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When do you think alternative energy....

Discussion in 'The OT' started by News Junky, Apr 30, 2006.

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  1. Bogy

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    That's the question. Is the only requirement for how we fuel our vehicles cost? For many it is. If we are going to wait to make any changes in our fuel choices until the new fuel source is not only cheaper but more efficient, we may have a long wait. The costs of ethanol production have already dropped significantly. As far as fuel efficiency and cost of running a vehicle, flex fuel vehicles are able to burn e-85, but are still weighted more toward the side of burning gasoline. Computers and sensors allow for a number of variables to change according to the exact mix of the fuel, but it is still a compromise. If e-85 were commonly available, so that vehicles could be optimized for a predominantly ethanol mix, you would see different figures. But until the oil companies are forced to make the fuel available, that isn't going to happen, and they will fight it tooth and nail every step of the way.
     
  2. jonstad

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    Jun 27, 2002
    Hey PJ, where ya been?:D

    I've stated elsewhere pre-WWII America was deeply divided over the war, many supporting England and France, many favoring Germany and Japan, and many favoring neither, the so-called isolationists. Under those circumstances and in the midst of the Great Depression, it would have been rather difficult to call for a massive military buildup. However, it appears like FDR knew we would probably have to enter the war eventually, and on which side. We'd been doing massive lend-lease of war provisions for years, to England and even to the hated Soviets. And it seems he had a plan of action in his top drawer ready to go at a moment's notice. Within weeks of Pearl, vital industries were mobilized and gearing up for war production on an unprecedented scale. In less then four years, we had an "alternative" to the Axis.(BTW- today is three years since "Mission Accomplished!")

    In the current situation, there are very few who don't believe we will have to find alternatives and wean ourselves off petroleum, at least eventually. Yet there seems to be no plan in the top drawer, or any drawer. The increasing demands for oil worldwide(nevermind if reserves are or are not dwindling) didn't suddenly materialize last week or last month, or even when we invaded Iraq or on 9/11.

    Did we really believe China and India would never industrialize? Or did we think THEY would politely find alternate energy sources so as not to upset our oil market? If we thought either of those, the politicians in Washington are stupider than even I thought! This has been coming for a long time and if we didn't see it coming, I suggest "we" stay away from train tracks!

    Remember Jimmy Carter? Two and a half decades ago he warned this day was coming. And for it he got pummeled in the press and considered not visionary. He even had the foresight to put solar panels on the White House to heat water, which Reagan promptly had removed upon taking office.(BTW, it doesn't matter if they really worked or not, it was the symbolism that was important.)

    OK, maybe Jimmy was a little premature and his political timing a little off, but wouldn't it be nice if we all had solar water heaters on our roofs right now? Probably wouldn't help much when filling up the SUV. But it'd be a relief when you get your electric or natural gas bill every month. And it's a few less barrels from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and/or Bolivia. And lots of nice FREE hot water!:D

    Hardly! The problem is not technology, the problem is the lack of it. The internal cumbustion engine is nearly 200 years old!
    http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aacarsgasa.htm

    Yet, that same archaic technology can be found in nearly every car and truck on the road, in your local showrooms and rolling out of Ford, GM and Toyota assembly plants!

    And I'm not suggesting we "kill babies and old people". I'm suggesting we have less babies so we can better take care of our old people. But your notion is predicated on the archaic economic technology that growth is good. "We must have more babies to take care of the more old people that inevitably result."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't babies, along with old people, require more care of than any other demographics? How does having to care for more babies ease the burden of caring for the resulting more old people?

