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 ..
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.
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.
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.
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..
yeah, Americans used to do that until around 1950's.. We continue to use incernators because it is far hotter than open air burnings so that most of the toxins are destroyed before it can go up in the air. maybe farmers and ranchers should use incernators instead of doing it out in the open with rakes and whatnots.. They are a miserable lot!
Enviromentalists generally do not have adequate appreciation about the dynamics of carbon sequestration ... I mean, with 8 billon dudes waliking around on Earth, "burn" is supposed to be a very , very dirty word by now ranking along with those street obscentities we routinely use daily.. Burn is supposed to be banished long ago.. I dont care if firewood is going around and around every 5 years or so while coal is stuck down there for eons.. What we burn right now every minute is what really counts not what is still down in the ground.. we are burning way too much! Now , I repeat with my urge that all of us start to love aluminium and use far more of it .. Aluminium is a real wonder metal that can really save our bacon for centuries to come!
As a resident of Cal-ee-fornee-ya (oh, that was so much more fun to say when Schwarzenegger was Governor), specifically in the often translucent air of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles county, I am all for more EV's or Hybrids. I am fortunate to live in the foothills that surround this valley so I don't feel the full brunt of the air pollution that increases over the course of the day. I can see it build from morning to night - a light haze in the morning, a yellow fog at day's end. Instead of cramming legislation down automakers or citizens throats the state government should spend some money on truly educating people about why these lifestyle changes are necessary and front more buy-this-EV rebates. The Engineering community understands but I don't believe the average car driver does (average work commute in southern California is about 45 minutes, but can frequently be much longer).
One of the advantage of incentives or rebates is that gives those who are less likely to buy an opportunity to try something they would not have done otherwise. Buying an EV is however, no such small matter due to price tag. In order for this to work for real, vehicle quality, performance, driving range for a full tank of gas, and battery-life have to be better amongst others than what it is. Auto manufacturers are working very diligently on those issues; I was told. May be it will happen sooner than later and could eliminate the need for of such government incentives. I am waiting... Is this possible?
To prasadb1: In answer to your question, "Is this possible?" I would say, yes, it's all possible. It's just a question of when. Vehicle quality and performance are already here. Racing enthusiasts have been drag racing with electric cars for years and have turned in some astounding quarter-mile times (under 11 seconds, I believe). If you sit in today's Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt, you'll see the quality is already there, too. The big problems, though, are range and cost. Range is a function of energy density. The energy density of gasoline is about 12,000 Wh/kg. Nissan's lithium-ion battery in the Leaf is 140 Wh/kg. Also, cost of today's lithium-ion batteries is generally assumed to go from $500 to $1,000/kWh. That means a big 40-kWh battery alone will run between $20,000 and $40,000. Production volume will drive the costs down, but probably not enough. So new chemistries will be needed, which could take many years.
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