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Debate: Will the Earth run out of coal?

Written by dee32693 on October 24, 2010
Today I had the fortune of being able to talk to my friend whom I haven't seen/heard from in a while. After our usual banter and such we happened upon the topic of mining, and I told him that the buckwheel or whatever won't matter because we'll eventually run out of coal/oil. He replied that coal/oil will never run out which sparked this debate c/ped WORD FOR WORD

NOTE: Hour long chat ahead.

The Debate



Dee says (5:47 PM):
*still ew D: IF ONLY WE WERE 2000 AHEAD IN TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS! maybe then someone would find out about better resources
*even though by then theyd probably have to

Craig says (5:48 PM):
*i cant imagion it
*there will always be mining regardless of the amounts

Dee says (5:51 PM):
*there cant always be mining
*eventually wed have to run out
*and at the rate we're going

Craig says (5:51 PM):
*nah

Dee says (5:52 PM):
*i cant see mining beng useful at all by that time

Craig says (5:52 PM):
*there will alwayssss be mining
*the world couldn't live without it

Dee says (5:52 PM):
*but there still can be always. o.o its nnot gonna be int eh next 200 years but we ARE going to run out and no matter how deep we dig there wont be anymore. so

Craig says (5:53 PM):
*nah
*cause
*there willbe more forming

Dee says (5:53 PM):
*it takes forever for more to form! o-o

Craig says (5:53 PM):
*itll be forever till we run out
Dee says (5:54 PM):
*pfft that isnt possible. we're using it at probably mroe than 10000x it regenerates
*even when it starts regenerating there wont be enough

Craig says (5:54 PM):
*nah
*cause
*we dump out
*alot more
*then what we should be
*and global warming

Craig says (5:55 PM):
*acts like a pressure cooker

Dee says (5:55 PM):
*lol...global warming cant make up for what we use or throw away
Craig says (5:55 PM):
*yeh it can
*cause
*by the time we run out
*the old stuff will just be forming

Craig says (5:56 PM):
*its like a cycle
*uranium will be the only one that will truely run out completely

Dee says (5:57 PM):
*dont think thats possble. we'll need more than can form. and when we run out it will be because htere just isnt nough. the population of the world is growing
*the demand will be higher
*and there jsut wont be enough

Craig says (5:57 PM):
*polulation has a carrying capacity
*before 2050 we will reach it
*dw

Dee says (5:58 PM):
*im telling you dude. we're gonna be screwed xD

Craig says (5:58 PM):
*nah im telling you were not

Dee says (5:58 PM):
*what im saying has been backed up by geologists and hte like D:

Craig says (5:59 PM):
*nah
*population has a carrying capacity
*within 50 years
*the world will be too poor

Craig says (6:00 PM):
*more people will die becuase of malnutrition
*more deaths then births
*till it evens out
*not so far away from where we are now

Dee says (6:00 PM):
*LOL unless massive genocide happens i thnk tit would take centuries for the birth and death rate to even out properly

Craig says (6:01 PM):
*regardless the point being u cant have an infinite population
*we will always have enough
*uranium being the exeption

Craig says (6:02 PM):
*when uranium runs out its gone for good
*well it can be recycled but no goverment wants to do that
*waste of time

Dee says (6:02 PM):
*the world still uses too much and it takes too long to regenerate. there is NO possible way unless enough people use a different kind of source

Craig says (6:03 PM):
*doesn't matter how long it takes
*its like a petrol station
*it never runs out of fuel because more always comes tomorrow every single day
*ever day there is more oil and coal forming
*and then there is still the millions and billions of it uner the oceans

Dee says (6:04 PM):
*pfft barely! the coal and oil that forms in one day isnt enough to support even a small town

Craig says (6:05 PM):
*yeh
*it is enough
*because what we go throw in 1 day
*forms in 1 day
*in the future

Craig says (6:06 PM):
*and we will have enough to finish the cycle for the first set to be regenerated
*trust me we learn about this shit at uni

Dee says (6:06 PM):
*in the future being hte whole point. we would still use it too fast. what forms in 2 weeks we've already used that and more and one
*in one*

Craig says (6:06 PM):
*nah

Craig says (6:07 PM):
*the goverment lies
*like how they said 3 mile island was nothing
*and the exact same about chenobal
*we got more than enough coal

