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A melting Arctic could be good news for mankind, according to a new study.  (Source: SciAddict)

An earlier map of the USGS estimates of untapped Arctic gas reserves. Brighter areas indicate more gas.  (Source: USGS)

A similar map shows oil reserves, here the darker regions represent regions more rich in probable oil deposits.  (Source: USGS)
New study shows yet another potential benefit of a warmer planet

A new study adds to growing evidence that the current warming cycle may hold potential benefits to mankind.  According to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey, earlier estimates which placed untapped Arctic oil reserves at as much as 90 billion barrels actually fell short -- the Arctic may in fact hold as many as 160 billion barrels of oil.  The new discovery amounts to over 35 years in US foreign oil imports or 5 years’ worth of global oil consumption.   Canada, Greenland/Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States, all of which border the Arctic Circle are racing to compete for the untapped resource.

The oil reserves could fetch a price of $10.6 trillion dollars at current oil prices.  Most of the reserves are in shallow waters -- less than 500 meters (about 1/3rd of a mile) -- making extraction relatively easy.  Geologist Donald Gautier comments, "It would not mean that there would be any kind of a significant shift in global oil balance.  But this is especially significant for the Arctic nations."

Oil companies are already racing to pinpoint deposits and begin to tap this bountiful resource.  Exxon Mobil and several others have staked claims and began drilling in the Mackenzie Delta, the Barents Sea, the Sverdrup Basin, and offshore Alaska.   According to Alan Jeffers, a spokesperson for Exxon Mobil, "It makes sense to diversify sources of oil and gas, given that the U.S. is one of the biggest consumers of oil and gas."

As rich as the Arctic may be in oil, it may hold even more natural gas.  While the geologists estimate 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil lies in the region, they also estimate that the region holds 30 percent of the planet's undiscovered natural gas reserves.  Natural gas harvested in the region could be used for a variety of purposes including home heating and power generation.

The discoveries are part of an ongoing USGS study CARA -- Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal.  The study is the first of its kind as researchers are using advanced geological analysis and probability modeling to estimate the reserves held in the Arctic shelves.  While probabilistic models come with a degree of uncertainty, this multidiscipline approach is yielding exciting results and has already led to the discovery of several major deposits.

Despite the potential gains to economic and national security gains that could come from tapping this resource, environmentalists are seeking to block oil companies from drilling in the region, complaining it will release arsenic, mercury and lead into the ocean waters.  All of these compounds naturally occur in low quantities in sea water.  Activist Lisa Speer, Director of the International Oceans Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a CNN.com interview adds, "We need uniform, mandatory standards governing offshore oil and gas activity in the Arctic because activity in one country has the potential to affect the environment of the Arctic far beyond the country of origin."



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By Amiga500 on 6/1/2009 7:23:44 AM , Rating: 3
How exactly do they go about this?

Purchasing the land - paying the country who has the original designation, or simply taking it?

Possession 9/10th the law and all that?




By TheSpaniard on 6/1/2009 8:18:40 AM , Rating: 2
they pay for it... who they pay? I have no idea


By Tsuwamono on 6/5/2009 11:09:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well they paid the US government even though just under half of that oil is on Canadian soil. And then Russia has the other majority and a small fraction is under alaska.


By mandrews on 6/1/2009 8:51:47 AM , Rating: 3
quote:

How exactly do they go about this?

Purchasing the land - paying the country who has the original designation, or simply taking it?


Typically prospectors like Exxon purchase licenses to search for and develop offshore resources. They may lose money, they may gain it, depending on what they find. Its a very risky business, but one that's vital to support our modern economy.

Licenses are typically sold by the government of the nation boarding the ocean. So most of these licenses are likely purchased from Canada, the United States, Russia, etc.


By Hiawa23 on 6/1/2009 9:30:38 AM , Rating: 3
I have no idea how they go about this but with the fuel prices going back up we(United States) needs to do something to help many of it's citizens who are already struggling with the bad economy, & throw $3/gallon, soon to be of gas is really going to hurt more. It's a shame a country supposed as great as the US, & we have to depend on foreign oil, & dictators for most of our oil, & please don't start with the bashing Obama, nonsense cause there hasn't been any strides made at all since the 70s & I am really getting concerned, cause as gas prices move back up so does your electric bills & everything else tide to that. I would like to see drilling wherever we can find it, & more of it, cause I am not sure the electric cars are the immediate future, as most drivers won't be able to afford those & gas engined vehicles are it for most of us. I just find it hard to believe we can't keep gas prices at around or less than $2/gallon.


