Exponential growth: perpetual growth versus finite resources

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Sleeve_meet_Heart, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    If there were one video I wish the mainstream population of the U.S. could grasp , take more seriously; and channel some positive energy and resourcefulness assimilating and re-thinking , it's the energy and etc crisis that the U.S. and world seems to be heading into and how these debts will be paid in the future.

  2. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Pathetically, I found this interesting.

    While the focus of this subject is Energy, and particularly oil, apply the same doubling effect to Social Security, to Medicare, to Medicaid, to the Military, etc.

    The fact that contributions to the government increase naturally at 3% while the government assumes a flat budget (no growth) at 8%. This means the revenue doubles every 23 years while government spending doubles every 9 years.
    In the 90s, the economic growth was high and government expenditures slowed and so this masked this discrepancy. The last ten years has exposed the other side of that scenario, decreased revenue and increased government expenditures.
  3. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    Well the actual Malthusian model revolves around population science and that exponential effect. It can be applied to anything but generally finite things, which are not SS, military (which are all tax-based and theoretically could be increased at any whim) . I would say that **most energy resources are finite. These are things I always wish I delved into more deeply in college.

  4. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member


    I consider all government expenditures to be extremely finite!
  5. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    In the mathematical usage?
  6. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    To those of you who didn't spend an hour of your day watching the nonsense above allow me to give you the cliff notes. It is an obviously very liberal college professor making the case that there are too many humans on this planet and the only way to save it is to allow disease, war, and famine to persist. He goes on to tell us that we will run out of oil one day and dismisses any notion that technology and man's ingenuity will be able to save us.

    My take is anyone who wants to suggest that we need to cut the human population via government policy should first off themselves as an example to us all of the sacrifice needed to save mother earth. Then perhaps I will take them seriously.
  7. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    The useless post above, aside, there are some interesting points to raise.

    Hirsch, in 2005 wrote we should have begun addressing this problem 20 years ago.. that seems realistic according to the data out there.

    According to Chris Skibowskis data, we should be running into serious troubles soon given the global production plateau. His megaprojects data by most accounts has been pretty spot-on.


    Oil Plateau


    Time to Worry: World Oil Production Finishes Six Years of No Growth - Scitizen
  8. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

  9. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    talk about skewing the "estimates"

    Original article:

    "For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the 'Big Oil' companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves.... and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL! "

    That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight.''

    :happy-very::happy-very::happy-very: ^^

    ***Then the quote-unquote "hard data" provided in usgs link at end of that article!***

    "The USGS estimate of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil has a mean value of 3.65 billion barrels. Scientists conducted detailed studies in stratigraphy and structural geology and the modeling of petroleum geochemistry. They also combined their findings with historical exploration and production analyses to determine the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil estimates."

    Total junk.
  10. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    This was brought up in another recent thread. We won't get anywhere near 500 billion barrels of oil from Bakken, even the most rosy estimates from the oil industry top out around 24 billion. Beyond that the recovery process starts becoming so expensive that it stops making economic sense.
  11. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    The bakken oil field is not exactly a new field. It was originally discovered in 1951, and just a few short years ago was only producing 3,000 barrels a day. Today it is producing over 200k barrels a day and some estimates think it could reach 1 million barrels a day. How is this possible you ask? Why the very thing the Marxist professor in your original video dismissed and that is advances in technology. As the price of oil rises it entices drillers to come up with newer methods of extraction and that is exactly what occurred in the Bakken oil field. We will never officially run out of oil, only easy to reach oil. It will get more expensive overtime, and the energy market will discover newer, cheaper sources of energy and switch to that as time goes on, but until then oil is still the cheapest form of energy out there.
  12. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    I don't subscribe to Hubbert's Peak Oil Theory entirely but some of the things Dr. Bartlett sez is worth consideration IMO. For someone who grew up around farming and even today gardens both outside and indoors with hydroponics, scale and sustainability are cornerstones to being successful not just in the present but in the future. We use to understand the principle as a matter of natural law but once we moved away from the land itself (agarian) and towards an industrialization societal model, the grocery store for example gave our society an illusion that food for example comes from a limitless model and IMO this in not true at all. Dr. Bartlett's example of corn and what it takes to grow verses the final output is dead on. Corn is a very demanding crop on soil resources for example so in large industrial scale farming, the amount of energy from tractors, to watering, to fertilizers is enormous and one of the reasons that corn needs such huge monetary inputs from public subsidy to even sustain it's own current scale. Another reason the farming model is so debt driven rather than economically sustainable.

    Without public subsidy, corn cost would be so high that the public would abandon the crop in the marketplace and begin to seek local alternatives whether growing corn locally in smaller scale that is not as highly driven off resource consumption, think organic or look to other crops for food and economic sustainability.

