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Thread: Oil is at a 12-year low

  1. #151
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    There's still plenty of oil and when scarce will price itself out of the market without any help from taxes, and even Gavin Schmidt puts Sahara's current condition down to orbital fluctuation. (he's a 'tipping point' advocate for obvious reasons)
    There is natural climate change that has driven various climate regions upward and downward across latitudes. In the current Ice Age, we experience glacial minimums and maximums. Humans, however, have also destroyed entire ecological regions, even far before the advent of industrialization. Europe was once a mostly richly forested continent filled with wild animals and relatively rich biodiversity. It still has the climactic conditions to support this in the modern era - however, the continent has mostly been biologically engineered to suit large human populations. The forests were burned for charcoal and the land tamed for farming.

    The same has occurred in India and China to a massive extent. These aren't natural landscapes - they are artificially created ones. In lands already marginal, such as dry grasslands - the effect humans has had has been magnified. Saudi Arabia does not experience the climactic conditions to support forests, grasslands, rivers, and lakes as it did a few thousand years ago, but regions further north such as the Levant were largely ruined by human intervention.

  2. #152
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    They also crush hiring and modernization in any field that relies on vehicle fuel. It really hurts people on a fixed or low income budget. It is also death to rural denziens who must commute even to buy staples let alone get to work.
    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    I do not disagree on the need to change to 'renewables' but precisely what we disagree on is the "specifics" - which effect the ordinary person - of where it is better have low oil prices (circa $50pb or lower) or higher ($300pb). In my view oil at $300pb would shrink the whole economy and cause hardships unknown.
    I see the short-sighted decisions to made on rely so heavily on oil like this - imagine you gave everybody HIV. Then everybody needs medication to stave off death from "AIDS"-related symptoms. I see oil dependency as "AIDS" in this scenario, and keeping oil prices low is an analogy to selling people medication to stave off "AIDS" after you already gave it to them.

    Low oil prices might alleviate costs for a working family, an older couple trying to stay warm in the winter, or a rural denizen who must commute to work. We already gave these people "AIDS", and it cannot be un-given. But there are more ways to resolve the universal "AIDS" issue than simply creating customer, by infecting them then alleviating the symptoms they experience by selling them medication which does not to cure the problem.

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    There is natural climate change that has driven various climate regions upward and downward across latitudes. In the current Ice Age, we experience glacial minimums and maximums. Humans, however, have also destroyed entire ecological regions, even far before the advent of industrialization. Europe was once a mostly richly forested continent filled with wild animals and relatively rich biodiversity. It still has the climactic conditions to support this in the modern era - however, the continent has mostly been biologically engineered to suit large human populations. The forests were burned for charcoal and the land tamed for farming.

    The same has occurred in India and China to a massive extent. These aren't natural landscapes - they are artificially created ones. In lands already marginal, such as dry grasslands - the effect humans has had has been magnified. Saudi Arabia does not experience the climactic conditions to support forests, grasslands, rivers, and lakes as it did a few thousand years ago, but regions further north such as the Levant were largely ruined by human intervention.
    I'm aware of the effect of humans on local environments, I'm simply pointing out there isn't any evidence for human impact on either the Sahara or Saudi Arabia. That doesn't mean it didn't occur, but it can be explained easily by orbital fluctuation on it's own.
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  4. #154
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    so just when we were talking about oil tax being political suicide:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...g-the-gas-tax/
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  5. #155
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    I'm aware of the effect of humans on local environments, I'm simply pointing out there isn't any evidence for human impact on either the Sahara or Saudi Arabia. That doesn't mean it didn't occur, but it can be explained easily by orbital fluctuation on it's own.
    I believe the most of Saudi Arabia would likely be a desert on its own with climactic fluctuations. It isn't simply solar activity or orbital changes that cause climactic fluctuations - a supervolcano, asteroid impacts, etc. can also cause these. The Indonesian eruption at the tail end of the Napoleonic Wars caused a cooling period the lasted for decades and accelerated migration from Europe to the New World. The human population bottleneck is thought to have occurred during either a supervolcanic eruption or small asteroid impact - I can't recall - but genetic studies have matched up with geological evidence of a maor event - which then caused a self-sustaining cooling period and extraordinary vast changes. We are currently causing a self-sustaining warming period in which humans may not be the only cause, or even the initial cause - but we are certainly a major cause or the predominant cause creating an ever-increasing vicious cycle. And, obviously, climate change has always caused waves of extinctions, in both warming and cooling periods.

