The Death of the Irish Village

:laughing: Sorry gekko but for once you’re talking bollox

it’s not an economic theory this is a geophysical question.

Oil is a finite physical resource

Once we run out of it because we have extracted it all it will be gone.

Because oil is so useful we have expended rather a lot of effort trying to find it.

The rate of discovery of fields is falling

The question is when will the demand outstrip the supply. All geological and industry indicators are that this will be sooner rather than later.

The only input an economist can have is what the effect this will have on the economy.

That is an oversimplification. Peak oil theory leaves out this important issues:

elastic response of supply.
technological progress.

There is a saying, the stone age didn’t end because the world ran out of stones. Same for oil.

[and BTW I ALWAYS to bollocks :wink: ]

Yea! Official Blind Ireland will be delighted with using oil as an excuse for the death of the Irish Village. Of course, it had nothing to do with the falling birth rate leading to:
Closing down of maternity hospitals right through out the country
Closing down of National Schools
Closing down of Secondary Schools
Closing down of local Bakery
Closing down of local Drapery Shop
Reduction in the number of boy GAA and Soccer teams
Reduction even in the number of locals who stay around on reaching 18; they all take off to the brighter lights of the city. No way will these young people be caught with young families.
Closing down of Garda Station as a result of reduction in crime
Closing down of Post Offices
All this results in temporary and beautiful clean villages and towns, and a touch of paint to give the notion of activity and prosperity.

No all the above happened because of cheaper or dearer Oh, hell! I forget which excuse is best petrol

Oh! and another thing; cities are immune to the falling birth rate! So say the VIs!!!

But it’s not like we can just create more oil.

We’re fundamentally limited what’s already there, and at least some of it will remain uneconomic to get - if it turns out that half the asteroid belt is full of it, we aren’t going to be bringing it back even for $10000 dollars a barrel.

Most of the new potential supplies of oil are smaller, require vastly more up-front investment (in both time and money) to extract, and have far higher per-barrel extraction costs on-going. Yes there’s a lot of oil in various crappy forms like the canadian tar sands, but replacing even a small fraction of the current easy oil with tar sands oil is a massive undertaking.

On the supply side - Having the most advanced oil extraction industry in the world hasn’t allowed the US maintain production since the 70s - it won’t fundamentally change things anywhere else, just delay them.

On the demand side - Hopefully something will come along that can quickly replace oil as an energy source, but there’s nothing so far which will be either cheap or quick.

The bright side! The glass is half full! There’s a silver lining! :blush:

Only an economist could hope to replace oil in the ground with an economic theory :wink:

Elastic response of supply only works when there isn’t a physical limit on the resource.

eg if my fridge is empty of beer at 3am at a party and the Offie is still closed then no amount of reduction in demand because most people have gone home will put more beer in my fridge… We drank it all …

Replacement Technology: This is the hope, the question is which technology and how effective?

Oil is the bees knees in terms of easily usable cheap energy. No suitable replacement technology which gives as high a return on energy expended is available particularly for transport.

eg: when my fridge runs out of beer having 16 litres of milk and an all night garage which sells soft drinks is no good. I need beer.

To be honest there are already a lot of existing off the shelf technologies that can improve energy efficiency, it is just that with energy prices still being so low there isn’t much incentive to use them. We are extremely wasteful of energy. Higher prices will fix that. Ok, so some people will probably have to give up driving Humvees around. People can and will adapt, or else…

engineering on a grand scale- whats to stop us using loads of nuclear power stations to desalinate water to grow oil crops in deserts like the sahara the australian deserts and the nevada etc?

or growing oil in the sea from algae?

already they have made bio kerosene(jet fuel and home heating oil) and bio diesel from this. We can fuel cars with alcohol? whats the problem?

Yes there are.

The effect of these technologies will be to slightly mitigate the rate of oil depletion.

They will not add one barrell of oil. Demand is soaring.

Oil is the energy of the sun condensed in to a readily usable form over millions of years.

If the Geologists are right we’ve splurged almost half of it in about a hundred years

Making the most of what we have is not the same as having a bouyant oil pumped global economy.

Even if we manage to replace all the oil produced electricity with cheap wind or nuclear we will still be in serious trouble.

Food distribution, food Production, Tourism, Mining, steel production the entire basis of the modern economic pyramid are all completely dependent upon oil and the internal combustion engine.

