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jAZ
05-03-2006, 02:10 AM
This guy is on Coast To Coast right now. He's been discussing his proposal to save the world. It sounds absurd on the surface, but it seems very reasonable.

We need to ask our Congressman/women to mandate "Flex Fuel" (engines able to use either oil or alcohol based fuels) for all vehicles sold in the US starting in 2009. Within 10 years, this one simple bit of regulation will unleash a ton of market forces that will effectively drive us off of oil to the point where our nation might become a net energy exporter, rather than a 60% importer. Doing so saps the power Iran has to resist our calls for stoping their Nuke productions. It also takes away their source of funds for such research. It puts us back in control of our own energy supply while lowering costs, reducing pollution and growing our domestic economy.

(long, but well worth a read)

http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleID.18976/article_detail.asp

An Energy Revolution
By Robert Zubrin

The world economy is currently running on a resource that is controlled by our enemies. This threatens to leave us prostrate. It must change—and the good news is that it can change, quickly.

Using portions of the hundreds of billions of petrodollars they are annually draining from our economy, Middle Easterners have established training centers for terrorists, paid bounties to the families of suicide bombers, and funded the purchase of weapons and explosives. Oil revenues underwrite new media outlets that propagandize hatefully against the United States and the West. They pay for more than 10,000 radical madrassahs set up around the world to indoctrinate young boys with the idea that the way to paradise is to murder Christians, Jews, and Hindus. It was men energized by oil-revenue resources who killed 3,000 American civilians on September 11, 2001, and who have continued to kill large numbers of Westerners in Iraq and elsewhere. We are thus subsidizing acts of war against ourselves.

And we have not yet reached the culmination of the process. Iran and other states are now using petroleum lucre to underwrite the development of nuclear weapons, and insulate themselves from the economic sanctions that could result. Once produced, these nuclear weapons could be used directly or made available to terrorists to attack U.S., European, or Israeli cities and military forces. This is one of the gravest threats to the next generation—and, again, we are paying for it ourselves with oil revenue.

Our responses to these provocations have been muted and hapless. Why? Because any forceful action on our part against nations like Iran and Saudi Arabia could result in the disruption of oil supplies that the world economy is completely dependent upon. We can’t stand up to our enemies because we rely upon them for the fuel that is our own lifeblood.

And the situation is even worse below the surface. In addition to financing terror directly and indirectly, oil exporters are using their wealth to corrupt our political system. Important Washington, D.C. law firms and lobbying organizations have been put on the payroll of Arab nations to blunt any attempts at retaliation for their promotion of terrorism. Arab investors have made enormous buys in media organizations that could allow them to influence U.S. public opinion.

All this, however, is mere prologue. China and India are rapidly industrializing, and within a decade or two the number of cars in the world will double or triple. If the world remains on the oil standard, the income streams of many noxious oil exporters will soar. We will be impoverished to the same degree they are enriched. The vast sums transferred will not only finance global jihad and dangerous weapons development in the Middle East, but also increase potential for manipulation of the U.S. and Western economies. At currently projected rates of consumption, by the year 2020 over 90 percent of the world’s remaining petroleum reserves will be in the Middle East, controlled by people whose religion obligates them to subjugate us.

In light of these realities, current U.S. energy policy is a scandal. There is no reason the United States should remain helpless, allowing itself to be looted by people who are using the proceeds to undermine us. A much higher degree of energy independence is possible, even apparent, yet victory is not being pursued. To see how insane our national energy policies have been, let’s review recent failures. Then I’ll describe a starkly better alternative.



CONSERVATION AND ALTERNATIVE-FUEL DAYDREAMS

Ritualistic calls by utopians, moralists, and environmental absolutists for energy conservation are utterly inadequate and doomed to failure. To see this, simply run the numbers. Every year, about 17 million cars are sold in the U.S.—roughly 10 percent of the worldwide total. Even if Americans were to buy only hybrid cars offering a 30 percent fuel saving over existing models, and none of them drove more, and there was no expansion in the U.S. vehicle fleet, this effort would result in only a 3 percent annual reduction in global gasoline use.

Conservation, however, offers no prospect of being even this effective. Most industry analysts predict a hybrid market share of less than 1 percent. At the same time, the total number of cars is increasing. Under any realistic conservation scenario, total gasoline consumption will continue to rise and the looting of our economy by oil producers will continue. Conservation through gasoline efficiency is, quite simply, a losing strategy. It is like trying to survive in a gas chamber by holding your breath. We need to break out of the gas chamber.

Today’s favorite alternatives to oil are wind, solar, hydroelectric, and nuclear power. They each have strengths and weaknesses, but the bottom line is that these are all methods of generating electricity—and electricity is far from the central issue of energy independence. The United States has plenty of coal, and if necessary could easily generate all of its electric power that way.

The key to energy independence, rather, is liquid fuel to power cars, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes. These vehicles are not mere conveniences; they are the sinews of our economy and the fundamental instruments of our military strength. Our civilization cannot be sustained without efficient liquid fuels, and there is no foreseeable prospect whatsoever of cost effective, large-scale generation of liquid fuels from wind, solar, hydroelectric, or nuclear sources.

The energy panacea of the moment is a concept called the “hydrogen economy.” Theorists propose to transition U.S. energy usage to hydrogen—a common element which, when combined with oxygen, releases energy with only water as a waste product. With hydrogen, it is claimed, we can achieve not only energy independence but also an end to pollution and global warming at the same time. The concept is entirely fraudulent.

Hydrogen is not a source of energy. In order to be obtained, it must be made—either through the electrolysis of water, or through the breakdown of petroleum, natural gas, or coal. Either process necessarily consumes more energy than the hydrogen it produces.

When hydrogen is made by electrolysis, the process yields 85 units of hydrogen energy for every 100 units of electrical energy used to break down the water. That is 85 percent efficiency. If the hydrogen is then used in a fuel cell in an electric car, only about 55 percent of its energy value will be used; the rest is wasted to heat and so forth. The net result of these two processes: the amount of useable energy yielded by the hydrogen will be only about 47 percent as much as went into producing it in the first place. And if the hydrogen is burned in an internal combustion engine to avoid the high production costs of fuel cells, the net efficiency of this vehicle will be closer to 25 percent.

