"The End of Suburbia" video on youtube - Page 2 - Fuelly Forums

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Old 04-15-2007, 09:43 AM   #11
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I do have one criticism with this movie. They are NOT pessimistic enough!!
While I agree with you -- I can understand why they did that... If you make it too pessimistic, you'll loose a lot of viewers and earn a not so great reputation. Better to split the difference and get your word out further
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:55 AM   #12
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. . . Well, sorry to break it to you bub, but when there is no more oil, things like journalism kind of lose their meaning. Plus, how the hell are you going to make paper and ink, and print the damn newspapers when you have no oil to fuel these processes. . .
The Internet is killing the printing press to a great degree anyway. There is little reason to believe that our urban communications infrastructure will be significantly harmed by the decline of energy availability.
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Old 04-15-2007, 03:16 PM   #13
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I took issue with their interpretation of the actual basis for the creation of suburbia. It was not a reaction, as was implied, to the problems of the cities. In fact, the 20's and 30's were a period in which the city was envisioned as utopia and grand schemes were drawn up to implement a vision of tradition and technology merged in a maze of concrete and chrome rising to the sky for the benefit of better living for all.

WWII changed that, however.
The existence of nuclear arsenals propagated a strategy of deterrence, and an architecture of defense, the obvious face of which was the construction of early warning stations, strategic airbases, air defense networks and ballistic missile sites, but whose true extent ranged much further. Defense policy extended its hand over the planning and design of the urban environment with a view to protect the nation?s infrastructure, industry, and population. Numerous measures were considered to effect this protection, and included the hardening of structures, construction of private and public fallout shelters, dispersion of population and industry, and an increase in mobility to facilitate rapid transport of civilians, military personnel, and materials (including weapons systems).

The last two points are key here - those of dispersion and mobility.

The proliferation of the automobile and the construction of pathways leading out of the cities - the Interstate Highway system (funded under the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956) - were principally responsible for the creation of suburbia, a zone of population fostered by civil defense and the concept of dispersion under the guise of Manifest Destiny. Dispersion of population and industry was the only real defense against the destruction wrought by a nuclear attack, whose primary targets were population centers where the maximal amount of damage could be inflicted by the weapon. Spreading outward from these population centers began the ?urban sprawl? which continues today, extending the reach of the city and at the same time draining, some would say, their lifeblood. As the present and future urban inhabitants vacated or preferred to settle in suburbia, the city would suffer, and Jane Jacobs wrote her seminal work ?The Death and Life of Great American Cities? in a period where ?urban renewal? was well under way.

The reasoning for the shift in urban planning is much simpler than the arguments for or against certain ideologies, as social or political historians might lead one to believe, it was founded on the need to disperse the population to prevent their complete and utter annihilation in the (inevitable) event of a nuclear onslaught. Such an explanation was not a comforting one to the public, however, and so suburbia was sold as a utopia, a new ?promised land?, the voyage to which could be made in the automobile. Whereas the 1920?s and 30?s made the city an idealized utopian form (the Metropolis), now was suburbia billed as ?Family Utopia?. It is an ideal which remains with us today, saturated in popular culture then and now, the quest for one?s own plot of land with a white picket fence is not so far from the 19th century promise of 160 acres of land, obtained at minimal cost and traveled to by Conestoga wagon.

And that's all I have to say about that. For now.
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:45 PM   #14
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Snax: I don't know about you, but my computer runs on good old fashioned electricity. Powered by, well I am not sure what makes the electricity, but my guess is that it is a finite resource. Let's say the oil reserves dry up. There is no more coal. Luckily, I managed to pick myself up a nice solar array for my house. Assuming that I am not killed and robbed blind of my possessions (as you can imagine happening if you have every seen what happens when gas prices spike, drop, or supplies run low), I will only be able to use my computer for my own needs. Why? The internet, not only your computer, is something that needs to be powered.

People take for granted that EVERY infrastructure that humans have created (in advanced countries) is powered in some way or form by fossil fuel.

So, when there is no fuel left, you will be unable to just pick up a paper or jump on your computer to check out the daily news. Even if you could, what news would there be to read? No one could make movies or porn anymore. No one could play professional sports anymore. No one could go on vacations anymore. The list could go on for pages.
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:06 PM   #15
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As far as personal computers are concerned, consider that the machines most of us use today are power hogging pigs compared to what is necessary. My laptop alone consumes 1/4 the power of my 4 year old desktop PC. My cell phone provides web and email access using an even smaller amount of energy.

