A Fuel Depleted Economy?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Carcano, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    This, I think, is very likely. The rationale would be "once we run out of oil completely someone else will have the military advantage - and we can't have that!"
     
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  3. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    You have already argued that life will be more expensive away from cities...so why would rural labour be cheaper?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
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  5. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    No one is going to move an army on wood gas...and we are not going back to four legged transport as a civilization, so the infrastructure will not be there to wage war on the hoof. Pedestrian troops cannot drag artillery, which is necessary to any siege.

    Can you imagine the comical scene...a hundred ships under sail at full mast cruising up the Potomac loaded with 100,000 soldiers, artillery, supplies and 10,000 vehicles running on wood gas???
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
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  7. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Refrigeration on trucks definitely run on liquid fuel, and its not just weight but actual storage space required. I do believe that beef and pork will probably diminish in availability as larger animals do have a wider grain to meat ratio.

    Goat, lamb, chicken, duck and fish will be the primary livestock of the future.

    Btw, according to Purina you get 3 pounds of milk for every pound of Goat Chow!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Asian mercantilism and the complimentary compliant stupidity of US politicians has made the Chinese wealthy enough to afford the building of a virtually car-free city from scratch. The building designs are monolithic paragons of sterility, but the infrastructure has an abundance of redeeming features.


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    http://www.businessinsider.com/china-is-building-a-nearly-car-free-city-2012-11?op=1

    Outside Chengdu, in central China, a 78 million square foot site has been determined for an unconventional sort of construction project. It will be a city built from scratch, for 80,000 people, none of whom will need a car to get around.

    The "Great City" is a plan for an ambitious urban center designed to limit its residents environmental impact by producing clean energy, reducing waste, and promoting public transportation over individual car use.

    The project is the work of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, who note that "Chinese planning officials are beginning to see the effects of automobile-dependent design and are open to better alternatives to urban sprawl."
     
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    More people, less employment = lower labor cost. Supply and demand.

    Why not? People have moved armies with far less - and during WWII, they did indeed move armies of people with wood gas. From Wikipedia:

    "Wood gas vehicles were used during World War II, as a consequence of the rationing of fossil fuels. In Germany alone, around 500,000 "producer gas" vehicles were in use at the end of the war. Trucks, buses, tractors, motorcycles, ships and trains were equipped with a wood gasification unit."

    Could you move an army with 100,000 trucks? I bet any sufficiently motivated country could.

    Do you really think that you cannot drag artillery without gasoline? I can think of half a dozen wars that prove that wrong.

    No more comical than dozens of sailing ships unloading redcoats with muskets, bayonets and artillery (which of course happened.) Wood gas would make that whole process a lot easier.

    That's because we have a lot of liquid fuel. Most refrigerators run on electricity, and before the days of gasoline, auxiliary electricity was generated on trains from generators on the axles. Transitioning back to that isn't even hard.
     
  10. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Except there are going to be less people living in the country...a trend which has continued for the last century.
     
  11. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, civilian vehicles were using wood gas because all the oil was secured for military use.

    This is what the set-up looks like...it can barely carry its own weight, and not far enough be of any military significance.


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  12. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Ships require a harbour and docks to unload...trucks cant just jump out of the hull across a rocky shoal and land on safe ground.

    The problem is that land mounted cannons can be much larger with a greater range than anything onboard a sea going vessel, which are also more difficult to aim.

    Any invading armada would be blow out of the water either by land fire or torpedoes launched from nuclear subs.
     
  13. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Right, and those generators draw power from the internal combustion engine, reducing its mileage and adding to the fuel cost of the trip from country to city.
     
  14. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Peak oil was back in 2008, we past it, thankfully unconventional oil sources kicked because high prices made them profitable to mine, anyways we likely saw the end of cheap oil back then.
     
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed. But there will still be far more people than are needed for the (reduced) number of jobs due to the decline of oil.

    No, at that point the Germans were running out of oil even for their military. Most of their light vehicles were converted to wood (or coal) gas.

    Google what the German gasifiers looked like. They mounted on the bumper of the car, or were integrated into it. Here's one German military vehicle that used a gasifier:

    View attachment 6034

    Well, external combustion engines (steam locomotives specifically.) But yes, they will reduce efficiency overall. Many things will be more difficult without cheap supplies of oil.

