Saturday, September 3, 2022

Conceptual Repost - "The Universal Currency is Energy"

While I have just about 4300 posts to go back to when I feel like it, I don't actually repost much.  It ends up being just about the same amount of work as coming up with a new post.  Tonight, I'm going to use an old post as the nucleus of a repeat.  Maybe even parts of more than one old post.  The main idea is reflected in this post's title and comes from 2011.   

I think the quote that this is based on comes from Robert A. Heinlein.  All transactions between people reduce to transactions about energy.  Think about it: what's the most fundamental of your needs?  Food and shelter.  What is food other than energy to run you?  Shelter?  How do you build your home?  Don't you need energy to make your home livable; to keep the inside in and the outside out?  If you buy anything, you're trading some of your concentrated energy for someone else's.

For as much of my life as I can remember, people have been preaching that we are running out of oil and we needed alternatives.  I first remember seeing the term "peak oil" invoked in the second 1970s gas crisis, when OPEC was deliberately raising the price of their product to gouge us.  When we started making motions to develop our own resources - rather than just talking about it - the price of oil came down.  A lesson for today?  It seems every 10 or 15 years or so, someone else announces we're at peak oil and the world will soon be ending.  It's demonstrably not true.

If there was a free market in oil, I'd say, "peak oil, schmeak oil - I don't care," because all that means is that as oil gets more expensive, other sources of energy will replace it; and it's not like oil hasn't been getting more expensive for the last 40 years, anyway.  Nuclear is the obvious choice for electricity production.  The rising price of oil will put strong incentives in place for someone to develop the Next Big Thing.  In a free market, people will gradually shift from the more expensive energy to the cheaper one and balance the effects of peak oil automatically.  It appears to me that the administration's policies are intended to force us into paying more for oil to get us to make that shift before the market dictates it.  For either eco-NAZI or other fascist reasons. 

Environmentalists and other idiots are always screaming how we need green energy or renewable energy; both terms are code.  What they mean is they want to return the world to some idealized pre-industrial state that never existed.  They want fewer people, and some have fantasized about killing up to 98% of humanity.  It's not just about magical unicorn farts to power everything.  

Enter Alex Epstein now of the Center for Industrial Progress with a great review article "Four Dirty Secrets About Clean Energy."  This is a well thought out piece, and worth the time to read.

  1. Dirty Secret #1: If “clean energy” were actually cheaper than fossil fuels, it wouldn’t need a policy.
  2. Dirty Secret #2: Clean energy advocates want to force us to use solar, wind, and biofuels, even though there is no evidence these can power modern civilization.
  3. Dirty Secret #3: There are promising carbon-free energy sources--hydroelectric and nuclear--but “clean energy” policies oppose them as not “green” enough.
  4. Dirty Secret #4: The environmentalists behind clean energy policy are anti-energy.

For every one of those four bullet points, he has several paragraphs of explanation.  It's worth a read - for a piece from 2015.  Fundamental truths don't change. 

What the world is going through now is so outrageously blind to reality that it's hard to summarize.  Our "leadership" is in a blind rush to shut off all sources of energy that aren't green enough; they're shutting down food production when the supply chain is deeply impaired by both the Covid shutdowns and the skyrocketing cost of fuels from those stupid, destructive energy policies; and they're shutting down fertilizer use because a demonstrably bad computer model says nitrogen fixation in soil is bad, 

To shut down all carbon based fuels when there's nothing coming that can genuinely replace them is so horribly cruel to the population it's hard to put words on.  An analogy I've used in comments around at a few blogs is that it's as if we're being thrown out of an airplane without a parachute by people believing that somehow, against all experience and all abilities to predict, something that will save us will be invented and appear in time to keep us from dying on impact.  Would anyone really do that willingly?


  1. what's the most fundamental of your needs?

    Sexual companionship and nurturing. Feminism has made this rare, despite that every woman is born equipped to produce it.