Dee says (6:07 PM):
*see but htats just it, the government is saying it CAN continue on. the oil/coal industries agreeing. its the scientists that are saying otherwise
*plsu the government lies about everyhting

Craig says (6:08 PM):
*nah trust me we can
*oil/coal will last forever
*with its formation rates

Craig says (6:09 PM):
*scientists say that kinda thing but proving its a completely different story
*its like
*back when they thought the world was flat
*or that pressure was proportional to mass

Craig says (6:10 PM):
*everythings only good till 1 person proves you wrong

Dee says (6:10 PM):
*yeah but what evidence does hte gov and industries have also? both of hte sides evidences our sort of the same in terms of being proven true or not
Dee says (6:11 PM):
*the only real thing we can do is wait and see and hope for the worlds sake that the scientists are wrong or we've already found some other form of energy

Craig says (6:11 PM):
*we have already got so many other forms of energy
*solar, hydrogen
*we got a hydrogen car at uni

Dee says (6:12 PM):
*yeah but its not used majority wise
*so the good these thigns are doing
*arent enoguh cause hte rest of the world
*still operates without it

Craig says (6:12 PM):
*cause we dont need them
*o.0
Dee says (6:12 PM):
*agh this is going in circles

Craig says (6:12 PM):
*cause ur brains not smart enough to visualise it
*:P

Dee says (6:12 PM):
*pffft im visualising the wya it is
*becaus believe im right
*i*

Craig says (6:13 PM):
*off what grounds?
*news papers? hear say?

Dee says (6:13 PM):
*pft
*who reads newspapers these days!?
*lol jk
*but seriously

Craig says (6:13 PM):
*internet?

Dee says (6:13 PM):
*no its simple logic
*no

Craig says (6:13 PM):
*its fail logic

Dee says (6:13 PM):
*for however long it takes to form compared to how long it takes us to use it
*simple

Craig says (6:13 PM):
*fail

Dee says (6:14 PM):
*youre jsut mad cause you suck and in a thousand years or so im gonan be right
*D=
*cause we WILL RUN OUT

Craig says (6:14 PM):
*no i think we both know im smarter and im right u just cant visualise it
Dee says (6:14 PM):
*oops caps

Craig says (6:14 PM):
*cause ur brains to small :]

Dee says (6:14 PM):
*pfft

Craig says (6:14 PM):
*ur forgetting im in engineering i learn abou tthis, read textbooks do the maths

Dee says (6:14 PM):
*not really. ic an visualize what you say it jsut doesnt make any logical sense

Craig says (6:15 PM):
*cause ur brains to small
*;3

Dee says (6:15 PM):
*jsut because youre an engineer doesnt mean anything xD
*well
*it does
*leemme reword that
*it doesnt mean you cant be wrong
Craig says (6:15 PM):
*yeh but
Dee says (6:15 PM):
*thats what i mean
Craig says (6:16 PM):
*an uneducated spanish major trying to teach an engineer his job?
*gl with that :P
*not uneducated
*lemme reword that o.0 less educated

Dee says (6:16 PM):
*aha and see here you are going with personal digs instead of sticking with the facts of what we're both trying to say!
*>O

Craig says (6:16 PM):
*no its true tho

Craig says (6:17 PM):
*itd be like me trying to teech my maths teacher logic tables
*i remember when i was young i thought half of 10 was 5.5 and i argued with everyone about it
*:P

Dee says (6:17 PM):
*jsut becaus im not in the same field as you doest mean what im sayin has no merit

Craig says (6:18 PM):
*it has merit but ive done the research read textbooks, sat through lectures on it
*theres a bigger picture
*we can put salt underground to form oil faster, the ocean basin is lined with coal and oil, plants/trees/dumps

Craig says (6:19 PM):
*will all be oil
*or coal
*and it wont be all that long before we learn to synthasize it

Dee says (6:19 PM):
*but putting salt on the ground is not a long term solution also going wit when you put salt in the ground it makes land unusuable for planting and such

Dee says (6:20 PM):
*it will be long. logner than we have unless someone suddenly has a breakthrough
*which is always possible

Craig says (6:20 PM):
*no it doesn't o.0

Dee says (6:20 PM):
*no what doesnt?

