* Posts by Perpetual Cyclist

122 posts • joined 9 May 2007


The 'green' car tax grabs that don't add up

Perpetual Cyclist

55 comments and no-one has noticed...

that the price of oil is at an all time high of £55/barrel.

So what? Tax is 80% of the price. Err, not any more... it's below 70% and falling.

Now just pretend we hadn't had 70% tax the last 20 years. We could all have afforded to drive US style V8s that get 15mpg. Then in the years since 2004 the price of petrol would have gone up 300% and we would really have something to gripe about. As it is, it has gone up less than 50%.

So, all that tax has saved us a nasty shock these last few years. So am I in favour of the extra 2p /litre tax? Not really. It's done its job. We have passed peak oil. From here on in the price of oil is going to double every two years until the global economy collapses. Each doubling in price is going to hurt us much more, as the taxation buffer is eroded. The only good news is that it is hurting those damn Yankees with their 50 mile commutes in V8 SUVs and wars for oil even more than it is hurting us.


UK presses car ferry to ship powdered plutonium

Perpetual Cyclist



I think this answers your question...

Bill Gates loses richest man crown

Perpetual Cyclist

How did Buffet make his money?

By investing in oil when it was unfashionable. Because he understands peak oil.


The man knows what he is talking about.

BT preps 2000 per cent evening call price hike

Perpetual Cyclist

@Tim Nicholls

Funny that, I had almost as much trouble with NTL as you did with BT...

Eventually they cut us off and we moved to BT.

Virgin exhibits coconut-powered flying jumbo

Perpetual Cyclist


Branson acknowledges peak oil


“Apart from global warming, in about four or five years’ time there’s going to be more demand for fuel than there is fuel on this planet. So fuel prices will go through the roof, and so planes, ships, we’ve all got to come up with alternatives”.

Fresh records for price of wheat


Antarctic glaciers surge to ocean


Of course, being the land of the free (market), the US still exports food to the highest bidder, unlike China, India, etc. who have stopped exports to feed their own people. (Lucky for us in the UK)

All through the Irish potato famine, the English landlords exported large quantities of potatoes....

Virgin biofuel jumbo trials won't use algae

Perpetual Cyclist

@P. J. Isserlis

There was a recent series of programmes on Radio 4 about the reality of living on $2 (£1) a day in different third world countries. The uniform theme was grinding poverty with zero savings, zero health care, zero safety net, dire living conditions, and living hand to mouth day to day, scraping together enough cash to buy a few veg. or a little chicken if they had a good day. People still need to buy clothes, pay the bus fare, bring up the children. Eating in restaurants was not even a remote possibility. (Agreed you can get a damn good meal in India for a £1, or you could ten years ago when I was there).

Perpetual Cyclist

Biofuels are a disaster already

Specifically corn based ethanol, as subsidised in the US to the tune of $1 a gallon. Already, 20% of the US corn crop goes to bioethanol. There is a global shortage of artificial fertilizer and biofuel growers are out bidding food farmers. This at a time when world grain stocks are at a 30 year low, the price of wheat has doubled, the price of rice risen by 50% , both in a month. The price of hops has risen 500%. Beer could be £4 a pint THIS YEAR. Half the population of the world lives on less than £1 a day. Double the price of food staples and you will get widespread famine. Biofuels are not the primary cause of the shortages, but they do represent the difference between sufficient food and wide spread famine THIS YEAR.

Porsche to challenge London CO2 penalty in court

Perpetual Cyclist

Don't worry, this problem will go away...

Oil again passed the symbolic price of $100/barrel yesterday. With the £ falling, that is a record UK price. The price of iron ore whet up 60% in one step yesterday. The price of wheat doubled in the last month. Gold is converging on $1000 an ounce. The world is bumping up against the global limits to growth. Western governments are quietly and systematically hyperinflating themselves out of total economic collapse. The rich will always be rich, but in a few years the middle classes will suddenly realise they are new poor. There will be a lot few Chelsea Tractors on the road, but most of them will still be in Chelsea.

Brazilian cleaner spots security hole in Heathrow e-borders

Perpetual Cyclist

We are toast...

I used to work at a secure military establishment. There was a sweepstake to see who could get passed security with least ID. The winning pass was lightly grilled and eaten with butter for lunch.

French motorwonk savages hybrid cars

Perpetual Cyclist

The future of the car

I spent my day in the warm February sunshine cutting (by hand tools) wood for my stove from a (sustainably managed) ancient coppice woodland. This AGW is not all bad.

The point that these threads always overlook is that the personal car HAS NO FUTURE. Hybrid or any other technology. We are running out of fossil energy. Oil, gas, coal. They will all be in irreversible decline within twenty years. We will all be using less fossil energy in the future. If hybrids are sold as part of our future lifestyle then it is a lie. If they are sold as a transitional technology to tide us over until we ADAPT OUR LIFESTYLES and infrastructure to live without most personal transport and other wastes of energy then they have a place.

