Is Ethanol the Answer?

One of the reasons gas prices have gone up lately is a new mandate that ethanol be included in gasoline mixtures, in place of MTBE. This has presented a bit of a challenge for refineries -- nothing they can't handle, but it's slowing them down temporarily.

Yet one need only look south (okay, very far south) to see a country that made this shift ages ago. Brazil is now close to having all cars powered exclusively by ethanol made from sugar cane, reports CBS news.

For more information, here's a company (with an interest in ethanol) answering frequently asked questions. Scott Shields argues that the United States should have been on top of this ages ago -- now, he laments, "we're falling behind nations like Brazil."

That might be in part because Brazil's sugar cane ethanol is cheaper to produce than is ethanol from corn. Over at zFacts, they calculate that to save one gallon gas by substituting ethanol costs $3.30 in corn subsidies. But would those subsidies still be necessary if a move toward using more ethanol made demand for corn skyrocket?

What do you think? Is ethanol the way to go? Should we work toward completely replacing gasoline with ethanol, or should we concentrate on other methods of powering cars?

By Emily Messner |  April 7, 2006; 10:15 AM ET  | Category:  Solutions
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Shocking Diebold conflict of interest revelations from secretary of state further taint Ohio's electoral credibility

By Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman
Online Journal Guest Writers

Apr 6, 2006, 21:28

Ohio is reeling with a mixture of outrage and hilarity as Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has revealed that he has owned stock in the Diebold voting machine company, to which Blackwell tried to award no-bid contracts worth millions while allowing its operators to steal Ohio elections. A top Republican election official also says a Diebold operative told him he made a $50,000 donation to Blackwell's "political interests."

A veritable army of attorneys on all sides of Ohio's political spectrum will soon report whether Blackwell has violated the law. But in any event, the revelations could have a huge impact on the state whose dubiously counted electoral votes gave George W. Bush a second term. Diebold's GEMS election software was used in about half of Ohio counties in the 2004 election. Because of Blackwell's effort, 41 counties used Diebold machines in Ohio's highly dubious 2005 election, and now 47 counties will use Diebold touch screen voting machines in the May 2006 primary, and in the fall election that will decide who will be the state's new governor.

Blackwell is the frontrunner for Ohio's Republican nomination for governor. The first African-American to hold statewide office, the former mayor of Cincinnati made millions in deals involving extreme right-wing "religious" radio stations.

As part of his campaign filings he has been required to divulge the contents of his various stock portfolios. Blackwell says that in the process he was "surprised" to learn he owned Diebold shares. According to central Ohio's biggest daily, the conservative Republican "Columbus Dispatch," Blackwell claims his multi-million-dollar portfolio has been handled "by a financial manager without his advice or review."

Blackwell says he gave verbal instructions to a previous fund manager about which stocks not to buy, but failed to do so when he brought in a replacement. He claims the new manager bought 178 Diebold shares in January 2005 for $53.67/share. He says 95 shares were sold sometime last year, and that the remainder were sold this week after Blackwell conducted an annual review of his portfolio. He says both sales resulted in losses.

Prior to the 2004 election, Blackwell tried to award a $100 million no-bid contract to Diebold for electronic voting machines. A storm of public outrage and a series of lawsuits forced him to cancel the deal. But a substantial percentage of Ohio's 2004 votes were counted by Diebold software and Diebold Opti-scan machines which frequently malfunctioned in the Democratic stronghold of Toledo. Many believe they played a key role in allowing Blackwell to steal Ohio's 20 electoral votes -- and thus the presidential election -- for Bush. Walden O'Dell, then the Diebold CEO, had pledged to "deliver" Ohio's electoral votes to Bush.

Blackwell has since continued to bring in Diebold machines under other multi-million dollar contracts. In 2005, while he owned Diebold stock, Blackwell converted nearly half Ohio's counties to Diebold equipment.

Those machines have been plagued by a wide range of problems, casting further doubt on the integrity of the Ohio vote count. A number of county boards of elections are trying to reject Diebold equipment. Two statewide referendum issues on electoral reform were defeated in 2005 in a vote tally that was a virtual statistical impossibility. The deciding votes were cast and counted on Diebold equipment.

In recent months, Blackwell has ordered all 88 county boards of elections to send into his office the memory cards that will be used in the primary election, in which Blackwell expects to win the gubernatorial race. There is no effective statewide monitoring system to protect those cards from being rigged.

Matt Damschroder, the Republican chair of the Franklin County (Columbus) Board of Elections, has also reported that a key Diebold operative told Damschroder he made a $50,000 contribution to Blackwell's "political interests" while Blackwell was evaluating Diebold's bids for state purchasing contracts. Blackwell denies the contribution was made to him.

Damschroder is former chair of the Franklin County GOP. He says former Diebold contractor Pasquale "Patsy" Gallina boasted of making the contribution to Blackwell. Damschroder himself has publicly admitted to personally accepting a $10,000 check from Pasquale, made out to the Franklin County GOP. That contribution was made while Damschroder was involved in evaluating Diebold bids for county contracts.

Damschroder was censured but not removed from office. On Election Day 2004, Franklin County voting officials told the Free Press that Blackwell and Damschroder were meeting with George W. Bush in Columbus. AP accounts place both Bush and Karl Rove unexpectedly in Columbus on Election Day. Damschroder has denied that he met personally with Bush, but refuses to clarify whether or not he was at GOP meetings with Bush in attendance on Election Day.

An eyewitness ally of Blackwell told a small gathering of Bush supporters, with a Free Press reporter present, that Blackwell was in a frenzy on Election Day, writing percentages and vote totals on maps of rural Republican counties, attempting to figure out how many votes, real or manufactured, Bush would need to overcome the exit poll results in Cleveland and Columbus.

Meanwhile Blackwell has run one of the most vicious primary campaigns ever seen in Ohio politics. A series of expensive television ads have assaulted Blackwell's GOP opponent, Attorney General Jim Petro, vehemently charging him with extreme corruption and dishonesty. GOP operatives fear Blackwell's attacks could shatter the party.

Now Blackwell's Diebold revelations have both Petro and the state's extremely feeble Democrats jumping for joy. Petro, who has a large portfolio of his own, says he will pursue the question of whether Blackwell has broken the law. "Considering Ken Blackwell's history with Diebold, I think this warrants further investigation to remove any hint of impropriety," says Petro campaign manager Bob Paduchik.

Democratic candidate Ted Strickland has reported no stock portfolio at all. "If [Blackwell] doesn't know what's going on with his own checkbook, why in the world would voters want him to be in charge of the checkbook as governor?" asks Democratic spokesperson Brian Rothenberg.

The common statewide wisdom is that "Ken Blackwell will never lose an election in which he is in charge of the vote count."

But Ohio Democrats never seriously questioned Blackwell's rigged 2004 vote count that put Bush back in the White House. They've mounted no serious campaign challenging Blackwell's handling of the tally in 2005. They've presented no plan for guaranteeing the integrity of the upcoming 2006 November election, which will again be run by Blackwell, even though he may be the GOP nominee.

Attorney-General Petro has become Blackwell's sworn enemy. A rugged campaigner with extensive statewide connections, it's not likely Petro would quietly accept an election being stolen from him. That might explain Blackwell's vehement attacks on his fellow Republican.

But having accused his cohort of widespread corruption, and with a long history of scornful contempt for all those who challenge him, Blackwell's own Diebold revelations have opened a Pandora's Box. What comes flying out could affect state and national politics for years to come.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman are co-authors of "How the GOP Stole America's 2004 Election and Is Rigging 2008". They are co-editors, with Steve Rosenfeld, of "What Happened in Ohio?" soon to be published by The New Press.

Posted by: che | April 7, 2006 10:17 AM

Che,

How much do you make per spam? Just curious.

Posted by: | April 7, 2006 10:20 AM

It's fantastic that Brazil has figured out how to power cars from cane. Now we can borrow the technology. I'm going to start raising cain right now.

Posted by: Turnabout | April 7, 2006 10:28 AM

I am copying and pasting this from the White House web site posted after the SOTU speech.

"The Biorefinery Initiative. To achieve greater use of "homegrown" renewable fuels in the United States, advanced technologies need to be perfected to make fuel ethanol from cellulosic (plant fiber) biomass, which is now discarded as waste. The President's 2007 Budget will include $150 million - a $59 million increase over FY06 - to help develop bio-based transportation fuels from agricultural waste products, such as wood chips, stalks, or switch grass. Research scientists say that accelerating research into "cellulosic ethanol" can make it cost-competitive by 2012, offering the potential to displace up to 30% of the Nation's current fuel use."

It is of course typical pie in the sky White House stuff that ignores the energy cost of making the fuel.

But as Brazil has shown us, if there is a national will there is a way. There is no national will in the US because gas is still cheap enough that its easier to just burn it than pay for R & D for alternative fuels, and because our president profits from the status quo and is selling us out shamelessly. The children of our underclass are our cheapest natural resource, and it is cheaper to send them abroad to die in the Middle East than it is to follow the leads of Brazil and Japan and develop long range strategies for motive power independence.

Posted by: Greenie | April 7, 2006 11:10 AM

Ethanol is the way to go. But we need to remember that this is not new. Back in the 70s both the US and Brazil started on this path. Brazil did not give up, the US did. We need to study why we gave it up and not repeat the errors of the past.

The main reason we gave it up was it wasn't economically feasible. That should not deter us again. We went to the moon even though it was not economically feasible. We built thousands of missles even though it was not economically feasible. We can do this only if we as a nation believe that becomming self-sufficient in energy is a national security effort. If its left up to the free market, it will likely fail again.

Posted by: Sully | April 7, 2006 12:32 PM

Why is it that we as a nation build huge landfills containing hundreds of tons of fermentable waste and have a problem getting rid of sewage sludge which is also fermentable.Instead this nation destroys land ant the enviroment using oil and coal instead of recycling our waste to make renewable fuels.With all the brilliant engineers why arent we working on using waste products as renewable fuels sourses and fertilizer.This could help with three of our biggest problems.

Posted by: Stephen | April 7, 2006 01:01 PM

the current administration and the military...

like using power over as a way of handling things...


and this administration is kneed deep in oil and defense department money...


they won't be thinking outside of that box unless you

publically expose them for having an agenda and shaping the framing of information to fit _what they want to happen_

Greenie says:

"The children of our underclass are our cheapest natural resource, and it is cheaper to send them abroad to die in the Middle East than it is to follow the leads of Brazil and Japan and develop long range strategies for motive power independence."

I think you fail to understand that to

your leaders,

these are not people,


they're peasants....


that's not the same.
.

Posted by: hey, you're ignoring this... | April 7, 2006 01:29 PM

Stephen, check out:
http://www.epa.gov/lmop/benefits.htm
It looks like the landfill issue is being adressed.

Here's a link to a sewage treatment plant that uses its methane to produce its own power, reducing the power it must purchase:
http://www.mwra.state.ma.us/03sewer/html/sewditp.htm

The problem with this type of smart use of energy is the economic feasibility issue. The sewage plant noted above does not produce even enough energy for its own needs much less energy to put out on the grid. There just isn't enough methane produced. I'm not sure but it is likely not economic feasibility that is driving them to use the methane but instead regulation. If the energy produced is not even enough for the sewage plant, it would probably be cheaper for the sewage plant to not build the methane extractors and power plant and to simply save the money and purchase the power.

Brazil made it a national priority when they, like us, were hit by the oil embargo of the 70s. They did not rely only on economic feasibility to create their ethanol industry. We did. They used incentives and regulations. We did not. They did not fail. We did. Brazil is about to become a net exporter of energy (ethanol) soon and California is considering purchasing ethanol from them.

Republicans do not like to subsidize efforts and would rather rely on the free market to handle any commodity. But energy should be a national security issue. The free market alone does not produce F-16 jets, space shuttles, air bags, seat belts, 5 mph bumpers or clean air. The development of an ethanol industry in this country will require incentives, regulation and funding from the government if it is to really work. That's how the Brazilians did it. I just don't see anything worthwhile happening under a republican congress and administration in encouraging anything that would go outside the free market. It will have to wait for a future government not dominated by republicans.

Posted by: Sully | April 7, 2006 01:42 PM

Che,

I know Fitrakis. And he'd likely be unhappy with the spamming of his work, as it makes people not want to read it. No one wants to read unwanted spam; people will skip over it and attach a sense of disgust to the names on it.

Should I call him and ask him? Think you might not spam it if Bob tells you not to?

Or are you that complete a tool?

Posted by: Tani | April 7, 2006 02:28 PM

All right now for an organic chemistry lesson (No Groans Now!!) Energy is stored in chemical bonds, the main reeason Gasoline & Diesel Fuel are used in internal combustion engines is because they contain long chains of hydrocarbons, diesel having the most. That is why a diesel powered car gets 40-45 mpg. Ethanol, is also a hydrocarbon but the energy contained in the bonds is no where near the energy contained in our present day fuels. Therefore to get the same miliage, hoursepower, etc. you will need to burn that much more ETOH (scientific abbreviation for ethanol) to get the same result. One other factor to consider, is ETOH is also a hydrocarbon therefore if you can obtain complete combustion, you will still get Water & Carbon Dioxide (CO2).

Now we are back to dealing with a major greenhouse gas. Auto companies need to design a scrubber system to remove the CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. So what to do? The best energy source is to run Hydrogen powered cars. But here is the delemma we don't have the infastructure in place to store or dispense H2. The modifications are quite simple to preform, it would be like in the 70's when some companies went to powering their vehicles on natural gas or propane. There are still some companies that still run their company vehicles on these 2 fuels. The other problem is that they are making H2 from either coal or oil which both are carbon based, and you are still left dealing with CO2. With hydrogen all you get for a by-product is good ole fashioned H2O (water).

If it were me, I think I would want the Hydrogen. No greenhouse gases, the change-over equipment is easy to get and not very expensive. It is the most abundent element in the universe and can be made out of most anything especially water. I think that is the direction to go. we just need the infastructure to store and dispense the H2.

Posted by: Lab Rat | April 7, 2006 02:58 PM

Lab Rat-

I freely confess my ignorance. The only thing I know about hydrogen is the Hindenburg. If hydrogen is used in cars, are we going to have Hollywood style explosions when there are car crashes?

Posted by: wiccan | April 7, 2006 03:01 PM

Sorry about that as hydrogen burns with no color in the flame. The flame you see is carbon whether it is a candle, match, C-4, or petroleum.

Posted by: Lab Rat | April 7, 2006 03:03 PM

LabRat,
The CO2 to be worried about is the CO2 locked up underground and not in the air. Oil and coal are locked up so when they are released this is NEW CO2 that is not in the air now and thus we have a CO2 increase, global warming, end of life as we know it, doomsday, etc....

Ethanol made from sugar cane, corn or any other plant is being made from carbon that was removed from the air (plants take up CO2 in the air to make sugars, we take the plant's sugars and make ethanol). No NEW CO2, just taking it out of the air through plants, making ethanol which when burned puts it back. So no INCREASE in CO2.

Hydrogen is a real problem. Its a gas at room temperature. It does not store well and leaks out of the tightest containers (its a small molecule). It takes energy to make hydrogen, so as you pointed out you burn coal and oil to make hydrogen. Not that eco friendly.

Ethanol is the best way to go with today's technology, a proven technology at that!

Posted by: Sully | April 7, 2006 03:10 PM

A few years ago, Ethanol was the all the rage and quite a few of us began using it instead of the regular gas.
In no time at all, at first my car ran smoothly and there were no problems, however by the time I got to the next fill up, the car was running terribly, sputtering, release a black soot and smoke and generally causing my car to run horribly.
As it was a 1979 Oldsmobile with an Original Rocket 88 Engine in it and had always run great, I could only assume that the gas was the problem.
I then had to change everything, the oil,the filters, plugs and above all went back to regular gas, running for quite a while before my car started running normally again. If we decide to go Ethanol, which in reality is an excellent idea, it might be good for the makers to remember that not all cars are made the same and there are still a lot of us who drive American Cars and shall continue to do so.
Stop accommodating the Asian market and get back to backing America, then we just might get somewhere.
PS Folks
This childish need to drive "European Cars" is now tres cliché and very passé.
Get with the program. Don't blame GM, Ford or Daimler Chrysler, blame the people who don't buy American.
They are the real culprits and part of the reason we drive good looking junk and have to pay so much to do so.
Thank you
Aaron a Baker

Posted by: Aaron A Baker | April 7, 2006 03:20 PM

I had a 1978 mustang and Texaco was spiking its gas with Ethanol due to Carter's ethanol initiative. The ethanol ate all the O-rings in the carburator. :^(

You're right that some cars cannot use ethanol and that includes most of today's cars. But GM is producing Flex cars that can run on either ethanol, gas or a blend. As ethanol is phased in, people will need to use the appropriate fuel for their cars. Its already happening in Brazil but since Ethanol is cheaper in Brazil than gas, people a flocking to buy flex cars and some are taking the risk of using ethanol in regular cars. One only needs to study what Brazil did to learn from their mistakes and avoid or warn about them.

Posted by: Sully | April 7, 2006 03:34 PM

Another thing to consider. Some people (very smart engineering type people) have taken the Toyota Pruis Hybrid and configured it to take house electricity to charge up the batteries. In one case the guy claims 200mpg. And home electricity is usually coal or nuclear, not oil, so that could help reduce our need for oil if hybrids become more prevelent and are converted to accept house power. Here's a link:
http://www.mixedpower.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1088
Its expensive but its not mass marketed yet either.

Posted by: Sully | April 7, 2006 03:41 PM

I used to work for an American car manufacturer on the lines...


it is the fault of those companies that they didn't improve their engineering methods and simply drove their corporations into the ground...

making hundreds of thousands of former employees homeless....they didn't get a vote as to whether to improve manufacturing, engineering or whatever...


as to your '88

the older cars weren't


designed to run with ethanol.


there's a lot of difference between designing something to use ethanol and gasoline manufacturers adding ethanol to the degree that they feel that it won't interfere with "most" cars...


sort of like okaying making trucks with exploding gas tanks because you know that the exact kind of impact that is needed to make that gas tank explode will only occur in one out of 2,000 accidents and most people won't sue you...as they won't figure it out...


American car manufacturers gave up on the production element in the late 60's early 70's

only Saturn tried to compete and they didn't...


Japanese manufacturing was very good, we rebuilt their steel mills after WWII, so they had top of the line body building facilities...

they were originally very good at copying,

most inventions related to electronics came out of the United States.

they kicked our butts in quality, because initially Japanese quality was very low and they borrowed that concept from an American, whose name I forget, and put it in place in every manufacturing situation....


our American corporations

gave the Automotive industry to our asian brothers....they just kept selling and using the phrase

buy american, so they didn't have to spend their money on making a better product.

there's your history lesson, it's a real one.

.

Posted by: dear aaron A. Baker... | April 7, 2006 03:43 PM

Che,

Tani is really chris ford using a womans name to fool you.

Posted by: | April 7, 2006 03:46 PM

Sandy K does the same thing...pretends to be a woman...

it's like you hear this low brow drill sargent voice coming out of a post...you know it's not a woman...


although both Chris and Sandy have improved the merit of their posting...

it's not as bullying as it used to be.
.

Posted by: that's sweet... | April 7, 2006 03:51 PM

dear arron wrote:
"only Saturn tried to compete and they didn't..."

Saturn was not allowed to compete. GM prevented them for years from developing a minivan, among other things, because GM knew it would compete with their Chevy and other vans. GM wanted them to compete with Japan, not GM. If Saturn had been allowed to compete like a seperate company, they would have competed well with the Japanese and smothered other GM products.

Now the Chinese are entering the market and they might just knock Japan and Korea out of the car making business. It doesn't look good for some American car makers unless they do something drastic. Why did it take GM all these years to get rid of Oldsmobile? GM needs to have new management. Maybe Ford too. Chrysler seems to be innovating and I expect them to do well.

Posted by: Sully | April 7, 2006 03:58 PM

less for the people or the country that they operated within than themselves...

think about it.

it's like 1969 or something, VW comes out with a car called the bug that you could buy for $1,800 dollars and Datsun came out with a car that cost $3,400 that would go 140 mph, and I forget what they 0-60 time was below 6 seconds.

we had the vette, muscle cars and your average passenger car weighed like 2 tons...

I had a 63 gran prix, and had owned a british leyland product circa '58...

I knew about good ways and bad ways of putting things together...

looking under the hood of a japanese car, was very appealing and threatening to me...

cable harnesses, everything laid out for easy reapair and replacement...an engineering dream...


you looked under the hood of an American car, hoses, wires everywhere...no order

japanese cars were lasting to well over 100,000 miles...believe it or not most American cars wouldn't make 70,000...


this was in the late 60's, early 70's


there was _no response_ from American manufacturing...


they didn't want to spend the money to compete, and they didn't

they tried to sell the slogan

"buy American"


as they bought all of their parts from other countries and started building and buying engines from Mexico.


the problem is the corporations and nations leaders don't give the people a choice and they disinform them as a matter of practice and

most of America

trusts their leaders.

most of them believe in democracy, although they may not really have experienced it...

did Kennedy threaten the leaders?


.

Posted by: bottom line is that American companies have cared | April 7, 2006 04:15 PM

"the problem is the corporations and nations leaders don't give the people a choice and they disinform them as a matter of practice"

Its called "Marketing". You can get a college degree in it. You learn how to lie, decieve the public and obscure information in the name of selling a product.

The problem is that marketing, which hardly existed 100 years ago, is in practically every company today and their methods are finely tuned. You don't need a good product, you need good marketing. And so American companies that decided good marketing over good product go down the drain ... but only after the marketing made you buy their cheap product. And only years after figuring out you were lied to you stop buying it.

Posted by: Sully | April 7, 2006 04:26 PM

Ethanol is a farm program, designed to enrich farmers by boosting the price of corn. If it were not for the Iowa Primary, where politicians from both parties are forced to swear allegience to the God Ethanol, no one would seriously consider a fuel that will be many times more expensive than and can never make more than a marginal contribution to the nation's energy supply. It takes more energy to produce a btu of ethanol than the ethanol produces. And if you planted all the available acres in the country in corn, you still would not produce enough ethanol to achieve energy independence. And if you think gasoline is expensive, wait until the next time there is a crop failure from drought or other natural disaster in the Midwest and see what happens to the price of ethanol. Non-corn ethanol from wood chips, switchgrass, etc., will prove more economical in the long run but still there is limited supplies. For those who are praising Brazil's switch to ethanol, I recall a recent TV interview on CNBC I think) with the executive of a California firm that is starting up a ethanol plan. He claimed (if I heard him correctly) that the U.S. already produces as much ethanol as Brazil--about 4 billion barrels a year.

Posted by: Noogan | April 7, 2006 04:42 PM

fermenting any carbohydrate, sugar product makes ethyl

alcohol,

fact is you can make it from potatoe skins...

wodka dudes

.

Posted by: oh, ethyl alcohol and gasoline... | April 7, 2006 05:05 PM

" Don't blame GM, Ford or Daimler Chrysler, blame the people who don't buy American."


No, blame GM, Ford or Daimler Chrysler for making crap that people looking for quality don't want to buy. I drive a Japanese car because I am a single female physican living a thousand miles from my nearest family who keeps odd hours and needs a car that starts instantly, every time, anytime, never stops unless I shut off the key and is never in the shop except for scheduled maintenance.

After learning to replace the battery every 3 years whether it needs it or not, I got 120K out of my first Camry with never a mechanical repair except scheduled maintenance, and then sold it to a retired neighbor who has put another 50K on it. I bought another Camry now with 78K and still no repairs except scheduled maintenance. It will be paid for in 4 months, then I start saving for either a Pruis or one of the new hybrid Camrys.

When Detroit puts out a car with a maintenance record like a Camry I'll buy it. In the meantime my safety is more important to me.

Posted by: | April 7, 2006 05:21 PM

Sully, electric cars that essentially swap oil for the power grid (coal, natural gas,etc) are only a short term solution. We still import half of our natural gas, a lot of it from Africa and I would not be surprised if they don't start jerking us around now that China and India are looking for more power sources.

We need to start reducing our oil dependence IMMEDIATELY (not at some future time when hydrogen cells are ready) and that means hybrids and ethanol. It would be shorsighted to increase our natural gas dependence.

But to answer someone else who said that hydrogen cells are the answer. You may well be right, but we don't have a couple of decades to wait. We need to expand to alternate technology NOW, in hybrids and biofuels. Cars turn over every 10 or so years. So by building hybrids and ethanol running vehicles now, Detroit will have a guaranteed market of people wanting to switch to the newest, status-y technology, hydrogen - when it is available so they can sell even more cars.

Posted by: patriot1957 | April 7, 2006 05:31 PM

How about solid oxide fuel cells. They can contain reformers that reform almost any hydrocarbon based fuel (or simply run on hydrogen). The reformers break the hydrogen atoms from the ch bonds for reaction. Neat stuff. Still contain by-products from the reformers, but cleaner and an intermediate step or full step to H2 based power.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | April 7, 2006 08:01 PM

actually there are intermediate reactions in the reformers, but I don't have time to explain now.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | April 7, 2006 08:04 PM

Available fuels and the apparent HP of power plants are the choices of the MegaConglomerats. I hope I spelled that correctly.
The use of ethanol will raise the price of grain, beef, chicken, vegetable oil, and anything else that you can imagine on your grocery list. How much can you expect? Do you imagine 8% yearly high? Have some of you not noticed an uncomfortable change? Is it possible that you have not noticed a marked decrease in your fuel mileage?
Are you all as fat and happy as the people buying houses at the golf course and blasting by my needy little farm at 60mph and talking on their cell phones? One of you nearly injured my daughter this afternoon, flying 70 in a 35mph area.
A 15/25 HP engine would fly nicely up to 67 mph on the flats with a load of 6000 GVW and would average 60 to 100 miles per the gallon of gasoline. Why not? What need for 320 HP in any vehicle today?
Brakes would last longer and we (excepting the idiot dudes) would arrive at nearly the same time. Oh gosh, but we wouldn't be able to accelerate as we do now, would you be able to deal with that? Bri

Posted by: Brian Jon | April 7, 2006 09:59 PM

or what?

I prefer the niobium balls like on Galaxy Quest with Tim Allen, I think lobsterhead pretty much does a good Cheyney imitation...


I agree with the Camry owner...


I grew up middle class in the suburbia, and my father was a research scientist... I thought listening to the beatles song,

"a working class hero is something to be," that

I'd try it...

I didn't want to go to college and get married, I wanted something different.

the truth is working class people are predjudiced, and to a certain extent just as moribund as any group in "behaving a certain way"

I talked to some guys about going to college, because I saw factories being closed by automated tools, and the Japanese kicking our butts...but they couldn't envision it, they didn't know how to apply, no one in their family had ever been to college......

I knew several thousand people at that place, I floated, did different jobs....out of all of them only 3 people I knew eventually went to college, they were all from upper middle class families, trying out "working for a living."

it was too scary for many to "step out of their box,"

country boys and inner city blacks were who I worked with, each with their own set of predjudices.....I rode to work with the black guys in a cadillac...lived in a shot gun flat that I paid $45 a month for with a space heater for heat....I brought home more than $400 a week, worked over 60 hours a week...I made more than my father with the overtime...where I lived was dangerous though, so I moved to a nicer $115 a month apartment. This was 35 years ago...

anyway, I rode into work with my black foreman or may be sometimes the older italian immigrant that lived a little Italy, "Pops," he'd give me a ride to work once in awhile...


blue collar people aren't too complicated, they also to some extent trust those that they think know more than them.


that makes them an easy target for being manipulated by the media, and their leaders.


as an aside,

I tried, while I was working there I spoke to the engineers and supervisors about what I saw as "the problems,"

workers weren't included in planning discussions....if you want to know why something doesn't work, you ask someone that is doing the job, if you have a brain.


I watched an engineer, for two weeks looking at front ends to see why something wasn't fitting together.......finally I told him, he ignored me, because I was a "worker," too dumb, he felt I was presumptious....


I kept telling eveyone that the Japanese were going to eat us alive, the other workers said, I don't think so...sort of like the immigration issue, oil and bush...

with some of you.

to make a long story short, IF the people had been included in discussions about the product

they would have known more, helped the technical people to understand what they had to go through, and would have felt invested....


as it was, I knew people that sabotaged vehicles as a way of getting even with management....french fries down the carburator is one example...

quality was not job one.

the lack of interaction between white collar and blue collar created a much worse product than was necessary...


bottom line is


owners wanted to spend what they made, not improve the product, unless

they faced a lawsuit,

faced eminent loss, and it was obvious the fix wouldn't be too hard.

the automotive owners destroyed the automobile industry in the United States...


they've affected millions of people with those failures...and their inability to look more than six months down the road...


it used to be popular when the Japanese were kicking our butts to ask if anyone had a "five year plan,"

Americans didn't plan that far ahead, the Japanese popularized that...

we seem to have gone back to

"having no visible plan,"


it's all about handling emergencies...


HELLO,

WE NEED TO HAVE A PLAN.