Craig says (6:20 PM):
*theres patches of salt in the ground bigger then citties

Dee says (6:21 PM):
*never said htere wasnt

Craig says (6:21 PM):
*and it doesn't need to be a long term solution
*u said it makes land unstable
*it doesn't :P

Dee says (6:21 PM):
*unusuable for planting

Craig says (6:21 PM):
*not rly

Dee says (6:21 PM):
*oh really? then why not
*or
*how doesnt it

Craig says (6:22 PM):
*because it gets cassed in rocks
*its like uranium underground doesn't deform babies living above it
*haveing salt in your cuboard doesn't kill ur plants outside
*u dont bury it like a metre under the ground

Dee says (6:23 PM):
*LOl what? thats doesnt really explain to what i was saying

Craig says (6:23 PM):
*u said it makes land unsuitable for planting lol

Dee says (6:23 PM):
*yes i did

Craig says (6:23 PM):
*doesn't in the slightest

Dee says (6:23 PM):
*but yes it does

Craig says (6:24 PM):
*how?

Dee says (6:24 PM):
*the more salt you put in the ground hte worse the soil gets and plants start dying/cannot grow

Craig says (6:24 PM):
*nah
*its not close enough to the surface to do anything
*saltmines are usually in lush forrests and stuff

Craig says (6:25 PM):
*like the lake peingneur salts

Dee says (6:25 PM):
*so what exactly are you sayign because i can swear youre saying both things. are you gonna put it close to the surface or deeper undergorund

Craig says (6:26 PM):
*no if u put sault on the sutface itll kill stuff sure
*if u eat to much salt itll kill you

Dee says (6:26 PM):
*so deep underground then? is that what youre syaing

Craig says (6:26 PM):
*not deep deep but lik e100m or so yah

Dee says (6:27 PM):
*but even putting it that deep underground, rain and the waters making up the water table would still move the salt around even if a mite slowly and it would get into streams and lakes

Craig says (6:27 PM):
*nope

Dee says (6:28 PM):
*so you dont think rain, watter seepage, and hte like would move hte salt?

Craig says (6:28 PM):
*no

Dee says (6:29 PM):
*if all that stuff can move natural salts i bet it can move the salt we put in which would migrate to different places

Craig says (6:29 PM):
*it doesn't move underground salts
*o.0

Dee says (6:29 PM):
*really?

Craig says (6:29 PM):
*have u seen how big the luisianna salt mines are?
*its like millions and millions of cubic metres
*with lush forrests on top of it

Dee says (6:30 PM):
*oho
*so then we put salt deeeeeep underground deep enough to mine level and that would speed up earths natural coal/oil makiing processes?

Craig says (6:31 PM):
*yah
*salt catches oils
*salt clay or limestone

Dee says (6:32 PM):
*even if that worked, and i dont think ti will but lets say it DOES work, it STILL wouldnt be enough to cover how fast we use it

Craig says (6:33 PM):
*i dont think you realise how much there actually is

Dee says (6:34 PM):
*id otn think you understand how much we use a day, how slow it regenerates and how many more millions of people will be alive and also using those resources int he future

Craig says (6:34 PM):
*i do thats the thing
Dee says (6:34 PM):
*it doesnt sound liek you do

Craig says (6:34 PM):
*theres enough to last till the stuff we
*re using now re-generates

Dee says (6:36 PM):
*its enough for our lifetime. maybe even our childrens childrens lifetimes. but with the longetivity of life extending and natural death rates slowing and birth rates icnreasing, there will be too many people depending on it

Craig says (6:36 PM):
*nah
*theres more than that

Dee says (6:36 PM):
*what do you mean by that?

Craig says (6:36 PM):
*coal and oil is extreamly abundant just in places americans wont work yet
*pretty much
*under the ocean

Craig says (6:37 PM):
*there is
*coal everywhere
*the floor of the oceans covered in it
*its to expensive to being it up
*and compete with other coal
*but eventually it wont be

Dee says (6:38 PM):
*even so, i think also that the costs it would tkae to extract such oils would be extremely heavy on everyone be they private parties or the goverment

Craig says (6:38 PM):
*it would be
*but

Craig says (6:39 PM):
*if the world needs it
*u know 30 cents of oil gives the same amount of work as 1 person over 3 lifetimes
*so
*10cents for 10 years work
*pretty sweet deal

