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Tara - N3 - Widen The Road Instead. Traffic, Cars and Peak Oil.

category national | history and heritage | feature author Wednesday November 24, 2004 19:12author by Terry - None Report this post to the editors

'Lovely graph' sez Wag, 'but what does it all mean?

"Building a motorway which would be designed for handling 50,000+ cars a day is a complete waste of time. We will be destroying our heritage for nothing. It is worth noting that the scheduled completion date for the new motorway by the NRA is around 2010. From the graph and of course the latest date for peak oil (2005) from ASPO, we will already be on our way down in our usage of oil and cars and the steep decline in place continues after that time."

The tolled Motorway through the Tara and Skryne Valley should not be built for two main reasons. 1) It will destroy our heritage and 2) it will soon become a White Elephant. Instead, Dunshaughlin, Navan and Kells should be bypassed and the existing N3 road should be widened. This would be more than sufficient to deal with the traffic.

featured image

The National Roads Authority (NRA) forecasts for the traffic levels and the total number of cars in Ireland are flawed because they do not take into account the looming issue of Peak Oil. The growth for the number of cars is based on the rising population, GNP and a rising car per capita rate. This was a reasonable assumption up to now, but Peak Oil changes everything and this continued growth is very unlikely to come to pass.

Continue at the link below for the rest of the feature and an explanation of the graph

In the image with this comment is a graph of the historic number of registered cars in Ireland for 1976 - 2001 in green and the NRA forecasted number for 2006 - 2041 in blue.

Forecasted traffic is strongly based then on the numbers of cars and annual mileage per vehicle.

These figures are taken from the NRA 'Future Traffic forecasts for 2002 to 2040', with the historic figures originally sourced from the Dept of Environment.

The actual figures are:
Historic Numbers of Registered Cars (1976 - 2001)
Year Cars
1976 551,117
1981 774,594
1986 711,087
1991 836,583
1996 1,057,383
2001 1,384,704

NRA Forecast Numbers of Registered Cars (2006 - 2041)
Year Cars
2006 1,661,655
2011 1,876,168
2016 2,028,235
2021 2,160,704
2026 2,262,455
2031 2,334,765
2036 2,389,788
2041 2,433,164

Note: These figures do not include trucks, but they are both clear of past trends and what the NRA think is a continuation of the past, with a tail off as car ownership levels saturate. We will never get there, though.

The latest projection from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas -headed by the renewed Dr Colin Campbell, is for it to occur in 2005. In other words next year!

Thereafter, just what it means, the global production of oil will have peaked and will fall. This means there will be destruction of demand. The prime use of oil in the world is for usage by cars and trucks. As the production of oil falls, obviously the usage falls. Either the mileage of cars will fall, efficiency will have to improve by 4% or 5%, maybe even more, every year or the number of cars will fall. While efficiency gains may help, it will really only apply to new cars and take time to work it's way into the national fleet. It is likely that we will be hit by multiple recessions as the economic effects kick in globally.

If we look at the graph, we see during the 2nd major oil crisis during the Iran-Iraq war and just after where the price of oil soared, a recession followed a few years after the spike in prices (mid 80s), that the number of cars in Ireland fell. This is a precursor to the near future.

In the graph I attempt to show where we were at various positions on the upside of car growth to the upside of the Peak Oil chart. On the way down, using the purple, yellow and green lines, it is suggested that the number of cars will fall to equivalent levels for the same amount of global oil back to equivalent levels in the historic data. These correspond to the red boxes and are used to estimating the future DECLINE in the number of cars in Ireland (and very likely elsewhere).

It is clear in less than 10 years and probably a lot sooner that the effects will kick in. Building a motorway which would be designed for handling 50,000+ cars a day is a complete waste of time. We will be destroying our heritage for nothing. It is worth noting that the scheduled completion date for the new motorway by the NRA is around 2010. From the graph and of course the latest date for peak oil (2005) from ASPO, we will already be on our way down in our usage of oil and cars and the steep decline in place continues after that time.

The critics may point out that the traffic levels can't fall on the N3 corridor, because so many houses have been built and so many people now live there, that it will take much longer for the reduction to occur. They will say it simply just can't happen. How will all these people get to work and go about their daily lives? Indeed, but unfortunately we in this country and in many others are soon going to pay the price for the suburban, totally car dependent culture, form of unsustainable development which has largely being going on during the era of 'cheap' and plentiful oil. We have somehow all been led to believe it is normal. It is not. Wishful thinking and denial are not going to solve this one easily.

It may be true that initially car usage will not decrease as quickly. It is very likely people will cling to their old ways, since there is no alternative in terms of a decent public transport system; despite the rising prices. But this strategy cannot last and the consequences of this global phenomena will have deep and far reaching effects and will burst upon our lives. Nevertheless, even if the decline is put off, by a mere handful of years, it still leaves the argument for widening the existing road intact combined with some bypasses as the best possible solution.

Against Peak Oil, some have suggested the Hydrogen Economy. There is no free hydrogen to speak of. The only sources are methane which is natural gas which is fossil fuel. The amount of energy to convert methane to hydrogen is 6 times the amount of energy you can get from burning that hydrogen. The other source of hydrogen is through splitting water via electrolysis. This takes energy. Where is this energy going to come from? Fossil fuels? Again the same gross inefficiencies in energy conversions apply as above. The Hydrogen Economy myth is a distraction for the public to avoid panic.

There are no magic bullets for this. Go and check it out yourself.


author by 1 of IMC IRLpublication date Wed Nov 24, 2004 20:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It could interfere bigtime with Jobs for da Boys (KBR/CRH etc). As for the long term public interest. When did da Boys ever give a shit about that?

A search of the NRA site for Peak oil gave the following result -

"No matches were found for (peak or peaked or peaking or peaks) and (oil or oiled or oiling or oiler or oils or oilers)"

author by yeah well...publication date Wed Nov 24, 2004 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

- KBR/Halliburton is milking pentagon $$$ from dead Iraqi kids

- CRH is milking israeli Shekels from walled off dead palestinian kids - oh wait, Shekels = Dollars

and soon...
- KBR/Halliburton will be milking money off arse-sitting oirish while jammed on motorways through senic co meath

author by Michael Henniganpublication date Wed Nov 24, 2004 21:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Terry, you may turn out to be right about 'peak oil' and if so, virtually everyone else will turn out to be wrong.

Our car ownership is still below the European average of 450 units per 1,000 population and my hunch is that this motorway won't turn out to be for just rabbits.

Historically, road usage has almost always been under projected- I know there's the argument about stoking demand by providing the convenience.

As to the selected route, I can't comment on but in a decade when everyone else in Europe is on a par with us on technology, taxes etc, two-lane roads linking main towns will seem a bit dated.

author by Kevinpublication date Wed Nov 24, 2004 21:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All research shows that building more facilities for cars makes congestion worse ? this is counter intuitive but established by many independent studies .

