Aussies Living Simply

Transport Post the Peak

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    I wish you guys could get this sorted. How is a someone like me supposed to know what’s what or what’s best if you knowledgable people can’t agree.

    I keep trying to keep up with the discussion but it’s all very technical and way over my head. Is there any way of breaking the issue down into simple steps so that I may possibly be able to understand? And I’m sure there are other folk who have had to tune out because they don’t understand either. Or am I the only non-technical, non-scientific person on als!




    Hi Bobbee, it’s just a matter of look where the research is going, follow the money, see what the motor vehicle industry is doing, particularly in Europe.

    E.g. this is one example for hydrogen, Mercedes-Benz just took three of their prototype hydrogen fuel cell electric cars on a 125 day world tour, clocking up 9,000 km promoting the technology, “giving fuel cell technology wide public exposure”, getting action going on the supporting refuelling infrastructure.

    According to Daimler’s (Mercedes-Benz) Herbert Kohler, head of e-drive and future mobility, “By 2015, we think a fuel cell car will not cost more than a four-cylinder diesel hybrid that meets the Euro 6 emissions standard.” Kohler goes on to say about the builders of hydrogen fueling stations and their compressed H2 gas suppliers, “For gas-producers in general, fuel-cells are a very profitable business-case. I expect that there will be a network of 1,000 fuel-stations in Germany alone in the mid-term.

    I don’t think Daimler Mercedes-Benz are likely to fritter their wealth away.

    Three Mercedes-Benz B-Class FUEL-CELL cars, world tour.


    Hi Bobbee,

    Ultimately it’s all a matter of opinion, because the trouble I see with six billion and counting people on a planet running out of oil and coal, the substances that have allowed us to go into overshoot, is to others just a case of spreading FUD because there is nothing to worry about.

    IMO, if some energy source was cheaper than coal or oil we’d already be using it, because businesses use the cheapest source of energy they can find. If the government is subsidising it, it’s probably not cheaper, nor more viable, otherwise some business or other would already be doing it and making a mint. If we need to use coal or oil to make it, then without coal or oil to make it we most likely wont be able to afford to make it, because coal and oil are the cheapest energy sources we’ve found, by magnitudes. Now all of that is just a matter of opinion, of course…

    It takes no planning to survive in a world that’s always getting better. But if the world really is getting better, how come so many people’s situations are getting worse? Perhaps the world isn’t getting better, in which case we’d be best off planning for that, and if some miraculous thing comes along and changes everything, what have we lost?

    And if we’ve already found the solution, and it exists, why is so much time and effort being spent on finding the solution? The solution will need to be so energetically superior that it will be entirely, unequivocally, apparent that it is the solution, when it’s found.



    Like hydrogen tech and others, there needs to be much consideration given to the overall ‘Energy Cost’ to make something. This is pivotal for any future potential power/energy source and/or technology, as we continue to use up all our resources worldwide and find we are reaching Peak across many resources, we need to carefully consider the true costs, noting all Fuel/Gas costs will skyrocket in coming years. This in turn will have a detrimental effect on any alternate technology, because they are all so reliant on Fossil energy inputs to get them made in the first place. If the Fossil Fuel prices go up (which seems to be inevitable), and noting the Energy inputs for any given technology, it will not take long before any alternate power producing technology becomes too expensive to make.

    Working out the Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) for any given energy/power source (in this case Hydrogen) is extremely complex and difficult. What most people don’t fully to take in to account is the actual energy it takes to get the hydrogen to the point where the hydrogen is ready to use, versus the energy produced by that hydrogen. I had researched this extensively, but I am now a little out of date. There was a couple of Universities in the US that commenced working on an EROEI matrix and database, but this will be a massive task to get the base calculations up. However, you don’t have to be Einstein to look into any given item and get a good idea of the TRUE ENERGY input costs. This is very simple and anybody can see it once you pick an item, and then look into what energy it takes to produce that item and get it on a shelf or to a store etc. That will give you a basis for understanding Energy inputs.

