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  1. #21
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Its not just about energy.
    Maybe not, but Fischer–Tropsch synthetics can cover all those needs too.

    After all, what would we do without golf balls? :rolli:

  2. #22
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tantive View Post
    As the topic says, what would you do? Consider this from the perspective it's Spring, and you just woke up in your bed.
    I'd like to be the first to mention Mad Max



    Thus, while society may come to an end, at least we would get to wear lots of leather, and no-one would complain if you let your dog crap everywhere. This last is very important, as there will be no more plastic bags.

  3. #23
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I think I'd die. We can probably make all the stuff like Oberon says, but people like me won't be able to afford it.

    Fertilizers are one of the most worrying things to me. The US grows a lot of corn which is pretty hard on the soil. Around here they rotate corn with soybeans to help replace nitrogen, but I imagine they still used a lot of petroleum based fertilizers.

    Even with two years warning we'd pretty much be screwed.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #24
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    I would invest in ethanol.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Maybe not, but Fischer–Tropsch synthetics can cover all those needs too.

    After all, what would we do without golf balls? :rolli:
    I LOVE Golf.

    I'd be bummed...

    EDIT: also, that was 144 out of 6000 products.

  6. #26
    Pumpernickel
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post

    I posted in some detail about coal and biomass gasification. That appears to me to be the obvious next step.
    I hope by "biomass" you are not suggesting that we can meet our fuel needs by using corn, sugarcane, or any crop as a replacement for oil, because there is no realistic way that we could make that a widespread solution. Yes its possible, but to cover even 10% of the world's energy needs, we would need to use over a quarter of the world's crops. There isn't even physically enough space for us to grow enough crops to make the use of biomass a feasible alternative.

    Also, coal is expected to last for another 250 years if we consider current usage, but if we suddenly started mining enough to be able to replace oil with it then that number would drop down to not much more than the number of years we've got sufficient oil for. Coal is hardly a solution.. it isn't exactly a renewable resource...

  7. #27
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustHer View Post
    I hope by "biomass" you are not suggesting that we can meet our fuel needs by using corn, sugarcane, or any crop as a replacement for oil, because there is no realistic way that we could make that a widespread solution. Yes its possible, but to cover even 10% of the world's energy needs, we would need to use over a quarter of the world's crops. There isn't even physically enough space for us to grow enough crops to make the use of biomass a feasible alternative.
    Let's be clear here, I'm not talking about taking care of the "world's energy needs." I'm talking about covering the world's motor fuel needs , and also our need for hydrocarbons for synthesis of plastics, both in the relatively short term. We have enough coal to buy us enough time to transition our transport fleet and refueling infrastructure to the next technology, whatever that is.

    And I've already clarified what I meant by "biomass." With proper adjustments Fischer-Tropsch can make fuel out of any organic feed stock, including paper and plastic refuse, animal offal, agricultural waste, sawdust, or even raw sewage. So the potential feedstock supply is considerably bigger than what could be grown on available agricultural land, and the process neatly provides a useful way to dispose of much of our waste. In fact, it might actually make it worth mining landfills for their potential energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustHer View Post
    Also, coal is expected to last for another 250 years if we consider current usage, but if we suddenly started mining enough to be able to replace oil with it then that number would drop down to not much more than the number of years we've got sufficient oil for. Coal is hardly a solution.. it isn't exactly a renewable resource...
    See above. Yes, you're right, coal isn't renewable... but you can't put electricity in your gas tank, either. That's the beauty of synthetic fuels... they work within the existing infrastructure. Cars burn them without modification. Coal will buy us enough time to transition to fuel cells or whatever the next technology is. My money is on nuclear, again because we already have the technology, and we have the plans in motion already. The trick is to build decent electric vehicles.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    The US grows a lot of corn which is pretty hard on the soil. Around here they rotate corn with soybeans to help replace nitrogen, but I imagine they still used a lot of petroleum based fertilizers.
    That entire industry could really use an overhaul anyway. It is a massive waste of energy and resources.

  9. #29
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    That entire industry could really use an overhaul anyway. It is a massive waste of energy and resources.
    It really could. I don't understand how all the subsidies and things work, but I am under the impression they are archaic and counter-productive. Unfortunately, already vulnerable people often suffer during these kinds of transitions.

    If I am not mistaken, the push to increase the use of ethanol caused food issues in Mexico and I'm pretty sure it is, in part, responsible for the increase in food prices in the US over the last few years.

    Suddenly the over-abundant (due to subsidies) corn that we feed to livestock and put in most of our foods wasn't so abundant anymore because we're burning it. And we're using a lot of petroleum in order to grow the corn that we burn in order to keep from using petroleum.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #30
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    And the irony is, that oil is used to produce the cornfields. (Harvesting machines, cropdusting etc)

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