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Thread: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    So how about we not making it about politics, focus on the benefits we can gain from the research, and make something come of it?



    Which is something that most corporate leaders and owners don't care about. They want to get paid today, and they want to get paid as much as possible today. Who cares if the company disappears in ten years? Their pockets will be lined long before that happens. That is the mentality that American big business takes, and it's the source of a lot of our ills.



    Because quality of life and profit don't go hand in hand. It's more profitable to keep slaves. It's more profitable to operate a police state. Profit does not mean a better life. Generations to come having clean air and water does not translate into profit today.
    It does when you take into consideration that all this R&D isn't going to be free. The money has to come from someplace. What happens when alternative energy is never profitable and the government runs out of money to pay for it? Profitability will mean everything, at that point.
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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    Every president since the 70s has publically made energy a national security issue, specifically our dependence upon oil. And how many trips to the moon have there been since? Why, because it's radically more expensive than doing our exploration remotely.
    Government will create another Department of Energy that will, in turn, produce no energy. Instead there will a be another huge bureaucracy that will be handing out money to those with the right connections. Is there any doubt on this?

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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    The list is long but I'll start with a few:

    Jojoba oil
    "Jojoba oil is used as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives, such as cetyl alcohol. The ban on importing whale oil to the US in 1971 led to the discovery that jojoba oil is "in many regards superior to sperm oil for applications in the cosmetics and other industries."[1]

    Jojoba oil is found as an additive in many cosmetic products, especially those marketed as being made from natural ingredients. In particular, such products commonly containing jojoba are lotions and moisturizers, hair shampoos and conditioners. Or, the pure oil itself may be used on skin or hair.

    Jojoba oil is a fungicide, and can be used for controlling mildew.[9]

    Like olestra, jojoba oil is edible but non-caloric and non-digestible, meaning the oil will pass through the intestines unchanged and can cause a stool condition called steatorrhea.[10]

    Jojoba biodiesel has been explored as a cheap, sustainable fuel that can serve as a substitute for petroleum diesel"
    Jojoba oil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    SVO/WVO/biodiesel (btw even Henry Ford's first efforts ran on peanut oil)
    "Algae holds great promise as a source of biofuel: it’s rich in oil like corn, but it can be cultivated without competing for land with food crops, and researchers are developing energy-efficient ways to process it."
    Algae Biofuel Holds Great Promise, But Can Its Production Grow? | TPM Idea Lab


    commuter range electric vehicles
    "One half of U.S. households drive less than 30 miles a day and 78 percent of work commuters travel 40 miles or less each day,"
    GM Resurrects Its Electric Car (with Tweaks): Scientific American


    Earth pumps for cooling
    Geothermal Heat Pump | Save Money & Energy | Alabama Power


    Rammed earth homes
    "Stabilised rammed earth is one of the most environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient construction materials in the world. Why? Rammed earth is environmentally-friendly because it has low embodied energy. This means it has very little impact on the environment both in its production for use as a building material, and its lifetime as part of the building. Rammed earth is energy efficient because unlike most other building materials it is possible to build a true solar-passive rammed earth home which requires no air-conditioners or space heaters. That's a big difference to both the environment and your pocket! How does rammed earth do this? The answer is its high thermal mass."
    Facts About Rammed Earth


    micro hydro
    "Micro hydro is a type of hydroelectric power that typically produce up to 100 kW of electricity using the natural flow of water. These installations can provide power to an isolated home or small community, or are sometimes connected to electric power networks. There are many of these installations around the world, particularly in developing nations as they can provide an economical source of energy without the purchase of fuel.[1] Micro hydro systems complement photovoltaic solar energy systems because in many areas, water flow, and thus available hydro power, is highest in the winter when solar energy is at a minimum. Micro hydro is frequently accomplished with a pelton wheel for high head, low flow water supply. The installation is often just a small dammed pool, at the top of a waterfall, with several hundred feet of pipe leading to a small generator housing."
    Micro hydro - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    bio-plastics (the other white meat of oil dependence - plastics)
    "Bioplastics are a form of plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, pea starch[1] or microbiota.[2] Common plastics, such as fossil-fuel plastics, are derived from petroleum- these plastics rely more on scarce fossil fuels and produce more greenhouse gas. Some, but not all, bioplastics are designed to biodegrade. Biodegradable bioplastics can break down in either anaerobic or aerobic environments, depending on how they are manufactured. There are a variety of materials bioplastics that can be composed of, including: starches, cellulose, or other biopolymers. Some common applications of bioplastics are packaging materials, dining utensils, food packaging, and insulation."
    Bioplastic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Sorry, the facts show that all of these endeavors have been worthwhile.
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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    It does when you take into consideration that all this R&D isn't going to be free. The money has to come from someplace. What happens when alternative energy is never profitable and the government runs out of money to pay for it? Profitability will mean everything, at that point.
    Profit is an artificial concept that limits which benefits of a given endeavor we care about and which ones we don't. Usually it just comes down to who it benefits and who it doesn't. Also, your hypothetical is extremely limited in its scope. Money is merely the exchange rate between labor and resources. It's a concept just as artificial as profit. The actual solvency of a society is based simply on how much work needs to be done to keep it functioning (and improving). So long as that amount is less than the work that your society can do, you're solvent. Profit is not required, nor is the accumulation of wealth. Especially not the accumulation of vast wealth by a small minority at the expense of everyone else.

