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  1. #1
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    Default do you think if a far better more efficent alternative to oil was found,

    that moving in that direction for energy would be met with strong opposition, like violence, death threats from people like the koch brothers?
    "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine. "
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  2. #2
    Junior Member WheresMyBunnies's Avatar
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    No they'd buy the scientists to be their puppets

  3. #3
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    No need for violence. They can bribe and extort everyone to bury it.

    It also depends on what you mean by efficient. We could do a lot with solar power if we re-appropriated all the oil subsidies into it.
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  4. #4
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    Not necessarily. If you can persuade TPTB that the alternative carries the potential for profit and that if the said sector was still in its infancy and were able to see that they could possibly corner the market then they would step aside. Let's hope though that they aren't sensors who would fail to grasp the need to get off oil.

    The problem here is that there are no efficient alternatives to oil. Oil is insane, its probably the closest thing to a God humanity has. Fusion, fission, wind power, biomass, solar and tidal energy cannot even come close to it. Sure, you may have greater power output from fusion and fission but you cannot turn that energy into plastic, asphalt, fertiliser, gasoline and clothing. The only reason more than two billion people live on this planet is because of oil, without it there is no industrial civilisation. There's nothing else which can be compared to it.

  5. #5
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Yes, but everyone has an incentive to deviate unless the oil companies say something like "we will use the nuclear bomb". So the opposition will necessarily not be long lasting.
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  6. #6

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    Well I remember reading that the original diesel engines were designed to run on peanut oil and one of the creators was murdered and dumped in a river because the imperial powers believed it was a deliberate attempt to rebalance the global power in favour of under developed and oil resource poor nations.

    There's a lot of the fringe energy and ecological circles have conspiracy theories about suppressed technologies and among them are energy sources, I'm not talking silly theories either such as those which featured in TV shows like the Lone Gunmen spin off from the X-Files either. Innovations with economising or cleaner outcomes but high initital costs have simply be suppressed by putting developers or regulators on the pay roll, co-opting the "threat" has been around for a long time.

    In the same order of theories are speculation as to why the UK would buy so much of its energy resources from other nations when it has ample coal reserves, its not to difficult to know that depleting the potential energy resources of rival nations could make good long term strategic sense or that global restructuring of souther hemisphere nations as ethanol or oil seed producers for export as fuel crops has a similar effect, ie those nations are internally threatened by the impact of mono-cultural farming and potential destabilisation from food insecurity (these things are already happening through deforestation, desertification, cash cropping and global meat production).

    The reality is that there's not many governments or energy suppliers that'd worry about pricing the majority of people out of the market for power if they can maintain a market share from the remaining subscribers while the resources disappear for good, we didnt reach peak oil as expected but there was no contingency worked out for if the OPEC nations hadnt been lying.

    The EU is dependent upon fuel from Russia who has already demonstrated a willingness to cut the supply for political reasons, even if its only to periodically boost the domestic popularity of whoever is el presidenty and I dont believe its unique to Putin and his style of government. I've read some persuasive alternative history stories which follow the storyline of near future Russian authoritarians invading the UK and setting up a puppet government to capture oil supplies, I wouldnt say that it couldnt happen you know.

    There's also been some seperate speculation about energy policies such as building nuclear power plants or massive oil and gas storage tanks on the sea bed and even fracking has all been related to engineering contingencies which in the event of aggression could be destroyed in a "scorched earth" manner, the huge clean up costs which would remain to any aggressor wanting to occupy would its hoped be a disincentive to begin with.

  7. #7
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    The designers in charge of the oiling game don't want to let us spring too far outside the box they slammed us into, kind of like how you can't make Pokemon come out by cutting the game boy link cable while performing trades.

  8. #8
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasoline View Post
    that moving in that direction for energy would be met with strong opposition, like violence, death threats from people like the koch brothers?
    Many companies, once established, do not tolerate change very well. You can see them in almost every industry you can imagine. The mere mention of an alternative is a threat to the oil industry as a whole. That industry will use everything it can to kick the alternative to the curve so that no other entity can threaten its existence.

    Think of Google rolling out fiber in Kansas City. Cable and telephone companies went left and right trying to make it hard for Google to operate their fiber there. The precedent that Google was able to bring Fiber says a lot for that particular industry. Likewise, oil companies would do everything in their power to make it difficult. (I.E. Trying to find a place to jack your car to an electric grid for power would be little to non existent, not build alternative stations of alternative fuel outlets, lobbying to get legislation into their favor while also lobbying to prevent positive enforcement of others.)
    Last edited by Rail Tracer; 01-22-2013 at 05:08 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    Not necessarily. If you can persuade TPTB that the alternative carries the potential for profit and that if the said sector was still in its infancy and were able to see that they could possibly corner the market then they would step aside.
    Yeah, but only if it's their profit. The profit incentive only lasts as long as the race to get there first lasts. If some genius invents an efficient alternative fuel, they'll find a way to shut him down. Just ask Preston Tucker.
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  10. #10
    redundant descriptor netzealot's Avatar
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    I don't believe the big oil conspiracy control myth for a second. Any inventor smart enough to come up with something like that would know it's worth more than what they'd be offering them and would take extra precautions to protect themselves and their discovery if they had something that actually was so revolutionary... and we have never seen the the product of such a thing. That's because it has never happened. This isn't communist Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    Yeah, but only if it's their profit. The profit incentive only lasts as long as the race to get there first lasts. If some genius invents an efficient alternative fuel, they'll find a way to shut him down. Just ask Preston Tucker.
    From Wikipedia:

    "He is most remembered for his 1948 Tucker Sedan (known as the "Tucker '48" and initially nicknamed the "Tucker Torpedo"), an automobile which introduced many features that have since become widely used in modern cars."

    This was a guy who knew the game and could get his ideas into production despite competition. But you're saying he's an example of someone who wasn't able to get a design of revolutionary efficiency out on the market?

    I mean, sure... conspiracy says it was snuffed out... but the reality seems far, far more likely that it just wasn't ever there. It's very common for inventors to exaggerated the capabilities of their inventions and believe they will make a far greater impact than they actually do.

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