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Oil Spill

Discussion in 'News and Politics' started by Raccoon Love, May 27, 2010.

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  1. Raccoon Love

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    So this has been going on for a while now, what are your opinions on this? how do you think this situation should be handled? in what ways have we failed to prevent this and how can we prevent another event like this one in the future?

    I am just enraged that a huge amount of ecosystems are endangered because of the irresponsibility of humans. I am enrage that we have technology to go to space but we can't help a problem like this on our own home planet. The government has reacted way to slowly on this.


     
  2. Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    I'm 54 yrs old and back in the '70's the US knew it was running out of oil. In the early '80's before Reagan there was a big push for alternative solutions to carbon fuel (coal, oil and gas). Big corporations were given leeway to do anything they wanted and - well - the result is what we're all experiencing now. War and Greed. I think the 2 go hand in hand. In many ways we are only a small part of the global hegemony and the current government is hamstrung by that fact and the previous administration.
    I have been outraged over our government's handling of our energy needs since the 80's. We've had 30 years to mitigate events such as this and the only thing our governments have done is piss off the world and make the rich richer.
    I have tried every which way I can think of to enlighten people. But they only stick their heads in the sand.
    I hear and feel your outrage.
    What can we do?
    Write our congressional representatives and tell them we want off of carbon based energy now - or we'll vote you out.
    In my policy analysis class last year the professors insisted that congress listens to what is written and/or called in.
    My personal opinion is that things will continue to get worse before it all comes down like a house of cards. THEN the right things will get done. Alas - most people are sheep like that.
     
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  3. Entyqua

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    No we cant get through to the government...We as a people need to figure out how to live with out oil...Ethanol can run in a gasoline engine just fine, and thats made from rotting corn...There are a crap ton of eco friendly options that no one wants to consider because then you are tapping into the pot! Cant do that!
     
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  4. OP
    Raccoon Love

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    The US has a build a society highly dependent on oil, not realizing the possible long term effects this might have as it is a nonrenewable resource. People still refuse to use alternate methods and stick to their conventional ways and therefore affecting others innocently. We would need to change the mentality of the now capitalistic society which only looks at its own personal benefits.
     
  5. Entyqua

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    I agree 100%
     
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  6. bamf

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    The problem with ethanol is that it raises food prices, or destroys forests to make room for fields.
     
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  7. Entyqua

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    That was on example...but the mid-west is already plowed away for corn fields...I know most of the states out there have ethanol additives in their gas...I dont see why it cannot be used more wide scale.

    If we can make bio-diesel in our backyards, why cant we find a renewable fuel source at home too?
     
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  8. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    We're going to end up on a nuclear/electric infrastructure. But only after a few people burn in hell.
     
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  9. Skathac

    Skathac <font color=#27A601>Community Member</font>

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    I ranted about the spill in my blog. For brevity's sake I'll just say it really really pisses me off.

    Krussellgal offers up very good advice, for one we have to let our government know how displeased we are with them and how much we value a change to alternate energies. I believe if enough people would do that maybe the fear of not being re elected would outweigh the money they get from oil companies.

    Enty brings up ethanol, a very good thing to mention in such a conversation. Some modifications have to be made to certain types of internal combustion engines due to the wear and tear ethanol can cause, but then again companies like Ford design flexible engines that will run off gasoline or ethanol.

    I've heard about big pushes for bio diesel, this I think could truly be the future as it uses waste products to create fuel. I'd much rather run a turbo charged four cylinder in a small truck or car if I had reliable access to bio diesel at gas stations.

    Other alternatives include electric vehicles. I did research into this about six months ago because I'm working on an invention that works off of similar principles. Most of these home brew electric vehicles have a range of about 30 miles or so and require a very complicated charging system at home. I think with the proper advances in technology this would be optimal for the daily commuter that lives at a residence with a decent amount of space for a recharge station near their automobile.

    At the moment we could make the swap within as little as 5 years I believe or less. There would have to be a big push to change over infrastructure though. Replace gasoline at gas stations with bio diesel, ethanol, and if you could design it a quick charge unit for electric cars. I think it'd be cool as grits.
     
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  10. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    I agree.

    We may also need to decentralize/disconnect the power grid into regions for security reasons.
     
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  11. Skathac

    Skathac <font color=#27A601>Community Member</font>

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    Don't need fields bud, we can grow just as much food using spaces on rooftops in cities if done aeroponically. Sure the initial costs are greater, but after we get things swinging into mass production such as the nutrient solutions the costs would go down.
     
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  12. Entyqua

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    Its also not impossible to envision solar powered vehicles...water powered...it can be done, but mostly people have to be willing to give up their horsepower too...
     
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  13. NeverAmI

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    Ethanol is highly inefficient. It really doesn't offer much in terms of alternative fuel. The only reason it is still around is because of the heavy subsidizing of the government.

