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Higher fossil costs drives up the cost of the automobile. This is not significant for trade, or labor mobility, since all long distance transport of goods is either water or rail anyway, and thus, in the end, not oil reliant, and the price of moving to a new job is not ever going to be influenced the price of the trip there..
-  Rail runs on any source of electricity, and while it would be.. a fairly major project.(You cannot retrofit nuclear propulsion. The ship has to be built around it) to convert the merchant navies of the world over to nuclear propulsion if it proves needed, it will be done, and in the end, a nuclear merchant navy would be more economical than current practice. -
Yes. Really.  The end of oil is likely to make it cheaper to ship things to China. let me find that link..
http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/07/nuclear-power-for-commercial-shipping.html
by Thomas on Fri Jun 25th, 2010 at 02:12:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
all long distance transport of goods is either water or rail anyway, and thus, in the end, not oil reliant

First of all, Europe only moves a few percent of its goods by rail and while north-central Europe has excensice navicable rivers and canals a lot of freight is moved by road. Second of all, water transport currently burns the lowest grade of toxic sludge left over from refining oil (well, the second lowers: the lowest goes to paving roads...)

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 25th, 2010 at 02:23:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whatever one may think about running the land-based power grid on nuclear power, outfitting every merchant skipper with a nuke plant should give pause for thought. Do we really want to ship around a large quantity of fissile material and trained nuclear technicians on the high seas? That would be a proliferation nightmare, even neglecting the safety risks, which I am not quite convinced is appropriate. And we can't even keep merchant skippers from dumping the shit they clean out of their bunkers - do you want to bet that we can get them to account properly for spent fuel rods?

And who's going to dismantle the things when they've outlived their design life? We can't, at present, get our merchant navies to decommission their ships in ways that don't cause toxic spills on the coast of random third-world countries. Wanna bet that they'll have a better track record with hulls that glow in the dark?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 25th, 2010 at 05:06:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mostly, I figure this is going to eventually happen no matter how people feel about it because nautical trade is far to important to halt just because oil got scarce and relaunching the tall ships is not going to be an adequate solution as it would wreck havok on logistic chains to not have reliable schedules. -The alternative is really the resumption of coal fired shipping which would be.... Bad.
If you read the link, proper disposal and security is budgeted for, in spades. - I do not, in fact, expect the skippers of the world to accept those costs voluntarily, but I also figure they will be legally forced to, and will accept them in light of the savings on fuel. This also ends one of the larger sources of pollution in the world - bunker fuel really is very, very dirty.
by Thomas on Sat Jun 26th, 2010 at 12:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
relaunching the tall ships is not going to be an adequate solution as it would wreck havok on logistic chains to not have reliable schedules.

Not really. Most goods are not time-critical. It just requires larger inventories to smooth out the noise in the delivery cycle.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 26th, 2010 at 04:59:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Will we see the end of Just-In-Time logistics?

I am hearing that US banks are extending trade credit lines for just 24h which wreaks havoc with purchases and deliveries since your supplier needs to be ready to ship when you call them and tell them that now is the 24h window when you have the money. Paradoxically, this means JIT doesn't work. You're better off having some inventory so your trade credit is not time critical.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jun 26th, 2010 at 05:11:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Just-In-Time logistics were ever really viable. It's one of those things that look good on paper, because it allows you to optimise your ROI by cutting down on your funding requirements.

But in the real world, it makes your entire logistics operation that much more brittle - it only takes a much smaller upset for it to crash. And then everybody downstream from the problem is going to sit around and twiddle their thumbs for a while as the problem gets sorted out. Which is not cheap.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Jun 26th, 2010 at 06:22:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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