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Getting off oil as a strategic move - Page 2

post #41 of 60
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>
Defending the country is the job of the government. Read the constitution some time. In there it does not say that paying for alternative energy research is the job of the government.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

That's kind of the main point to the thread. If getting off oil would avoid war then doesn't alternative energy research qualify as a defense expenditure?

The moon mission analogy also seems quite apt, since it was considered by many to be impossible at the outset and it's relevance to defense was even more debatable.

As I've said before, the technology is completely ready for getting rid of most of our oil dependency. As far as fuel cells go, I can only suggest that the barriers are far smaller than the ones at the beginning of the moon program.

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"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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post #42 of 60
All the research for fuel cells is basically over with. We know it works and it works well. the barriers? Oil companies. We need an easy way to distribute hydrogen rich fuels. We could use the already implanted infrastructure os gas pumps to acomplish this. But do you think the oil companies would like to get a call from their distributors like this, "We want to cancel our gasoline order because we're going methanol now. Bye and have a great day!" Yeah...right.It won't be that easy. Car companies are ready. They won't lose money. They'll sell the same amount of cars. people won't care. Electric cars will be simpler and cheaper to maintain and run just as well as their IC cars. $20 a gallon for methanol sounds expensive but what if I told you 1 or 2 gallon2 would last you a month. Starts to sound good. But we still don't use it. it's the oil companies. the American ones, the Mid east ones, all of them. Greed is a universal language and religion.
post #43 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>All the research for fuel cells is basically over with. We know it works and it works well. the barriers? Oil companies. We need an easy way to distribute hydrogen rich fuels. We could use the already implanted infrastructure os gas pumps to acomplish this. But do you think the oil companies would like to get a call from their distributors like this, "We want to cancel our gasoline order because we're going methanol now. Bye and have a great day!" Yeah...right.It won't be that easy. Car companies are ready. They won't lose money. They'll sell the same amount of cars. people won't care. Electric cars will be simpler and cheaper to maintain and run just as well as their IC cars. $20 a gallon for methanol sounds expensive but what if I told you 1 or 2 gallon2 would last you a month. Starts to sound good. But we still don't use it. it's the oil companies. the American ones, the Mid east ones, all of them. Greed is a universal language and religion.</strong><hr></blockquote>


See? Conspiracy theory. I'm sure all of our cars would be running off of hemp oil by now if it weren't for the fcking oil companies and Bush's War on Drugs. Please tell me. A country like Japan. Would love to get off the oil teat yet hasn't move to some H2 engine. Why not? Oil companies stopping them too?

[ 12-28-2001: Message edited by: Scott H. ]</p>
post #44 of 60
Why not? You don't think Japan has a huge investment in oil too? And japan is trying to get off oil more. They introduced 2 new hybrid cars last year that reduce consumption by 50%. And there is more to come.
post #45 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>I don't know. Did I say that? Like I've been saying over and over in this thread. I'm just not convinced that spending research money on it will lead to a solution in any of our lifetimes. Also if it's so super great why hasn't anyone else done it?</strong><hr></blockquote>

So, in others words, you're saying, "Why even try?"
post #46 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by BuonRotto:
<strong>

So, in others words, you're saying, "Why even try?"</strong><hr></blockquote>

No. I'm just saying we could spend a whole lot of money and get nothing for it. Considering no other country is anywhere near doing anying real with any other source of power it's not just a matter of "spend the money".
post #47 of 60
[quote]No. I'm just saying we could spend a whole lot of money and get nothing for it.<hr></blockquote>

Well it's either spend our money now and try to get off of oil, or let OPEC control how much we pay them for their oil.

We're going to have to spend the money at some point any way, because oil isn't going to be around forever at the rate we're using it. Plus, the price is just going to go up in the end.

I'm surprised at you Scott. I'd think you'd be one of the people who would be eager to find a fuel we can use that wouldn't make us rely on a foreign source.