It also stands to reason that if you close off all other transport options (walking/rail/cycling/etc.) automobile use will increase and again congestion gets worse .

It also stands to reason that if you reduce the cities to a violent mass of automobiles people will flee to the satellite towns again increasing the congestion , today we are starting to see 4 car families and hundred mile commutes .

Where are these 50k cars coming from or going to , do they just disappear at each end of the motorway . 50k cars require 14 million sq. feet of parking - actually as each car requires 6 car spaces so it can move around that comes to 84 million sq. feet of concrete desert just to park the dam things .

Environmental and capacity problems would be easily solved by running a light rail down the centre of the excisting motorways but The cash from that much concrete fills a lot of envelopes .

author by Our Los Angeles Correspondent - IMC Internationalepublication date Wed Nov 24, 2004 22:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

QUOTE: "Terry, you may turn out to be right about 'peak oil' and if so, virtually everyone else will turn out to be wrong."

How about a couple of cites (and no, I don't mean your neighbour, I mean someone that studies the stuff for a living or has some other professional link to the subject)?

author by Panglospublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 03:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Institute For Energy Research, an economic think tank headquartered in Houston, Texas, has the position that fossil fuel sources are limitless. The president of the Institute is Robert L. Bradley, who has been instrumental in shaping President Bush's positions on energy and the environment. Mr. Bradley is also the former Director of Public Policy Analysis at Enron.




In the documents above Mr. Bradley refers to "global warming", which is generally now referred to as "climate change". Here are a couple of items concerning the man who coached the Bush administration and other interested parties on this change in vernacular:

(see item 5, "Give Us What We Want")


author by Cormacpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 06:24author email cormacbracken at fastmail dot fmauthor address Thailandauthor phone Report this post to the editors

I can't let that "virtually everyone else" pass. There are rather a lot of people around the world getting very worried about peak oil, and the number is growing very quickly. Google for it. Have a quick check at the backgrounds of some of the people who are promoting this message. People like Colin Campbell, who worked for 45 years as a geologist and senior excutive in just about every major oil producer, who in 1999 and 2000 gave presentations to the British and German parliaments, and who has now retired to a hillside in West Cork...

"Why aren't any politicians doing anything?" You think they aren't? What about the Bush administration, most of whom were previously senior executives in oil companies... you think it was a coincidence that they invaded one of the world's biggest oil reserves on "faulty intelligence", and are now making aggresive noises towards another one? If you knew there would be a food shortage tomorrow, wouldn't you stock up today?

Me, I'll stay away from countries that need oil to get through the winter.

author by Michael Henniganpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 08:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cormac, what does the air conditioning run on, during the Thai summers??

Oil will possibly run out at some point but don't ever underestimate the ingenuity to find a replacement - and hopefully better for the environment.

The reality of current economics is that oil is too cheap to spur any take-off in alternatives. While people might fret about oil at € 55 per barrel, consider this factoid:

-Oil would have to pass $90 per barrel in order to approximate the all-time peak, in inflation-adjusted terms, set in 1980.
From April through July of 1980, the posted price for West Texas Intermediate was $39.50 a barrel.

author by Davepublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 10:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When mankind found wood was inadequate they used coal. When coal no longer served its purpose they used oil.
Ive no doubt some genius will find something else we can use for fuel.
Hydrogen? Cold Fusion?
Who knows?
Something always turns up.

author by renpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 13:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The examples you quote of us finding new sources of energy are just that, finding new sources, these sources are fast diminishing and they days when we found stuff just lying about in the world around us(albeit after some work) in a form that is easily converted into energy (add fire) may be coming to an end. If such sources do run out we will have to do a lot more thinking and research, which takes time, so we should be doing far more of it now instead of waiting around optimistically only to find ourselves out in the cold. There are other sources of energy but they are not so easily exploited, we should be on top of this before it becomes a problem, if it doesnt become a problem and such research becomes obsolete wheres the loss in that. In is only through inbuilt obsolesence that a system can cope with whatever is thrown at it.

author by reality checkpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 14:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Do some research before you post this ridiculous nonsense.
The technology already exists for hydrogen/solar powered cars. The car companies have no interest at the moment because of the cost in restructuring the industry from scratch.
If oil prices increase so much that it actually affects demand for cars, hydrogen/solar cars will come on stream immediately.
There are infinite sources of certain type of power: hydrogen, solar power, etc.

author by Michael Henniganpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 14:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Think of the bicycle lamp that is powered by rotation of the wheel. The technology is in its infancy but think of a car where the engine is sparked and the energy comes from the movement of the car.

author by eeekkkkpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 15:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That is called a 'perpetual motion machine' and is a scientific impossibility

author by droidpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 18:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting theory.. but pray tell, how exactly are these benificent corborations going to 'retool' when oil gets too expensive? Surely for this to be a plausible solution, theyd need to be retooling now, while they still have a (relatively) cheap and easy supply of energy?

If you're expecting a miraculous deus ex machina moment from Shell when the wells run dry, i fear you will be disappointed..

author by hermanpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yes Dave, the technology exists to possibly feed rats in a controlled lab environment, but can you design it, test it, field it and implement it to be able to provide food, water and energy for 260 million people living in the U.S and 5 billion in the world ?

Get a grip...This "something will turn up" thinking is what has gotten into us into this mess in the first place.


This is not a movie Dave, this is the real world.

author by vdupublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 20:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What people forget when suggesting energy alternatives is is the energy equation for the given energy source, that is how much energy do I need to put into it (extraction, transport etc) compared to what i get out of it.

With Oil (and natural gas and other fossil fuels) the equation is hugely in favour of energy output. For a tiny fraction of input we get 100's of times more ouput. This is because the Dinosaurs already put in the input millions of year ago and slowly got crushed by the earths natural forces along with all that planr matter and turned into oil.

Now if we look at all the alternative energies being touted they just don't hold up. The current process for creating hydrogen actually consumes more energy than the hydrogen gives back, its just ridulously stupid to posit hydrogen as an energy source.

Vegtetable and plant oils have a roughly one to one energy ratio which makes it almost useless as well, especially when you consider we'd have to turn the whole planet into a giant vegtable oil farm with no little room for food crops just to satisfy our CURRENT energy needs which are increasing every day.

Solar energy is another good myth, as with current technology it takes more energy to create a solar panel than the thing will return in its useful working lifetime, although this could be improved over time.

Wind power does however have a chance and can provide significant output, but only for static uses. The problem with wind (and an improved solar power) is that they are no good for transport, as they would require massive capacitors in each vehicle, the cost of which in pushes the energy equation into the negative.