Hydrogen produced from hydrocarbons instead of water also throws away 40 to 60 percent of the total energy in the feedstock. This method actually increases the nation’s need for fossil fuels, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. While hydrogen could also be produced by nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, or wind power, the process would continue to be dragged down by the fundamental inefficiency of hydrogen production. Such power supplies could always do more to reduce fossil fuel requirements simply by sending their electric power directly to the grid.

The bottom line is that hydrogen is not a source of energy. It is a carrier of energy, and one of the least practical carriers we know of.

Consider: A standard molecular weight (or mole) of hydrogen gas, when reacted with oxygen, yields 66 watt-hours of energy. Meanwhile, a mole of methane (the primary component of natural gas) produces 218 watt-hours of energy. An equal number of moles of both can be stored in a tank of equal size and strength. Thus, a car that runs on compressed methane will be able to store more than three times the energy, and travel three times as far, as the same car running on hydrogen. In addition, the methane would be cheaper.

In short, from the point of view of production, distribution, environmental impact, and ease of use, the hydrogen economy makes no sense. Its fundamental premise is at variance with the most basic laws of physics. The charlatans who are promoting hydrogen as a solution to our energy woes are doing the nation an immense disservice.



THE ALCOHOL SOLUTION

To liberate ourselves from the threat of foreign economic domination, undercut the financiers of terror, and give ourselves the free hand necessary to deal with Middle Eastern extremists, we must devalue their resources and increase the value of our own. We can do this by taking the world off the petroleum standard and putting it on an alcohol standard.

This may sound like a huge and impossible task, but with gasoline prices well over $2 per gallon, the means to accomplish it are now at hand. Congress could make an enormous step toward American energy independence within a decade or so if it would simply pass a law stating that all new cars sold in the U.S.A. must be flexible-fuel vehicles capable of burning any combination of gasoline and alcohol. The alcohols so employed could be either methanol or ethanol.

The largest producers of both ethanol and methanol are all in the western hemisphere, with the United States having by far the greatest production potential for both. Ethanol is made from agricultural products. Methanol can also be made from biomass, as well as from natural gas or coal. American coal reserves alone are sufficient to power every car in the country on methanol for more than 500 years.

Ethanol can currently be produced for about $1.50 per gallon, and methanol is selling for $0.90 per gallon. With gasoline having roughly doubled in price recently, and with little likelihood of a substantial price retreat in the future, high alcohol-to-gasoline fuel mixtures are suddenly practical. Cars capable of burning such fuel are no futuristic dream. This year, Detroit will offer some two dozen models of standard cars with a flex-fuel option available for purchase. The engineering difference is in one sensor and a computer chip that controls the fuel-air mixture, and the employment of a corrosion-resistant fuel system. The difference in price from standard units ranges from $100 to $800.

Flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) offer consumers little advantage right now, because the high-alcohol fuels which they could employ are not generally available for purchase. This is because there are so few such vehicles that it doesn’t pay gas station owners to dedicate a pump to cater to them. Were FFVs made the standard, however, the fuel they need would quickly be made available everywhere.

If all cars sold in the U.S. had to be flexible-fueled, foreign manufacturers would also mass-produce such units, creating a large market in Europe and Asia as well as the U.S. for methanol and ethanol—much of which would be produced in America. Instead of being the world’s largest fuel importer, the United

States could become the world’s largest fuel exporter. A large portion of the money now going to Arabs and Iranians would instead go to the U.S.A. and Canada, with much of the rest going to Brazil and other tropical agricultural nations. This would reverse our trade deficit, improve conditions in the Third World, and cause a global shift in world economic power in favor of the West.

By promoting agriculture, FFVs also act as global cooling agents. Plants draw CO2 out of the atmosphere. They increase water evaporation, and the water vapor thus produced transports heat from the Earth’s surface to the upper atmosphere, where most of it is released to space.

The use of alcohol also reduces air pollution. In fact, environmental advantages were the motivation for the initial development of the first FFVs in California in the 1980s. During the era of $1.50 per gallon gasoline, gasohol pleased ecological activists, but it was economically disadvantageous. Recently, however, the comparative economics of alcohol fuels and gasoline have changed radically.

Methanol can also be used as the raw material to produce dimethyl ether, a completely clean-burning diesel fuel which could be used by trucks, locomotives, and ships. Many cars could also eventually use diesel. Diesel engines are substantially more efficient than traditional internal combustion engines, and equal to anything realistically possible from far more expensive, and as yet impractical, fuel cells.



THE ECONOMICS AND TECHNOLOGY HAVE ARRIVED—NOW FOR THE POLITICS

Two developments make a rapid transfer to high-alcohol fuels possible. One is the recent rise of gasoline prices, making methanol and ethanol economically attractive. The other is a technological innovation: the development by the Netherlands

Research Institute for Road Vehicles of a sensor capable of continuously measuring the alcohol content in mixed alcohol/gasoline fuel, and using this information to regulate the engine.

With this breakthrough, some 4.1 million vehicles were produced between 1998 and 2004 capable of handling various alcohol/ gasoline combinations. That is already five times the number of gasoline/electric hybrids on the road, and vastly increased use of such vehicles could happen overnight, for just a few hundred dollars extra per vehicle (compared to many thousands more for hybrids).

The only sticking point is the non-availability of high alcohol fuel mixes at the pump. Filling stations don’t want to dedicate space to a fuel mix used only by 1 percent of all cars. And consumers are not interested in buying vehicles for which the preferred fuel mix is unavailable.

