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  #1  
Old 10-08-2009, 09:46 AM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
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Fuck The Saudis

From here:
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Saudi Arabia has led a quiet campaign during these and other negotiations — demanding behind closed doors that oil-producing nations get special financial assistance if a new climate pact calls for substantial reductions in the use of fossil fuels...
The head of the Saudi delegation Mohammad S. Al Sabban dismissed the IEA figures as “biased” and said OPEC's own calculations showed that Saudi Arabia would lose $19 billion a year starting in 2012 under a new climate pact. The region would lose much more, he said.

“We are among the economically vulnerable countries,” Al Sabban told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the talks ahead of negotiations in Copenhagen in December for a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

“This is very serious for us,” he continued. “We are in the process of diversifying our economy but this will take a long time. We don't have too many resources.”
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2009, 09:55 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is online now
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Makes sense for them. When your economy is dominated by a single product, anything that will drastically reduce the global market for that product will have a disastrous effect on on your economy.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2009, 09:55 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Can we torture them before we fuck them?
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:02 AM
Giles Giles is online now
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It's not as if they couldn't have seen this coming for a long time, and used those oil revenues for something more useful than subsidising the life styles of the members of the Saudi royal family.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:15 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Personally I'll be glad when that bass ackwards region has no money and no power again. At which point they cant bother anyone nor will anyone be bothered to bother em.

That region is the global cultural equivalent of poor white trash that won the geologic lottery. And just like them they have been pissing their wealth away.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:16 AM
the first supraliminal the first supraliminal is offline
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Bin Laden was mad at the Saudi royal family for screwing with his father. Then it transferred to the US who were propping up their corrupt regime.
An oil rich nation of paupers. What's wrong with that picture?
And why do we help them? Not for the oil, which we could buy from their successors, but we are afraid whoever comes after won't let us keep bases to use against Russia.
And since Russia is no long a threat in the region, no longer intent on gobbling up the "-istan" countries, we should leave and Bin Laden could go home and run for local satrap.
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  #7  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:21 AM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
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Originally Posted by the first supraliminal View Post
Bin Laden was mad at the Saudi royal family for screwing with his father. Then it transferred to the US who were propping up their corrupt regime.
An oil rich nation of paupers. What's wrong with that picture?
And why do we help them? Not for the oil, which we could buy from their successors, but we are afraid whoever comes after won't let us keep bases to use against Russia.
And since Russia is no long a threat in the region, no longer intent on gobbling up the "-istan" countries, we should leave and Bin Laden could go home and run for local satrap.
Saudi Arabia must have the best PR firms in the world. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, none were from Iraq, and which one did we invade. The conservatives should hate the Saudis for banning the importation of bibles, the left should hate the Saudis for how they treat women, yet they seem to constantly fly under the radar.
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  #8  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:26 AM
Rune Rune is online now
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If “aid” to Saudi Arabia ever comes anywhere near being a part of an environmental agreement, it will completely undermine what support I currently give the climate agenda, and push me deep into mad-hatter opposition.
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:37 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Fuck Saudi Arabia for asking for international aid? Why stop there? Bangladesh is always asking for disaster relief, you know.
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:45 AM
Giles Giles is online now
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Fuck Saudi Arabia for asking for international aid? Why stop there? Bangladesh is always asking for disaster relief, you know.
Bangladesh's GDP per capita is about 3% of that of Saudi Arabia, and it doesn't use that to support a corrupt royal family and an extreme version of Islam.
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  #11  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:49 AM
Squink Squink is offline
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It's not as if they couldn't have seen this coming for a long time, and used those oil revenues for something more useful than subsidising the life styles of the members of the Saudi royal family.
Say a nuclear fuel enrichment plant, like the Iranians? That's going over like a lead balloon!
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:51 AM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Fuck Saudi Arabia for asking for international aid? Why stop there? Bangladesh is always asking for disaster relief, you know.
Never seen such a good combination of user name and post.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:59 AM
Rune Rune is online now
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Fuck Saudi Arabia for asking for international aid? Why stop there? Bangladesh is always asking for disaster relief, you know.
I’m sure Saudi Arabia will be able to scrape by if they actually started to do their own work rather than relying on an army of of Bangladeshi (& Indian, Pakistani) labours, Philippine maids, etc. working under slave like circumstances, because the Saudis can’t be bothered to do manual labour themselves.
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:01 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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They need not worry. Every drop of their oil will be consumed eventually. Just because there may be ink-on-paper legislation mandating reductions in emissions it does not immediately follow that those agreements will be strictly adhered to or even honored in any way, shape or form.