    Mere energy is relentlessly falling down from the sky at 1kw thermal/m^2. Biggest problem is insulating from that energy. Invest now in shallow tunneling machines to make Hobbit houses.

  2. Eventually we will reach "peak oil". We likely won't know that we did till long after it happens but it will happen. Oil IS a 'renewable' resource. The earth will make more of it. The problem is we burn it far far faster than the earth can create it. Therefore in practical terms it is a finite resource. Nuclear energy might be a viable alternative, then again maybe not. It has it's own problems which include dangerous toxic long lasting waste byproducts among other risks. Secondly it's NOT portable like gas/diesel. To date it's only portable in large ships. There are possible alternatives such as infusing carbon graphite with isotopes that can provide stable long lasting power in a safe portable method i.e a "power diamond". No guarantee that this tech will work but it's worthy of investigation. Most greenies are abject morons. Listening to their whining will lower your don't. A few aren't fools. They are evil. They push for renewables as a way to end our use of oil.....because they are putting themselves into positions to profit from renewables....and control over renewables gives them power. And fundamentally increasing the level of power and control they have is ALL they truly care about. Energy is very important to all of us. The readily, widely, cheaply available energy we built our current society on has allowed most people to live a life of luxury even kings and emperors couldn't imaging a few centuries ago. And if that cheap easily available energy disappears the whole world will convulse and collapse. Hopefully a viable replacement to the oil that has made us all amazingly comfortable and lazy will arrive. Don't count on it. It's just as possible that the physical world PEAKS with oil as useful energy.

    1. We may never reach "peak oil" if research into microbial synthesis of hydrocarbons reaches successful production levels. Years ago Exxon had a TV ad about it. The "greenies" would oppose it though because of, oooooh, CARBON.

  3. Fifty years ago I learned first hand about "watermelons." These so-called environmentalists are green on the outside and red on the inside.

  4. Luminaries of the "green" cult Paul Ehrlich, Jeremy Rifkin, and Amory Lovins have several times each said that they favored a reduction in world energy supplies. Ehrlich and Rifkin were appalled when the "cold fusion" developments of the late Eighties were announced:

    Ehrlich: "It's the worst thing that could happen to our planet!"
    Rifkin: "It would be like giving a machine gun to an idiot child."

    Lovins, in a notorious interview with Playboy magazine, had said:

    If you ask me, it'd be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won't give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth or to each other. [Amory Lovins, Playboy interview, Nov/Dec 1977]

    They are emblematic of their kind.

    1. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is not a fairy tale, it's more of a parable

  5. In the chaos produced by dollar hyperinflation, commerce, trade, banking, etc. will all be hidden behind cryptography. That will end tax collection, and government as we know it will end because it can't pay its employees; organized crime will no longer pay. Once mandated government inefficiencies have ended, the surviving productive members of the middle class will realize they are close to being independently wealthy, and barely need to work for a living. With all the surplus wealth newly freed up because it is no longer being wasted by government, space colonization will start in earnest.

  6. People seem to fearing a strong, capable government able to effectively enforce its bad policies. But strong, capable governments create strong economies full of factories, able to build bombs and airplanes, powered by many large sources of fossil fuel energy. Strong, capable governments raise physical and mental standards to join their administrations and armies.

    This government is doing the opposite of all that.

    1. I wouldn't call the current regime strong or capable. They are failing, and flailing, because they want the same results without the work (required inputs).

  7. The peak oil theory is valid, all you need to do to prove it is look at the discovered vs pumped curve. Your comment about oil getting more expensive proves the basic premise. If we could just stick a straw in the ground like Texas in the 30s, would the off shore rigs even exist? Fields deplete.....but still pump for many years after their peak. The most important thing for those of us outside the oil patch is that there isn't enough to meet demand so plan on price shocks, unrest and wars.

    Left wing environmentalists are scammers and always has been. These are the last people who would care about the environment. TPTB just want to save more resources for themselves which is why the want kill off the rest of us.