    The fact that most areas of the world that are conducive to any sort of agriculture are artificially engineered by humans, and nothing even remotely resembling a natural environment, should give us great pause.

    Back to Saudi Arabia - the transition areas between desert and grassland/savanna, e.g. scrubland, can be easily rendered into full desert by human intervention, at which point grassland can become the new scrubland, thus creating a vicious cycle where transition zones are converted into desert and unaffected grassland/savanna areas become the new transition areas. A small desert can certainly be writ large as large populations become dependent on increasingly smaller areas of increasingly marginal lands.

    I think the idea that climate change can have natural catalysts is beside the point. Humans have been pouring fuel on the fires of naturally catalyzed climate change, including desertification and climate zone transitions, and even if not directly causing it, magnifying it, since the dawn of civilization - and even earlier than that.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 02 May 17, at 06:37.

  6. #156
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I believe the most of Saudi Arabia would likely be a desert on its own with climactic fluctuations. It isn't simply solar activity or orbital changes that cause climactic fluctuations - a supervolcano, asteroid impacts, etc. can also cause these. The Indonesian eruption at the tail end of the Napoleonic Wars caused a cooling period the lasted for decades and accelerated migration from Europe to the New World. The human population bottleneck is thought to have occurred during either a supervolcanic eruption or small asteroid impact - I can't recall - but genetic studies have matched up with geological evidence of a maor event - which then caused a self-sustaining cooling period and extraordinary vast changes. We are currently causing a self-sustaining warming period in which humans may not be the only cause, or even the initial cause - but we are certainly a major cause or the predominant cause creating an ever-increasing vicious cycle. And, obviously, climate change has always caused waves of extinctions, in both warming and cooling periods.

    The fact that most areas of the world that are conducive to any sort of agriculture are artificially engineered by humans, and nothing even remotely resembling a natural environment, should give us great pause.

    Back to Saudi Arabia - the transition areas between desert and grassland/savanna, e.g. scrubland, can be easily rendered into full desert by human intervention, at which point grassland can become the new scrubland, thus creating a vicious cycle where transition zones are converted into desert and unaffected grassland/savanna areas become the new transition areas. A small desert can certainly be writ large as large populations become dependent on increasingly smaller areas of increasingly marginal lands.

    I think the idea that climate change can have natural catalysts is beside the point. Humans have been pouring fuel on the fires of naturally catalyzed climate change, including desertification and climate zone transitions, and even if not directly causing it, magnifying it, since the dawn of civilization - and even earlier than that.
    Clearly you don't work for the new EPA...

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    I believe the most of Saudi Arabia would likely be a desert on its own with climactic fluctuations. It isn't simply solar activity or orbital changes that cause climactic fluctuations - a supervolcano, asteroid impacts, etc. can also cause these. The Indonesian eruption at the tail end of the Napoleonic Wars caused a cooling period the lasted for decades and accelerated migration from Europe to the New World. The human population bottleneck is thought to have occurred during either a supervolcanic eruption or small asteroid impact - I can't recall - but genetic studies have matched up with geological evidence of a maor event - which then caused a self-sustaining cooling period and extraordinary vast changes. We are currently causing a self-sustaining warming period in which humans may not be the only cause, or even the initial cause - but we are certainly a major cause or the predominant cause creating an ever-increasing vicious cycle. And, obviously, climate change has always caused waves of extinctions, in both warming and cooling periods.

