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Children imagine a flying future
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:09 am    Post subject: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

From the Guardian:
Quote:
Today's 10-year-olds imagine a future transformed by technology in which their lessons will be taught by robots and they will learn about celebrities and alien languages. According to a survey published today, only one in a hundred thinks they will be walking to get from A to B; the rest believe they will use jet packs, and hoverboards, as routine transport.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,1578354,00.html

They're in for a bit of a shock, aren't they? Better get Peak Oil onto the school curriculum....
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PowerSwitchJames



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, you obviously haven't heard about how we'll power our cars just by filling them with water. Laughing

No.4 on the list of the 5 Es that Peak Oil will change

(1) Energy
(2) Employment
(3) Economy
(4) Expectations
(5) Everything
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clv101
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:
From the Guardian:
Quote:
Today's 10-year-olds imagine a future transformed by technology in which their lessons will be taught by robots and they will learn about celebrities and alien languages. According to a survey published today, only one in a hundred thinks they will be walking to get from A to B; the rest believe they will use jet packs, and hoverboards, as routine transport.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,1578354,00.html

They're in for a bit of a shock, aren't they? Better get Peak Oil onto the school curriculum....

Has anything changed? Didn't children of the 1950's think exactly the same things?
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fishertrop



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I less worried that the kids think like that, more concerned that most adults think like that too.
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skeptik



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:
Quote:
... only one in a hundred thinks they will be walking to get from A to B; the rest believe they will use jet packs, and hoverboards, as routine transport.

http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,1578354,00.html

They're in for a bit of a shock, aren't they? Better get Peak Oil onto the school curriculum....


Amazing how litttle things have changed. I used to think the same when I was a kid. Jet packs and personal helicopters and all that jazz. But now, the future isn't what it used to be. Just that there's not many people know that... so far.


Sean Connery aka James Bond when he was young enough to have his own hair, in case anybody doesnt recognise. Its not a very good likeness.
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:

Has anything changed? Didn't children of the 1950's think exactly the same things?

Yes, I'm sure they did. I remember when I was a kid thinking I might get to visit the moon one day. I suppose in the past we could be excused to some extent, as we were still on the up-slope of energy and technology, so there was a chance (albeit a very small one) that our dreams might have come true.

fishertrop wrote:
I less worried that the kids think like that, more concerned that most adults think like that too.

I think many adults do think these things too. The point is that we learned how to at school, and have kept doing it ever since. I think this why discovering Peak Oil can be such a shock to people, as it can rip up their dreams by the roots - roots that are buried in their childhood.
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skeptik



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:
I suppose in the past we could be excused to some extent, as we were still on the up-slope of energy and technology,


The upslope of technology will I think continue beyond Peak Oil. For instance Moores law (the doubling of computer processor power every year and a half) will not suddenly stop just because the world becomes incapable of extracting the black stuff any faster. I imagine though, computer makers will over the next few years gradually switch emphasis to producing machines that use less electricity rather than running faster...

It could be argued that certain areas of technological advance will accellerate. Those areas in particular which enable us to do the same with less... or more with the same.

The developed economies of the world have become less energy intensive over the years. We produce an ammount of 'stuff' using less energy than we did in the 70's.

Once the investment community decides (as I think will inevitably at some point happen) that you get best return from investing in energy efficiency, not prospecting for increasingly scarce traditonal forms of energy, that trend willl just accellerate. High tech, high efficiency, low energy systems will increasingly be the name of the game. Thats where the "up slope of technology" will be post peak oil.

In ten years time I imagine the equivalent of the laptop I am currently using will be a thousand times faster, be totally silent (no fan required) and use ten times less electricity. It might also be largely self powering as the the entire case and keyboard (except the base) will be composed of high efficiency solar cell. Biofilm (something which mimics the electron capture of photosynthesis) or nanotech, maybe.

