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James Kunstler and Peak Oil
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TigerMandingo Offline
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James Kunstler and Peak Oil
Perhaps about a year ago I was interested in this subject and recently have been thinking about it again. An author and blogger by the name of James Howard Kunstler (http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/) has been writing about this for a long time.

His position is that our oil indulgence days are coming to an end and no amount of "alternative energy" will be able to replace oil as a primary fossil fuel. He also posits that the US will be the most affected because it's such a car-centric nation with no viable transportation system. I'm not a fan of doomsayers myself but he comes across as reasonable, not to mention funny as fuck if you read the blog.

Thoughts?
03-07-2014 02:24 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
I've always wondered about this.

I remember in college I asked a professor the question, "doesn't the earth need its oil? Don't you think it's probably wrong to just be taking all the oil from the earth?"

He looked at me like I had two heads and rudely dismissed me.

Common sense would tell me oil is inside the earth for a reason and its probably not the best thing to just be extracting it 24/7 365. Time will tell I suppose.
03-07-2014 02:38 PM
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cardguy Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
The link is incorrect.

http://kunstler.com/writings/clusterfuck-nation/

Thanks for the tip. I will check through his stuff and report back. He looks interesting.
03-07-2014 02:39 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
I cannot comment on the article since the article couldn't load - 404 error.

But there will always be oil, the question is whether prices support the costs to recover the oil. Some wells become non-economic and the companies either plug the wells or shut it down. For example new fracking technologies have revived old wells. Ne technology has allowed companies to go back through old oil fields to see if anything was missed.

But, I agree we are a country heavily dependent on cheap energy. And cheap food. We will face changes as we need to adapt. There was a book "$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better." It was interesting, I don't agree with all the commentary, but our lives will change if gas got that high, fuck even if it got to 6 or 7 for a steady time. (US perspective)

Last night Rachel Maddow's show talked about the Iraq war, no surprise the findings were: we went to war for oil. The other things the Bush Administration claimed, WMDs etc seemed just like a case for justifying the war.

Fate whispers to the warrior, "You cannot withstand the storm." And the warrior whispers back, "I am the storm."

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(This post was last modified: 03-07-2014 02:46 PM by samsamsam.)
03-07-2014 02:43 PM
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j r Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
Peak oil theories are overblown. On the present trajectory, even if we top out the levels of oil production, it won't be a peak but a plateau. Not to mention, the demand for oil is always endogenous to the supply of oil. When supply becomes constrained people invest more in efficiency and move to other fuel sources, which decreases the demand.

Also, there are positive technology shocks all the time. Fifteen years ago no one would have predicted shake and other tight oil. Trying to say something definitive about what the world will look like in 20 or 50 years is a bit f a fool's errand.
03-07-2014 02:44 PM
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TigerMandingo Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
(03-07-2014 02:43 PM)samsamsam Wrote:  I cannot comment on the article since the article couldn't load - 404 error.

But there will always be oil, the question is whether prices support the costs to recover the oil. Some wells become non-economic and the companies either plug the wells or shut it down. For example new fracking technologies have revived old wells. Ne technology has allowed companies to go back through old oil fields to see if anything was missed.

But, I agree we are a country heavily dependent on cheap energy. And cheap food. We will face changes as we need to adapt. There was a book "$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better." It was interesting, I don't agree with all the commentary, but our lives will change if gas got that high, fuck even if it got to 6 or 7 for a steady time.

Last night Rachel Maddow's show talked about the Iraq war, no surprise the findings were: we went to war for oil. The other things the Bush Administration claimed, WMDs etc seemed just like a case for justifying the war.

How are you so sure of this? And I dont mean that in an antagonizing way, just wondering. The other thing is, if we're going deeper and deeper for oil with each year, doesnt that mean that all the easy oil, so to speak, has already been extracted?
03-07-2014 02:48 PM
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samsamsam Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
Because not every last drop of oil in a particular zone/play is ever fully produced. Just a fact.

If you saw my next part of the comment "the question is whether prices support the costs to recover the oil."

This wikipedia link gives a good overview of the extraction process. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraction_of_petroleum

New fracking technology has turned America into a powerhouse of natural gas to the point that they are talking about how to export it. Fracking has also made it possible to extract oil in the US where it wasn't possible before.

The critical factor is the economics of justify trying to get the oil out.

Edit: One side note. Oil isn't just for gasoline, there are so many things that are created out of oil (depending on the quality of the oil). So the impact just isn't in driving our cars, but it will be in other stuff as well. But those other things may have easier substitutes to find/create.

Fate whispers to the warrior, "You cannot withstand the storm." And the warrior whispers back, "I am the storm."

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(This post was last modified: 03-07-2014 03:05 PM by samsamsam.)
03-07-2014 03:04 PM
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birdie num num Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
I've been reading Kunstler's blog for 6-7 years. It's part of my Monday morning web reading. He gets a bit repetitive but his cultural observations are accurate and humorous. He refers to the American masses as "tattooed, overfed clowns."

