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We will NOT find an alternative to energy dense, easily transportable conventional oil in time to sustain indefinate economic growth.

All alternative energies have one or more disadvantages that do not let them compete with cheap conventional oil.

Given our industrial civilization depends on massive amounts of cheap energy, the reliance on conventional oil is enormous.

The only quick solution I see is a drastic downscaling of economic activity.

Topics: energy

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    Feb 19 2013: The very definition of economics is scarce resources that have alternative uses. As the price of oil has risen other resources become viable. E.G. Tar sand oil becomes viable at this price as does some bio-fuels as does natural gas and hybrid forms of coal as does cars that operate off of electricity and conventional oil.

    The only thing that can stand in the way of a solution is someone dictating what is best, especially "drastic downscaling of economic activity" My money is on Mankind...

    You do see that no matter what the threat, mankind has overcome the problem?
    • Feb 19 2013: Tar sand oil, bio fuels both are alternatives but they are like switching from sugar to aspartame. It's just not as good. Natural gas is a good alternative but how much investment will it take to switch our infrastructure to accomidate natural gas. Conventional oil is expensive now and we are not even prioritizing a switch to any alternatives. My conclusion is that we will be forced to downscale.

      I see mankind as its own biggest threat. Also mankind is the biggest threat to the rest of life on earth.
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        Feb 20 2013: The market will decide what is the best way to go.
        • Feb 20 2013: Yes, but the market can't create miracles like re endowing the earth with the easy oil it used to have. It will take incredible investment to have an economy run on some other source. I am not saying humanity isn't up to figuring out how. The problem is peak oil is now and viable alternative is not on the horizon.
        • Feb 21 2013: Pat : the "market " seems to prefer destructive cycles, and general swindling . Or is "Wall St." not part of the market?
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        Feb 21 2013: What is not commonly recognized is that technology changes peak oil.

        In Napoleon times Aluminum was more valuable than gold and cost $1200.00 a killo but Charles Martin figured out a way to make it inexpensively at the price dropped to 18 cents a pound in 1914.

        How much will energy cost if they master fusion reaction or thorium reactors?

        The main thing is for government to stay the F out of the way...
        • Feb 21 2013: Pat : You're right: the "government" is standing in the way of Thorium reactors. But, the government also invented them. "Private Industry" would never have done it. They aren't even favoring them NOW!
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        Feb 22 2013: Oh that is right and the government invented the internet also...

        You are quite full of conjecture. I will not waste my time talking to you.

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