Originally Posted by randyleepublic
Two points: the ice core samples merely prove that the CO2 content of the atmosphere was higher in the past, then lower, now it is starting to rise up again. Seems to me that when there was elevated CO2, the planet was one vast rain forest with enough food around to support vast populations of dinosaurs who were cold-blooded and stupid, i.e. had poor adaptive abilities, and yet they thrived. I think it would be an improvement if people didn't die of exposure to cold and hunger like they do now.
As far as running out of fossil fuels, it is a long ways off. We discover new fields all the time. Did you hear about Brasil? Canada is swimming in oil sands. The ocean floors are largely unexplored. All that said, what needs to drive these discussions is not guilt-based psuedo-science but cold-blooded economics. In other words, if the US continues to import mass quantities of fossil fuels, how does this affect our economy, and are there alternatives that are economically justifiable. We have lived far too long in a fantasy land where our policy decisions are based on emotional halucinations having little or no connection or consideration of the economic results of those policies. I doubt that this will go on much longer, however, the next phase is likely to be even worse, as the poorly educated populace looks for scapgoats for the dire situation in which they find themselves. A situation whose development is painfully obvious if one just makes the slightest effort to consider the implications of our actions.
The US had tremendous wealth generated through 120 years of flawed but fundementally sound economic policy. 95 years ago things went wrong and they have been getting worse ever since. The last 20 years have been totally irrational chaos. The ride is almost over. In the meantime, if I can find a way to make a business synthesizing butanol from domestic materials, I will. I think that business might just survive the changes that are soon to pass.
Back on topic: solar power may be a much better alternative than nuclear. Think of the thousands of sqaure miles of desert we own. Think of the the billions of dollars we have spent and are spending in Iraq. Now take that money and instead cover the desert with solar panels. The put wind turbines in between the solar panels because if it isn't sunny, it's usually windy.
Ooops, too late.
I don't understand what it is that you don't believe. Do you not believe that the Earth is warming? Or is it that you don't believe what people are blaming for the warming?
As for new oil discoveries, they are few and far between. Most of the discoveries you hear about are not really new pools. Typically they are extensions.
The three Brazilian fields (Tupi, Carioca and Jupiter) contain a large amount of recoverable oil. However, it isn't going to be cheap. These fields lie beneath 7,000 ft of water and are at a total depth of 22,000 ft. Plus, they have to drill through a salt cap rock. I don't need to remind you that salt is extremely corrosive to the steel casing used in the wells. That makes it a costly engineering challenge. What makes it worse is that these fields contain heavy oil. These three new fields will hardly make a dent in the oil supply. I wouldn't expect more than a few hundred thousand barrels of oil per day from these fields.
Saudi Arabia just brought a new field online, called Khurais. It too had it's share of costly engineering challenges. It's only going to add 1.2 million barrels of oil/day to their output.
Oil from Canada's oil sands have not been produced because of the great cost in doing so. Now that oil is at $118/barrel, it will probably happen. If I remember correctly, they strip mine this stuff. YUK!
According to the EIA
, the US uses about 21 million barrels of oil per day. That is about a quarter of the worlds total consumption.
I'm with you that solar energy is the way to go. Home builders can start adding solar panels as optional upgrades to new houses (that's when the market recovers). Just think if entire subdivisions were built with solar panels on their roofs.