Emotional words like:
"rediculous regulations...forced several major...companies to pull out"
Companies aren't forced out, they are choosing to leave. Unless it was
a situation were no drivers at all could buy insurance, because there
were absolutely no insurance companies writing new policies, I cannot
see how it is anything more than CA wrote some regs that cut into their
profits, so some of the insurance companies tried some ham-handed
attempts at blackmail that obviously didn't work.
Why? As long as there's some companies out there willing to do business
in your state according to whatever cockamamie regulations you put
in place, then why do you have to do anything at all to help other companies
that don't what to do business in your state?
So how did this suddenly change from "several major companies"
into "the insurance industry"
As I said, do tell? What was the story?
If your speaking out against one side but you know the alternatives are
equally bad, then your doing a disservice today by not at least mentioning
You mentioned prevalent thinking. So, I guess that there was a time 30
when people would say things like "I think we ought to
try instituting a 55Mph speed limit to see if we can save energy although
I know that it is probably going to waste money on extra time spent on the
so the total economic benefit may end up being nil - but we won't
know unless we trial it"
Funny how I can't remember any of the pro-double-nickel people saying
that. Instead I remember quite a lot of irrational FUD.
When exactly did this time in history exist?
Bill I know you are old enough to have some political sense and you
know perfectly well that if you want to drag the center right you have
to argue from the ultra right, and if you want to drag the center left you
to argue from the ultra left. You cannot argue from the center. That is
why there are ultra conservatives and ultra liberals.
The usual argument I hear people that make your complaint making is
that the problem today is that the issues are so much more complex, which is
a highly technological and mechanized civilization, that it requires the
person to put more effort and time into understanding the issues. Yet
at the same time due to this very same complexity of civilization, there
are many more distractions to people's time. So, people don't spend the
time and as a result they are easy prey for the 5-minute-soundbite.
This is the old "people were more reasonable in the 'olden days'" argument.
You will pardon me if I'm sick to death of it, I have got a crawful this
week reading all the drippy tributes to dead President Ford.
What all these folks seem to forget is that back in these more reasonable
olden days they were lynching blacks.
And older than that we had people like Laura Ingalls Wilder who
went around writing lots and lots of articles castigating Roosevelt
and the New Deal (as if the Hooverites had any better idea how to get
out of the Depression)
And further back than that we had all the pro slavery arguments to the
point that the country was split into a civil war.
So once again I have to ask, when did this more reasonable time
period in history exist?
Please relate this to the zero emissions thing. You never really explained
who is raping who, here.
Didja know - the people can always opt to NOT buy forested property
and opt to NOT build on it. Why is it necessary for CA to make sensible
regulations for people to build in forested areas? Maybe they should
just tell the people "we are going to make senseless regulations for
building in forested areas so if your not an idiot, then don't build there"
It's like New Orleans. They rebuilt the dikes. But they don't allow you
to build a house on 30 foot stilts. Maybe what they are really telling the
smart people who can read between the lines is "if your not an idiot, don't
build a house here"
I don't regard either of these solutions as stupid solutions. Actually I
them as rather clever solutions since it increases the chances that the
people will build in those places, so when the floods and fires come
it might even help increase intelligence in the gene pool by killing off the
But different taxes target different groups too. For example, senior citizens
might prefer high income taxes and low property taxes than the converse.
Although the systems may differ (and some states may leave certain services to
counties, while other states may have no county governments/taxes at all), the
total tax burden for all taxes combined can vary widely too. Justice Brandeis
called the states 50 laboratories of democracy, and it's great that each state
can choose its own destiny. It's not great when the federal government steps in
and tries to micromanage items that they have no constitutional duty to control.
True. Although you can look at a state like New Hampshire which has no sales
taxes AND no income taxes and conclude that their property tax must be sky
high. While it is higher than many states, the total tax burden for New
Hampshire residents is relatively low compared to almost every other state.
Good question. Production of the hydrogen is the major problem with using
it as fuel.
Otherwise it is a spectacular fuel.
Statoil has launched a campaign for hydrogen enriched gas as a fuel, and
plan to support
a Hydrogen Highway in Norway where you can get hydrogen fuel along along the
We probably need to be a bit more positive about projects like alternative
fuels. I think that
eventually we will have to make them work.
That and the storage density problem. I lurked at a hydrogen forum a couple
years back to see if I was missing something, and even the enthusiasts admit
those two problems - production and storage - are big hurdles.
Mostly hydrogen is an energy storage medium, as is a battery. Even setting
aside the storage density problem, it is a poor second to batteries in cycle
efficiency. Take even a very efficient 60% electrolysis efficiency, 80%
efficiency in storage and recovery from storage, and 60% fuel cell
efficiency, and the cycle allows less than 30% of the original energy to be
recovered. Cut those numbers down to what we realistically have now (as
opposed to the experimental methods that offer those high efficiencies) and
the loss is over 90%.