Plus, if we actually used corn based Ethanol, it might bail out some of America's farmers.
post #48 of 60
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Fran441:
<strong>
Plus, if we actually used corn based Ethanol, it might bail out some of America's farmers. </strong><hr></blockquote>

As I mentioned before, I don't know if ethanol is the way to go. I'm no expert in this area, but I do remember seeing quite a few reports about how it takes more energy to make ethanol than we get out of it and the only reason it's economically feasible is because of farm subsidies. If this is the case then we'd only end up using more oil and continue the damaging effect of subsidies on the environement.

Of course, it can also be said that it takes more energy to electrolyze hydrogen out of water, but you don't have to farm water. I don't know, maybe theirs an electrolytic way to generate ethanol, but I haven't heard of it.

--
"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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post #49 of 60
Nord, check out these links:

<a href="http://www.tallcorncoop.com/" target="_blank">http://www.tallcorncoop.com/</a> this place is almost ready to get going.

Some facts:
Ethanol is a value-added product of corn which aids local and state economies and boosts profitability of Iowa corn producers.


Ethanol is an oxygenated octane enhancer added to motor fuel to reduce harmful vehicle emissions that are released into the air daily.


Ethanol is a biodegradable alternative additive that provides consumers with a high-octane fuel at a competitive price.


Â*One bushel of corn = 2.5 gallons of ethanol + 17 lbs. distiller's dry grain + 17 lbs. CO2


One acre of corn can produce 300 gal. of ethanol - enough to fuel four cars for one year with a 10% ethanol blend.


One less barrel of imported oil is needed for every 28.3 gal. of ethanol used, which helps the U.S.Â* deficit balance of trade.


Ethanol reduces our demand for imported gasoline by 100,000 barrels each day.

<a href="http://www.ethanol-gec.org/corn_eth.htm" target="_blank">http://www.ethanol-gec.org/corn_eth.htm</a>

<a href="http://www.kycorn.org/ethanol/ethanole85.html" target="_blank">http://www.kycorn.org/ethanol/ethanole85.html</a>

Seems to be picking up around the US.
post #50 of 60
[quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:
Any oil from ANWR will be sold to the highest bidder, namely industrial nations without oil reserves such as Japan; Alaskan oil exploration will be of little help to the US people, the beneficiaries being the multi-national oil companies (and their chief share-holders).

<hr></blockquote>

Yeah because that's what's happened with 95% of current Alaskan production right? WRONG Less than 5% of alaskan oil is sent overseas and only part of that 5% is to Japan.


[quote]I'll bet the Bush plan of opening up Alaskan preserves to drilling in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil has a powerful special interest lobby behind it.<hr></blockquote>

Hmm, perhaps like the residents of Alaska. The people that make their living and send their children to schools and have hospitals and roads thanks to the money that the oil industry brings in. The same people who are being told they deserve to lose their jobs and their homes because a bunch of uppity outsiders who live thousands of miles away have been told by greenpeace that a small frozen block of land they would never have even known existed is more important than people's lives.

[quote]The understatement of the year. ANWR's reserves couldn't fuel this country for 10 months, let alone 10 years. Yet another reason not to drill there.
<hr></blockquote>

That's a BS statement for 2 reasons. First no one knows exactly how much oil is there. Due to the status as a wildlife refuge 3D seismic geology surveys have never been performed, only less accurate 2D. Environmental groups conveniently quote the low end of USGS estimations which don't even take into account technological advancements which will allow us to extract a greater % of the oil from ANWR. The second reason is that that statement is only true if you consider the small section of ANWR under consideration to be the sole source of petroleum for the entire U.S. No Texas, no Louisiana, no California, and no foreign oil. Most arab countries wouldn't last that long if you applied the same standards to their oil reserves.

