Thursday, April 4, 2013

3pc2v2no8


3PC2v2no8

THREE PHASES CIVILIZATION COLLAPSE

ECONOMIC COLLAPSE-Free Energy & EROEI

 

EROEI is Energy Return On Energy Invested.  An easy way to think of it as Net Energy.  When you buy a can of peaches the gross total weight is 20 ounces, say.  The net weight, the actual weight of peaches minus the can would be perhaps 16 ounces.  That is of course including the weight of the syrup which is how those mangy bastards are once again humping you.  Not only is the metal container being manufactured using less quality ( it is much easier to damage than it used to be- keep that in mind if using cans of wet foods for disaster vittles  storage ) but now the amount of liquid is being increased as the food weight is being decreased.  The net weight stays the same.  Now, getting back to energy, when you drill an oil rig or mine coal, the days of scooping it up effortlessly are long over.  Some of the first wells were shallow depths with a bit of pipe that gushed with liquid under its own pressure.  Those were the lost in time mystical 100 to 1 EROEI times.  For every one barrel of energy used, you got in return a hundred.  The industry standard seemed to be around thirty to one after the easy wells were tapped ( the early days of Texas being a prime example of early easy riches ), still a respectable return on nature’s bounty even for a tight fisted banker ( more on those pricks later ).

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It might be easier to envision net energy with a coal mine.  You need to build roads, then you need more machines to build larger machines to gather and haul the coal.  You need boring rigs or a lot of explosives.  Least of all, you need fuel for those machines ( it can take less fuel to run the machine than to build it, something those idiots wanting to replace entire countries fleets forget ).  All up and down the chain you are using energy.  That is the cost of extraction.  What is left in the coal is your gain, the net energy.  Before, we were extracting easy sources using existing infrastructure ( car and water fleets, roads, electric grids, etc. ).  It took very little energy ( just look at the movement of military assets using little more than rail in WWII to imagine what we could do back then.  Now, even with added air and roads we can’t even send food and water to New Orleans ) to supply our energy.  Now, as all the easy sources are tapped out, we must drill a heck of a lot deeper, in far away wastelands ( deep jungle or Mongolia or a mile below rock under very deep water ) all of which takes a butt load more energy in the extraction process.  Your net energy drops like a rock, and that has direct economic fallout.

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Globally, the West developed on free resources.  In America, we became a manufacturing giant first on huge coal reserves and then on seemingly endless reserves of oil ( even after a hundred years of oil use- about 80 of serious extraction- we are still number three globally in oil production.  The problem is now it is all low net energy.  Very low ).  Our economy was built on 50 to a 100 to 1 return on invested energy.  To conquer the world, starting in WWII, we used nearly free energy to first destroy all our competition ( destroying some, standing by while those enemies destroyed our friends ) and then to rule them as economic colonies.  Our military might and our economic control of most of the world was built on this foundation of near no cost oil.  That is long past.  Our days of free energy peaked in 1971 and since then the downward spiral, give a few blips upward here and there, has barely ceased.  If we didn’t have nuclear weapons and the Saudi’s still demanding payment in US Dollars, we would have long ago crashed and burned as an empire.  As it is we are barely afloat, and that is only because the PetroDollar has yet to find a suitable replacement.  Make no mistake, the handwriting has been on the wall for some time.  All our military posturing ( which has seen little concrete results outside of securing marginal oil supplies at a net loss ) is secured by indebtedness that can’t possibly ever be paid back.  Not even in a growing economy, of which ours has not been one for five years. 

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The US has been surviving on inventory draw down and printing press bill paying for at least two generations now.  There is no recovery as has been the case in the past because, very simply, we have no more energy left for a recovery.  Look at how little we achieve by using 18 million barrels of oil a day ( 12 of which are imported ).  The Chinese are manufacturing nearly everything the world uses ( except a few Government Motors cars we can still churn out so the car lots have something pretty on then to sparkle ) on about half that.  Yet we can’t do anything with it other than slow down the pace of decline.  Our economy is broke even with all that energy.  Because not only did we need free energy, we needed that amount of free energy to grow constantly ( you can’t pay off the Bankers usury unless the economy grows to create more wealth used as interest payments ).  The Chinese use State sponsored investment for their economy.  The graft and corruption, and inefficiency, still leave more to work with on less energy invested than what our bankers leave us.  After so much debt, all profits PLUS draw down on infrastructure all go to the bankers.  Legally.  Yet the illegal Chinese theft is more efficient.  How sad is that?  But end result is, our oil supply, total imports and North Dakota Frack Oil combined, continues to slowly contract as Peak Oil is five years in the rear view mirror.  In an economy that requires energy growth to survive, a contraction of energy means collapse.  The timing is the only unknown.  We are losing energy supplies, and at the same time the energy net on those supplies is falling.  Double screwed.

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12 comments:

  1. In a micro way, this is one of the reasons that I say you are in the same position where you live James. The cost in energy to collect sagebrush for heating and cooking will slowly get greater and greater. Simply because that stuff takes hundreds of years to grow and the circle will get quite wide after a few years.

    On China vs the economy and oil...consider this.
    China supplied an EMP device which was light enough for the satellite launch that NK put up there recently. This device is just floating around up there waiting for the time and place.
    Said device is used, NK gets the blame. The USA is suddenly in the 1800's and no longer has an ability to project force. Not to mention is no longer consuming all that oil.
    Win, win for China and Russia eh. Suddenly they have the whole world by the balls with an increased supply of oil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, perhaps now with that leverage China can write her own ticket. We'll just implode peacefully outside her balliwick. I agree with you on the sagebrush, which is why it is for cooking only. Heating would take the supply from years to months. I still need to buy a professional solar cooker. My homemade efforts won't cook bread. That should help some. Definately a problem to keep in mind though.

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    2. Does anyone really think we wouldn't retaliate with some EMP's of our own just to keep a level playing field. Don't forget all those Nuclear Subs out there. ( lots of fire power)

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    3. Would N. Korea miss electric power? Aren't they pretty much deindustrialized by now?

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    4. Oh for sure we would retaliate, but the damage will already have been done here. Actually we might be wise to carefully retaliate because the worlds large transformer manufacturing is now in China. If we blew it all up, instead of ten years to recover our grid it might take upwards of a hundred years if ever.
      It certainly will be a no win scenario for all included.

      Delete
  2. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=solar+oven

    lots of ideas for solar ovens.

    I wish I had a searchight reflector

    ReplyDelete
  3. Spud;

    With Respect; If the DPRK has deployed a functioning directional EMP device, you honestly think that the West won't have a response directed at all comers? This is why Ballistic Missile Nuclear Submarines (SSBN's) have been plying the world's oceans since 1959, unless this device is like the devices portrayed in the silly science fiction film Escape from L.A. then no-one can hit everywhere all at once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If China is behind Koreas nuke, do you think they would care if the US responded to a korean attack? We might glass over that little puke but we don't dare confront its big neighbor. Look at the posturing in the Clinton years- we stood down by and large.

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  4. Hi James,

    I’m the Survival editor at Before It’s News. Our site is a People Powered
    news platform with over 4,000,000 visits a month and growing fast.

    We would be honored if we could republish your blog's rss feed
    in our Survival category. Our readers need to read what experts like you have to say.

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    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I wouldn't mind, I have no idea what an RSS feed is.

      Delete
  5. Cousin Jim is an expert now? Dang! -SemperFido

    ReplyDelete