I dont subscribe to the 'sudden collape' scenario that some peak oil proponents envisage. I cant see myself eating the neighbors or granny by next Tuesday. We went through a preview of Peak Oil at the start of the 80's (second oil shock with 3 years (?) of year on year oil production decline -see ASPO graph or logo) and civilisation did not suddenly fall apart. 'The Long Emergency' does rather sum up my own vague feelings on the matter. A decade or two of trouble and strife. No idea how it will pan out though. I know what we need to be doing now, but predicting the future shape of society is a mugs game. Everybody always gets it wrong.
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

skeptik wrote:

The upslope of technology will I think continue beyond Peak Oil. For instance Moores law (the doubling of computer processor power every year and a half) will not suddenly stop just because the world becomes incapable of extracting the black stuff any faster.

Yes, I agree that technological development won't stop in some areas, but if you average over all industries I think it will slow down, mainly due to lack of money. A lot of high-tech R&D is "froth" on the top of society - I should know - I used to work for such a company until last Friday! Wink Once the "fizz" starts to go from the economy, the "froth" will disappear.

A little aside on Moore's law (from experience in my recently previous job) - it is actually running into trouble, due to getting close to transistor dimensions where quantum effects become problematic, but more importantly due to heat issues. The interesting thing is that if you tried making 486 chips using current technology you could probably sell them for a few pence, as they'd be so small. They'd also be very low power. But programmers have got lazy, and software isn't written for efficiency any more. When you know you've got a 3GHz superscalar processor to run your code, you can't be bothered optimising it! Smile So you end up with the industry persuading us to buy ever faster processors and ever more inefficient software, and making plenty of money doing it Exclamation

Like Skeptik, I hope (can't quite bring myself to say believe) there will be a long emergency rather than a collapse. But I can't see technology carrying on the way it has once the bottom's fallen out of the economy, outside of the region of energy generation and conservation. Hence my career change to renewable energy Wink
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snow hope



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 11:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

skeptik wrote:

I imagine though, computer makers will over the next few years gradually switch emphasis to producing machines that use less electricity rather than running faster....


This is what is happening with the serious laptop manufacturers currently.

skeptik wrote:

I dont subscribe to the 'sudden collape' scenario that some peak oil proponents envisage. We went through a preview of Peak Oil at the start of the 80's (second oil shock with 3 years (?) of year on year oil production decline -see ASPO graph or logo) and civilisation did not suddenly fall apart.


The difference my friend is then we were not at PO, but now we are. Sad
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snow hope



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, what is your new job? I am interested in a career change to renewables....
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

snow hope wrote:

skeptik wrote:

I dont subscribe to the 'sudden collape' scenario that some peak oil proponents envisage. We went through a preview of Peak Oil at the start of the 80's (second oil shock with 3 years (?) of year on year oil production decline -see ASPO graph or logo) and civilisation did not suddenly fall apart.


The difference my friend is then we were not at PO, but now we are. Sad



So what's the practical difference, in terms of what we were originally talking about? i.e. societal collapse as soon as we produce a teaspoon less crude than we did last year - which is the impression given by some of the more doom laden peak oil proponents? I cant see any.

At the beginning of the 80's there was a massive price spike due to scarcity - Iran had been the worlds second largest exporter of oil in the 70's Then came the Islamic revolution in '78. Country in turmoil. Oil industry grinds to a halt. Exports cease. Then came the Iran /Iraq war in '80... Iraq's pre war output of 3.5mbd in '79 drops to 1mbd. Global recession and consumption drops year on year for 3 or 4(?) years

Peak Oil is where geology constrains production. Exactly how much the current run up from $10 in '99 to $65 today is due to geological constraints and how much to exploration / infrastructural underinvestment due to earlier low price, followed by unexpected surging demand, I've no idea.

