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The sliding $US and the price of Oil

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Interesting Post.

 

Why thank you Wagsy, :P

 

An even more interesting, eloquent and well researched read is that book, though..... plus all of the research projects, journals and articles that Strahan's based his thesis on... it is truly eye-opening.... and offers a far more polished argument than I could ever attempt....

 

"The Last Oil Shock"

 

Check it out in your local bookstores.....

 

There are lots of internet-based concepts out there for how we can become a Hydrogen-fueled society but there are numerous respected INDEPENDENT scientists (who are loudly opposing the oil industry) also stating that Hydrogen - as it is presently being researched - still isn't feasible as a fuel source, to serve the needs of 6 billion people.... Hope you're right that the next 10 years will change all that, but it looks unlikely that global governments are too keen on exploring the idea, the way things are going......

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a happy ending. It's just that presently, the progress that research is making in that direction (compared to the other options for renewable, clean, power - as pointed out with pie-charts et all in "The Last Oil Shock") has too little momentum..... as it's all about costs...... a global community of internet users who all back up the most optimistic of concepts (me included!) is all very well, but we're not putting any money in the R&D pot...... the energy companies (plus a few, comparatively, very poor independents) are..... so who / what wins? the cheapest most viable option....... which, nowadays, most certainly ain't OIL(!) but of course still provides the most returns in tax-revenue...

 

a big fat floating windmill in the middle of the North Sea (okay, a few gazzillion of them peppered around the world) will do the trick...... plus they'll create ideal artificial nurseries for juvenile fish-stocks to gather around and grow up into big fat fish to feed us! :lol:

 

It is very sad and unfortunate - but true - that huge amounts of money are being spent (wasted?), in typical Homo sapien greedy-style, to go out looking for another fuel source that can be "created" in order to then charge a customer maximum price..... Hydrogen is just that.....

 

There are unmeasurable amounts of energy being created by nature every second of every day.... tap into these - wind, tides, waves, solar etc..... and our planet will become a truly happy place where everyone can share energy fairly and at a fair cost.....

 

people will be able to eat, irrigate their crops, sustain a lifestyle that needs power etc.... in direct balance with everyone else on the planet....

 

By relying on another "fuel" further competition will be created, where the rich nations reap gains and the poor guy in the Sahara has nothing...... unfortunate but true......

 

"We can't see the wood, for the trees"

 

We need to get away from looking for FUELS and concentrate on looking at what is right infront of us.... RESOURCES

 

Armageddon out of here........ :):ninja::P

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There will an adjustment in our way of thinking. Already, where I live in prosperous West London I see more bicycles in use. Energy costs (already very high) are set to increase by 40 percent this winter. That will effect the cost of everything. I recently went with a forward thinking liveaboard operation in Thailand that will supply all diving equipment at no extra cost to help with baggage allowances. We have taken too much for granted and now we'll have to think like Eritreans (one of the cleanest countries I have visited because they cannot afford to waste ANYTHING).

Edited by John Bantin

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Most of the recent increase in oil price is due to speculators treating it as a one way bet and driving up the price. If there was some control of these futures and derivatives in oil, such as large margin calls on every contract then we would start to see the price drop to a sensible level based on simple market forces of supply and demand. There is a lot of talk (probably by speculators trying drive the price up) about peak oil and the fact that the world reserves will only last another 40 years, but this is based on the lowest proven reserves in each known oil field. The chances of each and every oil field only having the lowest estimate of reserves is statistically remote. Plus new oil fields are being discovered all the time.

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Most of the recent increase in oil price is due to speculators treating it as a one way bet and driving up the price

 

but it IS a one-way bet... it's finite... there's an end to it... we can't make any more....

 

we would start to see the price drop to a sensible level based on simple market forces of supply and demand.

 

but that's the point..... supply is fast diminishing..... 60 of the 100 oil "producing" countries have already reached their peak production.... the US and Libya peaked in 1970! Britain in 1999, Egypt & Russia 1987, .... the list goes on and is wonderfully highlighted on this interactive global map.....

