We have been 100% screwing the pooch in the evolution of our energy solutions. The answers have been right under our noses, some of them for many decades.
We need to stop! Just STOP - and take a breath.
There are a few revolutionary new processes and products which will provide answers that render the windmills and solar cells as ridiculous as I have always said they are. Even the most hard-core green power fanatics will actually get this, when they finish listening to the podcast.
AND WE CAN STOP PUTTING FOOD IN OUR GAS TANKS!
One solution you’ve heard me talk about, rail about, actually. A second, I wrong-headedly wrote off. And another just hit my radar.
I’ve included a video link to Youtube, so if you’re on wifi great. If not, do come back and put the video together with the content I provide. It isn’t long. Podcast and video are about 29 minutes total.
As you watch the video, you’ll quickly realize that I and Graham Conway live on opposite sides of a political galaxy. There is likely little he and I would find to agree on. But on this subject, there is very little light between us. I am suggesting you put tribalism aside for a few minutes. The tribe will not help anyone here. Only objectivity and intellectual curiosity will fix the mess BOTH tribes have made of our society and our systems.
Graham is a smart guy, so he probably would agree that the Eagles got ripped off in the Superbowl. So that’s two things we agree on.
I’ll start with cars.
I have been saying for years that electric vehicles are FAR from zero-emission and as a product, these things are not ready for prime time. I am a huge fan of Hydrogen cell cars. But they too are not ready. But the hybrid is ready.
It’s is a horse of a different color! I’ve given very little consideration to hybrids. And I have not given them the respect they deserve. My bad. In the first video link Graham Conway does a stellar job of defining the impact of cars by fuel source. His case for the hybrid is an absolute slam dunk.
I may have linked a post to this video before, I’m not certain. But it is worth the view.
Forget the all-battery cars. They ARE NOT READY. As Conway says, they may be some day. But not now! And they are stupid expensive. If anyone wanted one outright, we wouldn’t need to waste our tax dollars subsidizing them.
Considering the cost, the hybrids are THE most viable alternative. I can get a hybrid version of my wife’s $29,000, 34 mpg car for $28,000. And it gets 50 mpg - city. The environmental cost of making them is FAR lower than making their all electric counterpart and their overall carbon footprint (I hate that phrase) is lower from cradle to grave. In non-flowery normalspeak, they pollute less, far less.
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Reading reviews, I would say that the car companies need to saddle more of the responsibility for potential lemons. Like most cars, you get the occasional lemon. But when it comes to hybrids, when a new one fails, it is often a doozy of a problem having to do with the electronics package. Sometimes these gremlins can’t be traced out. It’s not common so please, car guys, be ready to stand up and replace product. FTC, be ready to kick some asses to prevent the technology being defeated by poor customer service. At any rate, this kind of difficulty will disappear with the march of progress.
As Conway points out, if you want start fixing the environment now - today - drive a hybrid. All-battery cars come third behind internal combustion (IC) cars for the first 45 - 50,000 miles. They never match hybrid for environmental impact.
Now, what of those pesky IC cars.
Unless you are in a green energy suicide cult, you must admit that for power and range, there is still nothing on the market to replace IC. I WILL NEVER haul my 5th wheel behind anything other than IC truck. I need reliable power and I don’t want stop every 90-100 miles to charge up for 30 minutes to a few hours. There aren’t that many places to charge anyway. And the government’s cost savings estimates are false advertising, pure fantasy.
So how do we power IC vehicles and SLIGHTLY reduce pollution? Note, I said pollution, NOT CO2. We have far more to worry about coming from tailpipes than CO2, but that too will be reduced with this idea.
If you are a reader of the Revolt, you’ve seen me cycle about ethanol. But that was because it was foisted on us by political whores in both parties, and we were forced to put FOOD IN OUR GAS TANKS! Has there EVER been a more idiotic idea? Worse, it reduces pollution by very small margin.
Despite my objections about ethanol, they are made crystal clear here, if you are going to pursue it, the way forward is in the passage below. I would contend that through the use of Hybrid cars and what you will read below, we could exclude ethanol from the equation altogether and still make a remarkable, positive impact on the environment. But I will stipulate for the sake of argument that ethanol will remain a part of the energy sector.
This next point is where the answers to our overall power problem branch out.
Let’s stick with the cars for a bit.
I have just today been made aware of a process through which ethanol can be created from CO2 and water. By using a complex copper catalyst, the two react in a way to create the product. It has been accomplished using a low pressure, low voltage process. But that is on a small scale.
To produce lots of it on an industrial scale require lots of electrical power. And that is where one of my old passions, and ANOTHER answer to our green prayers comes into play.
