Sunday, August 24, 2008


The Beer: Requires energy.

The Bicycle: Was made using energy.

The VRWC: I'm going to keep banging away at this energy thing until somebody "gets it". The following was sent to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this evening:

Rosemary Wehnes of "Big Environmental" would have us believe that the evil oil companies are only out to screw us (Don't believe the story about the oil that got away, Sunday, 8/24). She fails to make her case with any logic; only the tired rhetoric that Big Environmental has used for decades to scare the populace into compliance.

Big Environmental doesn't want you to know that "renewable energy" requires more energy to make than it provides. Current technology makes ethanol a break-even at best while using ridiculous amounts of water. In addition, putting our food supply in our fuel tanks is raising the cost of food and starves third-world people (to throw a little scare tactic of my own into it). There are two ways to get hydrogen for the "Hydrogen Economy" that Big Environmental is pushing. You can strip it from natural gas, making the natural gas useless, and I suppose, releasing carbon, since natural gas is a hydrocarbon. You can also make hydrogen by dissociating water molecules. Again, requires more energy than it provides. Let's try the solar energy Big Environmental is pushing. A recent news article touted a solar energy facility in California which provides 600 megawatts of solar power. First, you can't build an outhouse in California without Big Environmental showing up on your doorstep to protest. So how do you score 12.5 square miles of habitat to produce a crummy 600 megawatts? By way of comparison, the Energy Information Administration states 4,064,702 thousand megawatt-hours were generated in the U.S. in 2006 (the latest available numbers). That comes to a daily average of 464,000 megawatts, if I have my numbers right. Since the sun only shines about half the time, our solar installation is only going to give us an average of about 300 megawatts. So we will need only about 20,000 square miles of habitat to have solar cover our energy needs. Of course, this assumes it isn't cloudy and we are somewhere around the summer solstice. Big Environmental might say, "Your mileage may vary". I'm pretty sure oil companies and electric utilites and coal producers combined don't use up that kind of real estate.

It's Big Environmental's big (dumb) ideas that will rob our grandchildren.

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