Check out his book "The Long Emergency." He believes that shale oil is way over hyped and will only last for a couple of decades, at best. The demand for oil worldwide continues to increase and many oil producing nations are using more of their own product as their standards of living rise. One may not agree with him, but he gives plenty of food for thought.

That book is where I first heard of Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). If it costs $2 to extract 1 dollars worth of oil, then that oil will stay in the ground

“When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat.”

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03-07-2014 03:33 PM
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samsamsam Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
(03-07-2014 03:33 PM)birdie num num Wrote:  That book is where I first heard of Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). If it costs $2 to extract 1 dollars worth of oil, then that oil will stay in the ground

That is why oil has been loved for so long - lots of energy for little invested. We are losing cheap energy, cheap oil, but we will always have oil.

Fate whispers to the warrior, "You cannot withstand the storm." And the warrior whispers back, "I am the storm."

Women and children can be careless, but not men - Don Corleone

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(This post was last modified: 03-07-2014 03:35 PM by samsamsam.)
03-07-2014 03:35 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
(03-07-2014 02:43 PM)samsamsam Wrote:  Last night Rachel Maddow's show talked about the Iraq war, no surprise the findings were: we went to war for oil. The other things the Bush Administration claimed, WMDs etc seemed just like a case for justifying the war.

The US is the world's largest oil consumer. The largest consumer within the US is the Department of Defense. I read it a few years ago and don't have the stats right offhand, but it's close to 1/4 of the US's total consumption. Just something to consider.

“When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat.”

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03-07-2014 03:56 PM
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Sp5 Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
Kunstler's better as an architecture and cultural critic than as an economic forecaster.
03-08-2014 12:26 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
(03-07-2014 02:44 PM)j r Wrote:  Peak oil theories are overblown. On the present trajectory, even if we top out the levels of oil production, it won't be a peak but a plateau. Not to mention, the demand for oil is always endogenous to the supply of oil. When supply becomes constrained people invest more in efficiency and move to other fuel sources, which decreases the demand.

Also, there are positive technology shocks all the time. Fifteen years ago no one would have predicted shake and other tight oil. Trying to say something definitive about what the world will look like in 20 or 50 years is a bit f a fool's errand.

Exactly right.

The peak oil guys just have no shame. They were going on about it about a decade ago, peaking around 2008 when there was a spike in oil prices.

Go look at their forecasts from that time -- they're archived on the web. Every single forecast they made has proven to be as spectacularly wrong as possible. They completely failed to anticipate the impacts of shale and fracking technology. They completely failed to anticipate other advances in discovering new sources of oil and gas. No matter -- they just keep going on in the same way, ignoring their total failure with the most blatant shamelessness.

All the "peak X" and "peak Y" and overpopulation leading to famine and exhaustion of resources forecasts have failed as thoroughly as possible, I could start giving examples and never stop. And yet these people just keep going.

Almost as if they just want to believe in failure and decline, facts be damned...

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
03-08-2014 12:55 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
- Generation after generation tries to bet against the oil majors
- this stuff isn't new. Read "The Prize". Same rhetoric over and over again since about 1920. Hell people have been gasifying coal and turning into liquids because we needed "alternative fuels" since 1930.
- oh, coal to liquid is too dirty? Let's turn a tree into gas and then a liquid.

I did my share of betting against oil and gas. I say, "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"

My take:
- oil majors rarely call it wrong, they are just slow to react (like turning an aircraft carrier)
- if an oil major sets in a new direction, likely a solid trend ahead (like 10yrs...unlike tech)
- gives you plenty of time to set up base camp and see how you can get your boat in the waters of where they are heading
- the majors need to go after absurdly large projects to move the needle...this leaves a ton of opportunities in their wake.
- never hesitate to think like Levi's, you don't have to mine for gold during a gold rush...all those miners need jeans and plenty of other things...
03-08-2014 08:02 PM
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DVY Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
Oil is a solid play lately. Peak Oil is bullshit just like "Artic floes melting and rising water levels".

I really fancy Total SA, largely in part for the huge dividend play and foreign tax recapture for dividends

I have a gambler's itch on BP as well, but haven't pulled the trigger on that one yet.

When something mints money for 100+ yr periods, its not something I would bet long-term against.

WIA- For most of men, our time being masters of our own fate, kings in our own castles is short. Even those of us in the game will eventually succumb to ease of servitude rather than deal with the malaise of solitude
(This post was last modified: 03-10-2014 12:43 PM by DVY.)
03-10-2014 12:40 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
I've been reading Kunstler on and off for over 20 years. His book "Home from Nowhere" is one of the reasons I live where I do. But over the years he's starting to get a little bit repetitive. And when it comes to "Peak Oil", I just wish he'd STFU. Every prediction he's made in that area has turned out to be wrong. I honestly think he prays for the "Long Emergency" just to pay back every one outside of New York for not recognizing him for the genius he believes himself to be. Sorry, Mr. Kunstler, I wish I too could've been born and raised in the shining temple that is New York City, but the accident of my birth landed me in the Midwest.
I agree with the poster who said that as a cultural critic he's much better. His observation that the invasion of Iraq was an attempt to drop a police station in the the Middle East was spot-on. And he was strangely predictive of the gender f*ck-ups we are now having to endure.

