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Reply #46: Why is that a given? [View All]

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Solon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-04-08 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. Why is that a given?
Edited on Fri Apr-04-08 01:53 PM by Solon
No one's going to drive cars if its too expensive to do so, and cars themselves are the third most inefficient means of transport known to man, outside of rocketing people into space using chemical rockets and jet airplanes.

The problem isn't producing the energy, its storing it in efficient and portable ways. Hydrogen is out, its an energy sink, so fuel cells are a dead end. Batteries, while more efficient now, aren't anywhere near the energy density of petroleum. Biofuels hold some promise, but then the problems manifest in two ways, first, most biofuels are produced using energy and oil based fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Hell, certain biofuel sources, such as corn, actually consume more oil than the energy you get out of it, in other words, another energy sink.

The second problem is related to the first, as these oil based chemicals, and industrial farming, become more expensive, that means that yields of crops will start decreasing. Our top soil in most of the breadbaskets of the world is in the worst condition its ever been in. Farming practices like crop rotation and the use of natural nitrate fertilizers hasn't been practice for over 50 years. They REQUIRE oil based chemicals just to keep the yields as high as they are now, that isn't sustainable in the long run. We are going to have to increase the amount of arable land, just for food, not fuel, just to keep 6 billion plus people alive.

The biggest obstacle is this, how much time do we have? Not much, most likely well less than a decade, maybe a little less. Hell, it could be too late already. Its fine to develop new energy technologies, but when you don't have the time to implement them, or build the infrastructures required to utilize them, how will that help?
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  -Is "biofuel" just a fancy way of saying we are going to use food to make fuel? NNN0LHI  Apr-04-08 08:07 AM   #0 
  - No, it means, the fuel can be grown, not mined...  ColbertWatcher   Apr-04-08 08:09 AM   #1 
  - So it has nothing to do with that box of breakfast cereal that cost me 8 bucks yesterday?  NNN0LHI   Apr-04-08 08:11 AM   #3 
  - Um...  ColbertWatcher   Apr-04-08 08:20 AM   #8 
  - Incredible that you're falling for this complete scam...  JackRiddler   Apr-04-08 12:43 PM   #38 
  - That depends on what you use as the source.  alarimer   Apr-04-08 04:05 PM   #50 
     - Sugar is bad news...  JackRiddler   Apr-04-08 04:30 PM   #54 
  - Corn is a bad biofuel.  lumberjack_jeff   Apr-04-08 04:42 PM   #57 
  - What ceral did tou buy?  DadOf2LittleAngels   Apr-04-08 10:29 AM   #22 
  - No.  Bornaginhooligan   Apr-04-08 01:11 PM   #41 
  - actually, it does....  mike_c   Apr-04-08 08:15 AM   #5 
  - not necessarily-  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 08:21 AM   #9 
  - Thank you.  ColbertWatcher   Apr-04-08 08:24 AM   #12 
  - of course they would....  mike_c   Apr-04-08 08:49 AM   #13 
  - by that measure, so does petroleum exploration,extraction, processing...etc.  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 10:45 AM   #24 
     - of course not-- that's just hyperbole....  mike_c   Apr-04-08 10:54 AM   #27 
        - check out this link-  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 11:03 AM   #28 
           - the main problems with algal biofuel...  mike_c   Apr-04-08 01:28 PM   #44 
              - as far as nutrients are concerned...  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 04:22 PM   #53 
  - But it would impact two eco-systems  NoMoreMyths   Apr-04-08 08:52 AM   #14 
     - doesn't all energy production impact various ecosystems in some negative way?  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 10:47 AM   #25 
        - Yes they do  NoMoreMyths   Apr-04-08 11:09 AM   #29 