And really, how could they honor any such agreement? Is the United States, for instance, going to implement rationing of gasoline for personal use? Will an increase in fuel efficiency actually result in reduced consumption, or more driving? We've seen what high oil prices do, so we know that there is certainly a price threshold where the economy (and by extension everybody) suffers. Will potentially putting the country into perpetual recession be acceptable government policy? Even if it is known with absolute certainty what will happen environmentally as a result of oil consumption it does not mean that such advice will be heeded by politicians with other concerns more important to them. That's the harsh reality of this whole situation.

Oil will continue to be a high-value, necessary commodity for the indefinite future. The Saudis have a lot of it. A reduction in demand in a place like the United States will simply allow some other country to use the surplus, with all of the emissions associated with its use.
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  #15  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:03 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
Bangladesh's GDP per capita is about 3% of that of Saudi Arabia, and it doesn't use that to support a corrupt royal family and an extreme version of Islam.
About 6%, actually, and that's irrelevant. We give aid to Israel and Japan.

Anyway, it supports an even more corrupt government and it's a Muslim state where religious violence is not unknown and quite often even quietly encouraged.
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  #16  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:05 AM
bri1600bv bri1600bv is offline
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It is comical. The price of oil will probably stay high even if demand went down as the depletion rate in existing mature fields causes less production. So their fears are misplaced, I think.

But anyway, eventually they will run out. They need to have a backup plan. I'm sure they do have a ton of money saved up, probably hundreds of billions of dollars. They export 3B barrels a year or something like that.

The only way long term to use less oil, I believe, would be through electric cars, either plug in hybrids or all electric. And the only way to get baseload power for that (non intermittent but dependable) would be largely with nuclear or coal. Coal is unavoidably dirty so that leaves nuclear (whose waste is toxic but easily contained as opposed to coal whose mercury emissions are in the air and the oceans).

So what is Obama's stand on nuclear? It's good enough for France, why can't we do it more here!? We use 20% of electric from nuclear they use 80%.

I'd like to see a $2 a gallon tax. OR make it the complement of $4 and whatever the current gas price is, so that the tax goes up as oil prices go down, keeping demand constant.

That would usher in the plug in hybrids, etc.
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  #17  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:39 AM
Hung Mung Hung Mung is offline
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Originally Posted by bri1600bv View Post
I'd like to see a $2 a gallon tax. OR make it the complement of $4 and whatever the current gas price is, so that the tax goes up as oil prices go down, keeping demand constant.

That would usher in the plug in hybrids, etc.
Well, that's fine for folks who can afford a new car. For me and my crappy, paid-off SUV, that would be a big, big problem. So, fuck that.
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  #18  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:56 AM
Giles Giles is online now
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Well, that's fine for folks who can afford a new car. For me and my crappy, paid-off SUV, that would be a big, big problem. So, fuck that.
The problem probably isn't with your SUV: it's more likely to be with the distance you need to drive to work, to go shopping, etc. And that's a problem with the design of cities in the US, where land is generally cheap, and people want to use a lot of it to build on.
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  #19  
Old 10-08-2009, 12:11 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Originally Posted by bri1600bv View Post
So what is Obama's stand on nuclear? It's good enough for France, why can't we do it more here!? We use 20% of electric from nuclear they use 80%.
If you're serious and not just being rhetorical, I'd recommend you do some reading about Peak Uranium. Yes, there is a Hubbert peak for uranium, and if we did what you proposed it would be ruinous for a relatively short-term exploitation. Not a good idea even under the best of circumstances, and almost laughable in the face of the anti-nuclear movement and political limitations.

Last edited by Airman Doors, USAF; 10-08-2009 at 12:13 PM..
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  #20  
Old 10-08-2009, 12:28 PM
bucketybuck bucketybuck is offline
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As an aside, I am a big fan of the whole flag-waving American hatred of all things Middle East. Why?

Cheap flights to New York with Kuwait Air thats why

Apart from that I couldnt give a blue fuck, except to wonder why this is in the Pit?
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  #21  
Old 10-08-2009, 01:30 PM
PrettyVacant PrettyVacant is offline
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I heard they had WMD. Sanctions first or straight in?

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  #22  
Old 10-08-2009, 01:39 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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Originally Posted by bucketybuck View Post
As an aside, I am a big fan of the whole flag-waving American hatred of all things Middle East. Why?