I'm saying

stop unregualted outsourcing

stop hiring illegal immigrants

require international corporations that don't employ Americans to be treated as foreign competitors even if they have some like less than 50% Americans working for them...

move factories back into the United States or require them to pay tarrifs

REQUIRE Mexico to start treating it's people better or we ship them all of our mental patients like Cuba did to us...just kidding...REQUIRE Mexico to start being a democratic country or we'll start pulling an EYEraq on them....ha ha ha ha...

those National Guard people would come in handy if we had to deport 12 million squawking mexicans....quit hiring them and they'll walk home within two weeks.


the other thing is make your congress people, this administration and NSA, CIA, FBI, Secret Service, Interpol, Park Police and the FDA responsible to you....


not the effing corporations.

and arrest the president, don't waste time censuring, or impeaching


throw him in the slammer, video record it and play it for five weeks straight...

so that it sinks in that you can do it.

.

Posted by: are you talking fuel cells? | April 8, 2006 12:21 AM

the big trucks have 15 gears...


like bicycles.


the thing is that urbanization makes commuting safer for everyone, as the rich commute with the poor....


you can walk in downtown Portland Oregon at 1:00 in the morning even if you're like 80 years old....everyone is out, and it's all levels of income...but the disparity isn't as high as it is in DC.

Posted by: regarding accelleration... | April 8, 2006 12:30 AM

You are correct that ethanol would raise the price of meat as cattle are grain fed in this country. But on second thought....

We are paying farmers billions of dollars to convert crop fields to pasture and not to grow food in order to control prices. The money is of course going to the top 10% of agribusiness cronies and bypassing family farmers. But there is an upside - it stopped big agribusiness from raping the land and depleting the soil in the name of squeezing every dollar out of it that could be grown - just like the model of Enron and all their ilk - profits today, cash in your stock options and let the fallout be someone elses problem.

We could, perhaps instead save the money and ask these businesses to be patriotic and grow corn, couldn't we? Wisely, of course.

In truth feeding cattle grain is exceptionally inefficient. Our meat consumption is killing us, literally and figuratively. If we adopted healthier (lower meat) diets we could grow a lot more corn for ethanol, couldn't we?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | April 8, 2006 01:59 AM

hhha

Posted by: a | April 8, 2006 03:55 AM

As a final endpoint, having to subsidize production of a fuel makes no sense. Any fuel should be self-supporting. Claims have been made by a company in California (and others) that it can be produced by biotechnology (i.e., "bugs") for a 1/10 of the current cost. That would make sense and should be aggressively investigated.

At the same time, we know that we have to transition to a non-petroleum means of power. Clearly, ethanol may or may not be the total answer even if its production cost can be significantly reduced. At this point, I don't think anyone has a clear vision of what the final picture will be, although increased electrical power is undoubtedly part of the picture.

Given the absence of a strategic plan (something that the government should be largely responsible for), it is necessary to simultaneously pursue developments in a variety of technologies that are in different stages of research and commercialization. Nuclear is clearly an important option, particularly multi-pass fuel plants that will utilize a greater percentage of the fuel and minimize waste disposal problems. Fusion energy will require a major effort, and to its credit France is leading an international group in a major effort to develop such technology. Improvements in non-traditional hydrocarbon production (e.g., tar sands) and exploration in deeper and non-traditional areas. Production of hydrogen by catalytic technologies that use solar energy is being investigated in Australia and Japan and offers the potential for a relatively cheap source of this fuel. Of course, existing technologies such as wind and solar power can undoubtedly be improved.

If we don't go to sleep, we will have energy for transportation, heat, light, processing, etc. although it will most probably be more oriented toward electical power. If we fall asleep, when the first city "turns out the lights" there will be panic programs to do what we should have been doing all along and a period of discomfort and hardship.

Posted by: sammy | April 8, 2006 09:11 AM

Sammy, you are right on when you talk about the government not giving the country leadership in energy planning. Is this the price that we pay for our form of government? Look at China. They have a huge, carefully crafted plan to reduce gasoline usage, increase hydroelectric, nuclear, and wind power. By 2020, China will be quite different in terms of energy while we can't cut through the regulations and build refineries and nuclear plants.

Does the U.S. need to change to a more authoritarian form of government in order to get things done? So far, the countries that are in the lead energy-wise tend to be in that mold.

Posted by: joe190 | April 8, 2006 09:19 AM

I live down here in sugar cane country, south Louisiana.

I am trying to work with local and state officials to start a ethanol refineries at the shut down sugar refineries.

I believe this would help our country and have an economic benefit to this area.

Posted by: getalifejoe@yahoo.com | April 8, 2006 10:22 AM

it already is, it's just that it's a class of people rather than an intelligent or directed force...it's all about "me" and the "me's" in this case are the richest 1/3%


if you had engineering as a part of the legislative process...


if you had a panel of engineers looking at things, and acting on their insights you certainly wouldn't have had a Katrina

that disaster waiting to happen was described "I think" 20 years ago by the Army Corp of Engineers...


we need to examine the infrastructure and the economy of the United States as a National Security Issue...


that would be the smart thing.


shift of emphasis.


energy, infrastructure to support the changes

legislate change with a tax program, six month lead time to increasing gas pricess with tax, the tax to be banked towards paying for infrastructure changes...


emphasize URBANIZATION

and legislate tax breaks, initiatives, mass transport...


ethanol can come from _any_

carbohydrate source...

corn, wheat, potaoes, rye, barley


it is essentially gasoline mixed with ethyl alcohol, which is the byproduct of fermentation

there's also huge sources of methane possible, and probably some way to make longer molecular chains possible, to move it away from gas state.

oil can come from food sources too.

I saw a VW running on used fryer oil from a restaurant...at normal speeds.

heck with a rewards program, you could probaby get a gasoline replacement in a couple of years...

they were looking at turbine engines years ago, and the wankel...but they were too noisy...but they burn _anything_ without adjustment...

technology has come so far, you could have a little turbine or wankel engine with an electrical system....hybrid...very little noise there...

.

Posted by: the United States doesn't need to be authoritarian.. | April 8, 2006 10:28 AM

that would be a good idead, if you want to get funding, get your congress people involved...put a corporation together that puts the idea of employee ownership as part of the inception process...


and sit back, let things take a natural course....

Posted by: hello getalifejoe.. | April 8, 2006 11:02 AM

ethanol is just ethyl alcohol, they need to get a separation process that removes the water without needing to heat it...

to refine it,


maybe something that combines with water to make the water jell like...

and pour the alcohol off.

.

Posted by: my mistake | April 8, 2006 11:14 AM

Two comments:
First, the wife inherited some farmland in Illinois, and grows corn and soybeans. Along with the property she got her dad's old records.
In 1977 he sold corn for $2.71 per bushel.
This year the wife got $2.12. She also got $2300 in farm subsidies which comes to $0.000125 per bushel. What else can you buy for less today than in 1977?
If we go to ethanol, maybe she could get a true price for her work.
Second:
I like the idea of diesel/electric cars. Same system as railway locomotives. A small diesel (soy boidiesel?) motor running a generator supplying power to electric motors at each wheel.
Beat that if you can.

Posted by: lemon grover | April 8, 2006 12:24 PM

Joe190 wrote:

"Does the U.S. need to change to a more authoritarian form of government in order to get things done? So far, the countries that are in the lead energy-wise tend to be in that mold."
________________

Those that are tend towards political rule by meritocracies (even if the scale is thuggery more than intelligence). Here in America, we are tending toward rule by a compulsively deceptive elite, seeking validatiion from time to time by the ill-informed mobocracy and the limited choices they are shown, or the judgments of an equally ill-informed and dogmatic judiciary consistency defending corporate rather than constitutional viewpoints and values.

We need to abandon metaphors of war and central command in resolving our energy crisis; and stop gambling on magical cures. Let's begin our redesign by making the family unit the social nucleus again. Redefine family if we must to be inclusive of every positive soul. Then restructure our economy and our defenses to preserve shared values, not just an endless production of goods to be stacked away or discarded.

For example, grow and market produce locally; eliminating long-haul transport of these items. Build better designed housing that will last longer than the mortgage; scaled down in size. Make it a positive social habit to reclaim rather than waste, everything from clothing to salvaged building materials. Don't build commercial structures taller than five stories. Limit population growth through immigration control. Reward good stewards of family farms and small stands of woodlands by radically reducing their property taxes when the owners commit not to sell out to development. Ultimately, let's ration gasoline (with an equal provision for nondrivers) so that is an economic payment for not being a glutton.

That's enough for now. The idea is that working on the margins, and without common values, gets us nowhere except discouragement or complacency. There is no limit to ways to get in balance without entering a Hobbesian world of self-preservation at the cost of the weak or disadvantaged.

Posted by: On the plantation | April 8, 2006 12:55 PM

Once again, the cold hard numbers that give lie to all the trivial risk-free of offending anyone happy talk of politicians and advocates that "renewable, alternate energy is our holy grail which will drive the Saudis to their knees."

Messner mentioned the 2.25 a gallon taxpayer subsidy to Big Agribiz to make ethanol. Not mentioned is 40% of the energy in a gallon of ethanol represents expenditure of fossil fuel used in the full ethanol production process.

The cold hard numbers: We use 107 Quads. Immigration will drive us to 127-128 Quads in 2030 due to the population explosion in the USA. Solar amounts to 0.063 Quad. Biomass - us wood-burners, and trash to energy plants primarily - accounts for 5 Quads. Wind power is sometimes triple-subsidized, like in California, and still only exists because utilities are forced to buy it at triple the cost of the next most expensive form of electric generation. Even then, it only amounts to 0.15 Quads. (With bird destruction, view destruction, change in rainfall lawsuits and intense local opposition - hindering more windfarms). Hydro is 6 Quads, and enviroweenies are sobbing to have us blow up 1/3rd of our dams to "restore rivers".

Coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear form the rest. 110 of the 128 Quads we will need in 2030 with unchecked 3rd World mass immigration and illegals dropping familias here.

The trendy "alternate" sources are trivial, miniscule and have no hope of adding more than 5 Quads in 50 years.

Ethanol, the latest "hot trendy solution" is anything but. It would cost over 7 bucks a gallon for the gallon of gas equivalent w/o the Agribiz subsidy. Making ethanol or another version methanol - from trash paper and wood cellulose is less energy efficient than burning the stuff in a trash to electricity generating plant. And in another thread, one poster linked to research that said it would require all the arable land East of the Mississippi to produce enough ethanol to replace oil in transportation.

Cold hard numbers.

Even if we end Open Borders, we will still need more Quads even with the trendy sideshow energy sources, all the harebrained Eviroweenie sconservation schemes and the "tiny hybrid car" mantra. Unless we wish to willingly lower our standard of living.

Wake up from the fantasy, folks. And begin thinking rationally, with the actual science of energy use rather than the wishful dreams of some "scientifically illiterate poly sci major of the 70s who became a dedicated anti-nuke and recycler who rides on a bike lubricated with his own organic vegetable oil mix".

Coal? Nuclear? Name your poison, because we will need one or the other, perhaps both, in greater quantity for the next 50 years...

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 8, 2006 02:37 PM

80 proof works, but only for a while.

However, with some seriousness, consider a an energy distribution system based on local generation (as Edison originally proposed), for example, houses and businesses are equipped with solar and energy saving arrangements and power in the form of electricity is generated locally, for all energy needs including transporation, without the need for large and expensive distribution arrangements (both in and out).

The primary power source could vary for a particular location. Wind in some places, tidal or geothermal in others, water dam generation, coal maybe someplace else and solar, even nuke in places that don't have anything else going for them.

In addition, we could live and work in the same place like Crystal City in VA. I know it gets boring after a while but you can walk where ever you need to go or take the Metro and be there in no time and not have to pay for parking. In addition walking is healthy and further reduces pollution.

This would serve to limit consumption of oil. In fact, with time, we could have wind-assisted powered ships to further reduce oil consumption and flying-body lighter than airships or WIG flying boats for passenger transportation at a lower cost and less fuel consumption.

So the future could be bright and green, if only..,..... we had the vision and purpose to do it.
Richard Katz

Posted by: Richard Katz | April 8, 2006 03:57 PM

Greenie - from another thread. I have some dispute with your numbers and ideas on recycling. It is sad, and no reflection on you, but in America, we have certain professions where garbage claims are quickly debunked, a "BS" label attached, and burden of proof is on the author to defend and prove their thesis by scientific method. But also tolerated in America are groups well outside the hard sciences that make ridiculous claims, use bogus statistics and are still accepted in their professions or activist communities.

Topping the list are feminist activists - who have their insane press releases claiming 1 of 3 women are assaulted on Super Bowl day, and that 1 in two women are raped in their 20s. And so on, and who are shameless when caught that so what if they made stuff up...it helped "energize victims". Sadly, environmentalists have less excuse because environmental study should be a hard science and it is trending that way...but the environmental movement was made up of politically active "touchy-feely folk" who supplanted the aesthetic more mainstream conservationist movement...And all too many people in "evironmental causes" have little if any scientific training.

An engineer that said he would make an oil-free jet that uses baking soda and vinegar instead would be instantly called on the carpet to show his or her numbers and calcs. To show the jet would fly in simulation and to do a cost study if that turned out to show vinegar and soda were economical. Failing that, the engineer would be dismissed as a crackpot in months. But in environmental circles, outlandish claims appealing to emotion and absent of facts are allowed to persist if they are believed...as useful propaganda...

That is a big problem that warps responsible debate on our long term energy plan and environmental stewardship. And one group that all but worships solar power that want to fill deserts with collectors horrifies other environmentalists that worry about delicate desert ecology. But environmentalists avoid sorting this stuff out in a scientific, clearinghouse manner. As long as the solar collector in the desert group and the save the desert tortoise people get paying supporters of the "Cause" both groups are happy to overlook the conflict...provided nothing is done...which is part of the environmentalist NGOs preference to "sound good, get clout" over doing anything.

************************

Greenie - "Back to recycling. We import about a million barrels a year of oil from the Persian gulf (2.5-2.9 thousand barrels a day)."

It's about 2 million BPD just to us, but that is misleading in a global commodity market. We could become "independent" of ME oil, but it would still put out 40% of the worlds supply and sell 100% of all they produce. And if the ME was cut off, global price would explode and our other suppliers would limit exports to America to shift supply to cut-off areas of the world like Europe and Asia which are 60-70% dependent on ME oil. Unless we screwed our allies and the 3rd world by seizing the supply. Which would be a real bad war..."

Greenie - "Per the EPA we currently recycle 82% of newspapers and 56% of office paper, 33% of magazines, 32% junk mail, and 16% of phone directories, but still put 10 million tons of newsprint and 4.5 million tons of office paper in the landfill every year."