    Now if you then take this basis and look at it for alternate energy/power sources and then look what they give back (output) on energy, you will start to see that they simply don’t stack up in comparison to our existing fossils. A little out of date now but if I recall correctly petroleum is at about 1:14 at the moment; being it costs 1 barrel to get 14 barrels. That is incredible when you think about it. Now what is the EROEI answer for Hydrogen?????? Truth is I don’t know, but from my research I am convinced, that it is still not even in the ball park to our existing fossils. Noting we are in a capitalist/globalised world, it’s not close to competing on a commercial viable large scale. I suspect it would be somewhere around the 7:1, (it takes 7 units of energy to produce and yet only outputs 1 unit of energy in return), but that is rough.

    How can this be you say? (Like I did when I first studied this) Look at every single part, component, wire, material used in the production line for a given item, then look at every single part, component, wire/whaevever etc etc etc for the given item itself.

    For every single item, look at how much energy it takes to get it from raw material to its current form (processing, transport, milling, bulk supply, transport again, manufacture of the part, transport again and packaging etc and son on) and you will be flabbergasted by the Energy Inputs to produce just one part/item/component/thing, let alone the actual production line used to make the part/item/component/thing in the first place. It is mind-boggling how much Energy it takes to produce any of our modern day modcons or items that most of society (we) take for granted. Now take a look at a hydrogen engine and then the vehicle and then apply this to every component in the engine and in the car and all energy costs to get it to the point where it can be used. As I said it is mind-boggling.

    Most companies in the Alternate field claim to be Green, Sustainable, Renewable or a combination of 1 or more. Even auto companies (as per above) are trying head down this path, but please do not be fooled. Consider all the facts. When any reasonable person looks at what it takes to produce any of this tech, you will quickly realise that the vast majority are not even close to being Green, are certainly not sustainable or renewable.

    Our entire way of life is based on cheap easy to get fossil fuels. EROEI will become one of the most pivotal calculations for any company/energy producer in the near future. As costs rise, companies will need to stay profitable and will be paying much attention to this. At the moment, it would appear that there are companies trying to make money from hydrogen and make this work…there are also many who are pinning hope on something that just does not stack up mathematically. What you won’t hear or find from them is what is the true EROEI for the hydrogen prototypes? I think it is around 7:1 but I could be wrong. I opine that I am likely to be around the mark.

    How is hydrogen going to come close to being long term financially viable? I think Europe will be the test bed, and when the dust settles after a few years, many will have lost much money. From a financial perspective, it may indeed seem viable in the short term, but as the ‘input’ costs go up, it won’t take long at all for companies to give up on hydrogen. :pinch:

    In any case this is my opinion and I hope I have given some insight into EROEI from a ‘real world’ perspective. :ohmy:

    Now in closing, think about the keyboard you are typing on or looking at….what are the energy costs to get the keyboard in front of you?…..What is then the true financial cost of the keyboard(laptop)?………Do you see how reliant we are on oil? Take oil out of the equation or make it 10 times as expensive and replace it with ummmm ummmmm……you see why it is a concern. :jawdrop:

    No FUD from my perspective. I am convinced that it is a mathematical fact 😛


    So lets just say, someone works out the hole hydrogen thing, we are not thinking about the rest of it. Where are your new tyers coming from ? how are we making the car bodies ? who and how are the roads being upkept ?

    It is not just the engine that needs that oil input. The hole system that revolves around the car is there beause of the oil. once the oil is gone or rare it is not just the petrol that will be effected it is the hole system.

    you are focasing/argueing on the one issue and not thinking of the bigger picture.


    I reckon it would take a full rebellion to make this work but below is some true history about ONE plant that can change the ways for the average Joe….

    The Marijuana Conspiracy – by Doug Yurchey – May 28, 2011)

    Original article by Dan Hughes dated March 20, 2009 in Health magazine – The Reason hemp is illegal.

