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Thread: Drill More Oil

  1. #31
    Senior Member Jive A Turkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    Production of corn/soy-based ethanol is a terrible idea. It is highly inefficient, most likely to the point of requiring more energy to produce/transport than it produces. Some of the other Bio-fuel solutions are far better. Switchgrass based ethanol is a better idea, and Algae-based gasoline (chemically identical, does not require any vehicle modifications), is the best so far, and the only one that is likely to be both feasible and clean.
    My original point was that the headway that has been made on first generation biofuels (ie corn and sugar fermentation) has paved the way for the introduction of second generation biofuels (cellulosic and algae-based). Now it's time that we foster the production and optimization of the current alternatives so we can attract the talent needed to carry us to the third, fourth, and so on generations. We can criticize the efficiency but to label first generation process ideas as terrible discounts the importance of their role in the improvement of energy production.
    Last edited by Zergling; 06-21-2008 at 08:16 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag

  2. #32
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I've been looking at this thread in a more general sense. Sure, the ANWR, alone, isn't another Saudi Arabia. By restricting oil drilling, I believe we're limiting our options.
    Ehhh. When you consider directing resources to get things done, you might say that we are already somewhat limited in options. Once your choices are limited from the get-go, you have to be extra prudent with what decisions you do make. I feel like this remaining oil grab is too thin and too gimmicky to be worth our while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I was talking about the people in this thread. I don't want subsidies for oil drilling any more than I want subsidies for anything else.
    Good luck with that. I'm not sure what the odds are that society could be stripped of subsidies, nor do I understand how that would be such a great thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    But you want to define what 'should be' for everyone else.
    I would assert that this is also mandatory for society to keep going. I'm hardly the only one. There are plenty of others who say what other people should do. Many of them I disagree with, but I welcome their voices anyway.
    I think people in a society should feel obligated to the society and the other people in it. Society is a kind of link structure, and lack of obligation leaves the links to rot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Are they really silly? They're certainly more applicable than your 'running with scissors' analogy. You advocate government intervention in speeding up the depletion of oil reserves in order to force people to develop alternate energy sources. That's very similar to deliberately spreading disease to force people to develop a vaccine.

    I think this is a misunderstanding. I'm not trying to force pressure by withholding aid and baiting distaster like Joseph Stalin. I don't want to speed up oil depletion, I just want to divert the focus that we have long put on oil onto something new. Oil is a lost cause now, so I'm looking for something better. I don't put down drilling in ANWR or off the coast with the aim of rousing society. I'm saying that such ideas should be left behind because they are no longer useful investments of our time and money. If every little bit of our effort counts, so there's no sense in wasting so much of it on a dead end. Especially when focusing on that dead end reduces our chances of finding the real way out. Time is of the essence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    You're basing this all on the assumption that your measures will bring about alternate energy sources faster than would be done without government intervention. I don't believe that is necessarily the case. You may only succeed in hastening the crises you seek to avoid.
    I find this to be an unlikely prospect. My aim is to avert the energy and evironmental crises. I don't think my policies are like to inflame either one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    And nothing has threatened civilization in the past?
    Not to this degree. At least no anything humans know of. It's always possible that in ancient times a meteor got this close to smacking us, or something like that. But for the length of time that civilization has existed, I don't believe there is any historical recording of threats as big as these. Especially the environmental threat. The damage of the plague was vast, but it mostly hurt Europe. On the world-wide scale, not even a quarter of the human race died. If you analyze how diseases work, it's extremely unlikely that any disease could wipe out the human race.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    That analogy is horrible.
    How is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I believe that your programs harm the poor more than they help. That is my problem with your views. In my opinion, people of your ideology use the idea of 'helping the poor' as an excuse to force your will on others.
    I can hardly see how redistributing wealth to even out the field is harmful to the poor. I can definitely see how letting them get trounced and put down by opportunists is.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jive A Turkey View Post
    My original point was that the headway that has been made on first generation biofuels (ie corn and sugar fermentation) has paved the way for the introduction of second generation biofuels (cellulosic and algae-based). Now it's time that we foster the production and optimization of the current alternatives so we can attract the talent needed to carry us to the third, fourth, and so on generations. We can criticize the efficiency but to label first generation process ideas as terrible discounts the importance of their role in the improvement of energy production.
    I agree...however, they've served their purpose (development), we should be moving on (and moving incentives/subsidies to) those fuels, not trying to please the farmers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Ehhh. When you consider directing resources to get things done, you might say that we are already somewhat limited in options. Once your choices are limited from the get-go, you have to be extra prudent with what decisions you do make. I feel like this remaining oil grab is too thin and too gimmicky to be worth our while.
    Unless we begin dramatically scaling up efficient biofuels, I think it is probably in our best interest to undertake highly restricted/regulated drilling in Alaska and some offshore areas. I would prefer it to the even worse solutions I see currently in use, such as the Alberta Oil Sands. I can't see us building up a sufficient infrastructure in the next 10 years of biofuel, to say that drilling isn't worthwhile.

