Archive for Friday, September 28, 2012

Letter to the Editor: Oil addiction

September 28, 2012


To the editor:

The United States, a country that boasts of many freedoms, is fettered by the chains of a most grievous addiction. To speak more plainly, America’s drug of choice is petroleum.  

In a democracy originally intended to promote the common good, citizens’ pocketbooks shrink as we face ever-rising, unregulated gasoline prices. Meanwhile, special tax breaks and subsidies add even more billions to the coffers of oil barons while depleting our national treasury because of lost revenues.

Our addiction casts a dark shadow over foreign policy. Is our military presence in oil-producing countries, especially the Middle East,  primarily to ensure the spread of democracy? If so, why does the U.S. have a history of making devilish pacts with authoritarian regimes in exchange for guaranteed access to their petroleum resources? For instance, the architects of the American Revolution would be appalled at our intimate arms-for-oil alliance with Saudi Arabia, a tyrannical monarchy known for suppressing human rights. Lastly, oil production and consumption are devastating our environment and changing climate for the worse.

“Cold turkey,” of course, is out of the question. Nevertheless, we must drastically reduce our dependence on oil. As individuals, for example, we can refuse to purchase Detroit’s gas guzzlers, support lawmakers who envision a government assisted rebuilding of public transportation, and finally, be aggressive in pursuing new, greener ways of living.   


Number_1_Grandma 2 years, 2 months ago

We can start by demanding ( electing ) congressmen/women who will get off oil standard in this country and switch to cleaner burning natural gas vehicles like they have over in Europe. Yes, US automakers are leaders in producing these vehicles in Europe but won't dare to sell any here in US, why? Demand it. Same for production of electricity. Don't burn nasty coal when we could be using cleaner, cheaper natural gas. We need to get off dependency on foreign oil and turn to domestic natural gas for our immediate solutions. Give subsidies to automakers who build natural gas cars and not to billionaire oil companies. Natural gas is our immediate solution if we don't want to stay foreign oil dependent or big oil company dependent. Did I say that natural gas pumps would be around .25 a gallon too. Natural gas cars and electricity production. Solar and wind generation, with the help of natural gas plants producing electricity is a way for US to tell big oil company and nasty coal burners of electricity plants to stick it! Cleaner, happier lives with no foreign land dependency....sounds nice doesn't it?

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 2 months ago

The problem with CNG cars is that there are very few places where someone can fill up the tank. And until there is a network of CNG stations, and recharging stations for electric cars, the public simply won't buy the vehicles in any kind of significant numbers.

It would be wonderful if large number of vehicles on the road were running on CNG because the USA has one of the largest untapped reserves on the planet. I believe that the only way for the US government to effect a massive change from gasoline cars is two fold.

1) Provide a large tax advantage for the use of a CNG vehicle. Actually, that's being done already because a whole lot of people tank up at their home heading and tractor fuel propane tank, and don't pay a cent in taxes.

2) Provide a very generous incentive for anyone that is opening a filling station for CNG that also includes charging services for electric vehicles.

We are in a more or less free market society, and no one is going to open a CNG and electric vehicle charging station until the cars are on the road.But, if there was a guaranteed return on the investment, it would happen.

techmanmacho 2 years, 2 months ago

Hmmmm, so you are suggestingi that we extract ourselves from the teat of gasoline and instead latch onto the teat of natural gas. Fascinating.......

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

"Clean" natural gas is a lie, especially when it's sourced through fracking, which is an environmental disaster.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

And we are going to trust dumb humans with large quantities of a compressed liquid that turns into an explosive gas when released? At 3000 PSI? I don't think we need to worry about any consumer use of CNG.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

Natural gas is CH4, 1 carbon and 4 hydrogen. Because a larger percentage of the energy produced from burning it comes from the oxidation of the hydrogen (producing good old H2O), it has less impact on the climate than some other energy sources. It may be a good bridging solution for that reason, but it still leads down the same road. It just takes longer to get there.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

"..Give subsidies to automakers..." Because that's worked out soooooo well with the Volt.

hujiko 2 years, 2 months ago

Wouldn't make a difference.