 

http://www.lastoilshock.com/map.html

 

The world's majority (the poor) are finding that the purchase of a motor-vehicle is far more accessible than yesteryear:

 

India's Tata Motors have famously released the Nano - the worlds cheapest car.... bringing hundreds of thousands of families off of their motorbikes and into a car.... take that car around every poor zone in the world and the demand for oil will reach stupid levels......

 

There now how many times more airlines (and planes?) than there were 10/20 years ago? There's a lot more than there used to be..... they demand fuel..... World population has exploded over the last 20/30 years - it demands fuel......

 

The scientific facts show that demand is soaring and supply is diminishing..... I wouldn't go so far as to risk making any quotes - now - but, when I find that book, I will......

 

There is a lot of talk (probably by speculators trying drive the price up) about peak oil and the fact that the world reserves will only last another 40 years, but this is based on the lowest proven reserves in each known oil field.

The chances of each and every oil field only having the lowest estimate of reserves is statistically remote. Plus new oil fields are being discovered all the time.

 

finding an oil field in the ocean at a depth of 3000-odd metres is not a "find" - as we can't get to it...

 

A few years ago, Britain "found" it's biggest field since the 70s...... it was massive! Made the headlines! People couldn't believe that there was so much oil left when half the world's scientists said it was running out! A behemoth of an oil field! A giant!

 

And it didn't last a year..... (will back up that sentence with facts from the book when I find it)....

 

there's no point in quoting best case scenario as an oil field will only release about half (I believe? I'll have to check up on that..... maybe it's two thirds?) of it's reserves before "running dry"..... it becomes too expensive to try to keep the pressure up in an oil pocket (through injection of water / gas etc.....)

 

To aim for a worst case scenario is simply careful..... to plan for a nice, rosey, oil-filled future, based on best case scenario, is outright negligence and irresponsible....

 

If I get the time then I'll bang down some paragraphs from Strahan's book..... it's not pretty...... but it's factually correct and incredibly well researched... It wouldn't do Strahan justice if I were to try to rattle off some of his points without referring directly to the book, itself.....

 

I'll be back.......

Edited by Alex_Mustard

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Here is something to chew about.

 

Greedy oil giants, arabs and governments want a alternative fuel source they can control, like fuel stations selling hydrogen for cars.

 

In the mid 1990's a guy found a way to split the H from water to fuel a engine at the point of ignition. He was offered 1 billion dollars from the Arabs and they tried to hush him up, he later died from poising.

 

2007 his Patent ran out and it's now speeding around the world via the internet like wildfire and the big guys have no way of stopping it this time.

 

Could you imagine what it would do to the middle east, governments and oil companies if oil became obsolete?

Great for the people of the world though :)

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Funny how we, as intelligent beings, are all trying to figure out how to meet the energy needs of 6.5 billion now and 9 billion by 2050!

 

Help me here, am I the only one out here who thinks this is completely nutty thinking?

 

What ever happened to the idea that famine, war, and disease would be the best solution to all of this energy, pollution mess? There wouldn't be a shortage of "anything" if there were, say 1.5 billion people in the world again. (Here's hoping)

 

With any luck, "the Universe" will, as it has done so in the far, distant past, take care of "problem" of balance in the grand scheme of things. Just ask the dinosaurs or the millions of other species that have come and gone on this planet alone.

 

Few things stuck with me from my university years, except this one statement from a biology prof., "species go away because they are unable to adapt to the changes in their environment".

 

We're watching it happen now with say Polar Bears and most other mammals on the planet (insert hint here- it's the mammals that are disappearing the fastest).

 

No, it's not gruesome, fatalist thinking, it's just the way things REALLY work. Every time we, as humans, think we can get a handle on mother nature and reign in it's power, something blows up in our face. We are not masters of our domain- and yet here we go running around like ants on a stirred up ant hill, following our scientists who think they know what's going on.

 

The joke, is on us, once again.

Edited by shep

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In the mid 1990's a guy found a way to split the H from water to fuel a engine at the point of ignition. He was offered 1 billion dollars from the Arabs and they tried to hush him up, he later died from poising.

