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  • 20 Reasons to Be Prepared for a Global Food Crisis [View article]
    Well I agree with stocknerd that we in the US will muddle through the coming food crisis for all the reasons given but probably not so for the rest of the world. Here we are blessed with a lowly populated continent with abundant natural resources. People can rip out their lawns in suburbia and plant gardens but I think food will have to get more expensive as the price of oil (and eventually gas) rises. But why be stupid about about it. Why waste the resources, using something as precious as oil to heat the homes in the Northeast, grow corn for ethanol, and note that the suburbia concept is inherently flawed with the concept of the long commute to get to work with nonexistent public transportation systems. Drilling our way out of this mess is doable but a short term solution at best good for a single generation or two. We have been lulled into short term thinking by cheap oil and those days are coming to an end. Invest in oil, natural gas pipelines, in a couple of years natural gas, and agriculture.....But think long term if you care about humanity and not just thinking the end times will be the final solution if you care about your grandkids.
    Apr 21 09:03 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Reasons to Be Prepared for a Global Food Crisis [View article]
    With peak oil approaching and all the lawsuits pending about polluted ground water from Natural Gas framing, I think it is time we come up with a rational Energy Plan that intelligently moves us into a more hopeful future. There must be a think tank out there somewhere thinking on how to save civilization into the future and not just short term profits for big oil (or big gas or big agriculture or etc.) Try reading Karl Denniger's plan about the use of coal and the thorium reactor:

    Karl has a plan for the long term (200 years) energy use in this country that includes both liquid fuels and electricity. There really doesn't seem to be anyone else coming up with an alternative that covers all the bases. So, I say we should just go with it even though it doesn't leave the coal in the ground which was my best option considering the perils of climate change...but at least it is a plan. Note here that any energy plan could/should be accompanied by an aggressive conservation of energy plan to reduce the impacts of climate change. Come on folks, we do need to have cars that get 35 to 50 MPG and we can all tighten up our houses and offices to save additional energy. Our remodeled log home uses average of 543 kilowatts of electricity per month and 1.5 cords of wood (used to be less than one till I semi retired) with the wood cook stove which is horribly inefficient.

    Upside to Karl's energy plan:
    It gets the job done for 200 years till fusion can come online.
    Does the liquid fuels for transportation using the existing fleet of vehicles and tractors.
    Provides for a near doubling of electrical production providing for growth in population and electric car usage...and let's not forget high speed rail. Planes may be obsolete in the future due to high energy use.
    Doesn't step on too many toes.....we will still need the natural gas industry and the oil industry to get the thorium infrastructure up and running.
    Much less toxic waste than the existing nuclear fuel cycle.
    Thorium reactors are safe and cannot melt down as existing reactors.
    Having this as a goal will get our economy moving again.
    We can cut our military in half since this plan eliminates the need for imported oil and our need to protect our middle east supplies.
    Stops sending $$$$ to the Saudi terrorists.

    Downsides to the energy plan:
    Still uses the coal that I would like to leave in the ground. (hey, I am willing to compromise if there is a plan .....and I can still preach conservation and solar.)
    Does not produce plutonium which is why we went with the existing nuclear fuel cycle. Therefore we will have to maintain our existing nuclear weapons which will be needed for Plan B which is to Nuke the Chinese to reduce competition for existing oil resources. Hey, I'm kidding but that is the only other way to extend existing supplies of oil and coal.

    Or there is another idea out there called the Prism Reactor being developed by GE and Hitachi that uses the nuclear waste to generate electricity for the next 2000 years and maybe should be jointly pursued since we can't seem to decide on a place to bury that toxic crap anyway:
    but electricity may not run the heavy trucks and tractors so this alternative may need a vast new ethanol economy as in David Blume's Alcohol Can Be a Gas:
    Apr 18 08:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 20 Reasons to Be Prepared for a Global Food Crisis [View article]
    Wow, good discussion here.
    Two sobering thoughts I have read recently as facts:

    1) The current food production in the United States takes 10 calories of Oil and Natural gas energy to put one calorie of food on your table.
    2) Over the next 40 years the worlds population is estimated to grow from 7 billion in 2010 to 9 billion in 2050 .....Over the next 40 years in order to feed that population we will need to produce as much food on this planet as we have produced over the last 2,000 years.

    And this last 200 years that saw the world's population explode, was done with cheap oil...I think the game is changing. Personally I'm long phosphorus and oil.
    Apr 17 01:06 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Death of the Electric Car: Li-ion Batteries Too Valuable for Plug-In Vehicles [View article]
    I've long thought that the answer to our future transportation needs to revolve the diesel engine since it is inherently 30% more efficient that the gasoline engine. That is why Europe with their high gas prices goes with the diesel and high gas prices are coming here once we reach Peak Oil. So if I buy into your argument that the GEV with too expensive of batteries will not cut it, then the ultimate vehicle would necessarily be the diesel powered HEV. Diesel also lets us grow oils to make diesel to run our heavy trucks, trains and farm tractors. We need to kill the environmentally destructive practice of growing corn to make ethanol.
    Jan 22 11:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment