Werbos, Dr. Paul J.
paul.werbos at verizon.net
Wed Sep 15 00:47:05 UTC 2004
At 04:54 PM 9/14/2004 -0700, Steve wrote:
>I would tend to feel that a "monoculture" outlook
>is part of our current problem.
>We need a "permaculture" approach to energy,
>and I think that would mean including a variety
>of sources. If I recall correctly, biodiesal cars
>can run on conventional diesel as well, so there
>is no retrofit and no need to replace the fleet.
OK... I was incomplete.
We need more level playing fields, but also some realism.
Now -- diesel is a kind of local progress over gasoline, today,
because it is more efficient than IC gasoline.
But it is not really more efficient than EITHER (a) hybrids using gasoline;
or (b) advanced Stirling.
Thus putting energy into the expense of diesel engines is a distraction...
it's like putting out hybrids that (a) can only use gasoline; and
(b) does not develop the electrical technology that also facilitates
fuel cell or pure electric cars. In sum, it's a waste. A living fossil.
In fact... I have proposed that any car which CAN use gasoline should be
required to have GEM flexibility.
As I think more about the logic... I should have said any car which can use
gasoline OR OTHER
THAT'S for the car part.
For the fuel production part, still it is fair to supply incentives to
biodiesel as great as for bioethanol or
biohydrogen. (Biomethanol theoretically should have more subsidy, insofar
as it has the value of
opening the door to methanol-carrying fuel cell cars, and economic theory
demands a payment for the
attendant externalities. But... I wouldn't fight to microoptimize so
By the way, I think that Kerry's proposed incentives for hybrids -- weak as
they are --
are desirable and far more useful, for example, than drilling in Anwar.
Hybrids are NOT coming online as fast as they could be. Yet, Prius is
selling like hotcakes,
due to snob appeal. But Honda Civic, for example, could use a little extra
and US manufacturers could have a bit more incentive to open up more lines
**IF** we don't get methanol online fast enough, WITH the necessary
our survival... will depend on team B, which will experience a huge amount
of discontinuous market
pressure at some point: team B, the "plug-in hybrids," which I am glad to
hear Daimler has begun
to explore. Given enough pain and shock, and lack of a methanol
alternative... electricity can
at least handle ordinary journeys to work and to shopping, albeit with
people would now considerable unacceptable. (e.g. one trip per day, no long
Weak as that backup may sound now... in case of future national emergencies,
we may be grateful to have it available as backup.
If the oil folks don't let us have methanol in time, the price may be the
premature end of their industry,
under circumstances where even they could see it would then be for the
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