So the fact is that oil (and fossil fuels) was the greatest free ride we've ever had and there is currently nothing, I repeat nothing, on the technological horizon that can match it. So lets all try to live with that reality and stop pretending we'll be rescued by some fantastical new energy source tah we haven't even conceived of yet.

author by Michael Henniganpublication date Thu Nov 25, 2004 23:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

eeekkkk I was spun that yarn by an engineer- maybe we're both as gullible - or it got lost in translation!

Just a parting point, the arguments about running short of options in an oil scarce world, reminds me of that story about the head of the US Patents Office in some year like 1889 where so many patents had been filed, that he apparently foresaw the end of innovation.

Look at computing and compare what a microchip can do today and what was reasonably forecast 20 years ago.

author by John Irvine - Aleurite Sunoils Pty. Limitedpublication date Fri Nov 26, 2004 00:04author email aleurite at kooee dot com dot auauthor address 50 Grey Street, Glen Innes NSW Australia 2370author phone 61 2 6732 2240Report this post to the editors

Congratulations on a good article,

However think for a moment, the orgininal Petroconsultants report that oil would Peak in 2000 may just be correct and the long and undulating plateau we are now in is the result of "Super Straw" technology. In other words it should have been a Peak but we are having a long Plateau..

If this is the case we will be facing an oil cliff not an oil decline. All bets are off for a long and slow decline.. Just look at Australia.... http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/reps/commttee/R6228.pdf.

This link shows on page 17, Dr. Neil Williams, Chief Executive Officer – Geoscience Australia advising the House of Reps that we have very little oil left and it is declining fast... 11 to 4 years since 2000 I think!! A cliff in anybodies book don't you think!

This arguement is not unreasonable that the same thing is happening everywhere. Take a look at the Ghawar Field - http://www.gregcroft.com/ghawar.ivnu

"In the early 1970s, four of the world's largest oil companies - Exxon, Chevron, Texaco and Mobil - estimated the Ghawar oil field, which is the largest oil field in Saudi Arabia, to have 60 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Ghawar has now produced 55 billion barrels, which means it should be at the end of its life, Simmons said."

The problem is people are still talking about Ghawar Peaking soon - however it will be all sucked dry - No Peak but an abrupt and final Cliff.

PROBLEM: This is happening everywhere!!!!!!! Everybody is too conservative and don't want to put themselves in a position that they will lose face - it will always be "The problem was worse than we thought"...... Too Late Mate

author by vdupublication date Fri Nov 26, 2004 01:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

> that he apparently foresaw the end of innovation.

well that was just him being daft and I don't think it relates in any way to a problem of physical resources

>Look at computing and compare what a microchip
>can do today and what was reasonably forecast 20
>years ago.

Yes but there are physical limits to what you can out of silicon chips, we keep wringing more out but everyone agrees their will be a final limit somewhere at the atomic level when quantum weirdness starts to kick in, we just don't exactly where that limit is yet. And with this we have other viable stuff in the pipeline, such as nanotech and biological computing.

With oil we don't have anything! And even if somone discovered something totally overlooked until now the process of transition to a non oil-based economy at this late stage is going to be extremely painful, if its even possible at all.

author by pcpublication date Fri Nov 26, 2004 16:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are welcome to come to a debate the Green party is organising on Monday the 29th of November next at 8.00pm on the question "Is the world running out of oil? Getting ready for a decline in global oil production." The event will take place in the McNeil Theatre which is in the Hamilton Building in Trinity College (beside the Lincoln Gate) and he lineup of speakers include: Mr Colin Cambell, founder of the Association for the Study of peak oil, (www.peakoil.net) Mr Chris Skrebowski editor of the Petroleum Review, from the Energy Institute in the U.K (www.energyinst.org.uk) Mr Richard Doutwaith author, economist and member of Feasta (www.feasta.org) Mr David Horgan Managing director of Petrel Resources, a middle east oil exploration company. (www.petrelresources.com) The debate will involve one hour of presentations from the main speakers followed by a lengthy questions and answers session where we hope to involve other interested members of the public as well as people from the oil industry, the universities and the civil service. Questions from those who are sceptical about the peak oil hypothosis will be particularly welcome. Please feel free to contact myself Eamon Ryan TD Green Party energy spokesperson (01 6183097) for further details

author by Ray McInerneypublication date Fri Nov 26, 2004 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We need an alternative source to petroleum to make the platform chemicals for 95% of the materials that are used in the world today.

author by Reality Checkpublication date Fri Nov 26, 2004 19:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What about nuclear power?
All of ye doom-sayers predicted the world would grind to a halt because of the Millennium Bug.
As long as you predict disaster is in the future, you're always safe. It's like Nostradamus says the world will end in 2005. Come 2006, it's because we interpreted it wrongly. What we actually meant to say was 2010. 2011 arrives. Oops. Misinterpretation again.
Also, here's a good article from the Economist a couple of years ago - it also discusses the limitations. But just remember that super-computers were the size of houses fifty years ago.

Replacing gas with a gas

Jul 19th 2001
From The Economist print edition

BMW wants to make internal-combustion engines that run on hydrogen

ONE way that global warming might be reduced is by powering cars with something that does not release carbon dioxide when it is burned. That is part of the idea behind a “hydrogen economy”—a future in which hydrogen, which can be produced from renewable sources, takes over from hydrocarbons as the world’s principal fuel.

Given this possibility (and also given the more immediately pressing need to produce vehicles that can comply with the exacting emissions standards of California), several of the world’s car makers—notably Ford, DaimlerChrysler and Honda—are studying fuel cells. These react hydrogen and oxygen together in a controlled process, extracting energy in the form of electricity. Fuel cells, which are an old technology, certainly work, but they are still some years from commercial viability in cars. There is, however, an alternative: burn the hydrogen in a conventional internal-combustion engine. And that is what BMW proposes to do. This week it unveiled a prototype version of its 7-Series saloon car that has a hydrogen-powered engine.

Converting an engine to run on hydrogen is relatively simple. It requires a bit of new plumbing and a few extra lines of code for the engine’s control computer. With a little jiggling, the motor can be made “dual-fuel”, so that it can still run on petrol as well. That would allow the infrastructure of a hydrogen-delivery network to be introduced gradually, rather than being put in place more-or-less instantly.

Given the ease of conversion, and the possibility of a piecemeal transition to a full-scale hydrogen economy, this would seem the logical way to proceed. There are, however, two catches. The first is that fuel cells are a far more efficient way to use hydrogen than burning it. When the sums are done, a fuel-cell-powered vehicle would manage 60% more kilometres per litre than a hydrogen-powered internal-combustion engine. The second is that, gram for gram, hydrogen contains significantly less energy than petrol. Performance will reflect that, unless those clever engineers at BMW can somehow overcome the difference. If they cannot, then BMW, whose prestige and independence rely largely on its engine-making ability, may be in trouble. Were fuel cells to become the standard, the firm’s future could be bleak.

author by Terrypublication date Sat Nov 27, 2004 03:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In reply to 'Peak Oil' by Michael Hennigan,

You say: 'you may turn out to be right about 'peak oil' and if so, virtually everyone else will turn out to be wrong.