Personally, I think a full electric car with four motors (one in each wheel hub) and a small diesel engine to recharge batteries on long journeys is a design worth further development.


US navy-v-dolphins judge says Bush can't overrule her

Perpetual Cyclist

Talking of oil...

Since dolphins are small whales, and whales were the prime source of oil before 1863, I think you will find thata dolphins <are> full of oil

Ofgem, MoD attack pricey terror-friendly windmills

Perpetual Cyclist

When will people learn?


Read, learn, weep.

I do not understand why anyone would want to attack us when in ten years we will be in energetic and economic meltdown. We will have gone from net energy exporter to about 80% energy importer in less than 20 years. That and a £50B a year dent in our national finances at current prices.

We are already heading into recession. We are collectively already £1Trillion in debt. We need to spend every penny we can on indigenous power supplies NOW. If they are renewable and help save the planet from climate change so much the better.

Veggies a 'perversion of nature': Official

Perpetual Cyclist

Vegetarians come in many flavours...

I'm your typical UK veggie, milk products, eggs, etc. Yes I wear leather shoes and belt. No I'm not a hypocrite because I don't go round pretending anything else. Most male calves from milking herds are killed at birth.

Indian veggies by culture don't eat eggs. Vegans don't eat honey either. Many go to the trouble of avoiding leather. There are reasonable substitutes for shoes. Some avoid silk, because of the farming of silk worms. There are extreme sects of the Jain religion which are fruitarian. They will only eat fruit that was 'designed' by evolution to be eaten as a means of seed distribution. They also go around naked except for a face mask and brush the dust in front of their feet in case they squash insects. Not a pretty sight.

You do not need meat for a healthy diet. You can be vegan and healthy, but you have to work at it. And there is plenty of evidence that vegetarians live longer, although that may be a correlation, not cause and effect. I plan to live to 100, like two of my grandparents.

I'm veggie for my own reasons, but the world is running short of grain. Poor people are going to start starving again in large numbers soon. One way to reduce grain consumption is to eat it, instead of feeding it to cows that you then eat. There are some types of agricultural land where sheep and goats can be raised more efficiently than arable crops, but I don't like lamb anyway.

DfT magicians conjure a nation of car sharers

Perpetual Cyclist

I used to car share

It worked quite well for a couple of years, but then we were five techie blokes working in the same research lab and sharing a rented house. Limited appeal to the general public. Of course I commute by bicycle now.

Car sharing is inconvenient, but it will increase. Oil is $90 /barrel one reason only. There is not enough to go around. Recessions aside , the price will simply increase until it is high enough to choke off demand, because the supply is finite, stalled at 85M barrels a day globally, and likely to fall in the near future, permanently and remorselessly. Demand has been growing exponentially, and now we are in direct competition with China and India for oil, and they have far healthier economies than we do. We (and the USA) will be priced out of the market. That will lead to irreversible recession in our national economies as without cheap, dense, portable energy supplies our GDP cannot grow.

Have you noticed we seem to be heading into a recession? Better get used to it.

Computer system suspected in Heathrow 777 crash

Perpetual Cyclist

Those comments about PM's ECM defense systems...


Gordon Brown stared death in the face yesterday as the stricken Heathrow jet came hurtling in just 25 feet above his head before crash landing.

The Prime Minister was being driven to a VIP lounge along an airport perimeter road when the Boeing 777 lost all power and plummeted towards the ground.

He had arrived for a flight to China which was waiting on the ground. Already on board the jumbo was Mirror Political Editor Bob Roberts.

One aide told him of the terrifying moment the PM and his entourage feared they were about to be wiped out. The insider said: "It was just yards above our heads, almost skimming a lamppost as the plane came in fast and very, very low."

Mobile phone users should drive faster says prof

Perpetual Cyclist

Scariest day of my life

was about 10 years ago, when I was driven by a sales rep at 100mph on a dual carriageway (with twisty bits) whilst steering with his knees and fiddling with his mobile using both hands. (In the days before texting). He was not the most lunatic driver in the company. She used to hit 120mph.

UK.gov New Year resolution: must build nuke powerplants

Perpetual Cyclist

This is a tough call

There are no easy answers to our energy problems. The UK and the world is facing an acute energy crisis in the next two decades. The global oil supply has peaked. Global gas supply will peak in about 10 years, and supply will fail to meet demand before then. Coal is still growing, but even that is finite, and the easy stuff has already been mined. Nuclear only makes up a few percent of the global energy supply and there is no way that it can replace the shortfall in other sources. There may be uranium in sea water, but if it takes more energy to extract than it provides, then it will stay in the water. Energy return on energy invested is falling for all sources of energy except renewables, where it is rising. I am not saying that wind and wave are ideal power sources, but they will be all that is available in 50 years time, and we need to adapt our demand to meet the available supply starting now. When these new nuclear plants come up for decommissioning in 50 years time, we will not have enough energy left over to do it safely, so for that reason, I am anti-nuclear.