Your "recycling" numbers sound ridiculously high. Unless burning scrap cellulose in cogen and energy plants counts as "recycling". Even then, I doubt the numbers because certain regions of the country discourage burns and other stats say only 5% of paper put out is recycled product though some love to put a bit of recycle in to virgin feed so they can say "made using recycled paper" to get enviroweenie love.

Greenie - "It is estimated that we could recycle approximately another 46 million tons of paper currently going into our landfills (above what we already recycle)."

If you say there is still 14.5 million left to be recycled in one sentence, how do you get 46 million tons left in the next sentence?

Greenie - "One ton of recycled paper saves about 9 barrels of oil. That is, 46 million tons of paper times 9 barrels per ton equals 414 million barrels a year of oil saved - about 40% of Persian Gulf imports. I'm not making this up."

There are 7.2 barrels of oil per ton of oil. Oil is not a part of the paper production process. I don't think you are making this up, but someone else is - who twisted stats saying ENERGY used in making a tome of paper from start to end of the cycle is Equivalent to 9 barrels of oil - into a false stat saying over one ton of oil is used in making every ton of paper.

Greenie - "I was astounded when I actually started doing the research and crunching the numbers."

I occasionally feed bogus data into my number crunching and have been similarly astounded at the results. Like the time I calculated an Eskimo village of 200 in the Yukon needed a million-ton step down transformer if we stepped up voltage at a village 30 miles away. Then found I had made a millimeter of oil insulation per kilovolt into a meter...

Greenie - "The US goes through 2.5 million plastic bottles per HOUR. Per the EPA about 25% of them are recycled. One ton of recycled plastic saves 16.3 million barrels of oil. If each bottle weighs an ounce, that is close to 10 million barrels a year of oil saved by recycling beverage bottles, or about 10% of our Persian Gulf imports."

Plastic recyclng is a particular obsesion of Enviroweenies because of plastic's persistance in the environment and "bad, bad, evil plastic" talk since the first EarthDay grass-smoking parties. Plastic is a minor number in petro demand. 4% of global oil demand is plastic/artifical rubber production, 4% other, and the rest (96%) is oil to motive energy/electric gen use. Recycling pastic is like recycling glass - you have a blend of incompatible final products that have different colorants, fixatives, polymer chains, additives like chlorine, flourine, lithium....that make it unsuitable for reuse and recycling as feedstock unless recycled at a source factory. Or separated - which is where labor costs like glass - from sorting different colors and types of glass for recycling - make it so no one really wants it so "recycling" has come to mean grinding up glass or tires for roadbed use instead of abundant gravel...or plastics made into limited use, low strength parkbench slats or mostly being burned for electric gen with the paper trash. Not "real recycling". Same amount of virgin sand and oil is used to make the average pound of glass or plastic product as back in the 60s.

The other factor about plastic is that it is wonderfully useful in making products with less carbon use than equivalent components made of metal or ceramic, and has significantly cut down on wastage of goods from damage in replacing previous wood product packaging in all sorts of industries from food to transportation...and is counted on to be an effective seal against product tampering.

Greenie - "So, just from recycling paper and oil we could slash Persian Gulf imports in half."

No, recycling paper has no effect on oil..other than a trivial amount used in horiculture & transportation of product, it's not part of the paper cycle...and recycling actually means more oil use gathering up the waste from consumers, transporting it to a distant paper factory, and reusing it. Plastic use is a meaninglessly small part of our present oil use (0.16 Quad of the 40 Quads of oil we now use and the 46 or so we will need by 2030 if nothing happens but more immigration). We don't have a substitute product for plastic that would result in less energy used per manufactured unit, or less wastage (and lost energy) in transport of product to consumers of those goods.

Recycling plastic bottles is "nice". Kind of like it is "nice" to save a garbage dump seagull with a broken wing, but largely meaningless in the big scheme of things. If you "save" 10% of the oil put into plastics, you would lower our net consumption by 0.016 QUAD. While 3 million illegals more pour across our unguarded borders every year, adding new 0.13 QUAD oil demand per million, or 0,39 new QUADs needed. Recycling is largely irrelevant, recycled old 70s propaganda in itself...But useful because the cult of recycling is used as an indoctrination tool of schoolkids by the environmental lobby (and with our kids and their teachers ranking at the bottom of the advanced world in terms of scientific and math reasoning - unlikely to question their indoctrination by enviroweenies).

Check your own neighborhood recycling place out to see what happens outside metals that are recycled. Little cellulose, plastic, glass scrappage is used to create new product. My own station stacks up the plastic bottle chips and paper waste - then sends it all to the trash to energy plant with the unseparated garbage if no one claims it for use. Glass is ground up and sent to the landfill..

But it is accepted that kids should be deluded, so we can pretend their environmental higher ethos prepares them somehow for a wiser future stewardship of our Gaian ecosphere...I just wish we would be like the Chinese, Germans, French and Japanese who screen unscientific BS claims to avoid misinforming their kids. The Swedes actually consider deliberate bum-doping of kids a form of child abuse.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 8, 2006 05:00 PM

"Does the U.S. need to change to a more authoritarian form of government in order to get things done? So far, the countries that are in the lead energy-wise tend to be in that mold."

We've been headed on that path for the last 5 years, and it would appear less, not more is getting done. But never underestimate the power of leadership in motivating a nation. That is, a leadership that isn't selling us out for 30 million silver pennies.

"Ethanol, the latest "hot trendy solution" is anything but. It would cost over 7 bucks a gallon for the gallon of gas equivalent w/o the Agribiz subsidy."

Ethanol is $3.59 a gallon in Brazil. http://www.journalstar.com/articles/2006/03/11/business/doc441204de8b8bc527280126.txt Why are they smarter/better/cleverer than us?

Posted by: patriot 1957 | April 8, 2006 05:12 PM

Richard Katz wrote:

". . . an energy distribution system based on local generation . . . without the need for large and expensive distribution arrangements . . .."
___________

Edison was local because his vision was erroneously based on direct-current power production which suffers enormous power loss when conducted over relatively short distances, therefore that was all his approach could accomplish. Local production had nothing to do with relative economies, which clearly work the other way.

Power plants are big precisely because there are scale economies of production. Some prospective forms of nuclear power might change the equation, and actually offer power production units small enough to match the needs of a single office complex, for example; but that is the future not now. Using carbon-based fuels to make electricity, the efficiencies are with large size generation, not small. Super-conducting alloys used to transmit power can help in the inevitable loss of power that turns along its transmission path into heat before it gets to the customer, but physics doesn't offer much else to enhance the equation using carbon fuel burned to make electricity.

Nuclear power generation clearly is very desperately needed to close the gap. A lot of lesson of been learned on how to keep this genie in the bottle, even including a great deal of expertise from the Russians and French.

Posted by: On the plantation | April 8, 2006 05:12 PM

Chris, I agree that recyling has little beneficial effects on oil usage. However, where does all this stuff go? Of course, I know most of it goes to landfills. Not too sure about how good landfills are for us either, with liner leakage, space considerations. I'm not a big tree hugger, but I throw out so much crap every day, it makes me wonder how long this practice will be environmentally sustainable.

On a slightly unrelated topic, whatever happened to our former mayor-for-life Marion Barry's trash-to-energy machine? He was about to throw the switch a few months ago, but his promotion was abruptly shut down. I would have given anything to to have been there (if I had the time).

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | April 8, 2006 07:46 PM

Patriot - The cost if ethanol is made in the US to replace gas is 7.87 dollars a gallon, ethanol replacing an equivalent gallon of gasoline. For starters, 1.5 gallons of ethanol are needed to get the same miles as a gallon of gas due to low energy content. Also, it takes use of 2.97 dollars worth of fossil fuel to make 1 gallon of ethanol at 3.97.

More facts:

http://zfacts.com/p/60.html

Note the absurdity that we will need just about every acre of arable land planted in corn to get us close to switching out of oil. No one looking at the acreage requirements or the other hard numbers past the politicians and ill-informed "Cause Groups" happytalk thinks for a minute it is feasible.


Brazil began a subsidy program in the 70s on building ethanol infastructure, donating free land for crops, building plants and distribution. And Brazil benefits from cheap sugarcane field labor, cheap land, subsidized fertilizer, bagasse to burn for distilling, (2/3rds of the energy in a sugarcane stalk are in the cellulose, not the sugar) and a climate that permits 2 crops.

Brazil is no more smarter an cleverer than us because they are suited to grow lots of sugarcane than we are because we grow wheat easier than they do.

But Bush, the Lefties, enviroweenies all love the trendy happytalk that "alternates" like ethanol from switchgrass and corn will somehow reduce the 40 QUAD Oil demand we have or somehow blunt the 9 EXTRA Quads we will need to sustain 63 million more people and anchor babies and "reunified families" crossing Bush's Open Borders - numbers the US Census Bureau is giving for 2030.

The cold hard numbers?

If we double our present biomass QUAD contribution with "amazing ethanol", double our Solar, Windmill, geothermal and all the other "magic" alternatives, its like pissing on a forest fire if unchecked immigration continues to swell our numbers to 363 million in 2030, 420-450 million by 2050.

By 2030, 363 million people will need 127-130 Quads total. 49 Quads gas or gas substitute. Even with 5 Quads from a huge crash ethanol problem, we still would need 4 more Quads of fossil fuel produced oil than we do now.

Cold, hard numbers. And even if we don't have increased demand - through the "magic" of wonderful alternate energies that are children and puppy safe that come with no drawbacks like fairydust from a magic wand - and add other "magic" happytalk of conservation and recycling "driving the Saudis to their knees" - global demand will make whattever we do in America irrelevant to the price of oil. 40% of new oil demand in the last 10 years is driven solely by Rising China.

More cold hard numbers. 2 billion people just poured into the global economy, as smart and as educated or more than the failing American public schools can manage even with motivated Americans. They have a yet-unsatisfied demand for a US lifestyle and even the most liberal here know we can't let the 4 billion of the present 6.7 billion people on Earth, who want into the USA, come in. By 2050 we will be in Malthusian territory with 10.5-12 billion on a planet they say is "sustainable" in water and other resources with only about 4.5 billion.

And we have coal and nuclear as our only two long-term shots (going out around 2050) at giving America a chance to maintain it's present culture and standard of living...as long as we end Open Borders...

Time to get used to the realities of the future and end the feel-good happytalk meant to distract the masses from the future the Ruling Elite are bringing us.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 8, 2006 08:09 PM

I currently do not practice recyling, except for oil or solvents. My experience with recyling here in DC left me in disgust.

For years I had separated recyclable paper from other garbage. One day, I had made a trip to the local transfer station (Ft. Totten) to dump some big items. Inside the yard, I saw a city employee with the sharp end of a pry-bar knocking the hell out of a pile of air conditioners to release the R-12 (or whatever refrigerant was contained in the systems). Next, I saw piles and piles of bundled old newspapers being shoved with front loaders, along with regular trash, into trucks heading for the landfill in VA.

So much for my efforts. Things might have changed since then, but I will never again expend any energy to recycle unless it is required by law.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | April 8, 2006 08:10 PM

Just because Chris Ford doesn't believe the numbers doesn't make him right.

Here is the reference from the epa on current recycling rates: http://www.epa.gov/msw/recycle.htm
Now, the government certainly could be lying, it wouldn't be the first time, would it?

Figures vary a bit but there is a fairly standard figure that paper recycling saves about 9 barrels of oil per ton. The link I am posting here says 11 barrels, but that's higher than I usually see and I used 9 barrels in the calculation. The oil savings compare the cost of cutting down the trees, bringing the wood to the paper plant, and manufacturing the virgin paper vs the cost of picking up paper for recycling and bringing it to recycled paper plant. http://www.ohiodnr.com/recycling/awareness/facts/paper.htm

Now the calculation for how much recyclable paper we toss into the landfull will have to wait till tomorrow because I don't seem to be able to count zeroes when I'm tired.

Posted by: Greenie | April 9, 2006 02:14 AM

I always find it amusing that almost no one talks about significantly altering our lifestyle as a means to reduce oil and other consumption/dependence. Gee, we can't live differently, or lose any of our sacred conveniences - impossible! Well, folks, we don't have any choice.

Our 'way of life' is ENTIRELY dependent on cheap, always expanding oil availability. Even our economy is a based on permanent expansion, which in turn is based totally on cheap oil. Once the cheap oil is gone, so is our way of life, as well as our economy.

No combination of alternates will allow us to live in a fashion even remotely similar to the way that we live now.

It's not just gas for our wasteful cars - oil is crucial to every facet of American life; from food production and transportation to all plastics to pharmaceuticals to producing home heating (regardless of whether it is natural gas or elec)to just about anything you can think of - when the cheap oil era is over, our standard of living will drop so fast, it will be astounding. That time is almost upon us, and we did not prepare.

Posted by: amused | April 9, 2006 11:07 AM

Emily, you obviously don't know what you are talking about - "should we replace gas with ethanol"? Where do you think we would grow all the corn? The moon? Almost all the arable land is already in use for our food, or for food for working animals. Replacing gas with ethanol would require a massive amount of acreage devoted entirely to corn - we just don't have the land.

Please at least do a modicum of research before you put forward discussion topics - your question is moot, because it is impossible.

For credible proof of these assertions, read the first two pages of:

http:://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net

Posted by: amused | April 9, 2006 11:23 AM

Posted by: amused | April 9, 2006 11:26 AM

MadMax here we come! It might not be all that bad after all the wars, famine and upheavals. We humans have lived thousands of years without being entirely dependent on oil, and we can after any inevitable collapse. That seems to be the only thing we can hope for. A return to a simpler life. However, I think I'm going to purchase some guns in the meantime.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | April 9, 2006 01:09 PM

Posted by: Chris Ford ,

"Patriot - The cost if ethanol is made in the US to replace gas is 7.87 dollars a gallon, ethanol replacing an equivalent gallon of gasoline. For starters, 1.5 gallons of ethanol are needed to get the same miles as a gallon of gas due to low energy content. Also, it takes use of 2.97 dollars worth of fossil fuel to make 1 gallon of ethanol at 3.97."

It's a start, there is no way out of the energy crisis, NO ignoring it any more, when gas hits $5/gal, the public will wake up. Jimmy Carter was the only president to try and face the truth.

"Brazil is no more smarter an cleverer than us because they are suited to grow lots of sugarcane than we are because we grow wheat easier than they do."But Bush, the Lefties, enviroweenies all love the trendy happytalk that "alternates" like ethanol from switchgrass and corn will somehow reduce the 40 QUAD Oil demand we have or somehow blunt the 9 EXTRA Quads we will need to sustain 63 million more people and anchor babies and "reunified families" crossing Bush's Open Borders - numbers the US Census Bureau is giving for 2030."

