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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-15-08, 05:21 AM   #1
Cyclaholic
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End of the gas burning motorcar, says GM

http://tinyurl.com/3apv4q


Time's up for petrol cars, says GM chief
THE world's biggest car maker, General Motors, believes global oil supply has peaked and a switch to electric cars is inevitable........
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Old 01-15-08, 05:45 AM   #2
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See? There's your answer to "Who Killed The Electric Car?". It was just a timing issue.
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Old 01-15-08, 06:49 AM   #3
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thank god we have infinite resources to produce electricity.......
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Old 01-15-08, 06:57 AM   #4
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This article makes the case that GM is optimistic about gasoline!

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/flowchar...ner-fuels.html
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Old 01-15-08, 09:39 AM   #5
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ChipSeal,
In the article you posted GM doesn't seem so much pro-gasoline as they are resigned to the problem that a cleaner AND more efficent alternative technology has not emerged, or if we will ever have it as "good" (meaning a glut of cheap energy) as we did with pre-peak oil.
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Old 01-15-08, 10:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
http://tinyurl.com/3apv4q
Time's up for petrol cars, says GM chief
THE world's biggest car maker, General Motors, believes global oil supply has peaked and a switch to electric cars is inevitable........
lol from the article "GM is working on an electric car, called the Volt, ..." why don't they just call it the Shock

On a much more serious note "THE world's biggest car maker, General Motors, believes global oil supply has peaked". This is it, for the price of oil, inevitable, unrelenting upward and dramatic pressure on the price. When oil goes up, so does gas for home heating and electrical generation.

With the general acceptance that the USA is in a recession that many think will become much deeper and more prolonged, the timing of GM's statement could not have been worse.
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Old 01-15-08, 12:03 PM   #7
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Somewhere in Detroit:

--Labcoat: Sir, there's not much oil. It's so EXPENSIVE!
--GMSuit: Quick! Spend more money on something else! People NEED these cars!


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Old 01-15-08, 04:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ChipSeal View Post
This article makes the case that GM is optimistic about gasoline!

http://www.usnews.com/blogs/flowchar...ner-fuels.html
Does it? I read in that article how the author beleives that gas will be powering the majority of cars in 5 and 10 years from now (which is debateable), but I saw nothing that indicates GM's optimism for gas. In fact, every mention of GM was with regards to their investment in non-gas alternatives. Seems to me that they're looking to get out of gas as quickly as they can. But that's not the important issue here. What really matters here is that we still refuse to learn the lessons of history and condemn ourselves to repeating the same cycle of destroying the planet and ourselves, except this time with coal-burning electric cars.

I think "zero emmisions vehichle" will be the next great self-delusion of our society. Electric vehichles burn coal, which is certainly not "zero emmision".
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Old 01-15-08, 06:38 PM   #9
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With all due respect to anyone who happens to own one, the Hummer is definitely now circling in the toilet.
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Old 01-15-08, 07:32 PM   #10
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With all due respect to anyone who happens to own one, the Hummer is definitely now circling in the toilet.
Hmmn, somebody's wishful thinking is showing. Actually, GM's showing one or two prototype Hummers that would probably be quite acceptable in the future, were it not for the politically incorrect badge on the hood.
They're not going to just let the marque roll over and die, not when it's their competition for Jeep and Land Rover.
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Old 01-15-08, 08:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Law Rance View Post
thank god we have infinite resources to produce electricity.......
Good one.


We have over 125 years of coal and that goes the same for natural gas. I guess once those run out, we'll have to go to wood burning engines. LOL!

GM's making all these predictions but they continue to lose market share to Toyota and Honda and everyone else. One wonders if GM will still be around to make these electric cars!
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Old 01-15-08, 09:15 PM   #12
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Hmmn, somebody's wishful thinking is showing. Actually, GM's showing one or two prototype Hummers that would probably be quite acceptable in the future, were it not for the politically incorrect badge on the hood.
They're not going to just let the marque roll over and die, not when it's their competition for Jeep and Land Rover.
They could very well end up in a museum right along side those futuristic prototype horse drawn buggies of the late 19th century (even though the buggy stands a better chance of actually going into production now! )
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Old 01-15-08, 09:44 PM   #13
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"There is no doubt demand for oil is outpacing supply at a rapid pace, and has been for some time now," Mr Wagoner said. "As a business necessity and an obligation to society we need to develop alternative sources of propulsion."
That's always been the case with oil. It's a non-renewable resource. Whether we use it quickly or slowly, it's depleting. And there will eventually come a time when it becomes impractical to extract what's left.
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Old 01-16-08, 12:01 AM   #14
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There's a lot of pessimism in this thread.

