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View Diary: Will Canadian oil sands save the USA? (84 comments)

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  •  Gas Works? (none)
    People have been turning carbon-bearing muck like coal into more usable fuels for generations.  Do a quick search for "gas works" (the last large scale attempt to do this) and you will be directed to brownfield and superfund sites, places of extreme environmental degradation.  For those who don't know, until the 1950's, domestic heating and lighting gas was produced by heating coal in an an-aerobic environment to drive out a flamable gas.  All the refrences to sticking one's head in the oven come from the fact that this gas was poison.  When this was replaced by natural gas, an artifical odorant had to be added, to warn people that the gas was on.

    It occurs to me that all these proposals to make oil sands and sour crude into motor fuels are the exact equivalant of sticking our heads in the oven.  The real costs of these processes, the destruction of the environment, are not reflected in the costs of production of this stuff.

    That said, we are unlikely to go back to being a few million people living in an agrarian society.  We have to figure out safe and responsible ways to gee energy we need.

    "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"

    by dmun on Thu Nov 10, 2005 at 07:14:36 AM PST

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