead.

    Prospective Resources (wildcat—extremely high risk): You have heard that a lake is going to be built somewhere, but are not sure and decide to buy a piece of property and build a cabin on the riverside where you hope the lake will be and dream about it going up in value, dividing up the lots and making an absolute killing when you do.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 12:35 pm Reply | Quote
  • orlandu84 Says:

    The peak oil argument never seems to acknowledge adequately the stochastic nature of discovery and development. A hundred years ago no one could have predicted accurately the use, production, or discovery of oil. Accordingly, we also unlikely to be able to predict how energy will be consumed in the coming decades and centuries. NRx_N00B makes some excellent distinctions but I would add, “the Lottery.” The Lottery is a resource that you never heard of but some crazy person figured out how to use productively. For example, for most of human history farmers did not use fertilizer in any form. Using dung was a lucky break for us all. Likewise, oil was a lucky break as well. Perhaps orbital solar power will be the next lucky break that makes terrestrial energy production trivial. Thinking in these terms makes most people uncomfortable – no one likes to acknowledge the limits of his knowledge.

    [Reply]

    dantealiegri Reply:

    Not only that, but with the technology for hydrocarbon stock from algae, there is an absolute baseline – and if that tech has a increase similar to ICE or batteries, it should be able to produce $80/bbl oil. Not great; but much more flexible than solar.

    My vision is thorium for base load and oil ( no matter what source ) for situations which have a high energy density requirement. What I find most people don’t recognize is that oil is simply a energy storage medium. As mentioned here, the cost to acquire is not 0 so EROEI type calcuations must always be performed for economization.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Ditto direct production of methane from CO2 in the air, and industrial conversion to methanol.

    [Reply]

    Erebus Reply:

    I could not agree with the both of you more. A damn shame that our politicians and bureaucrats don’t feel the same way! It seems that only a miracle (or a catastrophe) could induce the broad adoption of Thorium-salt reactors. To say that the Chinese, Japanese, and Americans are “dragging their feet”… that would be altogether too charitable.

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 1:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • dantealiegri Says:

    @nydwracu:

    with some light googling:

    http://www.fuel-testers.com/ethanol_fuel_history.html is a minor history.

    Basically partially what R says, but also more than ethanol has an annoying habit of taking water from the surrounding air, and ICE really are not fans of water.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 7:28 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    outwitting ducks, the tricky part of dirty extraction
    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/alberta-oil-companies-move-markets-and-fuel-nations-but-need-to-spend-millions-to-outsmart-ducks

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Wow. How much cheaper would oil be if it weren’t swathed in layers of bullshit like that?

    [Reply]

    northanger Reply:

    or duckshit

    [Reply]

    dantealiegri Reply:

    Its ducks, all the way down!

    I knew it, @jokeocracy!!

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 8:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • northanger Says:

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/03/canadian-oil-sands/kunzig-text/3
    “Oil sands represent a decision point for North America and the world,” says Simon Dyer of the Pembina Institute, a moderate and widely respected Canadian environmental group. “Are we going to get serious about alternative energy, or are we going to go down the unconventional-oil track? The fact that we’re willing to move four tons of earth for a single barrel really shows that the world is running out of easy oil.”

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 8:20 pm Reply | Quote
  • Making Oil Unnecessary: An Impossible Catalytic Revolution on the Cusp | al fin next level Says:

    […] Get the dirt on the vast supplies of bitumen carbonate, and the details on methane hydrates (via Nick Land) […]

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 8:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    Can’t disagree with the comments except for the determined DOOMERS.

    By golly if environmentalism can’t wipe out [other] people than we’ll head over to the Right wing with peak r-selection and HBD.

    Yes drowning in Africans enabled by Prog bureaucrats is a potential problem. However there’s no solution or hope for the passive Westerners now. If one is determined to lay down and die they’ll find you a solution. If it isn’t immigration it will be something else.

    If one isn’t so determined to die but determined to avoid trouble especially violence at any cost, even consenting to be the boiling frog then similarly one’s fate is determined.

    You have to chose to live which does mean choosing to fight to win.

    I think some call this k-selection or some such ah…well…technical term.

    What we may have here is high intelligence that has unwittingly bred itself for cowardice in our precious western elites.

