"Our dependency on oil should be broken by 2020."


mentalfloss
+1
#1
Not a new article or concept by any means, but I was just wondering how soon we would be able to rid of our dependency on this type of resource. Sweden looks to be the first oil-free nation by 2020...

Quote:

"Our dependency on oil should be broken by 2020," said Mona Sahlin, minister of sustainable development. "There shall always be better alternatives to oil, which means no house should need oil for heating, and no driver should need to turn solely to gasoline."

Sweden plans to be world's first oil-free economy | Environment | The Guardian


But what about the rest of us??

Quote:

At least 66 countries, including 27 EU countries have renewable energy policy targets of some type. The EU baseline target is 20% by 2020. While the USA does not have a national RET, 29 of its states do. Similarly Canada has 9 provincial RETs but no national target.

So we don't really have a target year?

Why is this?
 
CDNBear
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Why is this?

Ineffectual and nonexistent policy, reinforced by NIMBY's.
 
Durry
#3
Oil dependency will exist in Canada for at least the next 50 years.
There is absolutely nothing on the horizon to replace it.
Alternative energy sources are not stable and will always need oil as a back up !!
 
mentalfloss
#4
Well the good news is that solar energy will cost less than coal in 2020.

This should at least reduce our dependency by a huge margin, shouldn't it?
 
Cobalt_Kid
+2
#5  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

Oil dependency will exist in Canada for at least the next 50 years.
There is absolutely nothing on the horizon to replace it.
Alternative energy sources are not stable and will always need oil as a back up !!

Nonsense, just look at roll-to-print solar cell technology and geothermal as a couple of renewable energy sources that if adequately funded could begin to take up serious demand for energy right now.

And even though the tsunami in Japan has given nuclear power a black eye, fourth generation nuclear technology promises virutally unlimited power as it can convert elements like thorium to fissionable U-233 and will allow the consumption of hundreds of thousands of tons of trans-uranic actinides that are now being stored as waste in the US and Canada. Fourth generation nuclear would also make extracting Uranium from sea water economical, a supply that could potentially last over 1 billion years.

People believe that we're stuck with oil because we keep getting told we are by industry affiliated and/or employed advocates... like our PM Harper.
 
Durry
#6
Solar technology, hey, this is Canada, we're in the north!
How do you get solar cells to work when there is no sun??
Nuclear, has some potential but the uranium disposal is still a problem.

No, oil dependency is around for the next 50 yrs, like it or not, and accept it or not, it's here for our lifetime!!
 
mentalfloss
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

Solar technology, hey, this is Canada, we're in the north!
How do you get solar cells to work when there is no sun??

Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies would do just fine. In fact they would be fairly plentiful and would be able to provide energy for the other parts of the country. I'm sure once we go full throttle, the sovereignty warlords will make sure Quebec gives up some of their solar energy.
 
CDNBear
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies would do just fine. In fact they would be fairly plentiful and would be able to provide energy for the other parts of the country. I'm sure once we go full throttle, the sovereignty warlords will make sure Quebec gives up some of their solar energy.

You make valid point mentalfloss.

How do you plan to sway the NIMBY's?

There's a test wind farm not 5 minutes from my home. I have no issues with it. But the NUMBY's here blew a nut when they built it.

They would to expand on it, possibly put some out in Lake Simcoe. But again, the NIMBY's.

A major stumbling block in a democracy.
 
Cobalt_Kid
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

Solar technology, hey, this is Canada, we're in the north!
How do you get solar cells to work when there is no sun??
Nuclear, has some potential but the uranium disposal is still a problem.

No, oil dependency is around for the next 50 yrs, like it or not, and accept it or not, it's here for our lifetime!!

Obviously there are times of the year when solar would be less effective, but in the middle of the summer when the sun is up for almost 18 hours in many places who wouldn't want a car which refuels itself while parked or a house that stores energy all day and could even feed power back into the grid making a profit. Plasma drilling now allows us to reach levels where the Earths interior heat can be tapped and turned into electricity with water vapour as a emission.

As for nuclear, fourth generation fast neutron reactors consume about 99% of the fuel used where as slow neutron reactors now in operation only consume about 1% which is responsible for the large amount of waste. Most of the waste from fourth generation nuclear reactors is also the much shorter lived lighter radioactive isotopes which break down into inert material in a matter of decades, not the millenia of the tran-uranic actinides produced in large amounts now.

People who claim we're stuck with fossil fuels are suffering from a lack of vision.
 
