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Where are we on the Limits to Growth model?
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
Fine, except the old landowners are at the top of the heap since about 1067.


Land owning was the equivalent of being a fossil fuel baron in the days before fossil fuels because landowners controlled most of the fuel supply. Except for commoners, who had the right to take fuel for their own house from the common, every one else was reliant for heating and cooking on wood from forests which were owned, in the main, by large land owners. Transport fuel, hay for horses, was produced by land owners and industrial power, wind for windmills and water for water wheels was again mostly under the control of the local land owner.

This is why land owning was so important and provided such riches. Post peak fossil fuel they will again come to the fore as providers of fuels through wind turbines and solar electric farms although land owning is now spread, believe it or not, over a greater proportion of the population. Mind you austerity and rising interest rates could impact that as home owners default on mortgage payments. Perhaps that is the true rationale behind the austerity policy.

Commoning might come to the fore again as the townies, who now own most of the common rights through buying up desirable country properties, find that they can't afford the fuel needed to heat these properties and then have to get off their arses (asses for VT!!) and collect their own fuel once more.
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

raspberry-blower wrote:
Another interesting post at Peak Prosperity that highlights the mining of copper. Rio Tinto is going after the difficult to obtain stuff - over 1km deep

Adam Taggart: Running Out of Room

Adam Taggart wrote:
The Resolution mine proposed by Rio Tinto is progressing because it's the company's the best option left. That tells us that we are now at the stage of chasing resources where going a mile down into the Earth makes sense.

Well, economic sense. But not energy sense.

Without massive energy inputs this mine doesn't happen. When copper came to us relatively easily and more inexpensively in the past, that’s the same thing as saying that it came to market requiring a lot less energy involved. That won't be the case going forward.

We should be asking at this point in the human experiment if it makes sense to be using our remaining energy in this way.

Sure, we can develop the Resolution mine project. But should we? Are there any different or better uses for that energy that might take precedence?

Further, if this is what’s required to keep the whole exponential industrial economic system going, why do so few people see projects like the Resolution mine as the curtain call for the entire project of economic growth?


TLTG encapsulated in one case study.
Humans really aren't smarter than yeast


This shows why we won't be able to restart a great civilisation on the scale of our present one after the collapse of the present one unless it is founded on a whole new set of technologies based on renewable energy and natural structural materials produced at ambient temperature and pressure, insect shell materials for instance.

We simply won't have a fuel source dense enough to produce the minerals that we now use based on having to go a kilometre and more deep into the earth to get them out. Mining rubbish heaps will keep us going for a while but we will denude our environments of wood again, as we did in the 17th and 18th centuries, before we developed the use of coal.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist over running out of copper or having to go a mile deep for it they should read this list of the top ten copper mines in the world.
http://www.mining-technology.com/features/feature-the-10-biggest-copper-mines-in-the-world/
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist over running out of copper or having to go a mile deep for it they should read this list of the top ten copper mines in the world.
http://www.mining-technology.com/features/feature-the-10-biggest-copper-mines-in-the-world/


We're not saying that we're going to run out of copper soon but two of those mines are quoted as being the "deepest in the world" so running out of fossil fuel, or even cheap fossil fuel, could significantly effect the profitability or the price of the copper produced from them.

Also a mass change over to electrical energy will significantly increase the requirement for copper and given the significant price rises of the metal over the past couple of decades the price could go even higher still with increased demand. Exponential increases in demand soon have a serious effect on the amount of the resource left in the earth and how long it will last.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As regards copper, rather than resources in general, there are at present a number of large and untapped deposits of low grade copper ore.
They are not worth exploiting at present copper prices, but may become worthwhile if prices continue to rise.

Copper mining and refining takes considerable energy, much of it oil derived at present. Most of this oil could be replaced with electricity and probably will be as PV gets cheaper.
Some types of copper ore need smelting with coke in a furnace, there is no simple alternative to this since the coke is not just a heat source but takes part in a chemical reaction.
Final purification is by electrolysis, a relatively simple process. Small but profitable amounts of silver and gold are often a by product of electrolytic refining.

Other copper is itself a by product of gold or silver extraction.

Copper is easy to recycle.
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raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another important essay on where we're at:

Umair Haque: How Economics Failed the Economy

Quote:
Growth itself has only been an illusion, a trick of numbers, generated by including what should have been left out in the first place. If we subtracted allocative industries from GDP, we’d see that economic growth is in fact below population growth, and has been for a very long time now, probably since the 1980s - and in that way, the US economy has been stagnant, which is (surprise) what everyday life feels like.

Feels like. Economic indicators do not anymore tell us a realistic, worthwhile, and accurate story about the truth of the economy, and they never did?—?only, for a while, the trick convinced us that reality wasn’t. Today, that trick is over, and economies “grow”, but people’s lives, their well-being, incomes, and wealth, do not, and that, of course, is why extremism is sweeping the globe. Perhaps now you begin to see why the two have grown divorced from one another: economics failed the economy.


All the indicators that we've been told that our economies are doing great thanks are, in fact, nothing more than a sleight of hand.
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