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We Should Burn More Oil

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Old
04-07-2013, 11:07 PM
  #1
Dado
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We Should Burn More Oil

The building blocks of virtually all life on our planet are (a) sunlight (b) water and (c) carbon.

Sunlight we can't do much about - the sun does what it does. But we could increase the amount of water in circulation by getting the poles unfrozen. And we could increase the amount of carbon in circulation by "unsequestering" all that old biomass trapped in oil and coal.

If you calculate the amount of biomass we're missing out on because it's trapped underground, it becomes pretty clear the world is not nearly as lush a place as it could (should?) be. More to the point - not nearly as lush a place as it once was.

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04-08-2013, 12:17 AM
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climate change is still a thing

limited resources remain limited

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04-08-2013, 02:41 AM
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Your post seems predicated on the idea that biomass above ground is always better than biomass below ground

Why wouldn't some kind of equilibrium be a better state?

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04-08-2013, 06:01 AM
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Not sure I get the point of the OP.

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04-08-2013, 08:42 AM
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The neighbors just don't understand you've got your own way to dispose of those old jugs of used Valvoline, eh?

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04-08-2013, 10:29 AM
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x Tame Impala
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Melting the ice caps would be a great idea. I've always wondered what it would be like for major cities to be underwater. We could use a lot more of this...



AND it wouldn't ever be cold again! Win for everyone

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04-08-2013, 10:37 AM
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Ether Prodigy
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Oil is pretty important... I'd rather not waste it. I'm not against burning oil or using it for stuff like my computers (and future computers) but I'm against burning oil for the sake of burning oil.

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Old
04-08-2013, 11:31 AM
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LadyStanley
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As a (very, very minor) stock holder in a (family-started, generations old) "independent" (read: not one of the big guys like Shell or Exxon) petroleum production company, I have learned the basic processes and keep my eyes open for stories on estimated reserves, new technologies to improve production, oil politics, etc. (It also is the reason I have Canadian cousins as my uncle, a geologist, moved to Alberta to work in the oil exploration industry.)

(Leaving politics out of the discussion, as that's more appropriate for the Political board....)

The US used to be one of the largest producers of petroleum products in the world. By the late 1960s, the Middle East ramped up production. There's also significant production in Venezuela, and Canada, Indonesia, etc.

The US used to produce all it needed (Standard Oil's monopoly notwithstanding) from domestic sources, but with the larger cars, growth in population, imports became a larger and larger portion of the source.

The US focused on "big" gas guzzling cars and the 1970s oil embargo (which resulted in long lines from shortages and rationing) changed that. Detroit (mainly) auto makers who could not adjust to making more fuel efficient vehicles, lost out to Japanese brands which were more efficient (i.e., Datsun now known as Nissan, and Toyota).

The 1970s also brought about the ecology "enlightenment", from the Clean Water act to the Clean Air act. (PBS station KQED aired a great 4-part series a couple of years ago on the San Francisco Bay that looked at how a few house wives changed how the Bay was used/abused and then changed how it was managed to ensure there would be healthy fish that could be caught rather than filled in and plundered for just it's space.)

Fast forward to 2013. IIRC circa 1980 it was estimated that the world would "run out" of oil by the 2020s. But things change! Most existing "in the ground" oil reserves have been greatly increased in their potential from decades ago. This is due to better tools/science in measuring/finding the pockets of oil under the ground, as well as methods to improve production. Fracking is just one such method (and in some circles very controversial). Steam injection is another. Also the ability to process "oil shale" is a new method. The "old" oil states included Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, California. Now it's being found in Alaska, the Dakotas, Utah, Wyoming, off the Gulf Coast and more.


But to get back to the OP, there's carbon in vegetation and animal products. So, it's not necessarily correct that we have to "burn more oil" to get more carbon. We may need to grow more plants, husband more edible animals.

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04-08-2013, 11:36 AM
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Maybe I'm wrong, but the idea that more water + more carbon = more life seems at best faulty, if not completely ****ed up, no?

