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Old 07-02-2013, 06:56 PM   #51 (permalink)
sheepdog 44
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Salt Lake valley Utah
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Well we won't stop burning gas and coal until it's economically unviable. Even if it stops being cheap, were still gonna burn through all our fossil fuels until they're gone. Nothing else matches the power density of gas thats just sitting in the ground, and eventually all it's pollution will be dumped into the atmosphere.

So if you think electric cars pollute more or less than gas cars, the fossil fuels we power them both with are whats "Unclean, at any speed." The question still is can we slow down the "speed" at which we pollute? The way society works, walking and riding bikes while using gas cars as the author suggests, will have little impact. And if we keep on trucking as we do, it'll lead us to a place where we are woefully inept to manage the transition to zero oil.

Renewable energy (wind, solar, thermal, bio) and alternative fuels (such as electric) are the only REAL solution. And maybe someday when all gas is gone they will be the ONLY solution. Electric vehicles are the most practical option as they are able to tie into a zero emmisions grid. You could have Synthetic-Gas or Hydrogen produced from electricity at a energy conversion deficit, or battery electrics.

But you still can't expect to run a renewable energy grid, wasting as much electricity we do today. We still have blackout's even running coal power plants! We will need several things:

Efficient housing and insulation (we throw away so much energy heating in winter and cooling in summer). All that heating will need to be electric when natural gas is gone.

A local agriculture shift, or else a national electric train distribution network. Which doubles for mass transport cross country.

And a rescaling of the automobile to 1-1,400lbs or less. Which drastically halves the mining needed for the battery, and the metals to build the car.

I'm not sure if ethanol or Biodiesel can have the production needed without displacing food production. I really only see planes and shipping boats being powered by them in the future.

How much better if he championed these solutions? Instead of coming to the misguided conclusion that Electric cars will/cannot save the environment. That does no good, neither does his solution that we should just keep driving our gas cars.

I try to be helpful. I'm not an expert.
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