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View Diary: Bush claiming 'Energy Independence' mantle already - UPDATE (189 comments)

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  •  The most important diary of the year. (4+ / 0-)
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    Sparhawk, cookiebear, A Siegel, profmom

    This is the most important diary in a long time because it finally recognizes the fundamental energy problem that we face, our rate of consumption.

    All of the talk about ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen, etc. as alternative fuels for our present infrastructure is pure foolishness because they fail to recognize that the rate of production for any of these fuels is insufficient to cover the rate of consumption.

    Consider this, fossil fuels, oil, coal, etc. are stored solar energy, literally millions of years of stored solar energy that we will manage to consume in a little under 200 years.

    Lets be optimistic here and say all of the fossil fuels were represent 100,000 years of stored solar energy. That says we burn about 500 years of stored solar energy every year.

    Ethanol, biodiesel, etc. also represent stored solar energy. Every year we can get 1 year of stored solar energy from biofuels leaving us only 499 years short of growing the energy we consume.

    Remember this is being really, really optomistic, it is more likely that we are really burning 50,000 years of stored solar energy each year.

    Hydrogen faces the same rate of supply problems, with one exception, you could use nuclear to produce it. That is another set of big problems.

    Ehtanol and biodiesel need to be recognized for what they are in the current energy environment, distractions that allow our government and manufacturers to avoid taking realistic actions.

    Pity poor man, he cannot create even a worm, yet he creates gods by the dozen.

    by beerm on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 09:01:24 AM PST

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