Oil is fungible.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

The US is sitting on recently discovered, game-changing supplies of crude oil that rival the largest fields ever found in the Middle East. It is entirely within our ability as a nation to be completely crude oil independent in the next 5-7 years and become a net exporter of crude oil and natural gas. We also have the technology to cut transportation costs for passenger vehicles by 2/3 (not to mention a huge reduction in air pollution) if we switch to compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of gasoline for passenger cars and light trucks. The US government should be doing everything in its power to help set the most favorable conditions possible for business and industry to bring these new oil fields into production, and switch the transportation infrastructure to CNG.

Sadly, the government is not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

There is no magic bullet to be found in these so-called oil reserves. The only way to get that oil is to lay complete waste to millions of acres of the landscapes under which they lie, and poison the ground and surface waters, and the carbon footprint is double that of in getting non-shale oil, thus greatly accelerating the effects of global warming at a time that we drastically need to be putting the brakes on our use of fossil fuels.

Using it is akin to "curing" an alcoholic by giving them unlimited access to all the gin and whiskey they can consume until they've drunk themselves to death.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Pure fallacy Bozo. The place you claim has been laid waste does not exist. Show me a photograph. Offer some proof.

The fact is the US will continue to rely on fossle fuel to run virtually every aspect of our daily lives for as long as you and I are going to be alive, and our children's lives too. There is a smarter, cheaper. better way to do that. People should not have to pay anything close to what they do to get from point A to B. Consumer products that depend on crude oil do not need to cost as much as they do. Those least able to afford these high costs are being hurt the most. Think of how much more disposable income everyone (especially the poor) would have if they could buy the energy contained in a gallon of gasoline for $1.25. Think of how much cleaner our air and water would be burning CNG? Think of the US being in a position of strength geo-politically no longer dependant on being forced to buy crude oil from corrupt dictators. Its a win-win and you know it.

Trumbull 2 years, 2 months ago

Tar sands is an even worse option than dirty coal. Extraction is energy intensive (ie natural gas is used in Alberta), water intensive (thus leaving collection pools that are toxic and need to be dealt with). Terrible option all the way around.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

"Its a win-win and you know it."

No, I don't know it. What I know is that you've swallowed a bald-faced lie simply because you find it ideologically palatable.

grammaddy 2 years, 2 months ago

Germany now gets almost 50%of their energy from the sun. Why can't that be done here??

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

In German news: "...Photovoltaics are threatening to become the costliest mistake in the history of German energy policy. Photovoltaic power plant operators and homeowners with solar panels on their rooftops are expected to pocket around €9 billion ($11.3 billion) this year, yet they contribute barely 4 percent of the country's power supply, and only erratically at that. When night falls, all solar modules go offline in one fell swoop; in the winter, they barely generate power during the daytime. During the summer, meanwhile, they sometimes generate too much power around midday, without enough storage capacity to capture it all. The distribution network is also not laid out in a way that would allow the country's thousands of owners of photovoltaic arrays -- a term used to denote an installation of several panels working together -- to feed into the grid as well as draw power from it. To keep the lights on, Germany ends up importing nuclear power from France and the Czech Republic. Grid operator Tennet even resorted to tapping an aging fossil fuel-fired power plant in Austria to compensate for shortages in solar power..."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Germany's current balance of subsidies is out of whack-- a sane energy policy should be well-balanced and diverse, and rely on conservation and efficiency more than anything else.

But that doesn't mean that solar isn't a major part of a sane energy policy.

Continued addiction to dinosaur fossil-fuels as you would have us do is the most insane energy policy of all.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Yep-- sequestered over millions of years in various carbon compounds, and then released into the atmosphere nearly all at once over the last century and a half. And that's why they are such a disaster.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

What was the source for your 50% claim?

kawrivercrow 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually, they only shave off a partt of the peak daily consumption from PV solar. Of course, when they have a day with full cloud cover, it becomes entirely negligible.

