Comment: That's quite a negative outlook you got there

(See in situ)


That's quite a negative outlook you got there

For someone that appears to understand all the important concepts involved, you don't give much credit to new innovation. Here's a few pieces of info you seem to have missed.

Energy: Large scale wind has a 20:1 EROEI and oil is down to 8:1. PV solar has multiple technologies that each range from 6:1 up to 30:1. (Some of the higher ones unfortunately rely on scarce raw materials though) Ethanol is a total loser at 1.5:1. CSP solar ranges from 20:1 up to 200+:1. Biodiesel from the latest (non-commercialized so far) sources is topping 30:1 with much higher gains very likely.

However, since these are 'up-front' technologies where you spend all your money and energy before you get any return, they're fighting an uphill battle in the financing. This is a major reason you aren't seeing ANY of the new technology going commercial just yet. It simply doesn't work with today's finance structure of compounding the interest forever. The other problem is that institutional investment of all types is locked into the opinions of the entrenched energy experts. If BP says CSP isn't a good deal, CSP is going nowhere fast, period, end of story. They have complete control over the investment direction. Because of this manipulation that's taken place for 2+ decades and the stalled economy of the last 5 years, your exponential growth curve has a cumulative error. In short, we've passed oil production's peak in '05 and are farther over the cliff than most people estimate.

This means that your 'business as usual' timeline is probably too optimistic. EROEI kills any fuel source off at a level below 2:1, not 1:1 as most people think. To understand that, consider the economics side. Watch Chris Martensen's presentation posted below or take his online classes to see how we've extended conventional oil's production peak and placed too much emphasis on 'tight oil' that's unproven and even unfound and has an EROEI of less than 3.

Food: We certainly don't need to go back to the 17th century techniques for growing food. We know too much about the food chain interdependency to do that. Take a peek sometime at those youtubes where guys are growing 300,000 lbs of produce and 50,000 lbs of fish on a single acre in a near-zero energy process. Then go look at the 7 layer high permaculture systems where the yield is also over 30,000 lbs of many many different crops per acre with a system that only requires harvest, not maintenance.

Economy: The fiat and fractional reserve banking systems are the ONLY reason our economy needs to grow perpetually or at all. Without those, it is very prosperous to have flat or even declining economies. The reason is that people get to keep their savings and that eliminates much of the future income they would have otherwise required. This snowballs the savings as less commuting and other work related expenses ($ and energy) are needed because the economy isn't so huge. So all we have to do is weed out the non-productive aspects of society and things will become self correcting. Fortunately, with a good plan on the above and more, they will also be the first to die off from the crash.

So yes, things will get tight and so much will change but that doesn't have to mean stone age living and mad max policies.

PS: See if you can find the step in all of the above where we can jump in to break the catch-22.