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Old 2011-04-28, 08:05   Link #41
Tri-ring
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I can say one thing that IF unlimited energy was to land on everyone's door step tomorrow the economy would going into complete chaos since our monetary system is based on the price of energy at the moment.
In a way we are using a virtual energy standard and if energy becomes worthless overnight everything goes down the drain until another monetary standard is established.
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Old 2011-04-28, 08:13   Link #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
I can say one thing that IF unlimited energy was to land on everyone's door step tomorrow the economy would going into complete chaos since our monetary system is based on the price of energy at the moment.
In a way we are using a virtual energy standard and if energy becomes worthless overnight everything goes down the drain until another monetary standard is established.
Water will be the next big commodity. Considering how many consortiums and big business are buying up water supplies everywhere and jacking up the price big time, don't be surprised if around 2050 water becomes more expensive than gold.
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Old 2011-04-28, 08:22   Link #43
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Water will be the next big commodity. Considering how many consortiums and big business are buying up water supplies everywhere and jacking up the price big time, don't be surprised if around 2050 water becomes more expensive than gold.
Maybe but if unlimited energy was available then the value of water disappears as well since fresh water can be produced using sea water. The only problem is it utilizes a lot of energy to desalinize sea water which returns back to energy.
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Old 2011-04-28, 10:42   Link #44
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Originally Posted by Asuras View Post
Isn't Germany mostly on renewables now?
No, not at all.

But gasoline has just risen to almost 9$/gallon (1,60 Euro/l) in Germany, if my math didn't fail me. Hard for Europeans to understand U.S. complains about high gas prices.
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Old 2011-04-28, 10:43   Link #45
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Also that we have to drink to survive, being made of mostly water as it is.


I recall that in Scotland in mid-2001, the price of gas was somewhere around $5 a gallon (converting Pounds to Dollars and Liters to Gallons at the time). However at that time in California (generally the higher end price in the United States) the price was under $2 a gallon.

The difference between the US and Europe would seem to be volume of fuel purchased and used.
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Old 2011-04-28, 10:44   Link #46
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
Maybe but if unlimited energy was available then the value of water disappears as well since fresh water can be produced using sea water. The only problem is it utilizes a lot of energy to desalinize sea water which returns back to energy.
While this holds true for costal regions, the costs for infrastructure to support inland metropoles will remain a costly issue.
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Old 2011-04-28, 11:25   Link #47
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Oil costs $5.44 per gallon where I live. Drives my parents nuts (pun unintended).
holy crap I though $4.50 was bad
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Old 2011-04-28, 11:50   Link #48
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Originally Posted by CaptnAwesomee View Post
holy crap I though $4.50 was bad
I'll just quote myself:
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But gasoline has just risen to almost 9$/gallon (1,60 Euro/l) in Germany, if my math didn't fail me. Hard for Europeans to understand U.S. complains about high gas prices.
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Old 2011-04-28, 12:06   Link #49
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Forgive my ignorance on the matter, but doesn't Deustchland have more fuel efficient vehicles?
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Old 2011-04-28, 12:11   Link #50
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Probably on average, but nothing you couldn't buy anywhere else (Germany is very export orientated). It's just that no one drives these huuge cars that many U.S. folks drive and instead more smaller Diesel cars which have been able to get by on 7l/100km or less for twenty years now.
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Old 2011-04-28, 12:11   Link #51
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I recall someones recent trip to Englan and getting thr low efficiancy car that had 60 mile per gallon. The high end was 80 miles per gallon.

Mine gets around 20 miles per gallon, but is 40 years old.

Americans like long distance travel and larger cars for comfort. 200 miles plus a tank.
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Old 2011-04-28, 12:30   Link #52
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I don't think there's any way to get cheap unlimited energy, you can't beat physics. As it is, Oil is very cheap, and very plentiful. The difference between the last centuries and those previous was how cheap energy was. Remember that it used to be all energy had to be supplied by people or animals.

And anyway, even if you could generate unlimited energy, you still have to transport it, you have to build the machines that generate it, you have to maintain those machines. There's always a cost involved, and it just so happens that currently those costs are far higher then the price of oil, so no one does it.

Space isn't really the solution though. For one thing it currently costs in the region of $100,000 to lift just a single litre of water into space.

On the other hand, if you're finding gas prices gouging you, there is a solution: Don't drive a car! Use a bicycle instead, or public transport.

