Monday, March 05, 2007

The Type 0 Civilization

Tigerhawk comments on a New York Times article describing new technologies which have vastly improved the ability to extract oil from the earth. "None of this is surprising. Peak oil theory always seemed a lot like the "limits to growth" claims of the 1970s, all of which fell apart under the onslaught of efficient markets and advancing technology."


Commentary

Who knows? Michael Crichton pointed out that at the end of the 19th century, the biggest forseeable crisis in New York City and other major urban areas was what to do about the ever increasing quantities of horse manure. Nobody could predict that in thirty odd years vehicles would be driven by internal combustion engines. I suppose it's hard to imagine now, but once upon a time nations crossed the seas in search of slaves, gold and spices. The kind you can buy in a supermarket aisle. Life's full of surprises and the main problem with the future is that it hasn't happened yet.

But whether or not oil in particular runs out, Tigerhawk's suspicion of "limits to growth" environtmentalism is probably well founded. To appreciate the difficulty of believing that man's future lies in the past, consider the argument of Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev, who classified any possible civilization in the universe along the following scale. A Type I civilization would be able to harness all of the power available on a single planet. A Type II, one able to harness all of the power available from a single star. A Type III could use all the power in a single galaxy.

Now the inevitable consequence of "limits to growth" environmentalism would be to hope, indeed to wager, that human intelligence is alone in the universe. Because any extraterrestrial life we may encounter will likely be a high Type I or greater. To be a "limits to growth" environmentalist is to conciously remain an Aborigine awaiting the arrival of the First Fleet. Onward then and don't look back. We have been cast out of Paradise.

32 Comments:

Blogger PresbyPoet said...

We have had the alternatives. We have lost much of the will to do them. Solar Power Satellites. Safe Nuke power. Positive action to both push for oil exploration in the "sensitive" places, as we tax gasoline at a dollar a gallon.

We draw near the end of the time of choosing. When nukes go off, Tokyo or Seattle is smashed by the coming earthquake; if we have failed to prepare, it may be enough to tip us into the second dark age. Of all the candidates offered, only one seems to have the guts to make the hard choices, and the ability to organize & inspire.

We know the answers. Do we have the will? That is the question.

3/05/2007 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gene Felder said...

The government could institute policies to conserve whatever fossil fuels we have and encourage other energy sources.

The Wall Street Journal March 3, 2007 editorial Cap and Charade cautioned about “the political and business self-interest behind carbon limits” stating “What Duke, Entergy, TXU, BP, Dupont and all the rest want is to make sure that when the right to produce CO2 becomes limited, they're the ones that end up owning the allowances.”

How about granting the emission credits equally to all US citizens for their energy needs and able to sell the excess to industry and others to use? Markets could be established for companies and individuals to purchase emission credits.

Each American could use as a source of income offsetting other taxes paid, while it would provide a minimum income level so welfare payments might be able to be eliminated.

Individuals and companies who emit a lot would have to pay a lot. Some Americans could refuse to sell their emission credits reducing emissions impacting the environment. Although artificial, the government could use the marketplace effectively this way.

3/05/2007 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Spiney Widgmo said...

The Luddites that picture us returning to a pristine earth seem to forget that the earth will die. The sun is middle aged now. When it gets near the end of its life, it will swell and cook the earth to a sterile cinder.

If the eco-system is lucky, this will be when it meets it end. Otherwise, an asteroid, super-volcano or gamma ray burst from a dying star will extinguish the world we know sooner.

Mankind is the only hope for the eco-system the Luddites love to continue. If we return to a 'simpler' life of shivering, starvation, and pestilence, mankind and the eco-system will be defenseless against any catastrophe.

Then again, I guess this mirrors the Luddites approach to foreign policy ....

3/05/2007 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

presbypoet, yes we have the alternatives, it is just that they are not economically feasible. Without government supports and mandates ethanol, bio-desiel, windmills and the rest would die a quick and painful death in the marketplace. Then there are the engineering and infrastructure problems to overcome. Example, in Germany because of the Greens having a part in the previous government the decision was made to take their nuclear reactors offline and replace them with wind power. The power companies were mandated to do so. Problem is the wind is not a steady and reliable source of power. In order to maintain their grid, the Germans have to have regular coal generators on the standby if and when the wind turbines fail to meet demand. Because the switch over from 'wind' power to 'coal' power has to be instantaneous (otherwise the power grid will collaspe)those coal fired generators have to be maintained in a running condition. No time to wait for them to fire up, bring up steam pressure and sync to the grid. Meaning that while German wind turbines are producing 'clean' energy, the German standby generators are blenching out CO2 and other pollutants (and burning coal up). So much for a clean alternative energy. So the next you drive past one of those bird-killing wind generators, just remember that it has a fossil fuel cousin burning fuel waiting for it to "fail" due to the lack of wind.

3/05/2007 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger gdude said...

Emission credits are for scamming dumb suckers. The people who broker them make money, and maybe some of the people who sell them might make a few bucks, but they do NOTHING to limit pollution, or to reduce our carbon footprint (sheesh.) If you want to bring on alternative energy sources faster, drive a bigger SUV today. Or, start wars in the Middle East, West Africa, Venezuela, and Russia. How much more of this BS can we endure?

3/05/2007 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

60 percent of all fuel is not used, it is pushed out the tail pipe...

now that is a place to start...

3/06/2007 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The book "Unlimited Wealth" which came out around 1991, pointed our that the kind of straight line extrapolations so favored by many are doomed to fail.

One of the examples provided in the book was that of the carburator. Based on using carburators, we would be out of gas by around the turn of the century. But the unforeseen advent of low cost computer technology and the even more unforeseen application of that technology to automobiles produced a vastly more reliable fuel system that raised fuel effeciency enormously and could be produced for less than 1/10 the cost - while also enabling stricter emission standards to be imposed.

If was this kind of thing that really scared the Soviets when it came to SDI. They could not predict what we would come up with; they could only hope to control it.

3/06/2007 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger John Lynch said...

Wretchard, if you haven't heard of Julian Simon you should read his stuff. He made a career our of proving Malthusians wrong. Human beings are the only resource that matters. 'Natural' resources never quite seem to run out, because humans always innovate to find more, find alternatives, or use them more efficiently. Innovation is a constant.

3/06/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This is BIG news: Talpiot

3/06/2007 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Sure fossil fuels might be in short supply one day. But who cares? Long before that, it will be replaced by something else.

How often do you (or does anybody) worry about the shortage of whale oil?

3/06/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Tarnsman said...

presbypoet, yes we have the alternatives, it is just that they are not economically feasible.
/////////////////
This is changing rapidly. In the context of answering the question --how do you pump water cheaply-- I stumbled over the work being done with solar power and how that's being mapped into the US power grid. Manufacturers expect to be producing photovolatic cells at 1/10 current costs by this fall in volume and then they'll use the entire electrical grid as a giant battery. imho it makes for interesting reading here.

I buy the peak oil arguement made by Matthew Simmons. (ie he did an in depth study of Saudi Oil and now figures their production will start to decline in the next couple of years.) But the caveat for peak oil --should should be "cheap". The saudis can pull oil oil out of the ground and ship it anywhere for $3@ barrel. the rest is profit. Even russian oil from the arctic only costs $15 to extract and ship.
Current technology enables biodiesel to be produced in the $40 range.

I think that global warming caused by carbon dioxide is bogus. Rather the heating is coming from changes in the suns radiance. This more sensibly accounts for the fluxuations to & from ice ages over time -- as well as the more recent results showing that mars is warming.

Having said that, within a couple of years the coal plants will be scrubbed clean of carbon dioxide emissions. There are currently dozens of tests being run around the USA and more around the world on using algae--which is the source of north sea oil--to transform CO2 from coal plants to oxygen with algae and make oil in the process. The costs here are about $40@barrel. I argue that the same process can be used to desalinate water here.

Another technology that currently comes in at the $40@ barrel range is Thermal Depolymerization. This tech literally turns sh-t to oil. Think o f it. All the municiapal sewage centers worldwide being turned from cost centers to profit centers. They're close to making this tech suitable for garbage. When this happens-- well you just have to laugh.

3/06/2007 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Sardonic said...