Dee says (6:41 PM):
*but the costs of such a thing would rise. it already rose when the people overseas demanded much more money for the oil and that was for political reasons. imagine how much they and other sources would demand if the world was running out. the costs of oila nd coal would be ridiculous

Craig says (6:41 PM):
*yeh
*itd rise through the roof
*but
*people would be willing to pay

Dee says (6:42 PM):
*who would be willing to apy? when that happens, normal citizens wont be able to afford it. the rich would shell out but theres not enough of them to subsidize the normal people. governments would have to go trillions of dollars into debt to be able to provide for EVERYONE

Craig says (6:42 PM):
*whoevers left

Dee says (6:42 PM):
*and een then it would probably have to be rationed out

Craig says (6:42 PM):
*nah
*itd just be expensive

Dee says (6:43 PM):
*expensive is an udnerstatement really

Craig says (6:43 PM):
*30 years ago people wouldn't pay more then 30cents or so for fuel
*now people thing like a dollar is good

Dee says (6:43 PM):
*think of how people were doing a couple years ago

Craig says (6:43 PM):
*people will jsust think its normal

Dee says (6:43 PM):
*when gas was nearing 4 bucks a gallon.

Craig says (6:44 PM):
*people will think its normal

Dee says (6:44 PM):
*even if you think tis normal it still wold be extravangant and to much for the mjority of hte world

Craig says (6:44 PM):
*nah itd still be cheap compared tohuman work

Dee says (6:44 PM):
*and by that you mean?

Craig says (6:45 PM):
*1 cup of oil = 300 years of a humans life in work
*1 cup of oil is 30cents
*even if it was $1 a thing
*cup
*itd still be cheap compared to hireing people

Dee says (6:46 PM):
*hiring people for what? this tangent your own, ic ant see hte relevance

Craig says (6:46 PM):
*oil is cheap
*alright say you hired someone to carry you around for a day

Craig says (6:47 PM):
*itd cost you $100 to get as far as $1c fuel
*atm

Dee says (6:47 PM):
*...no one uses that kind of labor. but with the way the economy and job market are going itll come to ti XD
*haha thats a joke

Craig says (6:48 PM):
*our worlds to lazy

Dee says (6:48 PM):
*but seriously, what does that have to do with you saying oil/coal wont run out or we would make more and me saying it will run out and we wouldnt be able to make enough...?

Craig says (6:49 PM):
*i told you how we could then us aid itd be to expensive then i said itd still be cheaper than any other form of work

Dee says (6:50 PM):
*but like ims aying, currently and probably in the future the world RUNS on coal and oil. we NEED to change or we will be screwed
*human labor doesnt have much to do with what ims aying

Craig says (6:51 PM):
*i just tried to tell you how much oil there is under the oceans theres so much itll last us

Dee says (6:52 PM):
*i wont! even when we're forced to sue it, we'd still use it up too fast for the earth tor egenerate it

Craig says (6:52 PM):
*no
*theres so much itll last till the stuff we're using now regenerates

Dee says (6:54 PM):
*it took millions of years for the oil we're going through to be made

Craig says (6:54 PM):
*the worlds 70% oceans

Dee says (6:54 PM):
*water xD

Craig says (6:54 PM):
*and the whole oceans are lines with oil at the bottoms

Craig says (6:55 PM):
*oceans more than water
*u dont find oil in lakes or rivers
*so saying water woulda been counter-productive
*:P

Dee says (6:55 PM):
*mm true
*but still
*there wont be enough regenerated by the time we use up the coal
*but with that extra time
*6000 years

Dee says (6:56 PM):
*we're nto THAT stupid
*that we couldnt figure out an alternative reusable resource
*at least i hope humanit isnt

Craig says (6:56 PM):
*oil and coal
*o.0

Dee says (6:56 PM):
*OIL AND COAL WILL RUN OUT WE'RE USING TOO MUCH TOOF AST

Craig says (6:56 PM):
*at ocean bottom
*nah

Dee says (6:56 PM):
*XD
*okay
*you know what
*we are going to sxay the same things

Dee says (6:57 PM):
*until we're old and shriveled and icky
*so

Craig says (6:57 PM):
*and in 50 years u can come back and say sorry u were wrong ;]

Dee says (6:57 PM):
*pffft ill coe back and laugh at you for how wrong you are :-O

/end

In conclusion



What do you think? Am I right or is he right? Do we both have good points/where did we think wrong?
in my opinion...HES WRONG HES WRONG HES WROOONNGG!!!!!! lolnojk

But seriously what do you think?