Of course that doesn't help you if you don't live in cycling distance to work or don't have a public transport system, all problems that afflict many americans.
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Old 2011-04-28, 13:21   Link #53
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I wonder...something like the transcontinental railroad was constructed to transport people to the new west in North America. But that was because there was a resource people were after, gold in particular. As this expanded, there was a large amount of expanding to support the railroad. You needed water, not only for the people on the trip, but also for the train engines (steam powered). You needed coal, but you didn't have to supply that on the trip, but at the ends mainly. Then you needed food, not only for the crew of the engine, but also the passagers, and then the people supplying these services out in the middle of nowhere (think Las Vegas, abolutely worthless place to have a city...except there is a source of water, and the railroad can go through there).

Now translate this into Space. To setup a power station in orbit, you need to get construction going. However you need to house those workers, thus you need a small station for them to live, or a spacecraft that returns every week or two to Earth. The crew will need food, water, and air. The contruction project will need resources to produce. These will probably be manufactured on Earth, then rocketed into space....at least at first. It would be more efficient if one could find and manufacture items in space, than to attempt to break everything out of Earth's gravity. This would require a source of the required materials...not only for the project, but also to build refineries, fabrication plants, and other industry to make the parts needed for these huge power stations that will keep the Earth powered without the need for fuels of Earth origin. There would still be a need to generate oxygen/nitrogen mix to breath, Hydrogen/Oxygen mix for water. And a food supply. The elements are fairly common, and might be able to be processed in other places. Food will be more difficult. However shipping food to orbit while everything else is produced in space from the asteroid belt inwards would be an accomplishment. Especially if we could find sources of propellant or fuel out there for our spacecraft, thus no longer needing to bring the craft down to Earth to resupply. They would still need to bring down the people every few months for safety reasons until they can figure out a way to produce a better method of gravity so the human body can fuction when it returns to Earth over a prolonged period of time (that is one thing the International Space Station is suppose to be working on).

However such a thing would produce a lot of industry and could generate a lot of money since people need to be paid, and their are a lot of transport and service jobs that could be related to supporting such a large project in orbit. Plus there is potental for outgrowth once the project finishes, since technology would have to advance as time went on (to make it safer and more cost effective), so at that point tourism and potentally settlements (colonialism perhaps) come into being.

If one can overcome the starting cost of lifting things into orbit to get things going and get a return on said investment. Companies are even now within five years of space tourism and corperate movement of product into space, rather than government movement of all materals and people as it has been since 1957. So it may be closer than one might think...if someone has the notion to do it.
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Old 2011-04-28, 13:52   Link #54
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Somehow, I think this thread started on an overly ambitious note. It's one thing to gripe about rising crude-oil prices, but the cost of energy alone is not the only factor contributing to "inflation in general". It's far more accurate to say that there is no one single factor causing inflation, but rather a basket of factors that vary from region to region, from country to country. The factors include not just the rising costs of commodities, but also monetary/fiscal policies along with specific domestic social issues.

With regard to commodities, while it's true that crude-oil prices are currently driven by excessive speculation, the same can't quite be said for food stocks. Food prices have swelled over the past two quarters, with the price of rice rising over 30% in many places, as reported this week by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

And the thing is, the factors leading to this sharp spike are largely the same as those of 2008:
Quote:
The surge in food prices is due to lost farm production globally that began in the second half of last year with extreme weather and natural disasters in Asian farming belts, as well as in the United States and Europe, said the ADB.

The report warned that factors at play during the 2007-2008 food crisis were also present now.

These include rising demand for food from big, wealthier developing countries, competing uses for food grains, shrinking available agricultural land, and flat or declining crop yields.

Chief ADB economist Rhee Chang Yong said that more had to be done. "To avert this looming crisis it is important for countries to refrain from imposing export bans on food items, while strengthening social safety nets," he said.

"Efforts to stabilise food production should take centre stage, along with greater investments in agricultural infrastructure to increase crop production and expand storage facilities, to better ensure that grain produce is not wasted."

AFP
In short, we are in sore need of another Green Revolution.

Now, with regard to "inflation in general", it's pertinent to first ask "inflation where"? Inflation in China, for example, has hit 5% in the first quarter of this year. But that comes on the back of sizzling hot growth of 9.7% in the first quarter, year on year. When you have an economy growing that fast, of course you'd have inflation. That's brutal economic reality. The bigger concern for China at the moment is whether the inflation is more the result of productive growth or a swelling property bubble. The former is acceptable, but the latter is a source of great worry.