Top US engineer in piss-off-everybody car fuel solution

Perpetual Cyclist

You ain't seen nothing yet.

This guy is right about one thing. We will be using a lot less petroleum in the future. The global supply of oil peaked in 2006. Biofuels included. 'Conventional' oil supply peaked in 2005. It's all down hill from here, folks. The oil price is now $98.90, (still hasn't hit the third digit) but it ain't going down. Ever. The world demand is currently 88million barrels/day. Supply is 85 million barrels and falling. Nobody knows how fast the supply decline will be, (anything from 25 to 5% decline per year) but in a world where the entire economic model is predicated on indefinite exponential growth of everything, including energy, it spells one thing - global economic collapse. There isn't enough arable land in the world to grow biofuels for all our cars. In fact, without fossil fuels, there isn't enough arable land to feed us all. Tough one that, especially for Africa. Oil represents 39% of the world's primary energy supply. There is nothing that replace it in anything like the quantities we use.

Of course, the US dollar is tanking, and the 'real price' of oil is not rising quite so fast for us Europeans, but that will change. Once we get in a real bidding war in a few months time, it will be a case of the price rising until somebody can no longer afford it. And that very well could be you. Already large parts of the third world (Nepal, Zimbabwe, Burma, Bangladesh etc) are facing real fuel shortages. Soon it will be Western countries. Expect rationing within five years.

Judge rules Gore's film an inconvenient catalogue of errors

Perpetual Cyclist

So behind the times...

A UN report to be published next month will show that total green house gas concentrations have passed 450 ppm CO2 equivalent, the level at which many scientists say that global warming will pass 2 degrees C globally, triggering 'serious' climate change problems, like the melting of the greenland ice sheet.

And ten years sooner than predicted by the IPCC.

We all know that the arctic sea ice is at record low levels (2.3 million square km less ice than 'normal' for this time of year), far worse than the worst case scenario from the IPCC. Tough for those polar bears...

I have also seen a report (lost the URL) which suggests the world is twice as sensitive to global temperature rise as is generally predicted, so we actually passed the 'dangerous' level of temperature rise 40 years ago...

Pay-as-you-drive roads coming to the UK

Perpetual Cyclist

Road pricing misses a huge point

Road congestion will soon be a thing of the past. Have you noticed the

petrol price creeping back up towards £1 /litre again? You ain't seen nothing

yet. The current run up is due to the UK exporting petrol to the US to

cover their shortages - in spite of us being a net importer of oil. North Sea

oil production is crashing 15% a year. Saudi Arabian production is down

3/4M barrels a day, they say because there is no demand. However, demand

is exploding, but SA 'will not' pump more. Because it cannot. The world has

hit peak oil.From now on there will be less oil , petrol and diesel to go around,

worldwide, year on year, for ever. Already the world is drawing down on its

commercial reserves at a million barrels a day. Already large parts of the

third world have been priced out of the oil market - for ever. In ten years,

there will be no congestion. We just have to wait. www.theoildrum.com

Cars could run on aluminium, say US boffins

Perpetual Cyclist

Another oversight

Aluminium oxide - the 'waste' that is generated by the process is heavier

than the aluminium fuel itself. About twice as heavy, if my mental arithmatic

is correct. As this is formed by mixing with water also stored in the car, you

need to add 300+ lb of water to the weight of the car. It starts to add up...

2Al + 3H2O -> Al2O3 + 3H2

Also, all of this weight stays in the car. It doesn't get lighter as the fuel is


UN waffles furiously on biofuels

Perpetual Cyclist

That's the 64,000 barrel question

"Or to put it another way, if the world's swarming poor folk are ever going to live like wealthy Westerners, we're going to be using a lot more energy, not less. The UN isn't alone in wondering if that can actually happen - and if so, where all the juice is going to come from."

Global oil production has been stuck at 85M barrels /day for 2 years now.

Biofuels add about 0.5M barrels a day at present. I very much doubt

global production of all liquid fuels will ever exceed 90 M barrels of

oil equivalent, and we may already be at peak oil production (and peak

net energy production) even as I type. Demand destruction (read

energy shortages) has already set in in the poorest 3rd world countries.

The only way we can expand energy usage in the developed world

now is if some poor b***stard in a poor country goes without even their

meagre ration. One SUV's tank of bioethanol uses enough grain to feed

someone for a year.



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