Free Market Capitalism works like this: when the price of oil gets high enough due to scarcity then it will become economically feasible to generate alternative energy sources. Entreprenuers will step in to fill the gap in order to generate profit, and thereby fill the need. The fact that profit is generated is what makes the system work because it creates incentive to invest in alternate solutions.

Until then any government intervention simply clogs up the works and makes the process of transition more difficult, not less so.

You have to let the market itself determine the pace of change and when you do the change comes naturally and easily without unecessary and counter-productive fiddling.

That's how it's supposed to work. It makes sense. But when the government steps in to "help" it actually disrupts the normal flow of capital (by trying to channel it to industries it favors, rather than letting the market flow freely). This disruption causes economic harm. The irony is that the same people advocate government intervention then turn around and blame capitalism itself for the problem! Wow.

Education on these simple concepts has been completely lacking - and THAT is the actual problem.

3/06/2007 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Charles said...

"I buy the peak oil arguement made by Matthew Simmons. (ie he did an in depth study of Saudi Oil and now figures their production will start to decline in the next couple of years.) But the caveat for peak oil --should should be "cheap"."

I also buy into the peak oil argument. However the important caveat is not "cheap" but rather "Energy Returned over Energy Invested" (EROI). Until fairly recently the EROI for an ordinary solar voltaic panel was less than 1.0, i.e. it cost more energy to manufacture the panel than the panel returned over its useful lifetime. Many of these alternative energy schemes have an EROI that is close to or less than 1.0. The EROI for petroleum is huge compared to oil shale. The actual "price" in the context of cheap oil is a bit blurred because energy is the base of the economic pyramid. Inflation will tend to follow energy's raw cost. In other words, the true price of increased energy cost will manifest itself as a reduction in our standard of living.

Charles also said:

"The Saudis can pull oil out of the ground and ship it anywhere for $3@ barrel. the rest is profit."

Supposably(?) the Saudis are now in debt due to a huge investment in a water extraction facility for their raw crude oil. Their oil fields are old so they have to use water injection to get the crude oil out of the ground. The resultant oil needs to have the water extracted which can be expensive.

America's original prosperity was partially based upon the situation of being able to poke a hole in the ground in California or Texas and have crude oil bubble up under its own pressure. None of these alternative energy schemes can hope to have an EROI that matches the basis of our original prosperity.

3/06/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

"America's original prosperity was partially based upon the situation of being able to poke a hole in the ground in California or Texas and have crude oil bubble up under its own pressure."

That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

It was free people working under the Rule of Law who made America wealthy and kept it so.

Chavez, the dumb fool, believes in this stick-in-the-ground stuff, and look where it is getting him.

Wealth is not static - it is the result of free minds working for their own good.

3/06/2007 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Sardonic,

"That's how it's supposed to work. It makes sense. But when the government steps in to "help" it actually disrupts the normal flow of capital (by trying to channel it to industries it favors, rather than letting the market flow freely). This disruption causes economic harm. The irony is that the same people advocate government intervention then turn around and blame capitalism itself for the problem! Wow."

Unless there is a cartel working that is distorting the market anyhow, causing harm. Some external force is required to break the cartel, government action can be the lesser of two evils.

3/06/2007 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Seahorse Valley said...

An ideal market will set the appropriate price for a finite commodity that has a cost of extraction, production, distribution, and use. Inefficiencies arise when an actual market fails to behave like an ideal market - due to e.g. (over)regulation, ignorance or elision of externalities (both negative and positive) dishonest actors (in a perfect market, dishonesty would be counterproductive), and/or imperfect understanding of the maket by the actors participating in it. As long as oil - or any other finite commodity - is priced by a market that is limited by all the above factors, the actual cost will not be reflected by the market price. So, for example, the cost of the CO2 emitted by the burning of petroleum in terms of its impact on the ecosphere (which may be very large or very small, but is certainly not zero) is not factored into the cost of, say, gasoline. An ideal market would not put off as (or into) an externality the emission of CO2, it would take it into account so that the pricing mechanisms would reflect it, rather than ignore it.

3/06/2007 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Seahorse Valley.....