Who are these people who speak on behalf of. This statement is straight out of the box of trick that Fox News and even lately SkyNews use these days, to pretend they speak on behalf of the people and by inference they are the voice of the people are something. Nothing could be further from the truth. The famous quote they use is: 'I have heard some people say

.....'. That's whats you are doing. Anyway what this about everyone else will be wrong. They won't be wrong because vast numbers of people have heard of Peak Oil and even fewer have read serious informative articles on it. So they are not making any decision about it for them to be wrong. They are be told indirectly all the time though by vested interests, that all is well and the good times will last forever.

As to those who have come across the subject, the odd thing is that the Peak Oil people tend to be geologists, while those in denial, sometimes referred to as the Flat Earth community, tend to be economists or generally. The former tend to understand the concepts of energy, while the latter tend to generaly have close to zero technical knowledge on the energy and or science in general and simply are unable to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

To your last sentence:
As to the selected route, I can't comment on but in a decade when everyone else in Europe is on a par with us on technology, taxes etc, two-lane roads linking main towns will seem a bit dated.

-I have no idea what point you are trying to make.

In reply to Dissenter On Peak Oil by Panglos

Firstly, the Cato Insitute you quote is a right-wing conservative think tank. The second article is about wind power, then you briefly refer to global warming. You also mention a certain Robert Bradley, saying he has been instrumental in shaping Bush's energy's policy. That doesn't prove anything. On the contrary Bush's foreign policy helps prove peak oil politically.

They intend to grab what remains.

Your pbs URL article is about something else.

In reply "Oil", by Michael Hennigan,
you say: 'Oil will possibly run out at some point but don't ever underestimate the ingenuity to find a replacement'

So are you agreeing that we are hitting peak oil then?. We can get to the replacement later.

Then you ask me to consider a factoid about prices. Thats just the point, how can we argue or discuss a complex issues like this that to understand well, requires knowing a bit about oil wells, reserves, field distribution, drilling technolgoies, etc etc, by just reducing things to factoids. Unfortunately or fortunately depending how you view these things; to really understand this issue and indeed many other ones, you have to do lots of in depth reading and research. It's clear none of the dissenters have done this.

In reply to: 'Something always turns up' by Dave
You present the history of energy and then suggest it's continuation with:

Hydrogen - I already partially debunked this towards the end of the initial story. Those in the peak oil community have debunked it too. Go and check some of those URLs I gave, because you will find the replies in there. -But to add one more bit to what I said about hydrogen earlier. If you decided to use nuclear power to split water to make hydrogen gas, it is estimated that we would need at the very minimum at least 5 times as many nuclear reactors as there are now in the world, maybe even more. There are around 460 or so nuclear power plants at the moment. I don't see this happening and it would lead to a run on Uranium, which at that level of consumption would run out pretty quick. There is no way that many reactors could be built that quickly and in the rush to built them, you can be sure there would be plenty of short-cuts and flakey reactors. You would still have to deal with the nuclear waste problem, except it would be a far larger problem.

Cold Fusion -this has been debunked by the entire scientifc community long ago.

Something always turns up -except you usually have to invent or discover it, and then there is a lead up time for its technical development that is anywhere from 20 to 40 years. If you look at the Peak Oil graph, the main action in terms of global economic effects will be happening over the next 20 to 40 years.

In reply to ' Nonsense' by reality check.
You say

Do some research before you post this ridiculous nonsense.

I have done plenty of research. I have been reading about this subject on and off for the last 5 or 6 years which includes much of the background informatio. I have also had a keen interest in the energy industry and have a very considerable knowledge of the related science, going back more than 20 years. Anyway we will ignore your comment, as it is clearly some kind of gut reaction or something.

You say: The technology already exists for hydrogen/solar powered cars.

Indeed it does, except as above I said hydrogen is not a source of fuel, on earth at least. You need fuel to produce the hydrogen. Producing a working demo of a car proves nothing. The Space Shuttle main engine uses hyrodgen and oxygen, but it take an even larger amount of energy to produce it making it highly expensive. Having said that, it still doesn't explain where you are going to source the energy to make the hydrogen to fuel the 500+ million cars worldwide or even a small fraction of them. The main truth of your statement is that you can burn hydrogen. Everyone knows that already.

Solar powered cars are still at the early stages. Do you mean the solar powered cars we often see in those solar races? They are very small and light weight fragile cars. Nothing wrong with that, but I don't think your average Joe will see or accept that as a replacement for the family salon. It will certainly be a wrenching change. You have left out the whole trucking industry here. These big trucks require a lot more power than your family car. It's going to be very very hard. I can see rail getting competitive again. Solar panels on a car roof can never supply more than a small fraction of the energy needed by a car. This is limited by the intensity of the solar radiation per square metre.

Perhaps you are referring to solar power farms to plug into the electrical grid, so people can charge up the cars at night. Thats different. Well here in Ireland, I can't see that happening, but lets assume it was very sunny here. We would need a massive long term project which would require huge amounts of capital and resources to make the change happen. There is not a shred of evidence anywhere in the world that this is happening. Besides your standard high efficient solar cell (25% or so) requires up to 20 years of the energy produced by that cell to equal the energy used in it's production.

Amphorous solar cells are cheaper and lighter and only require 2 or 3 years of the energy they produce to equal that in production, but then they tend to have lower efficiencies, at best from 8 to 10%. Current world production of solar cells is still only the equivalent of a few hundred megawatts (MW). This industry has been going quite awhile and they have found it incredibly difficult to scale up this technology.

In space, there are about 1350 watts per square metre. After absorption by the atmosphere you can be down to anything from 1000 to 500 watts per square metre. With a 10% efficient cell, you are looking at 100 to 50 watts captured per square metre. The 2 hours either side of midday are probably the most use only. I reckon a car when driving is probably using a few 1000 watts (i.e kilowatts (kW) ), maybe more. That's a lot of expensive infrastructure that only works maybe 4 hrs a day.

Because solar energy is a very diffuse form of energy. We would need vast acreage to generate the power to charge the batteries to run the car fleet of any country. There are also issues with energy storage, transmission, battery technology and of course the whole infrasture behind it. For the case of Ireland it probably would be hundreds of thousands of acres, other countries 10s, maybe 100s of millions. I can already hear suggestions to use the sunny deserts of the world. These being remote, transmission distances would be large, and the corresponding losses would be quite high.