    (Nothing to do with its effects on the mind and body)

    They say marijuana is dangerous. Pot is not harmful to the human body or mind. Marijuana does not pose a threat to the general public. Marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries and a large number of chemical corporations. Big businesses, with plenty of dollars and influence, have suppressed the truth from the people. The truth is, if marijuana was utilized for its vast array of commercial products, it would create an industrial atomic bomb! The super rich have conspired to spread misinformation about the plant that, if used properly, would ruin their companies.

    Where did the word ‘marijuana’ come from? In the mid 1930s, the M-word was created to tarnish the good image and phenomenal history of the hemp plant – as you will read. The facts cited here, with references, are generally verifiable in the Encyclopedia Britannica which was printed on hemp paper for 150 years:

    ✔ All schoolbooks were made from hemp or flax paper until the 1880s. (Jack Frazier. Hemp Paper Reconsidered. 1974.)

    ✔ It was legal to pay taxes with hemp in America from 1631 until the early 1800s. (LA Times. Aug. 12, 1981.)

    ✔ Refusing to grow hemp in America during the 17th and 18th centuries was against the law! You could be jailed in Virginia for refusing to grow hemp from 1763 to 1769 (G. M. Herdon. Hemp in Colonial Virginia).

    ✔ George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers grew hemp. (Washington and Jefferson Diaries. Jefferson smuggled hemp seeds from China to France then to America.)

    ✔ Benjamin Franklin owned one of the first paper mills in America, and it processed hemp. Also, the War of 1812 was fought over hemp. Napoleon wanted to cut off Moscow’s export to England. (Jack Herer. Emperor Wears No Clothes.)

    ✔ For thousands of years, 90% of all ships’ sails and rope were made from hemp. The word ‘canvas’ is Dutch for cannabis. (Webster’s New World Dictionary.)

    ✔ 80% of all textiles, fabrics, clothes, linen, drapes, bed sheets, etc.,were made from hemp until the 1820s, with the introduction of the cotton gin.

    ✔ The first Bibles, maps, charts, Betsy Ross’s flag, the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were made from hemp. (U.S. Government Archives.)

    ✔ The first crop grown in many states was hemp. 1850 was a peak year for Kentucky producing 40,000 tons.Hemp was the largest cash crop until the 20th century. (State Archives.)

    ✔ Oldest known records of hemp farming go back 5000 years in China, although hemp industrialization probably goes back to ancient Egypt.

    ✔ Rembrandt’s, Van Gogh’s, Gainsborough’s, as well as most early canvas paintings, were principally painted on hemp linen.

    ✔ In 1916, the U.S. Government predicted that by the 1940s all paper would come from hemp and that no more trees need to be cut down. Government studies report that 1 acre of hemp equals 4.1 acres of trees. Plans were in the works to implement such programs. (U.S. Department of Agriculture Archives.)

    ✔ Quality paints and varnishes were made from hemp seed oil until 1937. 58,000 tons of hemp seeds were used in America for paint products in 1935. (Sherman Williams Paint Co. testimony before the U.S.Congress against the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act.)

    ✔ Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the car itself was constructed from hemp! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel. (Popular Mechanics, 1941.)

    ✔ In 1938, hemp was called ‘Billion Dollar Crop.’ It was the first time a cash crop had a business potential to exceed a billion dollars. (Popular Mechanics, Feb. 1938.)