In terms of the current type of reactors, fission reactors, we have roughly a century worth of known fissionable material to make electricity. If we ever figure out cold fusion, then that is the future. Almost no toxic waste.

Beyond that, solar is something that can work. Lots of people are able to use their own solar panels to put electricity back on the grid today. Had I the money, I'd install solar panels on my house and harness the 340 days of sunny weather we have a year in NM. Add an electric car, like a Tesla Roadster, and bang: clean energy, clean car. It can be done.

We have the technology to do a lot of this already. There is no reason why commercial solar farms couldn't be built now, other than nobody wants to build them. It's good business to have people buying oil at $100/barrel rather than harnessing what's free. When the consumer no longer can afford oil, I think that is when the big steps will be taken to remedy the current problems.
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Old 01-16-08, 02:29 AM   #15
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We already have some well developed clean energy sources, especially hydroelectric (for large scale power generation) and wind (which is great for small-scale generation in the right areas.) Solar works in some areas and is impractical in others. Almost all our electrical power in B.C. comes from hydroelectric. As long as the rivers flow, we'll have this energy source.

Electricity for buildings is not that hard but running vehicles on electricity is not fully developed. There are still some challenges and obstacles with it.
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Old 01-16-08, 05:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syn0n View Post
There's a lot of realism in this thread.
fixed it for you


In terms of restructuring the world to run on renewables, where is the energy to do the restructuring going to come from if we burn it all? I think you need to look at the entire manufacturing chain, from extraction of raw materials, refinement, prouction, transport, and installation of a solar system and see just how much crude oil is involved in the process, per gigawatt of installed capacity.

You're right in that nobody is switching to solar on a large scale because it's good business to sell oil at >$100bbl so long as someone is willing to buy it, but we may effectively be selling our window of opportunity to restructure.
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Old 01-24-08, 01:13 PM   #17
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Where will we get the electricity, you ask?

1. Hydropower, including tides
2. Solar
3. Wind
4. Geothermal

All nonpolluting.
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Old 01-24-08, 02:10 PM   #18
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The future of electricity is with human powered generators. Yep, pedaled like a bike. Hay, it worked on Gilligan's Island.
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Old 01-24-08, 03:33 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
fixed it for you


In terms of restructuring the world to run on renewables, where is the energy to do the restructuring going to come from if we burn it all? I think you need to look at the entire manufacturing chain, from extraction of raw materials, refinement, prouction, transport, and installation of a solar system and see just how much crude oil is involved in the process, per gigawatt of installed capacity.

You're right in that nobody is switching to solar on a large scale because it's good business to sell oil at >$100bbl so long as someone is willing to buy it, but we may effectively be selling our window of opportunity to restructure.
I'm well aware of how hydrocarbons would be involved in any project we would undertake. However, we still have them now, so we could still use them to set up solar farms. Which is why we should be doing this now. Still, I don't think we're stupid enough to allow ourselves to run the oil dry with not alternative in place.

I can understand why people are pessimistic, especially from an environmental standpoint. Still, chances are we're intelligent enough as a society to create an alternative energy infastructure prior to running the oil dry. It's just a matter of when energy price/availability starts to hurt everyone that we'll change our ways.

I'm not necessarily going to wait for solar farms, though. Once I get my own house, one of the things I want to invest in is my own solar panel(s) so at least during the daytime hours, I can be independent of the grid.

Last edited by syn0n; 01-24-08 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 01-25-08, 11:48 PM   #20
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my bike will never replace my car!
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Old 02-01-08, 12:02 AM   #21
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Solar Panels that work at night
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With this new tech, researchers believe they can hit an efficiency rating of about 80%! Better yet — they will be about as cheap as “inexpensive carpet”, since the process to create the collectors does not rely upon traditional high-grade silicon.