    The fact that most areas of the world that are conducive to any sort of agriculture are artificially engineered by humans, and nothing even remotely resembling a natural environment, should give us great pause.

    Back to Saudi Arabia - the transition areas between desert and grassland/savanna, e.g. scrubland, can be easily rendered into full desert by human intervention, at which point grassland can become the new scrubland, thus creating a vicious cycle where transition zones are converted into desert and unaffected grassland/savanna areas become the new transition areas. A small desert can certainly be writ large as large populations become dependent on increasingly smaller areas of increasingly marginal lands.

    I think the idea that climate change can have natural catalysts is beside the point. Humans have been pouring fuel on the fires of naturally catalyzed climate change, including desertification and climate zone transitions, and even if not directly causing it, magnifying it, since the dawn of civilization - and even earlier than that.
    The constant occupation of the Fertile Crescent across >12,000 years disagrees with you.
    The primary requirement for both the Sahara and Arabian Peninsula to be anything other than desert is monsoon rains, something over which mankind has had absolutely no control.
    The last monsoons in the area occurred over 5,500 years ago, causing the withdrawl of human and animal populations back to the Nile, Ethiopia etc. It's well documented in Saharan cave drawings and the early proto Pharonic art and literature as well as sediment analysis.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    I'm aware of the effect of humans on local environments, I'm simply pointing out there isn't any evidence for human impact on either the Sahara or Saudi Arabia. That doesn't mean it didn't occur, but it can be explained easily by orbital fluctuation on it's own.
    Maybe you never heard of Paul Bunyon.

    He was a lumberman, an axman, and a big man.

    They say he and Babe (his blue ox) only left the North Woods once, and that was to take a little trip to the Arabian Forest.

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Obscure but ok. I know you're not there but congrats on the great Californian Wildflower bloom.

    Name:  flower-bloom-california-desert-2017.jpg
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  10. #160
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    The constant occupation of the Fertile Crescent across >12,000 years disagrees with you.
    The primary requirement for both the Sahara and Arabian Peninsula to be anything other than desert is monsoon rains, something over which mankind has had absolutely no control.
    The last monsoons in the area occurred over 5,500 years ago, causing the withdrawl of human and animal populations back to the Nile, Ethiopia etc. It's well documented in Saharan cave drawings and the early proto Pharonic art and literature as well as sediment analysis.
    The desertification of the Levant and the Fertile Cresecent has been highly accelerated by intensive human agriculture going back to the dawn of civilization and agriculture.

    It's a logical fallacy for us to look at this an an either-or question - the answer regarding desertification in the Middle East and North Africa isn't solely climate change or solely humans ruining the environment - it is both. As natural climate change occurs, and climactic regions shift latitude with changing oceanic circulation patterns, glaciation and de-glaciation, the breaching and creation of the Strait of Gibraltar and the flooding of Lake Mediterranean (formerly a large lake in which rivers in North Africa, southern Europe, and the middle East flowed into), the breaching and creation of the Straits of Gallipoli and the transition from the Black Lake to the Black Sea, and the same with the Baltic Lake when it turned into a sea in the same manner, humans have hand-in-hand with these natural events, since the dawn of civilization, accelerated and magnified these naturally occurring events.

    BTW - the breaching of the Mediterranean and Black Lakes is thought to be the origin of the flood "myth" - whether from the Bible or Atlantis. In mere days or even hours, entire port cities and civilizations located along rivers that fed the Mediterranean and Black Lakes were wiped out, with the progressive flooding of the Atlantic inundating coastal regions many miles, even tens or a hundred or more miles inland in a very short period of time when the breaches occurred. Riverine cities with vibrant civilization located along the coast were wiped out in a few apocalyptic minutes, hours, or days. Some of these civilizations may precede even what is thought to be the conventional historical period - perhaps as far back as 20,000 BC. Human civilization was a rare gem - and humanity has again and again put its eggs all in one basket, only to be wiped out into a Dark Age and the restoration of a pre-historic period again and again.

