A Software-Directed Life

What do you need in a home that is full and offers far too many activities? (We call our place an ACH – activity centered home.)  Too much maintenance and such, as well?
You need software, of course.  Today we look at some of the shortcomings of various programs out there…

First, though, we track down the meme “climate change” and discover it is not (in some cases) coming from the scientists, but from the PR departments and news orgs…like that’s a surprise.  But a clear example worth considering presents itself…

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13 thoughts on “A Software-Directed Life”

  1. You need Rosie from the Jetsons, to take care of that house work. Watch out she’s an AI.

  2. Jon –

    I can refer you to several recent articles, but the main thing you need to be cognizant of is this little oilfield phrase – “depletion never sleeps”. Even in a crappy economy, or even a zero growth economy, every day that we use fossil fuels for our lives ((ahem) gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, plastic, power generation, etc.), the amount of proven reserves declines. Every single day this is happening, rain or shine, war or peace, electric self-driving cars or motorcycles – unless you are Amish, you are using tremendous amounts of fossil fuel just to get to work and back (even on a subway).

    The trick that we have been using is that we are always discovering more oil, or finding new ways to get at oil. This allows us to replace these proven reserves with more. However, since about 1973 or so, every replacement we find is more expensive. At this point, EROEI on shale oil is pitifully low. So while we can replace what we use, it costs us MUCH MORE to replace it today.

    Zero or near-zero interest on loans has allowed oil companies to explore and fund shale oil. Most are negative cash flow on their balance sheets, even with minimal loan interest, at $50/bbl. Never mind what you read in the headlines – go look at some publicly traded companies and see for yourself.

    Low oil prices are good for economies, as the lower fuel price allows for more free cash to develop whatever the economy is developing. Higher oil prices disallow a lot of this development, as the fuel bill includes and impacts all transportation, all electricity and most modern food and shelter.

    The problem is that low oil prices DISCOURAGE exploration because it is inherently risky and cash intensive. The net result these days is that exploration budgets worldwide were slashed by about 60% or more since 2014. In short – we haven’t found replacement deposits or technologies for what we have been using.

    We are running the planet on the oil fields and technologies discovered prior to 2014 – and many of those fields are 40-50 years old or more. Since depletion never sleeps – you can take the EIA production numbers and then the EIA consumption numbers and see where we sit today.

    My guess is a huge oil price spike in the period from late 2018 to 2020. We haven’t been replacing what we use because oil companies cannot make any money at $50/bbl due to the higher cost of finding smaller deposits.

    Here is a place where you can get lost in the details, and they have some lively discussions… http://peakoilbarrel.com/

    What is the electricity generated from that powers the nascent EV fleet? Do these EV’s use any plastic in their construction? Do batteries use any plastic in their construction? Do the computers that run the EV and self-driving things utilize any plastic in their manufacture? Do the roadways they run on utilize any fossil fuels in their construction or repair? Is lithium mined by hand or with modern fossil fuel powered mining equipment?

    The single biggest issue with wrapping your head around this is that damned near everything you own or build or eat has a very significant fossil fuel component. In most cases, the power density required to do the same thing with solar requires a net negative amount of solar panel construction and computer controls and batteries and wiring (yes – all wiring uses plastic insulation). Imagine a battery powered bulldozer or Abrams tank – and you will get the power density required for heavy work like construction and mining.

    If you want to truly understand how addicted we are at this point, I wrote an article years ago for George which he can point you to somewhere, or maybe repub it here in the free section. In it, we just remove anything that requires fossil fuel from a typical suburban human – then you can see what is left after modern things requiring fossil fuel are removed.

    The simple but politically impossible solution is to have interest rates low but not stupidly so, as in QE, and to have an oil price in the $75/bbl range. That will work for a decade or so, until we find all the oil we can get at those prices. Then to find more, the price has to rise because of declining EROEI and declining volume and accessibility of the remaining oil fields.