If I were on my home computer, i would post a graph of their output and consumption that would be worth a thousand words. Maybe when I get home tonight I'll find it and post it.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 2 months ago

We tout our economic model to other countries around the world to emulate, especially developing countries, and yet we are losing much international influence because of the transparency of our oil subsidies, including our military interventions around the world to keep those pipelines secure, even at the price of democratic regimes. Just as with automobiles in the 80s and 90s, the tables shifted on us as we no longer were the sole sources of good products, and our exports suffered terribly in the industry because we cared more about profit margins than providing a product that met the needs of the world. We have come to a crossroads in our designing and product development capacities, which are still the envy of the world: will we produce products that consume less energy and leave a smaller carbon footprint for the world, becoming world leaders, or will we be stuck in the past and fail to respond to the new realities. If you think global warming is a hoax, tell the hundreds of millions of people around the world who will be facing displacement due to rising sea levels, extreme weather, desertification and the rest and think about what they will be thinking if we are still selling the same old technologies that are responsible for their situation. C'mon, America is better than that.

Ken Lassman 2 years, 2 months ago

The profit margins for Detroit in the 80s and 90s were based on the demand for trucks in the US. They were cheaper to make so the profits were better, but Detroit ignored the signals that fuel efficiency was going to become more and more important over time. The Japanese manufacturers developed the technologies instead, and ended up selling it back to Detroit after sales collapsed and it was the only way Detroit could stay competitive.

In a variation, wind turbine technology was developed in the US, but after Reagan pulled the plug in the fledgling industry, the US firms shut down, and the engineers got hired by Denmark companies. As a result of this lack of foresight, we're once again playing catchup and buying foreign products when the picture could have been very different had we not pulled the rug out from under the industry at a crucial stage of its early development.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes oil products are big time pollutants = enough reason to cut wayyyyyyyyyy back.

Yes most all toxic lawn treatments such as toxic pesticies/herbicides and toxic chemical fertilizers are of the petro chemical industry.

If a zillion USA automobiles are burning natural gas we'll be looking at Iran to supplement our supplies. Iran is loaded with natural gas.

How does natural gas impact Climate Change/Global Warming/Further Depletion of our Ozone protection?

Like it or not electric vehicles backed by cleaner electric sources is the most logical approach which removes our dependency on others. And creates tons and tons of jobs for the USA.

Let's talk bicycles for a bit.

Bicycles require the least amount of toxic energy. Which is to say more people riding bikes locally would do plenty to reduce dependence on other types of energy across the board.

And we wouldn't have local politicians telling us we need a 40 million $$$$ field house project to restore our health because we have taken personal responsibility by way of bicycles. The cost of a bicycle would be wayyyyyyyyyy less that the cost of taxes per household.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

"Let's talk bicycles for a bit."

OK. On my two-mile drive home, I bought a half gallon of milk, then I went to the pet store to buy two fish, assorted aquarium necessities and some dog treats. Then I stopped and bought a 40 pound bag of dog food at Orshelns. I enjoyed the trip.

Tell me about your bike ride.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Today I came home from work with a desktop computer, a pepper plant and a burger from Wendy's. What did you bring home on your bike?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Funny that you never mention the many solar projects that received federal subsidies that have been very successful.

deec 2 years, 2 months ago

Or the hundreds of billions of dollars of oil and gas subsidies every year.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 2 months ago

How many republican party's can we afford? NONE!

They are polluting the nation with their home loan scams and blowing trillions in an effort to control the world's oil supply. The oil conglomerates love it that we taxpayers are protecting their selfish interests around the world.

dwendel 2 years, 2 months ago

I rode my bike to work today. No oil cost. VIrtually no environmental impactt. Minimal road-wear cost. Better health = less health care costs. Loads of fun too.

headdoctor 2 years, 2 months ago

There isn't much in the way of truly green in our world. Even returning to the days of people power and horse drawn power would have its own set of consequences. Trying to be more green is in constant stalemate because of politics and economics. The prices on some energy saving appliances have finally after several years come down some. The bottom line is the average person is not going to pay three times the price plus 10 or 15% just to go more green. Under the circumstances of the negative influences the best most people can do is just try to cut back. It does little good to buy an electric or hybrid car when the manufacturing, maintenance and disposal of the car is anything but green. Our power plants are not going to produce cleaner power because they do not want to spend the money on the technology to do it with even though the cost is within range to do so.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

Some figures comparing the costs of energy production. One of the sources indicates that wind, for example, is more expensive that conventional coal, but less expensive that coal with sequestration.

