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Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Homer wipes out a species

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  • Richard Risemberg
    ... All the more important, as one energy field the car addicts will certainly approach--it can work with present-day engines after a slight tweak--is
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 2, 2003
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      J.H. Crawford wrote:
      > turpin said:
      >
      >
      >>I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
      >>transportation on where the energy will come from. The energy *will*
      >>come from some place, and likely will be even cheaper per BTU a
      >>hundred years from now.


      > While we shouldn't downplay the potential role of energy shortages
      > in moving the carfree agenda forward, neither should we hang the
      > whole thing on this one issue. As we all know, there are many reasons
      > to make the change, and we should always try to bring all of them
      > forward, even in this day of simple-minded media.


      All the more important, as one energy field the car addicts will
      certainly approach--it can work with present-day engines after a slight
      tweak--is ethanol/methanol. The call for more fuel plantations could
      make rainforest destruction seem paltry by comparison.... Even a
      mythical car that used NO energy would still cause extreme social and
      environmental damage.

      Richard
      --
      Richard Risemberg
      http://www.living-room.org
      http://www.newcolonist.com

      "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
      just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
      to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."

      Lu Hsun
    • Erik Rauch
      ... Yes - if we don t stress the positive reasons for carfree development, people will continue to ignore the disadvantages to how things are done now, even as
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 2, 2003
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        > turpin said:
        >
        > >I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
        > >transportation on where the energy will come from.

        On Thu, 2 Jan 2003, J.H. Crawford wrote:

        > While we shouldn't downplay the potential role of energy shortages
        > in moving the carfree agenda forward, neither should we hang the
        > whole thing on this one issue. As we all know, there are many reasons
        > to make the change, and we should always try to bring all of them
        > forward, even in this day of simple-minded media.

        Yes - if we don't stress the positive reasons for carfree development,
        people will continue to ignore the disadvantages to how things are done
        now, even as they get worse. If we present it only in terms of fixing a
        problem, it's easier for people to deny that the problem exists.
      • Mike Harrington
        You have more faith in technology than I do. Oil, a high-density hydrocarbon that has no known replacement, will see declining production worldwide early in
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 3, 2003
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          You have more faith in technology than I do. Oil, a high-density
          hydrocarbon that has no known replacement, will see declining production
          worldwide early in this century, so I don't think traffic jams will even be
          remembered fifty years from now. There is no substitute that can replace
          oil, and humanity uses four barrels for every barrel found. The only thing
          I can think of that might produce cheap energy to make the scenario you
          describe possible, is controlled hydrogen fusion. Fusion's chances as
          things stand now are pretty remote, and throwing a lot of money at fusion
          development may not help, since no one alive knows if it could even be made
          to work, wishful thinking notwithstanding. The perilous global energy
          situation will become clearer as time goes on, and Carfree Cities, a great
          idea today, will be a economic necessity well before fifty years is up.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <turpin@...>
          To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2003 5:51 PM
          Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Homer wipes out a species


          > "Mike Harrington" <mike@p...> wrote:
          > > The consumer-oriented lifestyle, urban sprawl,
          > > and the automobile, all of which were embraced
          > > in the mid-twentieth century, will be just a
          > > bad hangover sometime early in the twenty-first
          > > when oil and natural gas shortages become the
          > > rule.
          >
          > Possibly. But I doubt it. The lights didn't go out when whaling
          > reached its peak and started to decline. There are other sources of
          > energy besides oil and natural gas. That these haven't had more use
          > is only because oil and natural gas have become even cheaper, in real
          > terms, than they were at times past. Oil has other uses, of course,
          > and the materials and chemical industries could be hard hit by an oil
          > shortage. On the other hand, these industries also will be
          > revolutionized by some coming technologies.
          >
          > I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
          > transportation on where the energy will come from. The energy *will*
          > come from some place, and likely will be even cheaper per BTU a
          > hundred years from now. In fifty years, electric vehicles with nano-
          > manufactured components zipping down minimal-asphalt roads charged by
          > non-petroleum energy sources could present exactly the same problems
          > as do today's gas-fueled cars: congestion, danger to pedestrians,
          > sprawl, inconvenient commutes, etc. These problems do not originate
          > in where the energy originates, but in how transportation is
          > subsidized and how cities are organized.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
          > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >
        • Mike Harrington
          The problem with ethanol/methanol production is that it is much more expensive than refined oil products. It is also dependent upon cheap energy prices,
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 3, 2003
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            The problem with ethanol/methanol production is that it is much more
            expensive than refined oil products. It is also dependent upon cheap energy
            prices, because refiners need to add 70% more energy than customers get out
            of it. When energy prices go up, the price of ethanol will rise even
            faster.