    And ah yes, faith! We've had faith that more children would car for us in our old age. That worked to a degree for a while. But the paradigm now is that children are more likely to be a burden to their parents then the other way around. That's why we have Social Security and IRAs and retirement accounts. So we DON'T have to rely on our children in old age. Neville Chamberlan had faith Hitler wouldn't attack Poland.(a little WWII reference for ya);) We had faith we'd never run short on oil, or when we did, we'd have something ready to roll to replace it. And you have faith your Lord and Saviour is going to show up any day now.:sure:

    Faith is startin' to fail us PJ. Ane even before, it was probably dumb luck that it ever worked anyway. We need to start looking ahead and planning for the future instead of relying on faith and dumb luck. A little more planning for the future and a little less faith would have helped in Iraq, that's for sure.

    It's not our ability to develop technology alone that got us to where we are today. It's mostly our ability to plan ahead, even if we don't know precisely what lies ahead. A stone spear is a pretty useless technology if you don't have a plan to stick it in a mammoth or sabre-tooth tiger. And an internal combustion engine is pretty uesless if you don't have fuel for it, or can't afford it!
     
  3. Richard King

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    Mar 25, 2002
    To succeed it has to be able to compete. It is not competition to oil.
     
  4. Richard King

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Typical liberal think. :D
     
  5. olgeezer

    olgeezer Guest

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    Not too mention what to do with those spent rods.:D I recall this discussion sans the internet in the 70s. If any of you are around in 30 years and are talking about alternative energy, again, notify my daughter. As a country we've talked the talk for 30 some years and no walkie walkie.
     
  6. pjmrt

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    Jul 17, 2003
    But the tone from your earlier post seemed to indicate you were of the "Amish option" :) for energy - smaller, simpler, less/no growth. There are two ways you can view a problem. Lets pick on population again: You can say population is getting too big, or you can say we need to find a way to provide for the increasing population. If you focus on population as the "problem" then the solutions tend in that direction. Shrink the surplus population. It is often used to "sell" concepts like abortion, forced sterilization, euthanasia,... And in the end, its just a way to maintain control of the people, without any real answers. If the focus is on the other, then is what do we need do to get more food, or better distribute the food, to ... etc. which is a growth oriented vision and leads to growth oriented ideas and options. It is a measure of faith, and yes my faith is ultimately tied to the reality of my Savior and the power of God. But even for you non-believers, even lesser faith in the future and man's survival is more productive than fear and stagnation. To your example of Chamberlain and Churchill - I say Chamberlain was fixated on fear of Hitler and thought he could negotiate a peace and thus maintain the status quo. Churchill realized the fight ahead and saw the future of overcoming Hitler and the power of the reigning darkness. Just because one has faith does not mean they also think there is no struggle to reach the future. But the future is growth, stagnation is just another form of death.

    And the internal combustion motor, yes a little over a century old. But the modern motor bears little semblance to its father, even one of 40 years ago, much less to the early versions you quoted. It contains tremendous amount of technology, and is both less polluting and more efficient than previous versions. If the solution to the energy problem was easy, it would have been done already. You mentioned good ole boy Jimmy C. If those massive lines didn't make the change, what would? Solar panels on roofs. Well that works only in parts of the country. I the midwest, which sees many more cloudy days, and in the northern latitudes which have poor aspect to the sun - solar is not a cost effective solution. Nuclear, Coal??? the green's have gotten so much baggage attached to those technologies, they are hard to impliment. But I think it makes more sense to use what we have available, continue to grow the economy and grow thus grow the technology, and when we all have Mr Fusions for our Delorians, well life will be good. :) As I said, the market will drive this boat a lot more efficiently than the dictates (or even liberal symbolism :D ) of an all powerful federal politico. We need to find the way to have the government encourage growth and solutions for our energy needs.


    And to answer your question: Hey PJ, where ya been? I've been off to confer, converse and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards. :)
     
  7. the_bear

    the_bear Godfather

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    Be sure to click on “Use your gas prices” and then input the price at your local station to get a table for your area. My gas is much more expensive than the provided default.
     
  8. pjmrt

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    Also figure in the effect of demand on ethanol. It seems to be adding to the problem of gas prices as well.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12168262/from/RL.3/
    Greg Boesch, who owns Fred's Mini Mart in Shadeland, said that when he began selling a fuel that contains a high percentage of ethanol, it was between 30 cents and 40 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline.

