oil spill repercussions?

I guess the name speaks for its self.

Re: oil spill repercussions?

Postby jamesWtc on Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:13 pm

Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:17 pm
Location: Basel, Switzerland

Re: oil spill repercussions?

Postby Neill on Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:14 pm

Hi Dave,
Thank you for the links.
It appears that the report suggests that building a wind generator in the Freznel zone of a radio link will lead to signal degradation.
This is actually quite obvious. Planting trees, building barns, etc. will have the same effect.
I think our concept of having the generator above the antenna is still sound.
Neill Hogarth
Life is not a practice [www.hogarth.de]
Posts: 1166
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 pm
Location: Nesselwang, Germany

Re: oil spill repercussions?

Postby jim_lewis1 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:11 pm

I have followed this story closely, in fact basing my first assignment for TD866 on this incident and its impacts.

Clearly such a major disaster has wide ranging implications in a variety of spheres.

America's continuing reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable for several reasons, but due to the massive lobbying budget and vested interests in the administration little has been done to address this.

Prior to this event, it was only when this situation was reframed in terms of energy security, (the reliance on regions with unstable or possibly anit-US regimes), that 'hawks', or neo-conservatives, began to question the status quo that previously they saw no reason to examine.

The concerns of environmentalists were portratyed as typical of pinko lefty liberals with some other agenda in a highly polarised debate. Only now perhaps those of right wing persuasion are beginning to recognise that the precautionary principle is not anti-American.

Whilst this event will reopen or perpetuate the debate about how to reduce this dependency, I see no easy answer for a geographicallty large nation with such poorly developed communications infrastucture. Americans for better or worse are addicted to car and plane travel.

The question of power generation does deserve much closer scrutiny, and this applies to all countries in the world. I was shocked to discover that 60% of the energy burned in coal and oil fired electricity power stations is lost either at the station through thermal inefficiencies or in power transmission losses. That this is accepted as some kind of norm seems astonishing to me.

There needs to be a proper debate about the world we will leave for future generations, and I believe this is a debate that has so far not taken place in the US. Ironically, it is possibly provident that this disaster has occurred, so directly affecting the US populaiton, that they may now consider that oil at any price is not an option.

And the implications for me as a worker in the oilfield?

Norway already has more stringent requirements for operators in its waters. The government divisions overseeing permitting and revenue collection are already separate, (as in the UK), so immediate drastic changes are probably not required.

There will probably be some additional legislation, maybe a few more independent inspector type positions and hopefully more attention given to environmental risks and ways to assess and manage these, but actually I think all that points to more employment opportunities not less.

There is a reason we are still using oil despite what we know about the risks, its simply such a great energy source, with all the will in the world, (which we clearly have yet to achieve), we cannot simply decide to stop using it. Our complex and interdependent society relies on it.

I wish this were not the case, and that I believed that windmills solar and seapower generation would solve the problem, but we are wedded to centralised power generation, (hence the Nuclear option becoming popular again), and we seem unable to meet our insatiable appetite for more power hungry devices.

Had oil or fossil fuel never been available it is interesting to consider what else we might not have achieved, or would we instead developed hyper efficient devices?

However, we are now constrained by historical decisions, wiping the slate clean is very hard to present as anything other than returning to a victorian age, and even that was increasingly coal powered.

Basically we know that we are killing the planet, but we're just too addicted to out 'comfortable' life to do anything about it.

After all the hand-wringing and political fallout, BP will return to profitiability within about 18 months. The gulf of Mexico will appear superficially to have recovered and the world will continue as before.

Given that the gulf suplied such a huge proportion of the Us seafood demand I would recommend investing in south East Asian prawn farms.

Only a few scientific journals will contain papers pointing to the ongoing loss of species in the region, but these will barely make headlines, as usual.
Current OU study: A230
Studying towards: BA Humanities
Past OU Study: MBA (Tech Man), BEng/MEng (incl T214, T306) PG Dip EDM (incl T863, TU812), AA100, AXR272
(OU Systems courses)
Posts: 1078
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:14 pm

Re: oil spill repercussions?

Postby Dave H on Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:19 pm

Following this debate and already seeing some different perspectives together with new issues to investigate I have suddenly realised that we appear to be only having part of the debate.

We are talking about the use of oil for transport and energy creation but what about the other uses of oil which must be fairly significant. Most of the plastic is made from oil based products and a lot of the agriculture fertilisers are made from oil. I am sure that there are many other products of the chemical industry that are based on oil. Without oil how would these products be produced or what alternatives would we use. The world would certainly be a very different place.

This seems to be an issue that gets bigger the more you explore it.
Dave H
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:27 am

Re: oil spill repercussions?

Postby jim_lewis1 on Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:56 am

Modern agriculture has been described as a way to turn oil into food, so you are very right that the implications of not having any more are deeply worrying.

There is a huge resource of buried plastic waste, so eventually this will be 'mined'.

basically life without oil would be very different, and difficult to imagine, hence the lack of progress to an alternative basis for our society.
Current OU study: A230
Studying towards: BA Humanities
Past OU Study: MBA (Tech Man), BEng/MEng (incl T214, T306) PG Dip EDM (incl T863, TU812), AA100, AXR272
(OU Systems courses)
Posts: 1078
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:14 pm

Re: oil spill repercussions?

Postby Teiana on Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:07 pm

Body heat is not an energy source that normally springs to mind when companies want to keep down soaring energy costs.

But it did spring to the mind of one Swedish company, which decided the warmth that everybody generates naturally was in fact a resource that was going to waste.

interesting. i definitely think we should get more of our energy from humans. There's plenty of us.

though i admit when i saw the headline 'Harvesting energy: body heat to warm buildings' i had visions of actual people being slid into the cavity wall gaps... :shock:
H.R.H. 8-)
Posts: 2800
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: planet earth


Return to Systems in the news

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest