Comments:Scientist demands end to US 'addiction to oil'

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Thread titleRepliesLast modified
Hm...518:12, 15 November 2010
Let's have a serious talk about this, EXAGGERATION NEEDS TO STOP118:05, 15 November 2010
Comments from feedback form - "A dependance is not necessaril..."117:45, 15 November 2010
Comments from feedback form - "i have yet to see a more one s..."013:49, 4 November 2010
Seriously?613:07, 23 October 2010
Comments from feedback form - "Cor, that's a lot of oil! :P"009:21, 23 October 2010
beyond petroleum122:30, 22 October 2010
Just my personal thoughts on the oil industry222:28, 22 October 2010

How does China have such high manufacturing output, especially with plastics, while consuming less than half as much oil as the United States? Nuclear power?

Fishy c (talk)18:26, 21 October 2010

Coal, actually. You may recall reports regarding the extreme smog problems Beijing was experiencing leading up to the Olympics - that's why. (talk)19:36, 21 October 2010

the PRC is the world's Saudi Arabia of Bituminous coal (talk)22:29, 22 October 2010

In fact, oil is seldom used as a fuel source for electricity or manufacturing, even in the US, we use coal for that. (talk)22:32, 22 October 2010

Very interesting! Thank you for the information.

Fishy c (talk)18:04, 23 October 2010

Most of USA pop. live in cites or towns[urban] own vehicles! Have a larger carbon footprint than a Chinese or Indian or any other Asian! most of pop in Asia live in villages are farmers/odd jobs, dont own vehicles for personal or for agriculture use! bottom line Americans over do it! A 14 trillion economy should invest in less polluting modes of transport like HSRL not just planes which use up so much of fuel! No high speed rail in USA. that's embarrassing! Europe has it! need to make change at home & fast!!! (talk)18:12, 15 November 2010

Let's have a serious talk about this, EXAGGERATION NEEDS TO STOP

Ok, so we've all heard about the big oil spill last year. As terrible as it was, IT IS NOT ENTIRELY BPs FAULT!. Heres the problem, Lets say theres a state, in the US, lets say Alaska, which has a bounty of oil hidden on land. The state should be able sell off some of this land to an oil company right? WRONG!!! See BP has already tried to drill on US land, and just off shore, where an accident would be much much easier to repair and prevent. BUT THE US NATIONAL GOV wont let states make deal for new drill sites on land or just off shore, no matter how hard the oil companies and states(like alaska) try. LET ME REPEAT THAT, BP IS NOT seeking big risk projects, it just wants new drill sites, and if you dont let them do it on land or on shore, then they will go as deep into the ocean as they need to in order to stay a float.

Next, oil might not be the greatest, but people dont seem to really want to change. why? Everyone seems to want to seem green, but in reality, they aren't willing to do what is needed. Why is that? because no one seems to like nuclear power, the one thing that could prob help us the most. Solar panels are too expensive and take almost as much energy to create as they make over the first ten years of use. hybrids are nice but for the price you could get much sportier cars. The one decent all electric car, the tesla roadster, costs 3 arms and 4 legs. In the end being green costs too much and inconveniences. Until green tech people come up with ideas that are more convenient and cheaper than the way things are currently, there wont be very much change. (talk)13:48, 4 November 2010

if the people don't want to be less greedy & buy a less sporty car whose fault is it! its the peoples fault! we spend a lot on our selves! we don't want to spend on these things cause it doesn't look good o its isn't cool! nor does the government wan to spend on it even if the fact is that ur a 14 trillion economy! well that's just too bad! Well u talk about resins why people don't want to change there are many reasons for them to start doing somethings before something bad happens...if it doesn't happen to us our children sure will experience disaster...I think ur doing a little bit of exaggeration yourself by saying we are too poor & helpless! In India we have solar water heaters! works just fine! doesn't cost much! no subsidies on this! Rs 30000 = 400USD .Dont think anyone made the first move in the USA!Someone need to buy things for the scientist sot fund their projects or the govt invest heavily in them which both aren't doing cause of the same attitude that we cant do anything its a reality of life....lets ,make the small changes forget nuclear power! You just keep giving excuses why you shouldn't do something! If u choose why u would buy a sportier car for the cost of a hybrid that explains your greed not helplessness! Its not like There is 60% poverty or hunger like in third world countries! U prefer to by suv's [gas guzzlers]! u have the money the technology but not the will power !Lets not exaggerate our helplessness over this issue or save us from our misdeed's & greed! (talk)18:05, 15 November 2010

Comments from feedback form - "A dependance is not necessaril..."