CDNBear
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Cobalt_Kid View Post

Obviously there are times of the year when solar would be less effective, but in the middle of the summer when the sun is up for almost 18 hours in many places who wouldn't want a car which refuels itself while parked or a house that stores energy all day and could even feed power back into the grid making a profit. Plasma drilling now allows us to reach levels where the Earths interior heat can be tapped and turned into electricity with water vapour as a emission.

As for nuclear, fourth generation fast neutron reactors consume about 99% of the fuel used where as slow neutron reactors now in operation only consume about 1% which is responsible for the large amount of waste. Most of the waste from fourth generation nuclear reactors is also the much shorter lived lighter radioactive isotopes which break down into inert material in a matter of decades, not the millenia of the tran-uranic actinides produced in large amounts now.

People who claim we're stuck with fossil fuels are suffering from a lack of vision.

Can I pose the same question to you, that I posed to mentalfloss?
 
Cobalt_Kid
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Can I pose the same question to you, that I posed to mentalfloss?

Which is?

The NIMBY effect?
 
mentalfloss
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

You make valid point mentalfloss.

How do you plan to sway the NIMBY's?

There's a test wind farm not 5 minutes from my home. I have no issues with it. But the NUMBY's here blew a nut when they built it.

They would to expand on it, possibly put some out in Lake Simcoe. But again, the NIMBY's.

A major stumbling block in a democracy.

Nimby's drive cars too.
 
CDNBear
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Cobalt_Kid View Post

Which is?

The NIMBY effect?

Yep.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Nimby's drive cars too.

Yes they do, and that doesn't seem to give them much to stop and think about.

You can have the best of the best, master plan. Hell, I bet most of the NIMBY's around here, vote Liberal. But for all the fooferall, at the end of the day. People care more about their lawn than the environment.

It's not really the technology you have to sell, I've been sold for years. I actually care about the environment as a whole.

The last, and greatest hurdle, are the NIMBY's.
 
Cobalt_Kid
+1
#14
It's going to hard to convince a lot of people to accept things like a nuclear power plant in their backyard but you need to put the Fukushima disaster in context. The plant was built in a very dangerous location, was an obsolete design slated for de-commisioning and had a serious design flaw in the that the emergency diesel generators were not placed high enough to escape the worst predicted wave height of a historical tsunami.

Even with a large scale release of nuclear radiation, the accident in Japan isn't going to come close to the estimated 1,000,000 people worldwide every year who die from fossil fuel related pollution. Even if you don't factor in climate change fossil fuel pollution is a serious problem right now. I'd rather have a fourth generation nuclear power plant located near me than a coal fired generator. There's far more radioactive material associated with coal production and burning than nuclear with all the regulations on nuclear power production. Carbon is an excellent sponge and soaks up much of the radioactive material in the environment around it.
Last edited by Cobalt_Kid; Apr 19th, 2011 at 12:03 PM..
 
Durry
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Cobalt_Kid View Post

People who claim we're stuck with fossil fuels are suffering from a lack of vision.

If anyone thinks we can do without fossil fuels, they are suffering from a Lack of practicality.
Maybe they still believe in Santa Clause as well !!
 
Cobalt_Kid
+1
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

If anyone thinks we can do without fossil fuels, they are suffering from a Lack of practicality.
Maybe they still believe in Santa Clause as well !!

It's a psychological dependency, not a technical one, read my posts or do a little research yourself. People who claim we're stuck with coal/oil/gas, need to get off their ideological couch and get a little mental exercise in exploring the alternatives we could be funding right now.
 
Durry
#17
"1,000,000 people worldwide every year who die from fossil fuel""

Where did this number come from ??
 
Machjo
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Not a new article or concept by any means, but I was just wondering how soon we would be able to rid of our dependency on this type of resource. Sweden looks to be the first oil-free nation by 2020...

Sweden plans to be world's first oil-free economy | Environment | The Guardian


But what about the rest of us??



So we don't really have a target year?

Why is this?

And Sweden's mnade many collective sacrifices to get there. Nothing a country full of me-me-me voters could ever achieve.
 
Durry
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Cobalt_Kid View Post

People who claim we're stuck with coal/oil/gas, need to get off their ideological couch and get a little mental exercise in exploring the alternatives we could be funding right now.

Oh, people should do this eh, it's always the other guys responsibly, isn't it !!
 
CDNBear
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Cobalt_Kid View Post

It's a psychological dependency, not a technical one, read my posts or do a little research yourself. People who claim we're stuck with coal/oil/gas, need to get off their ideological couch and get a little mental exercise in exploring the alternatives we could be funding right now.

Where do we get materials for clothing? Chemicals to build and/or facilitate the production of and maintaining of green tech?

We will never be truly free of oil.

Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

And Sweden's made many collective sacrifices to get there. Nothing a country full of me-me-me voters could ever achieve.

Too true.
 
bill barilko
#21
As I posted on another forum-northern Canada will turn to geothermal and nuclear both-kind of an unholy combination but there is no alternative that makes sense for the poor blighted bastards who live in the frozen bush.
 
wulfie68
No Party Affiliation
#22
Part of why we will be slower than many European countries in becoming oil-free is that we do have a much more abundant supply of it, thus there is less urgency in becoming so. Its simple economics: why spend money to replace something we don't have to?
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

If anyone thinks we can do without fossil fuels, they are suffering from a Lack of practicality.
Maybe they still believe in Santa Clause as well !!

Fossil fuels and Santa Claus are mutually supporting delusions. There is no evidence for either. Oil is abiotic every ****ing drop of it and it can't be stopped from renewing itself, ever.
 
Durry
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

Fossil fuels and Santa Claus are mutually supporting delusions. There is no evidence for either. Oil is abiotic every ****ing drop of it and it can't be stopped from renewing itself, ever.

Yeah, so ???
 
Unforgiven
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Not a new article or concept by any means, but I was just wondering how soon we would be able to rid of our dependency on this type of resource. Sweden looks to be the first oil-free nation by 2020...

Sweden plans to be world's first oil-free economy | Environment | The Guardian


But what about the rest of us??



So we don't really have a target year?

Why is this?

Because any politician that tries this here isn't going to be elected to act as government. We're pigs and we don't like change. Unless it's disguised as change without really changing anything.
 
bill barilko
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68 View Post

Part of why we will be slower than many European countries in becoming oil-free is that we do have a much more abundant supply of it, thus there is less urgency in becoming so. Its simple economics: why spend money to replace something we don't have to?

Point taken-we have a lot of petroleum and it's making the whole economy a lotta dough.
 
Bar Sinister
No Party Affiliation
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

Not a new article or concept by any means, but I was just wondering how soon we would be able to rid of our dependency on this type of resource. Sweden looks to be the first oil-free nation by 2020...

Sweden plans to be world's first oil-free economy | Environment | The Guardian


But what about the rest of us??



So we don't really have a target year?

Why is this?

Come on MF, you don't really expect Canada to engage in such a mundane and practical action as actually planning its economy. Canada is all about copying as many failed market economy policies from south of the border as possible. Canada will continue to bumble along while nations with more enlightened governments continue to pull ahead.

Good for the Swedes - they have shown that a country with a horrible climate and relatively few resources can surpass other nations who are possessed of far less vision.

Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

Solar technology, hey, this is Canada, we're in the north!
How do you get solar cells to work when there is no sun??
Nuclear, has some potential but the uranium disposal is still a problem.

No, oil dependency is around for the next 50 yrs, like it or not, and accept it or not, it's here for our lifetime!!


Ultimately all nations get equal amounts of sunlight. Take a good look at where Sweden is located and try to figure out how that nation is going to become energy self-sufficient. If I remember correctly Stockholm is over 700 kilometers north of Edmonton. If the Swedes can do it, Canda with its much greater wealth of natural resources, should also be able to do it.

I do agree that Canada is tied to oil for the foreseeable future, but that does not mean that something could not be done to diversify Canada's energy sources and cut down on the country's dependence on an energy source that has been shown to fluctuate wildly in price. And I agree as well with your comment on nuclear power. That is a non-starter given its rather unpleasant side-effects if anything goes wrong and the fact that it is not nearly so environmentally friendly as its proponents maintain.
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#28
This is that green myth that is perpetuated by the environmental mental midgets who can't or
won't see the realities that confront us. They constantly believe that they can just change the
course of everything and we will just have to accept that. The problem is they appear to know
nothing about human nature. If they tried that without taking people and their aspirations into
account that would be the undoing of their movement if not society itself.
Of course we can't cut dependency on oil, second we can't go back to using horses for farming
and Good God, we are not going to suddenly all embrace the world of green. What cars are now
selling and who is buying the muscle cars, Mustangs the Challengers and Chargers Corvettes and
the like? People from their mid twenties to mid forties, and they don't give a damn about horse
power or fuel. That is merely an example, its about lifestyle, and short of a major depression
economically that won't change for a long time.
Green is a concept in the mind it has nothing to do with reality in the mainstream and the reason is
we as a society, pay lip service to the concept, but in private we do nothing. Business chimes in
about Green and the new way for the planet. In reality, they can increase their profit margins by
claiming organic, or environmentally friendly. Its all lip service.
These examples are merely a taste of the reality out there, so we will be dependent on energy and
water, food policy, and other things. The reason I say other things is we are interdependent on this
planet. The world is made up of various economic systems and states of progress. You can be as
green as you like, but if the third world is polluting we are no better off. The idea is so simplistic
and full of holes its hard to believe some people think we can do this this century let alone within the
time frame laid out here.
 