    If every little bit of our effort counts, so there's no sense in wasting so much of it on a dead end. Especially when focusing on that dead end reduces our chances of finding the real way out. Time is of the essence.
    That is true, however...with it being unlikely to me that we will be able to get production of alternatives online in a sufficient scale by the time we may be hitting that dead end, prolonging it a bit is a good idea.
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  4. #34
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    Unless we begin dramatically scaling up efficient biofuels, I think it is probably in our best interest to undertake highly restricted/regulated drilling in Alaska and some offshore areas. I would prefer it to the even worse solutions I see currently in use, such as the Alberta Oil Sands. I can't see us building up a sufficient infrastructure in the next 10 years of biofuel, to say that drilling isn't worthwhile.
    I know what you are saying about the oil sands. That is even dumber than the shale oil. It's even less efficient still.

    Aside from beefing up bio-fuel, there are other options. We need to pull from many sources, as I don't deny some stepping stones are necessary. But I stress that just as true bio-efficieny is the final achievement, I also think that oil is the first thing to be left behind (okay, coal isn't much better).

    There's wind and solar and... ...Nuclear.
    I would definitely attach a lot of stipulations to nuclear power, though.
    It would have to be handled with the utmost care, and used only as a partial hold over. I don't want anyone getting comfortable with nukes as a primary source. It's not as dangerous or filthy as most people have come to think, but I still wouldn't trust it much.

    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    That is true, however...with it being unlikely to me that we will be able to get production of alternatives online in a sufficient scale by the time we may be hitting that dead end, prolonging it a bit is a good idea.
    Still, my point is that every second spent heading toward the dead end takes away time from the development of alternatives. We can't just kill time inbetween, because the date of time that we get our hands on bio-power is determined by how much time we put into developing it now.

    In otherwords, if you go down the closed alley, you have to spend all the extra time walking out of it and back down the road you were supposed to take, when you could have saved time by starting down the right path ealier.
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  5. #35
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    I would definitely attach a lot of stipulations to nuclear power, though.
    It would have to be handled with the utmost care, and used only as a partial hold over. I don't want anyone getting comfortable with nukes as a primary source. It's not as dangerous or filthy as most people have come to think, but I still wouldn't trust it much.
    It's also another limited power source.

  6. #36
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    It's also another limited power source.
    But its got more time on it right now.
    All the more reason I call it a stepping stone supreme.
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  7. #37
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Still, my point is that every second spent heading toward the dead end takes away time from the development of alternatives. We can't just kill time inbetween, because the date of time that we get our hands on bio-power is determined by how much time we put into developing it now.

    In otherwords, if you go down the closed alley, you have to spend all the extra time walking out of it and back down the road you were supposed to take, when you could have saved time by starting down the right path ealier.
    I don't agree with your position on this. Why make the assumption that drilling for oil detracts from research on alternative energy supplies? That's not necessarily true. You don't think drillers would be in a lab, running alternative fuel experiments if we didn't drill for oil, do you?