The infrastructure that powers the communications between these machines will be a priority for power delivery and all except rural multiplex/pair gain systems have on-site backup generation.

You are taking the extreme side of being a doomer by assuming an instantaneous jump from fossil fuels to nada. It's just not going to happen that way. Supplies will dwindle, economies and people will adapt, and life will go on. No doubt, it won't be easy for everybody - or likely most, but barring lunatics with nukes, the world is not going to just stop. Energy is all around us. We just need to make compromises on how we obtain it. Whether that is nuclear, wind, solar, or bio-mass, there are alternatives that are viable, renewable, and poorly tapped.
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:35 PM   #16
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So, when there is no fuel left, you will be unable to just pick up a paper or jump on your computer to check out the daily news. Even if you could, what news would there be to read? No one could make movies or porn anymore. No one could play professional sports anymore. No one could go on vacations anymore. The list could go on for pages.
Wait... so are you talking fuel in the energy sense... or fuel in the sense of oil... Because these are two completely different things...

That list could go on... more than just pages - forever really. But, there's one critical flaw with said list. That list assumes we, the greedy human race, will remain static. I mean think about it, when your home runs out of food. Do you starve while laying in bed thinking about the lack of food in your home? Or do you leave your home and find more (be it home grown, bought, etc.)? I for one do not stand in front of an empty ice box without thinking "hey, maybe it's time to stock up."

My point is - necessity is the mother of invention. Perhaps interest has picked up too late in the game for us - but does that mean we're not going to go down fighting? Hell, tomorrow - someone may stumble upon a solar cell that's 90% efficient - ha! Energy problem solved :P The fact is, this is a dynamic problem - and the proposed solutions continue to get better. Really, as the problems become more prevalent, the effort invested into a solution will increase.

My second point is... Excess is the bastard child of necessity - greed being the father. This is why it's important to continue efforts for sustainable food supplies, accommodations etc. Hell, after last year's hurricane knocked the power off line for weeks - my house still had hot water. We had a solar heater that ran off a solar powered pump Well, the neighbors saw what we had (and we offered them hot showers) - and guess who has solar feed systems now? During the day, the heater tank heater never turns on (in fact, it gets too hot which is a bit of a problem)

Eventually, there won't be "enough" oil. Sure - I think 99% of us here will agree to that. But I think 100% of us won't just sit there and take it without looking for a solution. Because eventually - a solution will be found

Let me ask you this - what do you think is more effective at gaining support for energy solutions. Telling someone everything they know is going away or telling someone that there's a solution - you just need to get interested and help look? Only rarely have I seen negative reenforcement work - side effects include psychotherapy later in life :P
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:06 PM   #17
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Also recall one of the earlier points in that video - GM, Firestone, and Standard Oil conspired to kill electrified mass transit. A return to that in many areas would solve many of the problems associated with a decline in supply of oil. Where the energy comes from to power those systems is another issue which is not necessarily imperilled, but merely problematic with respect to global warming and polution.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:07 PM   #18
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The movie had a bit too much of "the world is going to end" type of a vibe to me.

It did let me think of the affect that peak oil will have on the economy.

How bad will it effect the stock market?
How high will oil have to go before wal-mart stops getting goods from china? How high will gas have to get before people stop driving?
-I believe gas have to be in the $6 to $10 range before most people start to radical make changes.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:13 PM   #19
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How high will gas have to get before people stop driving?
-I believe gas have to be in the $6 to $10 range before most people start to radical make changes.
Wow That high. I would hope that it would be lower than that but here it is bumping $3.00 nationaly and nobody seems to care. sigh.
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:14 PM   #20
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-I believe gas have to be in the $6 to $10 range before most people start to radical make changes.
It's already that high in some parts of the world (Well, maybe not $10 :P). Honestly, I think radical change will need a higher price :/ But then again, radical change where? In the US? Or elsewhere? Truly, I think the "necessary" (whatever that may be) radical changes will start somewhere other than North America.

Or perhaps the radical changes have happened already -- in chiefdom societies that we might consider anarchy (in terms of there is no well defined government). iono
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