By mandrews on 6/1/2009 9:38:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just find it hard to believe we can't keep gas prices at around or less than $2/gallon


Gas prices will fluctuate naturally with seasonal supply and demand. However, I agree with you completely on the need for drilling -- additional drilling would certainly help to bring down prices overall.

The best part is that with modern technology, drilling is cheaper and minimally invasive, having little impact on sea life, allowing us to have our cake and eat it too.


By stilltrying on 6/1/2009 11:08:52 AM , Rating: 2
There is no supply and demand price with oil. The price is set by the cartel. Look up the definition of cartel. How does barrel of oil stay down yet prices go up and yet yahoo.com or some other news agency then wants to say that usually it is supply and demand that sets prices now it is something else or some strange situation for current prices. It is all a scam. There is loads of oil in Alaska (Prudhoe Bay) and there is loads of oil in Montana (Bakken reserves).

Propaganda is out there for a reason.


By mandrews on 6/1/2009 12:01:16 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
There is no supply and demand price with oil. The price is set by the cartel. Look up the definition of cartel. How does barrel of oil stay down yet prices go up and yet yahoo.com or some other news agency then wants to say that usually it is supply and demand that sets prices now it is something else or some strange situation for current prices. It is all a scam. There is loads of oil in Alaska (Prudhoe Bay) and there is loads of oil in Montana (Bakken reserves).


Care to cite any sources to back your wild claims?


By nafhan on 6/1/2009 12:49:46 PM , Rating: 3
OPEC's "mission statement":
The principal aim of the Organization shall be the coordination and unification of the petroleum policies of Member Countries and the determination of the best means for safeguarding their interests, individually and collectively.

They control most of the world's oil exports and they state straight up that they are going to do what they can to get the most out of it.

It does have to do with supply and demand, but ultimately, you have the cartel deciding what the price is going to be.

See:
http://www.opec.org/library/opec%20statute/pdf/os....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OPEC


By sprockkets on 6/1/2009 3:16:36 PM , Rating: 5
The fact that in the past year, gas prices went from $4+ to $1.60 here in FL while demand only went down less than 10%. The only reason it probably stopped at $1.60 was due to the emergency meeting at said cartel to kill production to boost the price. It's hovering now around $2.40.

Yeah, that empirical evidence.


By Hiawa23 on 6/1/2009 12:58:30 PM , Rating: 4
There is no supply and demand price with oil. The price is set by the cartel. Look up the definition of cartel. How does barrel of oil stay down yet prices go up and yet yahoo.com or some other news agency then wants to say that usually it is supply and demand that sets prices now it is something else or some strange situation for current prices. It is all a scam. There is loads of oil in Alaska (Prudhoe Bay) and there is loads of oil in Montana (Bakken reserves).

Propaganda is out there for a reason.


I think I agree, cause here in Florida there is no reason for the price to below $2 for months now all of sudden someone pushes a button, & the price magically starts going back up, & how is that diesel is less than gasoline in many places?

I used to think it was supply & demand, but I don't now. To put it simply, we are getting hosed. The price goes & down partly on the speculators, & we are at the mercy of the foreign countries, & sadly , the people who we have elected over the years can't do or won't do anything about it. I went on vacation early May, & the gas prices were below $2, now they are $2.44, & I can't think of any reason for this, but the experts will give us many excuses. I guess we should just accept it, or not, but what can we do? You can't even get a second job in these economic times.


By Regs on 6/1/2009 1:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
Just to name a few reasons:

under/over estimate the future consumption of either diseal or gasoline, they get rid of inventory too fast or too slow, other large nation starts buying or bidding on gas/diseal contracts....

Lets now also forget the whole Wall Street fiasco when companies were buying oil futures/contracts and not taking delivery then selling them at a higher price.


By Ringold on 6/1/2009 4:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Lets now also forget the whole Wall Street fiasco when companies were buying oil futures/contracts and not taking delivery then selling them at a higher price.


