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seeesharky

The sliding $US and the price of Oil

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Ok I obviously missed this thread and so I'll move it to a more appropriate area where the serious topic of oil prices and the wackier theories can be discussed without affecting the v-i-d-e-o forum.

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James - thanks for sharing your insider info. I think you're spot on about US currency valuation as a major factor to oil prices. Most Americans are misinformed. The fed's probably pumped over 2 trillion bailing out the major financial institutions in the last 12 months. Thats before probably another 2 trillion in the next 12 months and before the full bailout of Lehman, Citigroup, Merrill, Freddie, and Fannie. Many OPEC countries are now selling oil based on Euro. They're not dumb, I would't accept dollars either. Currency issues will get worse and probably never correct in our lifetimes.

 

There's some misinformation about hydrogen fuel and other alternatives. There's been massive progress on using bacteria to product hydrogen. It's considered so viable that hundreds of millions are being invested right now. The other hot area that VCs are investing big money is in using bioengineering and algae to product both petrol grade fuel and diesel with algae.

 

Had we had the will, for the 3-5 trillion that we will spend on bush boy's wars, we could have easily installed solar on every house in the US plus build out an entire array of windpower across the country plus probably rebuild every school in the country. So it's a bunch of shit that we didn't have the money nor the technolgy.

 

In the end diving will probably become prohibitive to many and certainly I think dive businesses riding on the margins will have a difficult time staying profitable and in business.

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Drew I was going to move this thread a while back but I know how much you like doing it. :)

 

Yep the technology sure is right here now....the common people and dynamic small business are going to force the governments and greedy fat corporations to change. Find a good hydrogen company and invest now..although do a background check on them as there are quite a few shonky one's popping up.

 

Hydrogen for jet fuel...no problems...guess what the USAF runs the MACH 5 X-15 on :blush:

Hydgrogen is much more efficient than dirty slow burning fossil fuels and it's not that hard or expensive to make anymore.

 

I filled the bike up yesterday, 36 bucks....got me thinking about a day were the motor will be electric driven by a fuel cell and the fuel tank full of hydrogen, it would then be non polluting, have instant more power, travel twice the distance, be more quiet....and the best thing is that I could probably fuel it up at home.

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I would really love to believe that hydrogen will be used extensively in 10 or 20 years but I don´t. Wagsy: I hope you are right. That would take away some worries etc...

 

Another problem is the destruction of rainforest in Brazil to grow crops for vegetal oil (I don´t if that is the correct name)...

 

Here: diesel 1€/liter and unleaded gas 0.97€/liter

Edited by davichin

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The fed's probably pumped over 2 trillion bailing out the major financial institutions in the last 12 months.

 

The asset side of the entire federal reserve system's balance sheet is under $1 trillion ...

 

How do you get to $2 trillion?

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How do we solve our energy problems?

 

In my mind, the answer is obvious ... orbiting solar-energy stations that use microwaves to remit their harvest to earth-bound stations and everything runs on the resulting electricity stores.

 

How long will that take? Exactly as long as we need it to ... the solution will arrive just in time to save the day. If the oil companies are smart (ie not Exxon) they will see themselves in the Energy business and not the Oil business. If Railroad execs in the US in the late 1800's/early 1900's had seen themselves in the Transportation business and not in the Railroad business, the long-haul trucking business would have never been born and the Railroad tycoons would have continued into the 20th century as the Kings of American business.

 

Somebody will solve the energy "problem" ... but likely entrepreneurs and not the major oil companies ... but you never know.

 

As a species, we're far too clever to let the situation run completely out of control to the point where we get "un-energied" back into the stone age.

 

100 years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine feeding a planet with 10 billion people on it. Today ... no problem.

 

100 years from now, people will look back and wonder what we were all worried about.

 

Just my optimistic two cents.

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I find this pretty amazing talking about sunlight....

 

The amount of FREE sunlight energy that comes from the SUN in 1 hour is enough to run the whole planets energy needs for 1 year.

 

If you want to get into hydrogen abit right now for your car Google hydrogen fuel boosters. A simple device that will give you up to 40% better fuel economy.