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dee32693

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October 24, 2010
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Comments

 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:55 AM +

tl;dr. He's right about the malnutrition stuff, a lot of people will die. However, many children in developing countries are dying at a young age, but their populations are still growing. Our population will be twice as much as it is right now soon, and I'm pretty sure global warming won't make our resources double in that time.

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 01:21 AM +

I know that's what I thought! to me what hes saying is just wishful and delusional thinking.

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 01:28 AM +

He's either trolling you or he's really, really ignorant, or just plain old stupid.

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 01:32 AM +

He wasn't trolling lol, he believed what he was saying xO
which is why i was like LOLWUT =.=;; hes an engineer, close to the top of his class. maybe its just because we're north american?

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 01:42 AM +

dee32693 said: He wasn't trolling lol, he believed what he was saying xO
which is why i was like LOLWUT =.=;; hes an engineer, close to the top of his class. maybe its just because we're north american?


Quite frankly, you can have two masters degrees and be the most well-known person in the world and STILL be an idiot

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 02:37 AM +

we'll think we got a limitless supply of coal/oil right up to the day the very last bit of it is mined

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 02:39 AM +

Then we'll be like, "OH SHI-"

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 03:15 AM +

Il est retardo.

although, considering the current situation in common nutritional knowledge, the fuel problem might soon be alleviated by reduced population...

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 04:00 AM +

It's possible for us not to run out of either; they do replenish themselves over time. However, we'd have to VASTLY reduce our consumption. Did a project in APES for it several years back and most studies pegged oil to last another 80 years after taking into consideration population growth and the industrialization of more countries.

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 04:22 PM +

tl;dr

i like coal

 
 
Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:09 PM +

tarheel91 said: It's possible for us not to run out of either; they do replenish themselves over time. However, we'd have to VASTLY reduce our consumption. Did a project in APES for it several years back and most studies pegged oil to last another 80 years after taking into consideration population growth and the industrialization of more countries.


They do, but it's a tiny amount compared to the amount consumed, so yeah, 80 years is a good estimate, but I think within four or five decades China will be running solely on clean energy, and the United States one or two decades after China, since China's trying to skip and go straight for green energy.

So I don't think we'll necessarily run out, but we'll switch to alternatives, unlike your friend who thinks we'll just keep on burning. o_o;

Granted, a nuclear war doesn't erupt and destroy humanity within the next decade or so.

 
 
Mon Oct 25, 2010 03:26 AM +

David said:
tarheel91 said: It's possible for us not to run out of either; they do replenish themselves over time. However, we'd have to VASTLY reduce our consumption. Did a project in APES for it several years back and most studies pegged oil to last another 80 years after taking into consideration population growth and the industrialization of more countries.


They do, but it's a tiny amount compared to the amount consumed, so yeah, 80 years is a good estimate, but I think within four or five decades China will be running solely on clean energy, and the United States one or two decades after China, since China's trying to skip and go straight for green energy.

So I don't think we'll necessarily run out, but we'll switch to alternatives, unlike your friend who thinks we'll just keep on burning. o_o;

Granted, a nuclear war doesn't erupt and destroy humanity within the next decade or so.


Like I said, we'd have to vastly reduce our consumption. Those studies took into consideration efforts made by countries to clean up.

You've got to be kidding me, though. China skipping to green? They're throwing up coal power plants like they're going out of style.

A picture's wroth a thousand words.

And more here, as well.

 
 
Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:24 PM +

I won't deny that the current situation is pretty bad, but China's doing a whole lot more with green energy than the United States is.

 
 
Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:38 PM +

David said: I won't deny that the current situation is pretty bad, but China's doing a whole lot more with green energy than the United States is.


I think that's more related to the fact that the US has existing energy infrastructure whereas China doesn't, so China's willing to use whatever they've got (since it's better than nothing) and just improve it as they go, whereas the US's progress is mostly in R&D labs and won't really be implemented until it's much further along.

 
 
Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:47 PM +

Exactly, they're skipping the cycle like the U.S. did during that second period of Industrial Revolution.

Which is why China will be > U.S. in 3 or 4 decades. Depending on how the government does. Or maybe Brazil, they're doing pretty good. Japan and U.S. is stagnating.

:(

 

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