31 Aug

The Keystone XL Pipeline and Canadian Oil Sands or Politics Make Strange Bedfellows [Reader Post]

                                       

Despite environmentalist protests, President Obama is about ready to approve the “jobs creating” Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada Corporation, the project owner, estimates that 20,000 jobs can be created from the pipeline itself over the two-year project development period. There are other jobs associated with development of the resource in Canada that have economic impacts on U.S. employment. So, with that in mind, let’s look at the Keystone XL pipeline, and at Canadian oil sands.

The Keystone XL Pipeline Project

The State Department is responsible for issuing permits for cross-border pipelines. Oil sands opponents, however, are pressuring the State Department to oppose the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and are encouraging residents along its intended route to oppose the project based on unrelated issues, such as eminent domain and potential impact to aquifers. The Keystone XL pipeline will ensure a supply of Canadian crude to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast. Only refineries in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions rely upon Canadian crude. This link provides a map of the Keystone XL pipeline and its proposed expansion.

Measures restricting the use of oil sands products would not limit oil sands production, but cause output to be diverted to more distant markets. For example, China, with a growing appetite for oil, is ready to spend the dollars for a piece of Canada’s oil sands. Alberta, Canada, has more oil than Russia or Iran. Only Saudi Arabia and Venezuela have more. Canada’s only major oil export market is the U.S., but with oil sands and pipeline delivery to the U.S. under environmental objections, and with Asian demand growing, Canada wants to diversify its market, and China is eager to oblige. Sinopec, a Chinese state-controlled oil company, has a stake in a $5.5 billion plan drawn up by the Alberta-based Enbridge company to build the Northern Gateway Pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific coast province of British Columbia. Besides having a stake in the $5.5 billion in the Northern Gateway pipeline plan, Sinopec paid $4.6 billion for a nine percent stake in Syncrude, Canada’s largest oil sands project. And in 2009 PetroChina, Asia’s largest oil and gas company, bought a $1.7 billion stake in Athabasca (also in Canada) Oil Sands Corp.

In a further, political wrinkle, the Koch brothers are poised to reap big profits if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved. The Koch brothers have been accused of “waging a war against Obama.” They have financed the Tea Party movement, climate change skepticism and right-wing think tanks, such as the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis. BTW, Rich Mitchell at CDN sarcasticlly had this to say about Obama and the Koch brothers: “Oh Mr. Collinson (which would be such a great name if your first name was Collin), you can’t blame Libya on Obama, clearly the Koch brothers, Bush, or George Washington are to blame.” And from a CDN press release we learn, “Chief among those who are pushing conservatives in Congress to drop their support for the NAT GAS Act are the Koch brothers. Charles Koch has been loudly vocalizing his opposition to the misguided suggestion that the natural-gas industry should receive enormous new subsidies.”

Canadian Oil Sand, its Extraction, and its Refining

Oil sand is a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay or other minerals, water and bitumen (a mixture of hydrocarbons, often together with their nonmetallic derivatives that occur naturally), which is a heavy and extremely viscous oil that must be treated before it can be used by refineries to produce usable fuels such as gasoline and diesel. This link provides a picture of oil sand, as well as further information.

From the government of Alberta, Canada, we learn:

  • There are 170.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the oil sands deposits of Northern Alberta. There are 315 billion barrels of potentially recoverable oil in the oil sands.
  • Roughly 500 km of the 140,000 km oil sands deposit in Northern Alberta is currently undergoing surface mining activity. Oil sands within 75 meters of the surface are mined using electric and hydraulic shovels. “In situ” (in the natural or original position or place) recovery is used for bitumen deposits buried too deeply for mining to be practical. Most in situ bitumen and heavy oil production comes from deposits buried more than 350-600 meters below the surface. Steam, solvents or thermal energy make the bitumen flow to the point that it can be pumped by a well to the surface. Cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) and steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) are effective in situ recovery methods.
  • About two tons of oil sands must be dug up, moved and processed to produce one barrel of synthetic crude oil (SCO).
  • The process of reclaiming the land differs depending on what types of activity took place on the land. For mined sands, sand and sediment from tailings ponds (sand, clay, etc.) must be returned to the pit in order to even out contours in the land that resulted from the removal of oil sand deposits. Overburden (soil and organic material) that was stored at the beginning of the operation is placed over the sand and sediment layer. Special care is taken to ensure that overburden is not contaminated during the storage period so that it can be replaced as soon as the mining operation concludes. For in suti operations which do not disturb the environment, reclamation activities are often faster and easier. Once reclamation is complete, projects undergo a strict regulatory and environmental review that can take a significant amount of time in order to ensure that the land has been returned to its original state. When the site satisfies the regulatory bodies, a Certificate of Reclamation is issued by Alberta Environment.