This chicken-and-egg problem can be readily resolved by legislation. One major country has already done so. In 2003, Brazilian lawmakers mandated a transition to FFVs, with some tax incentives included to move things along. As a result, the Brazilian divisions of Fiat, Volkswagen, Ford, Renault, and GM all came out with ethanol FFV models in 2004, which took 60 percent of the country’s new vehicle sales that year. By 2007, 80 percent of all new vehicles sold in Brazil are expected to be FFVs, producing significant fuel savings to consumers, a boost to local agriculture, and a massive benefit to the country’s foreign trade balance.



ETHANOL OR METHANOL?

To date, all FFVs have been either methanol/gasoline designs or ethanol/gasoline designs. Combined methanol/ethanol/gasoline FFVs have not yet been produced. Their development poses only modest challenges, however. The question is, which alcohol would be the best one upon which to base our future alcohol-fuel economy

Methanol is cheaper than ethanol. It can also be made from a broader variety of biomass material, as well as from coal and natural gas. And methanol is the safest motor fuel, because it is much less flammable than gasoline (a fact that has led to its adoption by car racing leagues).

On the other hand, ethanol is less chemically toxic than methanol, and it carries more energy per gallon. Ethanol contains about 75 percent of the energy of gasoline per gallon, compared to 67 percent for methanol. Both thus achieve fewer miles per gallon than gasoline, but about as many miles per dollar at current prices, and probably many more miles per dollar at future prices.

Methanol is more corrosive than ethanol. This can be dealt with by using appropriate materials in the automobile fuel system. A fuel system made acceptable for methanol use will also be fine for ethanol or pure gasoline.

Both ethanol and methanol are water soluble and biodegradable in the environment. The consequences of a spill of either would be much less than that of petroleum products. If the

Exxon Valdez had been carrying either of these fuels instead of oil, the environmental impact caused by its demise would have been negligible.

Ethanol is actually edible, whereas methanol is toxic when drunk. This difference, though, should not be overdrawn, since in an FFV economy, both would be mixed with gasoline. The breakdown products of both ethanol and methanol are much less noxious than those from petroleum, and both emit far fewer particulates when burned. Methanol, ethanol, and gasoline are about equal in the levels of nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide produced when they are burned. Since it is made exclusively from agricultural products, ethanol acts as counter to global warming. Methanol can as well, but only if its source is agricultural. Methanol produced from coal or natural gas has about the same impact on global warming as gasoline.

In short, either methanol or ethanol could be used very effectively, with roughly equal countervailing advantages. This has not stopped proponents of either fuel from vociferously arguing their unique advantage and pushing for FFVs based exclusively on their favored product. To date, the more effective faction in this debate has been the ethanol group, backed as it is by the powerful farm lobby.

Given this political support, and no decisive technical argument in favor of methanol, the question might well be asked: why not just go with the stronger side and implement an exclusively ethanol/ gasoline FFV economy? The answer has to do with the total resource base. If we want FFVs not merely to benefit farmers, but to make America energy independent, we need a larger production base than ethanol alone can deliver.

The United States uses 380 million gallons of gasoline a day. If we were to replace that entirely with ethanol we would have to harvest approximately four times as much agricultural output as we currently grow for food production. Now it is true that we don’t need to replace all of our gasoline, at least not in the short term. Replacing half would make us substantially energy independent. Furthermore, future processes might eventually wring out higher ethanol yields per acre. Surplus ethanol from Brazil or other tropical nations could also be imported. Nonetheless, relying on ethanol alone would require putting under fresh cultivation an amount of land greater than what we now use for food production. This would cause many strains.

So if we are to use alcohol fuels to achieve energy independence, a broader resource base is needed. This can be provided by methanol, which can come from both a broader array of biomass materials and also from coal and natural gas. Methanol production from coal is particularly important, since coal is America’s, and the world’s, cheapest and most prevalent energy resource. The United States could power its entire economy on coal for centuries, and large reserves also exist in allied countries. Current coal prices stand in the range of three cents a kilogram, much cheaper than agricultural products, so methanol can be made from coal at low cost. By mixing it at various rates with ethanol over time, we can increase supplies, reduce prices, maximize environmental benefits, and vastly increase the flexibility of our alcohol economy. Insisting that future vehicles have the capability to burn both alcohols is thus critical.

Even with methanol in the mix, the shifting of the world from a petroleum to an alcohol standard would remain a great boon to farmers. Third World farmers as much as American growers would enjoy the benefits—not only from a vastly increased market for their products, but also from the collapse of petroleum prices (which currently threaten crushing fertilizer and tractor fuel prices). This adds a strong humanitarian case for the transition to flexible fuels.

By providing Third World populations with an extensive source of income, the alcohol economy would also give them the wherewithal to buy manufactured products from developed nations. We would end up selling far more tractors, harvesters, and hybrid seeds to Africans, for instance. That would improve economic outcomes for all nations.



THE MEGA FIX FOR WHAT AILS US

Energy conservation offers only a strained strategy for enduring economic oppression with very slightly ameliorated pain. Today’s petroleum monopolists would still ultimately have us over a barrel. The ballyhooed hydrogen economy, meanwhile, is a hoax.



If we are to win the critical energy battle, there is only one way to do it. We must take ourselves, and the rest of the world, off the petroleum standard. Only by doing this can we destroy the economic power of our enemies at the very foundations. Only in this way can we transfer control of the future from those who take their wealth, pre-made, from the ground (and therefore have no need for education or freedom), to those who make their wealth through hard work, skill, and creativity (who thus must build free societies which maximize the human potential
of every citizen).

Our nation’s founders stipulated that the purpose of our government is to provide for our defense, promote our welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. In our current economic and military dilemma, decisive action for energy independence is one of the most dramatic steps we could take to achieve those ends. Congress should immediately require that all future vehicles sold in the U.S.A. be flexible-fueled, thereby launching us into an alcohol-energy future that holds promise like few other options within our grasp.



Dr. Robert Zubrin, president of the aerospace engineering and research firm Pioneer Astronautics, wrote The Case for Mars, and other books.

jAZ
05-03-2006, 02:47 AM
According to the author during his interview on C2C, a significant member of the Bush administration contacted him to follow up on this article and asked a number of detailed questions. At the end, the author asked why the administration wasn't supportive of such a plan. His response was that they don't approve of regulation or mandates.

BucEyedPea
05-03-2006, 08:15 AM
Sounds like central planning to me.
Where has that ever worked?

Radar Chief
05-03-2006, 08:47 AM
A couple of things here.
1. The author completely skips over the energy needed to distil fermented sugars, or alcohol, into ethonal for fuel. As I understand it this is a major expense and further reduces the “efficiency” of using it. Part’a why we don’t. Yet.
2. Flex Fuel vehicles are nothing new. They’ve been ‘round for a few years now but don’t sell cause of the added expense. If this added expense was mandated by the gubment, how many of you won’t be bitch’n ‘bout the intrusion into our lives?

banyon
05-03-2006, 09:26 AM
Sounds like central planning to me.
Where has that ever worked?

Singapore

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/6f/Merlion.jpg/200px-Merlion.jpg

Or China, if you only want to consider GDP growth as a hallmark of economic success as was suggested in another thread.

jAZ
05-03-2006, 10:37 AM
A couple of things here.
1. The author completely skips over the energy needed to distil fermented sugars, or alcohol, into ethonal for fuel. As I understand it this is a major expense and further reduces the “efficiency” of using it. Part’a why we don’t. Yet.
Brazil has been doing this (after mandating it a few years back) quite successfully. To the point that they went from an energy IMPORTER to an energy EXPORTER. I suspect that Brazil is where nearly all of the 1-2 M FlexFuel vehicles are located currently (the ones GM touts in their big green/yellow TV campaign).

However, that's not to dismiss this concern. I'm sure there is much research needed to improve the efficiency of FlexFuel. That research is automatically kick-started with PRIVATE investment once there is a viable economic platform for the inventors/investors to plug into (think Internet).
2. Flex Fuel vehicles are nothing new. They’ve been ‘round for a few years now but don’t sell cause of the added expense.
Sort of... but not really. The added expense ($100) is in customizing the <1% of the cars that come off today's assembly line with a FlexFuel engine. Upon mandate, all of those cars will come with the technololgy standard. That technology isn't inherantly more expensive, so economies of scale will bring the price back to the normal price.

The other portion of this sentence suggests that this $100 (even if it didn't go away) is THE reason why FlexFuel vehicles aren't in use today. They aren't in use because of systematic pressures and political pressures that keep it out. Without an existing critical mass of vehicles using the fuel, fuel stations won't switch one of their 3 tanks over to FlexFuel. Without the fuel available there a sufficient number of drivers will not buy that sort of vehicle (think Digital/HD TVs vs programming).
If this added expense was mandated by the gubment, how many of you won’t be bitch’n ‘bout the intrusion into our lives?
Well first of all, there will ALWAYS be some random holdout bitchin about that sort of thing no matter how limited the application is or how critically important it is (see a few unnamed posters in the DC).

However, as I mentioned the Digital/HDTV technololgy before, use of that technology is MANDATED by the government to being in 2008 (?). It's a common and limited use of Executive/Congressional power. Hell, we mandated Digital/HDTV in order to excellerate the adoption of the technology simply to be able to use the existing bandwidth for other purposes... not even a major national security/worldcrisis threat. Theoretically this is exactly the same thing only the D/HD TV thing will absolutely cost people more (no grandfathering, you will HAVE to by a retrofitted box to keep watching broadcast TV on an old style TV). And as I pointed out before, the cost to the public isn't really outweighed by some overwhelming need/threat that must be addressed (ie, national security/war).

Radar Chief
05-03-2006, 11:31 AM
Brazil has been doing this (after mandating it a few years back) quite successfully. To the point that they went from an energy IMPORTER to an energy EXPORTER. I suspect that Brazil is where nearly all of the 1-2 M FlexFuel vehicles are located currently (the ones GM touts in their big green/yellow TV campaign).

Brazil is also use’n sucrose, sugar cane, while we’re try’n to use dextrose, corn sugar. Dextrose is more fermentable than sucrose but sugar cane produces more yield per pound of material than corn can.
An agricultural type will have to chime in as to whether we have the capability to grow enough sugar cane in the upper 48, otherwise we’d have to make this plan work with corn, period.

However, that's not to dismiss this concern. I'm sure there is much research needed to improve the efficiency of FlexFuel. That research is automatically kick-started with PRIVATE investment once there is a viable economic platform for the inventors/investors to plug into (think Internet).

We can agree that once implemented good ole American innovation will make us more efficient, not only in grow’n and extract’n more product but in use’n that product more efficiently.
I’m not opposed here, just bring’n up some of the obstacles the author left out.

Sort of... but not really. The added expense ($100) is in customizing the <1% of the cars that come off today's assembly line with a FlexFuel engine. Upon mandate, all of those cars will come with the technololgy standard. That technology isn't inherantly more expensive, so economies of scale will bring the price back to the normal price.

Yes it is. It requires use of “wide band” sensors, since alcohol burns considerably leaner than gas and typical sensors in use today don’t have the parameters necessary to recognize what’s go’n on. It also requires rubber o-rings that won’t deteriorate when in contact with alcohol, they’re available BTW, and a lining in anything aluminum like the intake plenum, throttle body, fuel lines, yada yada, since methonal in particular is so corrosive to it.
I’m sure the additional cost would subside somewhat once in mass production but it’d still be there since you can’t get ‘round the additional manufacturing cost for each part.

The other portion of this sentence suggests that this $100 (even if it didn't go away) is THE reason why FlexFuel vehicles aren't in use today. They aren't in use because of systematic pressures and political pressures that keep it out. Without an existing critical mass of vehicles using the fuel, fuel stations won't switch one of their 3 tanks over to FlexFuel. Without the fuel available there a sufficient number of drivers will not buy that sort of vehicle (think Digital/HD TVs vs programming).

I don’t know exactly what the cost difference is from one motor to the next, but since the difference in just the price of a standard O2 sensor to a wide band O2 sensor is ‘round $100, I’d assume it’s a little more than that.
The rest I’m not in disagreement with. One will help drive the other.

