Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by The Animal, Mar 11, 2008.
Já heard on the news the other day, that the Goverment was getting worried, because people have slowed down on buying fuel. The tax on the fuel is what helps to pay for road repairs, and construction. I believe this was coming z the west coast.
Fuel prices are still climbing, but it does seem to be leveling off though.
Any opinions any one ?
I do not understand petrol (gas) is twice as expensive in CR ($7) than in germany ($£.5), Why don't Bohemians travel to Germany to re-fuel, or do they?
Price of fuel in Germany is now almost 9$ per galon -
Germans, who lives near border drive to Czech to buy gas, but of course it isn't profitable, if you live further.
Eso, I enjoyed the article you linked, and I especially liked Alexx's map of gas prices. Although looking at it, I think it would be more correct to say that Europe has high gases prices, rather than that America has “cheap gas”. Prices in N. America are on par with most places, except Europe and certain Asian cities like Seoul.
In some ways, as an environmentalist, I like what's happening with the price of oil. Because people are finally paying attention…and not just about gasoline. The recent prices have finally shaken people’s age-old misconception that protection of the environment is at odds with their pocketbooks. Green is in, and although in some ways it’s more of a fashion trend than it is people actually caring about the ideology, at the same time, I am starting to see changes. As an example, for many years I’ve shopped the European way, bringing my own reusable bags to grocery stores and forgoing the plastic. I used to get weird looks, I used to be considered eccentric for this. Suddenly these bags are appearing everywhere, every grocery store sells them, and people are using them. Recycling is on the rise...and for the first time in this country’s history, the environment is not a partisan issue. The days when a Republican in any office meant the dismantling of environmental standards may be disappearing. America may have been incredibly slow to react, but she is reacting, and I know that we have a looong way to go, but it's encouraging...and I don’t think progress in this area will be linear; it will be exponential.
And while Americans "dug their own hole" in terms of dependence on oil, the oil-producing countries are currently digging their own with the prices. Profits are skyrocketing, and it's driven mostly by price hikes rather than the laws of supply and demand. As for the SUVs, vans, and trucks, you can hardly give them away. The prices have plummeted, and car manufacturers are getting the memo on what they need to produce. Necessity is the mother of ingenuity and advances in energy are currently growing by leaps and bounds. We don't need gasoline anymore to run a car, and sooner or later that will be the norm. With prices the way they are, it is going to be much sooner rather than later. I wonder what Exxon (& company), and the OPEC nations will do when all it takes is hydrogen and batteries to power the world (aside from uttering a few curses about how badly they f**ked up.)
I hope that public transportation will become increasingly available here. Although in my area, the powers the be have yet another motivation to make improvements. The 2016 Olympic games. Chicago was named one of the last 4 cities in the running, and the Olympic Commission cited pubic transportation as a primary concern the city needs to address before the final decision next fall. I always take the train into the city, but I could drive there in half the time; the trains are ancient. Let’s see if Olympic ambitions will play a role here.
One final note, I read somewhere (I'll try to find the article) that gasoline usage in the U.S. is way down. And although prices have been increasing, they have not been increasing at rates that match the price per barrel. Increase for increase, we should be paying about a dollar more per gallon, but the decreases in consumption has kept prices from rising quite as high.
Sorry, so long!! I had a lot to say.
Just a stupid question - where do you get the energy to charge the batteries and produce the hydrogen?
I'm fully aware that an initial input of energy is necessary, and I'm not saying we're going to be completely gasoline free anytime soon. But you can't think that charging a fuel cell requires nearly as much gasoline as running a vehicle on oil alone. All I'm saying is they've started the ball rolling, and while still a long way from being widely available, we can do some amazing things now in the field of energetics. For example, 6,000 "air cars" are expected to be on the streets in India by the end of this year. They use compressed air to power the car, and while as you pointed out, gasoline is required to compress the air, it is the equivalent of getting 125 MPG. In terms of hydrogen, there is a way of getting hydrogen in its pure form without any gasoline. A common species of green algae excretes hydrogen gas if you keep it in an environment devoid of sulfur and oxygen. Though only in the lab, they are working on increasing production rates to a larger scale.
Actually, I forgot about China.
So I revoke my comment, but not for the reason you indicated. ...But it is still true that the price hikes are ushering in new energy technologies faster than would otherwise be the case.
What do you think about the carbon capture system?
Is it a smokescreen to stop investment in green alternative energy?
That depends. Carbon capture in and of itself, I think I support. I don't think using carbon capture will halt advances in green technology, because I certainly don't think it's any sort of permanent solution (especially since running a CCS plant requires 15% more fuel, be that coal or gasoline...which leads back to the initial subject of this thread), but at this point, we need to start acting now, and this system is already available for use. The more important question though, is what will be done with the CO2 after it is captured. The idea of storing it makes me uncomfortable. Sure it's not the same as storing nuclear waste, but it could still run into some of the same problems. Do we really know anything about long-term storage? And we can't continue to just bury everything that is unseemly. However, the CO2 can be used to produce methanol and hydrocarbons. This recycling of CO2 is something I do support. Especially if there is any possible future in the methanol economy (though rather optimistic, it is still a great thought) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol_economy
That sounds like a good idea. :idea:
Thanks for the link.
Actually the fact that when used as fuel it would change back into carbon dioxide is not really a good idea.
The point about carbon capture being a smokescreen is that spending money on the ccs means less money to spend on alternative energy.
The carbon captured is piped into empty oil fields
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