    Nothing as necessary as energy is never going to be profitable, even by antiquated, plutocratic, capitalist sensibilities. Whichever the most effective and efficient form of power, that's the one people will want, and that's the one that will be most profitable. Zoom out beyond dollar signs, and you'll see that whichever form of power means best return on labor and resources is the best. As the resource dwindles, like any non-renewable energy source (including oil) will, that ratio drops.

    But let's just take the simple answer. What possible evidence could you have to suggest that renewable energy sources, or at least cleaner and longer lasting ones than oil, can never be profitable?
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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    So how about we not making it about politics, focus on the benefits we can gain from the research, and make something come of it?
    It is about politics though, the only reason Obama is doing it is to reap political clout.

    Which is something that most corporate leaders and owners don't care about. They want to get paid today, and they want to get paid as much as possible today. Who cares if the company disappears in ten years? Their pockets will be lined long before that happens. That is the mentality that American big business takes, and it's the source of a lot of our ills.
    To some degree, I agree with you, American business is terribly short-sighted, but oil companies have said for many years that they are working on alternate energy sources, and it would make sense for them to do so, even if alternate energy ends up being a small percentage of vehicles, having a monopoly on those vehicles will be profitable and at least they're making the money rather than another company.

    I don't buy that any more money we flush down the government toilet will develop a workable alternate energy source vehicle. I think they're stuck on electric cars and at the moment, at our current level of technology, they just don't work.
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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    "The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun."
    -Ralph Nader
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    But first...it has to work.

    The wind energy industry has been recieving government subsidies for decades and is STILL losing money.
    something doesn't have to be immediately profitable to be worthwhile. i tend to doubt that we are at the apex of renewable technology yet. either way, i prefer renewables and nuclear to anything that we have now, and it's my opinion that we should devote resources to getting out of the oil game before the game turns really ugly.

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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by MMC View Post
    LEMONT, Ill. — President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to authorize $200 million a year for research into clean energy technologies that can wean automobiles off oil.

    Obama proposed the idea of an energy security trust last month in his State of the Union address, but he was putting a price tag on the idea during a trip Friday to the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago — $2 billion over 10 years. The White House said the research would be paid for with revenue from federal oil and gas leases on offshore drilling and would not add to the deficit.
    Interesting as their fy/2012 they had a budget of $794 million.

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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    I don't buy that any more money we flush down the government toilet will develop a workable alternate energy source vehicle. I think they're stuck on electric cars and at the moment, at our current level of technology, they just don't work.
    And the research will find alternatives and increase our level of technology. And research isn't free. Researchers who puzzle these things out and come up with ideas need to eat, too. Waiting for some tinker in a garage to have a eureka moment isn't a feasible method of developing new ideas. I get that you don't want to direct the funding towards electric cars. But your hostility towards hiring scientists to come up with better solutions is counterproductive.
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    Re: Obama Wants Research to Wean Vehicles off Oil.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    And the research will find alternatives and increase our level of technology. And research isn't free. Researchers who puzzle these things out and come up with ideas need to eat, too. Waiting for some tinker in a garage to have a eureka moment isn't a feasible method of developing new ideas. I get that you don't want to direct the funding towards electric cars. But your hostility towards hiring scientists to come up with better solutions is counterproductive.
    I'm not hostile toward doing it as long as it produces results, but we've done it before and it's produced nothing. How much money do we continue to pour down the hole and get no real results out of it?
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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