16 votes

Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise

4 comments

  1. [4]
    arghdos
    (edited )
    Link
    Excellent article, terrible, click-baity title (though, the blame lies on Vice) edit: out of curiosity I went digging to see what the EROI is for various energy sources, this graph [1] shows...

    Excellent article, terrible, click-baity title (though, the blame lies on Vice)

    edit: out of curiosity I went digging to see what the EROI is for various energy sources, this graph [1] shows exergy (which here is essentially the efficiency of energy generation) vs EROI for a variety of fuel sources.

    The tie-together of the failures of 'endless' growth capitalism and declining EROI is not something I had considered before, but makes a whole bunch of sense. I would love to see a more in-depth version of the report in question, but I suppose we'll have to wait till it comes out in proper.

    1: Lambert, J. G., Hall, C. A., Balogh, S., Gupta, A., & Arnold, M. (2014). Energy, EROI and quality of life.
    Energy Policy, 64, 153-167.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      demifiend
      Link Parent
      I could have come up with something better, but editorializing of titles is usually frowned upon on sites like Tildes. Looking at the EROI for corn ethanol, I can't help but wonder why we even...

      Excellent article, terrible, click-baity title (though, the blame lies on Vice)

      I could have come up with something better, but editorializing of titles is usually frowned upon on sites like Tildes.

      edit: out of curiosity I went digging to see what the EROI is for various energy sources, this graph [1] shows exergy (which here is essentially the efficiency of energy generation) vs EROI for a variety of fuel sources.

      Looking at the EROI for corn ethanol, I can't help but wonder why we even bother. I supposed the US corn industry gave a whole bunch of Congressmen lots of bribes campaign donations.

      The tie-together of the failures of 'endless' growth capitalism and declining EROI is not something I had considered before, but makes a whole bunch of sense. I would love to see a more in-depth version of the report in question, but I suppose we'll have to wait till it comes out in proper.

      The paper you linked is both scary and inspiring on its own.

      5 votes
      1. arghdos
        Link Parent
        Yeah, corn ethanol has been a fairly well known scam for a long time: Pimentel, D., Ethanol fuels: Energy security, economics, and the environment (1991). Journal of Agricultural and Environmental...

        Looking at the EROI for corn ethanol, I can't help but wonder why we even bother. I supposed the US corn industry gave a whole bunch of Congressmen lots of bribes campaign donations.

        Yeah, corn ethanol has been a fairly well known scam for a long time:

        Problems of fuel ethanol production have been the subject of numerous reports, including this analysis. The conclusions are that ethanol: does not improve U.S. energy security; is uneconomical; is not a renewable energy source; and increases environmental degradation. Ethanol production is wasteful of energy resources and does not increase energy security. Considerably more energy, much of it high- grade fossil fuels, is required to produce ethanol than is available in the energy output. About 72% more energy is used to ‘produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy in a gallon of ethanol. Ethanol production from corn is not renewable energy. Its production uses more non- renewable fossil energy resources in growing the corn and in the fermentation/distillation process than is produced as ethanol energy. Ethanol produced from corn and other food crops is also an unreliable and therefore a non-secure source of energy, because of the likelihood of uncontrollable climatic fluctuations, particularly droughts which reduce crop yields. The expected priority for corn and other food crops would be for food and feed. Increasing ethanol production would increase degradation of agricultural land and water and pollute the environment. In U.S. corn production, soil erodes some 18- times faster than soil is reformed, and, where irrigated, corn production mines water faster than recharge of aquifers. Increasing the cost of food and diverting human food resources to the costly and inefficient production of ethanol fuel raise major ethical questions. These occur at a time when more food is needed to meet the basic needs of a rapidly growing world population.

        Pimentel, D., Ethanol fuels: Energy security, economics, and the environment (1991). Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

        The numbers there are outdated, in particular I'm pretty sure (from the graph I linked previously):

        About 72% more energy is used to ‘produce a gallon of ethanol than the energy in a gallon of ethanol

        is incorrect today. But the fact remains that there was no significant reason to dip into corn-based ethanol in the first place, while other plant based alcohols (e.g., sugar-cane) are far more advantageous (but still have issues with balancing land-use, deforestation, food production, etc.)

        3 votes
      2. nacho
        Link Parent
        I think it's way more important to have good, descriptive titles than to use an original title. Requiring original titles is something that's useful when you don't trust users (or the site system)...

        I could have come up with something better, but editorializing of titles is usually frowned upon on sites like Tildes.

        I think it's way more important to have good, descriptive titles than to use an original title.

        Requiring original titles is something that's useful when you don't trust users (or the site system) to make reasonable titles themselves. So on twitter, reddit, facebook etc. it's common practice. Doesn't mean it's the right solution for this kind of site that distributes moderation more.

        3 votes