Re: Energy issues, Olduvai ,Seti and End times

Date: Wed Sep 27 2000 - 14:53:34 EDT

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    On Wed Sep 27 08:52:21 2000, george murphy <> wrote:

    Of the my estimates of the Drake Equation variables:
    > The problem here...

    George, I am not going to defend those values. You can chose your own
    values/guesses or leave it alone. But those are my estimates regardless of the
    problems. They were mere illustrations trying to tie a few issues together in
    novel ways. I was trying to show implications of a shortlived civilization to
    the SETI program. If a civilization is shortlived, then it is no wonder that we
    don't hear ET. His radio signals form a hollow sphere 200 lightyears thick,
    centered on the last position of his planet. If we are to hear ET under that
    assumption, one must be listening in the correct direction during the 200 years
    that the signals pass by your planet. After that 200 year period, there is
    silence and we can't hear radio waves that have passed us by and are heading
    off into the silence of the universe.

    > BTW, The Akron Beacon Journal had a front page story yesterday with the
    > "Oil is plentiful in the world, but it'll cost us to find it." The story is
    > that there is at least a 40 year supply, even with rising demand. Whether or
    not the
    > facts & estimates are correct (& some problems & doubts are pointed out),
    what many
    > people will see is just "Oil is plentiful in the world" & their acceptance of
    > the Rush Limbaugh mantra, "Folks, you don't have to change your lifestyle"
    > be reinforced.

    Oil is plentiful. In fact there is about 4 times more oil in the ground than we
    have or ever will produce. The laws of thermodynamics and fluid flow resist
    our every attempt to drain the last of the oil in a reservoir and bring it to
    the surface. Most fields are abandoned after only 20-50% of the original oil
    in place has been produced. Prudhoe Bay had 20 billion barrels in it when it
    was found. They will barely produce 12 billiion. That means we will leave 8
    billion barrels behind. Why are we leaving all that oil behind? Because it
    simply won't flow. There is a point at which the forces that bind the oil to
    the rock particles are stronger than our ability to pull it to the surface.
    Little short of a change in the laws of physics will alter that situation.
    Even when we make a materials science breakthrough and come up with some goop
    we can inject into the rocks to losen the oil, it generally only gives us an
    additional .5% -1% of the original oil in place. And we are then so pleased
    with ourselves having made millions for our companies. So, yes, oil is
    plentiful, but you can't get to it.

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