I’ve been a big fan of Click and Clack for years, in this full edition of NOVA they examine the cars of the future. They look at the horsepower phenomenon, and how SUV’s are the new station wagons to start with and then travel to Iceland to look at Hydrogen cars.
Also I”m not too happy with Amory Lovins, anti-nuclear kook in this, but what he has to say about car weight vs strength is true.
NEI has an update on what happens when you build wind turbines — you end up using gas. I’m an “all of the above” guy, it’s blue sky for all forms of energy for the next two decades, I don’t know why the pundits aren’t seeing that. 50-70 Petawatt hours of electricity will be needed worldwide by 2050, and who fills that need will be the leading economy of the future. So the T. Boone Pickens plan is ok as long as they aren’t opposing nuclear, which both the wind and natural gas lobbies tend to do.
The energy and environmental lobbies need to all put the knives away and work together to meet that growing demand as robustly and cleanly as possible, this isn’t simple and there’s not one solution. That’s why a great deal more nuclear energy capacity needs to brought online pronto.
From the study NEI cites:
Wind power is clearly not reducing the dependence on imported fuel, contrary to the frequent claims of its proponents. In fact the experience from Germany and Spain shows that it is increasing the dependence of imported natural gas. And that’s not energy security.
There’s an interesting new Chart at Gapminder of who produces, and who uses world oil supplies. Notice the steady slip leftwards from the US from 1972 onwards, when we were at our peak in oil production. Interim that capacity has been replaced by other sources, mainly coal and imported oil. That is not a good thing, but on the other hand it’s better than what would be if we had not kept our energy use high. Imagine where the economy would be, and where the world would be if we were not using that energy to produce food, goods, cleaner water, sewage treament, medical products, and other assorted boons to mankind.
If we had replaced the oil production shortfall with nuclear energy over the past thirty years our economy, and the world’s would both be in better shape. Another interesting dot to watch: Iran around 1980.
Sarah Palin is very eloquent and convincing in this argument against the Obama/Biden energy plan, please watch the entire interview — she covers a host of salient points. I also got pinged in email a while back regarding the tagging of energy posts with “Hunger”. Just to bring all readers up to speed, energy prices and hunger are immutably wed. When energy prices go up, food prices will as well. Growing, transporting, and storing food is energy intensive. You can read those articles here.
John McCain is a realist – he has the foresight to look ahead at the nine billion souls who will soon populate this planet, and what they will need. They will need energy in quantities undreamt of, and the only way to solve that dilemma is an “All of the Above” approach. We need every energy source working if we would not have the planet plunged into poverty, misery, filth and despair. The first step on that path is making energy cheaper and more abundant in America so that we may continue to feed the world.
In this video you see Senator McCain call on Congress to come back and work on the energy problem.
While it’s topical now, it won’t be when the pressures let up. The market driven economy will see that they do, for a short period anyway. The pressing need for more energy won’t end soon as demonstrated in article after article here. The urgency around energy might abate, the import won’t as it hasn’t in the three decades since the first oil embargo.
While the G-8 is meeting over the energy-driven food crisis now, T. Boone Pickens has proposed a plan for energy in the US that makes a great deal of sense. Hybrids sound nice at first glance, however they become problematic in twenty years as we deal with all of those dead batteries. They also cost a great deal, don’t provide the range and performance that the public wants, and they really live on subsidies now. In business you find that processes people adapt are those which are simple, and that are easier than what they are doing now.