A dependance is not necessarily an addiction. The world would be better off if the US drilled off the coast and reduced it's imports from countries that have lax environmental regulations. (talk)21:50, 11 November 2010

well that's what they did....drill off the coast & not depend on countries with lax environmental regulations! This happened off the coast of a nation with strong environmental regulation! Its not the question of dependence! Its the over dependence that is becoming our addiction! a 14 trillion economy which has access to the best in technology makes no serious attempt to change & show the way to the world!In fact these companies love countries with lose laws just like Obama asking India to loosen a nuclear liability bill to make it more suitable/easy for American operators to do business! Good Intent is a necessity! Going green promoting green tech is not just to create jobs...& it should not be so...its too become more responsible people! We need to make sacrifice,come on! we aren't king. Your observations are hence fictitious! Look at wall street, IT has regulations but its in total chaos! u don't need laws or regulations to drive u or force u to be responsible....its the companies duty to see that they do it safe. Regulations are a piece of writing they can be twisted to suite ones selfish wants...Laws are broken because they can be! Even the powerful senate cant take action against BP....they cant because they are puppets! Have no power...regulations are a blunt weapon for the government which is hopeless...don't think its a weapon at all! its just in writing! Take care! be safe responsible! (talk)17:41, 15 November 2010

Comments from feedback form - "i have yet to see a more one s..."

i have yet to see a more one sided article on wiki, very very disappointing (talk)13:49, 4 November 2010


While I'm in favor of alternative energy and the expansion of nuclear power instead of oil, isn't Wikinews supposed to be a news outlet and not a propaganda rag?

Kitch (talk)12:23, 21 October 2010

It always worries me when stuff like this is published, mainly because I'm concerned this kind of language will scare moderates away from a sensible environmentalist policies and work against people taking these claims seriously. Of course, it must be published - freedom of the press and all, and the guys have a point - but it would be nice if the language was less... theatrical? Dramatic? Not sure what the word I'm looking for is, but you get the picture. That's up to the people who said these things, though, and not the Wikireporters. (talk)18:02, 21 October 2010

Reading the article I'm not exactly sure what's news worthy about the stance of the scientist in question (it doesn't deviate at all from half-century old standard statements by environmental groups). His statements just read like the typical press-friendly but ultimately empty blathering that media-savvy personalities engage in. It probably wasn't worth writing an article about, but meh.

Gopher65talk19:29, 22 October 2010

Sensible people- at least throughout most of the world - don't have the issues of denial and crying foul at the facts that the United States has when it comes to the scientific consensus of climate change and peak oil. This is one of the peculiar quirks of our political discourse (talk)22:36, 22 October 2010

Spilling hundreds of millions of gallons of petroleum and hundreds of millions of gallons of dispersants into one of the worlds richest saltwater ecosystems is pretty theatrical stuff as it turns out. (talk)22:40, 22 October 2010

I'm curious as to how you see nuclear energy as an alternative to petroleum. It doesn't offer any solutions to the structural flaws of a petroleum economy. Fissile uranium is non-renewable, and as a heavy radioactive metal, it's supplies are quite limited, so it too will be exhausted and we will find ourselves in the same situation as we are currently in with oil.. Nuclear wastes are dangerously radioactive for billions of years after their production, and currently there is no safe long-term way to store them. The building of nuclear power plants and the mining of uranium are both fossil fuel intensive activities releasing large quantities of greenhouse gas into the Earth's atmosphere, further contributing to global climate change. These are simply the facts. (talk)22:20, 22 October 2010

Your "simply facts" are partly wrong, and partly a half century out of date. It's a common problem. For some reason everyone presents stats on 1950s era reactors and then claims that those same stats should apply to reactors built today. Yup. How true. In fact, the computer I'm typing this message on takes up an entire city block. It was true in the 50s, so it must be true today! ;). Humans make the weirdest associations in their minds between facts that shouldn't be related, and it's hard to convince them that the faulty assumptions that come out of those mis-associations are incorrect.