    That’s avoiding conscription during the World Wars if your wondering how it happened.

    You’re going to have to chose to live with proven long term methods if you want to make it long term, and that means fighting. Nations and peoples that go down fighting rise again.

    Those that lay down and die – die.

    That’s it. No THEY are no model. It’s entirely possible they’ve run out their string, and that 75 years ago was the prologue. We don’t know yet, I hope we don’t find out.

    That survival model being betrayal and career crime of course. Yes it is. Nothing to aspire to even when it works.

    If you would chose to live then chose to fight. You.

    [Reply]

    dantealiegri Reply:

    The annoying phenomenon you are seeing is just what happens when people come face to face with a very large problem. Some give up, some ignore it.

    Mainstream is more about ignoring. Seeing the problems can be like looking at a lovecraftian horror – acetone for sanity.

    This is why all of us ( I assume ) like NRx – it runs straight into the problems as Gnon wills and refuses to give up logic.

    As for making a civilization that runs again; I’ve seen the theory of courage being bred out in France due to WWI, I haven’t seen it elsewhere. I do agree that our elites have become cancerous. But so did those in Rome. The question really is can you set up a stable system for generating leaders. That truly is the 10 million bitcoin question.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 14th, 2015 at 9:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    I present to you two friends, hydrogen, and carbon. Now, when it gets hot in there, they take off all of their clothes. They’re such special friends that they seem to show up EVERYWHERE.

    (PS, Spandrell’s point is well taken, as for instance we had to work hard to make up for the loss of the fertile crescent, something we wasted the heck out of before we understood soil salination. But we did get around it in time.)

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 15th, 2015 at 12:22 am Reply | Quote
  • NRx_N00B Says:

    To be fair to the peakers—like Campbell, Deffeyes or Laherrère, industry guys not eco-Nazi’s: they make it explicitly clear that they’re talking about conventional resources.

    Conventional resources don’t need production stimulation. Unconventional resources—tight gas, shale gas, tight oil, shale oil, bitumen, oil shale, CBM, UGC, methane hydrates—on the other hand, all require some kind of production stimulation.

    [Reply]

    dantealiegri Reply:

    I think their industry experience frames their thinking too much – “conventional” just means “easy with what we know now”. With 20 years of shale experience, I imagine it will also become “conventional”.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 15th, 2015 at 12:40 am Reply | Quote
  • NRx_N00B Says:

    According to LaWik a total of 174,100 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history. With about 13 billionths of a gram per liter, the world’s oceans carry nearly 20 million tons of gold—talk about low-grade, high tonnage.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    For Gold and Iron, it’s hard to beat collapsing stars, tbh

    [Reply]

    A.B Prosper Reply:

    Well yeah I suppose and if you are not a space bug don’t take this as directed at you.

    Who precisely is going to go out to the collapsing stars ? I mean yeah the laws of physics do not preclude star mining but the laws of human society? I am pretty sure they do.

    Right now, the US cannot put a man on the moon even though in theory a huge chunk of the population has more computer power and informational than existed at the time of the Apollo Program. Heck we have a harder time feeding our population , controlling our borders, maintain infrastructure or even replacing our core population of smart White people. Very very basic things.

    Every single advanced civilization on the planet is failing all at once.

    As for the need for resources, ? Our solar system provides more resources than a healthy human society can ever use and I know the space bugs have these pie in the sky dreams of colonizing some far off planet or even Luna or Mars, simply no, not going to happen.

    Simply, we have more than enough to live very well so long as we are smart and any society smart enough to manage a stable space program, and their isn’t one, won’t be wasting resources and probably won’t have a population surplus.

    Now certainly a resort for the rich or a small research post or base could happen, China might try it but again they are sicker than the US

    Now regular space travel for the common man might happen sometime, I dunno after the after the US reaches 85%+ White with a stable, low corruption political system a fairly even distribution of wealth and a population with a fairly low median age and an above 100 average IQ . Its plausible I suppose but not within the lifetime of anyone here, well baring life extension which is slightly more plausible but also unlikely.