 

2007 his Patent ran out and it's now speeding around the world via the internet like wildfire and the big guys have no way of stopping it this time.

 

that's Stan Meyer - google his name and there's too many pages to read all of them! The Mythbusters tested the general concept of perpeptual motion and couldn't create it - it seems that no one can (yet) as it needs complete, 100% efficiency. Something we still don't have the materials for.....

 

the Ben Elton book I mentioned earlier contains the same plot as the Stan Meyer story.....

 

I found the "oil shock" book:

 

".... in the spring of 2001....His field had come in big-time...... The champagne was more than justified, since the new field, Buzzard, turned out to be the biggest discovery in the North Sea in the last twenty-five years, with producible reserves of almost 500 million barrels. This sounds like a lot of oil until you put it in the context of world consumption - over 81 million barrels per day in 2004. If the field could be produced as fast as the world guzzles - and of course it couldn't - Buzzard's reserves would last less than a week. In 2004 the world needed to discover the equivalent of sixty Buzzards to meet consumption, but in fact found the equivalent of only twenty."

 

so that screws my quote up from before!

 

but the same underlying fact still remains... that it is that this Buzzard field was one of only a few measly discoveries that are being made annually in comparison to the boom years of before:

 

"In 1940 the average size of newly discovered fields over the previous five years was 1.5 billion barrels; in 1960 it was 300 million barrels; by 2004 it was just 45 million barrels and still falling (IHS Energy)"

 

that's all then, folks, all I can say is get that book next time you see it... he ain't no Michael Moore shock-tactic, "tabloid" style reporter - he spent years producing a couple of the Beeb's most well respected shows, Horizon and The Money Programme and he has interviewed (and constantly quotes) former and present heads of the leading the global oil / energy / geology industry giants plus more...

 

happy reading....

:)

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Great thread! I'm glad everyone is staying rational and not getting too "excited" at one another. Hopefully the thread will stay this way.

 

As a deepwater engineering consultant, this is a really interesting topic for me. I have a bit of an insider's knowledge of "where oil comes from" having worked in this biz internationally (Africa, Asia, Russia, Gulf, etc).

 

Many people believe we have reached peak oil or are close. I think we are pretty darn close. Everyone knows that the days of cheap oil are over w/ the "second" industrial revolution going on. Folks in China and India want what the "West" has had, and why not. They want AC, a Honda Accord, an HD TV, and the Internet.

 

From my point of view, I think the demand driven price of a barrel of oil is about $100 right now. There is an additional $40 on top of that now due to the speculation/futures market. The cheapest easiest oil in the world to produce is in Saudi Arabia. They are pretty much producing at 95% of their capacity now - meaning that even if OPEC agreed to "open the taps" their production wouldn't go up.

 

As for the record profits, where are they going right now? That is certainly a good question. One of the first places I'd look would be your retirement account (if you have one I suppose). Check the mix of stocks in your account and I think you'll be surprised how many of them are energy related.

 

Lastly, please keep in mind that hydrogen is NOT a source of energy. It is only a way to store energy - sort of like a battery. That's why they call them hydrogen fuel cells. It takes energy to make hydrogen, but the advantage is that when it is combusted it doesn't release CO2.

 

Cheers

James

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Great thread! I'm glad everyone is staying rational and not getting too "excited" at one another. Hopefully the thread will stay this way.

 

As a deepwater engineering consultant, this is a really interesting topic for me. I have a bit of an insider's knowledge of "where oil comes from" having worked in this biz internationally (Africa, Asia, Russia, Gulf, etc).

 

Many people believe we have reached peak oil or are close. I think we are pretty darn close. Everyone knows that the days of cheap oil are over w/ the "second" industrial revolution going on. Folks in China and India want what the "West" has had, and why not. They want AC, a Honda Accord, an HD TV, and the Internet.

 

From my point of view, I think the demand driven price of a barrel of oil is about $100 right now. There is an additional $40 on top of that now due to the speculation/futures market. The cheapest easiest oil in the world to produce is in Saudi Arabia. They are pretty much producing at 95% of their capacity now - meaning that even if OPEC agreed to "open the taps" their production wouldn't go up.

