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biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
4 May 2013, 19:52,
#1
biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
Hi folk

So I've read up a bit on these subjects. For the military- minded (I realise there are a few around here) I would recommend the book Climate Wars by ex-military Gwynne Dyer. This doesn't touch much on peak oil though.

For liberal lefties I would recommend The Transition Timeline by Shaun Chamberlain.

Actually I would recommend both books to everyone.

For those who don't know, peak oil has been defined as 'the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline' (even accounting for the discovery of new oil sources.) Please refer to the work of Chris Skrebowski, consulting editor of the Petroleum Review. The moment of peak oil is notoriously difficult to calculate, not least because oil companies are reticent and / or ambivalent about their figures. However some analysts have put the date between about 2000 and 2020...in other words we could already be on the downward curve. I have read some to suggest that there WILL be no replacement in time by other fuel sources for current inrastructures, as current infrastructures simply are not sustainable using any other fuel source, or the time frame needed to reinvent the whole global system for new fuel sources would not 'work', (unless there would be urgent, simultaneous understanding of the challenge by many engineers and scientists worldwide...and it's getting too late for that). Many people have a blind faith in hydrogen or some other wonder fuel 'taking over' from oil, but apparently it doesn't work like that.

Based on my very limited understanding of world events, below are what I see as the most likely unfolding threats within the next 3-5 decades, all related to biodiversity loss, peak oil and rapid climate change (the latter which I see as incontestable -whether it is man-made or not, it is happening) with the tricky added two elements of global population growth, and increased standards of living i.e. energy demands per person in developing countries, especially China, India, and Brazil. (A problem in itself...it's been calculated that we would need six planets to sustain humanity if everyone had the same energy use as the average American...no offense meant to Americans, that's just the way it's happened).

Sorry for the messy order here, but by biodiversity loss I refer to the rate of extinction of species which in the time of modern human civilisation (i.e.now) has reached a rate far greater than at any time in the Earth's history, barring the fifth previous mass extinction events (the dinosaurs being one, I don't know what the other five were).

So, first, let me state what I see as very likely problematic unfolding realities that are difficult to contest. Second I will list what I see as the likely scary implications or at least potential implications of these realities.


1. UNFOLDING REALITIES (I ESTIMATE AT 90% LIKELY)

a) Continued general warming of the planet's surface, resulting in increasing unpredictability of weather events, including increasing unpredictability of rainfall patterns. Also, increasing temperatures around the equator.

b) Increasing scarcity of oil and thus more and more prohibitively high price of oil / petrol / all oil and petrol derivatives including petrochemicals and all plastics ~(which includes anything that is made out of plastic!) There is considerably more gas and coal left than there is oil, but these do not relate to the extensive infrastructures of oil, and secondly will not be adopted globally due to climate change restrictions. A related trend is that we will see nuclear power adopted more and more, although it is not much safer than it ever was and the specialist technology, as far as I understand it, cannot be replicated globally 'in time' to deal with the extent of coming oil scarcity, (not that we would want it to, would we?) Most so-called renewable energies still require oil in their production and transportation.
[As for Alaskan tar sands, they are literally scraping the barrel, and expend more energy to extract the oil than is gained from burning the oil, believe it or not]

c) Continued biodiversity loss i.e. species extinction.

d) Continued wish by people the world over to have more and more, especially those in developeing countries to want to live like those in 'developed' countries.


2. UNFOLDING THREATS (WHO KNOWS HOW LIKELY, BUT IT IS 99% LIKELY TO ME THAT SOME OF THESE THREATS AT LEAST WILL UNFOLD)

a) Migration of peoples away from the heating equator north and south, especially north to better standards of living, so for instance from S America to America and from Africa to Europe. Immigrant clashes with local populations, competition for jobs and resources, rise of far right governments and groups in the north, and further, civil war, in reaction, and in further reaction to the far right.

b) Potential extinction of bees and other insects needed for pollination of much of the world's food supply, potential for extinction of more and more fish varieties, endangering the global fishing industry, and due also to unpredictable rainfall patterns, more crop failure in general, more jobless, more hungry, more starving, more rioting, and potential huge migrations of people where crops fail...leading to similar tensions as described in a) above.

c) A generally warmer wetter global climate (wetter seems to be concensus but not sure about that) coupled with population growth could mean increasing likelihood of incubation and transmission of all diseases including deadly ones, on epidemic scale, as well as migration of bugs and pests, damaging to crops and humans, in unpredictable ways. (It is a FACT that in the last few years the malaria-carrying variety of mosquito has been found as far north as Spain for the first time).

d) Increasing serious psychotic episodes in individuals who are not told the truth by their governments and who will have to live under increasing pressure from all threats. Increasingly desperate behaviour exhibited by an increasing number of people.