Chris Ford, you idiot, there you go again with false information. The open borders of the last five years are due to the Bush-ChirsFord-neoweenies wanting cheap labor and Hispanic votes to make the neo-conservative republican party the permanent majority party. As long as you blindly support bush as you always have, then your part of the blame for illegal immigration.

"If we double our present biomass QUAD contribution with "amazing ethanol", double our Solar, Windmill, geothermal and all the other "magic" alternatives, its like pissing on a forest fire if unchecked immigration continues to swell our numbers to 363 million in 2030, 420-450 million by 2050."

I agree.

"By 2030, 363 million people will need 127-130 Quads total. 49 Quads gas or gas substitute. Even with 5 Quads from a huge crash ethanol problem, we still would need 4 more Quads of fossil fuel produced oil than we do now."

Can you share the formula used to calculate your figures?

"Cold, hard numbers. And even if we don't have increased demand - through the "magic" of wonderful alternate energies that are children and puppy safe that come with no drawbacks like fairydust from a magic wand - and add other "magic" happytalk of conservation and recycling "driving the Saudis to their knees" - global demand will make whattever we do in America irrelevant to the price of oil. 40% of new oil demand in the last 10 years is driven solely by Rising China."

I agree.

"More cold hard numbers. 2 billion people just poured into the global economy, as smart and as educated or more than the failing American public schools can manage even with motivated Americans. They have a yet-unsatisfied demand for a US lifestyle and even the most liberal here know we can't let the 4 billion of the present 6.7 billion people on Earth, who want into the USA, come in. By 2050 we will be in Malthusian territory with 10.5-12 billion on a planet they say is "sustainable" in water and other resources with only about 4.5 billion."

I agree.

"And we have coal and nuclear as our only two long-term shots (going out around 2050) at giving America a chance to maintain it's present culture and standard of living...as long as we end Open Borders..."

I agree

"Time to get used to the realities of the future and end the feel-good happytalk meant to distract the masses from the future the Ruling Elite are bringing us."

I agree

Posted by: Jamal | April 9, 2006 01:43 PM

Jamal - Mass Immigration is driven off the 1965 Immigration Reform Act. Look at the authors. All Jewish Democrats. You had some Republicans in the 70s and 80s jumping on the bandwagon demanding special immigration privileges for Soviet Jews and Cubans, but in general, fatcat Republicans were Johnny-come-latelies to Open Borders - when they realizd after the Amnesty of 1986 that they could flood their businesses with cheap labor and undercut white, but especially black workers they weren't too happy with in several industries.

But that was then. This is now, and it is stupid to try a partisan blame game when both Parties Ruling Elites are full of special interest people and fatcat owners that want to perpetuate the status quo. I confess amazement that the Jewish and WASP Democratic Party Bosses have managed to keep their black base on the plantation after two decades of catastrophy for black jobs in the SW...and equal amazement that the corporate crony wing of the Republican Party has buffalo'd the middle class Republicans and Reagan Democrats so well - after immigration and globalization have begun to screw that large segment of America as well.

Until you understand WHO the Ruling Elites are, and how to fight them...your partisanship just has you cluelessly shuffling onto the bus every election and hoping for crumbs the real power brokers toss..

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 9, 2006 03:15 PM

there are allways issues and concerns about everything concerning energy. Ethanol looks pretty good indeed. It may even provide more jobs to the farming class, wich was another big issue when importing sugars from other countries accused of growing sugar cane using forced under age labor and therefore slavery.
Any change should be welcomed especially if they can avoid oil spills wich ruins ecology.
Smarter and safer energy will be greatly appreciatted.

Posted by: Dr.Q | April 9, 2006 03:41 PM

Greenie - I'm afraid your 9-11 barrels of oil used per ton of paper produced is a garbage figure. Concocted by an environmentalist activist or group with no scientific or economic training. Or worse, by people who know it is bogus...and moreover, who wish to conceal that recycling actually uses more fossil fuel, water in "rehabilitating" a ton, and generates more pollution in our waterways, than producing a ton of paper from virgin feedstock.

The utility of paper recycling is limited to limiting trees cut down (70s hippie - "Save a tree. Love a tree. Oh, that's so far out!"), and reducing stuff tossed in landfills. The industry recycles 45% but warns further recycling mandates from even more difficult collection sources will only add additional fossil energy use and cause more water pollution. They make a case for burning waste for cogen, rather than recycling - citing renewable forest feedstock.


I did email the Ohio bozos that you linked to and told them their claim that 11/7.2 barrels/ton means it takes 1.53 tons of oil to create a ton of virgin paper was bogus. Sadly, the faith-based environmental community has spread that deceit widely.

The truth can be found on the DOE Website that does breakdown on forest product and paper production energy use and types of fuel used.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/mecs/iab/forest_products/page2.html


Paper production is only 3 Quads of the 107 we use nationally. Only 7% of net energy use is from oil.

Note that over 70% of forest industry energy use is from renewable energy, 50% in papermaking. And much of the 7% oil use is from mandated recycling paper, or cleaning up water contaminated with recycled paper binders, heavy metal contamination, chemicals used in deinking and more powerful bleaching agents used than on virgin feedstock.

All in all, only 0.21 Quads of oil are used in our 129 billion dollar forest industry - about the most productive basic resource industry out there in terms of value per barrel oil use. Half that 7% is from the obligation of accept waste paper for recycling. Numbers are also from 1994 when oil was cheap. And part of that miniscule use is from a few mills banned from using coal and not close to natural gas supplies that can easily be switched out of oil use if it becomes a priority.

So another BS environmental activist myth bites the dust.

I really worry about our kids being shoveled crap like Greenie cites - in our textbooks. As we all know, students are now heavily indoctrinated in the "compelling wisdom" of recycling, by equally clueless teachers that have swallowed the crap shoveled in their mouths by enviroweenies. It is something we must start looking at...infiltration of our textbooks by ideologically driven fabrications rather than facts. Kids are propagandized that recycling achieves wonders. In reality, it makes for more land taken up by piles of stuff separated out by taxpayer-funded labor that no one wants other than the metals..

The market tells us that only metals rcycling saves big energy use, is very low in labor sorting costs, and thus works on economic demand principles without any "mandate" laws or taxpayer recycling subsidies.

The rest is all 70s "political" thinking made without real scientific or economic thought. There is no real case for plastic, glass, paper recycling other than "conserving precious landfill space" - which is equally specious - in that landfills have alternate uses once topped, and take up a very, very small "footprint" - and modern lined landfills and high-temp trash to energy cogen plants eliminate much of the water pollution that 70s activists were so upset about.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 9, 2006 04:41 PM

Chris, I agree landfills do not present any serious threat now, but I do notice a trend where industries located in particular states, such as VA, are importing increasingly large amounts of garbage from other states. Probably should have some kind of plan to spread them out some, so no one area becomes landfill capitol of the nation.

And while I've seen some pretty pictures of filled areas topped off and made into golf courses and such, I don't believe I could stomach living on top of one.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | April 9, 2006 05:39 PM

you know when I see someone looking at things as-if there were only either/or solutions to a situation...

I know I'm dealing with stupid people...


and I dislike stupid people, but hey, sometimes that is all that you have to work with:

so


I'm going to say this slowly:

multi-faceted approach to dealing with a situation.

the _current cost_ number about how much it costs


_now_

to make a gallon of alcohol.


who effing cares?


give me a couple of years, I could probably come up with a slurry operation that would separate the alcohol from the fermentation process by having it run-off rather than having to separate it from water by heating and distillation....as a part of the process, alcohol would be separating continuously....I would bind the water somehow....

now shut up.


I'm not going to drink it, I'm going to burn it....I don't need it pure I need it burnable........


recycling, pollution are different things that may work together.......


but they certainly won't work unless applied to a

system of addressment.


I HATE working with stupid people...


this chris ford mentality that doesn't know the difference between


SOLUTION

and arguing is a constant pain in the ass, in that he persistently _pushes_

methods that he believes in


and can't effing listen to addressing the solution as a system of solutions, and he has a reaction to _not hearing_ what he wants to push forward and goes into stop mode........


tell me that watching tar and oil bubbling up to the surface in Pennsylvania told people that they would be putting that stuff in something called "automobiles" and driving around the world and I'd call
you

_a liar_


enough of blathering about what works today!!!!!!!!!!


who cares?


WE ARE GOING TO RUN OUT OF OIL!!!!!!!!!!!!


"biology or sun power," nuclear, geothermal, tides, wind....


that's it,

NOW EFFING SOLVE IT!

DON'T GIVE ME ANY CRAP THAT THERE ISN'T A SOLUTION....


even if you have a war, it is not going to go away.........


it _has_ to be solved.

quit you baby arsed blathering and come up with a system of solutions.....


life isn't all yeses and noes.
.

Posted by: that's pathetic... | April 9, 2006 05:44 PM

blocking on a word like

"b*llsh*t"

when they say vagina, penis and balls on regular television...


what's with you guys?

Posted by: you know what else is pathetic... | April 9, 2006 05:46 PM

talk about stupidity....


you want the where can we put the trash problem to work....


you outlaw the creation of things that don't dispose of easily...


or get a method of creation that makes disposing of them easy, like deposits on mecury lights...

not allowing chemicals that biodegrade safely to be used commercially or otherwise and make it illegal to produce them here or by American companies in other countries....


I think it reprehesible, that we allowed Union Carbide to do things in other countries that they can't do here...

same with tobacco, and arms sales.

.

Posted by: as far as burning trash or having a containment tank as part of a land fill.. | April 9, 2006 05:55 PM

how about paper waste being used to recycle paper waste...


methane production,

little briquets of paper, impregnated with some bio-based oil, fueling generators...


in Japan, they used to collect fecal matter from humans to recycle as soil, much as the English used to have people whose sole job it was to pick up horse-apples...


look for solutions within problems...


you don't stop thinking because it's not in the books yet.


water and alcohol are miscible, that's why you have to separate them out...

that's also why you can't get higher than 190 proof alcohol...


ethanol is what they used to put in gastanks to take the small amount of water that got mixed into fuel tanks that would cause gas line freeze occaisonally, they used to sell stuff to put in your gas tanks...it was ethanol...probably how they came up with the idea of adding ethanol to thin the gas..
.

Posted by: how about steam engines? | April 9, 2006 06:25 PM

"really stupid people"


stop with the greenies, hippies...labeling childish garbage...


and the fearless "right wing dumbdonkey" told them what was what...

right...

sure..

you're _so busy_ impressing yourself you can't see anyone else succeeding.

unless you want me to continue calling you a clueless moron, dipwad

Posted by: neo conservative name calling | April 9, 2006 06:29 PM

almost all of the arable land is in use?


what is arable land?


what is bad land that has had compost added to it?


what is desalinization?


what is removing suburbia, turning it back into farmland...


you are a laughable self important barely perceptible, small in size prick..

.

do you ever fly in an airplane?


do you know how to use the bathroom yet?


please don't ever show up here again.

thanks.

Posted by: dear amused... | April 9, 2006 06:32 PM

we have

_MORE_


arable land than any other land mass in the world...

it doesn't matter.


IF we include voluntary population control and eliminating corruption as upgrading the

human

ecology system


well, everything becomes workable doesn't it?

stupid, little, "it's all about me" and

_my_

_beliefs_

people........


you know people that believe are to frightened to simply

_be_


and work with what is there....they _need_ someone else to think up theories that

_they_

can use, because they can't understand what is happening to them.........


jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezus.
.

Posted by: ps. | April 9, 2006 06:39 PM

you can't touch me because you can't think...

you can research, but you can't understand what is in front of you,


without looking it up and using someone else's theory, that's why


you always


_react_


not act.

look it up, that's the difference between authentic and someone that lives in

_story_ mode

I would imagine in _your_ story, you're THE HERO, surrounded by _pathetic_ "little people" that don't understand _anything_


sorry,

in the real world, you provide good information and sometimes insight...


but you're the pathetic clueless moron that values his inflated opinion of himeself

MORE

than the


_solution_.

that's why you are pathetic, you live for your slimey little ego gratification...

you're the pathetic _little_ person that keeps getting in the way of solution...

and in a straight-ahead thinking competition....you wouldn't make it out of the chutes against me.

and that is just the way it is, dude.

put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Posted by: dear chris ford... | April 9, 2006 07:04 PM

a polymer is?

that's an important question...


we may be able to use biological or nanotechnology to build biological solutions to current energy issues...


I have several friends that have earth bermed homes that never use energy from "the grid" to heat or cool their homes...and they have plenty of light...

I used to live in Reston, that's a planned community, think about that as a paradigm for land-use.

planned community

planned city

human ecology

business ecology

emotional ecologies


systems of working with mulitple things simultaneously,


spare me your simple minded, single concept thought processes....


we need to move from point A to operting POINT B


the smartest engineering solutions

ALWAYS HAVE A DESIGN PRINCIPLE INVOLVED THAT SAYS THAT THE LEAST NUMBER OF PIECES TO ANY MACHINE IS THE STRONGEST DESIGN

COMPLEXITY IS A NO NO

however, in a system complexity is nothing more than being aware of the totality of things that affect each other

pollution, fuel, land, solar, recycling all move together as a unit...

you need to start using recyclables as part of the fueling, land use process, elimnating things that can't biodegrade within 6 months from landfills and work with that as a necessary premise...

then you don't need to worry about landfills...

it is extremely short sighted to _not_ use all of that fecal and urine generated daily by humans in high population areas...but first you need to eliminate putting things down the drain that are poisononous...

again:


you need to involve engineers in planning the ecologies of the United States, and not as followers of policy, as creators of policy...

and you're going to have to pull your heads out of your buts about corporations and not let _them_ set policy....


they don't want to abide by the laws,


let them go to Mexico........


you don't see the illegals going do you?


There's a reason for that, the corporations can bluster and wave their flags all they want to.......they need us more than we need them...

someone will always be willing


to do _their_ job, they're replaceable..

they don't want you to think about it...


but just like getting rid of the illegals is the simple solution of arresting and prosecuting 500 employers...would solve that so would requiring corporations to have facilities in the United States that employed citizens to at least the 55% level _before_ they could sell here at the AMERICAN rate....other wise they need to be paying _significant_ import duties.......

we have _more_ of everything than

ANY

other country...

you sell that advantage off,

you have no choice, you have no leverage.

don't let them sell your country....

don't let people that have no vested interest in you own your country...without the provision that you can take it back without paying for it.

Posted by: do you know what | April 9, 2006 07:26 PM

requiring telecommuting.

requiring paperless offices.

using encoding, to compress _all_ data stored...

having that hardwired, so decompression is not a software issue....