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

We got very energy and water efficient appliances, and they didn't cost anything like 3x + 10-15% more than regular ones.

They cost about 2x as much.

I agree that many people can't afford to spend more on appliances, or anything for that matter, and that simply lowering one's consumption is the easiest and least expensive thing to do.

headdoctor 2 years, 2 months ago

I was posting without the influence of coffee. I should have been more clear dividing my comment about prices of energy saving appliances finally going down and the 3 times the price comment. Appliances are now about the same as non energy saving ones. The biggest extra expense for them may come with additional installation expenses such as venting for hot water tanks and furnaces.

The 3 times the price comment was for the past years if you wanted other more green products. A prime example is trying to remodel a house converting it to being more green than just adding energy and water saving devices. Many of the companies marketing the green items were jacking up their prices so bad it wasn't worth the time to get the bids. An example is trying to add a solar powered roof vent. Do you spend the $200 or use a $7 pot vent.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

For that matter, I bought a ground-source heat pump that is 3-4 times more efficient than even a high-efficiency standard AC for about the same price. I did have the advantage of having adequate land to but the ground pipes in relatively easily.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

That is a sensible way to control the climate in your home while curbing pollution. Good for you.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

Eventually we will reduce or eliminate our use of fossil fuels. This will either be because we have shifted to non-fossil fuel sources of energy, or because the world population has been reduced as a result of climate change induced wars and famine.

The human population has been through bottlenecks before; there's no guarantee it won't happen again. And yes, likely the species will survive, but it would be an experience I'd rather avoid.

deec 2 years, 2 months ago

We will also eliminate fossil fuels after we've used them all up. It doesn't matter how many new reserves are found. Oil is a finite resource. Wind and solar are infinite. If we run out of sunlight or wind, we've got a lot bigger problem than no more gasoline.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

True, but there is enough carbon in the ground to push the climate to a Cretaceous hot house like state, and I can't conceive how our industrial agriculture would be able to maintain current production levels under those conditions. So, a population crash would happen first.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

" the architects of the American Revolution would be appalled at our intimate arms-for-oil alliance with Saudi Arabia"

Economics makes strange bedfellows.

Choices based on economics tend to be based on near-term results, but have long-term consequences.

George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Nice letter but would it not be easier and quicker to transition if we used the resources we have to move toward independence while transitioning to a less petroleum intensive environment??

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

Absolutely. For instance, cheap food is dependent on cheap energy, but cheap energy will not guarantee cheap food in a degraded environment (such as one experiencing more frequent drought and heat waves). I worry that we will paint ourselves into a corner where the only way we can continue to produce enough food is to use more of the cheapest energy available (near-term, fossil fuels), which in turn will lead to more difficulty producing food in the future.

It would be far better to use some fraction of the energy currently available to transition to a new energy production paradigm.

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Some folks don't seem to understand how the government subsidizes solar energy.

In addition to a failed attempt like Solyndra, the government has been offering homeowners rebates on solar electric systems for a while now.

That means that if I buy a solar electric system, a percentage of that will be paid to the installers/manufacturers from the government rather than by me. So many solar companies are partly subsidized and successful, partly due to these rebates.

And, in all likelihood, more homeowners have installed such systems because of the rebates.

George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Well there have also been tax rebates for investment in more energy efficient appliances. That generates income for business with little in the way of audits as to actual energy savings.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Why should the government subsidize solar energy? Why should our government borrow 41 cents on the dollar to do this? Why can't it be left alone to compete in the marketplace on it's own merits?