e) Increasing likelihood of appropriation of nuclear material by terrorist groups and rogue governments, as transportaion and generation of nuclear material increases to try to make up for shortfall made by peak oil and post peak oil event. I would even lay a bet that transportation and generation of nuclear material will INCREASE, not decrease, in explosive risk (regardless of terrorists) as officials desperately try to cut corners to meet energy quotas. Happy days!

f) Ultimate and final collapse of all global stock markets, as the markets themselves and the commodities within them rely on oil

g) Energy, food and water wars between nations and within nations, as unpredictable rainfall patterns, scarcity of oil, increasing crop failure due to climate change and pests, and increasing populations, combine to put pressure on everyone, everywhere. (See Gwynne Dyer's book, mentioned above). A potential WWIII for resources on an unprecedented scale (Aren't all wars for resources, ultimately?)

My advice?

1) Be as aware as you can
2) Know how to forage and hunt
3) Be prepared to be mobile
4) Base yourself in the country, not the city.
5) Make yourself a valuable commodity in a number of ways, so that you are more useful to people alive than dead.
6) Make as many connections with as many differently skilled people as possible.
Lucky 7) Get lucky!
4 May 2013, 20:04,
#2
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
in short The S##t WILL Hit The Fan!Big Grin all we can do is to prepare for it as best we can, we probably wont be able to influence anything, just ride out the storm and hope to come out the other side, when everything comes to pass you can bet it will be different to anything people living have ever seen or experienced.
4 May 2013, 20:14,
#3
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
(4 May 2013, 20:04)bigpaul Wrote: in short The S##t WILL Hit The Fan!Big Grin all we can do is to prepare for it as best we can, we probably wont be able to influence anything, just ride out the storm and hope to come out the other side, when everything comes to pass you can bet it will be different to anything people living have ever seen or experienced.

Right, but maybe we can create something better.
4 May 2013, 20:17,
#4
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
(4 May 2013, 20:14)StriveForPeacePrepForWar Wrote:
(4 May 2013, 20:04)bigpaul Wrote: in short The S##t WILL Hit The Fan!Big Grin all we can do is to prepare for it as best we can, we probably wont be able to influence anything, just ride out the storm and hope to come out the other side, when everything comes to pass you can bet it will be different to anything people living have ever seen or experienced.

Right, but maybe we can create something better.

yeah, at last!!Big Grin i'm fed up of people who post shtf want to to recreate what went before.
4 May 2013, 20:37,
#5
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
definitely don't want what we have now I personally would want a simple back to basic type living

would be nice to have one or two things but could do with out, the main one which would be good is the internet for the information and communication but that would require things that we can do with out
4 May 2013, 22:59,
#6
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
Ten days it's been - just ten days since I found this site, purely by chance - and had the rudest awakening of my life! It was a welcome one though, and I'm glad that chance brought me this way.

I have been experiencing what many of you tell me is the norm for a newbie - so much to learn, so much to do - the brain is already in overdrive! There is so much that my radar simply wasn't tuned in to.

Now.... my poor, overtaxed grey matter takes a hit for six but I thank you for it SFPPFW (for want of a shorter name to give you!). I have to confess that I had been thinking along the lines of mitigating the risks from the small upward, creating satisfactory cover for each one then building on that for the next.

Maybe I just wasn't opening my eyes wide enough, maybe I was just giving a 'lip-service' thought to what seemed the very unlikely. I don't know but either way, thank you for exploding my brain - it needed it (I think)! How I'm going to deal with it, I don't know but at least the radar's on the frequencies it needs to be...



5 May 2013, 17:20,
#7
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
(4 May 2013, 19:52)StriveForPeacePrepForWar Wrote: 1. UNFOLDING REALITIES (I ESTIMATE AT 90% LIKELY)

a) Continued general warming of the planet's surface, resulting in increasing unpredictability of weather events, including increasing unpredictability of rainfall patterns. Also, increasing temperatures around the equator.

This has been largely debunked for 2 reasons:
1. Our temperature data only goes back 200 years or so, which is a hiccup in time overall.
2. There has been NO global warming in the last 11 years. Average temperatures have actually gotten cooler.

Quote:b) Increasing scarcity of oil and thus more and more prohibitively high price of oil / petrol / all oil and petrol derivatives including petrochemicals and all plastics ~(which includes anything that is made out of plastic!)

You haven't been watching the news. There has been a new oilfield discovered in North Dakota that is estimated to be larger than all the current mid-east countries' oil reserves combined. There is also ANWAR.

Quote:There is considerably more gas and coal left than there is oil, but these do not relate to the extensive infrastructures of oil, and secondly will not be adopted globally due to climate change restrictions.