[quote]ANWR isn't the answer, the other 95% of that area that's already been mined obviously isn't the answer<hr></blockquote>

That is untrue and a mistatement. The majority of the Alaskan northern coast has been untouched by oil exploration. They are currently restricted to a relatively small area around Prudhoe bay sandwiched between the US Naval Strategic Oil Reserve and Barrow to the west and ANWR to the east. Perhaps 95% of the available leased land has been explored, but not 95% of the northern coast.
post #51 of 60
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>
Ethanol is a value-added product of corn which aids local and state economies and boosts profitability of Iowa corn producers.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

I guess I really didn't take home this point until I did a little more reading, but it looks like ethanol might have more legs than I originally thought. If it is indeed the case that one can make ethanol from the previously unused biomass of corn then it is misrepresentative to simply total all the energy expenditures of farming it against the energy that is produced since the corn would be farmed anyway.

So then the big question is whether ethanol could be scaled up to serve as the energy medium of the future while still being "value added." The moment we start making corn that is only used to make ethanol we will have a problem.

On a positive note, since cars that can run on 80% ethanol are already in widespread use this would allow for mobile energy demands to be largely met. OTOH, a large investment would be necessary to switch all cars over to the high ethanol burning engines and as long as we are making such a dramatic investment I would prefer that it be toward converting to fuel cells.

--
"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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post #52 of 60
[quote]We're going to have to spend the money at some point any way, because oil isn't going to be around forever at the rate we're using it. Plus, the price is just going to go up in the end.<hr></blockquote>

Yep, that's right. and that's exactly why in a few years, when the prices of oil goes up, research into alternative fuels will begin to go up as well. know why?

'cause when you're a researcher trying to pitch an idea to a group of investors, you have to show them that your idea has the real possiblity of making them some money withing a relatively short time frame. if you walk into a room and tell a bunch of businessmen that you want 100 million dollars to do research on alternative fuels, one of the first things they're going to ask you is what their return on the investment is going to be.

when gas prices are hovering around $1 a gallon at the pump, they get no money back, because gas will be a cheaper source of fuel than whatever the researchers will come up with. now, when oil reserves are low, and gas prices start going up, suddenly it's possible to invest that money and hope to get something in return.

then you have the additional costs of switching over all the processing plants, produciton facilities, transportation methods etc., and you can see why it's no easy feat to switch an entire economy from one fuel to another.

when it becomes economically viable to switch over to another source of fuel, it will happen. you seriously think that Exxon, Mobil and Standard aren't looking to other sources of fuel right now? that's the stupidest thing i've ever heard. these companies know that their life blood is in providing Energy, not oil.

at this point in time, that source of energy happens to be oil. when one of those companies comes up with something else that is cheaper than oil, then you'll see the switch occuring.

until then we wait. hollaring that the man is keeping us down, and that there are all sorts of secret engines out there that the oil companies are hiding is just stupid. they stand to make a fortune of any technology of that nature that they acquire. and they're ready to switch over to another source of fuel as soon as they can.

until then, we use oil, and that's life. want to change it? find something that's cheaper than oil to use. so much cheaper that even retooling major industries won't be a deterrant, and you've got a shot. until then, all the complaining in the world won't do a damn bit of good.

-alcimedes
post #53 of 60
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by alcimedes:
<strong>... in a few years, when the prices of oil goes up, research into alternative fuels will begin to go up as well...</strong><hr></blockquote>
Are you considering the price of oil as simply being the amount it costs at the pump or are you including the cost of Desert Storm, the current war, the continued military presence that will be necessary in the middle-east, the multi-billlion dollar subsidies for the petroleum industry, and the environemental costs of using oil?

If it was just about the cost at the pump and we were truly the laissez faire society that the republicans like to pretend we are then I would agree with you.

