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  • EEVblog #79 – Peak Oil Crisis & Career Options

    Posted on April 21st, 2010 EEVblog 21 comments

    Drive time rant.
    Mail Bag time, Dave answers two viewer emails about career options, and manages a rant on the coming peak oil crisis.

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    • http://truthspew.wordpress.com Tony P

      Regarding oil. A co-worker and I once did the what-if scenario for what we call the pain point for a gallon of gasoline. We arrived at $6 per gallon.

      Most cars now have 10 to 15 gallon tanks. So it would cost anywhere from $60 to $90 to fill the tank. Hell I balk at $3 per gallon.

      Electric is the way to go. But even there, electric rates will rise too because a lot of it is oil and natural gas fired in these parts.

      We’re on the cusp of moving toward a Kardashev type 1 society. I give it 50-50 odds that we’ll either progress or go back to the stone age.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        @TonyP

        It costs me at least AU$60 to fill my tank, around say AU$1.20/L, that’s cheaper than bottled water.

        Every time I fill up I can’t help but think I’m getting an absolute bargain for a finite non-renewable resource that took millions of years to produce.

        It’ll take the next oil panic (real or imaginary cause, it doesn’t matter) for governments to realise we have to wean ourselves off oil. At least Obama has come out and admitted it, which is a start.

        I think it’s almost 100% we won’t go back to the stone age. We have have enough oil to buy us time to wean off it to something renewable, but the divide between the have’s and have not’s will just get bigger.

        • Al

          We are hitting a problem of peak everything. Some important minerals are going to hit peak very soon too. And some take a huge amount of energy to mine & refine.

          I’m not convinced that the planet has enough minerals to go down the standard renewable route (wind, solar, tidal etc). There are some very promising fusion projects out there (http://www.focusfusion.org/) but they just aren’t getting the funding.

      • Robert

        I paid $87 last time I filled up at $6.9/gal here in Sweden. So… stop complaining. If I could get it at $3/gal I’d buy a few drums of the stuff and store it for a rainy day hehe.

      • Al

        I’m in the UK. Converting to US units, it cost me 107 USD to fill my tank yesterday (15 US gallon capacity approx).

        GBP 1.21 a litre, 60 litres to fill a tank.

    • Tony

      Of traveling in work:

      It’s no fun, but then again, who am I to say, I don’t do much of that (and no inter-continental at all nowadays), some of you reading this might even like it.
      Let’s take a “worst case” trip for example;

      First, you fly around the world in 48 hours with 2 or 3 plane changes. During this time you’ll see nothing but airports and planes. You may even have to spend some 6-8 hours at some airport waiting for connecting flight.

      Then the work part; let’s say it’s a three-day “we need this damn thing working *now*!”-gig where you work your a** off days troubleshooting some obscure issue and just crash to hotel at evening, often too tired to go see areas around you. (at least I usually am)

      And then flying back… And here’s what you’ve seen: Airports, airplanes, taxis, hotel and place of work. Maybe something nearby the hotel.

      This might be fun for a first few times but not when you have to do it all the time (if you’re good solving those problems, the company just might be willing to pay *a lot* to keep you doing that for a while). And after you’ve got family the constant traveling *really* becomes a problem.

      Damn, the worst part (for me) of even vacation traveling is the traveling (waiting in airports & suffering in airplanes) part!

      Now, I kinda agree of the oil. I think that slowly the flying will be replaced (at least within continents) by high-speed trains, even on Europe-Asia trips. This Iceland volcano thing may even speed this up this trend in Europe…

    • http://www.elvtechnology.com.au/ Shaun Clarke

      Random question, with the existing intro and end music, where did you acquire them from? Are they samples that come with Ulead Video Studio?

    • Nial

      “Regarding oil. A co-worker and I once did the what-if scenario for what we call the pain point for a gallon of gasoline. We arrived at $6 per gallon.”

      In the UK we’re paying ~

    • robert

      Well, as long as we can afford doing this:

      – “Produce” milk in Germany.
      – Load it onto trucks and transport it to Greece.
      – Let some dairy factory turn it into yogurt.
      – Load it onto trucks again and transport it back to Germany.

      fossil fuel is still way too cheap.

