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Re: [hreg] How to propel cars - if drive we must

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  • Edward Kramer
    The real problem with fuel cell technology is that you need hydrogen to run the cells. the current hydrogen available is mostly made from methanol or some form
    Message 1 of 44 , May 11, 2007
      The real problem with fuel cell technology is that you need hydrogen to run the cells. the current hydrogen available is mostly made from methanol or some form of natural gas mix. Again, made from the oil cartels main product-carbon.
      Fuel cells are very expensive, much more than solar panels and only make electricity. Electricity is the most inefficient way to power your life, only good for lighting and small appliances. What I find most amazing, when you look at subsidies to renewable energy (tax credit), there is not one penny allotted for the use of water to produce hydrogen. That might tell you something about the cozy relationship to the governments interest in protecting special interests. Maybe 60 years from now, when most of the oil is used up, then you might see some strong actions.
      Edward Kramer
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Dan S.
      Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 7:40 PM
      Subject: RE: [hreg] How to propel cars - if drive we must

      Hear Hear;  there is one thing you left out.  Also by switching to ethanol, you reduce the fuel effieciey of the car and thusly need to use more of it to travel the same distance.  I have calculated the reduction in milage I get in my two cars since the introduction of 10% ethanol in gasoline.  In my 2004 GMC Sonoma, I used to get 27 miles to the gallon, now I get 23 miles to the gallon.  In my 2003 Aztec, the milage dropped from 32 miles per gallon down to 28.  Top that off with the rise in gas prices, I see the introduction of ethanol in gas as another device for the oil companties to increase thier already absurb profits.  Doesn't it seem odd that by introducing ethanol in gas which reduces milage per gallon, results in the need to purchase more gas. And by hicking the prices, the oil companies rake in more profits while at the same time reducing refining capacity which will force the prices even higher allowing them to make even more absurb profits.
      I'm all for the Hydrogen Fuel Cell alterantive for not only cars but also to power homes.  I read all this trash about how fuel cell technology is not a proven and reliable technology and how it will take 20 years before it can even be considered a viable alternative to Gasoline engines.  Am i the only one that remembers that all the Apollo missions as well as the Skylab missions all used fuel cells to produce the electricity for those flights.  That was over 40 years ago. So why will it take 20 years to have somthing usable when it was developed 40 years ago.  What we need is someone in office that has the Balls enough to stand up to the oil companies and set a goal and provide the funding like Kennedy did in 60's to have a crash development the infrustructure and manufacturing program to build inexpensive Fuel Cells for automotive and residential use by 2015.  If 75% of the auto and 50% of the residences were powered by Fuel Cells, there would be no need to build more polluting power plants and would also reduce the need for all the imported oil and Gasoline we currently have now. And can you imagine how much reduction there would be in green house gasses.
      Dan S.
      [Dan S.]   -----Original Message-----
      From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto:hreg@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of Ariel Thomann
      Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 1:40 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups. com; houstonpeakoil@ lists.riseup. net
      Subject: [hreg] How to propel cars - if drive we must