Canada’s oil sands is called dirty oil because of the huge volumes of natural gas required to extract and refine it About 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas is burned for every barrel of bitumen produced from an in situ project. After that, another 400 cubic feet is put through a steam methane reforming process to produce hydrogen, which is required to upgrade the bitumen into a kind of synthetic crude that shares the same characteristics of conventional light oil. For every single unit of energy that goes in, most of it in the form of natural gas, you get only five units of energy out. Conventional oil, by comparison, gives an energy return of more than 10 to 1. For this reason, the carbon footprint of oil sand-based petroleum products is much larger compared to conventional oil, and it is called dirty oil.

BTW, for your reading pleasure, Jazz Shaw at Hot Air has written an excellent three piece post on Canadian oil sands.  Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

Does National Security and Lifestyle Trump Environmental Concerns?

From Robert Kilpatrick at CDN, we learn: “So even if we all drove electric cars, the demand for “to make the hundreds of thousands of products that come from oil” would still be great. Does this administration even have a clue that literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs are dependent on oil? I don’t think so. Remember, most liberals have this low common-sense I.Q. issue. I don’t even believe our present President understands the consequences of eliminating oil from the American scene!”

Today, over 60% of the oil we consume is imported. Oil, coal and natural gas account for more than 85% of the energy consumed in the U.S. today. Oil accounts for nearly 40% of all energy utilized today. The U.S. currently imports about 23% from Canada, this country’s largest source. Mexico (11.4%), Saudi Arabia (11%), and Venezuela (10.1%) are our next three sources of imported oil – none of these sources are friendly and/or reliable. So the Keystone XL pipeline IS a big deal, from both a strategic national security perspective as well as from a lifestyle perspective. Now that you are armed with (my view of the) facts, you can make up your own mind!

But that’s just my opinion.

This entry was posted in Economy, Energy, Environment, Oil, Politics. Bookmark the permalink. Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 7:00 am
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43 Responses to The Keystone XL Pipeline and Canadian Oil Sands or Politics Make Strange Bedfellows [Reader Post]

  1. tarpon says: 1

    A deep thinking useful idiot.

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  2. Buffalobob says: 2

    The sign says it all. Environmental-nuts are jihad fanatics. They will protest and follow any one with a bull horn and a clever chant. They have no common understanding of what fossil fuels mean to the economy of the US or any country. If they had their way and we went to a subsistence existence, growing your own food and being self sufficient, the wast majority of them would perish in 6 months. Especially those in the major cities and those totally dependent on welfare.

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  3. Nan G says: 3

    Obama Reading List:

    ~~~~~~~~~~Products Made From Oil~~~~~~~~~~~

    Clothing Ink
    Heart Valves
    Crayons
    Parachutes
    Telephones
    Enamel
    Transparent tape
    Antiseptics
    Vacuum bottles
    Deodorant
    Pantyhose
    Rubbing Alcohol
    Carpets
    Epoxy paint
    Oil filters
    Upholstery
    Hearing Aids
    Car sound insulation
    Cassettes
    Motorcycle helmets
    Pillows
    Shower doors
    Shoes
    Refrigerator linings
    Electrical tape
    Safety glass
    Awnings
    Salad bowl
    Rubber cement
    Nylon rope
    Ice buckets
    Fertilizers
    Hair coloring
    Toilet seats
    Denture adhesive
    Loudspeakers
    Movie film
    Fishing boots
    Candles
    Water pipes
    Car enamel
    Shower curtains
    Credit cards
    Aspirin
    Golf balls
    Detergents
    Sunglasses
    Glue
    Fishing rods
    Linoleum
    Plastic wood
    Soft contact lenses