 

As for the record profits, where are they going right now? That is certainly a good question. One of the first places I'd look would be your retirement account (if you have one I suppose). Check the mix of stocks in "your account and I think you'll be surprised how many of them are energy related.

 

Lastly, please keep in mind that hydrogen is NOT a source of energy. It is only a way to store energy - sort of like a battery. That's why they call them hydrogen fuel cells. It takes energy to make hydrogen, but the advantage is that when it is combusted it doesn't release CO2.

 

Cheers

James

 

Thanks for adding that James. I also work in the industry as a geomatics engineer and my better half works in a seismic processing house so we also have a finger on the industries pulse. You hit the nail on the head.

 

There is still plenty of oil left on the planet, but the days of "easy oil" are gone. It will get progressively more difficult and expensive recover the stores that are left and the current prices of fuel are the new reality. There simply isn't enough for the entire world to live the life of opulence that the west has experienced for so long.

 

Personally, I'm quite happy that the prices are where they are. I slut myself out to the oil industry, but I personally have great concern for the environment and it breaks my heart to know that many species are doomed to extinction because I don't want to car pool. The only thing that has any chance of getting us to change our ways is being forced to pay for our gluttony with our first born. I agree with John B. that "There will an adjustment in our way of thinking".

 

As for Hydrogen... that is one I have a hard time wrapping my head around. The most economical methods of generating H2 is by catalytic action of superheated steam and hydrocarbons which still results in the production of CO2 (CO actually, but that needs to be further oxidized into CO2). I'm not sure where the savings is in that? As for the electrolysis of water: a quick search on the net found this;

 

"In order for 1,000 standard cubic feet of hydrogen to be produced, 150 kilowatt hours would need to be expended and seven gallons of water would need to be electrolyzed."

 

My University chemistry is a little rusty, but that works out to 150kWh to generate 2.4kg of H2... That isn't exactly cheap.

 

Cheers,

 

Mike

 

PS, if you want a really good book that gives a more scientific discussion of energy and all sorts of environmental issues, try;

Chemistry of the Environment (2nd Edition) by Thomas G. Spiro and William M. Stigliani

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There is still plenty of oil left on the planet, but the days of "easy oil" are gone. It will get progressively more difficult and expensive recover the stores that are left and the current prices of fuel are the new reality. There simply isn't enough for the entire world to live the life of opulence that the west has experienced for so long.

 

That's Strahan's point entirely: There aren't any more places to get easy oil from (the biggest fields were discovered and developed first - a loooong time ago) and the outcome of this circumstance is totally unavoidable: collectively, the global population will be needing to make some massive changes to its lifestyle in the not too distant future....

 

Though he is no scientist / scientific researcher, David Strahan does quote constantly from scientists / journals / research papers / public speeches etc.... his book isn't a "scientific discussion", as such, as an educational insight into why we're here now, and what the ramifications are for us now we've created this situation. It also highlights the lack of progress that alternative energy R & D is making - statistically.

 

He does, however, rely on a full load of scientific studies as a base for his hypotheisis.

 

I think that it's a very different read to "Chemistry of the Environment" as it's in an entirely different genre. But I'll know more about that when Amazon deliver in a few days (just ordered it, thanks BottomTime).

 

I love James's point about where the economic growth in one's pension comes from.... how clever of the governments to use such a conniving and sinister tactic to keep their populations in check - ensuring that people don't kick up too much of a fuss over "big bad oil"

 

"What do you mean you don't want oil? You want your pension don't you?"

 

I had no idea!!! (but I don't have a pension, either :ninja: )

 

Does anyone fancy setting up WetPolitix.com together? :):P

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Wind and solar can be used to get the hydrogen from water plus there are other ways, some that are abit outside the square but work.

 

Hydrogen leaves fossil fuels for dead when it comes to engine efficiency in burning. For example you can even fire it at Top Dead Center as it ignites so much faster than petrol which has to fire before the piston gets to the top of its stroke so much energy is wasted. Then there is the extra wear on the bearings etc as it's trying to force the piston down while it's still coming up. You get much better mpg with Hydrogen as well.