Cobalt_Kid
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

"1,000,000 people worldwide every year who die from fossil fuel""

Where did this number come from ??

A number of places, James Hansen and Mark Bowen to name a couple of sources.

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Where do we get materials for clothing? Chemicals to build and/or facilitate the production of and maintaining of green tech?

We will never be truly free of oil.


Too true.

Ever hear of hemp, cotton, etc...?

There are many natural fibers and sources of raw material that can replace oil and I'm not even saying we need to phase out oil production completely, just use some sanity in how we treat resource exploitation that takes into account long term consequences. Largely basing our economy on fossil fuels because it's cheap and easy in the short term while ignoring the true cost makes no sense at all. It's lazy and ignorant.

Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

Oh, people should do this eh, it's always the other guys responsibly, isn't it !!

The fossil fuel sector spends millions a year to spin the facts to keep the industry alive, so yes the die-hard advocates for coal/oil/gas do have a tremendous amount of responsibility for what's going on.

Quote: Originally Posted by Durry View Post

If anyone thinks we can do without fossil fuels, they are suffering from a Lack of practicality.
Maybe they still believe in Santa Clause as well !!

I've already pointed out alternatives that we could be developing right now.

Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpy View Post

This is that green myth that is perpetuated by the environmental mental midgets who can't or
won't see the realities that confront us. They constantly believe that they can just change the
course of everything and we will just have to accept that. The problem is they appear to know
nothing about human nature. If they tried that without taking people and their aspirations into
account that would be the undoing of their movement if not society itself.

I'm pretty sure human nature is going to be trumped by mother nature and when you consider the consequences of altering the global enviornment to the extent we are, then who is really living in a dream world. It's not environmental ideology that impresses me, it's the physics involved in fundamentally changing the radiative equilibrium of the global system. People are already dying in significant numbers due to climate change and that's going to increase.

Quote:

Of course we can't cut dependency on oil, second we can't go back to using horses for farming
and Good God, we are not going to suddenly all embrace the world of green. What cars are now
selling and who is buying the muscle cars, Mustangs the Challengers and Chargers Corvettes and
the like? People from their mid twenties to mid forties, and they don't give a damn about horse
power or fuel. That is merely an example, its about lifestyle, and short of a major depression
economically that won't change for a long time.

Who's talking about going back to horses. Power is power, if you can build an electric vehicle that does away with many of the negative consequences of internal combustion vehicles while driving economical development in a sustainable direction, who would want to stick with a technology that has such serious side effects. It's like a drunk claiming he just can't get off the hotch because it kills the pain of day-to-day living. Maybe that's true, but the chances are good it's also going to kill him. Even Bush jr. admitted the US was addicted to oil. The innovation, new employment and investment oportunities that changing to renewable energy resources would create a brand new and much more robust economy.

Quote:

Green is a concept in the mind it has nothing to do with reality in the mainstream and the reason is
we as a society, pay lip service to the concept, but in private we do nothing. Business chimes in
about Green and the new way for the planet. In reality, they can increase their profit margins by
claiming organic, or environmentally friendly. Its all lip service.

The fossil fuel sector spends over $100 million a year in the US lobbying lawmakers to make sure their interests are protected, what do you think would happen if there was a level playing field there. Green isn't a concept of the mind, it's a response to facts that should be motivating us all to change. Do we want to go back to the kind of mentality that would lock up the pioneers like Galileo for daring to challenge the status quo.

Quote:

These examples are merely a taste of the reality out there, so we will be dependent on energy and
water, food policy, and other things. The reason I say other things is we are interdependent on this
planet. The world is made up of various economic systems and states of progress. You can be as
green as you like, but if the third world is polluting we are no better off. The idea is so simplistic
and full of holes its hard to believe some people think we can do this this century let alone within the
time frame laid out here.

The third world follows the first and in many cases is controlled by the first. We ignore water quality, species diversity, greenhouse gas emissions, over fishing, et al. at our own risk.
 
mentalfloss
#30
Grump - they're making a pretty definitive statement in a fairly short timeframe (2020). Either they are b.s'ing and will have a huge egg on their face, or maybe there is some legitimate merit to the idea.

And if they are able to give up such dependency on oil, they will be swimming in a sea of green, both economically and environmentally, while we continue to sap our own resources and cause unnecessary harm.