    Trash bags
    Hand lotion
    Shampoo
    Shaving cream
    Footballs
    Paint brushes
    Balloons
    Fan belts
    Umbrellas
    Paint Rollers
    Luggage
    Antifreeze
    Model cars
    Floor wax
    Sports car bodies
    Tires
    Dish washing liquids
    Unbreakable dishes
    Toothbrushes
    Toothpaste

    Combs
    Tents
    Hair curlers
    Lipstick
    Ice cube trays
    Electric blankets

    Tennis rackets
    Drinking cups
    House paint
    Rollerskates wheels
    Guitar strings
    Ammonia
    Eyeglasses
    Ice chests
    Life jackets
    TV cabinets
    Car battery cases
    Insect repellent
    Refrigerants
    Typewriter ribbons
    Cold cream
    Glycerin
    Plywood adhesive
    Cameras
    Anesthetics
    Artificial turf
    Artificial Limbs
    Bandages
    Dentures

    Mops
    Beach Umbrellas
    Ballpoint pens
    Boats
    Nail polish
    Golf bags
    Caulking
    Tape recorders
    Curtains
    Vitamin capsules
    Dashboards
    Putty
    Percolators
    Skis
    Insecticides
    Fishing lures
    Perfumes
    Shoe polish
    Petroleum jelly
    Faucet washers
    Food preservatives
    Antihistamines
    Cortisone

    Dyes
    LP records
    Solvents
    Roofing
    Source(s):
    http://www.anwr.org/features/oiluses.htm

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  4. Hard Right says: 4

    Liberals have a major problem with magical thinking. They think they can destroy our ability to produce energy without destroying the country. Granted a few of them want America to implode, but others don’t have the slightest clue about how damaging it will be to everyone-them included. They seek only to feel good about themselves.
    Too many of them live in a fantasy world where the only reason “green energy” isn’t our primary source of energy is because of the evil “energy barons” are suppressing its development. If they are given no choice in the matter, then it will flourish (along with the unicorns). Costs? Drawbacks? They don’t want to face reality and get upset when you point out the facts. Again, logic and rational thinking has nothing to do with it. It’s all about feeding their narcissistic egos.

    BTW, check out the article by Jazz that was linked. Informative and eye opening.

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  5. Eli says: 5

    Might want to check your oil supply numbers. Last estimate(2008) put Canada right behind Saudi Arabia in tappable reserves, and the latest revision(2010) because of new equipment and all that puts Canada as the largest net holder of tappable and non-tapped oil reserves in the world.

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  6. Greg says: 6

    @Nan G, #3:

    Looking at that long list, someone might conclude that petroleum is too valuable to burn when there’s a cheaper and plentiful substitute for most of its energy uses. Natural gas could replace oil for nearly every heat exchange application except aviation fuel. The plan seems to be to squander enormous quantities of natural gas to inefficiently produce a continuing supply of markedly more expensive oil, releasing massive volumes of fossil carbon and placing a huge demand on fresh water resources in the process. And the final price, no matter what they say, will be driven by the global market.

    Would a shift to cleaner, cheaper, and more plentiful natural gas not also create thousands of jobs? There’s the added advantage that the resource is located inside our own borders.

    Of course, that’s a Warren Buffet plan rather than a Koch brothers scheme…

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  7. Nan G says: 7

    @Greg:
    Interesting point.
    Isn’t Warren Buffett made of money?
    What’s stopping him creating an oil alternative for fuel if it would be so successful?
    Oh, wait.
    It wouldn’t be so successful, would it.
    And, besides, why should he spend his own money on a risky adventure if he can woo a president into squandering OUR tax money in its place?

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  8. oil guy from Alberta says: 8

    I’ve got work and connections in N Dakota. The XL portion is critical in conveying oil from the Dakotas and Montana. The roads in N Dakota are taking a hell of a beating.
    It looks like more revisions are in order(huge upside) because in Saskatchewan, the oil sands continue to approximately one third the size of the Alberta find. All estimates entail recoverable oil with today’s technology.
    Ft. MacMurray may get a nuclear reactor to lessen the use of natural gas and to provide more power to Transalta Utilities. Brownouts in California anyone?
    Just some thoughts.