           - the best answer may be a combination of sources that do the least harm...  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 11:23 AM   #32 
  - Technicality.  ColbertWatcher   Apr-04-08 08:21 AM   #11 
     - so the rest of the world's species are just a "technicallity...?"  mike_c   Apr-04-08 08:53 AM   #15 
  - Except for the part about it taking as much or more petroleum to grow, harvest and...  Orsino   Apr-04-08 09:56 AM   #19 
  - It doesn't have to be that way...but at present it is.  HereSince1628   Apr-04-08 08:10 AM   #2 
  - sure is..check the price of corn syrup  madrchsod   Apr-04-08 08:13 AM   #4 
  - not if we use non-arable land to build algae farms that use salt-water to grow their "crops"  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 08:17 AM   #6 
  - the military is developing algae fuel  madrchsod   Apr-04-08 08:21 AM   #10 
  - Alright, using the highest yield there, let's see how many acres it would take...  Solon   Apr-04-08 10:30 AM   #23 
     - seems like the university of new hampshire physics dept. came up with different totals...  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 10:53 AM   #26 
     - Your math is off  kgfnally   Apr-04-08 11:12 AM   #30 
     - Yeah, I noticed that, I screwed up my metric to imperial conversion...  Solon   Apr-04-08 11:16 AM   #31 
        - you don't even have to use the 15,000 gallon figure-  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 11:27 AM   #33 
           - That would only give about a yield of 3.392 billion barrels a year...  Solon   Apr-04-08 12:07 PM   #35 
              - the article deals with replacing petroleum fuels used for transportation  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 12:17 PM   #36 
              - Most of our electricity usage comes from coal or natural gas, not oil...  Solon   Apr-04-08 12:27 PM   #37 
                 - people will not stop driving cars, that's a given.  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 01:13 PM   #42 
                    - Why is that a given?  Solon   Apr-04-08 01:51 PM   #46 
                       - because it's what our current culture is built around, and china's is being converted to...  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 02:13 PM   #47 
              - The valuable thing about liquid fuels is that they are well suited for transportation.  lumberjack_jeff   Apr-04-08 04:40 PM   #56 
     - Uh, one square km. is equal to about 247 acres...  chixydix   Apr-04-08 04:02 PM   #49 
  - THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF GENOCIDE  Mika   Apr-04-08 08:19 AM   #7 
  - Not such a good idea  OzarkDem   Apr-04-08 08:57 AM   #16 
  - Some examples of biofuels that aren't food  OmahaBlueDog   Apr-04-08 09:29 AM   #17 
  - Nah... It's just a moniker that screams  Karenina   Apr-04-08 09:52 AM   #18 
  - I use biodiesel made from waste oil.  Lance_Boyle   Apr-04-08 10:01 AM   #20 
  - but there's not enough waste oil for everyone to do it.  QuestionAll   Apr-04-08 11:29 AM   #34 
     - which is fine  Lance_Boyle   Apr-04-08 03:52 PM   #48 
  - Food based fuels are a sub set of bio-fules  DadOf2LittleAngels   Apr-04-08 10:26 AM   #21 
  - Recycling waste oil (and manure) is a great thing!  JackRiddler   Apr-04-08 12:46 PM   #39 
  - Bush legacy - Burn food, eat cardboard from China. nt  LeftHander   Apr-04-08 01:08 PM   #40 
  - Corn isn't even a very efficient crop for fuel conversion  KamaAina   Apr-04-08 01:18 PM   #43 
  - It's an obscenity.  blindpig   Apr-04-08 01:49 PM   #45 
  - Usually. Making bio-diesel from used deep-fryer grease, that's an exception.  Herdin_Cats   Apr-04-08 04:09 PM   #51 
  - It means damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!  Mountainman   Apr-04-08 04:10 PM   #52 
  - Something seems a little wrong here, maybe, maybe not.  ThomWV   Apr-04-08 04:38 PM   #55 
     - Here is the answer to the wheat question  NNN0LHI   Apr-04-08 05:04 PM   #58 
        - But if we use our crops to fuel our cars  XemaSab   Apr-05-08 05:35 PM   #59 
 

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