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No Hope and Change for Me
215 Posts
There is No Question that changes Need to Occur.

I've been told over and over on this board, that "Peak oil" is a myth perpetrated by the industry and governement.

Maybe NOW people will start believing in this problem, now that the ARMY is stating such scary thoughts.

I think drilling will only be a stop-gap measure. we use far too much oil for what we "might" find out there. We need to start developing alternatives.

I dont say this from a " leftist/greenie" POV, but from a concerned persone, who see's our dependance on oil as a real security issue.

The planet is 90% water, why on earth cant we develope better methods of extracting hydrogen from it, and using it as fuel. It would even make the hippies happy, as the only exhaust is pure water that you could drink.

Hell if they could find a way to do it through electrolosys using less energy, we could probably power it off solar, or wind, and the hippies would be even happier!!

There is no doubt that the U.S. is headed down a very dangerous path with our oil / overall energy consumption. The demand for energy of all types (petroleum, nuclear, wind, solar, etc.) is only going to increase as developing countries residents become consumers. While we are making great strides in some areas of energy effeciency (appliances. I have three refrigerators, (2) in my garage and (1) in the house. The newest refrigerator uses about 12% of the electricity which my oldest refrigerator which is 12 years old uses. That is a tremendous improvement). Same with T.V.'s. The T.V. in my bedroom uses the same amount of electricity as a 100 watt bulb. Our other, older T.V.'s use substantially more. The "old" type of T.V. uses as much as 9X the energy of the newest high energy effeciency T.V. Good thing that the one in our bedroom is so effecient since I fall asleep every night with it on. I need to set the timer but just never do.

Our most efficient refrigerator supposedly will use in one year the amount of electricty which our others use monthly. Just imagine the impact of that type of energy effeciency if millions of appliances are updated annually in the U.S. I got my energy usage information for the new appliances from the manufactures information and I searched the Internet for the older appliances energy consumption amounts.

Oil Usage per Citizen
One rainy weekend, I took the top 160 countries in the world and found the most recent census numbers for each nation. Then I found the daily oil usage for each of these nations. Next I found what percentage of the total oil usage of each nation are they able to produce for themselves, within their countries boundries. This was the reported "current production" of domestic oil for each nation. Some were very good at meeting their needs, such as Canada. Others, actually the vast majority relied heavily on oil imports.

In a nutshell, we (the citizens of the United States) used about 3.2 gallons per citizen, per day. This includes all passenger cars as well as trucking usage. Most mature economies, Germany, Japan, the U.S., Canada, etc. were all within 10% to 15% on oil use of the same amount as us.

The massive problem is when you look at the two largest population centers in the world, China and India, and you see that they were using about 3 quarts per person (or less) compared to our 3+ gallons per person. Imagine, as the number of citizens in those two nations become auto owners and as a larger segement of their citizenry increase their oil use, we are in a very unsustainable situation in a very short time.

The populations of India and China are substantial. Even if they reached a point where they, each citizen, were using 33% of what each American does, the required daily volume so far exceeds the current output that the necessary oil production gets boggling in a hurry. I built this massive Excel spreadhsheet for this project. I should locate it and post it here so everyone could see. It took a lot of time to obtain the accurate data to do the initial input as the range of information I found varied substantially.

Bottom line, Canada was / is our nations number one source of oil imports. I asked about 25 different people who I would consider intilligent and fairly well informed who they thought our number one source of oil imports was and only one, my wife, chose Canada. Everyone else chose Saudi Arabia, Iraq, U.A.E., etc. It was surprising how many people had no idea where we get the majority of our oil imports. I used as the authority, a U.S. Government website for Oil production, etc. I can't recall it's exact name, etc. But is seemed like a very thorough database. Actually, some of the data came from the C.I.A. world countries listings which are comprehensive.

The other night while surfing the internet in bed, my wife was reading a book (hey 25+ years of marriage, what can I say?) I asked her out of the blue this question (I knew the answer but I wanted to see what she said)

"How can an aircrafts allowable payload at takeoff be greater than the allowable payload upon landing?" She looked at me without hesitation and said "because of the fuel they burn while flying". which is 100% correct. I was just so impressed that (forgive me for a sexist comment here) she so quickly knew the answer. She is the head of business operations for our company, but I am still impressed as she didn't even hesitate with her answer.

We live very close, actually between two nuclear power plants. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks ago, we got the free tablet form from the state for Iodine tablets, since we are within 10 miles of the plant. We just have to take the form to one of the approved pharmacies and they provide the pills at no charge.

I would love to see our country develop several more nuclear power plants. The construction of the plants provides great paying jobs for several years. The operation of the plant provides excellent jobs while it is operating. The required "shut downs and refueling" that occurs every 18 months or so brings in hundreds of excellent jobs for several months at a time. There is no pollution to speak of. The only downside I have seen during the 40 years these plants have been nearby is that on 9/11, we had fighter jets patroling the coastal area 24 hours. The jets flew quite low and actually, at the time of the Twin towers attack in NYC, when these jets were scrambled, they actually came across the water at supersonic speed as we had the big boom to deal with, which was very unnerving while watching the Twin Towers fall.

Over the years, the level of Security has dramatically changed. For example, up until 9/11/2001, there were daily deliveries to the plants and while secured, there was a lot of traffic in and out of the facility. Since that day, now all deliveries and outside workers actually report to a seperate facility about 3 miles away and then, the secured transport by very restricted groups take place.

When I was a kid, when the plant first opened, you could get tours into areas which were very secured, especially if you knew someone and they arranged for you to get a look at behind the scenes. One tour I was on took us into the control room for the reactors. No more. Not even close.

Our nation must find significant sources of new electrical energy. We need high paying, long term required, high skill jobs in our country. Nuclear power is a great method to meet energy needs and provide for excellent jobs. Two things which our country really needs.
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