Cheap flights to New York with Kuwait Air thats why

Apart from that I couldnt give a blue fuck, except to wonder why this is in the Pit?
*looks at your location*

Does that also mean that there are cheap New York-Ireland flights through Kuwait Air? That would be awesome!
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  #23  
Old 10-08-2009, 01:44 PM
bucketybuck bucketybuck is offline
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*looks at your location*

Does that also mean that there are cheap New York-Ireland flights through Kuwait Air? That would be awesome!
Not sure. I am going to New York March 17th next year for a stag do. Flights are on Expedia at the minute, Heathrow to New York RTN, for just £250. Add £30/40 flight from Belfast to heathrow and I am still saving.

From my scientific musings inside my head, I guessed that the reason the flight is so cheap is that no Americans want anything to do with Kuwait air. So I would guess the reverse flights would be just as cheap.
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  #24  
Old 10-08-2009, 02:07 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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I am going to New York March 17th next year for a stag do.
Translation: bachelor party
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  #25  
Old 10-08-2009, 03:00 PM
Michael Ellis Michael Ellis is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
If you're serious and not just being rhetorical, I'd recommend you do some reading about Peak Uranium. Yes, there is a Hubbert peak for uranium, and if we did what you proposed it would be ruinous for a relatively short-term exploitation. Not a good idea even under the best of circumstances, and almost laughable in the face of the anti-nuclear movement and political limitations.
That's assuming the reactors only use one specific type of uranium and that the byproducts aren't recycled for reuse.

There's more than one way to fuel a reactor. Although you're right about the NIMBY anti-nuke loons (protip: much more radioactivity is released by using coal plants than from reactors).

Last edited by Michael Ellis; 10-08-2009 at 03:01 PM..
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  #26  
Old 10-08-2009, 03:51 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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It's not as if they couldn't have seen this coming for a long time, and used those oil revenues for something more useful than subsidising the life styles of the members of the Saudi royal family.
I'm sure they'll use some of it to fight international climate change initiatives. That's more useful to THEM, until temperatures get so high that their camels start dropping dead of heat exhaustion.
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  #27  
Old 10-08-2009, 04:12 PM
user_hostile user_hostile is offline
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Every day four (sometimes five times a day), 100 open hopper cars of Virginia coal cruises by my backyard. That's about 28,000,000 lbs of coal a day or 10 billion lbs a year. Figuring 1 ppm of Uranium in that coal, that wprks out to about 10,000 lbs of U a year. Presuming a 0.71% concentration of slow fissionable U-235==> 72 lbs (32.7 kg). That would be better than 1/2 the the amount needed for a "Little Boy" weapon (which used only 80% HEU for both the hollow cylinder projectile and the smaller fixed cylinder at the end). Of course, for a more advanced weapon design, it would be more than adequate.

North Carolina, a potential nuclear power. Watch out Iran!

Multiply the above by ~2.5 for the amount of Thorium.

Last edited by user_hostile; 10-08-2009 at 04:16 PM.. Reason: Singulars and Plurals--what's the difference?
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  #28  
Old 10-08-2009, 05:43 PM
bri1600bv bri1600bv is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
If you're serious and not just being rhetorical, I'd recommend you do some reading about Peak Uranium. Yes, there is a Hubbert peak for uranium, and if we did what you proposed it would be ruinous for a relatively short-term exploitation. Not a good idea even under the best of circumstances, and almost laughable in the face of the anti-nuclear movement and political limitations.
The world is relatively unexplored for uranium. Also nuclear waste can be reprocessed, very little of the energy is currently used.

Saying that we face peak uranium would be like people saying the world will run out of oil pre WWII. (They did say that).
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  #29  
Old 10-08-2009, 09:03 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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You can also make more nuclear fuel with breeder reactors.
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  #30  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:10 PM
Alienhand Alienhand is offline
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I heard they had WMD. Sanctions first or straight in?
Has Bill Kristol written about being greeted as liberators and the spontaneous parades in Mecca yet?
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  #31  
Old 10-08-2009, 11:56 PM
Try2B Comprehensive Try2B Comprehensive is offline
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I read that an acre of solar panels (in Wisconsin!) would power an ev of ordinary efficiency 900,000 miles per year. Wanna fuck the Saudis? Ev's. Think of the gas nozzle as dispensing tiny Saudi flags into your tank, each of which you pay for with your personal labor.
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  #32  
Old 10-09-2009, 08:34 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
About 6%, actually, and that's irrelevant. We give aid to Israel and Japan.
What aid does the US provide Japan?
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  #33  
Old 10-09-2009, 08:55 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Originally Posted by bri1600bv View Post
The world is relatively unexplored for uranium. Also nuclear waste can be reprocessed, very little of the energy is currently used.
There are political problems involved in reprocessing. Lots of them. The two big ones:

Wherever the plant is proposed it will find intense opposition.