[quote]<strong>...then you have the additional costs of switching over all the processing plants, produciton facilities, transportation methods etc., and you can see why it's no easy feat to switch an entire economy from one fuel to another.... when it becomes economically viable to switch over to another source of fuel, it will happen. you seriously think that Exxon, Mobil and Standard aren't looking to other sources of fuel right now? </strong><hr></blockquote>

This also points out the fallacy of letting the "free market" work. We already spend a huge amount of money supporting the current infrastructure. And no, I don't buy into the conspiracy theory about evil oil companies. I don't consider them saints, either. The major energy suppliers are investing lots of dough into alt fuel R&D. They are also covering all the bases by making the proper political contributions to maintain the current infrastructure. I'm quite confident that if the infrastructure was changed that our major energy companies could adapt. I'm also quite sure that none of them are going to volunteer to pay for the new infrastructure.

[quote]Originally posted by alcimedes:
<strong>...at this point in time, that source of energy happens to be oil. when one of those companies comes up with something else that is cheaper than oil, then you'll see the switch occuring.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

If your belief is that infrastructure maintainence, military, environmental, and subsidy costs of maintaining oil dependency are completely irrelevant to the discussion then you must, nevertheless, amend your statement to read, " When one of those companies comes up with something else that is not just cheaper than oil, but so cheap that the company can afford to build an entire new infrastructure that competes with the existing one (with all it's government support) and still makes a profit."

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"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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--
"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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post #54 of 60
Well, whadya know? Think GW Lurks around at AI?

<a href="http://www.boston.com/cars/articles/2002/01/02_0109_bush_abandons_high_mileage_program_for_hyd rogen_fuel_cell.shtml" target="_blank">Bush administration joins automakers in push for fuel cells</a>
I was promised flying cars. Where are the flying cars?
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I was promised flying cars. Where are the flying cars?
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post #55 of 60
This one too.

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/09/business/09FUEL.html" target="_blank">U.S. Ends Car Plan on Gas Efficiency; Looks to Fuel Cells</a>
post #56 of 60
Well, it's a start. Now let's see if in a few years we start seeing gas stations replace their hardware to service fuel cell vehicles...Sorry Scott, but I have to agree with Seb and others. The oil companies are going to be the biggest barrier to making fuel cell vehicles a viable transporation option. They stand to lose the most money after all....


Eskimo, in reply to: "That's a BS statement [that ANWR has approximately 10 months worth of oil reserves at best] for 2 reasons. First no one knows exactly how much oil is there. Due to the status as a wildlife refuge 3D seismic geology surveys have never been performed, only less accurate 2D."


Where are you getting your information from? I quote from a National Geographic artile:

"Estimates of undiscovered petroleum resources there have varied wildly....Proponents of development often cite 16 billion barrels of oil as their best [estimate], while some opponents hold the count to less than 4 billion barrels. But according to one recent assessment by the [USGS], seismic data and information provided from recent oil disoveries nearby indicate that the amount of oil that is technically recoverable from [the ANWR area in despute], not including native lands and offshore state holdings, falls into the range of 4 to 12 billion barrels, with the lower number having a 95 percent probability of recovery, and the higher only a 5 percent probability."

Sounds to me like enough homework has been done for them to know that the more optimistic assessments have a low probability of materializing....

Either way, Eskimo, this argument that you're making - that a bunch of urban yuppies 5000 miles away care more about an arctic fox than your family - is itself an exaggeration and frankly is used every time someone wants to clear land to develop a new mall, build a new house or cut into park lands.

They do the same thing in Idaho when it comes to razing some of the old damns along the Snake or Salmon (or other) rivers. "You think saving a species of Salmon is more important than my being a fisherman!" Well, yes, it is more important in the grand scheme of things. But that doesn't mean I care about the Salmon's life more than I care about yours. That's hyperbole at its worst.

I mean maybe there are some lunatics out there who see no difference between gutting a fish and gutting a person, but I sure as hell see the difference, and probably, so do most of the urban greens, as you call them.

But there is only so much land like this that we have set aside in our country. Once you drill on it, clear it for a mall pakring lot or whatever - its gone, and it will stay gone. We as a nation have to decide if preserving significant parts of our natural ecosystems is something that is important to us, or if making sure that no one ever has to find a new job in their life is more important. What it boils down to is money vs. nature.