  3. Jon –

    Forgot to add this:

    American energy independence is a complete myth, created by politicians. Simply look at our oil import figures for the last 2 years – because we are still importing in spite of the “shale oil revolution”. Art Berman was very correct when he called shale oil and gas a “retirement party” rather than a revolution.

    I have friends who sold their companies in the last few years simply due to being unable to find any new economical oil and gas deposits. They cashed in because of a dearth of viable oil prospects to drill!

    Now bankers and politicians want us to export LNG, which is the cleanest energy source we have. And they want us to export it in a depressed market – geniuses at work….

  4. Jon –

    Other thing – “Libya is increasing oil production”….

    From what point? From before they were bombed and destroyed by NATO or from their production levels last year?

    “Russia ruled out cuts”… but did they scale back their exploration budget? What is their depletion rate for their current reserves? Is that for oil or gas or both?

    These blanket statements plopped out like info nuggets by people writing articles are better classified as butt nuggets, simply due to their lack of critical thinking and accompanying critical questions.

    In these modern times where everything is monetized including most news via clicks on web-pages – you MUST always ask critical questions.

    What you discover when you do is that Libya may not be really increasing output and Russia may not need to make cuts because their depletion rate will do just fine. Neither statement is proven, but they can still be true without making the original statements in your post false.

  5. Ladies and Gentlemen, can we use the term ‘carbon based fuels’ in lieu of ‘fossil’ fuels. I just prefer not to support the idea that oil is created by teradactal bones or some other animal artifact.

  6. Jon –

    RE: Tar Sand/Bitumen/HeavyOil

    Largest deposits in Venezuela, and with PDVSA owing the Russians so much money, they may well come to own that.

    We produce light SG oil from shales by fracking. This needs to be blended with heavier SG oils prior to running through a refinery. Refineries are designed to handle specific ranges of oil SG. Ideally, the Keystone would bring in heavy oil and we would mix with our home-grown low SG shale oil.

    But KSA exports high SG oil – they would like us to not build that pipeline and buy from them. What do you imagine they are lobbying and throwing money at?

    The pipeline is fraught with engineering issues and very few first-responders or EPA people understand how to handle steaming hot bitumen. It kills all it touches, has high VOC’s and is much more toxic than traditional crude oils, not to mention the pumping temperature.

    The interdependence of every single industry on the planet with fossil fuels is undeniable – and yet everywhere you will find denial or outright lying to avert this issue head-on.

    The simplest argument is this: if it is transported anywhere, today it is done by fossil fuels, regardless hybrids or EV’s. Therefore every single item produced on this planet is affected by oil price and availability.

    The real world is filled with people having agendas. While fracking does not cause earthquakes, injection of fracking wastes does. So claiming fracking causes earthquakes of water contamination is ‘technically’ wrong.

    Wastewater from fracking will haunt future freshwater aquifers – our children and grandchildren will reap that whirlwind.

  7. I assume president Trump while he’s at the G20 Summit meeting will rescript the United States money and ask for global acceptance if he fires the federal reserve corrupt bankers. and while all the leaders have about 7 weeks to agree or disagree for the release of our new currency an hold the corrupt Federal Reserve Bankers liable and with all shares that they own being redeemed by the creditors and the liens will be satisfied. DONT YOU WISH

    • he will probably tell each country to not invest in climate change but invest in each country do not fall for the globalist rip off instead each country become more and more stable and more dependent upon themselves

      He will tell them about the new technologies that are available and he will tell them about the bases we have on the moon and Mars and throughout the solar system

      He will make deals with every country making promises that they’ve never heard before


      • After all he fired the powers-that-be and now has an audience of every country and is telling them they are now the new powers that be

        YOU WISH.

  8. Great edition of Pplnomics this week George.
    Enjoyed the comments section as well.

    Hope you and yours had an enjoyable 4th with family & friends. I sure did.

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