If the line of discussion is still supply and demand, the above is actually an example of market actors attempting to more locate equilibrium pricing. Without getting bogged down in how options traders work, if they're buying a commodity and selling it higher that means the producer sold too cheaply to begin with. Market traders would thus be capturing some 'producer surplus'. If it doesn't make sense, one has to understand what supply and demand schedules/curves really are.

Paul Krugman last year had some great blog posts explaining in detail why the speculator paranoia was largely just that, paranoia. And Krugman is the most famous liberal economist out there, and a Nobel prize winner.

Now why oil prices are going back up while tons of supply is sitting in tankers moored around the world from when the price crashed with the global economy, I'm not sure. Does it take time to offload it and get that oil back to market? Does it have something to do with some global production being shut in due to prices being too low for a while? I don't know, but I for one am trying to not look at short periods of time and trying to find sinister things in market oscillations. Dirt cheap oil was, apparently, no more sustainable than than $140 oil.

Ah, and a lot of traders seem to laugh on CNBC at the idea the OPEC 'cartel' actually controls its output. They pretty commonly point out that members lie about their reserves (upon which quotas are set) and most then produce beyond their quota anyway. Not all of them and not always, but OPEC's not all-powerful.


By Regs on 6/1/2009 6:29:23 PM , Rating: 2
If you asked me it's because of factor-costs, the supply curve. If oil becomes too cheap to sustain a profit for a lot of oil drillers or refineries, they will cut back production and move onto other investments like alternative energy or simply buy capital or a stake into another company.

If they cut back, that means there are less players in the field to handle the supply. So you're right that it's part of the invisible hand theory.

However what happens when consumers have no viable alternatives or substitute? We need oil to heat our homes, drive to work (a lot of industry has moved out the city and are spread far apart), transport our goods over land to retailers and wholesalers, and so forth.


By JediJeb on 6/1/2009 3:25:24 PM , Rating: 3
Well actually it is based on Supply and Demand. The problem is the Supply is controlled by OPEC, so if they want more money they lower the supply and the demand stays the same so the price goes up.


By Oregonian2 on 6/1/2009 6:01:07 PM , Rating: 3
Note that the price of a barrel of crude has changed *WILDLY* over very large range over the last couple years. If OPEC had iron control over prices it would not have done that (especially when it dropped a LOT).

OPEC is kind of like the UN. Something with a goal, but not as solidly effective as it might be in theory.

When demand goes down (which it has) OPEC may say volume from OPEC should drop, but each country in the cartel thinks it's some OTHER country that should take the volume drop. :-)

Etc.


By BZDTemp on 6/1/2009 8:49:41 AM , Rating: 2
That is a good question. The territorial agreements on the region are not even close to being finalized so exactly with whom have the oil companies filled their claims?

Maybe it's like the scheme where you can buy a star or a an area of the moon :-)

It could also be that the oil companies have staked claims in locations that are within the areas of Canada or the US which are undisputed.


By dflynchimp on 6/1/2009 8:57:03 AM , Rating: 5
No first we must defeat the polar bear and artic wolve natives, pushing them into small roped off reserved areas before finally giving them rights to owning casinos as a fringe benefit.


By Tsuwamono on 6/5/2009 11:13:32 AM , Rating: 2
Or, you could treat them respectfully and try to accommodate them?


By phxfreddy on 6/1/2009 12:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
One should HOPE they get the mineral rights for free excepting if there is an eskimo on the property. Certainly governments do nothing but take take take in regards oil resulting in higher prices than otherwise would be.


By MrPoletski on 6/6/2009 1:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, this article forgets to mention that Russia is claiming most of this artic oil.

It's not accesible yet, but I bet we start seeing 'friction' about this oil&gas in the future.


Sounds great
By FITCamaro on 6/1/2009 8:26:10 AM , Rating: 3
Just too bad our current glorious leader and Congress will never allow us to drill for it in waters the US lays claim to.




RE: Sounds great
By andrinoaa on 6/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Sounds great
By FITCamaro on 6/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds great
By andrinoaa on 6/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds great
By invidious on 6/1/2009 9:15:56 AM , Rating: 5
So he should post things contrary to his opinion or simply not post? Personally I couldn't care less what he has to say one way or the other and I am more tired of seeing the anti-FIT posts in every thread.