    During that last fuel price crisis alternative energy companies/reserchers were busy creating new technologies then when the prices dropped down again, they suffered and guess who bought all of them up? The big oil companies. :)

    I don't use ethanol in my car or bike when I have a choice, I don't recommend it at all.

    Really, we need to start adjusting society out of a petroleum centered existence.


    IMO Corporations are the biggest obstruction to any new technology. They constantly suppress new tech to keep their current tech selling. Why not exploit what you got already before moving onto something new?
     
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  14. Skathac

    Skathac <font color=#27A601>Community Member</font>

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    The biggest thing holding back solar power right now I believe is the rate of energy transfer, they can't get the panels efficient enough. There are people workin on it though so hopefully we'll see highly efficient solar panels in our lifetime.
     
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  15. Entyqua

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    Interesting, my husbands car actually runs smoother with ethanol is used in it. With regular 87 octane gasoline his fuel filter knocks quite loudly...When Ethanol is used the sound ceases.

    There are other alternative fuel sources too, but bringing that up would cause another argument entirely, and I dont want to derail.

    I would love to get away from needing a fuel...but you cannot expect society to regress in terms of tech...it wont happen. Finding a natural source of renewable fuel is a good option, because there wouldnt have to be many modification to engineering...

    Its just like when cars started requiring Cat converters...they had to put stipulations in for cars older than a certain date that didnt have to meet emissions requirements...Its going to be the same ball of wax...

    changing fuel source would be an easier jump for people...
     
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  16. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    I remember a story about a guy in the late 1980s who built a 'sail car' and sailed around the highways of the southeast US.

    I think rail transport and electric vehicles would solve most of our infrastructure problems for our economy. Supplemental solar power would help decentralize the grid. Nuclear will play a role, and I am still curious to see how well tidal power pans out. I'd like to see a diversity of power systems developed and explores and APPLIED in tandem.

    There is a company working on 3-dimensional grids of algae tanks that produce fuel. That would be an interesting alternative to ethanol that could be built in vertical slices near cities and major fuel consumption.

    Enty, I think hybrid electric/gas cars, that can fuel on both, will start out as the means ofs transition. Eventually, people with short range needs will give up gas just like people have given up land lines for their cell phones. I think out in rural areas, people will need gas infrastructure longer, but that isn't really a problem (except for price control.) But maybe THAT is where ethanol could fill a niche and kick some butt.

    Skathic, I really hope things work out as you plan, I think it would be good for us as a people and a country to advance and leave this stagnant phase behind.

    NeverAmI, I have heard the same things about ethanol, and I believe RAND studies have talked about the "Percentage of american farm land" that would be devoted to fuel use. It was a significant fraction of farmable land. I can't remember how much, though.
     
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    #16 Ecton, May 27, 2010
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
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  17. bamf

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    Even then, ethanol would not be able to supply the nation with enough energy. A study done by people at the University of Minnesota found that even if every acre of corn was devoted to ethanol, less than 13% of the nation's gasoline demand would be met. Even if roof-tops were included, the nation would face massive shortages http://www.pnas.org/content/103/30/11206.full

    The switch over to ethanol would be extremely expensive, especially to lower income families.

    Not only that, but the machines that process ethanol run off of gasoline. The harvest uses gasoline, the transportation uses gasoline/diesel, the machines use gasoline. On top of all of that, ethanol still pollutes the environment.

    I'm all for alternative energy sources, but I see ethanol as a dead end resource. I feel that time and money are better spent some place else. Interestingly enough, my Calc teacher in high school modified his car to run off of fry oil. Restaurants give him their used oil for free. Normally they'd have to pay for it to be removed, but both the restaurant and the consumer save money. Granted, I have no idea how it is for the environment.

    **as for the topic of the oil-spill**
    I find is unimaginable how devastating the consequences will be if they can't figure out a way to stop the leak. Six weeks and it's still spewing oil. Hooray humans! My prediction, BP will be out of business.

    Also, does anyone find it questionable that oil prices haven't risen noticeably (at least in my area) since the spill, but they sky rocketed before Katrina? Of course, I don't know much about the economics behind it, but it does strike me as odd.
     
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  18. Entyqua

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    they have risen quite noticeably here...we were getting down to 180 a gallon for a while..now were are nearly at 3...
     
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  19. bamf

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    $1.80 a gallon?! I haven't seen that in years. It's been hovering around $2.70 in my area, and it was about $3.00 a gallon before the spill. Of course, local economy is a hard way to judge overall prices.

    Does anyone know how the prices for a barrel of oil have changed in the past two months?
     
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  20. Entyqua

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    in utah prices fluxuate often , and dramatically...I saw it at 1.80 for maybe a week...then it jumped back up to 2.30 or so...now its back up to nearly 3.00...I havnt checked prices thoroughly though...I jsut know it costs alot to fill up my car...
     
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