Well first of all, there will ALWAYS be some random holdout bitchin about that sort of thing no matter how limited the application is or how critically important it is (see a few unnamed posters in the DC).

Indeed, that’s why I asked. :thumb:

However, as I mentioned the Digital/HDTV technololgy before, use of that technology is MANDATED by the government to being in 2008 (?). It's a common and limited use of Executive/Congressional power. Hell, we mandated Digital/HDTV in order to excellerate the adoption of the technology simply to be able to use the existing bandwidth for other purposes... not even a major national security/worldcrisis threat. Theoretically this is exactly the same thing only the D/HD TV thing will absolutely cost people more (no grandfathering, you will HAVE to by a retrofitted box to keep watching broadcast TV on an old style TV). And as I pointed out before, the cost to the public isn't really outweighed by some overwhelming need/threat that must be addressed (ie, national security/war).

Interesting that you’d mention HDTV since I’ve yet to see a comprehensive plan on how to deal with all the lead that will start hit’n land fills when literally millions upon millions of TV’s suddenly become obsolete.
The whole HDTV swap is another plan that I don’t think has been thoroughly thought out.

As I posted, I’m not opposed, just point’n out hurdles the author left out and wonder’n who’d be bitch’n when the unforeseen consequences surfaced. Since that’s what the majority of us do here, bitch’n, then I’d assume it’d be most of us. ;)

patteeu
05-03-2006, 11:51 AM
Brazil is also use’n sucrose, sugar cane, while we’re try’n to use dextrose, corn sugar. Dextrose is more fermentable than sucrose but sugar cane produces more yield per pound of material than corn can.
An agricultural type will have to chime in as to whether we have the capability to grow enough sugar cane in the upper 48, otherwise we’d have to make this plan work with corn, period.

We could always colonize Cuba. That should brighten the sugar cane picture a bit. :)

I took a trip to Chanute yesterday. I didn't realize how far from KC it is (I live north of KC so my trip was about 145miles each way). I was on the lookout for a Corveep while I was there, but I didn't see you.

banyon
05-03-2006, 11:52 AM
We could always colonize Cuba. That should brighten the sugar cane picture a bit. :)

I took a trip to Chanute yesterday. I didn't realize how far from KC it is (I live north of KC so my trip was about 145miles each way). I was on the lookout for a Corveep while I was there, but I didn't see you.

Hey, I'm going to Chanute in a couple of weeks. Where should I eat?

Radar Chief
05-03-2006, 11:59 AM
We could always colonize Cuba. That should brighten the sugar cane picture a bit. :)

I took a trip to Chanute yesterday. I didn't realize how far from KC it is (I live north of KC so my trip was about 145miles each way). I was on the lookout for a Corveep while I was there, but I didn't see you.

Corveep’s been hide’n in my garage. I grenaded a ring and pinion in the front end pull’n a friend off a gravel bar in the middle of the Neosho River during the holidays. I’ve got a new, used, R&P to replace it but it’s a long trial and error process particularly when I can only work weekends and whatever evenings my Mini-me isn’t hollar’n for daddy. ;)
Let me know when you’re come’n to town again and we’ll get together for a brew. :toast:

patteeu
05-03-2006, 12:03 PM
Hey, I'm going to Chanute in a couple of weeks. Where should I eat?

I had a bag of sunflower seeds from a gas station in Iola. I found the service quite friendly, but the seeds weren't anything special. I guess, if I were you, I'd pick a place close to the hospital so you can bolt over to the emergency room if you see an ambulance pull in. :p

Radar Chief
05-03-2006, 12:07 PM
Hey, I'm going to Chanute in a couple of weeks. Where should I eat?

There isn’t a whole lot here.
There’s the “Eastern” Chinese restaurant on Cherry St. that’s got a good buffet.
There’s a little hole in the wall named “Tall –N- Shorties” that serves smoked meats and occasionally some gumbo or other Cajon specialty. That’s on the east end of Main St.
We’ve got a new brew pub that has some awesome brews, I’d recommend them for beer but their food is overly expensive and their service sucks so they typically screw up your bill. They’re still work’n out the bugs. Other than that we’ve got some fast food joints, McD’s, Sonic, yada yada. If you’re will’n to travel to Thayer, ‘bout 15 miles straight south of C-Town on 169, they have a couple excellent steak houses. One is “Big Ed’s” and the other is “The Fireside”. Both serve awesome steaks.

So what brings ya to C-Town? If you’re stick’n ‘round for a bit, let me know. :thumb:

kcfanintitanhell
05-03-2006, 09:36 PM
I hate to get into the hemp oil thing again, because of all the ingoramuses equating hemp to marijuana, which is old news to folks familiar to big oil's tactics, which date back to the 1940's, when they first felt threatened by the possibility of hemp as a renewable resource that would replace gasoline, and used the marijuana card to promote public hysteria...
but I have to:

http://www.equalrights4all.org/bach/Fuel.html

Good Gawd Almighty! What the hell else has to happen before a majority of people get behind this?

el borracho
05-03-2006, 10:26 PM
Have less children. That will solve just about all the world's problems.


Of course, no one is willing to do that so carry on.

BucEyedPea
05-03-2006, 10:28 PM
Have less children. That will solve just about all the world's problems.


Of course, no one is willing to do that so carry on.


Children are wealth.
When children become a burden to society...that society has had it and is on it's way out.

BucEyedPea
05-03-2006, 10:30 PM
Singapore

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/6f/Merlion.jpg/200px-Merlion.jpg

Or China, if you only want to consider GDP growth as a hallmark of economic success as was suggested in another thread.