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  9. jim s says: 9

    I think we need to put a tax on all environmental groups… the “revenue” would go into a fund supporting energy subsidies for individuals. Membership in one of those groups would disqualify one from the subsidy. ;-)

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  10. Hard Right says: 10

    As usual greg doesn’t know what he is talking about. Greg, you know why only large vehicles use natural gas as fuel? Because trying to do the same to a passenger car is difficult and expensive.
    Why aren’t we using more natural gas? Because leftists like yourself refuse to let the companies drill for that too. So spare us your BS conspiracy theories and please place the blame where it truly belongs- on folks like you.

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  11. oil guy from Alberta says: 11

    What kills me is the litigation lawyers from the usual parasites.
    Costs for TransCanada Pipelines are climbing monthly with these kleptocrats.
    Enviromentally, the XL route has been studied to death. There are risks like anything else.
    TransCanada Pipelines has been conveying oil for over 60 years.
    Upside is half a million jobs in both countries. My idea is a refinery between St. Louis and Kansas City. A diesel refinery right in the heart of America.

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  12. Greg says: 12

    @Hard Right, #10:

    Greg, you know why only large vehicles use natural gas as fuel? Because trying to do the same to a passenger car is difficult and expensive.

    The Honda Civic GX is a small, standard production passenger vehicle, specifically designed to run on natural gas.

    Worldwide, there are presently over 12 million natural gas vehicles in use. But the rest of the world doesn’t have fossilized republican brains to deal with.

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  13. Nan G says: 13

    By far the most natural gas vehicles are buses.
    And, in the USA, we don’t simply toss buses off into the trash unless they are old.
    We PHASE IN new buses.
    So, 18% of all buses on America’s roads are running on natural gas.
    And orders are up even higher for future such buses…..to replace buses as they wear out.

    Before we could put a bunch of natural gas CARS on the roads here we would have to have MORE stations where they could get a fill-up.
    There are fewer than 1000 filling stations for this fuel, (and in only ten states!) and more than 1/2 of these are dedicated to government vehicles.*

    *According to this PDF
    http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/pdfs/47919.pdf

    IF you have a big fleet of vehicles you will be gassing up, you will only need 4 years to pay yourself back for your initial $2.6 MILLION INITIAL INVESTMENT.
    That’s if you don’t sink another dime into the place.
    (They recommend a $7.2 MILLION initial investment, btw.)

    But, a street corner station?
    In the USA?
    Now?
    That will NEVER break even.

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  14. Randy says: 14

    @Greg: Well Greg, maybe you need to tell your lefty friends in this administration. The department of the interior is preventing nearly 1/2 of the natural gas wells from being drilled on federal lands that already had environmental plans approved. The lefty environmental organizations are also protesting the drilling for gas in the Marcellus shale formations.

    On one of my business trips, I found myself in a party in Hawaii. During a conversation concerning energy, one bright young lady said we should all have electric cars in Hawaii so there would be no need for oil. I rudely pointed out that the electricity in Waikiki and most of the island was generated by an oil fired power plant on the west end of the Island. As Greg knows I do not suffer ignorant people well!

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  15. jim s says: 15

    @Nan G:

    Seems like I read somewhere— but can’t remember where just now — that it’s possible to refill a natural gas powered car from a home gas supply.

    ReplyReply
  16. Hard Right says: 16

    Greg, Honda is the only manufacture of such a vehicle. Also it costs $25,490 and the gas mileage is 24 miles per gallon in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway. It has a lot less range than a gas Civic (350 miles vs. 220), less room, and a higher price. The Civic STARTS at $15,805
    http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-sedan/

    Also, read this article and you will see why it isn’t a good idea for passenger vehicles-as I stated before.
    http://www.cngstations.com/disadvantages-of-cng/

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  17. John Cooper says: 17

    @Greg:

    Worldwide, there are presently over 12 million natural gas vehicles in use.

    You should buy one of those, Greg. I kind of like the idea of you driving around with a huge tank of explosive gas pressurized to 3,600 PSI in your trunk.

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  18. Greg says: 18

    @jim s, #15:

    There’s a Canadian company that’s currently selling a home refueling appliance for Compressed Natural Gas automobiles. The gadget can be seen here.