 

I think the main issue is the government and oil mob are shit scared to loose control over a power source for the masses. If they put as much money as they do looking and drilling for oil into hydgrogen the problem would be sold.

 

Most thought Tesla's idea of AC current was useless as well.... and the thought of flying through the air....what a silly idea...it will never work. :)

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The key with energy I think will be diversity - wind, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, oil, biofuels, wave energy etc, etc.

All that needs to be done is to level the economic playing field so that the true costs of fuels like oil are taken into account so that the alternatives become more viable economically. Power companies should have to buy power from anyone on the grid who generates it, and the 'not in my backyard' pseudoenvironmentalists here in the US have to get real and allow nuclear power, wind turbines, more drilling etc, etc

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.... and the thought of flying through the air....what a silly idea...

If the price of avgas goes much higher it WILL be a silly idea :D

 

Roger

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What we lack first and foremost is a good grid-leveling infrastructure. Most people don't realize plants aren't fired up and turned off based on demand...there's some ramping of capacity, but mostly it's either connected or not. Temporary demand troughs aren't enough to stop spinning turbines, so that energy gets wasted. It's part of the price of the current distribution system. If we had good temporary storage for grid-leveling to store that, even at some efficiency loss during the storage, we'd see overall efficiency from present methods improve at least a little. And then and ONLY then do partially-available techniques such as wind, hydro, and solar (wind don't blow all the time, neither does the sun shine all the time given day/night cycles and weather) really contribute helpfully to the energy sum, as they can be connected to that same storage/balance system. Even then, they're still too high in cost per kWh when you factor in production of the components (gotta first pay back the energy debt of producing all those solar panels, dontchaknow?), the real-estate involved, and continual maintenance, to ever 'replace' oil/coal today.

 

"Easy" oil may no longer exist (I'm otherwise ignoring all the peak oil proseletyzing...just don't want to engage in that whole debate), but so long as the infrastructure to get it and process it costs less than whatever alternate method you posit to gather 'energy' and then transport it in some sort of usable storage mechanism (batteries, hydrogen, whatever), then oil will still be used. Oil will never run out, it'll just get too costly to extract in terms of energy vs. energy gained by obtaining it. It's simple economics. And don't even get me started on the political abomination against mankind that is corn-based ethanol....

 

The lowest cost per kWh of energy produced from a nearly zero down-time technology right now is nuclear, by quite a large margin. Once you get the plant built and fuel it, the heat keeps generating. Cooling water is of course needed but even that can be at least a partially closed-loop system, pumping it out of and back into a holding pond to cool back down. Of course now I'm going to spark off the "OMFGwowZ nuclear waste!!!" frenzy, from the crowd that doesn't understand more uranium is released by burning coal on nearly a monthly basis than has EVER been released due to waste mishandling. Not to mention newer breeder reactor designs that can reprocess waste into fuel, thorium reactors that don't produce near the same long-half-life 'wastes', etc etc. Political decisions lead to waste 'storage' problems, not technical ones.... Of course nuclear isn't perfect and accidents are possible, both in the plants as well as in fuel handling infrastructure. As though oil rigs and processing facilities (and coal mines) have perfect safety records..... Oil/coal isn't "safe" and accident free either. Nuclear just seems scarier to an ignorant population. People understand "flammable stuff go boom" when accidents happen in the normal attrition of the continuing hydrocarbon infrastructure. But that nukular radEE-o-active stuff is invisible !!

 

My suggestion: hand a geiger counter to your favorite raving environmentalist and ask him to go measure his granite countertop in his kitchen. :)

Edited by rtrski

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Responding to the original post as an American returning from a dive trip, we opted not to buy the video from the dive operator. In large part, this was the result of not being featured in the film enough to make the expense seem worthwhile. In large part, it was because we had spent over $7,000 on camera equipment to take our own pictures.

 

Videographers, make sure you have at least one minute worth of footage on anybody you wish to buy your video. Preferably two minutes. I think the desire to buy is much greater when what we are buying is footage of ourselves.