China? That's funny.
They also have slavery and no other rights.

banyon
05-03-2006, 11:20 PM
There isn’t a whole lot here.
There’s the “Eastern” Chinese restaurant on Cherry St. that’s got a good buffet.
There’s a little hole in the wall named “Tall –N- Shorties” that serves smoked meats and occasionally some gumbo or other Cajon specialty. That’s on the east end of Main St.
We’ve got a new brew pub that has some awesome brews, I’d recommend them for beer but their food is overly expensive and their service sucks so they typically screw up your bill. They’re still work’n out the bugs. Other than that we’ve got some fast food joints, McD’s, Sonic, yada yada. If you’re will’n to travel to Thayer, ‘bout 15 miles straight south of C-Town on 169, they have a couple excellent steak houses. One is “Big Ed’s” and the other is “The Fireside”. Both serve awesome steaks.

So what brings ya to C-Town? If you’re stick’n ‘round for a bit, let me know. :thumb:

The fireside and the brew pub sound nice. Thanks, I'll let you know what I think. :)

banyon
05-03-2006, 11:42 PM
China? That's funny.
They also have slavery and no other rights.

as you should know with your economic background, slavery is extrinsic to capitalism.

China is proving Milton Friedman's hypothesis that capitalism and democracy are intrinsically linked is a complete miscalculation with every year of increased economic freedom and continued political oppression.

Radar Chief
05-04-2006, 07:37 AM
The fireside and the brew pub sound nice. Thanks, I'll let you know what I think. :)

The brewpub is the Safari Grill at the corner of Main St. and Lincoln Ave., or basically the center of town.
My favorite is the “Bora bora” Brown Ale. I’m not typically a fan of brown ales but theirs is absolutely delectable. :BLVD:
Damn, my mouths water’n just think’n ‘bout it. :drool: I’m gonna have to get a growler of it this weekend.

BucEyedPea
05-04-2006, 09:37 AM
as you should know with your economic background, slavery is extrinsic to capitalism.
You're operating on a wrong definition of slavery. No one is being FORCED to work for someone especially with the greater options a, and I prefer to say... "free-market" economy goes. Nor is anyone forced to buy something.

I believe it was the 13th amendment that did away with "involuntary
servitude."

Your complaint is with life.
And possibly (since I don't know you) with your own lack of confidence or inability to secure the "blessings of liberty" for oneself.

Other than that....you do know that Marx coined the word "capitalism"....and never defined it? So perhaps it really is slavery afterall. :hmmm:

China is proving Milton Friedman's hypothesis that capitalism and democracy are intrinsically linked is a complete miscalculation with every year of increased economic freedom and continued political oppression.

Oh! I don't beat the drum for "democracy"...another word that's been misconstrued in the lefty era of "newspeak." Mark said democracy is the road to socialism.(paraphrased) It's the worst form of govt, as our Framers so often said.

Nor do I beat the drum for Milton Friedman, although he certainly is a LOT better than the socialist Keynes (our real system). Not that there isn't truth in the idea that private property is one of the basis for all other rights. I wouldn't call that a hypothesis.

Actually, what the world seems to be morphing into is a sort of mixed economy called Third Way Socialism. Billy Clinton went around the globe giving speeches promoting that.

It's interesting that you tell me you were once a conservative or maybe it was republican but became a progressive ( a euphemism for socialist). That's the same track Hillary went. This is rare as it seems to be more common for democrats to become republicans.

Mr. Laz
05-04-2006, 06:42 PM
while i agree that an alternate fuel source will impact the world dramatically, this looks to have holes big enough to drive a truck though.


i would prefer we just invest money into energy research instead of "nation building wars" that don't work.

jAZ
05-04-2006, 06:50 PM
while i agree that an alternate fuel source will impact the world dramatically, this looks to have holes big enough to drive a truck though.


i would prefer we just invest money into energy research instead of "nation building wars" that don't work.
which holes are you refering to?

Mr. Laz
05-04-2006, 07:10 PM
which holes are you refering to?

i guess this is the biggest one that comes to mind


"this one simple bit of regulation will unleash a ton of market forces that will effectively drive us off of oil"


alcohol based fuel sources just don't seem that viable to me

and

market forces follow the money ... and i don't know that the bill they suggest would be nearly enough to "show them them money"

BucEyedPea
05-04-2006, 07:13 PM
which holes are you refering to?

The black hole of big govt spending ?

jAZ
05-04-2006, 07:26 PM
i guess this is the biggest one that comes to mind


"this one simple bit of regulation will unleash a ton of market forces that will effectively drive us off of oil"


alcohol based fuel sources just don't seem that viable to me

and

market forces follow the money ... and i don't know that the bill they suggest would be nearly enough to "show them them money"
the market forces are already in place. High oil prices, high costs associated with doing oil business in the ME.

(Side note: These war costs aren't reflected in the cost of oil as they should be, because we use our tax dollars to fund the war for oil. If the government were to tax the price of fuel to recoup the costs of war and nationbuilding directly linked to accessing oil in the ME, gas prices would be $10/gallon and alternative fuels would be overwhelmingly adopted. That we don't and instead we decouple these costs from the industry they are supporting, we subsidize oil as an energy source over alternatives. It's highway robbery given that we are paying thouse costs whether at the gas pump or on the paycheck.)

Point is that the market forces are in place move tons of money into alternate energy sources, but there are political hurdles (the need for a gasoline tax) and systematic hurdles (network effects of the fuel industry) that prevent the proper behavior of free markets and capitalism.

The proposal above is simply to break down the network effects that prevent alt-energy from being able to compete. I'd also add an imported oil tax to pay for the war in the ME.

jAZ
05-04-2006, 07:31 PM
The black hole of big govt spending ?
You speak too much in absolutes for me to feel it worth while to engage you in serious discussion. My experience around here (extensive) is that those who toss around generalizations rather than specifics, tend to have an ideological bent that tends to be impenitrable to fact. I only point this out because it's several posts in a row that I've noticed this method of discussion coming from you.

If you care or wish to engage me on this or other topics (and I don't expect that you should feel it necessary to care what I think) I'd ask you to take a less ideological & absolutist (all liberals=all progressives= socialists... all gov't spending = blackhole) tone and support your lables and generalizations with details/facts.

Just MHO.