The trapped "biomass" in our planet is not leading to less life on the planet. The conditions on the surface, not the least of which are man itself, are doing that well enough.

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04-08-2013, 07:10 PM
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Old
04-08-2013, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by xX Hot Fuss View Post
Melting the ice caps would be a great idea. I've always wondered what it would be like for major cities to be underwater. We could use a lot more of this...
We've already handled a 200-300 foot rise in sea level, I'm confident we can handle a few more feet.

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04-08-2013, 09:45 PM
  #12
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Originally Posted by Leafsdude7 View Post
The trapped "biomass" in our planet is not leading to less life on the planet.
We know from fossil records and quantity of coal/oil in the ground that not only were flora and fauna bigger than they are today, there was more of it.

Seems pretty clear to me.

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04-09-2013, 02:41 AM
  #13
Sharpshooter
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Originally Posted by Dado View Post
We've already handled a 200-300 foot rise in sea level, I'm confident we can handle a few more feet.
Oh sure, New Orleans and the NY/NJ area being the prime examples of how well humans are prepared for and can deal with a 'few more feet' of water.

Where's the facepalm emoticon?

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Old
04-09-2013, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Dado View Post
We know from fossil records and quantity of coal/oil in the ground that not only were flora and fauna bigger than they are today, there was more of it.

Seems pretty clear to me.
And the conditions on earth were suitable for those flora and fauna...and weren't necessarily suitable for us as a species that evolved in a much different environment. We may not do so well, as a species in an environment that can produce fauna the size of earth movers, in a climate that may be hostile to the survival of billions of us.

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04-09-2013, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dado View Post
We know from fossil records and quantity of coal/oil in the ground that not only were flora and fauna bigger than they are today, there was more of it.

Seems pretty clear to me.
As they say, correlation ≠ causation.

There's other factors, for example oxygen levels and continental positioning, that allowed for the amount and size of flora and fauna.

That said, I'd like to see a source for the claim in the first place. I've never heard of the suggestion that there was more flora and fauna in the past, let alone that it correlates with carbon and water levels.

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04-09-2013, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharpshooter1 View Post
Oh sure, New Orleans and the NY/NJ area being the prime examples of how well humans are prepared for and can deal with a 'few more feet' of water.

Where's the facepalm emoticon?
Global warming doesn't suddenly swell the oceans by several feet overnight like Hurricane Katrina or Sandy did... it'll happen over decades, and there will be time to prepare.

Of course, that's a simplification as storms may well be intensified and increase in duration as an affect of global climate change, but still, those events are not necessarily the principle concern when discussing rising sea levels.

That isn't to say the OP is correct, more to say that long-term changes in sea levels are easier for humans to adapt to than short-term ones, and he was clearly referring to long-term changes to sea levels.

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Old
04-09-2013, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CanadianHockey View Post
Global warming doesn't suddenly swell the oceans by several feet overnight like Hurricane Katrina or Sandy did... it'll happen over decades, and there will be time to prepare.

Of course, that's a simplification as storms may well be intensified and increase in duration as an affect of global climate change, but still, those events are not necessarily the principle concern when discussing rising sea levels.

That isn't to say the OP is correct, more to say that long-term changes in sea levels are easier for humans to adapt to than short-term ones, and he was clearly referring to long-term changes to sea levels.
As storms sizes and frequency increase as a result of a sped up climate change due to the release of more GHG's into the atmoshphere, through the burning of fossil fuels, which will also correspond with an increased temperature, which will also correspond to the melting of permafrost and the release of even worse GHG's such as methane......the patterns of weather, will annually and severely affect many regions of the world.

You don't have to wait for decades or centuries for the oceans to rise....more and more powerful storm surges will do enough damage, that we're not prepared for....and that's the point.

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04-09-2013, 08:04 PM
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So far, unsequestering all that biomass (as you call it), and the resulting increases in temperature has led to increased desertification; the increased molten water from the ice caps might not be aware of optimum usage allocations (where to go to be useful).

