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"Continued and increased emissions of greenhouse gases will disrupt the Earth's climate in the foreseeable future." *
OPINION: We do not like this fact.
Q: WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER?
1) fusion (though currently not directly available on
Earth, the Sun appears to be close enough.)
3) hybrids (including hydro, wind, fuel cells, etc.)
SPECIFIC, REALISTIC, course of ACTION
here might be one:
A major cause of our woes is the dependence of the world upon oil. This will not change until automotive manufacturers produce far more efficient engines. That some of these manufacturers indeed can do so is shown by the examples of Toyota (hybrids) and Volkswagen(diesel). What can we do to persuade the rest?
Here is my suggestion: that we aggressively educate our internet audience to the issues of oil dependence. It may be argued that we already do so; I reply that we are not doing enough. I see little feedback about oil issues coming back at us and I take this as a sign that we are not sufficiently emphasizing the subject.
To begin with, I propose we create a site devoted exclusively to the issue of oil dependence and the consequences; that we link this site organically at every level of our other internet activity. I further propose that we restrict this project solely to the oil issue, without getting drawn into all of the other tangled strands that we know arise from this web. If we wish we may later create other sites for other issues, but for the moment let us stick to oil, because it is fairly easy to lose sight of the matters at hand in an attempt to address all the ills of the world.
Towards this, I volunteer to create the site, and the backups for it, and perhaps some other poor soul might come forward to link it in appropriately...
We already have a great deal of material assembled, and I know where to find more.
Right action is preceded by right thought. What do you think ?
ok... if you give me a bit... i'll just start by linking your email to what comes to mind (in terms of existing content)
here are a few... lemme know what you think of?
and did ya wanna include why it's a problem or just solutions?
cuz we've got lots of content about why it is a problem, too
and my current favorite
like it already...
these go under 'possible answers'
these should go under a section called 'Dramatis Personae'
or perhaps just 'Actors'
don't think these have much on oil
this was included to help us focus on making sure the alternatives we work toward are not centralized. could the security (and other) risks of centralized power grids be cured with our solutions?
it was also interesting to note in Fuel Cell Energy's annual report of top 5 market drivers:
Security -- The events of 2001 have placed greater emphasis on reducing our dependence on a large vulnerable infrastructure. Substituting smaller, site-specific generation plants for large central power plants would distribute this risk.
this was for alternatives (and trying to overcome the fear of atomic power)... do you wanna stick with just hybrid engines for cars... or other alt. energy, too?
1) i mean... my fear is that if we focus on reduction on foreign oil... the population may just say... ok. let us use more US oil... Alaska, etc.
where as... should we not push for atomic and other energies?
2) i am also very concerned about the non-autos
the cost of cooling homes and heating water are severe (and rising.) cooling homes is a particular quagmire --
the more greenhouse gases warm the environment... the more we need to cool our homes... the more greenhouse gases we emit... the more we need to cool our house... etc in an endless loop.
this problem doesn't look like it will go away (whereas, i'm still hopeful that humans will render the auto obsolete in the near future.)
first in general terms
among other things, oil dependence means oil producing countries control most of the energy resources.
this does not mean that all the citizens of oil producing nations are wealthy - often only the decision makers benefit. Iraq and Russia and good examples of that fact.
how would shifting to fuel cells affect these countries and the wealth-hoarding conditions there ?
then there are oil producers like Saudi, Kuwait, U.A.E., etc which tend to more widely distribute the direct and indirect wealth and other benefits from oil revenues to their general population - education and health systems, to name but a few
how would a shift to fuel cells affect those countries ?
what about all the oil companies - most of them western nationals - which also make their bread and butter from exploiting those oil resources
what about auto manufacturers which do likewise - relying exclusively on petroleum products for fuel and lubricating products ?
what about countries like Japan - a very different case - as they have to import all petroleum products for all purposes from auto to home heating. by the same token, Japan has 17 nuclear energy plants for energy needs here. how much of that oil AND non oil reliant technology would be supplanted / displaced by any fuel cell technology and related economics ?
also consider that Japan is already all ready promoting and producing vehicle fuel cell technology here even in industrial vehicles.
what about African nations - especially west African countries which now have found oil reserves and are banking heavily on being able to serve as oil suppliers to Europe and the u.s. ? what does unfolding fuel cell technology in those countries do to their econ plans ?
what about china / prc - Russia is nearing completion of a Siberian oil pipeline directly to china to supply the latter with its immense oil needs... which will grow geometrically each year for the next few decades. seems to me the china is well positioned, demand-wise and infrastructure-wise, to use fuel cell technology, as she ain't yet plant-committed to all-things-petroleum. but how would you intend to motivate her (and measure her actions materially and specifically) to marshal her resources to make the fuel cell leap now - before she becomes reliant on Russian oil ?
the point here is that every nation and region has many things to gain and to lose by adopting any fuel cell technology as long as existing petroleum product technology and plant is in place.
in specific terms, what is the purpose of the manpower, and asset-time devoted to fuel cell technology on a yet another web site ?
what exactly do you hope to accomplish, in very specific terms... other than parading your own view for passive consumption by a non-specific audience with no material result-measurement ?