At the moment this stuff is so much pie in the sky. There is no plan for any of this. Nobody knows the unforeseen problems. The capital costs would be massive. There would need to be the political will and so on. This stuff just does not appear overnight and hence the issue of peak oil, certainly for the duration of the next 20 years is very important. I doubt anyone can predict the consequences after that, as before then the impact will have hit society and our direction will be determined. AND SO BUILDING A MOTORWAY right through OUR HERITAGE would be a cultural crime, especially when widening the existing N3 road and adding bypasses is likely to be MORE THAN SUFFICIENT for the next 20 to 40 years.

Peak Oil is not just about whether petrol is going to be a bit more expensive than normal. It will affect everything. The hidden subsidy that oil provides to other forms of energy, will be removed. Democracy already at stake, will be further threatened and the huge social tensions and problems unleashed.

Much of an industrial agriculture is dependent on cheap oil. Rising prices will change the dynamics of this. Lands that have been industrially farmed with heavy applications of fertilizer will not be easily or quickly switched to organic agriculture. The cost of nitrogen fertizilers which is a very intensive energy industry will lead to huge prices rises of this important commodity, thus affecting agricultural productivity.

I forgot to mention to that if we were to grow sugar cane or sunflower to produce alcohol or vegetable oil to fuel our cars, the current global fleet of cars would require most of the agricultural land on earth or more.

author by Terrypublication date Sat Nov 27, 2004 03:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No, I was never a Nostradamus fan and why do you suppose I or anyone else who has read the reports regarding peak oil and happen to feel convinced by the data and facts on the ground, that we might have thought the world was going to end due to the Millennium Bug?

You are very presumptuous, and seem to lump all people who don't agree with you into the one derogatory group.

And what's supercomputers got to do with it. Processing information is fundamentally different to powering material matter. If you were to look at computers from the energy point of view, the 'efficiency' of a logic operation inside a computer 40 or 50 years ago, was extremely inefficient. All they have done is increase that efficiency, but there is still a long way to go. So the efficiency in the 50s may have been 0.000000000001% whereas now it might be 0.001% -In fact a debate ensued for a few years whether logic operations truly required a fundamental finite amount of energy or not.

A thermally powered vehicle on the other hand is between 15% to 20% efficient of the use of the petrol in the tank. It hasn't increased a huge amount over the last 60 years and in some more squandarous parts of the world, it decreased during the 1990s, when oil was very cheap. Nevertheless the efficiency of the car is limited by the Second Law of Themodynamics which means, that ~66% is the theortical efficiency limit. So yes there is some room for improvement.

So you are back to harping on about the hydrogen economy. The economist article completely underplays the complexity of hydrogen. First of all because the density of the gas is so low, you need to compress it massively (requires energy). Hydrogen being the smallest atom tends to diffuse through materials very easily, even metals. The tank would have to withstand very high pressures. The whole safety certification would be very difficult, including the problem of tanking up at the hydrogen station. If one of these things exploded, it would be fairly massive. Also when hydrogen burns it is invisible, so again safety is very very difficultt. NASA has grappled with the whole special handling of hydrogen for years for it's rockets and still now places it's hydrogen tanks quite far apart from everything else.

In a demonstration model, expenses are not an issue and all sorts of tricks and comprises are made that would not be possible or permitted in a production car.

There are many many other problematic technical issues that this article glosses over. The article's purpose is primarily to calm the public fears and it does that well by leaving out much and making it sound all very simple.

And to reply to your question about nuclear power? Yes nuclear power stations exist, they are expensive, tricky things to operate and the nuclear waste issue is still not solved. This is after 50 years of the industry.

As I said earlier, to just supply the equivalent power (in Joules or watts), for the world fleet of cars would require 4 or 5 times more reactors than the 460 or so now. That's over 1600 new reactors! And this before the inefficiences are taken into account, which would bump it up more.

I think what you are trying to say, is to heck with everyone else, and let us build a few reactors for just ourselves. It ain't going to work out that way.

I think you will have to concede that one way or another in the next few years, the number of cars in Ireland is going to start FALLING and we would be very hasty indeed to build a motorway, when widening the existing road at FAR LESS COST financially and culturally. That is what is being called realistic and prudent. Reality check that.

author by Reality Checkpublication date Sat Nov 27, 2004 11:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Do some research before you post this ridiculous nonsense" - that was extremely unfair, I had read some of the subsidiary posts and lumped them all in together. Your posts are actually excellent and well-researched. I think this is about the most interesting thread I've read in Indymedia.
To address your hook for this argument though, I think arguing against four-lane motorways between Dublin and the outlying cities on the basis of oil is erroneous. We are functioning on a road network that is just about suitable for 1960s levels of road traffic, ergo our very high fatality rate, congestion rates.
I think they should take this motorway as far away from Tara as possible but I don't think that takes away from the fact that we need a quality road network linking Dublin to Waterford, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Sligo/Castlebar, Derry and Belfast.

author by Michael Henniganpublication date Sat Nov 27, 2004 16:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are always Cassandras warning of some storm ahead and books warning of the next big crash are always in demand. When claims by experts of an impending catostrophe are made, it does help the non-expert to assess a claim or prediction, when counterarguments from equally eminent oil geologists, industry experts etc. are also presented.

Terry makes an emphatic statement on oil running out: 'It is clear in less than 10 years and probably a lot sooner that the effects will kick in. '

Terry it's clear to you but I am sceptical when one side's forecast is accepted, hook, line and sinker. You refer to Fox News which has a slogan; 'we report, you decide' which isn't true of course because it slants its reporting.

According to the US National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), predictions of running out of oil have been made on a regular basis for more than a century. Current oil estimates do not factor in the development of drilling technology and do not include unconventional oil resources.

The NCPA says that conventional oil refers to oil that is pumped out of the ground with minimal processing; unconventional oil resources consist largely of tar sands and oil shales that require processing to extract liquid petroleum. Unconventional oil resources are very large. In the future, new technologies that allow extraction of these unconventional resources likely will increase the world’s reserves.

By the year 2000, a total of 900 billion barrels of oil had been produced. Total world oil production in 2000 was 25 billion barrels. If world oil consumption continues to increase at an average rate of 1.4 percent a year, and no further resources are discovered, the world’s oil supply will not be exhausted until the year 2056.

The NCPA says that:

>Oil production from tar sands in Canada and South America would add about 600 billion barrels to the world’s supply.

>Rocks found in the three western states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone contain 1,500 billion barrels of oil.

>Worldwide, the oil-shale resource base could easily be as large as 14,000 billion barrels — more than 500 years of oil supply at year 2000 production rates.'

Related Link: http://www.ncpa.org/pub/bg/bg159/
author by BabyPeanut - Peanut Labspublication date Sun Nov 28, 2004 14:09author email baby_p_nut2 at yahoo dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

So historically something always comes up? Well maybe in the small picture but guess what happens in the big picture?

Historically all civilizations have a 100% chance of collapsing. What makes you think ours is special?