1) Nuclear waste is comprised of a variety of materials, all of which decay to normal background radiation levels at a different rate, but none of which take billions of years. If something takes billions of years to decay to a non-radioactive state is isn't called 'waste'. We have a different word for such things: 'rocks'. The speed at which a radioactive material decays determines how dangerous it is. The faster it decays, the more radiation it puts out in a short period of time, and the more dangerous it is. If something takes billions of years to decay (like naturally occurring unprocessed U238), it isn't radioactive enough to be dangerous to a human.

The most dangerous waste lasts a few dozen years, while less dangerous waste (but still very dangerous) lasts a couple hundred. Neither of these are considered long term problems because they decay to non-dangerous levels quickly enough that the buildup of dangerous materials never becomes a storage issue (by the time new waste is created the old stuff is already harmless). The type of radioactive waste that is considered a problem is the stuff that lasts for a few thousand years. It takes long enough to decay and is produced in large enough quantities in currently active reactors that it is a PITA to store.

Newer reactors do not produce this long-lived waste in large quantities. Some designs create only a grapefruit sized amount of long-lived waste per year of operation. This amount of waste creation is insignificant on a per-watt basis, and can easily be safely stored for the thousands of years necessary. Note that storage itself isn't a problem. Storage isn't *that* expensive, and it isn't very hard. Finding geologically stable locations that won't be hit by natural disasters and aren't in someone's backyard, that's hard. That's why storage is an issue. Current reactors create long-lived waste fast enough that it cannot be stored at the available safe storage sites. Newer reactors create waste slower so that by the time a storage site is filled to capacity, the very first waste that was placed into the site will be ready to be removed (it will have decayed to the point where it is putting out levels of radiation similar to or lower than the background radiation that exists naturally).

2) All of the current generation of reactors were designed between 1950 and 1970. Saying "nuclear reactors are dangerous and create unmanageable waste, so we shouldn't build them" is like saying "Model T cars have a poor safety record, so no one should buy the 2011 model cars from Ford". That's just silly statement to make. Model T cars are dangerous, but they're also no longer in production. Those that still exist are relics of an earlier age. The same is true of nuclear reactors. Currently designed reactors are not only to all intents and purposes incapable of meltdowns (they are designed so that they passively shut down if the safety systems fail. No computer control or human interference necessary. They just... stop), but they produce far less waste per watt generated than the oldschool reactors that everyone uses as examples.

3) U235 is relatively rare in Earth's crust. However, unlike oil, which many countries currently import from volatile 3rd world countries, the vast majority of commercially recoverable U235 is in two 1st world countries: Australia and Canada. So unlike oil, energy security isn't a big deal with U235 based reactors.

4) U235 rarity is an issue. Most currently operating reactors (but not all) require a mixture of U238 (which is relatively common) and U235 (which is very rare and expensive to extract). MOST currently operating reactors. Most. Newer reactor designs are generally "breeder" reactors, which not only generate less waste than standard reactors, but they don't require rare resources to operate. U238 based breeder reactors have already been designed and tested — however the test reactors that have already been built (again, in the 70's) were too primitive to be economically viable, and research on them was cancelled for nearly three entire decades due to the low price of oil in most of the 1980s and 1990s. That was... unfortunate to say the least. (And the same unfortunativity applies to solar power research, geothermal research, and fusion research.)

While U238 is relatively plentiful source of fuel for newer generation fission reactors, research has also begun on a replacement reactor: Thorium based breeder reactors. Thorium is common enough to be a long term fuelsource, even if we were stupid and used *nothing* but nuclear power. (The best source of energy is a diversified source of energy. As many different types of power generation as is reasonable should be used in order to decrease the chances of a single bout of bad luck destroying civilization.)

5) Building power plants and mining fissionable materials are indeed fossil fuel heavy tasks. And so is creating solar panels. And so is making hydro plants. And so is making electric cars. And so is (to a lesser extent) building wind turbines. The reason behind this isn't because these activities *require* fossil fuels, it's because we just so happen to currently use oil and burn natural gas to accomplish pretty much everything we do. That's just the way our economy is set up. *Everything* requires large quantities of fossil fuels, because they are currently the energy source we use to do everything. That will change eventually.