      > (http://www.sacbee. com/110/story/ 168094.html)
      > The Sacramento Bee
      > Mark Z. Jacobson -
      > Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, May 6, 2007
      > The idea that ethanol is a cleaner-burning, healthier alternative to
      > gasoline seems to be catching on. So I decided to test that notion. I
      > calculated the effects on cancer and mortality in the United States
      > in the year 2020 assuming that the nation's entire vehicle fleet was
      > fueled by a high blend of ethanol, known as E85.
      > The conclusion? The emissions from running our trucks and cars on E85
      > would cause at least as significant health damage as running them on
      > gasoline. The study raised the possibility that ethanol might even
      > slightly exacerbate death rates from respiratory illness relative to
      > gasoline. The results were published last month in a peer-reviewed
      > scientific journal.
      > If we know deaths due to ethanol will be on the same order as those
      > from gasoline, it raises an obvious question: Why are we now
      > diverting tens of millions of dollars in public resources to build an
      > ethanol infrastructure when there are other solutions that would
      > better address global warming and land-use constraints while also
      > providing domestic energy security?
      > It seems that we are moving sideways rather than forward. Let's look
      > at two example technologies that are better than ethanol:
      > battery-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. These
      > technologies are "clean" only if the electricity for the batteries or
      > for producing hydrogen is from a renewable source. But suppose we
      > converted all U.S. onroad vehicles to battery-electric vehicles
      > powered by wind.
      > To produce enough electric batteries, we would need, at most, 122,000
      > five-megawatt (modern) wind turbines. That pales in comparison to the
      > 300,000 airplanes produced by the United States -- between 1938 and
      > 1945. What's more, the land area required for the wind turbines would
      > be about one-thirtieth that required to power all vehicles with E85
      > made with corn ethanol. Further, the carbon dioxide savings would be
      > about 50 times more per vehicle than that saved from corn ethanol.
      > Finally, the air pollution deaths from vehicles would drop to near
      > zero, compared with about 10,000 deaths per year from corn E85.
      > Many people are betting on cellulosic (prairie grass) ethanol instead
      > of corn ethanol. Unfortunately, this technology has yet to become
      > commercially viable after decades of research. Even under an
      > optimistic cellulosic ethanol scenario, wind-powered battery-electric
      > vehicles would require about one-twentieth the land, reduce carbon
      > dioxide by twice as much and save 10,000 deaths per year relative to
      > cellulosic ethanol E85 vehicles.
      > The second alternative to ethanol -- wind-powered hydrogen fuel cell
      > vehicles -- could accomplish the same air pollution and climate
      > benefits as wind-powered battery vehicles, but would require about
      > two and a half times more wind turbines and land area.
      > Although they are less efficient than batteries, hydrogen fuel cell
      > vehicles are more efficient than internal combustion, relying on E85
      > or gasoline. (The benefit of hydrogen vehicles relative to batteries
      > is they permit quick refueling during long-distance trips, while
      > battery-electrics require charging every night.)
      > Battery vehicle and fuel cell technologies have taken a huge leap in
      > the last few years, and prospects for greater advancement are
      > promising. In turn, we know that converting to ethanol is going to
      > require vastly more land with little effect on the severity of
      > climate and air pollution problems.
      > It's time for our nation and the world to accept these facts and
      > focus our efforts on obvious and high-impact solutions. We must build
      > large-scale true renewable infrastructures. We need to recognize that
      > the rush toward ethanol, while having admirable objectives, is not
      > based on solid scientific findings.

      - We are all Human beings here together. We have to help one another, since
      otherwise there is NO ONE who will help.
      - All countries need a NO REGRETS strategic energy policy. Think ahead 7
      ------------ --------- --------- ------

    • Susan Modikoane
      In my opinion, these corporations aren t successful. They ve held foreign investment strategies that have massacred and maimed whole societites in foreign
      Message 44 of 44 , May 21, 2007
        In my opinion, these corporations aren't successful.  They've held foreign investment strategies that have massacred and maimed whole societites in foreign countries, like Iraq. 
        In my opinion the major oil corporations have to show growth to keep investors interested.  They have to have something that they can keep selling and the sun and wind won't fit their bill.  So, the former head of Chevron Pipeline is now at Archer Daniels Midland, because at least with corn, they have something that has to be produced, that they can use for "growth."
        Consider that most of the 401K's in America are being sent to corporations.  Corporations such as the major oil corporations that are locating offshore to avoid paying taxes here, hiring governments in places like Indonesia to torture anyone who questions their theiving, polluting ways.  Corporations in search of a field that will sustain their huge infastructure and that assasinate anyone who questions their tactics, like Nigerians.  When the 401K's aren't investing in renewable energy and the gas rationing starts later this summer, what do you think the consequences will be for our nation?  Where is the technology to get us out of this mess, Robert?  Is it gone the way of the solar energy and electric cars that those corporations have sought to eliminate since the 1970's?  Nuclear and coal fired plants aren't new or usable technology in this day and age.  The corporations are fixated on profit and the sun and wind don't promise the kind of profit they're looking for.