    ✔ Mechanical Engineering Magazine (Feb. 1938) published an article entitled ‘The Most Profitable and Desirable Crop that Can be Grown.’ It stated that if hemp was cultivated using 20th century technology, it would be the single largest agricultural crop in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

    The following information comes directly from the United States Department of Agriculture’s 1942 14-minute film encouraging and instructing ‘patriotic American farmers’ to grow 350,000 acres of hemp each year for the war effort:

    “…[When] Grecian temples were new, hemp was already old in the service of mankind. For thousands of years, even then, this plant had been grown for cordage and cloth in China and elsewhere in the East. For centuries prior to about 1850, all the ships that sailed the western seas were rigged with hempen rope and sails. For the sailor, no less than the hangman, hemp was indispensable… Now with Philippine and East Indian sources of hemp in the hands of the Japanese… American hemp must meet the needs of our Army and Navy as well as of our industries… The Navy’s rapidly dwindling reserves.When that is gone, American hemp will go on duty again; hemp for mooring ships; hemp for tow lines; hemp for tackle and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore. Just as in the days when Old Ironsides sailed the seas victorious

    with her hempen shrouds and hempen sails. Hemp for victory!”

    Certified proof from the Library of Congress, found by the research of Jack Herer, refutes claims of other government agencies that the 1942 USDA film ‘Hemp for Victory’ did not exist.

    Hemp cultivation and production do not harm the environment. The USDA Bulletin #404 concluded that hemp produces four times as much pulp with at least four to seven times less pollution.

    From Popular Mechanics, February 1938:

    “It has a short growing season… It can be grown in any state… The long roots penetrate and break the soil to leave it in perfect condition for the next year’s crop. The dense shock of leaves, 8 to 12 feet above the ground, chokes out weeds. …Hemp, this new crop can add immeasurably to American agriculture and industry.” In the 1930s, innovations in farm machinery would have caused an industrial revolution when applied to hemp. This single resource could have created millions of new jobs generating thousands of quality products. Hemp, if not made illegal,would have brought America out of the Great Depression.


    William Randolph Hearst (Citizen Kane) and the Hearst Paper Manufacturing Division of Kimberly Clark owned vast acreage of timberlands. The Hearst Company supplied most paper products. Patty Hearst’s grandfather, a destroyer of nature for his own personal profit, stood to lose billions because of hemp.

    In 1937, DuPont patented the processes to make plastics from oil and coal. DuPont’s Annual Report urged stockholders to invest in its new petrochemical division. Synthetics such as plastics, cellophane, celluloid, methanol, nylon, rayon, Dacron, etc., could now be made from oil.Natural hemp industrialization would have ruined over 80% of DuPont’s business.

    Andrew Mellon became Hoover’s Secretary of the Treasury and DuPont’s primary investor. He appointed his future nephew-in-law,Harry J.Anslinger, to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

    Secret meetings were held by these financial tycoons. Hemp was declared dangerous and a threat to their billion dollar enterprises. For their dynasties to remain intact, hemp had to go. These men took an obscure Mexican slang word: ‘marijuana’ and pushed it into the consciousness of America.


    A media blitz of ‘yellow journalism’ raged in the late 1920s and 1930s. Hearst’s newspapers ran stories emphasizing the horrors of marijuana. The menace of marijuana made headlines. Readers learned that it was responsible for everything from car accidents to loose morality.

    Films like Reefer Madness (1936), Marijuana: Assassin of Youth (1935) and Marijuana: The Devil’s Weed (1936) were propaganda designed by these industrialists to create an enemy. Their purpose was to gain public support so that anti-marijuana laws could be passed.

    Examine the following quotes from The Burning Question, aka Reefer Madness: a violent narcotic; acts of shocking violence; incurable insanity; soul-destroying effects; under the influence of the drug he killed his entire family with an axe; more vicious, more deadly even than these soul-destroying drugs (heroin, cocaine) is the menace of marijuana.

    Reefer Madness did not end with the usual ‘the end.’ The film concluded with these words plastered on the screen: ‘Tell your children.’

    In the 1930s, people were very naive, even to the point of ignorance. The masses were like sheep waiting to be led by the few in power. They did not challenge authority. If the news was in print or on the radio, they believed it had to be true. They told their children, and their children grew up to be the parents of the baby boomers.

