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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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