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Gore lies about lying (or maybe he just lies some more)

I haven’t made a post on this site in quite some time. I had to break my silence though on the recent news coming from former US Vice President Al Gore. First let me quote his statement (this is from Reuters):

“It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol,” said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

“First generation ethanol I think was a mistake. The energy conversion ratios are at best very small.

“It’s hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

He explained his own support for the original program on his presidential ambitions.

U.S. Biofuel Boom Running on Empty

As nations around the world begin to plan for Copenhagen to discuss the next generation Kyoto treaty, it is increasingly obvious that they will be ineffective.

Chief among the reasons for this ineffectiveness is that with the price of oil at its current state, it is simply not cost effective to use alternative fuels that will dump less CO2 into the atmosphere. The oil producing nations are probably not maintaining crude at this level to doom the planet to disaster, they are simply smart business people that are providing their “drugs” to the “addicts” at a price and in a way that will insure that no one can ever move off.

Ethanol’s Grocery Bill

Very good article in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding the use of ethanol and how it costs a great deal to add it to our liquid fuel supply.  The article points out that depending on the technique used to create ethanol, it adds 5%-34% more greenhouse gas to the environment than pure petroleum.

There is also a case to be made that there is pressure put on food prices due to ethanol production as well.

I am not totally against using ethanol as an additive. I think there is some advantage to keeping the market alive and viable to spur development of new techniques of creating the liquid and new crop energy sources other than corn.

Everyone Hates Ethanol

The use of biological processes to create energy for our cars is very suspect.  The current sources of ethanol compete with our food supply which only drives up the price of food which is an extreme burden on the ultra-poor.

While there is a lot of research on alternative sources of ethanol that would not compete with food, this research has yet to make it to development.  The Wall Street Journal put out a good article discussing this a few weeks ago so I thought I would share the highlights.  Click through here to read the entire article.

The accomplishments of George W. Bush

The blog “I think, therefore I rant” just put out a list of 100 accomplishments of the George W. Bush administration.  Actually, it went over 100 and did 112 just to be safe.

I thought my readers would be interested in the following:
48 – Katrina
51 – Drilling for oil
54 – National forest cleanup
57 – Carbon sequestration
58 – Mercury emissions
59 – Nuclear power
61 – Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument
62 – Polar bear endangered list
66 – Kyoto treaty
68 – Ethanol production
83 – Law of the Sea Treaty (affects how we work with the Arctic Ocean if it has less ice on it).
93 – Interstate air quality
94 – Clear skies initiative

Cyclone’s Waste Heat Motor

Engadget – June 4, 2008

Cyclone Power Technologies is actively talking about their motor that can gather energy from waste heat. It can also grab energy from non-waste heat and use it to create electricity or propel a vehicle. It is another tool in the arsenal to increase the efficiency and flexibility of our power generation. More effort like this needs to be made available to really reduce our reliance on foreign oil and to reduce our emissions.

Engadget had a video of the motor on their site which I have reproduced below. But first, let’s look at how this think works.

According to the company website:

Should we all set up our own stills?

Popular Mechanics – May 8, 2008

Saw this article on Popular Mechanics.  It really isn’t that hard to set up your own still to create ethanol to burn in your flex fuel vehicle.  This Micro Fueler looks good but your housing association may have something to say about setting up a fueling station in your side yard!

While this isn’t going to make a huge dent in our development of CO2, it is an interesting idea to explore.  Perhaps the best way to reduce foreign oil dependence and cut back on CO2 pollution is to make everything smaller and closer to home.

Global Warming and the Price of a Gallon of Gas

KUSI

John Coleman spoke before the San Diego Chamber of Commerce on the subject of global warming.  Mr. Coleman is not your typical weatherman!  Some say he is the father of the weatherman on TV (not likely) but at the very least he is one one of the most successful.  A full profile is available for him on Wikipedia but among his many accomplishments, he was the first weatherman on the national morning talk shows (remember David Hartman?) and also founded The Weather Channel.

Mr. Coleman is pretty adamant that the current global warming trend (which many question actually exists) is most likely natural in origin and has little to do with the influences of man.

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol

Times Online – June 14, 2008

The title of this original article is not quite accurate.  Scientists didn’t FIND the bugs – they MADE the bugs.  The title should be:

Scientists create bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol.

While this doesn’t truly solve the problem of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it does inadvertently.  Since the process of excreting this oil from waste cellulose and then burning it as liquid fuel is carbon negative, massive use of this synthetic oil would make the driving of cars “good” for the environment and would suck up the CO2 from industrial uses.

Now, I just hope that they have a way to turn these bugs off if they escape from the vat!

Biofuels May Hinder Antiglobal-Warming Efforts

Wall Street Journal – February 8, 2008

This is a different twist over what I usually propose.  In general, I am for increasing our use of ethanol and other biofuels to reduce our CO2 production as well as to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels from the Middle East. Most people are aware that one of the downsides to this issue is the pressure on food that results. This article points out that the conversion of non-agrarian land to crop land will result in a net spike of increased carbon dioxide release.