After thinking about it some more, I added:
and i was just thinkin...
how the momentum contest has very much to do with finding an energy solution (in that one of the correct answers has to do with e=mc^2)
which i suppose has to do with fusion?
i mean if mass is converted to energy... or visa versa... what is that?
which made me think of this one... hehehe
and as far as fun... this is one of the viewers favorite energy pages:
More thoughts on transportation:
now that i think about it... the auto industry does look pretty hopeless when it comes to makin' the current contraption obsolete (i'd already given up on buyin' auto co's and had been buying aviation makers, etc.)
as soon as i get the H2O Fusion Project under control, i'll devote more attention to the auto invention
initially... i'm thinkin' that it would combine elements of a car, bike, glider and sailboat. (keeping some manpower in the mix on purpose... cuz the prez sayz we is all too fat.)
i was hoping man would go right to flying... hover craft of sumpin'... but, maybe a smaller step is better than none at all?
this vehicle would preserve the independence of owning an auto... and start to take us from surface friction to reduced surface friction... to flight? and, since it won't really be a plane... i don't think it would fall under those rules/laws/restrictions
hmmm... maybe sidd can help direct us through some concept models?
when i think about surface friction... it seems that the tire and the road should be the last to go.
instead... i'm thinking about the air and the auto body. right now what happens? air and auto collide... no positive results from energy?
is there a way to utilize this energy?
for instance could parts of the cars surface be porous... and then redirect the moving air to yield a more desirable result?
perhaps similar in some ways to a jet engine...
or, did you ever pump one of those pressurized toy water driven cars? ... where the pressurized water propels the car.
they make toy rockets like this, too
2 more questions:
1) do you need water to do this? or why can't i think of pressure examples without water (or sumpin' else) to propel? or, can you just use air?
2) this pressure driven toy idea is kinda opposite to that of a water pistol (water propels toy vs. toy propels water)
would the new car utilize air kinda opposite of a windmill? (windmill gets hit by air vs. air gets hit by windmill)
More thoughts from sidd:
i understand this will take a long time and much effort i have begun, i intend to carry it through
you must remember that i am a fizicist and i have spent years of my life in 90 hour a week study of things of little interest to most of us
my favorite piece of work is a problem we started working on in 1982 and solved in 1993... (http://membrane.com/sidd/roton.html)
i am prepared to devote man years to this project and i am fully prepared to find that i am fundamentally wrong
i did not begin to study (as in at least an hour per week) global energy issues until 1998 but an an hour per week is a trivial amount of time for the serious student
since then i have accumulated what i would consider only a passing familiarity with some of the major issues
however, i am immensely aided by my training for i was taught thermodynamics, and i can count
if you're going to get into this subject, i would suggest you go after certain very basic info on the industry to give you a clearer picture of "oil-dependence"
as a beginning:
i have some figures from the doe on energy consumption and production figures. i shall cross check these with other databases and attempt to arrive at consensus estimates with the all important error bars...
in addition i have numbers on the total amount of oil that ends up as CO2 .. there was a very good article in Physics Today on the subject with references to the primary literature
i also have unreliable numbers on the budgets of the various producing nations, and more reliable non governmental estimates
and many other odds and ends collected over the last few years and some sources in the field..
if u wanna go further with the basics, you can examine the research and financing of alternative energy sources and systems
not yet, i think just oil/natgas is enuf for now i have a lot of data on alternate energy, but that may come later, after we address the oil/natgas issue
they're more expensive than the current ones, in almost every case without exception.
with the caveat that some unconventional sources are dropping in price and some conventional sources are rising, but you knew that
the politics of petro, and the direct and blatant part it plays in diplomacy, international trade and even governmental relations, affiliations and political alliances
i think this is very important, and demands some historical research. Diverse inputs on the history of the oil producing regions and testaments from those lived through some of it are available, and i have collected a sampling.
thanx for the input
we need hardheaded argument to keep us on our toes
perhaps this will turn out to be a fools errand, but i wont know until i educate myself first perhaps some of the lessons i learn will be valuable to J. Random Soul out there, perhaps not
To which I replied:
i wanted to address what you said about devotin' effort...
i've been studying the economics of oil since the 1970's. i currently own (or have been an owner) of every major oil company.
you are correct in that "oil" is a problem. unfortunately, my studies have shown that people don't care... at least not enough. that is to say -- oil is not the real problem, consumers are.
there must be a compelling "positive" reason to get consumer to change the way they vote with their dollars.
there have been many "negative" attempts at change (including the threat of global warming, gas taxes, forcing rental companies forced to have a % of fleet be hybrids, etc.) [note: this is an area we've been pushing hard for a while -- consumer education on the negative consequences... and, it appears to have little impact.]
historically, none of the negative reinforcement has worked.
though there have been some "positive" breakthroughs, they have not been compelling enough to convince the consumer to vote with their dollar (electric cars, hydrogen, fuel cells, etc.)
[note: one of the most interesting is the invention that is known as "it" (the guy who invented it also created the light/music shows for ny museum of art and other museums around the world. ya know... like at the Franklin Institute when they have the Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin laser light shows?) "it" is a gasless vehicle that uses gyroscopes.]
therefore, geo-political and/or corporate efforts to invoke change are near worthless (or at least have been up to this point in time. where reserves exist, technology to extract harder to reach reserves, and other information such as this will not help solve the problem... only prolong it)
guns don't kill... people do
oil doesn't kill... people do
the problem with oil is the consumer.
Sidd's Science Center
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