Times change, Eskimo. And either people adapt to change and find new ways of sustaining themselves, or they get left behind.

Just like the people who used to make horse-drawn buggies had to find something else to do when Ford invented the automobile, the people who live near these wildlife preserve areas can also find something else to do. With every far-reaching innovation (in this case, something that lessens our need to drill) comes the need for people to find a new niche. That's just life. And yes, it's easy for me to say because I don't live there, but that doesn't make what I'm saying any less true.

At the rate this country is succombing to urban sprawl and over-development (which is a separate, but related issue), we damn well better make sure we do everything we can to preserve the largest and most pristine wilderness areas, because you can bet no one else is doing it. Look at countries like Brazil and what they're doing to the rain forrests. Rather than help the tribes people by educating them and finding other ways for them to make money, they let them clear entire swaths of forrest land so their cattle can feed for 9 months...before they have to clear another swath, leaving in its wake a totally useless piece of land.

I'm not going to sit here and say "oh they just killed a cure for cancer" or anything like that. I don't have to, because there's no need for me to justify why preserving our parklands / wildlife areas is important - it is self-evident. We don't need to say, "well, unless we can find something in that mountain range or jungle that will cure disease A, then we should trash it and build a few more towns and strip malls." Bullshit. They can take their extra profits and shove it.

Rather than urban sprawl and saving fossil fuel communities, I prefer the proliferation of birthcontrol pills, better education, (and of course, ego-management seminars for the gung-ho SUV types who never leave pavement - they annoy me as much as they annoy you).

[ 01-10-2002: Message edited by: Moogs ]</p>
Aldo is watching....
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Aldo is watching....
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post #57 of 60
This is promising: <a href="http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/space/20020109/sc/freeing_gases_for_cheap_fuel_cells_with_orbiting_l aser_cannons_1.html" target="_blank">http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/space/20020109/sc/freeing_gases_for_cheap_fuel_cells_with_orbiting_l aser_cannons_1.html</a>

Now we just have to worry about producing containers that don't leak hydrogen.
post #58 of 60
That *is* pretty cool. I hadn't heard of that one before. Amazing what people can come up with when they put their minds to it. 50 years from now, I hope people can look back at how we depended up things like crude oil and coal and wonder what took us so long to figure out a more efficient, cleaner solution.
Aldo is watching....
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Aldo is watching....
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post #59 of 60
It also solves the problem on how now it takes more energy to produce H2 than what it gives out. With this method most of the money is invested in the beginning with little support costs through out its lifespan.
post #60 of 60
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>It also solves the problem on how now it takes more energy to produce H2 than what it gives out..</strong><hr></blockquote>

Ya know, I often hear this non-argument being made by opponents of alternative energy [ edit in- I didn't mean to suggest you, Outsider, is doing this, but it has been employed by others in this way]. I suppose it sells only because so many people are ignorant in this area. Hydrogen is not being sought as a source of energy, but simply as a medium for storing and transporting energy. The big difference between hydrogen and fossil fuels is that you only need electricity to make hydrogen from water. For this reason it can truly be a clean technology because you can get the electricity from wind, solar, space lasers, fusion, a thousand hamsters on a running wheel, whatever...

I'm heartened to see Bush support the fuel cell initiative. I don't even care if he's doing it only to dodge better fuel efficiency standards. I haven't read his speech on the subject, but I would feel even better if he really stuck his neck out. I'd like to hear Kennedy-esque commitment to the project. Something so strong that when fuel cell technology is ready for prime-time he or his successor would look like a total fink bastard to stay with oil.

Also, I haven't seen anything about reducing oil dependency for stationary energy demands and this is totally doable now. I'm still very cynical.

[ 01-15-2002: Message edited by: Nordstrodamus ]</p>

--
"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

Reply

--
"Evolution is not random. Mutation is random, but natural selection is entirely non-random. Evolution doesn't predict that all the complexity of life just came together randomly. "

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