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OK,

 

I took the bait and did a little googling for Hydrogen fuel boosters and after two pages decided that there was far too much fluff with respect to wild un-substantiated claims, So based on the evasive (or cryptic) explanations that were given I decided to look for a little more concrete info on "hydrogen fuel enhancement" instead. The material I found was much more forthcoming about how the technology works, what kind of results can be expected under certain conditions and most importantly.... was referenced. The link I read is here.

 

Note this statement;

 

"Hydrogen fuel enhancement from electrolysis of water can produce fuel efficiency improvements on the order of 4% and similar modest reductions in emissions, and is currently in use in Canada."

 

I checked their references and the some of the results referenced were generated by ETV (Environmental Technology Verification) program from the government of Canada.

 

4% or 40%. There seems to be a slight discrepancy. 4% is better than nothing and if you have huge fuel bills because you drive tractor trailers then it's worth it, but I don't think it's going to help the average American balance their check book.

 

Yup... the X15 was definitely a hydrogen powered craft, and so are all the shuttle craft. But a liquid fuel rocket has very little in common with a jet aircraft and the X15 was no exception. If memory serves me well, one of the X15 engines blew up while being tested on the ground and what happened to Challenger should serve as a sobering reminder hydrogen powered rockets are not ready for the main stream (admitidly, I'd give my left n#t to go for a ride in an X15, safety be damned).

 

That said, I see no reason why a regular jet liner couldn't run on Hydrogen with little modification. As I understand it, turbines can run on just about anything as long as it's liquid and flammable. Liquid Hydrogen would qualify. The big question is if the plane can carry enough volume of H2.

Hydrogen has a very high energy density per unit mass, but as a liter of liquid hydrogen only weighs 70 grams so it has a low energy density per unit volume. All the credible sources I've checked give liquid hydrogen 1/3rd the energy density of gasoline and jet fuel is even higher density that gasoline as I understand. Therefore, you're going to need to carry 3 times the volume of fuel to make it happen. However, since liquid hydrogen is about 10x lighter than a comparable hydrocarbon I see this as being quite feasible.

 

Don't get me wrong; I'm not against hydrogen. I don't believe that any of the obstacles that currently bar it's widespread use are insurmountable, but I don't believe it's a magic bullet either. We can transition to it today and you don't need any special knowledge. I can generate it in my basement with a little NaOH (electrolyte) a couple of wires and a DC power source. You can too! It's not rocket science! It's also not cheap!

 

It's not just about producing Hydrogen, but also processing it. In the very least you have to compress it. Any body out there have any experience with dive compressors and how much it cost's to compress a gas to 300bar? Keep in mind that 27000L (~1000cf) of H2 is equivalent 2.4kg or ~34L of liquid H2. But in reality, storing H2 at high pressure isn't efficient so you really need liquefy it which is even more energetically expensive.

 

Then you need to consider delivery. Liquid H2 is 20°K (−423 °F/−253°C) is hazardous in it's own right. It's going to require special training, procedures and equipment to be done safely and it takes time and money to put that kind of infrastructure in place.

 

I do believe that H2 is in our future, but it will be economics that dictates when it is adopted. At this point in time, it simply isn't financially feasible and that is why we don't see it more widely adopted. I don't believe it's because there is any kind conspiracy against it's adoption.

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Ahem. In the matter of the initiating post, I have been presented with videos that did not include my wife or me or so little content of us or our friends that there was no question of purchasing the tapes. The state of the USD vs. other currencies DOES impact many of our and our friend’s travel plans. e. g. my wife and I planned two trips to Europe this year. After Touring Austria (no roos here) and the Czech Republic and paying the 56% premium of the EU over the USD, we decided to cancel our Leon & Castile tour this fall. We are going to Banff instead (still paying a premium to CAD vs. USD – ouch). Fortunately, much of the expense is priced in USD. Looking forward to next year and diving in Asia, the packages are price in EUs. I mentally add 60% and think, may be some where else.

