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View Diary: From Floods to Drought and Back: Global Weirding (78 comments)

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  •  Electrics aren't necessarily any cleaner... (0+ / 0-)

    In most of the U.S. most of the electricity they use is generated with fossil fuels, primarily coal. So all an electric does is move the GHG emissions from a lot of little tailpipes to a few big ones.

    •  No (0+ / 0-)

      But they can be.  (Well even with natural gas behind them they are). Gasoline can't be. Obviously we need to retire that fuel mix too

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:40:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  At what cost? (0+ / 0-)

        The only viable options we have for clean electricity out here are wind (got plenty of that) and increased use of hydro. Even those options won't be cheap, as the "low hanging fruit" in clean energy has pretty much already been picked.

        Assuming we can overcome those problems and convert to 100% renewable electricity, the limitations of power density in batteries and their short useful life doom electric vehicles and farm equipment to niche applications. And given that electric vehicles are as mature a technology as internal combustion fueled ones, major improvements in power density are unlikely. Then there's the problem of upscaling Volt technology to trucks and tractors- a car only needs 10 horsepower or so to go 60 MPH, a big truck needs 200 horsepower to do that and needs to be able to do it all day and night. Tractor applications are even worse- even a midsize tractor needs 200 or so horsepower, and given the narrow windows that weather allows us to do field work, needs to be able to put our those 200+ horsepower for sometimes days on end.

        So clearly electrics aren't the solution to GHG for rural folks, and we'll have to reduce GHG by increased efficiency, less tillage, rural transit, etc..

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