Because without subsidies, solar power isn't viable because the cost per kilowatt hour is much more expensive compared to conventional means already available. Like wind, it is also much worse for the environment if one measures the net carbon footprint per unit of energy produced, so there isn't a viable environmental reason to use solar power either.

If one is inclined to reject the idea "carbon" is threatening the environment, then solar power makes even less sense.

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

My point was in response to those who point at Solyndra and ask where the successful subsidized solar companies are.

I'd be glad to remove subsidies for solar/wind/etc. as long as we remove the ones for current production as well, to really level the playing field.

Source for your claim about environmental issues? From what I've read, solar is in fact much better than conventional energy sources.

It's hard to do a good thorough comparison, of course, but that's what we'd need.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

  1. I agree with almost everything you said.

  2. I rarely provide citations to support my assertions on this blog becuase doing so is stupid. The discussion turns into a debate about the validity of the citation. I cannot think of a more pointless waste of time. People who cite FoxNews for example, could produce a story that says the sky is blue, and people would argue and discredit them.

Heres a citation based on simple deduction: Solar and wind work "part" time. The grid is based on 24/7 supply, not demand, so every producer of electricity is "rated." They "owe" the grid a certain amount every day. When they do not provide it (no wind / no sunshine) another producer has to. Near by (so it's not lost in transmission) excess capacity has to be built at a conventional plant to pick up the slack. This drives up the cost per kwh, and burns fossile fuel, not to mention the cost of all the subsidies.

If you made the same net total production using one conventional plant rated for it, it would cost less and produce less polution net-net than the solar/wind + fossile fuel back-up combo modality.

When the battery technology comes along that will allow us to store 3 days worth of rated production of a solar/wind producer, such that they can be discharged to provided rated production to the grid during times when the wind doesn't blow / sun doesn't shine, then these will become more than viable replacements to coal and natural gas. THEN the cost p/kwh will be way cheaper than conventional means and coal and NG will no longer be used on a large scale. This will get even cheaper as time goes by because the scale of PV panel production / wind turbin production would be so huge (compared to now) p/unit production costs would fall, not to mention the advancements in super conductor technology that will come in the years we are waiting on the batteries to come on line. This means smaller, lighter, much more efficient components. The wind and solar technology that we will have when the batteries finally get here will look and work nothing like what we have now.

In the mean time, we need to burn NG (cleaner/cheaper) and provide huge incentives to the battery industry to hurry this along, not to save the planet, but save the poor familiy who has to chose between electricity and food.

I follow this technology pretty close (my brother builds power plants) We're about 10-15 years away from the battery technology by industry estimates.

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Wow - an unusual occurrence :-)

I'm not sure I understand your argument. If solar/wind/etc. are replacing even some of conventional generation, then there's an environmental savings.

We do have batteries to store solar power - many stand alone home systems use them, and they must work 24/7, I would think.

I'm thinking of "grid tie" home systems - they pull from the grid when necessary, and feed back into it when the solar system provides excess electricity. With a well designed one, you can zero out your use of coal electricity over the year, and/or provide some extra energy to the grid.

So, you initially buy the system (which involves some environmental cost, manufacturing, transportation, etc.), but then for the next 30 years or so, your electric needs are met without any further environmental damage.

Seems to me that it's extremely likely you're doing less harm to the environment that way than if you just used the coal plants' electricity over that time period.

It's a bit funny, in that your cleaner energy goes to somebody else - a stand alone system is more obvious in how it benefits the environment, but a lot more expensive as well. But, that system is clearly better, in that you're generating your own power, using batteries, and aren't connected to the conventional grid at all.

Am I missing something?

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

You talked about "home" production of electricity and I talked about "commercial" production. The math is still the same. Even with subsidies, cost p/kwh of home produced electricity is still cost prohibative in most places. I was going to put up a wind generator on my acreage until I did the math. Based on what it would produce it would take 12 years to pay for itself, and thats assuming there was no maintenance required during that time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

"Gung-ho alternative energy advocates don't have a back-up plan. "

No one knows what the ultimate solution might be, or if we as a species can survive long enough to fine one.

