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View Diary: Wind is king, biofuels are bunk (118 comments)

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  •  Flies, honey, vinegar (0+ / 0-)

    'nuff said.

    Well.  I suppose I could also add this.

    •  And as I said, I don't oppose wind. I support it. (0+ / 0-)

      "It's like we weren't made for this world, But I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was." --Of Montreal

      by andydoubtless on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 12:50:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a number of friends who grew up on a farm (0+ / 0-)

        Living in Iowa, that's no surprise.  I know how hard American farmers today have it.  In Iowa, for example, it's virtually impossible these days to turn a profit on a private hog farm.     The margin is often negative.  My friend Kathy's parents, who had raised hogs all their life, had to give it up a decade ago; they just couldn't make a living on it anymore.

        My concern is how to help farmers without hurting the environment.  That's one of the reasons why I find wind great -- with annual rents of thousands of dollars per turbine, that's significant guaranteed income -- and you can still farm around them.  I hope that we can find more efficient ways to turn agricultural products -- or better, agricultural waste -- into biofuels to help function as a stopgap as we transition to non-fuel-based transportation.  Despite what the biggest optimists may suggest, there are 250 million cars in this country alone, and even with the best incentives, they'll be going nowhere fast.  Corn stover is one I'm particularly hopeful for; the studies I've seen suggest that using half of the stover won't cause much of an increase in erosion, but has great potential as a cellulose source.  And even if all ground transport ends up electrified, air travel will be much harder to electrify(-), and the testing results from biofuel-powered aircraft seem to be pretty encouraging so far.

        (-) With cars, the mass of the fuel is an insignificant portion of the weight of the vehicle, and so the weight savings from switching from an ICE to an electric drivetrain has the potential to compensate for the weight of the batteries.  In an airplane, however, a significant portion of the total weight is fuel.

        •  Well, if we went truly electric on our (0+ / 0-)

          vehicles...we really don't have much to worry about air transport then. Plus, we can synthesize diesel (aviation fuel) by making dimethyl ether, if worse comes to worse. Might even be cheaper.

          David

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