RE: Sounds great
By SnakeBlitzken on 6/1/2009 9:44:57 AM , Rating: 3
I'm with FIT. Personally, we'd all be bettter off if Canada or Russia laid claim to more ground. At least then, the resources would get tapped. The more ground the US lays claim to, the more reserves there are that will get tied up in court or placed in National Refuge.


RE: Sounds great
By FITCamaro on 6/1/2009 10:29:52 AM , Rating: 2
You could run the FCC better than its currently run then.


RE: Sounds great
By mandrews on 6/1/2009 9:43:59 AM , Rating: 2
Entirely correct, sadly. The last President may have had his flaws, but the current one is proving shill to special interests.

On hand he's been fighting developments that would improve our standard of living to appease environmentalists, while with the other hand slashing science budgets which could actually unlock the secrets of nuclear energy and other clean power sources.

And don't even get me started on the government's nationalization of private corporations.

I remain optimistic, hoping to see positive developments, but the current administration is making some very unwise moves, in my opinion.


RE: Sounds great
By reader1 on 6/1/2009 10:48:33 AM , Rating: 1
Hey masher, how did that big global warming skeptics conference go in March? I read that only 700 people showed up, down 200 from last year.


RE: Sounds great
By 67STANG on 6/1/2009 12:41:41 PM , Rating: 4
I believe The Onion stated it best:

Obama Revises Campaign Promise Of 'Change' To 'Relatively Minor Readjustments In Certain Favorable Policy Areas'


RE: Sounds great
By Zoomer on 6/1/2009 11:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
Change was promised. Ok, we just changed our change!


RE: Sounds great
By goz314 on 6/1/2009 4:45:11 PM , Rating: 2
What about saving it for future use? We certainly don't have to drill the s@#% out of the Arctic now, right this second just because a single report says there is likely more oil to be had there. The race for energy independence and eventual sustainability is not a sprint, it's a marathon. There will always be a need for petroleum... period. I would rather our country save what little proven reserves are still in our control for future strategic needs than burn it all as exhaust out of our collective tail pipes right now.


Oxygen Question
By CurtOien on 6/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Oxygen Question
By ApfDaMan on 6/1/2009 7:39:27 AM , Rating: 1
I think we have an abundance of oxygen... enough to avoid these circumstances for longer than a few generations will have to worry about.

hopefully...


RE: Oxygen Question
By mandrews on 6/1/2009 8:57:17 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

If our oxygen was made by plants and we burn all of our hydrocarbons, will we use up our oxygen?


There's hardly a shortage of plants in the world to produce more oxygen. For all the environmentalist tripe about deforestation, the Earth holds much more abundant and diverse plant life now than in numerous past eras in its history.


RE: Oxygen Question
By CurtOien on 6/1/2009 12:12:23 PM , Rating: 2
I know that plants will produce more oxygen. But, as they decompose or burn they will use it up again. From what little I know, the oxygen that is available to us was produced by plants that have not decomposed or burned yet and have been locked up in things like lumber, coal and oil. We can't extract and burn everything but can we ever burn enough to make a difference?


RE: Oxygen Question
By johnsonx on 6/1/2009 9:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
burning fuel combines oxygen with carbon to produce carbon dioxide. plants produce oxygen by cracking carbon dioxide. lather, rinse, repeat


RE: Oxygen Question
By Regs on 6/1/2009 9:31:26 AM , Rating: 5
If photosynthesis stops....we'd die a whole lot sooner than waiting for the oxygen to deplete.


RE: Oxygen Question
By SpaceJumper on 6/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Oxygen Question
By sprockkets on 6/1/2009 6:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of oxygen is made by organisms in our oceans as well.


What if?
By owyheewine on 6/1/2009 9:33:47 AM , Rating: 2
What if the Arctic isn't melting?
Does that mean that the oil and gas are not there?
Since the Russians have claimed the North Pole, my guess is that they think it's there.




RE: What if?
By FITCamaro on 6/1/2009 12:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
You don't make a lot of sense. If the Arctic wasn't melting it would mean that we couldn't get to it, not that it isn't there. It hasn't magically appeared because the Arctic is melting.