Humankind adjusted to rising sea levels over thousands of years without realizing it; the adjustment costs might be slightly higher if the velocity of the increased sea levels is higher in shorter time frames. But there are probably opportunities where others see problems.

If you think unsequestering carbon is great, wait until the negative feedback loops unsequestering methane from the permafrost kicks in. There should be untold new investment opportunities for bright speculators as food commodity prices vary widely. Even the ancient Egyptians learned how to monetize drought cycles (when the Sahara era was a growing opportunity), capitalizing on food shortages should be a no-brainer for Wall St.

All those scientists are glass half-full personalities, they don't see the opportunities rebuilding coastal cities more inland not to mention all the real estate opportunities for resorts in Greenland and Antarctica. The fossil fuel industry might be right, all those scientists are frauds looking for more grants. Here's crossing my fingers and getting ready for the economic bonanza in the new golden age of 'biomass unsequestration'.

(just in case it wasn't obvious)

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04-09-2013, 08:20 PM
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More air pollution, huzah! Who needs to breathe

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04-09-2013, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8shooter View Post
More air pollution, huzah! Who needs to breathe
It's even funnier when you realize that the only way his theory works is if it starts from the ground up: trees, grasses and algae (plants, if you're not paying attention) using the new CO2 in the atmosphere to increase their productivity and growth, thereby increasing the amount of vegetation available at the bottom of the food chain and increasing the size ecosystems can support.

The obvious issue with that is a large portion of that group, trees, are being taken out of business at large rates at the moment, and that's unlikely to stop any time soon. In a perfect situation, that might lend some credence, but in the actual situation, it's highly unlikely.

Air pollution and the resulting cardiovascular issues it creates is likely the only result we'll see from the extra carbon produced by increased oil burning. There might be more "biomass", but that doesn't mean conditions will be favourable for that to produce more life, even if it was possible.

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04-10-2013, 06:28 PM
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More air pollution, huzah! Who needs to breathe
Nobody suggested more pollution.

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Old
04-10-2013, 06:30 PM
  #22
Dado
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Originally Posted by Sharpshooter1 View Post
As storms sizes and frequency increase as a result of a sped up climate change ...
There is no evidence of "sped up climate change". What we are seeing in terms of even projected sea level increases are dwarfed by what has already happened in the past.

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04-10-2013, 06:52 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dado View Post
There is no evidence of "sped up climate change". What we are seeing in terms of even projected sea level increases are dwarfed by what has already happened in the past.

Quote:
Climate change is speeding up

Climate change is accelerating at a much faster pace than was previously thought. While global mean temperature increased by 0.7°C over the past 100 years, Arctic temperatures often doubled this average; the central and western Canadian Arctic experienced increases of a staggering two to three degrees Celsius in just the last 50 years.

And in 2012, the Arctic region ominously broke records in the loss of summer sea ice, spring snow cover, and the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet.

-snip-

Kirsty Duncan is a Liberal member of parliament (Etobicoke North) and critic for the Environment. She has a Ph.D. in geography (University of Edinburgh, 1992) and has taught meteorology, climatology, and climate change at the University of Windsor, corporate social responsibility and medical geography at the University of Toronto and global environmental processes at Royal Roads University

http://www.ipolitics.ca/2013/01/16/c...ot-work-to-do/
You were saying?

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Old
04-10-2013, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Dado View Post
There is no evidence of "sped up climate change".
This may be true, but there is plenty of evidence supporting human assisted climate change.

Quote:
What we are seeing in terms of even projected sea level increases are dwarfed by what has already happened in the past.
This is true, but if we are the ones who are primarily responsible for these sea level changes (which, to be fair, hasn't and will not be proven), then we should worry about how this might affect the world as we know it before we think about doing something drastic. What are we going to do when the sea levels rise 1 meter and countless millions of people have to find a new place to live? Burning more coal and oil may only compound the problem, and frankly it doesn't seem worth it.

The real plan should be to curb our destructive behaviour to allow the worlds ecosystems to recover a little bit. Unfortunately, I have little faith in our ability to change now.

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