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Richard Risemberg" <rickrise@...>
            To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 8:30 AM
            Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Re: Homer wipes out a species


            > J.H. Crawford wrote:
            > > turpin said:
            > >
            > >
            > >>I think people make a mistake when they hang the issues of urban
            > >>transportation on where the energy will come from. The energy *will*
            > >>come from some place, and likely will be even cheaper per BTU a
            > >>hundred years from now.
            >
            >
            > > While we shouldn't downplay the potential role of energy shortages
            > > in moving the carfree agenda forward, neither should we hang the
            > > whole thing on this one issue. As we all know, there are many reasons
            > > to make the change, and we should always try to bring all of them
            > > forward, even in this day of simple-minded media.
            >
            >
            > All the more important, as one energy field the car addicts will
            > certainly approach--it can work with present-day engines after a slight
            > tweak--is ethanol/methanol. The call for more fuel plantations could
            > make rainforest destruction seem paltry by comparison.... Even a
            > mythical car that used NO energy would still cause extreme social and
            > environmental damage.
            >
            > Richard
            > --
            > Richard Risemberg
            > http://www.living-room.org
            > http://www.newcolonist.com
            >
            > "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
            > just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
            > to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."
            >
            > Lu Hsun
            >
            >
            > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
            > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
            carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
            > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
          • J.H. Crawford
            ... Gas and coal can easily substitute for petroleum. The conversion is not especially efficient or inexpensive, but it s quite feasible at costs not far above
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 4, 2003
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              Mike Harrington said:

              >You have more faith in technology than I do. Oil, a high-density
              >hydrocarbon that has no known replacement, will see declining production
              >worldwide early in this century, so I don't think traffic jams will even be
              >remembered fifty years from now.

              Gas and coal can easily substitute for petroleum. The conversion is
              not especially efficient or inexpensive, but it's quite feasible at
              costs not far above today's oil prices.

              >The problem with ethanol/methanol production is that it is much more
              >expensive than refined oil products. It is also dependent upon cheap energy
              >prices, because refiners need to add 70% more energy than customers get out
              >of it. When energy prices go up, the price of ethanol will rise even
              >faster.

              According to the latest information I have seen, ethanol production is
              now a net energy gainer, albeit not by all that much. One of the questions
              will be whether or not we have enough land and water to use it for growing
              a crop that produces only moderate net energy gain.

              Regards,


              -- ### --

              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              mailbox@... Carfree.com
            • turpin <turpin@yahoo.com>
              ... Fifty years from now, I would not be the least surprised if phytogenetic engineers design artificial plants that not only produce ethanol, but whose
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 4, 2003
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                "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...> wrote:
                > According to the latest information
                > I have seen, ethanol production is
                > now a net energy gainer, albeit not
                > by all that much. One of the
                > questions will be whether or not we
                > have enough land and water to use
                > it for growing a crop that produces
                > only moderate net energy gain.

                Fifty years from now, I would not be
                the least surprised if phytogenetic
                engineers design artificial plants
                that not only produce ethanol, but
                whose growing roots link into a
                network allowing the workers to plug
                the field straight into a collection
                pipe. Of course, this is as
                speculative as betting on fusion or
                any other plan. It is even more
                speculative think that the 21st
                century will be the one where energy
                availability declines. My suspicion,
                which I'll repeat, is that we'll see
                a bigger problem in the materials
                and chemicals industries. It's one
                thing do something other than burn
                oil for energy. It's harder to find
                CHEAP replacement processes for
                making plastic or asphalt. But in
                fifty years, we'll see something
                better than rubber tree plantations.
                There's no going back.
              • Mike Harrington
                I m no scientist, but I recognize unbridled optimism when I hear it, and expensive processes like coal gassification and ethanol from bio sources will be poor
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 5, 2003
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                  I'm no scientist, but I recognize unbridled optimism when I hear it, and
                  expensive processes like coal gassification and ethanol from bio sources
                  will be poor substitutes once the primary energy sources, oil and natural
                  gas, start their permanent production declines. I stand by my original
                  statement that there are no good replacements for these primary energy
                  sources.

                  Hydrogenation of coal was widely used by the Nazis because of the sparse oil
                  reserves in their blockaded territory. It requires much energy input, and
                  was made "economically" possible only by a million slave laborers that were
                  worked to death. Coal gassification also has serious environmental
                  consequences when employed on a vast scale. Oil shale processing is even
                  more environmentally destructive.