RE: What if?
By owyheewine on 6/2/2009 9:33:45 AM , Rating: 2
Actually I was mocking the headline. Had a sense of humor lately?


global warming
By TSS on 6/1/2009 8:14:03 AM , Rating: 5
it's funny to see so little comments on global warming compared to other comments (then again, this isn't a mick article). especially since now, it actually applies.

i was reading up on CO2 on wikipedia, and it had a small section on global warming for oh, the past 65 million years. appearantly there was a bigass drop of CO2 around 47-49 million years ago, called the "azolla-event". which made atmospheric CO2 concentrations drop from 3500ppm to 600ppm (today, it's about 385ppm):

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

the last paragraph's interesting:

quote:
Much of the current interest in oil exploration in the Arctic regions, ironically made possible by global warming, is directed towards the Azolla deposits. The burial of large amounts of organic material provides the source rock for oil, so given the right thermal history, the preserved Azolla blooms might have been converted to oil or gas. While this does mean that much money is available for the study of this event — a centre having been set up in the Netherlands devoted to Azolla — the use of these fossil fuels may reverse the climate change caused by Azolla.


thoughts? idea's? flames? :P




A different name :)
By William Gaatjes on 6/1/2009 10:07:39 AM , Rating: 1
He Masher is it Mandrew now ? :P




RE: A different name :)
By goz314 on 6/1/2009 4:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
No, silly. Masher got married and he took the last name of his new husband. :-)


RE: A different name :)
By William Gaatjes on 6/1/2009 5:32:38 PM , Rating: 2
Hihihihi,

I was thinking of that when i wrote it. :-)
Now with Obama as president i assume the US will become more liberal.


left the thieving begin
By cdrsft on 6/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: left the thieving begin
By Suntan on 6/1/2009 10:35:58 AM , Rating: 2
A list of the major countries throughout history that haven't worked this way if you please?

I'd be supprised if you could name 3 - for all the countries, throughout all of history - that didn't show this tendency when they were recognized as just a major player (not even the top country) in their time.

But yeah, keep hating America, because we're so much worse than everyone else on every front.

-Suntan


RE: left the thieving begin
By cdrsft on 6/1/2009 3:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
yeah, keep hating America, because we're so much worse than everyone else on every front


i'm American. And a proud one at that, I just think we're fair when it comes to plundering


Where is Michael Asher?
By just4U on 6/1/2009 10:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
In reading this article I realized we haven't seen any of his articles lately.. kinda curious if he's still with DT or just busy with other things.




RE: Where is Michael Asher?
By reader1 on 6/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Where is Michael Asher?
By just4U on 6/2/2009 4:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
I had made the connection but I'd thought it was coincidence.. mmm Anyway, if that is the case Asher is a better pen name then Andrews.


By BernardP on 6/1/2009 2:00:10 PM , Rating: 1
Well, it's melting now, because it's summer. And it will grow again this fall. Long term trends are not so obvious though, despite all the scary melting-poles stories in the media:

http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_S...




By HotFoot on 6/2/2009 3:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I thought Masher blogged about the Antarctic ice growing, not shrinking. Or was that just in some places in the Arctic, like Norway?


By lukasbradley on 6/1/2009 8:28:13 AM , Rating: 2
It would be great if DT showed a larger version of the side graphics when they were clicked on. I'd like to read the fine print on those maps.




By SnakeBlitzken on 6/1/2009 11:05:48 AM , Rating: 2
No article on this site about the new fusion laser reactor in San Fran? We're going to explode a tiny hydrogen pellet with a gazillion mega-powerful lasers. Sounds like fun.




such a viscous cycle!
By polaris2k4 on 6/1/2009 12:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
CO2, causing global warming, melts the polar caps, which releases more fossil fuels to burn, releasing more CO2, making a warming climate, which in turn releases more fuel!! the irony!!




More Gas for Russia
By MatthiasF on 6/1/2009 4:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone else notice most of the big deposits are on Russia's side? Like they need more gas to hold over Europe's head.

Looks like the only other big gas deposit corresponds with the big petroleum reserve off northern Alaska.




Beleive in global warming?
By ApfDaMan on 6/1/2009 7:30:21 AM , Rating: 1
Well, if you beleive that gloabl warming is caused by humans, then we are extracting oil from the arctic that will let us melt more of the arctic... yay!




Cool
By buzznut on 6/1/2009 8:06:14 AM , Rating: 1
See its like I've been saying, global warming is not so bad.

Where's my ice drill?




More Information
By TheOtherBubka on 6/1/09, Rating: 0
Great News
By InfantryRocks on 6/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Great News
By InternetGeek on 6/1/2009 7:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
You're joking right?