I mean this is like 5 minutes thinking for me...

Posted by: something simple like | April 9, 2006 07:39 PM

the so called

ISLAMO FASCISTS


DEFEAT ALL THE FASCISTS...


what difference does it make who owns the oil, when it's no_longer an issue?


IF you have the most arable land 50 years from now...


who the EFF do you think rules the world?


the sand merchants?


WHO DO THEY NEED?


YOU................with all the arable land, unless you sold it to them as a way of getting their effing oil money.


please pull your heads out of your butts....


forget about the oil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


it's going away.


you want to prevent the "dangerous ARABS" from taking over the world because they control oil........


take away your dependency....


that is a real project, for an oil free society........


one that will remove the arabic and chinese threat from cornering a scarce resource....and moving it into the "who cares?" category...


we discovered nylon as a replacement for silk when the Japanese interfered with importation during WWII

no silk stockings, no parachutes, no silk cords...blah blah blah

we discovered plastic when the Japanese and German interfered with rubber importation during WWII


WE HAD TO HAVE WHEELS
to fight the war and run the economy.........ALL FLEXIBLE WHEELS WERE MADE WITH VULCANIZED RUBBER, BEFORE WWII.

stupid AMERICANS:
OH NO!!!!!!!!!! NO RUBBER, IT'S ALL OVER

smart AMERICANS:
shut the eff up! I'm thinking.

Oh yeah, I've noticed something that I call polymerization...and sort of a springy quality....maybe we can make something called "plastic" from oil....


THAT is how real Americans think, and they don't go around calling their simpler brothers and sisters neocons, conservatives and the small-dysfunctional-penis-people.

unless they have to.

Posted by: you want to defeat the | April 9, 2006 08:39 PM

do you know what soil is?

sh*t...garbage, dead biomass, leavings, biodegradeables...

IS THAT IMPORTANT?


it is when arable land is an issue.


IT WILL BE 50 years from now when you yahoos, all-of-a-sudden decide that you should have seperated out your biodegradeables from your non-biodegradeables...


because now you have acres of soil instead of acres of unusable land........

simple...


I could do this all day long.

.

[please tell your pathetic editors to quit filtering on the ess word]

Posted by: arable land.... | April 9, 2006 09:03 PM

Corn ethanol and soy biodiesel are only a place to get started. Later, we can make ethanol from switchgrass (a perennial that does not need to be replanted or tilled and is naturally resistant to drought and pests) and biodiesel from algae (I have a sample of algal biodiesel at my home).

Our wastes can be converted to fuel with Thermal De-Polymerization (this is being done commercially at a Butterball turkey plant in Missouri right now).

We can also switch half of our transportation miles to electricity by adopting plug-in hybrid vehicles with a modest 20 mile all-electric battery range and a liquid fueled engine for those times when more range is needed. Yes, about half of our electricity now comes from coal, but increasingly that can come from wind and solar. In any rate, ending our addiction to oil will free our foreign policy from our slavery to those who control oil. Free to support freedom (not repressive governments with large oil reserves).

The technology is there. We just need to refine and expand on existing ideas. For those of you that care, you can begin now; no waiting. You can run 100% biodiesel in unmodified diesel cars and trucks and you can run 85% ethanol in Flex Fuel vehicles available from several manufacturers.

Visit my web site for a full discussion of these alternatives:

www.itsgood4.us

Posted by: Marc Franke | April 9, 2006 09:35 PM

This may sound crazy, but what if we try all of these methods in the coming 50 years and continue to stockpile the crude oil replaced by the alternatives. May not be much at first, but if we seal our borders well and maintain a stable population, it may quickly grow as time passes and we would develop a huge stockpile. Would it be possible to simply pour it into empty oil wells in the US for storage?

Posted by: clueless questioner?? | April 9, 2006 10:28 PM

Chris Ford, you are deliberately muddying the water. Shame on you, if you have any shame.

About 30% of those Quads, or 32 Quads, are used to move vehicles, the rest of the 75 Quads are for electricity and heat, which we use only a tiny amount of oil for. Americans are not dying in the middle east for coal, or natural gas, or nuclear or water power, the source of other 70% of the 107 Quads you like to quote so much. They are dying for the oil fraction.

Using conversion figures from here http://www.eppo.go.th/ref/UNIT-OIL.html the billion barrels of oil we import from the Persion Gulf each year is about 5.4 Quad's worth. (If you take about 30% of your 107 Quads used for transportation and take about 20% of that (the fraction we import from the Persian Gulf) you get about the same answer.) So, in order to get our kids home from the Persian Gulf we need to find a way to cut oil use by about 5.4 Quads, not 107 Quads. Hmm, maybe this is a problem that could be chipped away at instead of throwing our hands up at the overwhelming sound of 107 Quads!

Ford said his "Numbers are also from 1994 when oil was cheap." Now that's a problem, In the 90's there was very little marked for mixed paper recycling and lots of problems with contamination, including glossy ads, not accepting phone books, etc. Things have changed in 12 years.

There is no single solution. But if we had a real leader in Washington he could have used his "fear" pulpit to create new markets for hybrids (supported by tax credits) recycled paper and plastic, and a demand for slashed plastic use in packaging (don't forget half our oil use goes into plastics and synthetics) and started seriously chipping away at those 5.4 quads. Instead he counted his silver pennies while it went up and his personal fortune multiplied.

Posted by: Greenie | April 9, 2006 11:40 PM

it's a good question, but you're putting the cart in front of the horse.


the first thing to do is to decide to solve the "oil crisis" by not needing oil.


Heck we might even avoid being manipulated by people that want us to buy their oil....like the bush family and their arabic friends and the Brits of course....believe me the Germans and French are involved too....they don't have huge oil reserves.

there are multiple approaches, as you suggest,

but they are all the same....and you need to keep that in mind, you don't want to become too specific in your dependancies...

that was one of the things about the old turbine cars looked at during the late 60's, they would run on turpentine, gasoline, kerosene or a souped up vegetable oil....

paper making can come from any plant source, hemp has been suggested over and over since it has so much fiber produced per acre...heck you could probably use tobacco to get an oil from...

it's easier than it is hard, it just needs to be explored.

we don't need to react we need to understand that a diversity of sources for fuel makes us extremely UN-vulnerable.

in general:

you have to combust/burn something to make energy, during the burning.

you can do that with any bio product on some level.

wood rotting is a slow burning, compost piles have been known to catch fire...


you can have diverse methods for using burnables, you could burn old paper and use it for fuel, or compress, impregnate it with a fuel source and use it to power steam engines...you could change ink to make it burn cleaner...blah blah blah


the thing is burning dinosaurs is the same thing as finding biomass to use _now_ that doesn't come from dinosaurs...


we could probably build algae that make oil, or diatoms...

regarding polymers, from National Geographic:

"Tiny molecules strung in long repeating chains form polymers. Why should you care? Well for one thing, your body is made of them. DNA, the genetic blueprint that defines people and other living things, is a polymer. So are the proteins and starches in the foods we eat, the wheels on our skateboards and in-line skates, and the tires on our bikes and cars. In fact, we're surrounded by polymers every day, everywhere we go.

There's another great reason to learn about polymers. Understanding their chemistry can help us use them wisely. Once we're familiar with the varieties of polymers that people make, such as plastics, we can recycle many of them and use them again. That's good for the environment."

if we start with specific things, like making electricity...using combustubiles of all sorts...burning them as we would coal, wood, and liquid fuels made from diverse sources, perhaps blended, perhaps polymerized (chains extended) then we have a wide choice of fuel types...if we have less specific parameters that we need to meet, we can burn more diverse products...

you can even generate usable heat without burning things, using state change, blah blah blah

use oil for specific things, while developing biologically based polymers, work out the storage details as we go along.

the problem with trusting the government or corporations is that the government is run by

"the elite" that in turn run and are run by the corporations.


AGAIN: GMC, used to make as much money as ALL OF EUROPE COMBINED, during the 60's. They used to employ 100's of THOUSANDS, approximately 1.5 million people. Did they manage their operations to succeed into the future and make sure that the people that they employed did as well as the CEO's and CFO's and CIO's? NO, they didn't it wasn't a part of their game plan. In the old days an owner, officer never made more than FIVE (5) times what the highest paid worker made... I don't want to hold people to that, but it's a comparison.

One of the things in the last 20 years that has occured is "takeovers" and "downsizing"

during that process, companies were looted and sold to internationals, profits were high for the looters...

people were tossed out into the streets like

cigarette butts.

That's not very nice.

You're all _way_ to worried about the

_illegals_

and me saying bad things about bush.

Heck there's old ladies dieing in New York City from not being able to pay their winter heating bills......and that's all right with you,

as long as I don't talk about George H.W. Bush starting a war with Iraq by suckering Saddam Hussein into attacking Kuwiat...

as well as how he was head of the CIA starting in 1976, before that he was busy trying to get Castro assinated...

who was president during Desert Storm?

why didn't we go to Bagdhad and get Saddam then? I forget.

Anyway, the point is, we don't need oil, we don't need containment, we don't need to protect Israel from Nuclear holocaust and we can blow up Iran from here...

so game over.

.
.
.

Posted by: hello clueless... | April 9, 2006 11:43 PM

the chinese use cellophane, as do the japanese..

we could use nylon...or some form of polymerized cellophane, fibre product...

there are multiple solutions now,

you could just _require_ that plastic be used in very specific instances...and reduce use.


.

Posted by: regarding packaging... | April 9, 2006 11:50 PM

Sorry, UC at Berkeley and Cornell's school of agriculture analyzed the ecological footprint of ethanol production and determined it is not cost effective or environmentally sustainable in replacing even a portion of fossil fuel use.

Worse, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, an offshoot of the National Science Foundation also concluded their study recommending against large scale ethanol production as yielding little surpluse energy per unit of fossil energy expended in production and said the economics of corn OR switchgrass to ethanol is not there - and any production would only exist with massive taxpayer subsidy that the 3X more efficient Brazilian sugarcane to ethanol industry is not restrained by.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050704110527.htm

***********************

Marc Franke, I hate to disabuse you of your happy talk, but again, the cold hard numbers. We use 107 Quads, will need 127-129 by 2030 if unchecked immigration continues. We use 20% less fossil fuel energy per capita in America than in 1970, but consume 20% more oil and 35% more energy overall because we added a wad mare "capitas".

Of that total, Solar is only 0.063 Quad and DECLINING. Windmills are only 0.15 Quad and now facing considerable neighbor opposition and ENVIRONMENTAL lawsuits over bird kills.

We make only 7,000 MW electricity from biomass, 90% of that is by the forest products industry. 7,000 MW is 7 new nuke plants putting out 0 grams Co2.

"Yes, about half of our electricity now comes from coal, but increasingly that can come from wind and solar."

Nonsense. That is just happy talk from environmentalist idealogues that lack scientific or economic training.

"biodiesel from algae (I have a sample of algal biodiesel at my home)."

Again, nonsense in the big picture of things, same with turkey entrails making any dent in our energy needs. Every year eng students design and build vehicles that run on stuff like cowflops, butter, weeds as a cute thing to do. I was involved years ago in a stirling cycle motorbike that traveled 300 miles on dried Massachusetts seaweed. Or exotics that thrill the enviro-activists with degrees in poly sci or theater production so much like geothermal, tidal...

"In any rate, ending our addiction to oil will free our foreign policy from our slavery to those who control oil."

The enviroweenies did not say a peep about the mass flow of immigrants into the US from 1970-2006 that killed any hope of energy independence. And oppose out of ideology the one proven source of major CO2-less energy that is renewable - nuclear power. And even if we were independent, the people with the oil will sell every scrap they pump up regardless of the USA....its' a global market and 2 billion thirsty Indians, CHinese, and Asian Tigers want more... That does not imply slavery anymore than the world is enslaved to America because they need our corn and wheat. We are hardly enslaved to Venezuela, Nigeria, Kuwait, Russia, Norway, Canada, Saudi Arabia. Hollywood idiots like to pretend slavery to KSA for the 7% of our imports they ship is a reality, but that is because they are idiots.

Once again the hard cold numbers - we will need to go from 107 to 127 Quads by 2030. We need to go from 40 to 47-49 Quads of oil or oil substitute. Solar at 0.063 Quads and Windmills at 0.15 Quads don't cut it on amount of energy or as a substitute for oil. Biomass is fine in forest products but adding more than a few Quads from subsidized ethanol is ignorant happytalk. Recycling is ignorant happytalk.

Thank God after 35 years of clueless enviroweenies lacking scientific and economic training running around trying to set policy based on their political "feelings" - the universities have finally applied discipline and fact-checking to the field.

That leaves more drilling, coal, and nuclear.

Get used to it.

That is your future out 'till at least 2050, even if enviroweenies finally summon the courage to stop mass 3rd World migration into the USA. Coal for normal use plus synth-fuel. Breeder reactors to make electricity - also to dry up nat gas use for electric gen to free that up for vehicles, use of nuclear generated steam to extract oil from oil shale and tar sands and frac it. Drilling untapped areas by popular mandate once oil rises to 100-120 a barrel, which it will...

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 10, 2006 01:08 AM

Greenie - "So, in order to get our kids home from the Persian Gulf we need to find a way to cut oil use by about 5.4 Quads, not 107 Quads."

That is an all too common brainfart of the "It's All About the Ooooiiiillll!!" Crowd.

Oil is readily transportable and fungible like money. Again, it is a global commodity. I guess you can say it and say it again, but people spoonfed Lefty propaganda about the importance of dropping a trivial percent of ME oil production going to the US refuse to believe their "success" would have no effect on the "evil oil sellers in KSA". But that Region has 40% of the production and 60% of the reserves - in potentially unstable or outright chaotic, sinking deeper in the hole Islamic countries...and things outside the ME are currently not so peachy either in Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola, Russia, the Centntral Asia Caspian basin "Stans.

All our independence would do is mean that China sucks up the difference.

Our position in Iraq is to hit the decadence of those nations at the most strategic spot other than Egypt - and is aimed at forestalling Islamoids from getting their hands on the hundreds of billions coming from oil sales and converting those bucks into WMDs, manpads, funding further Islamoid terrorism and schools of extremism.

And our ME imports are not even 5.4 Quads. 30% of our 40 Quads are domestic production and of that 28 Quad, only 10% or 2.8 Quads come from the Gulf. The problem is Europe, our Asian allies, and Rising China get far more of their lifeblood from the Gulf.

Even if we had ZERO Quads coming from the ME, closure of the Gulf would jack oil into the 150-200 dollar a barrel area according to some scenarios and cause a global Depression. The "independence" some silly activists emphasize as crucial is in fact completely irrelevant to the geopolitical picture.