And here's an interesting observation that arises from the worries over ballooning property prices in urban China: It appears that a significant part of it is being driven by women seeking potential husbands who have their own homes (For many Chinese men, no deed means no dates, NYT, April 14).

There you go: consumer-driven inflation caused by unique socio-cultural and historical factors that you likely won't find in many other places in the world.

So, having got to this point, let me ask, are we just griping about energy prices here, or talking more about how that's contributing to inflation? Because I'm inclined to believe that oil prices alone do not explain runaway prices in parts of the world today.
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Old 2011-04-28, 14:13   Link #55
DonQuigleone
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I endorse the above. I'd also like to add that inflation isn't inherently bad, unless people's pay doesn't rise with it. It's more a weird fact of life then anything else.
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Old 2011-04-28, 20:39   Link #56
Tri-ring
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If you boil all prices down it becomes three factors energy in production, raw material and labor cost.
Even then cost of raw material is strongly hinged to energy cost in extracting the material and human labor again is a abstract form of energy.
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Old 2011-04-28, 22:10   Link #57
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Its 4.21$ a gallon in CT , and i thought it was high over here. 4.50? 5.44? Oh jesus.
Looks like i wont be driving for some time now ~
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Old 2011-04-28, 22:21   Link #58
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
So, having got to this point, let me ask, are we just griping about energy prices here, or talking more about how that's contributing to inflation? Because I'm inclined to believe that oil prices alone do not explain runaway prices in parts of the world today.
But the thing is, oil prices is what took the cake : prices are already inflating as of 1 year ago, most edible commodities rose 20% or more. With the high cost of oil crippling worldwide logistics, things are just going to get more expensive.

The cake is the lie anyway with Dr Breen Bernanke printing USD and turning the greenback into toilet paper. I wonder if he is working to some outer space alien organisation to destabilise Earth before they invade us.
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Old 2011-04-28, 22:53   Link #59
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
So, having got to this point, let me ask, are we just griping about energy prices here, or talking more about how that's contributing to inflation? Because I'm inclined to believe that oil prices alone do not explain runaway prices in parts of the world today.
There's a direct correlation between agriculture diverted from food production to "corn ethanol" production. The unintended consequence is that food prices are skyrocketing over and above the "field-to-market" transport costs. The ADM/Monsanto + 0il, Inc. folks lobbied governments hard for subsidies that supported that diversion.

And, of course, underlying much of the world unrest we're seeing this year is people getting desperate over the cost of food (shades of the French Revolution... which was as much about people starving as "freedom").
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Old 2011-04-28, 23:02   Link #60
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My company is like America in miniature. It used to make huge amounts of money, yet over the past five to ten years it's been completely hollowed out by a revolving door of executive management. These guys are all in bed with each other serving on the boards of their companies and taking turns as CEO, CFO, etc. The last CEO we had (have not had an "official" CEO for about three years) only served for 10 months, yet when he left the company was forced to pay the remainder of his contract. $3.8 million dollars for 10 months of "work". This was right after the company implemented an across the board 5-15% pay cut and instituted rolling unpaid furloughs. This CEO was 35 years old at the time and had gone to the right schools and knew the right guys, but didn't know his ass from a hole in the ground for the business we were in. Plus half the jobs in the company were shipped off to India and Vietnam, while huge amounts of money was spent on "consultants" to tell us why were going broke (hey, think it had anything to do with the payouts we are constantly making to musical chairs executive management or selling off company assets for a song and then leasing them back?) The chicanery that goes on in American business today is just disgusting.

Some of these guys have absolutely no clue -- I can remember one of the managers that made $250k+ coming to explain to the hourly workers how everyone had to share the pain, and he was taking a 15% cut in pay while they were taking only a 5% cut. These people make $9 an hour and probably only stay because they need the medical benefits for their families. I don't think the guy realized how close he was to being strung up when he talked about shared sacrifice.
...MySpace?

I deal with "the economy" by charging everything that I can get away with to company expenses working...smarter.

The Chinese also spend a lot of time pushing empty real-estate on (I see a lot of SK/Taiwan folks falling for it) foreign investors who are bound to lose their shirts at some point. It's hard to do business in China unless you have government shielding.
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