  8. #38
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Why make the assumption that drilling for oil detracts from research on alternative energy supplies? That's not necessarily true.
    Human nature. Drilling for oil distracts the average person (government included), and continues the short-term solution loop that doesn't get to the root of the problem. Do you really think alternative energy research is going to be a priority if drilling occurs as well?? Ha. Sure, it might get some funding, but the scenario wouldn't be any different from where we're at today. It's still throwing our real solution (and necessary behavioral changes on the individual level and the societal level) to some fuzzy date in the future -- which would likely be too late anyway.

    But imagine the funding and focus it would get if the drilling wasn't even on the table. We WOULD find alternatives, and we would get on the ball a helluva lot quicker than if the research was put on one of the back burner because drilling was a priority. And in the process, most of our country wouldn't be lulled into complacency until a future crisis date.

    The net gain of drilling in Alaska/FL is so miniscule that it's not worth the heap of negatives. Truly I see no real point to doing it, because it's not addressing the real problem. Bandaids are counterproductive at this point. I'm not even going to address the environmental stuff, which is my personal highest value ;-), because I know most people don't hold it to the high level that I do anyway. But Priam and Magic Poriferan pretty much sum up my views on the other implications and big-picture concerns.
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  9. #39
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascademn View Post
    Human nature. Drilling for oil distracts the average person (government included), and continues the short-term solution loop that doesn't get to the root of the problem. Do you really think alternative energy research is going to be a priority if drilling occurs as well?? Ha. Sure, it might get some funding, but the scenario wouldn't be any different from where we're at today. It's still throwing our real solution (and necessary behavioral changes on the individual level and the societal level) to some fuzzy date in the future -- which would likely be too late anyway.

    But imagine the funding and focus it would get if the drilling wasn't even on the table. We WOULD find alternatives, and we would get on the ball a helluva lot quicker than if the research was put on one of the back burner because drilling was a priority. And in the process, most of our country wouldn't be lulled into complacency until a future crisis date.

    The net gain of drilling in Alaska/FL is so miniscule that it's not worth the heap of negatives. Truly I see no real point to doing it, because it's not addressing the real problem. Bandaids are counterproductive at this point. I'm not even going to address the environmental stuff, which is my personal highest value ;-), because I know most people don't hold it to the high level that I do anyway. But Priam and Magic Poriferan pretty much sum up my views on the other implications and big-picture concerns.
    I simply don't agree. The problem when the government gets involved is that you get crappy solutions like corn-based ethanol. It's not about efficiency or economic viability, it's about special interests. The farm lobby loves the government intervention, and they'll certainly enjoy more. If those farmers weren't subsidized, we wouldn't be wasting time with shitty solutions because the farmers would be losing money. The subsidies give the illusion of profitability to farmers that doesn't really exist. It's profitability at the expense of the taxpayer.

    This is a classic case of the people crying out for the government to "do something", but the government action is actually counter-productive. The government is just not an efficient distributor of resources. It never has been and it never will be. If anything is a distraction, it's government intervention giving the illusion (to the general public) that everything that can be done is being done.

  10. #40
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I guess that's where I don't see the private sector doing a whole lot, voluntarily, either. Especially when things are so profit driven.

    Perhaps a poor example, but environmental regulations on companies, as far as limiting levels of pollutants entering the air or water, or disposing of things properly. If it wasn't enforced by the government (and sure, with any aspect of enforcement, paperwork can clog the system, or there will be loopholes, etc...), would the companies really have an incentive to do all of it? Of their own accord?? No, not really. There would be a few companies who might, but I believe they would be the exception. So I don't think the private sector as a whole really operates in longterm-thinking mode.

    So that's why I do think the government needs to play a role in getting things in motion -- and with this topic, that would mean not allowing the ANWR to be open for drilling. End of story. Since ultimately the government, as it exists in the here and now, drives to a certain extent how our society as a whole operates.

    I think we'll have to agree to disagree. ;-)
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