But neither you nor the fossil-fuel dinosaurs you worship even knows the right questions to ask, because you're too obsessed with your precious ideology.

headdoctor 2 years, 2 months ago

More regurgitation of Fake News by a right wing troll.

So closing eight coal mines out of as many as 150 by one company is a panic. The EPA rules that are being blamed for this don't go into effect if they ever do until 2015.

If anything the coal plants are backing off because of much lower rates in natural gas, market manipulation, and focusing on metallurgical coal to compete with Australia for the booming Chinese market.

I am sure you wont bother to let facts get in the road of a perfectly good rant.

Trumbull 2 years, 2 months ago

Solar power can be very promising.....and supply approximately the same megawatts as a mid-sized coal burning plant. See this on the mojave desert solar farm. BTW this is even old technology (mirror reflection).

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

"Solar power can be very promising..." As long as you don't need electricity after the sun goes down.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

Thermal storage works just fine on a daily cycle; about 98.5% efficiency.

kawrivercrow 2 years, 2 months ago

Cite a source of thermal storage meeting baseload power for more than a fraction of a day, please.

Chris Golledge 2 years, 2 months ago

EVN has a number of facilities.

including one in Austria with a 2 GWh capacity.

So, how many days that 2 gigawatt hours last depends on what your load is, but last month my household used 34 KWh / day. That works out to about 58,000 households for a full day.

tbaker 2 years, 2 months ago

Net cost per kilowatt hour to produce electricity this way?

Compared to other / conventional ways to produce electricity?

Opportunity cost resulting of the greater cost p/KwH?

Answer these three questions and you'll understand why this technique is not in widespread use.

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

Barry has done well with his energy policy

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

Petrolium? I thought this letter was going to be about Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Damn that Rachael Ray for getting us all addicted! We will forever be the slaves to Italy because of her cooking ways.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

We were going to lunch and the exhaust (with two mufflers) from the Vette set off 2 car alarms just idling by. Cops have rolled down the windows on their squad cars and told me it sounds nice. If you stand behind it, it is in stereo. If you stand in the kitchen, you can hear it rattle the dishes.

That's what you have to fight to take away our oil. You won't.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

I bet you like to smash puppies' heads, too.

You're way cool dude.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Of our 5 dogs, 3 are shelter rescues.

If you are happy in a boring little econbox that will be rotting in a junkyard in 15 years, that OK with me. Not all guys like cars. Get yourself a nice Civic. It does Point A to Point B well enough for you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

The immaturity of your overbearingly conspicuous consumption is not a positive trait.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Whether I can stop you or not, or whether I even try or not, doesn't make you any less immature and inconsiderate.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

There is no "whether". You can't.

Seriously, do you think it is your job to dictate how people live?


If you want inconsiderate, call me and try to sell me something.

windjammer 2 years, 2 months ago

Love that post as all motorheads will. They stole our dragstrip but they won't get our V8's.

In_God_we_trust 2 years, 2 months ago

We need to promote and fund inventors that focus on devices that can exceed 100% electrical efficiency for electrical production for cars, houses, military and so on. It would enhance our future and our children's future. It would relieve the dependency on oil and provide clean affordable energy. It would also provide jobs, good jobs.

In_God_we_trust 2 years, 2 months ago

Perpetual motion machines have a bad preconceived meaning that everyone has concluded that they are impossible, and in most cases this is true. (Like water flowing up hill against gravity etc.) These devices that I speak of are merely a smarter way of building motors and generators, that draw on other energy resources, other than the electrical input power that helps them to start in order to achieve an excess of 100% efficiency. (We are not talking about using solar or wind to assist here etc). It is a matter of building smarter and more efficiently designed devices. You will not learn of it in any school or college. These devices are not perfected yet, but do show much promise from the data.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

"Perpetual motion machines have a bad preconceived meaning that everyone has concluded that they are impossible"

Mostly because they are. I remember when the segway was released, I had fun convincing some fool that they weren't propelled by gravity, and there was no way they could be.

"them to start in order to achieve an excess of 100% efficiency"

You realize 100% efficiency is theoretical and nothing can approach that, don't you?

"building smarter and more efficiently designed devices"

Nothing wrong with that. Right now there is a massive change in automotive fuel injection that will revolutionize fuel economy in cars. Look up the term "GDI". It's tricky stuff, but GDI will do more to reduce fossil fuel usage than all your windmills and solar panels combined. Ask yourself what it will mean when our cars don't run at 14.7 to 1 air to fuel, and instead run at 60 to 1. 100 MPG cars are on the way.

In_God_we_trust 2 years, 2 months ago

100 mpg would certainly help the fuel burning cars to perform better, but like this device, it's not here to use yet. What I am talking about is not having to refuel at all. Unlimited range for your vehicle. Go right by the fuel station. The 100% efficiency and beyond is obtainable. As long as you can make use of another source that you don't have to replenish, that can assist the device to produce the power and avoid the losses normally associated with power generation or motor movement. The power generator reduces magnetic drag. This is impossible with a standard generator setup just like you said. So a new design is needed so that it is possible. This I have witnessed.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

"The 100% efficiency and beyond is obtainable"

No it isn't.

headdoctor 2 years, 2 months ago

I can only assume with a user name like this, the description on top of claiming you wont hear about this in schools or colleges they are referencing world improvement through the Spirit Ministries.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 2 months ago

"Perpetual motion machines have a bad preconceived meaning that everyone has concluded that they are impossible,"

Dr. Daniel Ling was an excellent Physics professor. I learned Newtonian Physics, Relativistic Physics, and Quantum Physics from him, and he explained very clearly why there is no such thing as a Perpetual Motion Machine. Once he talked about how someone had brought a set of plans to his attention, and he explained that the only way someone could produce any energy from that set of plans was to build it, and then throw it out the back of a wheeled vehicle.

Then, you would be propelled forward just a bit. That is all.

And besides that, your statement that I quoted above is not grammatically correct.

In_God_we_trust 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure that your Physics Professor was an excellent teacher. He teaches things that have been firmly proven in Physics in most cases and I would agree with him. But he makes assumptions that devices will always be made the way Physics says to make them, so they will always perform the way Physics predicts. So I am sure he is correct in his teachings as they apply to known Physics. But while he is a very intelligent individual, perhaps he hasn't learned everything quite yet? The devices that I am referring to are not in reality a perpetual motion machine. They are highly efficient devices that can fail as any normal motor or generator can fail. They are just more efficient.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Once and for all. Any device capable of greater than 100% efficiency, will generate enough power to run itself. That is called a perpetual motion machine and it violates the laws of thermodynamics. It cannot exist.

Just stop.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

How fossil fuels were formed is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is that it took millions of years to happen, and, for all practical purposes, releasing all of that sequestered CO2 at once is what's causing global warming/climate change.

It's a fact, Jack. If that creates cognitive dissonance w/respect to your ideology, might I suggest adopting a new ideology that's rational and respectful of facts and the scientific method?

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

"might I suggest adopting a new ideology"

No thanks. Your scientific method is propped up by fudge-factors and contorted statistics designed to undermine politically-neutral science for a few dollars of grant money. I don't trust it enough to give up my car.

You have two options. Come take it or don't come take it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

Just because you put a chip on your shoulder and dare me to knock it off doesn't mean I have any interest in playing along with your silly posturing. Grow up.

And just because there aren't any simple and easy solutions to our energy problems doesn't mean that your carbon-belching dinosaur isn't driving us all off a cliff.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Come and get it or don't. That's your two choices.

Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 2 months ago

Take a look at my reader's blog for today - it's the 20th anniversary of Critical Mass in San Francisco, plus additional articles and pictures of bicycles helping to create less oil usage and more community spirit - including in Africa.

I'm glad that this letter appeared at about the same time, thanks to Neil Brown!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

There are no easy solutions. But that doesn't mean we don't still need solutions. And pretending that we don't need them is NOT a solution.

"On a side, you insult in nearly every comment."

No, I don't. I merely call stupid ideas and poor reasoning for what they are.

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