BucEyedPea
05-04-2006, 09:33 PM
You speak too much in absolutes for me to feel it worth while to engage you in serious discussion.
I am quite capable of a serious discussion that can analyze and break down issues.

I just can't respond in depth to everything on a bb, so I just state a general opinion in some. Part of this is time; other times it’s lack of enough interest in an issue to bother. Sorry, but this is my right, no?

Gov't tends to be wasteful by it’s very nature no matter how noble the intentions. That is a statement that I feel is true in general. It would also take all day to back up there are so many examples of it. I’m sure you would not read it, even if I did post it.

But if you REALLY mean what you say...I have some in depth posts with back up facts on what I think of govt research that you can check out. It was in the Lounge.

Take a look. Get back to me. k?

My experience around here (extensive) is that those who toss around generalizations rather than specifics, tend to have an ideological bent that tends to be impenitrable to fact.

What's wrong with having an ideological bent? :hmmm:

You have one too.

Mine is less gov't and more freedom with responsibility.


I only point this out because it's several posts in a row that I've noticed this method of discussion coming from you.
Daddy?
Hey! I just feel like being brief sometimes. Is this against some rules?

If you care or wish to engage me on this or other topics (and I don't expect that you should feel it necessary to care what I think) I'd ask you to take a less ideological & absolutist (all liberals=all progressives= socialists... all gov't spending = blackhole) tone and support your lables and generalizations with details/facts.

Daddy? Is that you AGAIN?
Are you tryin’ to spank me for my views? And you’re a liberal?
Seems more like you're tryin' to censure opinions you don't like.

BTW I'm not trying to engage each time I post. Sometimes I just want to briefly state an opinion, and move on. On others, if it interests me more, I go into more specifics.

Please don't tell me what I can say or not say or what my opinion has to be.
I don't do that to you… so don't do that to me.

I don't have to elaborate each post all the time. And my definitions, which you are referring to are correct and valid definitions. I have studied communism and socialism pretty darn extensively to know better. And it’s something that needs to be discussed.

Just MHO.
Wow...too general. j/k

BucEyedPea
05-04-2006, 11:11 PM
originally posted by Laz would prefer we just invest money into energy research instead of "nation building wars" that don't work
Okay so you want depth?
I have the time now.
I was reacting to your line that “we” as in “We the People” via our federal govt need to put money (which is compulsory via taxes) into energy research. The govt approach to developing sensible energy is not just ineffective, and costs more... it isn’t even necessary. I’m assuming you mean that you want abundant and cheap energy…right?

Link (http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=2333)
If the above analysis [LINK] is correct, then the market is not only more likely to supply energy more efficiently than government, it is also more likely to supply it in ample quantities and without interruptions.

Good history on oil biz and what has driven costs up. I don’t agree with this link on the Peak Oil theory, as there are some scientists that are now saying it’s renewable but the article is quite interesting. Point 5 is what I am referring to for my earlier post, if it’s too long.

BTW according to this article oil from America is more costly to produce compared to the ME. That includes ANWR. The Bush bill on ethanol is part of why gas prices are also high right now too. The guy may be a scientist but he is no economist. Prices are market signals for change.

Mr. Laz
05-04-2006, 11:26 PM
Okay so you want depth?
I have the time now.
I was reacting to your line that “we” as in “We the People” via our federal govt need to put money (which is compulsory via taxes) into energy research. The govt approach to developing sensible energy is not just ineffective, and costs more... it isn’t even necessary. I’m assuming you mean that you want abundant and cheap energy…right?

Link (http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=2333)


Good history on oil biz and what has driven costs up. I don’t agree with this link on the Peak Oil theory, as there are some scientists that are now saying it’s renewable but the article is quite interesting. Point 5 is what I am referring to for my earlier post, if it’s too long.

BTW according to this article oil from America is more costly to produce compared to the ME. That includes ANWR. The Bush bill on ethanol is part of why gas prices are also high right now too. The guy may be a scientist but he is no economist. Prices are market signals for change.

actually i'm not talking about just abundant,cheap energy

i think there needs to be some kind of renewable/enviromental element to it.

and i don't expect the government to supply it ... i want the government to supply money to spur the private sector to find it.

i imagine 300 billion dollars would go along way in funding and encouraging people to find a solution.

a billion dollar prize for such and such solution?

a 100 billion dollar contract to a legit solution?


:shrug:


a renewable enviromental energy source solves the mideast problem almost completely imo. How much does that crap hole cost us throughout recent history?

BucEyedPea
05-04-2006, 11:48 PM
actually i'm not talking about just abundant,cheap energy
i think there needs to be some kind of renewable/enviromental element to it.
Almost the same thing except you added clean.

and i don't expect the government to supply it ... i want the government to supply money to spur the private sector to find it.
i imagine 300 billion dollars would go along way in funding and encouraging people to find a solution.
a billion dollar prize for such and such solution?
a 100 billion dollar contract to a legit solution?

My post still applies...this is not effective, tends to be wasteful and is not necessary, because prices are signals that lead to change. This is not a theory but is what happens.

Your idea relies on compulsory payments through taxes which will go to politcal interests. Such interests do not necessarily match the people's or consumers. Whereas voluntary exchanges do.

So far govt involvement such as Bush's ethanol bill has contributed to higher energy costs. And the auto industry does have hydrogen cars on the line to come out. These currently use some oil but there are other sources showing promise too. Ahnie has already signed a hydrogen hghwy bill for these in Cali. Just because it's not reported does not mean the market is not working. It is as we speak.


a renewable enviromental energy source solves the mideast problem almost completely imo. How much does that crap hole cost us throughout recent history?
On the surface, it appears so. But you'd have to believe oil/capitalism is why we are there...and I don't buy that. That's the lefty argument. Of course I don't by that it's terror either. I think it's a desire to bring those countries into the NWO....and there is going to be more regime change going on as officially posted govt docs on web have already said we are going to be replacing all bad govts (translation: those who won't play ball in the NWO) with democracies. It ain't over after we conquer the ME. And the ME does not eat its oil. It needs us as consumers to survive too. That's the thing about trade, it's usually a mutually beneficial transaction. As Bastiat said..."where goods won't pass, armies will." Trade is a peacemaker. It's when trade is blocked we are more likely to get war.