    On April 14, 1937, the prohibitive Marijuana Tax Law, or the bill that outlawed hemp, was directly brought to the House Ways and Means Committee. This committee is the only one that can introduce a bill to the House floor without it being debated by other committees. The Chairman of the U.S. Senate, Ways and Means Committee, at the time,Robert Doughton, was a DuPont supporter. He insured that the bill would pass Congress.

    Dr. James Woodward, a physician and attorney, testified too late on behalf of the American Medical Association. He told the committee that the reason the AMA had not denounced the Marijuana Tax Law sooner was that the Association had just discovered that marijuana was hemp.

    Few people, at the time, realized that the deadly menace they had been reading about on Hearst’s front pages was in fact passive hemp. The AMA understood cannabis to be a medicine found in numerous healing products sold over the last hundred years.

    In September of 1937, hemp became illegal. The most useful crop known became a drug and our planet has been suffering ever since.

    Congress banned hemp because it was said to be the most violence-causing drug known. Harry Anslinger, head of the Drug Commission for 31 years, promoted the idea that marijuana made users act extremely violent. In the 1950s, under the Communist threat ofMcCarthyism, Anslinger then said the exact opposite: marijuana will pacify you so much that soldiers would not want to fight.

    Today, our planet is in desperate trouble. Earth is suffocating as large tracts of rain forests disappear. Pollution, poisons and chemicals are killing people. These great problems could be reversed if we industrialized hemp. Natural biomass could provide all of the planet’s energy needs that are currently supplied by fossil fuels.We have consumed 80% of our oil and gas reserves.We need a renewable resource. Hemp could be the solution to soaring gas prices.


    Hemp has a higher quality fiber than wood fiber. Far fewer caustic chemicals are required to make paper from hemp than from trees. Hemp paper does not turn yellow and is very durable. The plant grows quickly to maturity in a season where trees take a lifetime.

    All plastic products should be made from hemp seed oil. Hempen plastics are biodegradable! Over time, they would break down and not harm the environment. Oil-based plastics, the ones we are very familiar with, help ruin nature. They do not break down and will do great harm in the future. The process to produce the vast array of natural (hempen) plastics will not ruin the rivers as DuPont and other petrochemical companies have done. Ecology does not fit in with the plans of the oil industry and the political machine.Hemp products are safe and natural.

    Medicines should be made from hemp. We should go back to the days when the AMA supported cannabis cures.‘Medical Marijuana’ is given out legally to only a handful of people while the rest of us are forced into a system that relies on chemicals. Pot is only healthy for the human body.

    World hunger could end. A large variety of food products can be generated from hemp. The seeds contain one of the highest sources of protein in nature. Also: They have two essential fatty acids that clean your body of cholesterol. These essential fatty acids are not found anywhere else in nature! Consuming pot seeds is the best thing you could do for your body. Eat uncooked hemp seeds.

    Clothes should be made from hemp. Hemp clothing is extremely strong and durable over time.You could hand clothing, made from pot, down to your grandchildren. Today, there are American companies that make hemp clothing; usually 50% hemp. Hemp fabrics should be everywhere. Instead, they are almost underground. Superior hemp products are not allowed to advertise on fascist television.

    Kentucky, once the top hemp producing state, made it illegal to wear hemp clothing! Can you imagine being thrown into jail for wearing quality jeans?

    The world is crazy. But that does not mean you have to join the insanity. Get together. Spread the news. Tell people, and that includes your children, the truth. Use hemp products. Eliminate the word ’marijuana.’Realize the history that created it.Make it politically incorrect to say or print the M-word. Fight against the propaganda (designed to favor the agenda of the super rich) and the bullsh*t.Hemp must be utilized in the future.We need a clean energy source to save our planet. Industrialize hemp!

    The liquor, tobacco and oil companies fund more than a million dollars a day to Partnership for a Drug-Free America and other similar agencies.We have all seen their commercials. Now, their motto is: ‘It’s more dangerous than we thought.’ Lies from the powerful corporations, that began with Hearst, are still alive and well today.