Reprocessing necessarily requires the breeding of plutonium, which is seen as a step toward weaponization.

I don't see any way around those issues. There's not even agreement on Yucca Mountain, and that's in BFE, far away from everybody.

Quote:
Saying that we face peak uranium would be like people saying the world will run out of oil pre WWII. (They did say that).
No, it's stating the truth based upon current consumption rates, political reality, and future feasibility. That can change in the future, but until then it's important to recognize the realities of the situation.
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  #34  
Old 10-09-2009, 08:55 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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No direct aid, but the Treasury bought up lots and lots of Yen during the 90s to help stabilize the Japanese economy.
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  #35  
Old 10-09-2009, 12:50 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is online now
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I really wish I could get the song "Shock the Monkey" out of my head.
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  #36  
Old 10-09-2009, 05:42 PM
Michael Ellis Michael Ellis is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
There are political problems involved in reprocessing. Lots of them. The two big ones:

Wherever the plant is proposed it will find intense opposition.

Reprocessing necessarily requires the breeding of plutonium, which is seen as a step toward weaponization.

I don't see any way around those issues. There's not even agreement on Yucca Mountain, and that's in BFE, far away from everybody.
These arguments are based on the ignorance of the anti-nuclear crowd. I thought ignorance was something to be fought?
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  #37  
Old 10-10-2009, 02:30 AM
EvilTOJ EvilTOJ is offline
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Airman Doors, USAF isn't saying those arguments are valid, he's just saying that those are the oppositions to building more nuclear plants. There is a lot of ignorance in the US when it comes to nuclear power, and it's going to be an uphill battle to get any new plants built.
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  #38  
Old 10-11-2009, 04:27 PM
padabe padabe is offline
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Interesting thread. I would have figured this bunch to be a little more tolerant, perhaps even to a fault.

For the sake of argument, suppose that the climate pact goes into effect, and it cripples the economies of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, etc. Are you prepared to have an armload of failed nation-states around the Middle East?

I realize that Doors has gone on record as objecting to my premise. Is that the general consensus here?
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  #39  
Old 10-11-2009, 04:37 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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I agree, but I'm probably in the minority again.
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  #40  
Old 10-11-2009, 08:43 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
No, it's stating the truth based upon current consumption rates, political reality, and future feasibility. That can change in the future, but until then it's important to recognize the realities of the situation.
But comparing that to literally running out of oil doesn't work well; they are different classes of problems.

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For the sake of argument, suppose that the climate pact goes into effect, and it cripples the economies of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, etc. Are you prepared to have an armload of failed nation-states around the Middle East?
Given that oil isn't an unlimited resource, that is an inevitability if they can't survive without massive oil exports, regardless of any climate pacts. Which I don't think will have nearly the effect you think it will, and will likely make them last longer if it slows the consumption of oil. Nor will their economies be improved by ending up underwater, thrown into famine, or the markets for their oil collapsing into chaos; like many people you are conveniently ignoring the economic cost of doing nothing about climate change and only focusing on the cost of trying to stop it.

And it isn't the collective duty of humanity to screw civilization over just to preserve the economy of a few self destructive dictatorships.

Last edited by Der Trihs; 10-11-2009 at 08:45 PM..
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  #41  
Old 10-11-2009, 09:28 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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The Saudia are very smart businessmen. They will find a way around the problem. They have plenty of money to spend. They have a sophisticated and well schooled upper class. They can do financial manipulation with our bankers and make tons of money without producing a thing.
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  #42  
Old 10-11-2009, 09:47 PM
padabe padabe is offline
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Der Trihs: Agreed, we will need oil for the foreseeable future. If not for our cars and power plants, then for plastics, asphalt, and jet fuel.

But suppose that we are able to make a large enough dent in our oil consumption to put these nations' collective tit in the wringer. Yes, they've certainly had us over a barrel for the past few decades, and for the most part they have little to show for it--isn't schadenfreude wonderful?

Let us say that all of this happens in the space of 15-20 years. A wildly optimistic and highly improbable timeline, I know. But just suppose. Isn't it within our interest to help them? At least to the extent that the entire region doesn't devolve into anarchy? And isn't it better to err on the side of caution? An ounce of prevention and all of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzomax
The Saudia are very smart businessmen. They will find a way around the problem. They have plenty of money to spend. They have a sophisticated and well schooled upper class. They can do financial manipulation with our bankers and make tons of money without producing a thing.
Oh. Well. If they can make tons of money without ever producing a thing through financial manipulation, I don't see what could possibly go wrong. Let's just hope their regulators are a little more vigilant than ours.