    Dr. Bartlett presents some thoughtful ideas and done so for simplicity's sake but there are numerous variables that can change his timeline but then he does in his own way concede to that IMO.

    As for peak oil, I know many who discredit (and that I accept) the thinking that the theory of abiotic origins of oil formations has a point. One area I'd make an argument for the abiotic origins and not fossil origins (decaying animal and vegetation matter and a necessary basis for Hubbert's peak oil theory) of hydro-carbons, oil if you will, would be the Saturn moon Titan and it's own huge presence of vast amounts of hydro-carbons in an environment devoid of ever having animal and plant matter present that we know of. I'll give Dr. Bartlett that maybe from his POV I might be arguing of going to another solar system and getting their sun at this point in the discussion and I'm not arguing our solution is to go to Titan either but I am arguing from a theoretical position of oil origins so I concede that point and we have to look at oil or any other resource from what we know as facts for the moment. Even if oil is of abiotic origins, I would concede it's possible we've extracted beyond nature's production capacity and we are still back to Dr. Bartlett's assertions of the ability of nature to meet our population demand of this resource. At the very least, reduction of demand would either allow the resource to last longer, move the peak oil point out or in the case of abiotic sources, allow the chemical production capacity of the earth to replenish and thus meet or match demand. Either way Dr. Bartlett is right to some degree.

    I also question if peak oil is nothing more than a fraud used to manipulate the marketplace to drive prices ever higher while naturally occuring production efficencies would do the opposite to oil costs? Take consumer electronics and put in the place of oil and then make the same economic supply to consumer cost arguments. Also increasing oil prices benefit the state in not only supporting the reserve currency petro dollar but also in the area of general revenue in the form of taxation. A declining product cost for example would require a reduction in the tax revenue costs or the tax would overwhelm the profits benefit and make the business model on tax alone unsustainable. I recently read an article where it was discussed that based on latest data, if we continue on the present course of oil use along with new efficiencies expected to come on line, about the mid 2020's we could be off all foreign oil imports entirely. It doesn't longterm discount Bartlett's math but it does push out the timeline window a bit. But then, what if oil wells began to seemingly replenish themselves with oil from a different and newer geologic age? Beginning to ponder abiotic origins too?

    I believe that oil dominance is as much a condition of state intervention both for it's own needs (power and control) as well as to grant a monoploy position to an industry and it's by-products. What some call crony or state capitalism or neo-mercantilism or neo-fuedalism but masked under free market rhetoric. Even the very money we use day in and day out is built upon this commodity maintaining dominance. What happens to the global reserve currency and the economy built around it whose standing for that status is only held up by oil if all of a sudden oil became as necessary as the stone writing tablet or it's abundance was like the leaves on trees? So many scream about gold backed money yet you sit on your ass about oil! "But I trust the gov't!"

    "Gov't loves me this I know, for it always tells me so!" SUCKER!!!!!!!!

    I'm not afraid of the questions Dr. Bartlett raises nor what it sez about the heart of consumer capitalism that is only driven forward by ever expanding markets. Ever expanding markets require people, even social security enters shaky ground when a supporting population is lesser than the consuming population. Hoax earlier point about gov't growth well put. What happens to the massive markets we've built when the population needed to support it flat lines and then begins to fall? What happens to the investment markets when these very population forces that built and sustain consumer capitalism peak and fall and there the very consumerism needed to push profits further are no longer there? What then? What would happen to UPS if all of a sudden China and the Asian markets went bye-bye? A farmer not saddled by debt and other lifestyle extremes can always to a certain point plant less crop and still be back year after year doing the same but can UPS stay viable in the rent seeking stock market should such loss of marketshare occur?

    Sustainability has been politicized badly but yet it is a vital ingredient to good economics IMO. Would a center manager put 3 drivers in 24 foot vans out on routes that had only 4 houses and 1 dying general store on them? Why not? Because the routes aren't "sustainable" and he/she would be far better off by using the best allocation of resources elsewhere that does sustain his business model.

    Gov't central planning models are devoid of sustainability because at any given point we can be told to work harder or give up more and thus the resource base to these planners seem limitless. In fact the entire model can only work in a growth condition, thus the reason gov't only grows larger and is incapable of ever maintaining a limited status.

    Mercantilist of our modern age have captured the state and therefore they drive not by natural market forces that freely rebalance mis-allocation of resources but rather shove us into unsustainable markets and we become the fodder forced to keep them afloat for the self interest benefit of a few. Call it the 1% if you like although this is far from being correct IMO.

    It's really about human farming at the end of the day anyway!

    Thanks for posting Sleeve even though it appears you were slammed by a few for doing it!