    The brainwashing continues. Now, the commercials say: If you buy a joint, you contribute to murders and gang wars. The latest anti-pot commercials say: If you buy a joint… you are promoting terrorism! The new enemy (terrorism) has paved the road to brainwash you any way they see fit.

    There is only one enemy: the friendly people you pay your taxes to, the war-makers and nature destroyers.With your funding, they are killing the world right in front of your eyes.

    Half a million deaths each year are caused by tobacco. Half a million deaths each year are caused by alcohol. No one has ever, ever died from smoking pot!!

    In the entire history of the human race, not one death can be attributed to cannabis. Our society has outlawed grass but condones the use of the killers: tobacco and alcohol.

    Hemp should be declassified and placed in drug stores to relieve stress. Hardening and constriction of the arteries are bad, but hemp usage actually enlarges the arteries, which is a healthy condition. We have been so conditioned to think that smoking is harmful. That is not the case for passive pot.

    Ingesting THC, hemp’s active agent, has a positive effect: relieving asthma and glaucoma. A joint tends to alleviate the nausea caused by chemotherapy. You are able to eat on hemp. This is a healthy state of being.

    [one personal note. During the pregnancy of my wife, she was having some difficulty gaining weight.We were in the hospital. A nurse called us to one side and said: “Off the record, if you smoke pot… you’d get something called the munchies and you’ll gain weight.” I swear that is a true story.]

    The stereotype for a pothead is similar to a drunk, bubble-brain.Yet, the truth is one’s creative abilities can be enhanced under its influence. The perception of time slightly slows and one can become more sensitive.You can more appreciate all arts, be closer to nature and generally feel more under the influence of cannabis. It is, in fact, the exact opposite state of mind and body as the drunken state. You can be more aware with pot.

    The pot plant is an alien plant. There is physical evidence that cannabis is not like any other plant on this planet. One could conclude that it was brought here for the benefit of humanity. Hemp is the only plant where the males appear one way and the females appear very different, physically!

    No one ever speaks of males and females in regard to the plant kingdom because plants do not show their sexes. Except for cannabis. To determine what sex a certain, normal, earthly plant is, you have to look internally, at its DNA. A male blade of grass (physically) looks exactly like a female blade of grass. The hemp plant has an intense sexuality. Growers know to kill the males before they fertilize the females. Yes, folks, the most potent pot comes from ‘horny females.’

    The reason this amazing, very sophisticated, ET plant from the future is illegal has nothing to do with how it physically affects us.

    Pot is illegal because billionaires want to remain billionaires!

    “And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land.” – Ezekiel 34:29.

    p.s. I think the word ‘drugs’ should not be used as an umbrella-word that covers all chemical agents. Drugs have come to be known as something bad. Are you aware there are legal drugstores?! Yep, in every city. Unbelievable. Each so-called drug should be considered individually. Cannabis is a medicine and not a drug. We should dare to speak the truth no matter what the law is.


    This text was taken off another forum and is not my own words, but, my beliefs well it hasn’t been a century of brain washing but it is getting close. Only MASS action can bring change and that change can only be for the better.

    Cheers Bryan


    It’s unbelievable that people even remotely consider crude oil and the subsequent products thereof as cheap, including coal and natural gas for that matter, and that no other form of renewable energy stacks up against it.

    We are paying for the costs of using fossil fuels all the time and many, most people, don’t realise it. These costs aren’t, I reiterate, are not, included in EROEI – those exclusions renders the use of the analysis meaningless through its inadequacies.

    A real and fully calculated EROEI for oil, coal or gas that includes all the losses that are incurred along the massive time and scale of the formation of these resources – millions of years. To get the gravity of the massive inefficiency of fossil fuels as an energy source, the fact that these are finite resources is the glaring indicator. Oil is millions of years in the making, but it has been used to its peak supply in a few hundred years.