Seriously, though. Is that really a healthy economic model? It sounds like a helluva gamble to me. It's possible they could make it work short term, but I don't think it's a long term solution. And what of the other heavy hitters in OPEC from the Middle East?
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  #43  
Old 10-11-2009, 10:32 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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They have a sophisticated and well schooled upper class.
No they don't. They have a tiny, tiny proportion of people with useful educations. A ton of aristocrats who went to Sandhurst doesn't do you much good unless you can build your economy around military parades somehow.

Dubai, Oman and the more forward thinking Gulf states have done a very good job of diversifying in preparation for the day when the oil runs out. The Saudis are trying to- they're even pouring money into green tech- but they're not doing it very well.
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  #44  
Old 10-12-2009, 07:30 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Let us say that all of this happens in the space of 15-20 years. A wildly optimistic and highly improbable timeline, I know. But just suppose. Isn't it within our interest to help them? At least to the extent that the entire region doesn't devolve into anarchy?
Help them, sure. But not by refraining from conserving a limited resource or by sacrificing a stable climate to them.
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  #45  
Old 10-12-2009, 08:19 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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No they don't. They have a tiny, tiny proportion of people with useful educations. A ton of aristocrats who went to Sandhurst doesn't do you much good unless you can build your economy around military parades somehow.
.
ISTR some statistic that a very large fraction of, if not the large majority of folks in that region got college degrees in stuff like philosophy and religious studies.

Yeah, you need a few of those. But if thats what MOST folks are going to college for, that just a waste for the society. Particularly in a region where the non college people are probably more lacking in practical fundamentals of running a modern society than non college folks in more "advanced" societies.

They need people with "practical" degrees.

Anybody know the stats that I am thinking of ? Or is it a figment of my imagination? And of course the stat I am vaguely recalling was probably only for one of the countries over there.

And with all the religious tension over there, years of religious study for a large fraction of the population probably isnt helping the overall climate either.
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  #46  
Old 10-12-2009, 11:00 AM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
No they don't. They have a tiny, tiny proportion of people with useful educations. A ton of aristocrats who went to Sandhurst doesn't do you much good unless you can build your economy around military parades somehow.

Dubai, Oman and the more forward thinking Gulf states have done a very good job of diversifying in preparation for the day when the oil runs out. The Saudis are trying to- they're even pouring money into green tech- but they're not doing it very well.
The Saudis have poured money into developing a good school system. They have done it. They also send students abroad for education. They are fully capable of understanding and meeting the future . They have a lot of oil. If we actually do slow down the use in the world, it will last much longer. For their own use, I doubt they will ever run out.
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  #47  
Old 10-12-2009, 11:09 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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The Saudis have poured money into developing a good school system. They have done it. They also send students abroad for education. They are fully capable of understanding and meeting the future . They have a lot of oil. If we actually do slow down the use in the world, it will last much longer. For their own use, I doubt they will ever run out.
Again, sending students abroad to be educated is not in itself a good sign. As noted above, it doesn't do you any good if you send your best and brightest off to England and the US and they come back with doctorates in classics and military history.

Saudi Arabia currently produces only enough science and technology graduates to meet one fifth of its petrochemical industry's requirements, and things are even worse in the non-oil-related disciplines, like medicine.

Things are so bad that the government last month allowed foreign resident research scientist to apply for citizenship whether or not they are Muslims, which is essentially an unprecedented move.
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Help them, sure. But not by refraining from conserving a limited resource or by sacrificing a stable climate to them.
I don't think he's saying we should keep guzzling oil to help them, but help them diversify their economy.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 10-12-2009 at 11:11 AM..
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:22 AM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
I don't think he's saying we should keep guzzling oil to help them, but help them diversify their economy.
The question is do they have enough MONEY to do that ?

IF they do and they are just too damn stupid to do it, frack em I say.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:14 PM
Try2B Comprehensive Try2B Comprehensive is offline
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Last edited by Try2B Comprehensive; 10-13-2009 at 09:19 PM..
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:33 PM
SteveG1 SteveG1 is offline
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Originally Posted by billfish678 View Post
The question is do they have enough MONEY to do that ?

IF they do and they are just too damn stupid to do it, frack em I say.
Yup.

Wasn't there once a thriving industry in the making of buggy whips? Cars sort of trashed that. The Saudis will be in the same boat some day. I guess they better plan ahead, or they too will eventually become irrelevant.

If they don't plan ahead, it's their own fault.
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