Oil is big as in "it keeps the food we eat on the table". In the 1800's there were about 800,000 people on the earth. They had millions of years to reproduce. Since then in a measly 200 - 300 years the population is over 6,000,000,000. We got here because there was more food to eat when you can use fossile fuel to power an industry to make food. Once fossile fuels are depleted we will have mass starvation. Prior to fossile fuel industry famine cycles were normal.

author by eeekkkpublication date Sun Nov 28, 2004 14:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sunday tribune - diarmuid Doyle I think it was. About time too.

author by pcpublication date Sun Nov 28, 2004 15:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Years ago, Lewis Mumford offered the axiom that building a highway to reduce congestion is like going on a diet by letting out your belt. Is the idea of trimming the engine - the belly of the beast - any less lunatic?
And from where does the electric charge originate? From burning coal that pollutes the northeast, from nuclear plants, from oil came the response. Even the most efficient cars are not "emission free." As the environmental slogan now has it, they are "emissions elsewhere."
Ask anti-sprawl advocates for an opinion as they busily issue their position papers "The Dark Side of the American Dream," the Sierra Club's most recent report called their Challenge to Sprawl campaign, citing the costs and consequences of car-bred sprawl, among them "traffic congestion, longer commutes, worsening air and water pollution, loss of farmland, open fields, forest and wetlands, increased flooding" not to mention, higher taxes for services to expand police, fire, and add the infrastructure of not only new roads but the new water and sewer lines and schools to the fringes they promote....

Related Link: http://www.janeholtzkay.com/Articles/cleancar.html
author by vdupublication date Sun Nov 28, 2004 21:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Micahel said:

>There are always Cassandras warning of some
>storm ahead

Yes there are and sometimes they're wrong and sometimes they're right. Whats your point, base your argument on facts and not refences to unrelated analogies.

>Terry it's clear to you but I am sceptical when one
> side's forecast is accepted, hook, line and sinker.

Well it wasn't actually. Peal oil theory spent years being ridiculed at first because it predicted the american peak in the 1970. Once this happened and was accepted as fact in that case it gained more adherents. It's model has since predicted oil production in many indivdual oil fields and regions. Slowly but surely it has built up a huge body of adherents in the geology academia and petrochemical industries. It has had loads of intelligent counterarguments and they have all been swatted away over the years. Just google for them, or lookup any professional geology periodical. If peak oil is a conspiracy theory its a strange one because for once all the establishent figures in industry and academia support it, while its the cooks and cranks that say its not true, and that its government cover for oil wars.

> the world’s oil supply will not be exhausted until
> the year 2056.

Yep so what! We'll probably have oil left for hundreds of years to come, but thats not the point, the problem is when our daily oil needs outstrip our ability to extract and get it to market. Yes, as oil becomes scarcer it will become more economically viable to access tar shales and other alternative oil supplies. But these are harder to access and not in abundance.

The problem is PEAK oil. Our economy is founded upon the principle of continuous growth, it has been since the start of the industrial age with the use of coal. Economic growth as any economist will tell you requires an increasing supply of energy every year, once the energy available drops below whats required for growth, our economic model will find itself in crisis. If we peak tomorrow, we won' run out of oil, in fact in twenty years time we'll have the same amount of oil as we had twenty years ago. Buts thats the problem, to make best use of our resources we have to move from a growth economy to a sustainable economy and our politicians cannot see that, and hence they are using everything possible, wars, oil subsidies etc to extend our time on the peak of plateau. This of course just ensures that the slope downwards will be even steeeper and result in social chaos. Peak oil is not an "end of the world" crackpot theory, Its a scientific analysis of the usage patterns of a finite resource, and a call to start managing it now, to prevent social turmoil.

Reality check says:
>We are functioning on a road network that is just
> about suitable for 1960s levels of road traffic,
>ergo our very high fatality rate, congestion rates.

And your solution is to bring our roads up todays standards! Thats just daft, the solution is to bring our car usage back to 1960's levels or before. really we need to heavily restrict private car ownership and put in extensive networks of trains and buses to more remote areas. Building roads today is pointless all we're creating is giant bicyle tracks for tomorrow because individuals won't be able to afford to run their own private cars.

author by Michael Henniganpublication date Mon Nov 29, 2004 00:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

BabyPeanut- your figure of 800,000 for the world's population in the 1800's, is missing a few zeros. There were more than 8 million in Ireland in 1841.

vdu says: 'the solution is to bring our car usage back to 1960's levels or before. really we need to heavily restrict private car ownership and put in extensive networks of trains and buses to more remote areas.'

Life has changed since the 60's; parents spend much of their free time driving children to various activities, sometimes with security in mind as for example pick-ups from discos. Trying to provide a comprehensive public transport system has been exacerbated by the urban sprawl. Just consider the low level of integration of current urban transport systems.

Congestion charging would help in Dublin and car pooling has been promoted in the past but unless a brave politician is prepared to impose draconian taxes on cars, people will opt for independence.

author by vdupublication date Mon Nov 29, 2004 01:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

>Life has changed since the 60's; parents spend >much of their free time driving children to various >activities
> but unless a brave politician is prepared to impose
> draconian taxes on cars, people will opt for

Exactly, this is the nub of the problem, people have lifestyles centred around their cars, and no one will get elected by telling them to trade it in for a bicycle or a bus pass.

But like it not lifestyles will have to change, its just a matter whether we do it now by choice, or are forced to later by economic necessity. Not much of an issue for me I may add, as I can't afford a car now anway, and I'm in a "wellpaid" job ;-)

What is an issue for me is public transport though, its just I fear that by the time enough people get economically inconvenienced enough to care about it, it'll be too late, and more important peak oil related issues will have priority; such as spiralling food costs due to transport cost increases and the loss of production due to a scarcity of natural gas and petroleum based fertilisers.

So to get back on track, I don't see how building more roads will solve anyone's problems, just create more by delaying the inevitable

author by Terrypublication date Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Righto, moving onto the points being argued, you say:

'To address your hook for this argument though, I think arguing against four-lane motorways between Dublin and the outlying cities on the basis of oil is erroneous. We are functioning on a road network that is just about suitable for 1960s levels of road traffic, ergo our very high fatality rate, congestion rates.'

Well, no the central point was not about plans for other motorways, but since you raise the issue, I think we should consider the fact that back in I think it was about 1997 or 98, the NRA did up a report recommending dual carraige-ways between all major cities and Dublin, and then one of the building industry groups decided to review the document and lo and behold, they recommended brand new motorways. To me that smacked of changing the conclusions to benefit themselves. I know others have looked into this a bit more, and said that in most of these cases the motorways are unjustified based on even the NRAs own traffic forecasts. Bear in mind motorways are a lot more expensive, take more space, and generally handle 50,000+ or so cars per day, whilst dual carraige ways would be circa 20,000 up to motorway levels.