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The airlines are beginning to punch up their prices. I understand that Singapore Airlines and Emirates, are now restricting the baggage allowance to 20kg out of the UK and they are NO LONGER giving the extra 10kg consession for divers. The price per kg excess is £64 (120USD) just to Singapore, but most of us wanting to visit Indonesia will have to pay more for the second flight. This will mean that Sri Lankan and Malaysia airlines will be doing the same. It will make it difficult to carry our dive kit let alone any camera equipment!! The irony of it is I have a 46Kg allowance for a flight to Calgary next month when 20kg would have been perfectly adequate. Perhaps we will have to fly 2/3 of the way around the world from the UK and use the transatlantic allowance to get to Indonesia with any camera equipment :)

 

Roger

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I just noticed one thing in this thread:

The Europeans sure as hell aren't bitching about the exchange rates right now. :)

 

Edit: I noticed a 2nd thing:

 

Nobody ever mentioned cramping a little of their lifestyle permanently regardless of fuel prices. :B):

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I just returned from a dive trip to Ibiza Spain and a family holiday to the Algarve Portugal. Both were incredibly expensive thanks to high prices and a high value Euro. Tourism at both locations is 50 percent down. Suddenly the Far East, even with baggage allowance problems looks cheap. The place for best value for us foreigners must be the good old US of A. However, Airbus Industries is making allowances on its order book for 80 airlines to go belly up next year so we may not be able to get there. Maybe the Golden Age of Travel is over. Well, sex and motoring was ruined once it got popular so I guess travel was next!

Edited by John Bantin

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Perhaps sex and motoring are ruined in the Europe and North America, but looking at the number of Ferraris and Lamborghinis in Asia, I'd say it's alive and well. Of course I'm not equating expensive italian cars to get sex...although I'm sure there must be some correlation. :)

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Perhaps sex and motoring are ruined in the Europe and North America, but looking at the number of Ferraris and Lamborghinis in Asia, I'd say it's alive and well. Of course I'm not equating expensive italian cars to get sex...although I'm sure there must be some correlation. :)

 

I was not referring to owning an expensive car any more than I was referring to owning any parafernalia for sex. I was talking about USING it! (I used to enjoy both. Now I drive a family hatchback - with a family!)

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Edit: I noticed a 2nd thing:

 

Nobody ever mentioned cramping a little of their lifestyle permanently regardless of fuel prices. :)

 

And Americans happily pay $2 for a small bottle of "spring water" and $5 for a cup of coffee that has been cleverly renamed as a "latte".

 

People in this country have gotten spoiled - spending money that they don't have and then they moan and bitch about interest rates on their credit cards.

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And Americans happily pay $2 for a small bottle of "spring water" and $5 for a cup of coffee that has been cleverly renamed as a "latte".

 

People in this country have gotten spoiled - spending money that they don't have and then they moan and bitch about interest rates on their credit cards.

 

Starbucks is having issues, so maybe there is some hope for America :)

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We sold our 4x4 and boat to do our bit, still cost us $40 to fill the bike up. :)

 

Our VEE(1000) with a WEE(650)

post-4240-1218072485.jpg

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Hey Wagsy,

 

Make sure you don't go "A over T" on that bike, some of us here welcome your advice :)

 

Roger

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I think there will always be a small percentage of people willing travel, those fortunate few with budgets to spend. Also welcoming are those operators investigating more eco friendly options for their resort operations. The belts will get tightened and remain that way. Its the way of the future I believe, nothing is limitless, especially fuel.

 

Time to find that small island, a maiden who is happy to lead that kinda life and a solar powered charging system.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

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Im waiting for it to get soooo bad we end up like MAD MAX 2.... I've bought a bullet belt, high heels, leather chaps and a gimp mask.. And accessorized with a sawn off shot guns and a Bowie knife... Im the LORD OF THE WASTELANDS !!!!!!!

 

Dive safe

 

Dean(thanks to Mark 'camdiver' Thorpe for the clothes)B

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Hi

I have been stuck out at sea for ages and have had barely anytime to read any feedback from when I started this thread. So I greatly appreciate all your comments.

Now the other big concern is the excess baggage allowance too!!!! I cant afford $64/kg!!! I got 20kgs of video equipment to lug around. Its really depressing!!! I dont go anywhere without the camera......untill now maybe.....