We need cheap oil. Lots of it. At least until we can come up with an energy source that's actually clean, cheap, reliable and plentiful.


RE: Great News
By misbeliever on 6/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Great News
By Amiga500 on 6/1/2009 7:34:11 AM , Rating: 4
Energy cannot be created or destroyed.

What source is used to generate a sizeable amount of electricity?

Hmmmm....


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/1/09, Rating: -1
RE: Great News
By Amiga500 on 6/1/2009 8:03:27 AM , Rating: 2
Did you read the last line?

Have you considered that solar cells do not generate any electricity at night*? Of course, we could use electrolysis to generate hydrogen then burn that as a rudimentary energy storage... at the cost of electricity prices the far side of 10 times what they are now.

*Y'know, the time when most lighting and heating is needed?


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/1/2009 8:08:31 AM , Rating: 1
I see, you don't do jokes on this site, ha ha ha
Solar power is not just PE cells , doh


RE: Great News
By Alexstarfire on 6/1/2009 11:06:15 AM , Rating: 2
What else do you consider solar power then? PE cells are pretty much the only thing we have, unless you count some VERY inefficient ways to use the Sun.

Either way hydrogen isn't viable yet. Electricity wouldn't be bad, but our battery tech sucks. Only things coming close to being viable are ethanol and biodiesel, provided they get the algae to do the work.


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/2/2009 5:10:11 AM , Rating: 2
Wave, tidal, thermal furnace, PE, Hydro, photosynthesis, wind... need any more?


RE: Great News
By HotFoot on 6/2/2009 3:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not saying anything about it being cost-competitive or applicable in a way to replace all electricity production, but if you look up the Solar One project (and those that followed it), you'll see PE is certainly not the only solution for direct solar energy harvesting. Using thermal storage, these plants can generate power 24 hours a day. I imagine that extended periods of heavy cloud would be a severe hindrance on that.


RE: Great News
By knutjb on 6/1/2009 1:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
FYI Obama killed off hydrogen programs so you can scratch that one off the list. They must not have had enough lobbyist or given enough to his campaign.


RE: Great News
By mandrews on 6/1/2009 8:47:08 AM , Rating: 5
Solar energy remains almost laughably inefficient compared to other power sources. Major adoption of solar power in the U.S. would send power bills soaring, much as they have in Spain.

The only two clear alternatives to fossil fuels are nuclear power and hydroelectric, but ironically these are the two forms of alternative energy environmentalists most frequently oppose.


RE: Great News
By knutjb on 6/1/2009 1:27:27 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo you hit the nail on the head. Environmentalist will do everything they can to stop hydro because of the fish and nuke because there is a new incredible technology (insert hallucination here) that will obviate the need for the hazardous nuclear fuels. Planet first people dead, um I mean Planet first... We have had major advances in nuclear technology that greatly reduce waste through recycling of the fuel, something that can be engineered into new facilities, but apparently recycling only applies to what the environmentalist want it to.

Electricity is the easiest energy to transport from source to end user. It can be generated in a myriad of ways. Why we avoid nuke power is beyond me. Oh wait there is a new incredible technology (insert hallucination here)right around the corner...


RE: Great News
By HotFoot on 6/2/2009 3:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
I seriously think it's a real shame new nuclear facilities haven't been built on a regular basis over the last three decades. I think we'd be much further ahead with advanced designs if there was greater domestic use of the product.


RE: Great News
By thekdub on 6/1/2009 7:43:24 AM , Rating: 2
Electricity typically requires natural fuels such as gas or coal to be burned in order to generate it. Hydroelectric, wind power, etc. are in the minority when it comes to different methods of producing electricity, because dams and wind farms are rather expensive to build and maintain compared to a coal-fired plant. Batteries wouldn't really work due to their relatively short life span, they would have to be constantly replaced or recharged, and the only reliable way to recharge them would be with more electricity from power lines (solar panels are only efficient in certain locales).

I'd rather see the money that will be poured into locating these deposits be used for the development of alternative energy sources. But oil makes money and lots of it, so these companies will continue to drill and continue to lobby against alternative energy until they bleed all of their reserves dry.


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Great News
By jadeskye on 6/1/2009 8:12:30 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see your source for those figures. getting 20% of our power from wave generators seems highly over-estimated.