      Thanks to intricate European system of agricultural subsidies, complete nonsense like the above does happen all the time. Even Lufthansa gets agricultural subsidies! The meals on the airplanes count as agricultural exports when crossing borders, WTF!

      I too have a car, and it is a blessing if you really _need_ to get from A to B and public transport sucks most of the time or costs a fortune, WHY? I always try to do most of my commuting by bike or I just walk. Unfortunately being ill or in some other way disabled is a completely different matter.

      When my current car finally expires I’m thinking about either of two things. A) get an affordable one with decent fuel efficiency (not the over-sized and overweight crap that is sold today) B) if the automobile industry fails to provide such a device, I will try to live without a car of my own. Most of the time I use mine it’s because I’m too lazy to walk anyways.

    • Alex

      I don

    • mamut

      About oil:
      VW Lupo 3L was a nice car for the city: 3l of diesel for 100km (average), but they stopped manufacturing them.
      Is there a new car on the market which has a similar demand for fuel?

    • robert

      I can tell you why VW stopped making the Lupo 3L cars. Nobody bought them.

      The base price for it was 15.225

    • Shaw

      Your other mic was much better.

      • Embedded

        The other mic was better. There is too much low frequency bobble on this wireless. Typically they really are too small to provide low frequency noise cancellation mechanically since they are considerably smaller than a wavelength.

        However we didn’t hear the GSM cell pop in so great job on that.

        When I used to hire engineers first question was what hobby projects did you do? Dave you would pass that. Most Ham Radio operators would pass as would most makers. So that would add to your answer on how the person would get involved in the Black art of Electronic Engineering.

    • Karl

      I have a simple indicator for the Australian electronics industry. The Australian immigration system has a “point system” for thought-after skills. The Electronics Engineer is on that list for some time, and scores hight (ok, there are only three point values actually used 40, 50, 60, and the EE is among those many skills getting you 60 extra points, meaning you get a head-start of 20 points).

      When it comes to a job that requires traveling the world. Oh yes, do it when you are young. It is great. And have an exit strategy to get out of the travel circus when you start to get older. There is a time to travel and a time to settle down.

    • ModernRonin

      I like the new mic, the sound quality definitely is better. However, it does seem to be picking up a significant amount of low frequency rumble. One of my speakers is laying on its side, and it was shaking itself around on my desk while I listened to this blog.

      One way to try and lessen the noise would be to wear the mic on your left shoulder. That would move the mic away from the window and lessen the wind and traffic noise that it picks up. However, that will mean you’ll have to find another way to mount the mic – can’t just clip it onto the seat-belt any more.

      Another option would be to do a low-pass filter in software after the recording is done. I don’t know if the Ulead video editing stuff allows you to do a software low-pass on your blog’s audio. But if it does, I’d be very curious to see what a software filter to kill frequencies < 85 Hz would do. (Human speech rarely goes below 85 Hz, so that shouldn't cut out any of your voice.)

    • http://www.soasystem.com shafri

      good advice on career dave, i like it, when remembering back my young age time.

      oil crisis? some goverment politics will use it as an excuses to do some sh*t thing(s)

      travelling? i used to do it couples of time in every month, domestically (a job which i quit long time ago). but as Tony stated above, i totally agree, its no fun esp when u have family. its travelling to work, not travelling for fun.

    • wtf

      Yet another boring ass rant. These car videos really suck.

    • Jason

      I’m pretty sure that I was the one that asked about the careers options and travelling, thanks for answering my question! It was really helpful.

      RE: Tony and the “don’t travel for work” crew.. I was mainly meaning getting a stable job but in another country, so I’d be able to live in Britain or the US while I’m working and hopefully on my weekends get around and see the sights. I’m really into snowboarding, and Australia doesn’t really get a lot of snow so I was hoping to work in Canada or Colorado or a place like that in an engineering capacity so I could board on my weekends :P

    • http://www.mypeakoil.org Peak Oil

      I understand that Hubberts peak is accurate and that we are now past the point of peak oil. I understand many of the current events have to do with this fact and it won’t be long before the main stream media and population wake up and understand what is going on. For me and my family, we are preparing for the next generation.

    • http://nailfungustreatment.shtoho.net/ Leigha Lefevers

      you are professional.