The scientists working on this process say the fix is too just plug into our power grid and rely on solar and wind to power this juice-thirsty process. Even THEY stipulate we would need a lot of windy days and must work on off-peak hours. It’s amazing how narrow is the focus of a brilliant mind.
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But we still need fuel
And this idea adds yet another application to the things we can do with one old idea made new again.
The answer to providing energy for this new fuel idea of course, is the Liquid Fluorine Thorium Reactor (LFTR). I have spoken before about all the problems these amazing reactors address. Note: There will be a podcast version of the link provided which will serve as part two of a previous episode, here on the Revolt.
If you dedicated one LFTR to the task of producing ethanol from carbon dioxide and water on a HUGE industrial scale, you would kill two birds with one stone. You wouldn’t need all the power a 300MW LFTR would produce. So while you were toiling away making the concoction, you would have plenty of power to sell onto the grid. The person smart enough to put this process into action will profit on a grand scale with the fuel, and get a very handsome bump from the local power company.
But Wait! There’s more!
Let’s set aside the spare power idea for a minute. I have spoken before and using LFTR’s to desalinate water from the dreaded rising oceans. Before we start sucking water out of our rivers with no consideration for the future, how about we use the total energy of a LFTR to desalinate it’s own supply of H2O for the fuel catalyst idea?
The LFTR powers the pumps and desalinization while powering the ethanol operation. THEN, when there is plenty of water for the process stored, a transfer switch fires and NOW you’re feeding the power grid. As the fuel plant’s water supply starts to get used up, a float switch signals the transfer switch again and your desalinating again.
So we make fuel, add zero to pollution, create more energy and we exploit the dreaded rising oceans. The biggest challenge I find with this process is seen now with wind and solar farms in California. Once at capacity, the batteries that store the power for wind turbines and solar cells MUST discharge. There are often times when the batteries are full but the grid is already operating at capacity.
If that were to happen to our ethanol factory, what do we do?
When the process has hours of water already and the grid is at full capacity you can’t just turn off the reactor. So, now what? At that point I would suggest you continue to use the power to desalinate and pipe the fresh water into the municipal water supply. You can pipe it to a reservoir or pump it into the distribution system.
Every gallon produced from a reactor normally dedicated to other tasks, and every gallon produced by LFTR’s solely dedicated to providing drinking water already, is gallon saved for rivers and reservoirs serving a larger region elsewhere.
Here again, the Southwest figures critically.
Now we’ve got it!
I would not, at this moment, say we should go all ethanol. The car manufacturers have not come up with the vehicle that can run, long term, on ethanol only. But I feel certain that’s just a case of coming up with the right alloy with which to line cylinders (ethanol is moisture friendly and scorches engines over time).
BUT, through this the copper catalyst process, we could very quickly end the unforgivably stupid process of putting food in our gas tanks.
With the proliferation of HYBRID cars and the industrial production of food-free ethanol, we will radically reduce emissions in any country which adopts this two-pronged approach - hybrid cars and LFTR’s to make their fuel additives (and whatever else you can use ethanol for).
It is worth repeating the other advantages of LFTR reactors.
they burn off (readically reduce the volume of) spent nuclear fuel from conventional reactors
they create bismuth-213 (Bi-213), a valuable medical product
as stated here, they can be used for desalinization on a super-industrial scale (no more water problems in California.)
they are inexpensive, as nukes go, and incredibly safe
they don’t need an army of technicians and operators
No hydrogen, no risk of hydrogen explosions
they don’t need water to generate power
they don’t pollute
and one LFTR can replace a monstorously large wind and/or solar scheme
Finally, Davos and green fanatics are always banging on about a zero-emissions world. This goal is not only daisies-in-the-sidewalks nonsense, it is unhealthy as a goal. Petroleum has proven to be an invaluable resource. It is responsible for 99% of our present-day health, cleanliness and efficiency. For it to remain accessible and inexpensive, a healthy market for it must remain in place. This is to say possibly forever. Keep it in place for farm equipment and heavy duty applications especially. Call that our reward for being such good stewards in other areas.
The cult members of Davos and the WEF couldn’t care less if you fell in a sinkhole tomorrow. And they don’t care about the environment outside their own sprawling ranches, plantations and manor houses. They have been touting their nonsense (including their own energy domination) with one goal, and only one goal in mind; the acquisition of power and total control of your life. They believe THEY should be the arbiters of EVERYTHING. Do your research and listen to their own words! You are their serfs.
For that reason we need very little influence from the government in this. What we NEED is for the government to let those who know, do. We need absolutely NO Input from Klaus Schwab and the Davos loonies. Absolutely none!
P.S. Stop making all our critical electrical grid components in CHINA!!!! They’re about to collapse! And start buying these components in depth!
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