Maybe we should get together a list of airlines with excess baggage alllowances.

I was hoping to have a diving holiday this year (never had one since I learnt to dive 10 yrs ago and worked in the touism dive indusrty ever since), but thats looking a bit grimm at the moment. At least I have my own thresher and hammerhead sharks to play with on a weekly basis at work and never get tired of trying to find them. Which is a very good reason not to leave my job.

But I would really like the pleasure of going out and filming something for myself for a change and not chasing divers around underwater all the time.

If it remains to be too expensive to travel with camera gear I just wont go.

Ciao

Seeesharky

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From my experience the number of tourists has dropped off dramatically and the amount of them with money to spare for a trip video has dropped off too.

The demographics have shifted too in that there is more SE Asian tourists now (In Palau) who have the money. The Korean market is growing however the majority of them don't dive, only snorkel.

The US market has totally dropped away and those that do make it out here don't have the extra money for a DVD where as before they were snapping them up as fast as possible. It doesn't matter how good the DVD is, people who can't afford it won't buy it.

It's the quiet season here at the moment. The Palauan Tourist Authority says the numbers are down by 26 percent, here at work it's the worst slow season they have ever known, what will be interesting is how busy the high season is and whether it is posible to make enough money to eek it out over the next slow season. Overheads are going up too, the food, the elecricity, everything is dependant on fuel and it's cost.

What also is pretty depressing is that there are so few buildings here, residential or commercial that utilise black panel water heaters on their roofs. I used to live in Barbados and every house even if it more resembled a garden shed had a black panel heater.

Big V8 4X4s will start to disappear and the smaller lighter cars will become more prevalent. But this is certainly not going to be a quick process unless the developing world also embraces "modern" car production, otherwise the developing world will only get our hand-me-downs.

The new technologies of energy production will be run by the same companies that provide us with energy now so it will always be kept in balance with the price of fuel, (conspiracy theory # 9768454) so there won't suddenly be a new technology that makes hydrocarbon based fuels obsolete, that is unless the Large Hadron Collider produces something we don't expect when they fire it up at CERN later.

Buy a sailing boat and solar powered battery chargers and explore what's left of our beautiful planet.

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Divers are way down here as well.

 

I don't think this time around a handful of greedy companies will be able to control the main energy source.

The car manufactures will start making the hydrogen cars due to demand....they already know how to make them.

Other small companies will start making home generators so users can fill their cars at home for the small trips powered by the grid, LPG, wind or solar.

Anyone with a block of land beside a county road would be able to build a hydrogen farm and sell hydrogen to the folks on long trips.

The cars get around 800 km anyhow.

Farms can be powered by wind, sun or algae, while the water comes from rain or pump it out of the ground by a windmill.

 

I think that the oil-gas-coal companies are so stuck up themselves that they will miss the boat when it comes to hydrogen...it will be a people's power and that will force the governments to take it on board as well.

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Divers are way down here as well.

 

I don't think this time around a handful of greedy companies will be able to control the main energy source.

The car manufactures will start making the hydrogen cars due to demand....they already know how to make them.

Other small companies will start making home generators so users can fill their cars at home for the small trips powered by the grid, LPG, wind or solar.

Anyone with a block of land beside a county road would be able to build a hydrogen farm and sell hydrogen to the folks on long trips.

The cars get around 800 km anyhow.

Farms can be powered by wind, sun or algae, while the water comes from rain or pump it out of the ground by a windmill.

 

I think that the oil-gas-coal companies are so stuck up themselves that they will miss the boat when it comes to hydrogen...it will be a people's power and that will force the governments to take it on board as well.

 

In the near term, I think that the economics and thermodynamics of hydrogen production make it a pretty much losing game. Most hydrogen produced today is from steam reforming of natural gas which uses up a relatively cheap source of fuel to make one a bit more difficult to store. Photochemical splitting of water can't easily be done with off the shelf photovoltaics but rather needs multi-junction cells that are quite pricey. So if you have some land near the motorway and a few $M dollars you might be able to make a plant. I think the most promise is in fuel cells which I think are only about a factor of 2 away from real commercial potential. If only Moore's law holds here.

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