You also have to take into account that not all countries have access to such technology because of their geological placement on earth.

For instance, people that live close to the equator are going to get a lot more power from solar then those near the top of the northern or southern hemispheres.

Not all countries have shorelines to exploit for wave and tidal power. not to mention wind power, i know in the UK where i live most of the wind generators are off-shore.

I'm sorry but as much as i hate it, fossil fuels are still a nessesery evil. But i do look forward to a day, hopefully in my lifetime, that they're no longer polluting our world.


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/1/2009 8:28:55 AM , Rating: 2
Waves have a higher energy density than wind and once the wave has past the generator, it regenerates. It has been estimated that around the coast of Australia, enough energy to power the world occurs every day. Its virtually untapped, its getting very close to the cost of coal power generation, its clean and can be deployed as modular units. Waves are even more dependable than sunlight hrs. Austalia has three of the best technologies available, ready to go. 20% is not unrealistic. Wind has been estimated at no more than 10% due to its unpredictability, waves happen virtually 24hrs a day ( if positioned in a well researched place )


RE: Great News
By jadeskye on 6/1/2009 11:13:30 AM , Rating: 2
i take it back then. ^_^

Seeing how efficient they can be, i hope my island nation exploits the power offered by the atlantic ocean.

But i still maintain that oil is nessesery for now, as much as i wish it wasn't.


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/2/2009 5:16:38 AM , Rating: 2
There will still be a need for oil but by making it less desirable, we can make its price relativley stable and cheaper than by squandering the resource. As a side benefit we help the environment WIN - WIN


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/1/2009 8:33:38 AM , Rating: 2
I am not saying solar in all its forms is a total solution at the moment, for everyone or anyone. But just imagine the total contribution to DRASTICALLY reduce our dependance on fossile fuels. Surely a 50% reduction using "lowlying fruit" has to be a win win situation in the short to medium term ie the next 50yrs.


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/1/2009 9:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
Just sourced an interesting chart for you. The chart shows the kw/m of wave fronts indifferent parts of the world. In the tropics it is around 10kw/m and towards Alaska and southern tip of Sth America it goes up to 95kw/m wave front.

www.1degree.com.au/files/DTSavingPlanetEarth_Part 6_Page11.pdf

This is a HUGH amount of untapped energy.


RE: Great News
By bman on 6/1/2009 4:32:06 PM , Rating: 2
Using hydro for energy storage is old news, pumped storage is being planned in many parts of the U.S. right now. The problem is that hydro storage can not be used on all dams because of river flow regulations or if the hydro dam is of the run of river type. I am not to sure about the hydro potential of U.S. but here in Canada we have around 60% of electricity generated by hydro, now only if we doubled our nuclear generation we could have nearly all of our electricity from low carbon source


RE: Great News
By Regs on 6/1/2009 11:25:58 AM , Rating: 3
I suggest taking a modern economics course. You pull these alternatives out of thin air like they're the next coming of Christ not realizing the effects it would have on your way of life and the consequences.


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/2/2009 5:27:57 AM , Rating: 2
Yea. like what effects on "our " way of life are you talking about? I didn't pull these alternatives out of the air. They are available NOW. Open your eyes and check it out. Economics course? Well the current situation was caused by Harvard educated smart arse Layers/accountants and economists. WHO COULD DO WORSE? What I propose is low lying fruit , which in the long term is good for us in so many ways. It buys us as a species TIME. If we have time , we can develop nuclear power PROPERLY - not as a giant experimental nightmare. It buys us time to develop other sources BEFORE oil does run out.


RE: Great News
By invidious on 6/1/2009 9:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
He isn't saying we dont need it. He is saying our stupid government (and the people who elected them) will likely put up resistance to offshore Alaska drilling.

Its simply English, just read his post.


RE: Great News
By biggsjm on 6/1/09, Rating: 0
RE: Great News
By InfantryRocks on 6/1/2009 7:44:01 AM , Rating: 4
What are you talking about? I want to drill in every crevice there is. If they need to set up shop in my backyard they're welcome to. This country's stance on drilling and refining oil is unbelievably stupid. We need to drill here and now.

If anyone thinks I'm trying to "save the planet" in the traditional enviro-whacko sense, then I obviously didn't convey my meaning.