        Robert Johnston <junk1@...> wrote:
        Saying these companies are dinosaurs because there are no large reserves left in the continental US misses the point.  These companies are successful because they have technology, know-how, market presence, production assets, financial resources, organization, etc.  They leverage these resources globally, not just in the continental US.  Furthermore, the future of a corporation is not tied to a particular technology.  Even when oil is completely gone globally, these companies can still thrive.  Why does one major corporation advertise itself as “an energy corporation going beyond”?  The mission is not restricted to oil.  They see themselves as energy companies.  In the short term, they seek to maximize profits.  In the long term, they will pursue whatever path is most attractive to consumers (and since most consumers are driven by cost, the probable path will be the most cost-effective solution).  It may be nuclear.  It may be coal, or coal liquefaction/ gasification.  It may be LNG.  Maybe someday methane clathrates.  And, yes, renewable energy will play a part in this as well.  The winning technology will be implemented by the big players, regardless of whether it is oil based or not.  Sure, some companies will die, but I’d be willing to bet that the winners will continue to be large corporations, because that is what it takes to be successful in a technology and resource intensive field.  The history of corporations shows how common it is to morph from one focus to another by strategic acquisitions and sales.  DuPont, for example, is as “dinosaur” as American corporations get, yet do you think of gunpowder when you think of DuPont?  Hardly.  It leveraged what it learned about particle technology and moved on to other fields.  The technological seeds of its powder coatings and paint businesses are in its old gunpowder technology, but the dinosaur recognized that markets and times were changing, and adapted accordingly.  Dinosaurs that don’t adapt become fossils.
        I can’t predict the future.  A disruptive technology may come along and provide a source of energy none of us has imagined.  It could be found by a small group of people.  Could be a university professor in Timbuktu .  But it is highly likely that major corporations will be the eventual owners and developers of the technology.  Is that bad?  I don’t think so.  The university professor doesn’t have the resources to deliver the technology to you and me so we can buy it.  Even if he didn’t sell it to Exxon or Halliburton or one of your other listed companies, he’d have to develop his own large organization to make it available.  Doing so would result in the same kind of structure you are against (remember when Microsoft was a small “cool” company?).  And, worse, it would delay the product availability and probably increase the price, versus if he’d work with an existing corporation to make it available. 
        As for the comment on 401k funds, what is the “dinosaur” that you are concerned about employees being “forced” to invest in?  My 401k funds are invested in a mix of fixed income (bonds) and equity (both foreign and domestic) investments.  These funds make me a part owner in a broad swath of corporate America (and the rest of the world).  The index funds, for example, make me a part owner in the S&P 500 companies.  I don’t agree with the mission of every single one of these companies (I am not a fan of “sin” companies like tobacco or alcoholic beverage companies, for instance).  However, I’m proud to be associated with most of these corporations.  They provide useful products that give us the quality of life we enjoy.  If we didn’t want their products, they would have to change (see above) or become fossils.  So what is wrong with these “dinosaurs”?  Is it that you are opposed to the whole American enterprise?  To all publicly held corporations?  Just what is your concern?
        I realize this discussion is digressing from the topic of renewable energy, so I’ll not continue the discussion.  But I did want to defend my earlier point:  Renewable Energy will be brought to the masses by major corporations.  The sooner we recognize this and get on board, or at least “live with it”, the better we can educate ourselves about the technology and the science (true science, that is!) behind it.  Corporations are well-positioned to help us reach those goals, as well as to implement the technology in our homes.
        If I may make the analogy to the computer industry, many HREG posters are analogous to the computer hobbyists of the 1970’s.  You are the garage-shop computer builders of today.  There are companies that are making products that you can assemble into various configurations, and you also invent some components yourselves.  You aren’t stupid—you are the leading edge.  It is impressive to see what the Gardner ’s have done, for instance.  Then there are custom builders (many of our vendors are among them) who can work with you to design and build a system for you; they support the whole garage hobbyist culture and also extend the technology to early adopters who can afford to pay for their customized support and installation.  However, I don’t think it will be long before an IBM/Microsoft comes along and makes all you’ve done obsolete.  They’ll introduce an 8088 cpu based “PC” that will blow your expensive custom assembled systems out of the water on a cost-performance basis.  Some of you will whine and moan and grouse against the evil corporations that came in and disrupted your world (“all the systems are now alike”, etc.).  Some of you will see an opportunity, shift gears and start selling/supporting those systems instead of custom systems and make a bundle.  Most of us will simply smile at the rapid drop in cost/performance and start buying and installing the systems like crazy.  Thus are technological revolutions born.  In the end, we all play a role—hobbyists, technicians/ installers, corporations, consumers.  Why not recognize reality and acknowledge the positive contributions that each makes?

        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Susan Modikoane
        Sent: Monday, May 14, 2007 10:37 AM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
        Subject: RE: [hreg] How to propel cars - if drive we must
        Sorry if I offended anyone.  I was referring to the information I had read in John Perkins' "Confessions of An Economic Hit Man."
        I should have included these references in my original post.
        I stand by my dinosaur theory.  There are no large reserves left in the continental US that will support a large infastructure.  If there is no change to alternative energy, there will be no future for the big boys in the biz.  It's already happened to the automobile industry.  They were installing light-up cup holders while the Japanese were making hybrids.  Couple the escalating price of gasoline with the public outcry over global warming and you can see the change coming. 
        In my unpopular opinion, the fact that most corporate employees are forced to invest their 401K funds into another corporate entity that keeps feeding the dinosaur doesn't bode well for our nation either. 
        Think about it.  I could be wrong.  I have been before.