Apparently, the nanoantennas generate a current that has a frequency which oscillates ten thousand billion times a second — way too much for the average appliance to handle. The good news is, they’re working on it.

Super Soaker guy is trying too.
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Atlanta-based independent inventor of the Super Soaker squirt gun (a true technological milestone) says he can achieve a conversion efficiency rate that tops 60 percent with a new solid-state heat engine. It represents a breakthrough new way to turn heat into power.

Have faith, there are a lot of smart people out there.
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Old 02-01-08, 12:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Law Rance View Post
thank god we have infinite resources to produce electricity.......
Step back a second and look at how we produce electricity. We use central plants hooked up to a grid. If your car is powered by electricity, we can change the means by which the electricity is generated without effecting your car.

Hell, even generating the electricity with coal and running your car on that electricity is cleaner and more efficient than gas.
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Old 02-03-08, 12:47 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Good one.


We have over 125 years of coal and that goes the same for natural gas. I guess once those run out, we'll have to go to wood burning engines. LOL!
doubt it

US coal production btu wise peaked 9 years ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by syn0n
Still, I don't think we're stupid enough to allow ourselves to run the oil dry with not alternative in place.
it won't run dry ever, but it doesn't have to, all that has to happen is that the flow rate begins to decrease never to rise again at a rate beyond what can be dealt with, historically that threshold has been very low in relation to how fast the world's top producing oil fields are crashing, the US was never designed with a "plan B" in mind, none of the current alternatives will support the US way of life as it stands today, not even close

solutions:
electrified rail for personal and cargo transport
less personal car transportation
abandon cities that aren't viable(already occurring)
water transport for cargo
suburbs come to an abrupt end of expansion
economy returns to producing necessary goods and less luxuries
agriculture reform from petro based to organic
growth for the sake of growth stops
anything that fails under contracting conditions must be changed, like fractional reserve banking for example
probably most importantly, the detritivore model of living mindset must be changed
use alternative energy sources in earnest

there are countries which have started on this path, some started on it 30 years ago, they have a long way to go yet, the US chose to become disposable and we will pay dearly for that decision, it is something that can be fixed, but many people are in for a wake up call they are not ready for
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Old 02-04-08, 01:15 PM   #24
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We have over 125 years of coal and that goes the same for natural gas. I guess once those run out, we'll have to go to wood burning engines. LOL!
If global warming turns out to be REALLY bad, we might end up having to reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. A great way to do that would be to burn wood for power, then capture and store the carbon from the wood.
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Old 02-04-08, 01:21 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by pedex View Post
doubt it

US coal production btu wise peaked 9 years ago



it won't run dry ever, but it doesn't have to, all that has to happen is that the flow rate begins to decrease never to rise again at a rate beyond what can be dealt with, historically that threshold has been very low in relation to how fast the world's top producing oil fields are crashing, the US was never designed with a "plan B" in mind, none of the current alternatives will support the US way of life as it stands today, not even close

solutions:
electrified rail for personal and cargo transport
less personal car transportation
abandon cities that aren't viable(already occurring)
water transport for cargo
suburbs come to an abrupt end of expansion
economy returns to producing necessary goods and less luxuries
agriculture reform from petro based to organic
growth for the sake of growth stops
anything that fails under contracting conditions must be changed, like fractional reserve banking for example
probably most importantly, the detritivore model of living mindset must be changed
use alternative energy sources in earnest

there are countries which have started on this path, some started on it 30 years ago, they have a long way to go yet, the US chose to become disposable and we will pay dearly for that decision, it is something that can be fixed, but many people are in for a wake up call they are not ready for
As you suggest, alternative energy/conservation is feasible if the right economic choices are made.

A starting point would be transferring government expenditures to a new alternative infrastructure. I just heard that Bush's new budget proposal asks for $750 billion for defense alone--more than the combined defense budgets of every other government on earth. Twenty percent of that in each of the next 20 years would probably pay for TOTAL elimination of fossil fuels with no reduction in standard of living. This is something the presidential candidates should be talking about.
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