Huh? Natural gas burns cleaner than oil and is safer than nuclear. Many of our coal-fired power plants have either been converted to or are being converted to natural gas as I type.

Quote:A related trend is that we will see nuclear power adopted more and more, although it is not much safer than it ever was and the specialist technology, as far as I understand it, cannot be replicated globally 'in time' to deal with the extent of coming oil scarcity,

Personally, I think nuclear power died the minute the tsunami hit Fukashima.

Quote:(not that we would want it to, would we?)

Speak for yourself, my friend. I have an "all-electric" home and I'm not interested at all in returning to the 19th century.

Quote:Most so-called renewable energies still require oil in their production and transportation.

Yes, true.

Quote:[As for Alaskan tar sands, they are literally scraping the barrel, and expend more energy to extract the oil than is gained from burning the oil, believe it or not]

And this I do not believe. Companies cannot and do not survive by producing a product that they must sell at a loss. "Lose money on every sale but make it up in the volume" has long been disproved as a viable business plan.

Quote:c) Continued biodiversity loss i.e. species extinction.

Uh huh! Like the "snail darter" perhaps? There's a good reason why the dodo bird went extinct. It wasn't capable of continuing as a species.

Quote:d) Continued wish by people the world over to have more and more, especially those in developing countries to want to live like those in 'developed' countries.

They're tired of living in the 19th, or even the 17th century too...

Quote:2. UNFOLDING THREATS (WHO KNOWS HOW LIKELY, BUT IT IS 99% LIKELY TO ME THAT SOME OF THESE THREATS AT LEAST WILL UNFOLD)

a) Migration of peoples away from the heating equator north and south, especially north to better standards of living, so for instance from S America to America and from Africa to Europe. Immigrant clashes with local populations, competition for jobs and resources, rise of far right governments and groups in the north, and further, civil war, in reaction, and in further reaction to the far right.

It seems to me that a country has a right to control its own borders and immigration policy. By "far-right governments and groups" do you mean those who believe in adherence to the law? I took an oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States". Not the president, not the government, not the Democrat or Republican parties, not the United Nations, but the Constitution. Period. And that I WILL DO!

Quote:b) Potential extinction of bees and other insects needed for pollination of much of the world's food supply, potential for extinction of more and more fish varieties, endangering the global fishing industry, and due also to unpredictable rainfall patterns, more crop failure in general, more jobless, more hungry, more starving, more rioting, and potential huge migrations of people where crops fail...leading to similar tensions as described in a) above.

The die-off of the honeybee is a problem, and if it continues will have the capacity to cause serious problems in those crops which require mechanical pollination (but all crops do not require this - corn being one example). The global fishing industry seems to be doing ok, especially here in Texas, where catfish are grown in farms. Rainfall (and all other weather patterns) have always been unpredictable and will probably continue to be so. Joblessness, starving and rioting are geo-political problems, hardly cause by oil. These problems have been documented as existing before oil was even discovered.

Quote:c) A generally warmer wetter global climate (wetter seems to be consensus, but not sure about that) coupled with population growth could mean increasing likelihood of incubation and transmission of all diseases including deadly ones, on epidemic scale, as well as migration of bugs and pests, damaging to crops and humans, in unpredictable ways. (It is a FACT that in the last few years the malaria-carrying variety of mosquito has been found as far north as Spain for the first time).

Warmer and wetter climate? That hasn't been proven as of yet. Incubation and transmission of diseases? Many communicable diseases have been wiped out by modern medicine, including but not limited to: typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, small pox, polio, and measles to name but a few. The premise in the original post seems to be valid only if all research on disease prevention stops immediately and never restarts.

Quote:d) Increasing serious psychotic episodes in individuals who are not told the truth by their governments and who will have to live under increasing pressure from all threats. Increasingly desperate behaviour exhibited by an increasing number of people.

Governments have been lying to citizens for years. Citizens (at least those with IQs over room temperature) have known it for years. Now all of a sudden we're supposed to become psychotic over the behavior of politicians? No thanks.

Quote:e) Increasing likelihood of appropriation of nuclear material by terrorist groups and rogue governments, as transportation and generation of nuclear material increases to try to make up for shortfall made by peak oil and post peak oil event. I would even lay a bet that transportation and generation of nuclear material will INCREASE, not decrease, in explosive risk (regardless of terrorists) as officials desperately try to cut corners to meet energy quotas. Happy days!

Yes, the terrorists will always try to terrorize, peak oil or no peak oil. It's a religious(?) thing. Fortunately, the terrorists aren't bullet-proof (just ask the eldest of the "Boston Bombers").

Quote:f) Ultimate and final collapse of all global stock markets, as the markets themselves and the commodities within them rely on oil.