        Robert Johnston < junk1@plastability. com > wrote:
        Thank-you.  I was thinking similar thoughts with respect to the corporate “jackals”.  Corporations have their problems—I work for one and it is plain to see—but they are also the most effective means that civilization has devised thus far for combining the development and delivery of technology and products to the market.  The market is unforgiving over the long-term.  If a more effective form of organization could be devised, it probably would have been.  (Not to say one won’t be in the future, but for this stage of social, technological, communication, political, etc. development, the corporation appears to be the “fittest” form that has survived and thrived). 
        I don’t think the corporations listed are old dinosaurs, even if old and even if having a large market share in “old” technologies.  Companies like those listed are dynamic and very much engaged in evaluation and development of new technologies, and know they need to follow (or lead) the technological trends to survive.  I expect that 10-20 years from now corporations like them will have commercialized new and economically attractive energy technologies (whether renewable or not remains to be seen, and will be dictated by economics and government regulation)—just as they have over the past 10-20 years (look at all the technology for oil exploration and enhanced oil recovery).  Many companies—including some large corporations— will develop increasingly economically attractive renewable energy technology, and some people will criticize the effort because they were motivated by profit, and because like most human institutions, there will be some questionable (ethically) events.  The reality is that even today, it is large corporations that are delivering the solar cells, batteries, etc. that we like to see (Siemens isn’t a small neighborhood business!). 
        I think  HREG would have more impact if we worked WITH corporations instead of against them, leaving the strident criticisms for Green Party meetings (or wherever that kind of thinking is encouraged).  We are in the energy capital of the world (some would say), and could thus potentially draw from the expertise and support of energy companies who are interested in working with the “sustainable” and “green” communities.  But I can’t imagine them being interested if we hate them.  Maybe it would be interesting to get some spokespeople from these dinosaur companies to talk to HREG about their renewable energy strategies and technology development, and what they see as the future?  (I recall a GE rep talking at a past home tour; GE isn’t exactly a mom-and-pop business either).

        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Michael Ewert
        Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2007 11:00 PM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
        Subject: RE: [hreg] How to propel cars - if drive we must
        I hope this post is productive rather than opening a can of worms.  What I would like to ask is that those who make heartfelt posts with lots of colorful adjectives also make sure you offer some specific evidence for your point.  Saying our government is corrupt, for example.  I know it is not perfect, but it does many things quite well.  If there is true ‘corruption’ or even poor policies, I would like to know the details and what evidence there is.
        And, of course, for posting on HREG, it must be RELATED TO RENEWABLE ENERGY.
        Thank you,

        From: hreg@yahoogroups. com [mailto: hreg@ yahoogroups. com ] On Behalf Of Susan Modikoane
        Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2007 9:39 PM
        To: hreg@yahoogroups. com
        Subject: Re: [hreg] How to propel cars - if drive we must
        Well, the Prez would be a good start.  And the louder the people are about the corruption, the sooner it will be stopped.  As soon as the problem becomes the problem of the corporate executives and their Economic Hit Men and Jackals, the sooner it will stop and nothing scares them except the mobs of people.
        The problem is that Chevron, Exxon, BP, Bechtel, Halliburton, etc. are old dinosaurs that have outgrown their sustenance levels.  Their stock prices are based on growth.  The only growth is artificial growth at this point.  They can no longer produce growth and have hijacked our government officials to force deals with on governments under the guise of "government aid."  The only people that see the "aid" money going to other countries are those corporations.  When those countries, like Panama and Iraq , refuse their terms, they get invaded.
        We can either take advant of this lull in their power and demand reform, starting with paper ballots, or sit back and wring our hands forever, decrying their incredible power and our powerlessness to do anything about it.

        Edward Kramer <onekindr@pdq. net> wrote:
         If you saw the news last night, Sen john corn ball yornin sat on the corner of a Exxon station and told his constituents not to blame the oil companies for their greed in picking the pockets of normal folks, its our fault in using more fuel than the world can supply. It is a little deeper than just the decider!  Our government has been designed to protect industries monopolies (cartels) , and when you see states like California sueing an agency like the EPA for not enforcing laws handed down from the supreme court, you know there is problem with the current system!
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Dan S.
        Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2007 7:16 PM
        Subject: RE: [hreg] How to propel cars - if drive we must
        Thats my point,  there is no inexpensive fuel cells yet,  but the technology has been around for 40 years,  there just needs to be a concerted effort on part of the government and industry to make them cheeper and widely available.  Yes I know about governemnt and industry being in bed with each other and there isn't much you can do about that,  but maybe after we get rid of our current Prez, who as we all know is heavly tied to oil, then maybe we can see some changes in that area.
        Dan S.
        Edward Kramer
        www.pistolagrande. net
        ----- Original Message -----
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