                  Your claim that the 71% additional energy required to transform biomass into
                  fuel has now turned into a net energy gain sounds like the information
                  recently intimated to Congress by well-paid agribusiness lobbyists. When
                  you look at the subsidies and tax breaks companies like Archer Daniels
                  Midland get, it's not surprising that they would attempt to circulate
                  fraudulent scientific "facts" about ethanol production to get Washington to
                  send them even more money. The agricultural oligopoly pay off both the left
                  and the right, there doesn't seem to be much difference between Bush and the
                  Democrats:
                  http://www.townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/mm20020828.shtml

                  Whether your production cost savings claim is correct or not, when energy
                  prices permanently rise at the time global production peaks, the cost of
                  agricultural products will climb accordingly, likely leading to widespread
                  famine.

                  Rationalizations such as these come from the last, desperate attempts of the
                  elites to sustain the twin urban sprawl/unlimited auto use taxpayer subsidy
                  schemes hatched in post-WWII America. The whole system presumes unlimited
                  cheap land and energy, and both Bush and the Democrats are grasping at
                  straws to maintain the fiction that this wasteful, high-consumption economic
                  system can somehow perpetuate itself, rather than the more realistic option
                  of coming to terms with energy conservation. Unbridled optimism is just
                  another term for wishful thinking, and that will increase as the end of the
                  current era gets closer. The obligation to extend utilities and highways
                  into greenfield areas at the expense of taxpayers and utility ratepayers has
                  created a mechanism of spiraling energy and land use. Developers build
                  gated subdivisions, big box stores with wraparound parking lots, and
                  business strip centers which then become suburban slums in twenty years.
                  The whole cycle repeats endlessly as new heretofore rural areas are
                  expropriated due to the pressure of developers and highway interests. This
                  cycle always results in increased energy waste, since the normal constraints
                  against ever more land and energy use are subsidized out of existence. It
                  always has been a real house of cards, and the leadership have been in
                  denial since US domestic oil production hit its peak in 1970. Economists
                  religiously avoid the topic of the coming energy crisis, as if energy
                  problems weren't at the root of the most recent stock market crash. Even
                  though all the warning signs are clear, the economics community chooses to
                  ignore them.

                  The longing members of carfree_cities have for a society built on the scale
                  of the individual, not the automobile, is a lawful result of the perversion
                  of the laws of science and economics by the unnatural influence that
                  taxpayer subsidy of sprawl has had on North America. Urban sprawl is not
                  the result of a free market, but is instead reflective of governments that
                  attempt to legislate and adjudicate against a free market, by making people
                  in existing developments subsidize the suburbanization of greenfields. In
                  addition to the unconscionable squandering of energy resources, the
                  phenomenon of carburbs has created the loneliest, most isolated and obese
                  society ever known. There are more people physically stranded than ever
                  before in North America since walking, bicycling, and streetcars were
                  replaced by the automobile and the off-ramp, and their numbers will only
                  increase. Until the greenfield development/brownfield abandonment cycle is
                  broken, things will get worse, not better. Fix the problem in North America
                  and the rest of the world will follow. There's never been a more important
                  time for a group such as this.

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
                  To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Saturday, January 04, 2003 2:48 AM
                  Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: oil replacement


                  >
                  > Mike Harrington said:
                  >
                  > >You have more faith in technology than I do. Oil, a high-density
                  > >hydrocarbon that has no known replacement, will see declining production
                  > >worldwide early in this century, so I don't think traffic jams will even
                  be
                  > >remembered fifty years from now.
                  >
                  > Gas and coal can easily substitute for petroleum. The conversion is
                  > not especially efficient or inexpensive, but it's quite feasible at
                  > costs not far above today's oil prices.
                  >
                  > >The problem with ethanol/methanol production is that it is much more
                  > >expensive than refined oil products. It is also dependent upon cheap
                  energy
                  > >prices, because refiners need to add 70% more energy than customers get
                  out
                  > >of it. When energy prices go up, the price of ethanol will rise even
                  > >faster.
                  >
                  > According to the latest information I have seen, ethanol production is
                  > now a net energy gainer, albeit not by all that much. One of the questions
                  > will be whether or not we have enough land and water to use it for growing
                  > a crop that produces only moderate net energy gain.
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  >
                  > -- ### --
                  >
                  > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                  > mailbox@... Carfree.com
                  >
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
                  > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                  carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                  > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • John O. Andersen
                  ... This is one of the negative fallouts from teamplayermania. After so much teamplayerish brainwashing, people start to believe that anything of value is
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 23, 2003
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                    > And from these conversations, which happened quite often (hmmm, maybe
                    > that's why I don't work there anymore ;-) it occured to me that many
                    > if not most people feel that they as an individual can't make a
                    > difference. This feeling seems to involve not only making a
                    > difference positively but also making a difference negatively.

                    This is one of the negative fallouts from teamplayermania. After so much
                    teamplayerish brainwashing, people start to believe that anything of value
                    is accomplished by a team. Individualism, by implication, is inferior.

                    John Andersen
                    http://www.unconventionalideas.com
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