So, for example, the cost of the CO2 emitted by the burning of petroleum in terms of its impact on the ecosphere (which may be very large or very small, but is certainly not zero)
//////////////////////
You understand this is a very thin thread on which to hang policy.

As it is, in this matter the EU policy directives suck.

According to data from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, from 2000-2004--the most recent period for which we have good, comparative data--U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased by 1.3 percent. This is an increase, but a very modest increase. The EU-25, on the other hand, increased collective emissions by 2.1 percent.

3/06/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Innovation is a constant.

No. Necessity is the mother of invention. For example, pillaging during the Thirty Years' War led to the German adoption of the potato. Likewise, a scarcity of whale oil led to a market for petroleum.

It is usually the threat of scarcity of a resource that leads to new technology. Otherwise, there is little incentive to change one's behavior.

3/06/2007 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

This is BIG news: Talpiot
///////////////
Next you'll be saying that the pillar of smoke and the light in the night mentioned in the Exodus is the Thera volcano.

3/06/2007 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Red River said...

"That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. It was free people working under the Rule of Law who made America wealthy and kept it so."

I guess Red River hasn't heard too many dumb things.....

Of course, inheriting the Anglo-Saxon rule-of-law was another basis for America's early prosperity along with our originally abundant natural resources. However many other countries have the Anglo-Saxon rule-of-law, e.g. England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, etc. Switzerland along with most of Scandinavia has done well with a non-Anglo-Saxon rule-of-law. Another important basis for America's prosperity was in having decent neighbors, i.e. Canada and Mexico. Dumb luck has helped as well, e.g. having great men like Lincoln and Roosevelt as Presidents during times of extreme crisis. Finally having a society that reinvents itself through immigration is of critical importance (perhaps the most important).

3/06/2007 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that anthropogenic global warming is in evidence. What then? Is there any international mechanism for compensating victims of sea level change? If so, who pays? If one increases taxation based upon carbon emission, who pays?

I find it difficult if not impossible to believe that China or India would pay one cent for environmental devastation they cause to other countries. If Bangladesh submerges because of Indian carbon emissions, tough bounce. If Chinese pollution causes the Netherlands to sink under the North Sea, am I supposed to believe China would pay the Netherlands reparations?

It appears to me that much of the howling about global warming is an attempt at extorting money from rich suckers. In the meantime, most people will react to a rise in sea level the way they traditionally have -- by accomodating themselves to the new condition regardless of what governments do.

Maybe it's time to promote amphibious housing in major cities.

3/06/2007 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

red river,

Mesopotamians used tar as mortar. For some reason, literally floating on petroleum, they found little else to do with it. Even today, without Western technology and specialists of every sort, the ME fields would soon fall into disrepair. How is that people continue to insist that proximity correlates to productivity?

3/06/2007 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Seahorse Valley said...

Charles -

"You understand this is a very thin thread on which to hang policy. "

Forgive me if I implied that anyone is or should base policy on anything, my only point is that as long as economics treats 'things' as finite and bounded, it will fail, to one degree or another, to reflect reality. In the matter of energy in general and petrochemically produced energy specifically, there are rather large factors left out of the equation which distort the market (WRT the ideal).

Some would say that a carbon tax would address this issue, but I think it would be a patch on a system that is already flawed. It might influence market actors to behave in a more (ahem) conservative fashion, but I betchya a dime to a d'ohnut that inside of a year of the imposition of a carbon tax there would be new innovative ways to "game the system" that defeat/pervert the intended purpose of said tax.

3/06/2007 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Eggplant said...

"Energy Returned over Energy Invested" (EROI).

I like this metric too. I've seen it applied to corn made ethanol and it comes out negative. ie more energy is used to make corn ethanol than is created. I'd like to see it used more often.


In other words, the true price of increased energy cost will manifest itself as a reduction in our standard of living.

agreed. productivity went up by +-3% in the USA for decades until the first oil shocks of the 70's. Then productivity declined to +1% until the 90's when it returned to historical levels. Why the decline and then the return to historical level. The decline is attribited to the increase in the cost oil. The return to historical levels came as a result of relatively low inflation adjusted oil prices coupled with the computer revolution finally taking hold after decades of no effect on productivity.