THAT collapse of the global economy from an oil cutoff is the prime reason why we are militarily committed to keeping the Gulf shipping open. (Besides the Euros, Aussies - even the Canadians, Indians, Japanese, and S Americans have naval elements committed there to helping us safeguard the shipping lanes) That and of course keeping petrodollars generated in the oil trade out of the hands of Islamoids seeking to kill millions of infidels. And thirdly, so we can flail about trying to figure out how to bring those paranoid Arab dregs of a long-failed, decayed and corrupt Islamic civilization into the 21st Century. Iraq hasn't gone as well as anyone hoped on that measure, but drag the towelheads into modernity we must - or accept the alternative of isolating them like pathogens from a more modern, global body in better health than the Paks or Arab world..

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 10, 2006 01:44 AM

in some other reality,

but from what I've seen of your work here.

you're basically on the side of your agenda...which is talking tough with no substance

I get with the going gets tough the bs'ers turn up the miasma mister and just let loose.

which would be perpatrating the mythology that we need the military to solve all of our problems, which is the smoke screen I just dismissed or as you put it:

"Our position in Iraq is to hit the decadence of those nations at the most strategic spot other than Egypt - and is aimed at forestalling Islamoids from getting their hands on the hundreds of billions coming from oil sales and converting those bucks into WMDs, manpads, funding further Islamoid terrorism and schools of extremism."

well, that's not true, we do have alternatives, and they don't include getting the draft started, drafting your neice, and sending her to pakistan...well maybe it does, we'll see...

anyway, we're in an occupation and we started it...we are the perpatrators, or more correctly, your friends and employers.

your histronics, noted above
which are basically the theatrics of a 14 year old, "I've got a hard on and I've got to use it, it's not rape"....


please you little effing girlish twit.


your main premise is piling up "factoids" that aren't.

can you actually discuss something?

if all you can do is quote garbage at me, that has as it's premise that everything that is ecologically sound isn't....

or in other words, choosing a side and piling up garbage as if it were the truth?


you might as well be fallwell, and the name fits you, falls well...and bumps his head....as the crawford salaami enters your mouth and sticks out your butt.

you can't even understand what I'm saying, and you want to make it _not_ true, what's with that, are you afraid...will you be fired? Who cares? Whose side are you on? If you serve SATAN maybe, you should think about you know working for someone else...I mean loyalty isn't always a good idea.....a paycheck helps but

are you interested in getting people killed, do you have a quota to fill, are you in recruiting for ANTICHRISTian crusades?

are you interested in volunteering other people as a way of playing the hero?

the kind that says "charge," while your slipping away in the other direction?

I'm sorry but,

your little ego has everything invested in being right by bullying not by actually knowing anything.

which would make you a liar....


which would put you on the same footing as bush and cheyney...


a traitor, to the truth, to the purpose of actually making our country better...as long as we keep killing people that's what you're for as long as you're not actually doing it...you and george rumsfield and cheyney....


but hey, a leopard can't change his spots eh?

defense is everything when that's who you work for...and you'd admit that publically because you're a good citizen right...doesn't matter that the defense department and the wealthy would squander our resources and our people to make their lives a little better and keep us enslaved to the military agenda

does it? what's with that?


are you as big a coward as you seem?


you're afraid to tell the truth?


.

Posted by: I'm sure you're right... | April 10, 2006 03:19 AM

you know when I see someone looking at things as-if there were only either/or solutions to a situation...

I know I'm dealing with stupid people...


and I dislike stupid people, but hey, sometimes that is all that you have to work with:

so


I'm going to say this slowly:

multi-faceted approach to dealing with a situation.


the _current cost_ number about how much it costs


_now_


to make a gallon of alcohol.


who effing cares?


give me a couple of years, I could probably come up with a slurry operation that would separate the alcohol from the fermentation process by having it run-off rather than having to separate it from water by heating and distillation....as a part of the process, alcohol would be separating continuously....I would bind the water somehow....

now shut up.


I'm not going to drink it, I'm going to burn it....I don't need it pure I need it burnable........


recycling, pollution are different things that may work together.......


but they certainly won't work unless applied to a

system of addressment.


I HATE working with stupid people...


this chris ford mentality that doesn't know the difference between


SOLUTION

and arguing is a constant pain in the ass, in that he persistently _pushes_

methods that he believes in


and can't effing listen to addressing the solution as a system of solutions, and he has a reaction to _not hearing_ what he wants to push forward and goes into stop mode........


tell me that watching tar and oil bubbling up to the surface in Pennsylvania told people that they would be putting that stuff in something called "automobiles" and driving around the world and I'd call
you

_a liar_


enough of blathering about what works today!!!!!!!!!!


who cares?


WE ARE GOING TO RUN OUT OF OIL!!!!!!!!!!!!


"biology or sun power," nuclear, geothermal, tides, wind....


that's it,

NOW EFFING SOLVE IT!

DON'T GIVE ME ANY CRAP THAT THERE ISN'T A SOLUTION....


even if you have a war, it is not going to go away.........


it _has_ to be solved.

quit you baby arsed blathering and come up with a system of solutions.....


life isn't all yeses and noes.


you would turn your back on your own people to sell your stock in Enron, wouldn't you?


you pathetic little whiner....

Posted by: that's pathetic... | April 10, 2006 03:21 AM

you want to defeat the


the so called

ISLAMO FASCISTS

and also remove the people that want to get you involved in this

tarbaby without end,

the American christian/right/defense department mentality the, the boys with screwdrivers....and money drives defense too,

everything looks like a screw/PNAC

the I'm a man, I've got a hard-on, and I'm too dumb to do anything else

AMERICAN FASCISTS...who are the tool of the monied...


what difference does it make who owns the oil, when it's no_longer an issue?


IF you have the most arable land 50 years from now...


who the EFF do you think rules the world?


the sand merchants?


WHO DO THEY NEED?


YOU................with all the arable land, unless you sold it to them as a way of getting their effing oil money.


please pull your heads out of your butts....


forget about the oil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


it's going away.


you want to prevent the "dangerous ARABS" from taking over the world because they control oil........


take away your dependency....


that is a real project, for an oil free society........


one that will remove the arabic and chinese threat from cornering a scarce resource....and moving it into the "who cares?" category...


we discovered nylon as a replacement for silk when the Japanese interfered with importation during WWII

no silk stockings, no parachutes, no silk cords...blah blah blah

we discovered plastic when the Japanese and German interfered with rubber importation during WWII


WE HAD TO HAVE WHEELS
to fight the war and run the economy.........ALL FLEXIBLE WHEELS WERE MADE WITH VULCANIZED RUBBER, BEFORE WWII.

stupid AMERICANS:
OH NO!!!!!!!!!! NO RUBBER, IT'S ALL OVER

smart AMERICANS:
shut the eff up! I'm thinking.

Oh yeah, I've noticed something that I call polymerization...and sort of a springy quality....maybe we can make something called "plastic" from oil....


THAT is how real Americans think, and they don't go around calling their simpler brothers and sisters neocons, conservatives and the small-dysfunctional-penis-people.

unless they have to.

Posted by: IF HE ONLY HAD A BRAIN...fauntleroy and cf....monkey for hire | April 10, 2006 03:28 AM

Is Ethanol the answer?

If it's triple distilled, cut with arctic waters, put in charred oak barrels for seven years, and carefully bottled. Yes.

Posted by: On the plantation | April 10, 2006 01:08 PM

"All our independence would do is mean that China sucks up the difference."

If you want to see the landscape of the ME change, wait and see what happens when binnie starts flying airplanes into buildings in Beijing.

Duh, of course slashing our need for ME oil imports won't solve all our long term problems. But it will solve TODAY's problem, which is that our kids are dying in the middle east for oil we could easily not need with a little leadership and creativity. My favorite medicine used to come at Sam's club in three small boxes inside one big box, then covered in a huge piece of thick plastic that was hard to cut even scissors. People complained. Today the three boxes come shrinkwrapped together, no outer box, no other plastic, and the boxes lie end to end so its still too big to steal. Small changes multipled by millions of customers is really all we need to meet that 2.8 Quads without having to increase Gulf of Mexico production or increase imports from anywhere else.

Lets solve TODAY's problem, our kids dying for oil we wouldn't need with a little leadership that made it patriotic ( and financially feasible) to drive a hybrid, demand less packaging, invest in oil sparing research, and reduce/reuse/recycle. How many of those 50 billion oil requiring bottles that go in the landfill each year would be eliminated if workplaces went to a 3 or 5 gallon bottled water cooler and a reusable glass? Small changes in millions of ways.

And who knows, if we start investing in alternate motive power research now, maybe we could even prevent the looming war with China we're headed for over oil and natural gas.

Posted by: greenie | April 10, 2006 01:43 PM

The interesting thing about this issue is it seems to me that we have not only a viable alternative energy policy but we also have the means to accomplish said policy already in place.

What I mean is the roughly 40 billion dollars or so that we already spend to subsidize agriculture. As it is there are already limits as to what can or cannot be subsidize. Some global policy folks will tell you that these subsidies really hurt the farmers of developing nations because it encourages dumping which destorys there means of survival. What happens when it cost more to make corn then the you can get for it on the local market. I don't mean to demonize American farmes but that's what some folks believe is a direct result of our subisdies.

Why don't we subsidize something we actually need? Ethanol with an additional 40 billion dollar subsidy could be a viable alternative right now, not in 10 to 20 years. I say you subsidize construction in the first year via special block grants, then you subsidize the product itself, not its contents (in other words allowing Louisiana farmers to make it from sugar cane, and Iowa farmers to make it from corn), and allow the subsidy to also go for biodiesel. This would allow local farmers to benefit from the subsidy for different crops, and to have the means of production locally as well.

Regardless, we need to encourage the use of sugar cane based ethanol in the states along with the corn based ethanol. Question, do we currently subsidize sugar can ethanol or just corn and sugar beet?

So we both a solution (albeit a partial one) and the current means to produce that solution. Any takers?

Posted by: Louisiana guy | April 10, 2006 02:16 PM

you said: Why don't we subsidize something we actually need? Ethanol with an additional 40 billion dollar subsidy could be a viable alternative right now, not in 10 to 20 years.

Gee, you mean spend our money on something and not to grow nothing? What a concept. Too bad we don't have a leader who could understand this concept.

Small changes do add up. Finishing the water cooler example - twenty people in the water club, we pay about $5 month for unlimited water. At a bottle a day, that is 20X5=100 bottles/week saved, in 50 weeks it is 5,000 bottles. And that's just the savings of 20 people. Multiply it by the hundreds of thousands of workplaces in this country and it adds up fast. Its not hard to see how California gets up to 1 billion water bottles a year (just water, not pop) in its landfills and the US about 25 billion, yet so unnecessary.

If this was 1942 and we were debating the Manhattan Project, Chris Ford would say its too big a project to be feasible. It would require too much cost and would need just the right grade of uranium/plutonium, and a perfect sphere which would be too expensive and hard to make, and would be too dangerous, and that there would be no sustained use for the finished project, and that we should leave it to Germany since they'd been subsidizing that research there for years already, and it was economically more feasible for them because they controlled the uranium mines in Africa. Adn that if we just deported all the Japanese and Germans we wouldn't need it.

Posted by: greenie | April 10, 2006 07:04 PM

Oh, and 26 billion water bottles in landfills every year requires about 11 million barrels of oil to make. About 10% of our Persian Gulf imports. If the president said it was patriotic to drink tap water or said it was patriotic for offices to use the 3 or 5 gallon coolers and a cup instead of buying a bottle on your coffee/lunch break, we could take a few percent off our Gulf imports. A few percent here, a few percent there - it adds up fast. A few percent if the President asked people to keep their tires inflated. Simple changes with no real sacrifice. It only takes leadership not in bed with the oil industry.

"All our independence would do is mean that China sucks up the difference."

No, it means that our kids stop dying so we can waste oil

Posted by: greenie | April 10, 2006 07:13 PM

nice kosher vodka, that's triple filtered in charcoal and available at ABC stores in Virginia...it's only 8 dollars a fifth and actually better than anything except the one you mentioned although the grey goose is good as well...

I personally prefer the McCallan 30 year single malt myself though...they age it in oak barrels that were used to age Port in.

Posted by: actually there's a very | April 11, 2006 12:32 AM

if the president, even if he is a twit, said recycling is important and patriotic there would be a response...

he _is_ the leader, which is why, we _must_ in a way hold him responsible for creating more hate by pandering to homophobes, churchladies, guncontrol-freaks, and purporting to be pushing "family values" when he was really pandering to hate oriented groups...

and in another way, why he still needs to be held responsible for knowingly starting an occupation as a "war" because that's what dad said to do....the driver in a robbery is still an "accomplice."

if it were advertised, recycling, world ecology, to the same degree that we were sold,

the "terrorist" attack stuff...


we'd probably be well on our way to becoming oil independent.


as it is, you would have to convince a lot of aholes, that want to ignore the effect that they have on the world,


having lived in Portland Oregon, where they don't even toss cigarette butts on the ground and recycling is part of every apartment complex, shopping center, and outdoor life is a real commodity...

kayaking, biking, hiking, fishing, windsurfing, camping...

it's nice to be with people that actually care about the world that they live in...

it's refreshing, and believe it or not patriotic in a sense...making sure that the world is better for everyone, not just a class.

.

personally, I'd like to do a "Trading Places" situation with all of the bushes and some responsible citizens, people that you could trust...


a lot could happen, for the good, with the influence they can curry...


that's really the frustration with the damage that they have done.

it's actually just _really_ ineffective work, like the bevery hillbillies running the country.

.

Posted by: Yes, if it were a "known" | April 11, 2006 12:50 AM

Greenie, again you are being a moron spouting nonsensical stats.

12 billion water bottles weighing 1/10th of an ounce each amount to 3750 tons. You claim it takes 11 million barrels of oil - or 7.2 barrels to the ton = or 1,527,800 tons of oil to make your 3750 tons of plastic. 407.4 tons of oil per ton of plastic.

Moreover, you claim collecting those bottles and "recycling" is easier than the Manhattan project.

Jeeesh!

Hey, buddy, go for it. Get your shopping cart and start collecting them so you can "drive the Saudis to their knees"...and don't forget to recycle paper, because you also believe in the ridiculous notion it takes 9 barrels of oil to create a ton of paper..And don't forget we don't actually recycle plastic. It gets burned even after it is separated from the waste, along with household waste at trash to energy plants.

You are a product of public schools, aren't you Greenie? Likely a teacher even from your sloppy math and misuse of stats.