There will be a global stock market and economic collapse. In fact, I'm surprised that it hasn't happened yet. However, IMHO, it will be due to fiat currencies backed by nothing but hot air, and the greed of politicians and "banksters". Oil has nothing to do with it.

Quote:g) Energy, food and water wars between nations and within nations, as unpredictable rainfall patterns, scarcity of oil, increasing crop failure due to climate change and pests, and increasing populations, combine to put pressure on everyone, everywhere. (See Gwynne Dyer's book, mentioned above). A potential WWIII for resources on an unprecedented scale (Aren't all wars for resources, ultimately?)

The Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Ontario, and Erie) hold 25% or so of the world's fresh water supply. We're not worried here. Climate change has certainly not been proven scientifically, mainly due to lack of data, and populations in Canada and the US, the last time I looked, were falling. And no, all wars are NOT ultimately for resources. If this were true, Viet Nam, Korea, and The Falklands would never have happened

Quote:My advice?

1) Be as aware as you can
2) Know how to forage and hunt
3) Be prepared to be mobile
4) Base yourself in the country, not the city.
5) Make yourself a valuable commodity in a number of ways, so that you are more useful to people alive than dead.
6) Make as many connections with as many differently skilled people as possible.
Lucky 7) Get lucky!

Good advice! The right conclusions were reached, albeit possibly via the wrong reasons.
If at first you don't secede, try, try again!
5 May 2013, 17:34,
#8
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
any body who thinks the human race can carry on taking more and more fossil fuels and precious metals from the ground, taking more and more agricultural land for building therefore reducing the land available nationally for food whilst at the same time breeding yet more and more childen, and that this present western lifestyle can carry on without end, is living in cloud cuckoo land, and at some time in the future it is going to come and bite them in the arse!! TS WILL HTF at some time and its getting closer and closer every day!!
5 May 2013, 17:52,
#9
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
Yep, it has been getting closer and closer every day sine 1974 when I first hear most of these arguments
If energy meltdown does not get us then global warming will, or plague or over population or some fool thing someone invents to guarantee their research grant.

Global warming was not even a concept until the early 1990s and according to the predictions of that time both London and New York should be under 200 feet of water.

If you are really that worried about the energy situation the do your part. Turn off your lights, heat, air conditioning and the fridge. Park your car and refuse to support the oil industry. Grow all your own food so transport of the merchandise will not consume fuel, grow your own wool spin your own thread and weave your own fabric.

The U.S has 400 years of fuel reserves at the present rate of use. The water has not risen one inch in the past 40 years, the warming trend was documented as having stopped 10 years ago.

As for the population explosion, just stop giving tax breaks for dependent children and tax by family size. Stop sending food to third world nations and let nature take its course, along with the mass migrations, food wars and genocide campaigns.

When you look at it like that it just seems like SHTF is the continuation of world history as it has always been, not some mysterious force no one has seen before.
5 May 2013, 18:33, (This post was last modified: 5 May 2013, 19:29 by bigpaul.)
#10
RE: biodiversity loss, climate change and peak oil -related threats
(5 May 2013, 17:52)Mortblanc Wrote: Yep, it has been getting closer and closer every day sine 1974 when I first hear most of these arguments
If energy meltdown does not get us then global warming will, or plague or over population or some fool thing someone invents to guarantee their research grant.

Global warming was not even a concept until the early 1990s and according to the predictions of that time both London and New York should be under 200 feet of water.

If you are really that worried about the energy situation the do your part. Turn off your lights, heat, air conditioning and the fridge. Park your car and refuse to support the oil industry. Grow all your own food so transport of the merchandise will not consume fuel, grow your own wool spin your own thread and weave your own fabric.

The U.S has 400 years of fuel reserves at the present rate of use. The water has not risen one inch in the past 40 years, the warming trend was documented as having stopped 10 years ago.

As for the population explosion, just stop giving tax breaks for dependent children and tax by family size. Stop sending food to third world nations and let nature take its course, along with the mass migrations, food wars and genocide campaigns.

When you look at it like that it just seems like SHTF is the continuation of world history as it has always been, not some mysterious force no one has seen before.

someone kindly tell the politicians!

it always makes me laugh when an American says" oh, there's plenty of oil left", everyone with half a brain knows that we passed the peak at least 5 years ago and we are now on the downhill slope, we are using more oil than they are finding, if we have so much oil why are they bothering with Fracking and Tar oil if the easier stuff is so plentiful? oil is a FINITE resourse, there wont be any more for millions of years and when its all gone-its gone! i think we'll all see an economic collapse LONG before all the oil is gone, there may be oil in the ground but we wont be able to afford to buy it!

BTW it is well known that ALL the oil producing nations LIE about how much oil they have in their reserves, it would probably be political suicide to tell the truth! well, we all know TPTB never tell the truth-dont we??


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