Bottom line. oil is very captital intensive and it tends to concentrate wealth. it works as a regressive tax on the people. the cost of energy is directly tied to productivty and thus our standard of living.

3/06/2007 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Charles,

Re: Exodus.
See: Exodus Decoded.

Re: Talpiot Jesus Ossuaries.
See: http://jesusdynasty.com/blog

3/06/2007 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Charles said...

"I like this metric (EROI) too. I've seen it applied to corn made ethanol and it comes out negative. ie more energy is used to make corn ethanol than is created."

I think you meant to say "it comes out less than one".

I've also read that the EROI (also called "EROEI") for American made ethanol is unexciting (supposably it's 1:1). However supposably(?) the EROI for Brazilian sugar cane based ethanol is between 3.1 and 3.9. It has been claimed that US domestic petroleum EROI in 1934 was 100:1 and in 1970 was 30:1 (we were near the peak of the Hubert curve in 1970). Using Brazilian ethanol might(?) make sense (it's sustainable and dodges the CO2/greenhouse issue). I wonder if the Brazilian EROI takes into account the energy cost of urea fertilizer? I find it hard to believe that we can keep our energy intensive economy alive with a primary energy source EROI of 3.5 when our economy was originally based upon on EROI of greater than 30:1.

3/06/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

People should realize that "exciting new high technology" buys time, but does not trump resource depletion and old Mr. Malthus forever.

Shortages of certain whale species led to exciting new high tech like factory ships, steam harpoons, and high pressure rendering boilers that made surviving species like the Minke whale exploitable when the Right Wales were near-extinct and unprofitable...then the Minkes ran out. And no new high tech, satellites or whatever, made whales abundant enough...

Oil is the same. Arable land is the same. We have stretched them like we did whale supply with "exciting high tech", but eventually, limits are reached. Just as a Pope who talked about "unlimited food in the ocean" for growing populations was shown to be an idiot as most oceanic fisheries collapsed.

What is "Occupation" said...
60 percent of all fuel is not used, it is pushed out the tail pipe...

now that is a place to start...


It would be a place to start if you knew what you are talking about.
Your solution is really simple. Repeal thermodynamic efficiency limits and the laws of heat transfer and entropy.

*********************

Tarnsman - NIce piece on Germany. What the greenies and others advocating unreliable, intermittant, or seasonal energy (the corn crop!) neglect is equal infrastructure investment must be made building, maintaining, standby operating "bad old, but reliable" energy.

*********************
presbypoet - We have had the alternatives. We have lost much of the will to do them. Solar Power Satellites

Sorry, pie in the sky. Much of these "exciting alternate energy sources" are advocated by some visionary that believes in 200 mile a gallon carbuerators, solar power beaming satellites, unlimited oil from leftover turkey guts and cooking grease - then the engineers, beancounters, and investment bankers look at them and decide they are unfeasable fantasy. Then ten years later some other Visionary comes along..."solar satellites! Ethanol!Unlimited hydrogen from water! Desalinization advances means room a plenty for 30 billion more people!"
And the cycle repeats.

***********************

'Natural' resources never quite seem to run out, because humans always innovate to find more, find alternatives, or use them more efficiently. Innovation is a constant.

No, necessity means sometimes people can come up with alternates. Other times they cannot. That is when populations collapse from war, famine, disease.
The Age of Hydrocarbons allowed us to stuff nearly 7 billion people on this planet and literally burn the stuff for fun. A sustainable world without nuclear fission aor fusion may mean a collapse of humanity back to the levels where resources are sustainable.

PS - Julian Simon is regarded as a joke outside the Ayn Rand and Supply Siders cults.

3/06/2007 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Seahorse Valley said...

Charles -

Some would say that a carbon tax would address this issue, but I think it would be a patch on a system that is already flawed. It might influence market actors to behave in a more (ahem) conservative fashion, but I betchya a dime to a d'ohnut that inside of a year of the imposition of a carbon tax there would be new innovative ways to "game the system" that defeat/pervert the intended purpose of said tax.
/////////////////////////////////////
New Weapon Against Warming: "Flatulence Cards" Offset Dog, Human Emissions
Sean Markey
for National Geographic News
March 6, 2007

While global warming is nothing to laugh at, an Australian company is providing some comic relief, selling carbon credits for flatulent pets and people.

