We have vast amounts of oil, natural gas and certain hydrocarbons but most of them are locked in tight formations like shale, rock, etc.. As matter of fact, many oil prospectors or natural gas ones as well are resorting to a dreadful technology known as "fracking" .. Fracking involves a variety of techniques that is used to crack up the deep crust to free up hydrocarbons for gathering . Second thoughts are getting widespread about the merits of fracking technologies..
Why are we thinking that electic or hybrid vehicles are the the only alternative to the gasoline engine?
It's my understanding that nat gas fueled vehicles are far less polluting than gasoline counterparts and are being used for regional trucking, refuse collection, taxis and other public transportation yet the government continues to subsidize the practice of transforming corn into fuel.
We are essentially burning food while we have an enormous nat gas reserve that is being ignored by Washington.
Gumby, burning of garbage is a serious problem. Just visit El Salvador or any other third-world country where most people burn their household trash. There are serious problems with asthma and other respiratory disorders due to airborne particulates. Those who don't burn their garbage throw it in the river, which isn't much better. (I'm talking about the town where my wife lives - things may be better in San Salvador). The public health benefits of regular garbage pick-up would be huge.
Oddly enough, automakers believe they can get to the 56.2-mpg requirement that's being discussed by the Obama Administration. But California's idea to fine them $5,000 for every car they don't sell...that's as heavy-handed as it gets. Yes, California believes they can push automakers into reducing the cost of electric car batteries, but they believed the same thing ten years ago and it didn't work out well then, either.
I am a Californian and very proud of California about its leadership in clean air , etc.. As of lately, I am starting to feel that priorities is getting out of order... I can ask quesstions like why we are still allowing firewood , charcoal, agricutural crop waste burnings, ranch burnings. etc.. You have to drive out in the great Valley of California and watch huge plumes of smoke rising out of crop waste burnings by farmers everywhere especially during the autumn days . Or if you drive up in the hills, you will drive by ranchers burning up overgrown bushes and shrubs .. Also for those millons of chimneys and stove pipes sticking out of our rooftops , you ought to start wondering why there is still no pollution controls for those chimneys.. I keep hearing nonsensical arguments among enviormentalists that firewood is harmless to the global climate issues based on non sequestered carbon content found in firewood as opposite to coal.. C'mon, give me a break... Enviormentalists are not health specialists and they are way too quick to forget that health costs are spiraling out of controls because of air pollution stemming from excessive firewood and charcoal usage.. Enviromentalists measure particulates in the air without stopping to think about where those paritculates can come from... I am very certain that most of them comes from firewood, charcoal, farm crop waste burning, ranch clearings, etc. with very little from autombiiles and trucks as they already have pollution control systems built in... Please, do not lose your marbles ..
Ok, this is an entertaining satire, but seriously... given that electric vehicles are mainly intended for personal inter-urban transit, isn't there already a solution to this problem which is much greener and much more cost effective? I'm talking about public transportation. Trains, light rail, buses, etc. When I lived in Chicago, I never owned a car.
And, to be fair to California, the reason why the impetus is placed on automakers is precisely because of the price issue. There is not much that customers can do to bring down the price of EVs (other than, perversely, buy less of them). Automakers, on the other hand, have the engineering resources to hopefully figure out how to make these things more cheaply. The point of the mandate is to give them a financial incentive to do so - figure out how to make EVs cheap enough that 5.5% of people can afford them, or else pay a penalty.
I think the California mandate is heavy-handed and clumsy, but I don't think it's as worth of ridicule as some people seem to think. Companies always whine and complain about regulations of any kind (they're like teenagers that way), but in many cases regulations actually help to push innovation. For example, CAFE standards probably played a major role in development of advanced high strength steels.
In this highly-charged political climate, at a time when more people are calling for hands-off government, it would seem that no one would touch the idea of mandating the consumer purchase of EV, even in a liberal state like California. I agree with those advocating for consumer incentives. Whether it's in the form of rebates, tax breaks, whatever ... But the incentives have to really go far towards defraying the cost otherwise, people are people, as Rob says, and few will buy something they don't think is of value or a good deal just because it's good for the environment or the overall populace.
Regulations are definitely needed. What, if any, incentives is the government willing to extend to residents forced to buy an EV? Has the discussion gotten that far? If this radical plan moves forward, I would hope government officials would vote to place a limit on how much automakers could charge for these cars. Then again, this is America - how far is too far when it comes to what the government can/should mandate?
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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