    We've been taking 100 steps forward, 99 steps back until finally we started a seemingly permanent "upward" curve perhaps beginning several hundred years ago - for the time being, we have broken free of the 100 steps forward, 99 steps back cycle of civilization and destruction of civilization.

    But again - we cannot look at things solely under the prism of naturally occurring climate change. Human activities have magnified and intensified naturally occurring changes since we started engineering natural landscapes and ecosystems to our own benefit. The Fertile Crescent is nowhere near as fertile as it was, and the size of the crescent has been vastly reduced. Irrigation in the cresent, and siltification and saltification of the plains of the Crescent have made it so the agriculturally productive regions more or less hug the Tigris and Euphrates much more tightly, whereas the fertility of the Crescent used to be many times larger.

    Humans are not entirely the cause, but the impact of our actions have intensified, magnified, and accelerated these developments.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 02 May 17, at 17:49.

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    Only the Black Sea flooding is proven to have occurred during human existence; some suggest that this event may be the root of the biblical flood myth of Noah etc...

  12. #162
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Maybe you never heard of Paul Bunyon.

    He was a lumberman, an axman, and a big man.

    They say he and Babe (his blue ox) only left the North Woods once, and that was to take a little trip to the Arabian Forest.
    If you ever want to see a guy split logs into several cords of chopped wood in a day - feel free to visit me while I'm visiting family in my place of origin (NE MN). ;-) Give me an axe and a sharpening stone, and I'll have a great time splitting wood all day. Besides my occupation as an IT technician and beer vendor - I'm also a woodsman who can live off the land just fine. Always a good idea to have a backup strategy in the event IT work and beer vending in stadiums is no longer a viable career path.

    The Arabian Forest once existed - there is geological evidence for it - geological evidence for things such as the Petrified Forest in the SW US is more readily apparent, but the sands of Arabia have made evidence more obscure, but it is still there. The disappearance of the forests and sub-tropics of Arabia is due to de-glacation that shifted entire climate regions across many degrees of latitude. Human agriculture, however, wiped out the marginal areas bordering the naturally-created desert, making into an expanded desert, and turning plains into the new marginal areas, which then become even more desert. The catalyst for the existence of these deserts is due to natural change - their amplification and magnification is due to established populations of humans throwing good money after bad, in creating a tragedy of the commons, desperately trying to hang onto agriculture in areas no longer truly conducive toward it.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 02 May 17, at 18:04.

  13. #163
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Only the Black Sea flooding is proven to have occurred during human existence; some suggest that this event may be the root of the biblical flood myth of Noah etc...
    That is precisely what I've been getting at. The flooding of the Mediterranean may have occurred during a period of human civilization that we may have yet to discover. We cannot prove civilizations were wiped out when the Mediterranean was flooded - it may yet be proved - the archaeological evidence is harder to find as the Mediterranean flood is much more ancient, and the water has had more time to erode and break down the evidence of this possible civilization(s).

    I personally believe that the Black Sea flood is the root of the Biblical flood "myth" - and de-glaciation and the rising sea levels is a semi-historical account, albeit attributed to divine intervention, of the flooding and destruction of previous civilizations that we have not yet proved the existence of.

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    The difference is that there have been searches of the Black Sea which produced evidence of sunken ancient habitation whereas the Med has been open for all recorded history ("The Gates of Heracles" etc). Additional circumstantial evidence is provided by the old and surprisingly 'advanced' culture in modern Bulgaria/Romania as well as the relative proximity of Mnt Ararat (today on the Armenian - Turkish border). The Gilgamesh text which derives from Sumeria also speaks of a flood but flood literature or even myth passed by word of mouth (as the Iliad was) stories do not exist in ancient Western Med.

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    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    The desertification of the Levant and the Fertile Cresecent has been highly accelerated by intensive human agriculture going back to the dawn of civilization and agriculture.
    Really. Where's your evidence?
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