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/1/2009 8:18:29 AM , Rating: 4
There are some good arguements for NOT drilling every last drop of oil. All of them have to do with long term strategies. Wars, pollution, economic blackmail and economic efficiency. These are all long term strategies. The longer we are tied to oil, the bigger the crunch when we have to move away from it. Sure short term we hurt, but ultimate freedom requires some longterm planning, it doesn't just happen.
As for you gratuitous remark about enviro-whackos, what science degree do you have and what field have you studied/worked in?


RE: Great News
By just4U on 6/1/2009 10:12:20 AM , Rating: 1
Err,

If Al Gore can win a nobel prize for his work without so much as a handyman's knowledge of science that pretty much makes everyone a expert.. credentials be damned!


RE: Great News
By Regs on 6/1/2009 10:45:17 AM , Rating: 2
Proximo: He knows to well how to manipulate the mob.

Maximus: Marcus Aurelius had a dream that was Rome, Proximo. That is not it. That is not it!

Proximo: Marcus Aurelius is dead, Maximus. We mortals are but shadows and dust. Shadows and dust, Maximus!


RE: Great News
By InfantryRocks on 6/1/2009 12:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
First off, get bent on your grand search for credentials. I have a functioning brain. That's more than can be said for a hell of a lot of the U.S. population, ESPECIALLY when it comes to energy policy.

Secondly, I'll be more than happy to support moving away from oil as an energy source just as soon as we get cars, jets, and trains that can run off of wood chips. Until that happens, oil is about the best we got.

By all means, keep researching, but let's stop putting the cart before the horse, shall we?


RE: Great News
By andrinoaa on 6/2/2009 5:42:07 AM , Rating: 2
My point being, the scientists who spend a life time looking at the facts and the trends have spoken as a majority and said "Houston, we have a problem". Now I know who I am going to beleive MORE! To just chant this stupid mantra that people who have taken notice are enviro-whackos is PLAIN STUPID. Sure some people take it to extreemes, but to suggest anybody who has a concern is a whacko, I repeat is PLAIN STUPID. Now if you are not a scientist or haven't spent a life studying these things, what gives you the right to chant rabid mantras and present them as facts. All it does is create static. By all means give us your opinion, fine I can handle that. Present facts and I can deal with that too. There is nothing personal. I can even state that there is a small chance the scientists are wrong. But the same scientific principles that give us our modern life style are pretty hard to refute. You can't half beleive in science.


Anyone else think this is stupid?
By Locutus465 on 6/1/09, Rating: -1
By William Gaatjes on 6/1/2009 10:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
Deaf ears i am sorry to say...

Gross of society never learns untill it is too late. Part because they have no other option and not the financial means to do so even when they wanted too. The part that does have the means simply do not care...
They will be dead one day and it's not their problem then anymore.


By Suntan on 6/1/2009 10:28:40 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
lets get serious about alternative energy.


So what are you *actually* doing to get serious about it?

You spending your nights and weekends in the garage-turned-lab, experimenting on that theoretical, wiz-bang that is finally going to re-write the laws of physics with regards to power consumption? Or possibly donating 10% of your take home to other people that are?

Or are you just arm chair quarterbacking about how we all should on a website while otherwise going along using your normal share of the juice in your daily life?

-Suntan


RE: Anyone else think this is stupid?
By FITCamaro on 6/1/2009 10:35:19 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah lets just starve people to death by switching to corn based ethanol or completely destroy our ability to go places by using electric cars. Algae based diesel is the only non-food based alternative fuel that's even remotely close to being ready to go and our idiot leaders haven't mentioned it even once.


By andrinoaa on 6/2/2009 5:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
Fit, how can anybody take you seriously when you come up with shallow BS like this. Haven't you read ANY posting by ANYBODY here? You are not exactly posting in a vacuum.
Come on man, pickup your game. Your opinion is valid and good to see, but please, can you not post like a 10yr old. Unless......


By Jalek on 6/1/2009 10:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
How much more "serious" do you want? Billions of tax dollars going into research, while the oil companies have had solar labs and other things for some time and they haven't had any earth-shaking discoveries. Lots of interesting ones, but nothing yet scalable to meet the need.

How many more billions make it "serious"? Maybe it's the other plan, tax gas to $35/gallon, then either magic happens or the economy stops altogether, either result is fine with many environmentalists.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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