    Honda had plans to come out with one of their own. I’m not sure what happened to it.

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  19. Greg says: 19

    @John Cooper, #17:

    Hey, at least a cylinder explosion would be quicker than a high octane burn fueled with 15 or 20 gallons of gasoline.

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  20. John Cooper says: 20

    Greg– You’ve been watching too much TV. You have no idea…from CNG Honda Civic: Car Fire/Explosion

    (I tried to post the photo, but no luck)

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  21. Hard Right says: 21

    I thought I had added this link earlier, but obviously I didn’t. It’s another stake in the heart of greg’s claim that civilian CNG passenger cars are a better idea than gas powered cars.

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/alternative-fuels/ngv4.htm

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  22. Toothfairy says: 22

    @Nan G: Maybe if King Putt sees the golf balls on the oil products list, he’ll reconsider.

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  23. Warren says: 23

    @tarpon: Tarpon, Re: comment #1, perhaps in the harsh light of economic and energy reality, you can expand upon your rather snide remark.

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  24. Blake says: 24

    @Eli: You are not taking into account the reserves in Alaska, the East AND West coasts, and the Gulf coast. Then there is the oil shale in the Midwest, and all the natural gas we have.
    I am all for “alternative” energy, just not shutting off the fossil fuel UNTIL we perfect these other methods.
    I have to mention that I DO believe that wind energy is the most ridiculous way to get energy of all of them- you kill up to 40,000 birds a year, and we haven’t even studied what the reduced wind effect downwind from the turbines will be. Hotter temps, maybe? Less windborne dissemination of necessary seed, to keep dirt from eroding? Noone knows, and that’s the trouble here.

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  25. PurpleDragon says: 25

    @John Cooper: #20

    Well I DO want to be cremated when I die but I’d rather be dead at the start of it.

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  26. Mr. Irons says: 26

    A Liquid Propane tank for a 40 ton class forklift class 5 variant will only last for about 6 to 7 hours from constant use without a load bearing on its mast. The ammount of LP to be consumed for constant transportation of materials even with a 6 ton vechile will have an LP tank last for a very short time, again about 6-7 hours. LP burns at a stable rate, but to go across a Metro area you will need about 5 tanks of LP to burn and these are not dinky canisters but full grade 33.5 lb or slightly bigger ones. The Natural Gas equals will empty out within 4 t0 5 hours for the same size canisters with no load bearing on a class 5 and will burn though about 7 to 8 canisters in an attempt to travel a Metro sprawl in even a 6 ton transport (car or truck variant.)

    This is NOT an economical solution to Urban sprawls that already consume Natural Gas and Propane as home heating/electric generation solutions let alone fesible to expect people who never had experience or training with zero degree Farenheit liquid fuels to refuel their vechiles on their own or to pay an expensive recharging fees. What is a, “cheap” energy solution of home and heating and factory transportation of logistics for a few thousand employees in a confined space is NOT a cheap soultion for Urban sprawl/transcontiential trasportation of a few hundred million citizens across hundreds of miles in comparison to current gasoline hybrid or Disel/Biodisel engines.

    And a Propane explosion would NOT be quick, I’ve seen too many of them in my line of works as they can cause other flamables in sealed packages to combust from the friction generated heat canister shrapenel that is produced. Gods, Greg are you this foolish to think this is a safe fuel solution for mass consumption?

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  27. Skookum says: 27

    You must eat a lot of beans for those home based natural gas chargers.

    I used Liquid Propane Gas on pickups in BC. Natural gas is a different more expensive deal. Engines seem to last longer, but you don’t need to worry over lengthy hospital stays or health care after a serious accident, because no one is alive. They are all blown to Hell. Anybody seen one of those wrecks or known someone who was in one? We lost a high school basketball team in a mini van, not enough pieces to fill up one coffin.

    Now stand in line to get your propane and natural gas.

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  28. Blake says: 28

    The smartest thing to do would be to have the natural gas reserved for the power plants, and have the oil and gasoline left for the vehicles- c’mon lefties, where’s your common sense? Moonbeam tech won’t cut it right now- perhaps WHEN, If you can perfect it, then it will take off. Until then, don’t push a flawed product off on people.