    An EROEI doesn’t consider time, space and none of the inefficiencies of the natural resources of sunlight, heat, pressure, and again those energy costs over millions of years. Nor does it take into account of the cost of human health, environmental damage, etc. Then, what of the cost of environmental remediation! What for example of the costs of sea walls or the relocation of towns and cities that will be affected by sea level rise as a result of CO2 pollution of our atmosphere.

    Take 5 minutes to consider the remediation work, the effort and the cost of the use of fossil fuels. I think you’ll find after thinking about it for 5 minutes you’ll need more time for all the cost inclusions.

    We are yet to pay for the really significant costs of fossil fuels.



    Thankyou so much Bullseye, Geoff and DB346 for taking the time to simplify what I do realise is not a simple topic. :clap:

    I have a bit of a grip on the discussion pros and cons now and I reckon I can follow any continuation of said discussion.

    You may proceed……….. 😛 :laugh: :laugh:

    Take care,

    Bobs :hug:


    Bullseye post=313110 wrote: We are paying for the costs of using fossil fuels all the time and many, most people, don’t realise it. These costs aren’t, I reiterate, are not, included in EROEI – those exclusions renders the use of the analysis meaningless through its inadequacies.

    An EROEI doesn’t consider time, space and none of the inefficiencies of the natural resources of sunlight, heat, pressure, and again those energy costs over millions of years. Nor does it take into account of the cost of human health, environmental damage, etc.

    I explained the nature of the EROEI calculation here, for your benefit, but you must have missed it, or ignored it. Understanding the nature of the calculation is critical to your ability to comment upon it’s use as a tool in analysis.


    Geoff, I know how to calculate EROEI, it appears you’re not comprehending what I’ve said. It appears you refuse to see outside the limitations of an EROEI. An EROEI is not the be all and end all of energy accounting.

    By the way, the Energy Returned for crude oil is always falling on the Energy Invested, and the Energy Invested is always increasing. If people using EROEI did their calculations correctly, and if the many “Energy Invested” exclusions were included you’d see that crude oil is not really Energy viable nor financially economical.

    Historically, apparently the earth’s natural crude oil resource and supply was an EROEI of, 1 unit (BTU) of energy invested to extract oil from the earth that made 100 energy returned units of oil available. Today, I have read that 1 unit of energy is needed to extract oil from the earth that makes only 3 energy units of oil available.

    EROEI for oil where provided as I’ve read them, takes into account of the cost, as the Energy Invested, for only the infrastructure for extraction and supply of the oil and its products, nothing else.

    If crude oil was to be recreated exactly as it was naturally, though through artificial means including the “time” in millions of years, the “energy invested” would far exceed to “energy returned”, negative figures. But when oil is extracted from for e.g. algae grown in ponds it has a far better EROEI, with positive figures.

    What an EROEI for crude oil doesn’t include as EI’s (Energy Invested) is a lot, as per above, and when you read further.

    What about oil spills for example, the cost of cleanup. The Exxon Valdez spill cost about $73,000 per tonne of oil spilled, more than what it cost to extract it from the earth. The cleanup should be part of the “Energy Invested” cost or the inefficiency of the “infrastructure extraction and supply processes”, that would reduce the efficiency of crude oil to a ratio of less than 1:3. These inefficiencies are not calculated into EROEI. At one time oil spills were left for the environment to deal with but not these days. Imagine if all the oils spills that ever occurred were costed and included as “Energy Invested”…

    As I said before, what of the human health costs to fund healthcare, hospitals, operations, medications etc, etc, from the effects of pollution produced by burning the products of crude oil, petrol, diesel, LPG in cars and trucks. These are more “inefficiencies” or “Energy Invested” that should be included in the “Energy Invested” for calculating an EROEI, that bring down the 1:3 ratio to provide oil products.

    You keep including “inefficiencies” or “Energy Invested” and the ratio will be lower than 1:1.