Gopher65talk23:43, 22 October 2010

Comments from feedback form - "Cor, that's a lot of oil! :P"

Cor, that's a lot of oil! :P

Kayau (talk · contribs)09:21, 23 October 2010

beyond petroleum

"The moment has come for BP to move beyond oil," brought a cynic's smile to my lips. Someone at Greenpeace should be doing a stand-up act.

BP didn't listen to its own slogan.

InfantGorilla (talk)21:55, 21 October 2010

LOL, agreed! (talk)22:30, 22 October 2010

Just my personal thoughts on the oil industry

Just from the diagram included in the Petroleum products article, I see that 81% of the contents of a typical barrel of oil currently go to fuel usage, which burns and then releases its carbon into the atmosphere. Understanding that oil is even used in the production of things like, say, electric cars, I think that a prudent step toward significant worldwide reduction of our oil usage would be if all our forms of public transport (trains, subways and automobiles at least) could slowly and gradually be converted to either fuel-cell or full-electric power sources. In order to get this done affordably, the changes need to be gradual, so that the cost to the consumer can be reduced to the point of affordability. I understand that a typical electric 4-door sedan runs about $40K as compared to a gasoline-fed model, which usually runs $20k or less, but I think that if the governments (or perhaps the auto companies?) offered rebates that would make up the difference to consumers, those $40K cars might just become reasonably affordable. As for the modes of transport that I haven't mentioned, here are my thoughts: Boats: 1. Personal-to-family-sized with outboard motors: I would hope that if there isn't already an outboard motor model that is completely electric, there will be one on the market soon. 2. Commercial fishing boats: I think that a good power source for some could be either burning fish oil, but also: While the boat is docked, hooking up their engines to a generator which charges the motors' battery with tidal energy. Another more crazy idea? Divising some way to capture wind power from a tropical cyclone. 3. Cargo ships: An absolutely necessary part of global trade. So what to do about their power supply? Some combination of tidal and solar might be feasible on the smaller-scale ones, but I'm thinking nuclear power is the way to go here.

Planes: Whoa boy, here's the big problem per unit. It takes a lot of energy to get up and stay in the air, which makes me understand why commercial airliners use gasoline, but per plane, they use up a whole lot more fuel than your average car. My remedy for this? Either a) less planes, which the airlines won't like, or b) we look at ways to convert the planes to some less polluting energy source. Again, I am in favour of some form of wind/solar battery system, combined with an air glider model once the plane has reached a safe altitude. Once the plane reaches its normal 35,000 feet or so, it should be above most of the cloud systems, so if the entire upside can be coated with solar-energy absorption materials, that may be very useful.

Trains: One answer: Electric-powered, magnetically driven.

It might take decades to convert the majority of the world's transport modes to non-oil consuming forms, but I think it is possible. (talk)21:07, 21 October 2010

Your idea on planes isn't bad, but it misses some of the important elements of flight. Large-scale gliders are pretty impractical for jumbo jets, due to the downward pressure exerted by passenger weight, cargo, and mechanics/electronics. The solar panels are good for power generation, but jets also require significant power reserves, more than can be stored in practical batteries. Also, solar power reliance would render red-eye flights inoperable. Reducing the number of planes in the air is, as current, contradictory to market demand - the fact is, people are doing a lot of flying these days. Most importantly, the vast majority of fuel use occurs during takeoff, and as it stands right now, fossil fuels are the only reliable source of that kind of power. The biggest problem is, aviation has absolutely no room for error, especially given the large quantity of human elements involved (specifically, the entire passenger roster on your average 747). Without sufficient regulatory pressure, it's not economically sound to pursue alternative approaches to aviation yet, due to insurance, inventory, and R&D costs. I'm hopeful that the time will come soon - I'm wondering if miniaturization of nuclear fuel will contribute to cleaner air travel. It's my belief that eventually, demand is going to outweigh distaste, and nuclear power will become the primary driver for civilization for the next hundred or so years, barring extremely significant breakthroughs in emerging fields. (talk)04:20, 22 October 2010

sounds great, by 2110 the world will have 12 billion people and we'll have used up all the world's uranium supplies and we'll have a pile of nuclear waste bigger than mount everest and cancer will be so ubiquitous it will be considered a coming of age disease. then what, cold fusion? (talk)22:28, 22 October 2010