You mean the fact that you have to put more energy in to "produce" it
than you get out of it?
That's like saying banks would be great if they would let me wander in
any time I wanted to and take all the money out that I wanted without
paying it back.
Once again, does the additional anergy you get out of the enriched fuel
exceed the energy (and $) that you had to put in to enrich it? If not
at this time, is it pysically possible to do so (by the laws of physics)?
Even if we have to violate the laws of physics and economics to do it.
(To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
address with the letter 'x')
Every single energy "source" we have works like this Bill. Even gasoline.
Far, far more energy was put into creating oil than we ever get out of it.
The only difference is we didn't put in that extra energy, nature did, so
we like to make up these silly terms like "positive net energy value" or
Just about every single form that you obtain energy from - be it fossil
electricity, heat, kinetic, etc. etc. is nothing more than a carrier of
that mostly originates from the Sun. The rare exceptions are nuclear and
geothermal - since geothermal heat mostly comes from frictional heat
by different rates of spin of different levels of the Earth's iron core, and
nuclear materials (uranium and such) were around before the Sun ignited.
All that matters is since we have to source the original energy from
the Sun, (or nuclear or geothermal), do we have enough energy available
to do the conversion at all.
With solar, we do. Why - because there is so darn much solar energy.
If you spend a million dollars in manufacturing a giant solar array that
produces $500,000 worth of electricity over it's operating lifespan then
are you running "backwards" and are such economic systems impossible?
Hell no. Why? Well you cannot power your car with a million dollars nor
can you heat your home with a million dollars or do anything else with
What is actually going on here is that the values of things are screwed up.
That $500K worth of electricity should have actually been sold at $1 M
not at $500K. If it had been, then the economic system would work.
The day will come when there will be no other sources of power than
solar (and the minor nuke and geo) and on that day Solar will be
all that we have. On that day, liquid fuels will get a hell of a lot more
expensive - but we will still have them. All that will happen is big
lifestyle changes for a lot of people as the economic system readjusts
to make economic sense to produce those liquid fuels at their price
points, since clearly most people will not be able to afford to buy
as much of those fuels as they once could.
Really, the only thing that is stupid about pushing the alternative
fuels today is that most of the people doing it have deluded themselves
into thinking that overall, alternative fuels would be cheaper than oil
if we could just get people to use more of them. They are not,
they are more expensive. Any alternative fuel that doesen't use
energy stored up by nature is going to be more expensive than a fuel
that does use energy stored up by nature. Thus, direct photovoltiac
conversion, or reflected concentrated energy to produce steam is the
most expensive, (since it has the lowest energy density) Wind and tidal
generation will be less expensive (since it uses some stored energy
in the water and air that is stored as heat) alcohol, biodiesel, biomass
(wood heat) will be less expensive, and geothermal, nuke, and fossil
fuel will be the cheapest (since it uses a lot of stored energy)
But, just because the alternative fuels are more expensive doesen't
mean there will never be a market for them. A nylon coat with nylon
batting will keep you as warm as a mink coat but the mink coat is a
hell of a lot more expensive - but they still sell them, even though you
can buy a nylon coat anywhere.
The OP cut an run from this thread ages ago when he realized he'd
I just don't like to see people pooh poohing alternative fuel
experiments. Right now we really don't know what the oil and gas
replacement is going to be, it could be giant fields of marijuana (hemp)
for all we know. As such, anything is worth trying, even though we can
see there's obvious problems with certain fuels (do you want to be within
5 blocks of a hydrogen service station that a semitruck crashes into
by accident, for example?)
Correction: Production of the hydrogen is *a* major problem with using it a
Other problems including creating a distribution system, perfecting fuel
cell technology and the carbon emmissions from producing all the hydrogen
(which is either made from hydrocarbons or using hydrocarbons as an energy
Only alternative fuels which improve the situation. I don't see any
advantages to a hydrogen economy compared to a oil economy that warrant the
A distribution system is not a technological problem. It will just cost
to initiate, as it did with oil and gas distribution. If money were the only
then there is no real problem.
Fuel cell technology is pretty far advanced as it is. But nobody said you
have to use fuel cells to make hydrogen fuels work. It is one way, but not
the only way.
And last, production of hydrogen doesnt have to come from hydrocarbon
sources. That is why I said that production is THE major problem. If we
hydrogen production to oil and gas, then the battle is not worth waging. We
would be just transferring carbon dioxide emissions one step back in the
And as oil and gas increase in price, hydrogen will increase in lockstep.
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