Given the recent history of this country, I think we should be very alert to our tax payers money being wasted and to be very vigliant to those always waiting in the wings to line their own pockets. Why does everyone just fall into line and bow to the authority of state institutions and their utterances of the spokesmen when it is clear there has been all sorts of shady deals?

You know that why there's a lot of objections for so many things, because they are badly implemented, recommendations are regularly ignored and promises broken, procedure and due process ignored and checks and balances made a mockery of?

Getting back to motorways, my guess is that the road from Dublin to Cork and Dublin to Limerick , Dublin to Belfast and perhaps the road to Rosslare are probably the roads with the heaviest traffic (outside of Dublin) in Ireland. Motorways may well be justified there. I haven't looked at the figures myself. But a motorway to Waterford? I find that hard to believe. The population of Waterford in 2002 was only 44,564. It would take every man, woman and child in Waterford city to drive once a day in the direction of Dublin to justify a motorway. And I doubt there are 44,000+ cars visiting Waterford every day. Ergo dual carraige way.

Probably the most important other point I make in the original article is that NRA traffic forecasts take NO account of Peak Oil.

I think most people replying here except perhaps Michael Hennigan accept the Peak Oil case. Rightly you argue what about the replacement and of course my point is that Plan B has not be made and is not ready to put into action, and my additional points that its going to be an awful lot harder than we think.

You referred to the road network built for 1960s traffic levels. That's not true. You know that many roads have been upgraded and widened over the last 30 years. I would say on balance it is built for 1990s traffic levels which have been exceeded now, but current levels are bound to decline. And besides I never ruled out upgrading the existing road network. I just objecting to white elephants and destruction of our cultural heritage.

author by Cassandrapublication date Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Actually Cassandra was cursed with CORRECT visions of impending disaster that nobody would believe. The disasters were quite real (as you can get in a mythological reference). Calling those here warning about peak oil Cassandras is rather telling.
For those doubting that anything bad will happen, here's a little experiment you can engage in with a child you know. Ask them to imaging that the whole world was made of chocolate and that every day they ate a little piece. Then ask them how long it would be before it was all gone. Depite the wide variety of answers, I'll bet heavily that no child says that it will never all be gone. The idea is simple enough for a child to grasp: if you have a finite amount and continually remove some, eventually it will all be gone. This is basic maths. So, the oil crisis is an issue of when and not if.
For those arguing that 'something' will come along, I'm afraid starry-eyed optimism isn't going to get us out of this one. There's more at stake here than fuel. Most of the worlds fertiliser comes from oil (more on that later). It is possible that we'll get new technologies up and running but retooling takes time, building power plants can take a long time and we are up against the clock here. While there is some research going on, it may turn out to be too little too late.
For those who think there's still plenty of oil left, well, no there isn't. Firstly a couple of large oil producing bodies have come out in the past couple of years and admitted to massivley inflating their reserve estimates (in the case of OPEC countries, their export qootas are linked to their reserves: bigger reserves equal bigger quotas equal major reasons to lie about the size of their reserves). Oil sands and shale have a much more difficult and enrgy consuming extraction and so a much lower net energy return (the ration of the amount of energy needed to extract to the amount of energy produced). The fact that these are being seriously posited as sources should, in itself, worry people regarding the level of conventional sources still available.
And a quick word on carrying capacity. This represents the amount of people the planet can actually support. Oil has allowed us to breed like vermin and massively overshoot the capacity the planet would have without oil (by a factor of about three). When the oil is gone, the excess will starve (actually, since it's not likely to be an orderly process, it's most probable that it will be a lot more who starve assuming we don't wipe ourselves out in wars for food).
As has already be stated an administration of former oil executives have invaded the second biggest source of oil for a succession of trumped up reasons. The end is not 'nigh', the end has started.

The doubters would do well to read some of the articles on www.dieoff.org

author by via politics.ie spnpublication date Mon Nov 29, 2004 16:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are cordially invited to a public debate on the issues surrounding the future supply of oil. The debate will be held on Monday the 29th of November next at 8.00pm in the McNeil Theatre in Trinity college Dublin.

Issues to be addressed include the Peak Oil theory and the current state of global oil exploration.

Speakers will include Mr Colin Campbell, a retired oil exploration executive and founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil http://www.peakoil.net , and Mr Chris Skrebowski, editor of the Petroleum Review Journal - http://www.energyinst.org.uk who will present their latest analysis which indicates that global oil production will peak before the end of the decade.

Mr David Horgan, Managing Director of Petrel Resources
http://www.petrelresources.com will give a view from within the oil exploration industry and Richard Douthwaite http://www.feasta.org will present some of the economic consequences we can expect in a post peak world.

This is a great opportunity to hear the experts debate the future of oil production.

author by Ray Hanrahanpublication date Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Although the point has been alluded to in the extensive discussion I see before me, I think it would be worth a minute of the reader's time to consider the more basic political reasons for the Fianna Fail/PD junta's desire to concrete over Niall of the Nine Hostages. As we all know, the purpose of the Irish state as conceived by our 'National Readers' in the Party of Lies is to redistribute income from the rest of us to that section of our 'hard pressed (read 'brass-necked') entreprenures' who know which horse to back from the comfort of the BertieTent in Galway in July. The proposed M3 is only a corporate welfare scheme for the backers of Fianna Fail in the construction industry, and should be seen as such. The lack of fiscal control on road projects in Ireland over the last seven years is most telling of the Party of Lies' real priorities - no such lax bean-counting protocols in public hospitals, except to let the hospital consultants continue gouging the public purse while spending three quarters of their time or more chasing either private patients or a golf ball. And people at the bottom of this shitpile keep voting for this state of affairs.

author by Clayton Hallmarkpublication date Fri Dec 03, 2004 19:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't know who is going to look through all the excellent comments to get to this, but I had to add congratulations from the USA on a really good article on peak oil. It applies to us as much as Ireland and is one of the best I have seen.

In the "for what it's worth" department, President Bush's energy adviser, the Houston oilfield investment banker Matthew Simmons, is a proponent of the peak oil argument. This is basically an argument between scientists and oil insiders like Simmons, versus economists whose brains are wired to think linearly, as in "technology will uncover more oil to delay peak production for many years."

Another oil insider and shrewd technologist is Osama bin Laden (no favorite of even left-wing Americans like me). The sheik believes that oil should be priced at $200 per barrel.

Matthew Simmons basically agrees. He thinks a fair price is $180 a barrel.

If you think road culture is a big deal there, you should visit here. The impact is so great as to be incomprehensible.

author by Clayton Hallmarkpublication date Fri Dec 03, 2004 20:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Terry, your citation of the Cato Institute in the US is very important. It is if you consider US oil policy important, which is is since we are the world's oil hog.