Its all very fuzzy, and a bit of a bummer. Almost everybody involved has every motivation to lie about the situation. If I ever talk about peak oil to anybody, which is not often, it's usually in terms of 'sometime between now and 2015, probably'

Personally I think some of the more well know Peak Oil theorists are being very silly by nailing their colours to the wall in terms of precise dates. In the past people like Colin Cambell and Kenneth Deffeyes could get away with making precise but crap predictions because hardly anybody was paying attention. Now more people are paying attention. If they are wrong the stick they have created for themselves will be mightilly applied. I have a feeling that Ken D in particular might regret his Thanksgiving Day 2005 prediction which he's made such a point of. All it will take is 2006 production to go a million or so barrels per day over 2005 production and every traditional economist in the world will be pointing and calling him an idiot. I know he's to an extent using hyperbole for effect, but a lot of people wont see it that way...
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

snow hope wrote:
Mike, what is your new job? I am interested in a career change to renewables....

I'm just starting a 1 year MSc in Renewable Energy at Reading. Haven't got a specific job lined up yet, but I've got a year to get that sorted...
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fishertrop



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Children imagine a flying future Reply with quote

skeptik wrote:
So what's the practical difference, in terms of what we were originally talking about?


How about - because then everyone (public and investors) "knew" that it was just a temporary thing and that something could be done about it (even invading the countries that caused the shortage) and this time everyone will realise that it isn't temporary it's permanent?

No?

I have to say that I find this aspect of PO the most difficult to detail, for this very reason a while back I started this thread:

http://www.powerswitch.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=376

...where I asked people to post some real reasons why they thought a big crash or a gentle decline were more likely.

Even tho a huge majority voted for "slow crash" very very few people posted WHY they thought that Exclamation

As I said in that thread, I favour neither one nor the other - I can see some arguments for both - but I'm really interested in what facts have lead people their view of the post-peak world.

Reasons to by gloomy abound, and I particularly like those that basically say "the rest of the economic and financial world is a house of cards anyway, one of a number of things could bring it down, peak oil might be the one" as I can see a lot of justification for that; but what I want to see are more reasons to be cheerfull!

So cmon you everything-will-be-ok gang (joke), post either here or on the old thread, some solid reasons why you are optimistic - don't keep it as the great PO-secret !

(since this seems to be drifting off topic, it might be best if this digression moved back onto the old thread which is more focused, but don't use that as an excuse not post Exclamation Exclamation Exclamation )
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: ! Reply with quote

Quote:
this time everyone will realise that it isn't temporary it's permanent?

No?

I


Well I suppose they will eventually, after ten years or so... but at first it will be

" we just need to invest more in exploration / hi tech wells / pipelines / refineries ... theres plenty of oil out there... You're telling me they've drilled everywhere in the world? Its the govermint / oil companies / OPECS fault they're gougin us... they're holding the oil back to pump up the price... I mean its so OBVIOUS to anybody who wasnt born yesterday... hey I'm no chump.... We need to investigate this...Im calling my representative... Peak Oil ? Get outa here.. "
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grinu



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back to the first post...My dad said when he was at school, the teachers used to say that everyone would have their own private aeroplane in 20yrs time (i.e. a few years ago). I think most people have unreal expectations when they're young, it's all part of growing up isn't it.

I'm not sure why so many people think that if renewable energy technologies are sufficiently developed we can all march onward with ultra hi-tech gizmos and continue to have the same standard of life. Oil is just one of many resources that will peak. If there aren't the resources, there aren't the products. And that doesn't even begin to touch on the inequalities - we only enjoy this standard of living in the first place because we're using up the resources of other countries, which they either can't afford or can't benefit from due to the huge amounts of constrictive red-tape.

Don't necessarily agree with the fast crash scenario, maybe won't tumble over a cliff, but it's still likely to be a very rocky rather than smooth transition. We will probably see rights curtailed (do rights only exist in the richer countries anyway?), significant unrest, drops in standard of living, violence etc. etc. I can't imagine it any other way, wearing my realistic hat.

People die now because they can't afford to heat their homes. What happens when energy gets so expensive that it's not only pensioners dieing, but families on income support or low income. What happens when economic growth is so slow there isn't any money for income support, state pensions etc.? People aren't just going to be able to move to the countryside, buy a house with a garden, a water butt, some solar panels and a store of 6months food and expect to live happily ever after. What happens when half the country can't afford enough food, heating, and clothing?
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