    [Reply]

    E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Reply:

    Gaw, the stars thing is a joke, bro. How would you even mine a huge sphere of molten plasma iron? “Very Carefully” is only a cop-out. OTOH, the amount of iron and gold in the micrometeoroids flying through space seems like a great candidate for ‘lots of metal, very low density’

    dantealiegri Reply:

    @RiverC

    when trolling, don’t cry when the fish bites you.

    A.B Prosper Reply:

    Chomp! Oh sorry. It was a joke? Oops. 😉

    Anyway, micrometeoroids are a good source of metals but the irony is if we are advanced enough to get them, we won’t really need them anyway.

    Recycling is a really powerful technology and if we had fusion and its plausible we could, we won’t need to worry about energy. And yes I do know about the Red Queens Race.

    There is a way to win actually. Rationing. We’ll still use every drop of power we can generate but we can stop at a point and despite what economic liberals think, its not a doomsday scenario with good stewardship. If we doubled our capacity we’d have 2000 gigawatts give or take and if we can’t by on that we are idiots.

    The paradox of space is a society advanced enough to do it, won’t need to or want to do it.

    A Firefly scenario while more plausible than say Star Trek, is not gonna happen. The lack of resources makes its too expensive to do, I suppose Elysium is a bit more likely than either but better hope that those scavers down on the ground can’t build a mag-cannon. Also I won’t spoil the ending but oppressed people are never that nice when they win. The winners in that scenario would make the French Revolutionaries look kindly.

    A little more on topic, the real scarce capital in society , all societies currently is are the productive, ordered, ethical smart people . That is a very costly commodity easily destroyed by prosperity and our current bottleneck. Fix that and maybe you can make things work.

    All the gas in the world is a delaying action.

    Bob Reply:

    Regular space travel requires reusable rockets, and we’re far closer to reusability than we’ve ever been before:

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/04/video-showing-spacex-came-very-close-to.html

    We were nowhere near reusability during the Apollo program, which was a political project for prestige during the Cold War, not an attempt to achieve regular space travel.

    dantealiegri Reply:

    @A.B. Prosper

    The assumption of a society advanced enough to go to space not going to space is faulty. I want to go to mars and make something new. I am by no means the only one who feels this way.

    Aeroguy Reply:

    From a military standpoint having a solid foothold in space is supremely defensible. Put up a railgun near an asteroid, preferably one in a Lagrange point, with the “peaceful” purpose of transferring goods to other destinations and then laugh. It can either destroy or dodge any earthborn weapon deployed against it. Meanwhile it can shower the earth with tungsten rods. Whoever gets there first wins. Space is big, fuel is limited, every shot hits exactly on target if you don’t move out of the way first. Establish asteroid mining, a self-sustaining space industry, and the Earth is rendered strategically irrelevant. Gravity wells, once you’re out why they hell would you want to immediately go back into a new one, asteroids are the low hanging fruit.

    The best part about space, Malthusian pressure exists in spades. Taste the fruit of sustainable space habitation and humanity will be driven out of Eden yet again.

    Posted on April 15th, 2015 at 1:25 am Reply | Quote
  • Lightning Round – 2015/04/15 | Free Northerner Says:

    […] aren’t running out of oil any time […]

    Posted on April 15th, 2015 at 5:01 am Reply | Quote
  • Bob Says:

    The Saudis are worried about peak oil – peak oil demand that is, not peak oil supply:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-12/saudi-arabia-s-plan-to-extend-the-age-of-oil

    Naimi and other Saudi leaders have worried for years that climate change and high crude prices will boost energy efficiency, encourage renewables, and accelerate a switch to alternative fuels such as natural gas, especially in the emerging markets that they count on for growth. They see how demand for the commodity that’s created the kingdom’s enormous wealth—and is still abundant beneath the desert sands—may be nearing its peak. This isn’t something the petroleum minister discusses in depth in public, given global concern about carbon emissions and efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. But Naimi acknowledges the trend. “Demand will peak way ahead of supply,” he told reporters in Qatar three years ago.

