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Are Energy Co's Enterprises that Must be Stopped to Save the Planet?

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by glynch, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

    Mar 31, 2000
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    Everything anyone has anywhere is the product of oil and other hydrocarbon energy sources being available at relatively inexpensive prices. The food production in the US, the global economy that ships things relatively cheaply around the world (your iPad, you car, the materials that build your home, your food, your clothes, your everything), not to mention the dozens of additional products derived from hydrocarbons that have nothing to do with the gasoline you put in your car. A slow shift away from the bulk of hyrdocarbons in developed countries is entirely possible...to an extent. The economies of these nations can afford, in the long term, to sacrifice some economic well being for to switch from some hydrocarbon usage, and reduce (but not completely get rid of) their demand.

    However, developing nations must and will go through their respective industrial revolutions to modernize and join the global society and economy. Their demand for hydrocarbons will grow exponentially in the coming decades, and the only way to fight any perceived environmental impacts will for the West to rather selfishly declare that they are not allowed to join us in the post industrialized world and they must be relegated to a pre-industrialized nation status in perpetuity.

    The practical answers to this are twofold. Natural gas is a cleaner alternative to oil in many cases. Modernizing shipping and transportation to utilize technology to develop efficient LNG alternatives will be a big step forward in disconnecting from oil. The acceptance of nuclear options will also go a long way to reduce demand.

    The practical acceptance that society, at least in the next half dozen generations or so, will NOT be able to completely get away form oil usage is also a big step. Too many products are created (all plastic) by hydcrocarbons and their petrochemicals to completely divest society from its usage. Acceptance of this fact will lead to development of more efficient usages and refining technology.

    The short term, however, is not in doubt. Oil and other hydrocarbons are the most important and valuable commodities on earth (after H2O). Removal of those commodities or pricing them up too much will crumble the earth's globalized economy. For profit Oil and Gas companies tend to run at pretty reasonable margins (far less than companies such as Apple). The headlines tend to over dramatize the fiscal numbers of these companies. Yes, Exxon makes a lot of money, but the size of the company is that way due to mergers and Inquisition over the last 15 years that they performed to stay in business when oil was $13/barrel. ExxonMobile's profits look large in real dollars, but are relativiley standard for any corporation, with margins fluctuating between 8-12% or so a year. It is all perspective. Add that to the fact that publicly traded oil companies tend to have little or no bearing on the market in terms of pricing (about 90% of the world's oil is controlled by state-run national oil companies), they are just doing business as usual. You can also add to the fact that since they are publicly traded companies that must ultimately be more efficient than state run oil companies, they tend to develop most, if not all of the technology that those state run companies utilize.
    1 person likes this.

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

    Jun 26, 2008
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