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
03-10-2014 05:30 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
(03-07-2014 02:38 PM)MidniteSpecial Wrote:  Common sense would tell me oil is inside the earth for a reason and its probably not the best thing to just be extracting it 24/7 365. Time will tell I suppose.

You're thinking about it the wrong way, almost backwards. Oil isn't 'there for a reason' any more than Mount Everest is there for a reason. It just is because the right set of circumstances happened.

The locations, amounts, and types of hydrocarbons present are present largely due to a series of unlikely events all coming together in the correct order. If hydrocarbons weren't where they are, there would likely just be saline water in its place.

It isn't the same as renovating your house and cutting through cross beams (that big piece of wood is probably there for a reason). The earth isn't a house laid out with some grand design. (Side note, that is unless you subscribe to the whole intelligent design theory, worked with some of them in Texas who literally thought God hid the oil on them, and it was their job to find it)
03-15-2014 05:58 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
Peak Oil is not the problem. Peak Energy is the problem, if you need more energy to produce and deliver one barrel of oil than is contained inside one barrel, it is game over. I don't know the efficiency of the newest production methods though

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03-15-2014 07:33 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
I looked into Peak Oil about 10 years ago, in 2003-04. Kunstler was at it then, ClusterFuck nation was already the go-to website. What's happened since then? Oil prices have gone up and down. America is headed towards fossil fuel self sufficiency which was unthinkable. The world economy has responded to many other factors than oil.

Ten years is a long time. The doomsayers might be right one day, but in the meantime you gotta live your life.

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03-15-2014 07:55 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
This week's edition of Clusterfuck Nation is why I continue to read Kunstler. Forget about his Peak Oil prognostications. His observations about American culture are spot on and hilarious.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/d...ate-blues/

“When you're born into this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. If you're born in America you get a front row seat.”

- George Carlin
(This post was last modified: 03-18-2014 12:51 AM by birdie num num.)
03-18-2014 12:48 AM
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ColSpanker Offline
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
I read through his recent posts. Most can be summed up by this:



"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
03-19-2014 11:27 AM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
(03-08-2014 12:26 PM)Sp5 Wrote:  Kunstler's better as an architecture and cultural critic than as an economic forecaster.

His take on suburban architecture, though ten years old, is still relevant:


(This post was last modified: 03-20-2014 09:57 PM by Barry Scrotada.)
03-20-2014 09:55 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
Bump

Civilize the mind but make savage the body.
01-08-2018 01:36 AM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
I like him when he gets cranky in his comments section.


http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/fairy-tale/



Quote:sprawlcapital
January 8, 2018 at 10:07 am #
I watched just a few minute of the Golden Globes last night, the part where the host was–in jest– telling Oprah that she was not qualified to be president. The point being that it was at a similar event a few years ago that Trump was ridiculed; that supposedly being the defining moment that convinced him to run for the presidency.

I must admit, until last night it had never occurred to me that Oprah Winfrey might be president. We shall see, if we are still around in 2020. She is at least literate.


shotho
January 8, 2018 at 10:11 am #
Sounds like a promotion to me. And how in the world do you put aside skin color, ethnic origin, religious order and gender? What else is left?


James Howard Kunstler
January 8, 2018 at 10:16 am #
How about the deep mystery of human personality, you jackass. — JHK

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01-08-2018 12:24 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
Kunstler believes in catastrophic global warming, which is
pretty dumb/blue pill. There is some quality content on his
blog but some blind spots as well.

I doubt he would acknowledge the abiogenic nature of oil,
the fact that most of it does not actually derive from the
decomposition of living material (fossils), but from basic
inorganic geological processes, which explains why there
are a lot of "fossil fuels" in other planets and moons in the
solar system where there has never been any plants or animals.

Oil prices adjusted for inflation and world production contradict
the notion of peak oil:

[Image: CMNWd1QWcAA-JYj.jpg]

[Image: WorldOilProd1.jpeg]

“Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is.”
01-08-2018 01:30 PM
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RE: James Kunstler and Peak Oil
I believe Peak Oil is real. My introduction to it was not Kunstler (BTW, in German his surname means "artist"), but the very good portal,TheOilDrum. I ventured there first time because me interest in the fall of Rome, which took me to this artcile by Ugo Bardi:

http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/5528

When shale oil appeared, I thought that there is some respite, but now it seems there is not. Shale ole provides us with nothing but gasoline, but we need diesel, bunker fuel, kerosene etc ... This is probably the reason why Macron taxed diesels in France. He taxed diesel, as there is not enough diesel and he wants to lower the diesel usage to save it. From ecology point of view, there is nothing especially friendly in diesel tax.
Now he has a revolution crawling at his feet.

The most scary part is so called Olduvai Theory, the electric theory of civilization, according to which our civilization will be more or less dead in 20 years, so in ~ 2040:

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/1122

I believe the climate change is a cover story for peak oil since the climate change in itself is not so imminent as peak oil.
(This post was last modified: 12-30-2018 03:06 PM by Kaligula.)
12-30-2018 02:55 PM
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