    The Saudis, to be sure, never thought much of peak oil. That’s the theory that global crude supplies, on an upward trajectory for a century and a half, were about to stop rising and could no longer keep up with demand. A faction of geologists and environmentalists made this argument part of the policy debate in the early years of this century. In 2005, when a book by oil analyst Matthew Simmons predicted a drop-off in Saudi output would signal that global supplies were beginning an irreversible decline, Naimi belittled the claims and promised higher production capacity. He won the argument. The Saudis pump more today than a decade ago. Saudi oil fields boast state-of-the-art technology, and at least two of them, in the middle of the desert, have gourmet restaurants. U.S. output has had a stunning rise as well, to more than 9 million barrels a day at the end of 2014 from less than 6 million five years ago. The peak that has the Saudis more worried is peak demand.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 15th, 2015 at 10:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • A.B Prosper Says:

    @NRx_N00B

    dantealiegri, lots of people want to go to Mars.

    You might find the distance, the lack of air, water, arable land, biosphere technology and the low gravity quite daunting.

    Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids in fact its cold as Hell 😉

    It would be far easier to colonize the Gobi (hat tip Charlies Stross for that) or Antarctica for that matter or even Seastead or make your own version of Rapture from Bioshock and I don’t see anyone trying any of those other than the Seasteading which should last till the second pirate attack give or take. And not they may well not get to freeload on the worlds navy’s in case anyone is thinking that.

    The Space enthusiasts kind of assume that they can get away from the State into some more libertarian zone and I find that highly unlikely. The State will follow you

    That said visiting Mars or even a research station is perfectly possible and might happen if somehow civilization survives. I can’t say one way or another if it will, I’m leaning no and thinking technological regression, die back and catabolic collapse along with a chaser of economic and religious genocide for starters

    However I might be wrong and in a hundred, two hundred years when we all run Lockheed/Polywell fusion plants and Beanstalks and cheap rockets abound, we may make the Red Planet

    You and I might not be alive than though baring radical life extension though and might not even be allowed to go.

    [Reply]

    Bob Reply:

    Change happens at the margin. Comparing the average standard of living on Earth with that on Mars at current levels of technology and development won’t really tell us much. The people who’d choose to go to some place like Mars would be evaluating the personal value of going to Mars vs. staying on Earth. They’d be evaluating their personal preferences and prospects, not the average levels of some objective standard.

    [Reply]

    Peter A. Taylor Reply:

    It seems to me that the argument for colonizing Mars is that at some unknown time, t0, something dreadful is going to happen to Earth, and many of us want some of humanity’s eggs in a different basket when that happens. The problem is that this hypothetical colony has to make sense, including economic sense, both before t0 and after t0. Before t0, the problem is why enough people would want to live on Mars when Earth is so much nicer. After t0, the problem is being able to survive independently of Earth.

    If I were writing a science fiction novel, I would create a charity that would finance the colony. That way, when someone asks one of my colonists why he doesn’t spend his money buying nice real estate on Earth instead of nasty real estate on Mars, he can answer, “Because it’s not my money.” Of course, the technology needed to do this is still science fiction.

    [Reply]

    Bob Reply:

    Like I said, you have to think at the margin. People going to Mars or anywhere else in space aren’t going to be doing so for “humanity” or because something bad is going to happen to Earth some time in the future long after they’re dead.

    [Reply]

    dantealiegri Reply:

    @A.B. Prosper:

    of course its daunting. That’s why I want to do it. If I didn’t want daunting I’d settle into a govco position and shut off my brain.

    I, as an follower of NRx have no illusions about the state. I tend to think that exit is a fine tactic but a bad strategy.

    I have no interest in going to Mars for “research”, which is realistically govco speak for “shit we waste money on to keep the hi-IQ people from revolting”

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 16th, 2015 at 7:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • NRx_N00B Says:

    Energy is the Achilles Heel of configurational entropy—hence, technology has limited wiggle room.

    Sc(low-grade, high tonnage) > Sc(high-grade, low tonnage)

    [Reply]

    NRx_N00B Reply:

    EROEI is reducible to configurational entropy.

    [Reply]

    Posted on April 17th, 2015 at 1:43 am Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2015/04/17) | The Reactivity Place Says:

    […] Land has some bad news for Peak Oilers. Hey, there’s always Catholicism. Speaking of which, where (the hell) did […]

    Posted on April 18th, 2015 at 3:40 pm Reply | Quote

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