BucEyedPea
05-05-2006, 12:20 AM
Singapore

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/6f/Merlion.jpg/200px-Merlion.jpg

Or China, if you only want to consider GDP growth as a hallmark of economic success as was suggested in another thread.

Now to address Singapore:
Wikipedia is okay but it is compiled by it's viewers and some people have written in with corrections or complained. That description of Singpore's economy being freemarket is completly bogus. It's a highly interventionist economy and the place is ruled with an iron fist.

It does, however, subsidize it's gasoline for their consumers...a bad idea with the typical political violence that comes with it when such "popular" items are given away at the expense of compulsory tax payments and then stopped. Riots in the street requiring both the police and military in 2005 when their president said he may have to cut these off. And the bill for this year is 138.6 trillion rupiah because of high crude oil prices. You figure the exchange.

Now why does this paragon of free-markets have a gasoline subsidy in the first place to earn this dubious distinction?

Here's why:
...Less than five toll-collection points between Jarkarta’s city centre and the international airport (about an hour’s drive), all owned and operated by the sons & daughter of the ex-Indonesian President Suharto. All car distribution businesses and assembly plants are either owned directly by the members of the Suharto family or in partnership with foreign investors. Again it is in their interest to encourage car ownership and usage. They couldn’t and wouldn’t give gasoline away, so the next best thing was to strong-arm the government into a costly subsidy scheme. Thus, the government’s predicament today.

http://www.mises.org/story/1906

banyon
06-03-2006, 12:28 PM
There isn’t a whole lot here.
There’s the “Eastern” Chinese restaurant on Cherry St. that’s got a good buffet.
There’s a little hole in the wall named “Tall –N- Shorties” that serves smoked meats and occasionally some gumbo or other Cajon specialty. That’s on the east end of Main St.
We’ve got a new brew pub that has some awesome brews, I’d recommend them for beer but their food is overly expensive and their service sucks so they typically screw up your bill. They’re still work’n out the bugs. Other than that we’ve got some fast food joints, McD’s, Sonic, yada yada. If you’re will’n to travel to Thayer, ‘bout 15 miles straight south of C-Town on 169, they have a couple excellent steak houses. One is “Big Ed’s” and the other is “The Fireside”. Both serve awesome steaks.

So what brings ya to C-Town? If you’re stick’n ‘round for a bit, let me know. :thumb:

I ate at the Safari Brewery. It was pretty cool. Downtown was better looking than a lot of the small towns I've seen. I was pretty much In and out or I woulda bought you a beer.

I was down there surveying some pollution. Looks like I'm going to be suing my first Oil company. S*** was bubbling up through the dude's ground. It was pretty foul.

banyon
06-03-2006, 01:47 PM
Now to address Singapore:
Wikipedia is okay but it is compiled by it's viewers and some people have written in with corrections or complained. That description of Singpore's economy being freemarket is completly bogus. It's a highly interventionist economy and the place is ruled with an iron fist. http://www.mises.org/story/1906

Sorry I never got back to replying to this post, but this is exactly opposite to the point I was originally making (I guess a month ago?).

You point in post #3 was that central planning didn't work. I used Singapore as an example of a centrally planned economy that appears successful by the measures most people look at for hallmarks of a successful economy. I never said that it was free market, I was saying the opposite. Just that it represents a counterexamply to your post 3 quandary.

go bowe
06-03-2006, 03:26 PM
Have less children. That will solve just about all the world's problems.


Of course, no one is willing to do that so carry on.haven't the chinese been on a one child diet for some time now?

tiptap
06-03-2006, 03:41 PM
Okay so you want depth?
I have the time now.
I was reacting to your line that “we” as in “We the People” via our federal govt need to put money (which is compulsory via taxes) into energy research. The govt approach to developing sensible energy is not just ineffective, and costs more... it isn’t even necessary. I’m assuming you mean that you want abundant and cheap energy…right?

Link (http://www.fee.org/publications/the-freeman/article.asp?aid=2333)


Good history on oil biz and what has driven costs up. I don’t agree with this link on the Peak Oil theory, as there are some scientists that are now saying it’s renewable but the article is quite interesting. Point 5 is what I am referring to for my earlier post, if it’s too long.

BTW according to this article oil from America is more costly to produce compared to the ME. That includes ANWR. The Bush bill on ethanol is part of why gas prices are also high right now too. The guy may be a scientist but he is no economist. Prices are market signals for change.


BuckeyePea you always wave off the majority findings in scienc by invoking 'some scientist' in this case ones that think oil is reneweable. Well that theory was put to the test with deep deep drilling rigs and the results was no oil. If it was true we would see old oil fields suddenly recharging. The premise is that oil is not a biological product but a geological one alone. That is why we don't find fossils in coal beds OH RIGHT we do find plant fossils as coal in coal beds. And similar findings is oil related deposits. Despite your cleaving to open market modeling the reality of markets is that true wealth is won be becoming the dominant player. In energy markets that was oil. I'm not knocking historically going with oil but tha market is in decline for a true limited resource. The peak production model was perfect for the US Oil Fields. The model didn't have as good data for the world when it predicted 1995 for peak production in the world but newer data sets (used by the oil producers and the oil companies mine you) indicate that the peak production will come no later than 2015. That is just 9 years away. It is time to PLAN for solutions. That is what we have intelligence for. To PLAN ahead. Planning is good. We should be flexible but all industry PLANS. Governments should too. I contend it is self serving industry that plans for winfalls for their industry not government planning. Gee if we really did have planning for general good maybe we all, not just a few, would do better.

WoodDraw
06-04-2006, 07:27 PM
A couple articles I'd recommend to those who think ethanol is a can't miss solution to our problems:


http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/5/23/23846/0807
http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/3/7/03949/82426

Summary: Ethanol isn't the solution.