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  29. Jowls says: 29

    @Greg: Interesting article until your apparent inability to believe persons of a different political position actually have common sense. Until that part of the article you had my interest. Keep one’s personal opinion out of an informative article and you have a valid argument. Once personal opinion on the thought process of others comes in, it’s merely informative crap. I’m a progressive who understands that the chemicals and minerals we use in everyday life come from our earth, our home, and that to continue this existence those chemicals come from some deposit, somewhere in the bowels of the earth. That being said, there are pros and cons with this project, among the cons is the question of where are the supplies to build this coming from. If I had a choice, all materials would be produced and supplied from the US of A. Keep dollars home.

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  30. Darbie says: 30

    @Buffalobob:

    I think that you are wrong. Most humans have a natural instinct for survival. If we were to grow our own food, and survive like we used to in the old world most people would understand what they needed to do to to survie. It would be great for the Earth if we lived like we used too.

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  31. Darbie says: 31

    I belive that the world should go back into the “indian or caveman” days. Not literally, but if we got rid of electricity, and running water it would make most people resort to scavenging, and purifying your own water. We could learn what it was like for all the people through out our history. What they did to survive, and how they grew as people. And just think about how cleaner the air would be if we had no factories! there would be no overflow of trash, or pollution because factories would stop making supplies with out electricity. We wouldn’t need the oil anymore, and therefore it is an advantage to the Keystone Pipe limes, and the world if we changed our ways.

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  32. John Cooper says: 32

    Hey Darby, why don’t you try living without electricity, running water, or petroleum for a week and report back to us, OK?

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  33. Darbie says: 33

    @John Cooper:

    Actually i have lived a week without running water, electricty, and petroleum, and it was alot of fun. I love it. We fished, and purified our own water. We slept in sleeping bags on the ground, and got flint for the fire. It was hard, but we managed. Why dont you try it some time, and report back to me ok?

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  34. Jim S says: 34

    @Darbie: It might be fun for a week. I enjoyed camping out as a kid. Try it for the rest of your life… it will be the proverbial “nasty brutal and short” ;-)

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  35. Darbie says: 35

    @Jim S:

    Yea it was fun for a week. And you say life would be “nasty, brutal, and short” well as you lived, and had to do that everyday, it would become almost like a routine. You would get better at scavenging, hunting, getting supplies. True some people wouldn’t make it in a world like this, but most people have a need to survive.

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  36. John Cooper says: 36

    @Darbie: I had my fill of that sleeping on the ground stuff when I was in the U.S. Army. But let me ask you about your most excellent back to the land adventure. Did you forge your own fish hooks out of metal ore you mined and refined? Did you weave the fabric for your sleeping bag (and your clothes – I assume you were wearing clothes) out of native grasses? Or maybe you killed some animals for meat and tanned the hides like Native American women used to do by rubbing them with brains and chewing them until they were soft? Did you eat only foods you gleaned in the forest, or carry a week’s supply in with you? If one of you got sick or was injured, would you have called for help on your smart-phone? More likely, you were “roughing it” with $20,000 of L.L. Bean camping gear after driving to the wilderness in your BMW.

    You should really read up on what daily life was like a few hundred years ago when the average human lifespan was 45 years. Jim S. was right to quote Hobbes. Allow me to enter more of the quote:

    …the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

    I hope Skookum runs across Darbies’ posts. I can hear him laughing already…

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  37. Blake says: 37

    @Darbie: @#31- how idiotically idealistic- let’s all go back to living without energy, except for fire in the mode of cut wood-That is a stupid thought on several levels.
    First, you cannot unlearn technology, and even if we were to quit, you can bet the Indians or Chinese, or Russians would not- second, have you ever gone through a graveyard circa 1880 or so?
    The mortality rate among children was staggering- one out of five survival stats were not uncommon, in fact, sometimes entire families were lost due to lack of medicines- medicines, I might add, that we need technology to produce. Third, have you ever tilled a garden? I do not mean with a gas powered tiller- that is hard enough, but a hoe and shovel?
    You better be young and in shape to do that, as it will require a half acre to sustain a family. That is a lot to dig.
    Back then, there was notalk of happiness- people were too busy trying to survive- it was only with the advent of the industrial age that people began to talk of being happy or not.
    Is this really the world that you want?

