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Old 2009-08-04, 23:02   #12
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooooMoo View Post
What happened is that the Firefox browser Find function apparently couldn't read inside the PNG when I used it first. But Adobe Reader PDF Find did.
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Old 2009-08-04, 23:06   #13
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Does anyone see substantial flaws in the informed-ness of the other three example articles?
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Old 2009-08-04, 23:17   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooooMoo View Post
"our sustainable living standard...would be approximately 3.2% of its current level
Do you have a refutation of the 3.2% figure in the author's Societal Overextension Analysis (SOA)? Or do you accept it?

Quote:
- essentially that of Cambodia or North Korea today" (if population is kept constant and doesn't increase)

< snip >

Also, that statement about Americans having to get back to Cambodian or North Korean living standards is ridiculous.
Are you disagreeing that the SOA 3.2% is "essentially" the same as that of Cambodia or North Korea?

Or is your assessment of "ridiculous" based on something else, such as "living standards" measured by some method other than SOA?

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2009-08-04 at 23:18
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Old 2009-08-04, 23:24   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spherical Cow View Post
"Absent immediate fundamental changes to both our distorted worldview and our dysfunctional resource utilization behavior, American society will collapse—not in 1000 years, or 500 years, or even 50 years; but almost certainly within 25 years. America, as we know it, will cease to exist well before the year 2050."

Collapse within 25 years? I am completely unconvinced.
So am I. The author makes too strong a statement of his conclusions.

Do you find that any of the data numbers the author uses are invalid? (It is, of course, possible to draw invalid conclusions from valid data.)
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Old 2009-08-04, 23:28   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spherical Cow View Post
I"Absent immediate fundamental changes to both our distorted worldview and our dysfunctional resource utilization behavior, American society will collapse—not in 1000 years, or 500 years, or even 50 years; but almost certainly within 25 years. America, as we know it, will cease to exist well before the year 2050."

Collapse within 25 years? I am completely unconvinced.
I like the way it's phrased so as to be unfalsifiable.
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Old 2009-08-04, 23:33   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spherical Cow View Post
"Absent immediate fundamental changes to both our distorted worldview and our dysfunctional resource utilization behavior, American society will collapse—not in 1000 years, or 500 years, or even 50 years; but almost certainly within 25 years. America, as we know it, will cease to exist well before the year 2050."

Collapse within 25 years? I am completely unconvinced.
If there is some kind of "societal collapse" in that time frame it won't come from our addiction to oil, but rather from our addiction to cheap "unlimited" credit to fuel an unsustainable living standard centered about profligate consumption and an ever-decreasing commitment and ability to produce things of genuine value. The fact that it was only World War 2 which finally pulled America out of the (first) Great Depression was an accident of history. If you don't think it can happen to a modern integrated society with strong international economic ties, look at Iceland - and less dramatically but on a scale similar to the U.S. economy and still in the span of a generation, Japan.

I've been reading Jared Diamond's Collapse (written before the financial crisis), and was struck by the following quote, as well as a later passage in which Diamond describes Icelanders (at least up to the 20th century) as extremely conservative, because the environment in which they lived was harsh and unforgiving and resulted in them having bad experiences resulting form "social experimentation":
Quote:
Greenland provides us with our closest approximation to a controlled experiment in collapses: two societies (Norse and Inuit) sharing the same island, but with very different cultures, such that one of those societies survived while the other was dying. Thus, Greenland history conveys the message that, even in a harsh environment, collapse isn’t inevitable but depends on a society’s choices. Comparisons are also possible between Norse Greenland and five other North Atlantic societies founded by Norse colonists, to help us understand why the Orkney Norse thrived while their Greenland cousins were succumbing. One of those five other Norse societies, Iceland, ranks as an outstanding success story of triumph over a fragile environment to achieve a high level of modern prosperity.
Maybe they'll go back to being conservative (and relying on fishing rather than banking to support themselves) after their most-recent great experiment. Or they might an expedited pass to EU membership followed by a big financial bailout ... but I doubt they'll be running up the collective credit card again soon.
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Old 2009-08-05, 03:19   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
"over-exaggeration"? Shall we infer that there was a level of exaggeration you'd have found acceptable?

...(referring to using solar power for energy)
Sounds good to me. Where does the author deny that ... or does he? If not, what is the point of these statements?

... but none of that qualifies as a change in way of life, in your opinion?
A bit of exaggeration is fine. For example, telling a young smoker that he will get lung cancer and will likely die before age 45 if he doesn't quit smoking is OK even though not all smokers get lung cancer, and most of them do live past age 45. But telling him that he'll die by the end of the year if he doesn't quit is clearly over-exaggeration.

I posted those statements about solar energy being enough to meet the world's energy requirements since the author says that our way of life will inevitably end. As I said earlier, we will have to make some big changes, but this doesn't mean we'll have to get back to North Korean living standards.

Quote:
(response to: Can the author perfectly predict the future and say that no new technologies will save us?)
....
I don't see any claim to do so, so this is a straw-man -- an exaggeration of your own.
No, I'm not exaggerating. The author says that ingenuity and technological innovations won't save us, so he is making a claim that he can accurately predict the future and see that no new inventions will come to our rescue.

Quote:
Do you have a refutation of the 3.2% figure in the author's Societal Overextension Analysis (SOA)? Or do you accept it?
I disagree with it; I've already explained that solar energy is enough to power the world, so we don't need to reduce our energy consumption by 97%.
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Old 2009-08-05, 03:40   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
I read into each of the four to get an idea of how the arguments were being supported (i.e., how informed they were).
...
You seem to be saying that they're not well-informed because you don't like the unpleasant predictions and conclusions.
I don't mind hearing about unpleasant predictions and conclusions. First of all, I don't have a really rosy view about the future (see my "Is Science and Technology Coming to a Standstill?" thread and some of my earlier posts criticizing Kurzweil and his unlimited exponential growth ideas). Second, there are many threats that could cause an end to civilization (nuclear war, global pandemic, massive crop failure, asteroid strike, etc), and I know that not all of them are unlikely to happen within the next few decades.

But neither peak oil nor energy shortages will cause civilization to crash. Even using conservative assumptions about fossil fuel supply, coal liquefaction will be enough to replace the energy lost from oil depletion for at least 2-3 decades. This will give us enough time to switch over to electric sources of transportation and to build enough solar panels, wind farms, and nukes to supply the electricity.
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Old 2009-08-05, 13:19   #20
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Very well. I'll grant that the "fourth one", at http://www.theoildrum.com/node/5381, has unreasonable conclusions and is out-of-place at The Oil Drum.
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Old 2009-09-17, 09:10   #21
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Here's my most specific prediction yet. (also posted at http://mersenneforum.org/showpost.php?p=190038&postcount=778)

The year with peak global oil production will eventually prove to have been either 2013, 2014, 2015 or 2016.

Of course, it may take several more years to have widespread agreement that that peak will not be surpassed sometime after 2016.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2009-09-17 at 09:11
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Old 2009-09-17, 09:43   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MooooMoo View Post
But neither peak oil nor energy shortages will cause civilization to crash. Even using conservative assumptions about fossil fuel supply, coal liquefaction will be enough to replace the energy lost from oil depletion for at least 2-3 decades. This will give us enough time to switch over to electric sources of transportation and to build enough solar panels, wind farms, and nukes to supply the electricity.
Please don't propose burning all the coal in China; I live 1600 miles from the Greenland icecap and fifteen feet above sea level, and I'd rather not be distracted from decarbonising the electricity system by also having to build dykes along most of the length of the coastline.
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