And again, you ignore all the studies saying US ethanol is simply not able to be produced in appreciable quanties without unacceptable environmental effects.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 11, 2006 01:19 AM

feels threatened when asked to do something for his country like recycle.


because it might interfere with his preoccupation with wanting to hurt people with the military.


to the point that he is willing to lie and distort, as a way of making sure that money gets spent on hurting people...


this personality, is incapable of carrying a couple of bottles to a recycling center, but he's very comfortable, starting or inciting a war in which other people die, for him...

I'd call him a spineless, slimeball....and dare I say, unpatriotic to boot...obviously he cares not at all about his country,

he's like a guy I used to work with that got off on watching other people fight...when I invited that fellow to have the same adventure that he was creating for others he rapidly

changed demeanor.


beware people that are willing to sacrifice your life for their good, while being unwilling to modify

their own behavior in small ways for your good.


usually, we call them abusive_personalities and prosecute, unless they happen to be serving when a hitleresque personalities are in power...then we wait for war trials to prosecute.

thanks so much for your personal sacrifice.

not.

.

p*ssy.

Posted by: it's interesting to me....that a citizen... | April 11, 2006 01:59 AM

26 billion.

last I knew, they came in gallon, litre, 16 oz, 20 oz...and had plastic lids, and plastic labels.

not every part of a barrel of crude is usable for oil, gasoline or kerosene or plastic...

I don't know what the particulars are but I do know that in the refining process, the crude is separated into it's components...

I don't think you can make plastic from the part of oil that gasoline comes from but I haven't studied it lately, I do know that there is something called "cracking" that may make the molecular chains shorter...

that being said, you can't exactly raise food on land that is full of plastic, and I do know that most bottles are _not_ biodegradeable...don't know what the degradation time is but I'm sure it's more than ten years.

stupidity, is in not designing for the future....why correct a problem that can be avoided at inception?

I hate really stupid, inadequate people.


regarding ethanol, you've not noticed the commercials that are being shown by Ford for making trucks that use the new 85% ethanol gasoline?


looks like ford is not buying into what Ford is selling....


sometimes sh*t stinks sometimes it works for the army.

.

Posted by: ps. he said | April 11, 2006 02:14 AM

source.

sugar, beans, rice, wheat, sorghum, fruit, potatoe skins, potatoes, barley, all grasses, any grains, and I'm sure you could probably create a living_slurry of carbohydrate/yeast products and binding agent that would allow you to have ethanol run-off from that fermentation process that would be usable in the ethanol producing manufacture....that wouldn't take as much heat...


I started out majoring in chemistry, before switching to electronics engineering, I've worked with pilot plants for manufacturing chemicals...ethanol is a chemical...food processing/ethanol production is still chemical engineering...

it's not some sort of fantasy of people that care about the world, it's that and science, in case you're wondering?

maybe you could discuss it with me? how ethanol comes about and all that, we'll find out how well you think, want to dance?

.

Posted by: ethanol can come from any carbohydrate | April 11, 2006 02:26 AM

from:

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/01/26_ethanol.shtml

"The researchers note, however, that new technologies now in development promise to make ethanol a truly "green" fuel with significantly less environmental impact than gasoline."
.
.
.
"Once these changes were made in the six studies, each yielded the same conclusion about energy: Producing ethanol from corn uses much less petroleum than producing gasoline."

as I said earlier, liar.

.

I need to point out too, those that quote, but don't understand the implications are doomed to be forever embarassed.

I have done chemical engineering work for a major chemical company...and my father was a scientist...we also had farm acreage, and animals....I don't talk from theory, I talk from personal knowledge.

The Japanese, and Europeans have intimate knowledge of using "a little space" and getting more from it, because they had to.

simple things like orienting the houses to take advantage of or avoid the sun...as a rule, like making houses from adobe in the desert....cool during the morning hours, keeping the suns heat out, absorbing and holding the heat into the night time as the desert temperature drops sharply, so it keeps the people warm at night...losing it's heat by morning...ready to be stored up...it's called a Trombe wall.

Going to Bali, they have little pools that they grow Tilipia fish in, everywhere....lots of resources, lots of information, multiple interesting ways to make the world a better place to live in...if you can just get the car keys away from the

drunk_with_power

people using the nations money to make sure they and their friends get to spend your money on what they want for christmas...

war with Iran.

.

Posted by: regarding cf's comments about the unacceptability of ethanol... | April 11, 2006 02:45 AM

Chris Ford said: And don't forget we don't actually recycle plastic. It gets burned even after it is separated from the waste

Ford, you are looking at sources a decade old. 95% of plastic in the waste stream is the bottle kind, and about 60% is currently recycled into carpet and fiber, like the fill in your winter jacket. It can also be recycled into new bottles as it is in Europe but there isn't enough market for it in the US because manufacturers don't buy into it out of igorance. The carpet industry is complaining they can't get enough of it and have to fill in the gap with virgin fiber, which regardless of your contention uses more energy to make. A decade ago there indeed wasn't a market for recycled paper or plastic. People have had to be educated that recycled products make very acceptable products. Such education would begin with the president.

ANd yes, I consider oil as important as the Manhattan Project. We are at war in the Middle East over oil. Not a bad dictator or genoicide, or even our friends Israel. We have done nothing in Darfur or Burma or anywhere else where evil reigns that did not have strategic significance to us. While we fiddled, nuclear threats mushroomed in North Korea and Iran and world sentiment turned against us. Now our leader is making noises about nuking Iran. We are headed toward war with China over energy. It will take a Manhattan II style project to focues all our talent and energy into figuring out how to first get us out of the middle east, then to get us out of the need to import oil, and when the natural gas war starts to heat up, how to replace the energy we get from that. But instead we buy Hummers, waste energy piggishly, and send the children of our underclass out to die to defend our right to do so, and piss away in Iraq the billion we should be spending protecting our future through research.

I saw the Berkely article. I'm sure Mr. Ford will trash it, but before he does he should remember it actually made its way into the President's SOTU address. Now if only we had the money to fund it.....

Posted by: Greenie | April 11, 2006 08:53 AM

Lets be real here folks. The cost of converting a car to run on e-85 is about 100 dollars. If we can spend 500 billion a year (recent budget) on defense, we can certainly figure out how to make ethanol as cheap as they do in Brazil, where the cost to produce a gallon is about $1.00. All we have to do is get congress to mandate that every car be flex-fuel, and start building those ethanol plants. But who benefits from the current fuel mix? The big oil companies of course, who dont want the boat rocked on their huge profits. Hopefully this Country will wake-up before the Oil goes dry in a decade or two.

Posted by: BILL | April 11, 2006 10:07 AM

which is treasonous...


is it _IS_ a _NATIONAL_SECURITY_ISSUE_


when we can not be sure of meeting our energy needs if the Middle East goes into meltdown...

and we're over there effing around,


someone has their head up their ass,


and it ain't me.


I suggest you put this on the front page.

.

Posted by: what the pro-war, faction wants you to ignore... | April 11, 2006 10:56 AM

Oh Geeeze here is a thought.

End the embargo with Cuba and tap into their vast sugar resource. Sugarcane yields far more ethanol than corn but would American farmers prefer to grow and sell a crop or simply collect "set a side" checks? Personally, I believe the time has come to toss the gasoline engine out with the bath water. Switch to diesel and burn cheap fuel, corn oil, flax oil, cotton seed oil, and even the waste oil from McDonalds. We could probably get oil from cudsue (sp?). Now that would be a win win situation!

I bet you could grind up any BUSH and get some oil out of it!

Posted by: Greg B. | April 11, 2006 03:17 PM

It is stupid to change to ethanol without simultaneously increasing fuel efficiency standards.

Posted by: CRD | April 11, 2006 04:19 PM

Start with heavy subsidies for PV cells for homeowners. Make it cheap enough for the average homeowner with a south facng roof to cover it with PV panels. You can convert an S-10 pickup to run on lead-acid batteries for approximately $5000-6000 that will have a 40-mile range. With better battery technology that is prohibitivly expensive now, you can obtain a 200 mile range. Or utilize plug -in hybrid technology. With higher utilization and economies of scale prices for PV systems would come down. Produce the PV systems in the US, create jobs making them, create more jobs installing them. Charge your vehicle with PV power and tax the gas guzzlers and the gas going into them to provide the subsidies for the renewable energy. Burn less coal and natural gas for electricity, burn less oil for transportation. the possibilities are endless if the US would put our collective minds together to find renewable solutions to our energy problems.

Posted by: Randy | April 11, 2006 06:54 PM

Randy, how much easier this would have been if we had the 300 billion we are spending in Iraq at our disposal to do this and other measures, since no single measure will be adequate.

But we really can't afford not to do it, can we?

Posted by: greenie | April 12, 2006 10:06 AM

Posted by: Chris Ford

"Jamal - Mass Immigration is driven off the 1965 Immigration Reform Act. Look at the authors. All Jewish Democrats. You had some Republicans in the 70s and 80s jumping on the bandwagon demanding special immigration privileges for Soviet Jews and Cubans, but in general, fatcat Republicans were Johnny-come-latelies to Open Borders - when they realizd after the Amnesty of 1986 that they could flood their businesses with cheap labor and undercut white, but especially black workers they weren't too happy with in several industries."

The largest problem with immigration laws is not the laws, but the lack of enforcement. Congress can pass all the laws it wants, but the reality is, until this administration enforces the laws, it makes no difference what laws we have. Bush only enforces laws supporting his causes and does not support laws harmful to his administration. And with potential Hispanic votes solidifying the long sought permanent republican majority, he will not stop the flow of illegal Hispanic immigrants. By in large our current immigration laws are products of the cold war and support for Israel. The next generation of immigration laws should be based on resource shortages (including energy) that are just now threatening our country.

"But that was then. This is now, and it is stupid to try a partisan blame game when both Parties Ruling Elites are full of special interest people and fatcat owners that want to perpetuate the status quo. I confess amazement that the Jewish and WASP Democratic Party Bosses have managed to keep their black base on the plantation after two decades of catastrophy for black jobs in the SW...and equal amazement that the corporate crony wing of the Republican Party has buffalo'd the middle class Republicans and Reagan Democrats so well - after immigration and globalization have begun to screw that large segment of America as well."

After starting this paragraph with "But that was then. This is now, and it is stupid to try a partisan blame game" and continuing the righty-neo-con blame game in the rest of your statement, only proves how you are driven by solipsism of neo-conservatism.

"Until you understand WHO the Ruling Elites are, and how to fight them...your partisanship just has you cluelessly shuffling onto the bus every election and hoping for crumbs the real power brokers toss."

Given the choice of who was, is, and will be the greater threat to the African American community by Chris Ford types or Hispanics, I can only say Chris based on your statements your type is the greater threat. Perhaps someday the status of minorities in this country can be a debate subject.

Now ethanol, My first degree was in Agriculture from many years ago. I do recall the "Green Revolution" from the seventies that was to increase crop yields with genetically enhanced crops that required significant fertilization to maintain high yields. The problem then, as now, is most fertilizers used in large operations are petroleum based. As these petroleum based fertilizers decline, so will crop yields. This makes me doubt many of the future production statistics for ethanol, I do not believe lack of petroleum based fertilizers were taken into account. Also not considered is that topsoil levels are generally decreasing on most farms in the United States, as top soil decreases so does crop yield. Ethanol production will place addition production pressure on farm lands. Farm lands are already threatened by corporations that buy farms, then rapidly strip them of production and then sell the land. Ethanol production can not support 300 million people in a life style we are now used to.

Posted by: Jamal | April 12, 2006 12:43 PM

I don't see why most cars all ready on the road couldn't be converted to use ethanol. A family friend who lived in Brazil for 2 years claims that in Brazil you can buy conversion kits if your car wasn't built to run off ethanol. If ethanol ONLY replaced gasoline, it would be a BIG step forward. Most people have to drive. Outside the mega cities most places don't have a public transportation system. Japan has things like bullet trains. Most European countries have high speed rail systems. We have let our transportation infrastructure rot. Ethanol is a short AND long term answer. Most people couldn't afford to run out and buy a new car no matter how much gas it would save. They have the technology to make a hybrid that runs off E85, which would use even less. What would also help is to get more people off the electrical grid or at least less dependant on it. I've lived in Arizona, Texas,and now Florida. We have sun 360 days a year. Why no solar power?

Posted by: Jackie | April 13, 2006 03:34 PM

Why "Fuel" Why not concentrate on eliminating those items that are dependant on fossil fuels? Horses went the way of cars, cars can go the way of new tech. too. We have been playing with the home office worker. Just imagine that we could get rid of skyscrapers right along with the automobile. Why does the futures vision have to include vestiges of the past. Cars are a really ineficient method and mode. Surely at least one of you brainy contributors can come up with something better than futility.

Posted by: EB | April 18, 2006 01:05 PM

The thing that irks me about ethanol is the amount of land it will take to support growing the corn if every vehicle from north america to china switches to using it. It doesn't sound like a sustainable alternative. I wonder if Brazil slashes and burns rainforest to grow the sugar cane for its bio-fuel?

Posted by: Julie | April 20, 2006 05:19 PM

Can't get any truth on this subject what so ever. Too many people thinking with their hearts and not their heads. Easy to blame big oil and leaders about the status-quo. Seems to me if this was all feasible it could make the right person rich...Why hasn't this happened? Oh right...BIG OIL...even though all you bloggers know different...hate to admit it but maybe Chris Ford is right? By the way you all attack him maybe he hit a nerve?

Posted by: Hoping for the TRUTH | April 21, 2006 10:01 PM

I believe that the hype on the Gasoline crisis is real but lets realize that since 1973 when we had a wake up call, our industrial community, and our government
did very little to solve the crisis we are now facing.
We should look to Iceland and their progress on on board Hydrogen fuel manufacturing for buses and automobiles.
Note, Iceland has stated their goal is to be oil independant in 2008.
I would think that a great nation as ours is with the resources we have, we could do a lot better.

Posted by: Jerry | April 26, 2006 07:53 PM

Isn't it about time that the American farmer starts making a half decent profit for all of their long hours and hard work. I would be willing to pay more per gallon for E85 if farmers were making a decent profit instead of sending my money to the Saudi royal family so that they can build more palaces and buy more cars. Let's start keeping more of our money in the United States. Let's put a crimp in the terrorist's bomb budget. If farmers can make a decent profit, they will need less government help. It's a no-brainer.

Posted by: F.J. Rainville | May 12, 2006 07:10 PM

I think more research should be done on biodiesel from sources such as algae, since they appear to have yields that are much higher than those of conventional oilseeds...

One useful site I found for biodiesel from algae is Oilgae.com - http://www.oilgae.com - Oil from Algae!

Ec

Posted by: Ecacofonix | June 3, 2006 07:02 AM

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