So-called carbon emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are greenhouse gases that are thought to be key factors in climate change. These emissions can be offset by purchasing carbon credits, which may be used to fund environmental programs.

For 35 Australian dollars (about 27 U.S. dollars), customers of Sydney-based Easy Being Green can offset a year's worth of carbon emissions linked to their dogs, from trips to the vet to, yes, breaking wind.

Making your cat carbon neutral for a year costs U.S.$6, while U.S.$16 offsets two years of flatulence from that special someone.

For the rest of the article click here

3/06/2007 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Dunbar said...

red river
Chavez, the dumb fool, believes in this stick-in-the-ground stuff, and look where it is getting him.

So far it's getting him places. He's got a rally-round-the-flag thing going on down there.

Long run it may not do him any good but .. hey how long has Castro been in power?



PresbyPoet
We have had the alternatives. We have lost much of the will to do them. Solar Power Satellites. Safe Nuke power. Positive action to both push for oil exploration in the "sensitive" places, as we tax gasoline at a dollar a gallon.

I'm wary when I read phrases like that. It's not, really, a question of will that prevents us from using Solar Power Satellites but cost.

Oil isn't expensive enough, nor is the cost of lift to orbit cheap enough, to make SPS a viable power source.

That's it. It's not a question of manly virtue or girding ourselves for a great national challenge - it's economics.

If petrol becomes dear or the cost of lift to orbit becomes reasonable, you'll see SPS.

Some of us have ideas on that latter item.

3/06/2007 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

cedarford,

Before entirely abandoning hope, you might think about these numbers.

___1949
Cropland used for crops 383M acres
Idle 26M acres
Cropland pasture 69M acres
Total Cropland 478M acres

___2002
Cropland used for crops 340M acres
Idle 40M acres
Cropland pasture 62M acres
Total Cropland 442M acres

In 2002, about 23% of available cropland went unused – slightly less than average.

___Food Crops
1963: 83.8M acres
1981: 162.1M acres
2002: 130.8 M acres

___Feed Crops
1963: 184.2M acres
1981: 176.7M acres
2002: 155.2 M acres

___Other Crops
1963: 18.6M acres
1981: 15.4M acres
2002: 12.6M acres

“Not Reported” equals the difference.

USDA

3/06/2007 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gamehawker said...

A wise man once suggested that the stone age didn't end cause they ran out of stones....

3/07/2007 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

What is "Occupation" said...
60 percent of all fuel is not used, it is pushed out the tail pipe...

now that is a place to start...

c4: It would be a place to start if you knew what you are talking about.
Your solution is really simple. Repeal thermodynamic efficiency limits and the laws of heat transfer and entropy.

me: Great sounding words! So I dont know what i am toalking about?

So Mr Genius do you actually believe that we have reached the reasonable maximum output of what we can expect from a technology (the internal combustion engine) that has not been significantly improved since it's creation 80 yrs. ago?

Thank goodness my cousin Albert did not get a pep talk from you!

Now please, take the stick out of your ass, and get off your "if the jew/neocon/zionist/wio" says it, it MUST be wrong..

Most fuel from cars, trucks and buses (and anything else that uses the IC engine) are not very fuel efficient.

Reducing weight, reducing heat loss, increasing the burn ratio all could go along way...

You state: Repeal thermodynamic efficiency limits and the laws of heat transfer and entropy.

Wow... so I guess there is zero value in trying to figure out how to burn fuel better?

I guess since tail pipes and engines get very hot and have to be keep COOL, there is no energy that could be captured from the heat the engine creates?

I guess using new ceramic engines is just a waste of time?

I guess raising cafe standards is a waste of time?

I guess that using newer lighter stronger poly resin materials in autos, trucks and buses that reduce weight are a waste of time?

I guess using new computer technology to monitor fuel & air mixtures is a waste of time?

I guess APPLYING technology is a waste of time?

no, you do beat me for the fancy words...

but you sound defeated, I aint.....

3/07/2007 06:28:00 PM  

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