    You keep saying things that make me think you have not read much history. For example, have you ever read about an event called D-day? The allied forces landed tanks, artillery, troop transports etc on beaches that not only did not have docks - they had defenders shooting at them while they did it.

    Hmm. Modern sea-going weapons would have no trouble taking out land mounted weapons. For example, modern artillery can fire 20 miles and intelligent munitions can provide pinpoint accuracy. Fire and forget solid fueled rockets can easily take out ground targets 100 miles away.

    Keep in mind that people aren't going to forget how to wage war, they are just going to have to do it without oil. A lot will change - but even more won't change. Loss of oil will not result in loss of naval reactors, artillery, rocketry, radar or close in weapons systems (like the Phalanx.)

    And the battleships that accompany them will immediately launch their ASROC's. No more submarines, and the next wave lands without a hitch. Unless there's another wave of submarines, of course; the better prepared side will then win.
     
  16. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    And those 'far more people' will simply move to the cities.
     
  17. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Thats right, and some of the capacity was switched to synthetic liquid oil made from coal...not wood gas.
     
  18. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    You've suddenly switched back to using examples from a oil rich era...which is not what we are discussing. 18th century sailing ships cannot launch a D-day type land invasion.
     
  19. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Quite the contrary...land based weapons always have better range and accuracy when you compare two forces of similar technological advancement.
     
  20. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    Except that those battleships will already have been sunk.
     
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Some will, some won't. A free market economy has ways of adjusting population density to match things like available jobs, standard of living etc. Population generally moves slowly, however, which means an overabundance of labor for the first few decades of any oil shock.

    Correct! Which will be a (limited) source of liquid fuel as a replacement for gas/oil. The synfuel products were quite expensive and were generally reserved for applications that did not have any alternatives, like aviation. This would likely be true in a future loss of gasoline/oil as well.

    Your original post was: "This is a thread about what a typical western city would (or will) look like under conditions of severe fossil fuel depletion." Right now this IS an oil rich era. Thus any changes to the military will start from the basis of an oil rich era. Some alternative technologies (like sails) may indeed be used, but not to the exclusion of options like nuclear power.

    Agreed. However, they are hard to move, as the French discovered when they tried to build their Maginot Line to stop a German attack. It was a great idea; the Germans just decided to go through Belgian instead of through the line. This is why so many of our defenses are concentrated in our naval forces - they move into the operational theater a lot more easily. This general concept would not change with the loss of oil.

    Generally ASROC's cannot launch until there is a launch detection, at which point they have targets. Standard procedure is to launch anti-submarine weapons upon launch detection.

    Undoubtedly some submarines would survive, as would some battleships. Thus the force with superior numbers and tactics will hold the advantage, as is always the case in war. Again, losing oil won't change that.
     
  22. Carcano Valued Senior Member

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    So what will happen over the next thirty years to America's arable land? Most of the beef cattle pastures and hog farms will allocated for other uses, and obviously more land will produce vegetable oil for diesel engines and the production of bioplastics.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastic

    Meanwhile, more and more land will be taken out of ethanol production which is not efficient enough to be viable in a scenario where available acreages are competing for both food and fuel.

    One very interesting development has been that of seawater farming, which could be used in low lying areas like southeastern Texas. Salicornia is wonderful saltwater crop that can produce both biodiesel and animal feed.

    Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kbqbb72L6fU
     
  23. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    No with GPS guidance the ICBM or cruise missle fired from ship can have a circle or error at traget of less than a foot radius, But a land launched missile, trying to hit a zig zagging ship even is using GPS guidance to where the ship was a few minutes ago, when missile was launched, will miss several hundred times more.

    The two year old demonstrated Chinese "ICBM" uses terminal target seeking (both optical and radar) so US Navy intelligence does believe it has a good chance of sinking even a full speed, ziz-zagging, Carrier with a conventional war head. (ICBM is in quotes as last phase of the attack is not balistic.) If terminal guidance and target acquisition is not used, I´d much rather be on a zig-zagging ship shooting at a fixed land based target with known GPS coordinates than the other way round.

    If that firing ship is a nuclear Polaris sub, its location at launch time of land based missle attacking it may be >50km from the best guess at where it is. Land based MIRVs were very unstablizing during the "cold war" - huge incentive to strike first, but Polaris subs could be an effective deterent even if they waited a few days before firing retalition shots - quite possibly the only reason why MAD worked - I.e. there was no nuclear war between USSR & USA.
     

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