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  38. Darbie says: 38

    I really believe in what I have to say. Im sorry that most of you don’t agree, and feel the need to prove me wrong. I still think what I have to say is a good idea, and Im okay that you guys have your own opinion. Im not gonna change my way of thinking, just like your not going to change yours. Besides, If we have natural disasters, fiancial, technological that will harm the world its better for me to be ahead of everyone anyway.

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  39. MataHarley says: 39

    Darbie, I do believe the point was that a week without modern amenities – which you called “fun” and what most of us call “camping” – does not prepare you for long term interruptions. My guess is you’ve never been thru a natural disaster where your loss of power and water was extended for any length of time. Trust me, the “fun” wears off quickly.

    You say “…it would become almost like a routine. You would get better at scavenging, hunting, getting supplies. True some people wouldn’t make it in a world like this, but most people have a need to survive.”

    I might remind you that the bulk of the nation is not made up of Ted Nugents, or many of our FA forum community who are genuinely trained in wilderness survival. And I don’t know if you’ve looked around, but the majority of the nation’s population is piled up in the city centers. Not only are there not potable rivers and hunting grounds with prey around (unless you want to consider rats, and feral dogs and cats “prey”), but an urban community’s infrastructure, without power, is a cesspool of sewage, garbage and disease. If you have any doubts about that, visit the local OWS movement, and they even had amenities brought in to minimize the reality.

    But of course, in your utopia, there are no factories to make the batteries, weave the clothing and blankets.

    Without power, you don’t have access to cash. You can’t dash down to the grocery for needed food, or to a clothing outlet for clothes suited for 24/7 exposure to the elements. Your batteries lose their charge, you run out of citronella or kerosene, gasoline. Wood becomes a premium item, along with potable water, and becomes scarce.

    The reality is that the “scavenging, hunting , getting supplies” you describe as “fun”, would actually translate as a breakdown in society, and result in chaos – with widespread theft, assault and murder by those that could not function. They would first prey on those with supplies that could not defend themselves, and when that cupboard was bare, they’d attempt to hit on the genuinely adept survivors.

    That’s when there would be a genuine thinning of the herd. It’s my guess you’d have been a victim long before that point arrived.

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  40. johngalt says: 40

    @MataHarley:

    Modern amenities actually help to protect the poor and weak. Without them, and the availability of them, resources get scarce, and when that happens, the “strong” will survive. And the “strong” in that world are the ones with guns and weapons. And in the urban centers where huge masses of the population exist today, that means the criminals. The left’s disarming of urban populations will set the weak up for annihilation, or enslavement, if Darbie’s scenario ever came to fruition.

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  41. Darbie says: 41

    I completely understand what everyone is saying. Like i said before I will not change my opinion, but i undertsand where most of you are coming from. I will perfect my ideas until it fits what everyone is saying.

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  42. Blake says: 42

    In a tribal setting,i.e. “hunter-gatherer” mode, the top amount of social interaction was approx. 150 people, as that was about how many people you could store in your memory bank, and after that, if you did not know these others, they would be distrusted, as they were not part of the tribe- therefore crime would be down, because tribal identity meant safety, and being cast out of the tribe was, in some cases, a death sentence. the trouble came in battles over turf (prime hunting grounds, etc.)- now ask yourself, Darbie- how many tribes of 150 or less would come out of NYC, or Houston, or Pittsburgh?
    How many would survive in a world of rapidly shrinking resources, since it is quite hard to plant crops amid raids by other tribes.
    Modern society, with its laws, provides a more secure environment in which to learn, thrive and survive in a way that the world had really never known before.
    But the secret is our willingness to abide by those laws. If we so choose not to abide by them, the whole compact of society as a whole begins to break down.
    That is where your little scenario begins to break down. The fighting would be intense and brutal- and nature herself is neither kind, nor forgiving, it just is.

    ReplyReply
  43. Tracy Nikkel says: 43

    Even buses run on gasoline, & oil is used for more than just fueling cars/buses/trucks.

    ReplyReply

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