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Energy Crisis Options
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 6:17:39 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/18/2009
Posts: 2,036
Neurons: 6,040
Location: United States
What I would have liked to see Obama do when he came into office and maybe in 2011 (not 2010 because it's an election year) is create an international Manhattan project on energy to focus on creating new energy sources. Alternative fuels go a long way towards solving our economic problems, global warming and getting rid of not only our foreign dependence on oil but that of other countries too.

So for this thread I am not interested in the politics of the issue nor the pros and cons of global warming - but the underlying thought that "science" is a way out of some of our deepest problems.
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 9:26:37 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/22/2009
Posts: 1,627
Neurons: 6,084
Science is the way out of our deepest problems but their is no way to separate the politics from science. Remember when Reagan took office and promptly removed the solar panels from the white House roof? Solar energy has come a long way but everyone I know with solar panels still have a great deal of trouble with battery back-ups that are inefficient. I have s sun room that has reduced my energy bills. A "Manhattan" style project would probably help but we already have lots of possibilities that just need the support of the citizens and government to make them viable.
TL Hobs
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 12:11:35 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/16/2009
Posts: 1,399
Neurons: 6,101
Location: Kenai, Alaska, United States
May I offer a way each and every one of us can help ease the problem? This is simple to do, not too painful a sacrifice, and totally reasonable.

If you drive a car, make it a goal to use one gallon less fuel than you normally do. Here is how.

1. Calculate the number of weeks the car has been in use (52 weeks X # of years.) Divide the number of weeks into the number of miles the car has been driven (taken from the odometer.) This gives you the average number of miles per week that you drive.

2. Calculate the miles per gallon fuel consumption the car uses. Hopefully, I don't have to explain how to do that. But, just in case, Fill up the fuel tank and record the odometer reading. The next time you need fuel, fill it up again and record the # of gallons taken and the odometer reading. Divide the # miles driven by the # gallons used.

3. Subtract the miles per gallon from your weekly mileage. That is the target for how many miles to drive each week.

4. Look for ways in which you can reduce your driving by one gallon of fuel. Use the trip meter to monitor your mileage.

It doesn't seem like much, but it adds up. If you can do this, then ask a friend or relative to do the same. If ten people do it, or 100 people do it, the amount grows. What if it became a Movement and 1,000,000 people worldwide (out of 6 billion of us) did it, then we are making progress!

The only ones who tell us that conservation doesn't work are those that stand to profit from its failure. With over 300,000,000 people in the US, surely we can find 1,000,000 people willing to reduce our fuel consumption by one measly gallon per week. According to the Dept. of Energy, it takes 2.1 gallons of crude to produce 1 gallon of gasoline and there are 42 gallons of petroleum per barrel. That means we would save 50,0000 barrels a week. Now if 10,000,000 people did it.......

I started doing this 3 years ago and am consistently using 4 gallons per week less now than I was then. My wife is using less fuel, too. I tell anyone I can get to listen, when I hear them talk about about how can we solve the energy problem. Pass it on!

The US government isn't going to do it for us. Remember in 1973 when we had the Arab oil embargo and the Congress stood up in outrage and shouted that we have to reduce our dependence on foreign oil? That was 37 years ago, of governmental programs and giveaways to the oil industry and the end result is that we are using more foreign oil now than ever before. It's up to us, not the politicians.
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 12:42:34 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 785
Neurons: 2,390
Location: Spokane, WA USA
I think, without sounding like a Tea-bagger, that the private sector is doing this. The government still needs to be a watchdog to prevent corrupt marketing though. Fuel cells come to mind and I remember that one of the leaders in this technology was Avista Labs, one of our major utility companies around here. I think it is in their interest to keep that technology our of the hands of customers. They've changed their name to Reli-on now but I don't think they can corner the market anymore.
All of the current alternative energy will not take over from fossil fuel. It simply does not have the BTU input to support our lifestyles. Fuel cells are still hopefull but somewhere in the future for most of us. I would like to see a major change in our lifestyles, I am not guiltless here either, but that will also be a slow change without some hollywood style disaster.
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 2:47:11 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 7/24/2009
Posts: 6
Neurons: 21
Location: United States
I believe there are government funded research groups, although perhaps not as well coordinated or funded as the Manhatan Project. My brother is a former DOE scientist who is now working in the private sector because it is easier to get funding and move the reasearch along.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Posted: Monday, May 24, 2010 6:04:13 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/21/2010
Posts: 989
Neurons: 2,961
Location: Northern Nevàda
Applause I have to agree with the concept. This is the only way that we will be able to develop any alternatives. The energy companies have too many "other interests" to really care whether we have a comprehensive plan to wean the country off oil.
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 1:28:32 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/13/2010
Posts: 3,494
Neurons: 9,763
Something that is readily attainable would be to update the electric grid in the USA. I read that up to 50% of the electricity generated is lost due to the antiquated delivery system before it can get a chance to power our appliances or industries. We can't afford this sort of waste.

Also, an updated grid will encourage more windmill sites, and hopefully solar sites, especially in the SW USA. I'd love for my next car to be an electric one. But, I won't buy one if all or most of the juice comes from a coal plant. Then you are just exchanging the pollution that your small tailpipe emits for the gigantic ploom of soot that a coal plant emits.
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