The Cato Institute is practically owned by a US independent oil producer, the Koch family of billionaires from Wichita, Kansas. The Koches are also the largest contributors to President Bush's Republican party, which they also practically own. Bush's sister, Doro, is married to a Koch.

The independents -- like Koch, Pennzoil, Coastal, the Hunts, and other Western US oil interests -- basically are domestic oil and gas producers and transporters. Of course they are interested more in domestic and Canadian production, including opening up of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and piping oil and gas from Canada, than in foreign adventures. They tend to be old-line conservatives -- isolationsists in foreign policy, John Birch Society heirs politically.

The majors -- Big Oil, including Exxon-Mobil, Amoco-BP, and Chevron -- have always dominated American interests in Aramco and Middle East oil generally. These largely Eastern US interests are economic heirs, often literally, of the Rockefeller family. Politically, these interests are Rockefeller Republicans: Internationalists and liberals on social issues.

The George W. Bush presidency probably will be divided into two periods. Term I was the Big Oil term, with an emphasis on the Iraq oil grab.

Term II is Independent Oil's turn. Bush says, "I have earned [political] capital and I intend to spend it." What he really means is that he has borrowed financial capital from the Koches to buy political capital (votes in the "red" states) and he needs to repay it. Bush has occupied the Middle East and gotten the US into an Iraqi civil war; now it is time to repay Independent Oil by opening the Alaskan refuge for drilling.

Since you are watching the Cato Institute, see if I am not right.

Bush might be "the worst president ever," as Helen Thomas dubbed him, but he might be the ideal candidate to unite the interests of Independent Oil and Big Oil: the Bush family are Texas oil men on the one hand, and old-line Eastern US industrialists and bankers on the other. They will have a lot to say about how the world deals with Peak Oil, and these are some of the things that motivate them. They will be walking a tightrope as they attempt to balance the interests of Big Oil and the independents.

author by redjadepublication date Tue Dec 14, 2004 15:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Today I discovered that on the CIA World Fact Book they have a page describing the whole world - in brief even!

two parts that stuck out were the following:

Natural resources:
the rapid depletion of nonrenewable mineral resources, the depletion of forest areas and wetlands, the extinction of animal and plant species, and the deterioration in air and water quality (especially in Eastern Europe, the former USSR, and China) pose serious long-term problems that governments and peoples are only beginning to address

Environment - current issues:
large areas subject to overpopulation, industrial disasters, pollution (air, water, acid rain, toxic substances), loss of vegetation (overgrazing, deforestation, desertification), loss of wildlife, soil degradation, soil depletion, erosion

more at...

author by edward mc governpublication date Mon Feb 21, 2005 12:46author email mcgovern_5 at msn dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I and 90% of dunshaughlin can not wait for the m3. we have been waiting for 16 years. There was plenty of consultation 6 years ago .It is time to go ahead with the road, some objectors have never been to the hill of tara, get real the motorist of meath and cavan are fed up of this nonence.

author by Giantpublication date Mon Feb 21, 2005 14:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Oil prices will have to rise very, very high and stay at that high level for a long time (with all the prolonged accompanying economic misery) before a switch is made to alternative energies. This is because of "capital inertia" - the billions and billions of dollars tied up in the oil industry infrastructure. This is so unless a truly dramatic breakthrough in alternative energy occurs. Most commentary on hydrogen fuel cells ignores the fact that a great deal of energy must be expended not only in compressing and storing the stuff but in producing unattached hydrogen atoms in the first place.

author by Terrypublication date Tue Mar 08, 2005 15:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In reply to:
'I and 90% of dunshaughlin can not wait for the m3. we have been waiting for 16 years. There was plenty of consultation 6 years ago .It is time to go ahead with the road, some objectors have never been to the hill of tara, get real the motorist of meath and cavan are fed up of this nonence.'

For your information (FYI), the all clear was given for a bypass of Dunshaughlin almost 6 years ago, back in 1999! This would have cost a few tens of millions instead of the estimated 1000+ million that the M3 will cost. Further a bypass for Navan was also in the pipeline too.

The reason neither of these bypasses were built were mainly fold, but some of these reasons would be:
1) Building the Dunshaughlin bypass would have greatly weaked the argument for the M3. Since Dunshaughlin is the first in the line of the bottlenecks from Dublin, it has the greatest amount of traffic. By the time traffic gets to Navan and beyond, there is less, since not every passing through Dunshaughlin is driving to Cavan town.

2) Likewise building the Navan bypass would have weakened the arguments even further.

3) In the past few weeks, it has been revealed that there are many land deals depending on the arrival of the M3. Already the leading FF candidate had to pull out after Frank Dunlop said he was involved in a land deal with him.

3) There is a huge amount of money to be made by those owning land along the proposed M3, those involved in the construction of it and whoever it is that will own the cash-cow of the tolls. Given Irish political history as revealed by the planning tribunals, it defies belief that 'brown envelopes' and corruption are NOT involved in this whole scheme in some way.

4) The current N3 is a right-of-way and tolls cannot be placed on a right of way, so that is why a brand new road is being proposed.

There are probably other reasons for the delay which we are not privy too.

By holding up or rather cancelling the Dunshaughlin bypass, those vested interests have insured that they would generate sufficient frustration and anger about the traffic problems that this could easily be channeled into support for the M3. I suggest this is why you are pro-M3 and at the same time make a dig at those who object to it.

It is worth also noting that a motorway is designed for a traffic levels of over 50,000 cars per day. It is extremely unlikely these levels will ever be reached and are currently even for the busiest sections way below this. You will pay for the damage of the M3, by a) massive increase in urban sprawl, b) through your taxes to finance this corrupt scheme, c) through being fleeced by the tolls and 4) and loss to our national heritage and what it means to be Irish.

Alternatively you could argue that the bypass, given the all clear 6 years ago, be built for a tiny fraction of the M3 price and you will get most of the benefits of a reduction in conjestion without the costs outlined above.

And on a last note, I think anyone is entitled to object to the M3, whether they live in Meath or not, whether they travel on the N3 or not, and whether they were ever even there. Practically all the objectors are in total agreement about building bypasses, but this of course purposely and intentionally is hidden from people in the mainstream press and other media, so that public opinion can be manipulated into this absolutely crazy, destructive and corrupt scheme.

So in response to:
'I and 90% of dunshaughlin can not wait for the m3...'

...You could have had the bypass 6 years ago!

author by Alastair Carnegie - Goodlock2005publication date Sun Jul 17, 2005 06:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am just a humble mathematician, I would advise anyone interested in Saudi Oil Production Forcasts, to look back to old data. How much was origionally estimated was in the Field? The Worlds Largest. (These figures were at the time, closely audited, unlike today !?!) and then look at the amount that has been extracted.

If after this, you believe there are billions of barrels left, then tell the faireys at the bottom of your garden. They like hearing stories.

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