    Now, after 200 or more years of burning oil (and coal, and doing other damage) we have an atmosphere with 390 parts per million of CO2. That amount of CO2 has risen from 280 parts per million before the industrial revolution. So, too is this a factor that should be added to the list of “inefficiencies” of supplying crude oil. This is the huge cost that we have yet to deal with as another of the “inefficiencies” to capture that CO2. What is the “Energy Invested” cost of this? It would be massive! The cost of “Energy Invested” in the technology and infrastructure to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and store it permanently to reduce CO2 to 280 parts per million would cause an EROEI for crude oil way into negative territory. As for oil spills, modern day society requires, necessitates for our planet’s inhabitants survival, that CO2 to be “cleaned up”.

    So, to be fair in an EROEI comparison of crude oil and for example renewable oil produced from algae in ponds some parts of the growing costs as “Energy Invested” should be disregarded. Only the “Energy Invested” cost from the extraction point of the oil from the dried algae and processes into petrol and diesel (which is the same process as for crude oil) and supply should be included in EROEI. As renewable oil doesn’t increase atmospheric CO2, the “Energy Invested” costs not required for renewable fuels places it way in positive figures.

    With the application of breeder energy supplies renewable energy sources become even more attractive, greater positive Efficiency figures. Breeder energy is where energy independence is achieved by creating more energy independence, say a wind energy plant supplying energy to make solar panels and the solar panels are deployed to produce energy for an algae oil and hydrogen gas producer for running the infrastructure.


    You quite obviously don’t.

    There is no consistency in your requirements, nor the logic you’ve presented.

    On the one hand fossil fuels must include their complete history, but it’s quite alright to spruik algae, hydrogen, wind etc and ignore the fact that every minus for oil or coal is doubly a minus for the emerging alternative energies that currently depend on that same oil and coal for their very existence. Two negative EROEI’s do not a positive make…

    I’ll say no more on the matter.


    So provide us with a “real EROEI” for crude oil, as per the exact way it was created. Include all solar energy from the sun, energy from biological processes from algae that originally produced the biomass of fossil oil, geothermal heat and geo-pressure on the millions of year time scale, extraction and supply, energy for running hospitals, oil spill cleanups, every other environmental remediation related to oil pollution and CO2 pollution and then re-capture to reduce 100 parts per million to pre-industrialisation.

    Then, a fully inclusive real EROEI for renewable oil produced from algae, pond and or bioreactor.


    I don’t think anyone is claiming that the EROEI for crude is totaly inclusive. As you said, there is no way to do that if you are insisting on that kind of detail.

    Of course we have not been paying the REAL cost of oil, coal and gas. That’s kind of the whole point, right? Oil has been cheap to the consumer because we’ve been ignoring the bits we don’t like – environmental and health costs, war and deprivation in the name of economic growth, ad in finitum…

    Now we are realising that we can’t ignore the mucky bits. They matter. So when we are looking at alternatives to fossil fuels, we’re starting to add those bits in. As we should. And with the understanding that there is no simple answer, no way to please everyone.

    If you are going to insist on the “real” EROEI of fossil fuels, then I’m happy to request the same for hydrogen – including the development and upgrading of the current industrial/agricultural/economic system to one that can use hydrogen in all the places that fossil fuels are used, that includes the costs of potential cleanups due to leaks/explosions/accidents, that takes into account the resource usage/waste in replacing people’s current methods of transportation with hydrogen cars, that allows for the likely need for health and safety issues as our knowledge grows….

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If fossil fuels are going to be held under the microscope in this way (as they should be), then so should our options.


    Looks like another thread is going to be locked because some people just have to try and out do others???????? 🙁

    Wouldnt it be better to discuss the merits of community based transport systems or alternatives to having to travel such as re-localising produce back to village or suburb level rather than going hammer and tongs about scientific stuff that seems to simply enrage some and bore others to tears :blush:

    Come on guys agree to disagree :hug: :kiss:


    Well said Weaver!!

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