No. But, we don’t really know how much there actually is, and the amount that is economically viable to find and extract is a function of the price.

Go back ot te original Peal Oil theories and see how badly wrong the estimates of total supply is.

This is my prediction, which I think is better than Peak Oil theory, which is too naive.

Total demand for oil will continue to rise which will lead to rising price of oil over time (decadal).

This will lead to:
More deposits found and more deposits at margin turned into productive output.
Increased use of alternative technologies (which will be becoming cheaper over the same period and hence increasingly employed)

This process will continue, until the end point where EITHER:
Oil does indeed become so increasingly scarce that it drives the prices much high much faster. This will accelerate the adoption of alterntaive technologies and lead to a massive increase in capital expenditure on developing those technologies.

The process is more drawn out and price increase is more gradual, in which case tecnological subsitution will happen more slowly, but will still overtake oil based energy over time.

Our positions aren’t as different in a fundamental sense as you think. I don’t believe we will be using much oil in 50 years time, but not because “oil runs out”, but because we are naturally passing from one technological phase to another. We have done it before and will do it again.

You forgot to mention Construction.

Also, don’t forget, Peak Oil is just another applicatoin of Malthusian thinking - which was wrong for the same reason - no economics. … re=related

vegetable oil.

we can actually grow oil

Sorry Gekko but you don’t get it. This is not an argument that is provable based on theories

The question here is not a theoretical one it’s a practical one and a very specific one.

Think of the oil as money in the Bank.

The question is How much have I left versus my current rate of expenditure(current reserves v rate of discovery) ? Is my current income secure? Can I get a new income stream(alternative energy supplies)? Is That likely to be smaller or greater than my current income stream(more or less effecient at energy delivery than oil)?

If my Rate of expenditure is increasing faster than my income, I am heavily dependent on a single source of income which is reducing rapidly and the likliehood is that any alternative source of income will be considerably lower then I would be wise to start saving and or reducing my expenditure. Either way until I secure this alternative source of income the likliehood is that I shall be forced to reduce my economic activity.

Until we find an alternative technology we’ll need to reduce the level of global energy expenditure.

If we find a more efficient or as efficient alternative we will be able to increase energy expenditure again.

But there is no guarantee as to when we will find a better alternative…

Oil prices are rising because of a shortage of supply in relation to real demand.


but not enough of it.


All of these things were done before oil was in common use as an energy/motive power source. None of them are completely dependent on oil and the infernal combustion engine. What they are dependent on is a energy source.


so what was the most common source of energy before Oil?

Coal, steam and horses,

Replaced by oil because it was more efficient.

So we will return to steam engines and steamships and horses for transport and to manual labour for construction and mining

The entire globalised open economy is based up cheap food produced using tractors powered by oil and shipped cheaply around the globe using oil in cars built with raw materials mined using oil energy instead of miners.

The rate of energy returned growing and producing vegatable oil is lower than for oil extracted from the ground. There is also a limit on the land available to grow it.

The assumption that technology will solve this may be correct…

the question is when?

If there is 200 year lag we could be in trouble…

what about all the farmland thats being left fallow. And growing it at sea?
And oil can be replaced by nuclear or wave or wind for electricity. electricity can power home heating and industry.
Oil is needed for transportation really.

The australians have an invention that simply links a dehumidifier to solar power. Even in the middle of a desert you can get water. They also have a wave powered desalination plant in Fremantle they they built recently to test. We have the technical know how so peak oil is not the end of civilisation.

There maybe a big shuffle in the way the world economy works and oil is going to get very pricey and I think Ireland is in a bad position for a number of reasons. But its not the end of the world.

The GM EV1 electric car would be a totally different machine if it got a nano wire battery.

Maybe this is ultimately a good thing for rural ireland with intensive farming (of oil) giving it more life?


However nor is it business as usual.

The question is Do we have a problem?

I believe we do

Next question is How big a problem?

I’d say pretty big (pretty being an exact scientific unit of measurement for problem size )

How long do we have to fix it?

Not as long as some people think

Will it fix itself based on the inefficacy of Malthusian theory?

Definitely not.

AGREED :smiley:
Personally I think Ireland plc is ****** :smiley::D:D:D
This kind of issue requires FORWARD PLANNING :smiley:
LOL what the **** is that!

I tend to be icy towards nuclear energy but at least the British made a decision on the future. We need a debate on the whole thing and on what course of action we DO take! because we need to make it NOW :smiley: