Thursday, January 18, 2007

Electricity is the Hero

The subject of alternate transportation and taxing the current modes thereof has been brought up.

Some favor a carbon tax, some favor mass transit, I favor electricity.

Personally I believe cars that run on electricity are the answer here. My background in the automotive field has taught me one very important thing, gas and diesel powered vehicles are dirty, complicated, and expensive to repair and maintain.

There is a need for more cars that are electric powered. These are far less complicated, simpler to maintain and less pollutant creating than their fossil fuel counterparts. There would be fossil fuels used to build these cars, but once built, their fossil fuel days are over. Except for replacement parts there would not be any daily consumption of oil and oil products.
Lubricants can be and are made of synthetic polymers, tires also are being turned over to poly-type components.

Right now batteries are being used for electricity storage but with some research being done in the area of super capacitors, also an electrical storage device, they could be used instead of the chemical reaction batteries. This is not that complicated to do, several of the major automakers are currently building prototypes of electric vehicles. With incentives they could rush to production a vehicle that would equal the performance of any fossil fuel vehicle.

The question of poor people availability was raised. Electric cars could be made very affordable and a lot cheaper than current cars just because of their simplicity, less parts means less money outlay and lower maintenance cost over the long term.

Truly a lot more viable than imposing a tax penalty on fossil fuel vehicles which would directly impact the folks least able to pay, without leaving them any alternatives, electric cars would be a real answer to energy consumption now, and would allow the mobility so many people need.

Now about wind and solar power.......


Saladin said...

DEN, I agree, they cannot keep taxing the very things we need for survival. It doesn't matter how resourceful a person is in getting to work if they can't afford the minimum caloric intake to produce the energy to work! Taxing fuel does not just effect the ability to GET to work, it will effect everything. But my question is, how will we generate the electricity required to run electric cars? All the current methods have serious drawbacks. And most produce vast amounts of pollution.

DEN said...

One more thing, On DWF we are a unique group of individuals with strong views and opinions and a high degree of intelligence.

It is my wish that those that post here, be able to do so without feeling like they risk personal attack due to their views and opinions.

We are all on this crazy train together and as a microcosm of America we must be considerate of others feelings and act and discuss in a civil manner without fear of being attacked.

I like to think I am providing an outlet for many concerns you all have about the current goings on in the world.

This is not the AR blog for sure, never tried to compete there, I just want all of you to be comfortable being in my home.

C'mon in,
Fresh coffee in the corner and day-old donuts on the side, help yourselves, but don't make a mess, your momma doesn't work here ya know!

DEN said...

Sal, Wind power on a nationwide network combined with solar should do it.

DEN said...

We have a bunch of those nasty Nuke plants too.

DEN said...

Sal, How did you get your spider pic to stick?

I tried last week to stick a pic on my profile and it wigged out.

DEN said...

Additional note on personal comment above, this is not directed at any particular poster or posters, just my general desire for a peaceful blog.

Thanks for understanding.

DEN said...

Got a funny joke in my mail:


For all of us who are married, were married, wish
you were married, or wish you weren't married, this
is something to smile about the next time you see a
bottle of wine:

Sally was driving home from one of her business
trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly
Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped
the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like
a ride.

With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into
the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make
a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old
woman just sat silently, looking intently at
everything she saw, studying every little detail,
until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to

"What in bag?" asked the old woman.

Sally looked down at t he brown bag and said, "It's
a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."

The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or

Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder,
she said:

"Good trade."

DEN said...

Gee, do you think my post got around?

Following rumors of an Iranian missile strike on a US military ship, Pentagon officials dismissed the claim anonymously in a Reuters article Thursday morning.

"No such event took place," one of the officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

The US has recently upped its presence in the Gulf region, sending at least two aircraft carriers in what Defense Secretary Robert Gates says is an effort to put pressure on Tehran. Talk of a military strike on Iran has increased in recent weeks.

Alan said...

The US has recently upped its presence in the Gulf region,

Welp, I've heard it said both ways... that there is 2 carrier battle groups in the Persian Gulf, or there is a second one on the way. A picture in our paper yesterday (or the day before) of a carrier group leaving now for a month-long trip to the Persian Gulf. My question is... is this the second group, or would that make three carrier groups? If so, that should be major news.

DEN said...

We've upped our presence,
now up yours! HA!

Alan said...

Senators want details on domestic spying program

WASHINGTON — Senators demanded details today from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about new orders putting the government's domestic spying program under court review — and questioned why it took so long to do so.
Last August, a federal judge in Detroit declared the spying program unconstitutional, saying it violated the rights to free speech and privacy and the separation of powers. In October, a three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based appeals court ruled that the administration could keep the program in place while it appeals the Detroit decision.
I dunno. Are the 'giving in' on this to protect something even worse?

Alan said...

Here's an article that pleased me.

SMU president defends plan to host Bush library
He urges faculty members opposing it to think about research over politics

DALLAS — Responding to protests from some faculty members about the prospect of hosting President Bush's library, Southern Methodist University's president said Wednesday that political passions will give way to historical research.
Last week, 68 current and former faculty members sent Turner a letter saying that Americans give the president "poor marks" on issues such as the war in Iraq. The letter took issue with the administration over "erosion of habeas corpus, denial of global warming, disrespect for international treaties, alienation of longtime U.S. allies, environmental predation, disregard for rights of gay persons, a preemptive war based on false premises and other forms of disrespect for the created order and global community."

William McElvaney, a professor emeritus at SMU's theology school and co-author of a November opinion piece in the campus newspaper titled "The George W. Bush Library: Asset or Albatross?", said his opposition is ethical rather than partisan.

"Much of the record of the Bush administration contradicts what I think of as Methodist ethics," he said. "This isn't partisan on my part."
Now, about the "up yours" from above. WTF does that mean Den?

DEN said...

Alan, actually it is from an old Pat Paulsen joke from way back;

We've upped our standards.
now up yours.

WAS NOT a dig at you, just popped out of my head.

DEN said...

Seems I cannot quit pissin people off lately. Must be the weather.

Alan said...

WAS NOT a dig at you, just popped out of my head.

I didn't think it was because it would be completely out of your character, but I didn't know for sure. No biggie... carry on wif the carry on.

Bill said...

Who killed the electric car?

The History of Electric Vehicles

My calendar sets us in time at 2007 CE. Electric cars have been available since the 1800s. It would seem it's time to hit the road, jack, with a carbon tax aimed at the biggest polluters. A carbon tax would create an incentive to change our bad habits.

Drastically reducing the amount of carbon dioxide Americans pump into the atmosphere will involve economic costs.  These costs could have a negative effect in the short term, but doing nothing is not an option. Furthermore, doing nothing is much costlier in the longer term.  Most of the added cost can be avoided if the policy chosen to reduce emissions raises revenues for the government and these revenues are used to cut other taxes and to provide funds for mass transit, train networks, oh, nevermind.

David B. Benson said...

Alas, electrical power generation is the villian!

Most of the electrical power in the U.S. (indeed, world-wide) is generated by coal-fired plants (called coal reactors). These generate a large amount of carbon dioxide, much worse than even burning natural gas or fuel oils. Bad scene.

It appears possible to, in some locations, build new ones in which the carbon dioxide is sequestered in the ground. This might work.

Nuclear power plants are probably a bad idea, even just considereing the carbon dioxide used to build and then eventually decommision. I'll ignore, for now, the radiological hazards...

Wind generation is only about 20% efficient. Solar is a bit better. Both require nature's cooperation to function. Worse, the power engineers consider these to be negative loads in that there is no control possible. Denmark, with about 20% of power provided by the wind, has big problems when the wind stops blowing. A general figure used is that, for grid stability, no maore than 15--20% of the power generation can come from these unsteady sources.

All other sources are too small to be of interest, except hydro. In most parts of the developed world all hydro sources are fully utilized. China, India and Brazil might do a bit more than they currently are. Similarly in parts of Africa...

Soooo, while electric cars will certainly have a role to play, far better is to plan on mass transit, leaving close to place of employment, and yes better trains.

While the exact choices of carbon tax, carbon caps, lowering other taxes etc., is up to the people's representatives with advice from economists, the Stern Report demonstrates that something needs to be done, even if not the very best plan, right away.


Saladin said...

DEN, I don't now why my spider sticks, I only have trouble when blogger goes down, but it always comes back. Capt. showed me how to do it and he can answer better than I could!

Mr. Benson, I think that it will probably take a combination of various forms of energy to get it right. No matter which way we go it will require a LOT of petroleum to get us there! It isn't really practical for everyone to live close to work. There are many of us living in what you would call the boondocks, 2 or 3 hundred miles from any major city, I for one would NEVER move away from my little town, and I shouldn't have to. If we could just eliminate the greed factor I think a lot of progress could happen in a relatively short period of time. Humans are very innovative and have come up with sensational ideas for energy conservation and alternative energy sources, but the oil grubbers always quash them.

David B. Benson said...

James Hansen, well-known NASA climatogist, appears to have said that it didn't matter whether we burned up all the oil and natural gas or not. Only coal matters.

That is actually very scary. I'm scared.

Saladin --- If you are independently wealthy (enough), you can live where you want. Otherwise, in the near future you, and your grown children, are going to find it economically necessary to live reasonably close to place of employment (and also grow some of your own food.)

(Looks to be prices of oranges is going to go up to about $1.50 per pound. Maybe for only a year. Try kumquats in the interim.)

DEN said...

I will try this again, I got some help from Blogger Help, no kidding!

Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, we are FAR from independently wealthy, and I am involved with a multi-family gardening co-op, but we can only grow in the warn season, though I am seriously considering a greenhouse since we have an abundance of sun, as well as wind, where I live. We are renting at the moment but have a small piece of land with a well that could easily be set up to run with a small windmill. And solar panels would provide plenty of energy for heating water etc. I don't like the idea of people being forced to live in huge cities against their will. Since I am self employed and travel to various locations for my work I can't rely on mass transit, our system here is primitive at best, I wish it were better. I still think there are solutions so that people can live where they are happy and still be energy realistic. Maybe even in our lifetime!

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Sounds to me you are on track so long as you can continue to obtain contracts. Goferit!

Jeanne said...

Hi guys.

My daughter was in a show tonight. Her high school alumni show. A lot of the people she graduated with and those that graduated a year after put their stuff in and then they get to see each other. Here are the pieces she put in the show.

Halrequin, Columbina with Guias


Into the Air, Into the Earth

She had put in for a grant and out of 300 people she was number 29. This was a major grant so to get that far is amazing. She was listening to them talk and she said her heart was beating. It was for her forensic work. Here's a sample of a painting she did for a archeology dig. (You didn't think I'd let you by that easy did you?)

MIAC Portrait Commission

David B. Benson said...

Jeanne --- I liked the portrait. Very determined.

Jeanne said...

Here's a little background. She studied the American Indians from the period during the 1800's and she looked at photos. She looked at dress but also facial structure. It's amazing how different American Indians tribes can look when seperated. The Dakota of eastern MN look entirely different from the Dakota of western MN. But she had nothing from 2000 years ago (I think those were the age of the bones that were discovered). So she guessed. And then she put the feathers down because she thought they should be down. It just looked right. No good reason why. Well she brought it to the people who had asked for the commission. One told her it looked like his uncle right down to the feathers.

Alan said...

Y'all shouldn't miss this article.

An Impartial Interrogation of George W. Bush

It's a short speech by George McGovern to the National Press Club.

Pandemoniac said...


"Arnold Schwarzenegger is recovering from a broken leg. ... In a new interview, Schwarzenegger said he's only taking a little bit of pain medication for his broken leg because the medication garbles his speech. Apparently, Schwarzenegger broke his leg in 1974."
--Conan O'Brien

"The good news is last night President Bush finally admitted he's made mistakes in Iraq. The bad news is he's planning to make the same mistakes again."
--Jay Leno

"Bush is going to send more troops to Iraq. That's the solution. And I was thinking, you think he'd being doing this if he were still in the National Guard."
--David Letterman

"People who watched the speech said President Bush looked uncomfortable. And I was thinking, of course -- he was in a library surrounded by books."
--David Letterman

"After hearing the president's speech, Democrats in the Senate are seeking bipartisan support for a non-binding resolution opposing President Bush's deployment of his military escalation. In response, President Bush said, 'Huh?'"
--Conan O'Brien

"President Bush also said that all the military commanders who have looked at his plan say it will work. That's because all the ones who said it wouldn't work aren't military commanders anymore."
--Jay Leno

"Ted Kennedy attacked the president. He said Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam. Which is very unfair. There is a huge difference. Bush knew how to get out of Vietnam."
--Jay Leno

"President Bush is now calling for sending 21,000 more troops to Iraq. How does he come up with that number? I don't even think 21,000 people in the country think it's a good idea."
--Jay Leno

"President Bush has called on Iraq for a better performance by their government. And today, Iraq said, 'Uh, you first.'"
--Jay Leno

"A lot of Democrats and Republicans are coming out against Bush's plan for Iraq. It's nice to see Democrats and Republicans on the same page, especially when it's not a congressional page."
--Jay Leno

"Did you see President Bush last night on '60 Minutes'? Bush said we are in a ideological struggle with evildoers. I think he's talking about the Democrats."
--David Letterman

"Bush admitted to making mistakes in Iraq and says he has learned from these mistakes and will do better in Iran."
--David Letterman

"In the interview, Bush said popularity is not his goal. Well, I thought, 'mission accomplished.'"
--David Letterman

"Did you folks see the Golden Globes last night? ... You know who won? That Borat guy. He got up to say a few words. He was the whacky foreigner with the accent saying unintelligible things. No, that was Arnold Schwarzenegger."
--David Letterman

Jon Stewart: "The president's advisers launched a PR offensive to assure the public that just because our new way forward meant returning troops levels to where they were in December of 2005, this plan had a twist
on screen: NSA Stephen Hadley saying the strategy 'will succeed rather than fail'.
Jon Stewart: Hmmm. Succeed rather than fail? Sounds counterintuitive. ... Okay, I'll indulge you. You have a plan. Well, have you thought about looking at that plan in the most emotionally loaded way possible? on screen: WH press sec. Tony Snow saying, 'I'll ask a simple question. If the U.S. withdraws, does it make Osama bin Laden happy or sad?'.
Jon Stewart: And if bin Laden was happy, would he know it? And if bin Laden knew it, would he clap his hands? Would his face surely show it? These are the questions we would have asked bin Laden ... if we had caught him."

"Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo announced he's thinking about running for president and is now forming an exploratory committee. So far, the only member of the committee is someone named Tom Tancredo."
--Conan O'Brien

"This week, a new swimsuit for Muslim women was introduced called the 'burqini,' which is a stylish water safe burka meant for swimming. The manufacturer says it's perfect for the Muslim woman who loves to swim, but hates being stoned to death."
--Conan O'Brien

"Democrats have announced that their 2008 presidential convention will be held in Denver. You know, it's interesting that the Republicans haven't made a big deal about where their 2008 convention will be. They are keeping it very low key because they are afraid President Bush will know where it is and will show up."
--Jay Leno

"Fidel Castro, the Cuban President who has been hospitalized since July, has been the subject of several conflicting medical reports regarding his physical condition. ... CNN reported the reason Castro's health has taken such a downturn was his decision to have a very risky operation to have doctors implant him with -- and this is true -- an artificial anus. ... They've upgraded his condition from 'grave' to 'serious but hilarious'"
--Jon Stewart

"President Bush is going to be talking about global warming in his State of the Union address. He's unveiling his new plan. I believe it's called 'No Ice Cap Left Behind.'"
--David Letterman

"President Bush has the answer to global warming. He's going to send 20,000 troops to the sun."
--David Letterman

"President Bush watched the hanging of Saddam Hussein. He said he was not pleased with how the Iraqis executed Saddam Hussein. ... The Iraqis fired back, 'Yeah? We're not pleased with the way you executed the war.'" --David Letterman

Happy Birthday Juju
You live in a Zoo
Happy Birthday Clint Junior
Happy Birthday to you

Dad (Clint Sr.)