    Now, he's only able to keep the price of both products at $2.57 a gallon by losing money on sales of E85, a blend composed of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
     
  9. jonstad

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    OK, so IS there an upward limit for the Earth's human population? Or will we all(well some of us):sure: be "Raptured" before we reach it? Or is it just not politically correct to discuss it because it would be "anti-growth".

    As previously stated, many of the affluent and educated already have zero or negative population growth. And that still allows for some to have 4, 6 or 8 children if they so desire, and even a few Neanderthals who insist on 12-15. Almost all the population growth comes from poor and uneducated classes, mostly in poor and uneducated countries. If nothing else, as a conservative, you should be worried about being overrun by these multitudes created out of fear, ignorance and poverty.

    It's called HUMAN growth! The answer is to educate(preferably not in madrasas) and enrich everyone on Earth,(a very Christ-like answer if I say so myself):D not to just "have faith" things will work out. Educated peoples with a little excess expendable income realize it's not necessary anymore to replace every human on the planet PLUS!!! Or are you somehow theologically or philosophically opposed to ecucation and affluence?
     
  10. pjmrt

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    Well I'm planning of being raptured, but I'll try to remember to wave to you from the cloud as I pass over. :) Again, upper limit to the human population? You're not getting it yet. You are stuck with "in the box" thinking. Ok, how about this - 2/3rds of the earth's surface has virtually NO human population. Now how much can it grow? Look up - opportunity to grow that way too? Negative population growth by the educated? - you're saying this is good 'eh.:lol:
     
  11. dpd146

    dpd146 Godfather

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    I don't know the meaning of those words and can't afford a dictionary so I'm off to make some babies :D
     
  12. pjmrt

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    Bottom line, we can look at the glass as half empty and cower in fear as we count droplets and say "don't drink" any more, or we can look at the glass as half full and start looking for a water fountain to fill the glass again. There is very probably plenty of oil. It may not be the cheapest oil to extract. It may not be where we would like to drill for it. Lets see, sink a well in Alaska or let New England heating prices go through the roof (but we protect some obsure rodent that maybe 0.0001% of the people will ever see, and half that would ever want to see of it). Sink wells in the gulf where million dollar condos and hotel guests at their casinos can see them - dope, can't do that either. Choices. Coal - we have more than enough. Coal gasification. Oil Shale. Nuclear ... Choices. None of them are perfect, so we sit on our hands waiting for the perfect solution to come. We are in an energy prison of our own construction. The answer is not for the stupid apes to return to the cave and say "no more growth". We can sustain intelligent growth by adapting. That will mean short term compromises while we wait for the "holy grail" of energy to arrive. Guess what, when it comes - I bet somebody still has some reason they don't want to use it.
     
  13. Bogy

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    There are five new plants being built right now in Iowa, and another near me is expanding to approximately double production.
    pjmrt, is this really a quote from you?
    Ethanol is not currently perfect. Are YOU sitting on your hands waiting for the perfect solution to come. By the end of the summer those ethanol plants will be online. They go up much more quickly than oil refineries, and Iowa for one does not put a bunch of roadblocks in the way of building them.
     
  14. tomcrown1

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    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2006/05/03/gree.DTL

    A matte-black El Camino roars into a filling station, dust billowing as crashing guitar chords compete with the sound of squealing tires. Out steps Daryl Hannah. She flips open the gas cap and starts fueling up. Then she pours herself a tall glass of the viscous green fuel, straight from the pump. She slugs it back without a moment's hesitation.


    "It's kind of gnarly to drink oil," she told me later, recalling the taste of biodiesel. "But it's not going to kill you -- that's the point


    Well if the perfect 10 is for biodesel how can one argue with that???
     
  15. jonstad

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    I believe you're thinking of Bo Derek! And I doubt whether she is either drinking or using bio-diesel!:p
     
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