Greenwashers for foreign oil independence are us?
So, according to Consumer Reports, eco-cars — those more fuel efficient, special edition versions of cars used primarily for advertising rather than real world sales — aren’t cost-effective. Since no one was buying them anyway, who cares? Certainly not automakers. Eco, 40 mpg on the highway, it’s all just marketing hype meant to dupe consumers, too many of whom are all too willing to be duped.
Yet, it is the duped that are probably the key to the future, and a desperately needed energy revolution. Unfortunately, almost all of us have been duped one way or another.
OMG! Oil is about to run out!
No it’s not. There’s quite a bit of unconventional oil, minimally. More important, the supplies of natural gas and coal could easily replace oil for hundreds of years, maybe even thousands of years. Once scaled, these new fuels might not even increase costs that much, or even at all, but they’d probably increase CO2 emissions about a gazillion times.
But who cares about CO2 emissions?
Even hardcore environmentalists seem confused. For instance, non-plug-in hybrid cars offer about the same CO2 emission’s reductions as plug-in hybrids in general. So, why does this movement seem to be plug-in or bust? According to virtually every study, plug-ins won’t make up a significant percent of the vehicle fleet for decades, yet we could reduce emissions just as much as plug-ins, today, at far cheaper cost using hybridization — hybrids that could be converted into plug-ins tomorrow if a major battery breakthrough is suddenly achieved.
Is it plug-ins or the environment that is critical?
Similarly, take natural gas. Natural gas MUST be a bridge fuel, yet environmentalists worry that such an endeavor might lead to extra methane pollution, for instance, which is even worse than CO2 emissions. BS, suggests Caltech’s Nathan S Lewis, possibly CO2’s best and most intelligent enemy, because methane emissions have about a 30 year effect on the environment, compared to CO2’s 3000 year impact. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping many environmentalists from leading their own horde of duped.
Even worse, as Lewis regularly points out in his talks regarding CO2, the world needs every possible option and we need them now. Even natural gas, Lewis has claimed, should be a bridge fuel for transportation starting now.
Nevertheless, while many environmentalists and plug-in advocates seem quite duped, at least they recognize there are problems. Most other Americans, on the other hand, have been far more duped and continue to be blissfully ignorant. Yet, if guys like Lewis are to be believed, we’re quickly running out of time. And, it’s not just about global warming, it’s about ocean acidity, for example.
In fact, it’s not even just the environment.
Energy demand is increasing rapidly, and will increase significantly — about 3 times today’s needs — heading towards 2050 as the second and third worlds catch up to the first. While we have plenty of fossil fuels to deal with this problem, as far as energy production at least, we don’t really have a plan. That means that when necessity and costs demand that we convert coal into a transportation fuel, the environment won’t mean as much. Time will be of the essence. And CO2 emissions will skyrocket.
Which is why we need a plan, as I’ve been claiming via the American Terrorist movement, a movement that is very similar to ideas suggested by Lewis throughout the years — a movement that Lewis believes will probably be led by the people. Maybe even must be led by the people.
The fact is, energy independence isn’t a fairy tale. It’s an absolute necessity that needs to begin with the US, now. Anyone claiming otherwise is the king of the duped — a role both President Obama and Mitt Romney seem too willing to play. Today’s OPEC issues, for example, are just the tip of the iceberg, just a foreshadow of a much more dangerous story that is coming if we don’t act immediately.
Yet, the US has immense resources. It’s simply amazing that politicians on both sides of the aisle have for many years — even decades — supported ethanol as a transportation fuel despite the obvious scientific case against these fuels, while dragging their feet on a fuel like natural gas which could bridge the US off OPEC oil in less than a decade while significantly reducing green house gas emissions.
Plus, learning how to frack natural gas safely and effectively also can help the rest of the world increase their energy security while also reducing global warming emissions, as we bridge to better solutions. And the US can sell and help implement these technologies throughout the world.
Ohh, but if we just turned Oklahoma into one big solar power plant we could power the whole country, right?
At what up front cost?
Even Lewis, a huge advocate of solar fuels, argues that the idea of going solar today makes little sense. The costs and lack of storage solutions are simply overwhelming. But that’s only today.
Tomorrow — which could still be a few decades — ideas like artificial photosynthesis could revolutionize solar power into an abundant, clean and cost-effective worldwide energy solution. Until then we need bridges to energy independence. Real bridges, not Eco-cars built purely for advertising rather than improving the environment. We need to utilize every resource available today, and we need to do it cost-effectively so that we have the funding to make artificial photosynthesis a reality tomorrow.
As we head towards the election, our politicians will do everything they can to divide us. Not because it’s good for the country or the world — or the people – but because that is how power is won and/or maintained. We are being duped. Certainly, politicians have a role to play, and if ethics, rather than reelections, drove the egos of most politicians — or at least some — maybe we could rely on politicians.
But I wouldn’t bet on that, which leaves it up to me and you and every other duped American. And that’s pretty scary.