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It's funny to think about how much energy and money it takes to get the oil from out of the ground, into a tanker, to the refinery to the service station to your car.

 

I can see people farming hydrogen just like they grow crops, that is build a huge solar field on their land with wind turbins to release the hydrogen from the water that's put into storage that's delivered by trucks or by pipes to the filling station if it's close by. What this means is that days of a few greedy corporation controlling the power resource will be long gone and it will open up a huge new kind of farming to anyone who wants to be apart of it.

 

Fuel cells are getting better and better and the cost will drop way down in the next few years as the auto makers start making the cars at mass. Toyota have a car that will go 830km to the tank already, the tank is filled to 10,000 psi and you can place the tank into a burning fire and nothing will happen to it. In an accident it will burn much faster than fossil fuels and it just goes up in one big puff unlike say petrol that leaks all over every thing and hangs around while it burns.

 

So for the long trips hydrogen stations will be set up and then for the home user on those short day trips a small hydrogen filing station powered by the grid, solar or wind will be setup up to provide free hydrogen and also could be used to power the home.

 

It's pretty cool that the geedy oil mob keep jacking up the prices as they are only speeding up their own destruction.

 

IN the next 10 years.....goodbye oil companies. :)

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Responding to the original post on page one...

 

Yes, the US$ is down, but the EURO is up. OK, there will currently be fewer US travelers/divers but in the meantime the Europeans are taking advantage of the EURO and are traveling much further. I am also noticing many more Russian tourists on my travels...

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We all know that oil fields all over world are being controlled by the powers that be. These powers are the ones who control the fuel prices too! These same powers want us all to be moronic, fast/junk food eating, paranoid consumers who just go with the flow of what we are told to do by the powers that be, and of course the media!

 

There is actually a very interesting theory about the Asian tsunami being created by a bomb, and not a natural disaster as we were all led to believe.

 

Could this really be true? Google it, read about it, think about it and make up your own mind… Maybe it helps the powers that be gain more control on those oil fields???

 

I'm now spending some quality time in the western world for the first time in about 7 years. It's horrific to hear people complaining about money, whilst living a life of constantly consuming things they don't really need…

 

I reckon we all should all get a bike, start to use a bit of pedal power, this’ll help us to get fit while traveling, thus helping us and our planet!

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There is actually a very interesting theory about the Asian tsunami being created by a bomb, and not a natural disaster as we were all led to believe.

Could this really be true? Google it, read about it, think about it and make up your own mind… Maybe it helps the powers that be gain more control on those oil fields???

I sure hope Wetpixel does not become a haven for conspiracy theorists! :)

The Asian Tsunami theory is mostly sourced from a fictional novel by Michael Crichton ' State of Fear'.

Edited by loftus

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I sure hope Wetpixel does not become a haven for conspiracy theorists! :)

The Asian Tsunami theory is mostly sourced from a fictional novel by Michael Crichton ' State of Fear'.

I believe all theories should be looked into with an open mind before judging them as true, false or what ever...

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I believe all theories should be looked into with an open mind before judging them as true, false or what ever...

Absolutely; but one should then clearly decide if it makes any sense or is completely off the wall, and purely based on conjecture of what might be possible. The tsunami theory is clearly one of these theories (whose primary origin was fictional conjecture), that having been evaluated should then be discredited, not left as an open ended possibility.

What I find most amusing (and scary) about most conspiracy theories is how they remain as theories forever, and their secret nature is never definitively exposed. On the other hand my life experience is that any time more than two people know about anything it never remains a secret for long.

Edited by loftus

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Isn't it great that we are all allowed to be individual and have our own opinions? I never said I believed in this or not, just that it's an interesting theory. I love to keep an open mind, rather than being told what to believe by the media hype.

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Graham,

I absolutely agree with you, really. Just that conspiracy theorists often have their own 'hype' as well, and we should be just as diligent about discrediting their hype as we are about discrediting the media, large corporations etc. These theorists have often caused great damage, even led to persecution and death of many people in some cases.

Edited by loftus

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