Yes, I cribbed this from comments between myself and a friend. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, or someone.
I posted a memory from FB 10 years ago commenting on how I felt it was asinine to be willing to pull all the oil out of the Middle East’s oilfields instead of our own, and that it seemed to me that if we were so worried about environmental impacts of getting said oil, we’d be better of keeping it at home where we can watch over it and make sure that it’s being done in the safest (both life and environment) way. What follows is the comment thread. Hope you enjoy and it doesn’t upset you…
By 2035 we’ll all be driving EV’s anyway.
Maybe. I’d honestly like to have a Bolt or a Volt. But in the end, that power has to come from someplace. And mostly what it is now is natural gas. Which is another item that will go away sooner or later.
In my opinion, until we start using slightly scary fission (which has been safely powering our naval vessels for nearly three generations) or fusion (which hasn’t been very successful so far, but I have faith it will happen) we’ll be bound to fossil fuels for the forseeable future.
Windmills are a great idea, but really don’t pay. They’re hideously expensive to build, maintain and replace.
I’ve always loved solar, and Jane’s house runs on solar (three 100w solar panels) but it’s just not feasible at this time. Takes too much square footage to power even a small area, let alone Seattle or San Francisco.
Fossil fuel is the only thing that works until we get to fusion.
As they say, ‘change my mind’.
personally I think EV’s are the wave of the future. They use a fraction of the fossil fuels to produce the electricity. But I’d like to see better range and more fast charging stations. Solar has distinct possibilities but the solar panels need to be smaller and more efficient. I have doubts about fission but who knows where the technology will take us in ten years. Or twenty.
<undisclosed poster>- I remember sitting on the couch reading Readers Digest, this would have been about 1974. Fusion was really all the rage at the time, and it was just around the corner.
Now, nearly fifty years later it’s still sitting – and it’s still just around the corner.
Right now the grid can’t handle the power requirements of all the electric vehicles there might be, even in the next ten years. I mean, we’re sucking hundreds of amps to get a decent charge rate, and that’s just ONE vehicle. The new batteries are so much better than they were, and the new solar panels are so much better and cheaper.
Harbor Freight has their 100w solar panel on sale right now for $100, and their 2000watt converter for $130. The panels are really great – high efficiency and low price. I might go down and buy another one tomorrow, but really the biggest issue I have is that I only have about 70ah worth of battery to charge. That will be sufficient to run my computer and a small desk lamp for pretty much as long as I want to run it, but I definitely can’t run an air conditioner or a heater off that.
Sadly, for a few hundred bucks I can buy a nice quiet generator that will give me a couple thousand watts of steady power and will run for hours on just a few gallons of gas. It makes it hard to be enthusiastic about spending as much money as it would take to go full solar, even for my tiny (4×10) writer shack.
I’ve been a little obsessed by solar ever since elementary school when I was introduced to “Our Mister Sun”. It never came to fruition any more than fusion did, and I’ve always felt a little betrayed by all that potential that never went anywhere. I’ve bought little solar cells and various solar equipment for many years, but it was mostly just a curiosity.
Right now it takes four DAYS to charge your Tesla Model S from a standard everyday outlet. (it charges at the rate of 2 miles per hour. That is, it takes an hour to charge the battery enough to take the Tesla S two miles.)
To get that down to a 30 minute charge, it takes a massive 480v system with 300 amps of power. Just as a comparison, my house (and probably yours) has a 200amp service to run the entire house, including heating and air conditioning, your stove, and refrigerator. Your iPhone charger ..
How long does your Tesla S run on that 30 minute charge? 170 miles.
Where’s Mister Fusion when we need it, eh?
BTW, I did read some articles in doing some off the cuff research for this. It does say that ‘the grid’ can handle electric cars. But a somewhat less rosy outlook is from the standpoint of the grid right in your neighborhood. In a ‘hood of 11 houses, it only takes ONE charger running 240v (to achieve ‘level 2’ charging, which takes six to thirty hours to charge) in your neighborhood to cause issues with that tiny neighborhood grid. The weak point is the transformer, that big cylinder that hangs on the pole.
Sorry, , for going on about this. I am gonna steal this entire post (with some editing) for tomorrow’s blog. It’s a good swan song, I think.
no need to apologize. We’re coming to the end of our fossil fuels. At some point we’ll have to make a change. There just won’t be a choice. I’m picturing small nuclear reactors in the back of everyone’s car.
– yup. I mean, it’s a pool. And right now it’s so huge that no one really thinks about it. And long with that, it’s political. The big thing – the elephant in the room – is the fact that it IS finite. And we’re sucking it out at the rate of twenty MILLION barrels a day. Let me say that again. TWENTY MILLION BARRELS per DAY. I dunno, I didn’t read the numbers, but in my world a ‘barrel’ was 55 gallons. And that’s just the US. So multiply that by – crap – all the countries in the world?
Yeah, it’s just a matter of time. And then, we’re back to horses. Probably a team of six oxen could haul your Mercedes along at .. mm .. 5mph?
How long do we have? Forty Seven Years.
Read that again. 47 years.
And that doesn’t just mean gasoline. That means no polyester blankets, no resin deck chairs, no vinyl flooring, no plastic window frames.
The sad thing is, we’re using up the truly non-renewables so we can SAVE the wood in the forests. When pretty soon we’ll be back to burning the forests to stay warm in the winter. Weigh freezing to death vs conservation. Tell me which wins?
Another thought. If we’d stayed the course and kept using nuclear fission in the 50s and 60s, we wouldn’t be worrying much about fossil fuels, or even global warming, at least if we assume global warming is caused by burning fossil fuels.
Yes, the specter of a nuclear plant meltdown was scary. But – what’s more scary than having 47 years of oil before it’s gone. Permanently.