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Old 09-06-2006, 01:32 AM   #1
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Damn those PO nuts!

After going into the whole GM/Chevron NiMH patent bit, and the potential cost of new bi-polar versions, as well as the recent advances in li-ion and lead acid price/performance, I was thinking... They've got it all wrong those PO nuts. In light of small li-ions passing small NiMHs in price/performance, with, from most accounts, plenty of room to go down, we're not mucking around in the ME to gain some foothold wrt oil supplies there. We're mucking around to keep prices up and reduce the supply on the market. Honestly, imho fossil fuels died once we split the atom, they still kicking because they have enough cash to insure they will make more cash...

Thoughts, Tribbles?
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I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:58 AM   #2
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BO Stinks

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Originally Posted by omgwtfbyobbq
After going into the whole GM/Chevron NiMH patent bit, and the potential cost of new bi-polar versions, as well as the recent advances in li-ion and lead acid price/performance, I was thinking... They've got it all wrong those PO nuts. In light of small li-ions passing small NiMHs in price/performance, with, from most accounts, plenty of room to go down, we're not mucking around in the ME to gain some foothold wrt oil supplies there. We're mucking around to keep prices up and reduce the supply on the market. Honestly, imho fossil fuels died once we split the atom, they still kicking because they have enough cash to insure they will make more cash...

Thoughts, Tribbles?
Dude, you're so right. Big Oil will more than likely reign supreme until it runs out, but we can beat it here right now at the grassroots level by saving fuel, coming up with our own technologies and sticking it to BO (because they stink).

RH77
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:36 AM   #3
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Eh, runs out? We've got plenty of time before that happens, probably never.
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:19 AM   #4
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Between Ahmadinejad and 'nucular stupidity,' who needs to wait for oil to run out? Even now with the $billions of oil export money being diverted into evil hands, I hate buying gas. Meanwhile, we're not losing our sons and daughters in Afgan and Iraq because we're spreading altruism. We have plenty of reasons to seek alternatives without even mentioning global warming.

...but as long as pig oil can still make money off of us sheep, they will watch the World go to hell and laugh all the way to the bank.

It's like the Matrix, only instead of being the source of energy, your job is to consume as much oil energy as you can afford. Nearly everything is made with it, nearly everything is powered by it. Is this an accident?
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:57 AM   #5
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Big oil is keeping us reliant on oil so that the peak oil crisis is that much more damaging.

Make no mistake, peak oil is no joke. The worst of the 'doomers' are quite correct when they talk of the effects peak oil could indeed have on society and the dieoff that may result. However, they are incorrect when they try to claim nothing can solve this crisis.

The more of a crisis scenario we have(eg. the greater the difference between the oil supply and the amount of oil needed), the higher the price of oil will go. This price will increase, but costs to extract and refine it won't increase proportionally. Guess what happens to profit?

If we address this crisis before its severe effects start to show, oil prices will shoot down because we won't be using near as much as could be produced. The oil industry doesn't want this.

The oil industry would rather have oil wars, massive starvation, and ecocide than to see their profit margins decline, as evidenced by the treatment this industry has given to those in the 3rd world throught modern history.

Meanwhile, the governments of the G8 nations make more tax revenue on oil sales than OPEC makes in profits. They don't want to lose that revenue, and therefore have been very reluctant to adopt alternatives in any meaningful number. They'd rather sacrifice everyone's civil liberties under the guise of a war on terror as a pretext to fight oil wars, than to actually have to properly balance a budget and lose some control over our lives.



The picture is a bit more complicated than the 'doomers' make it out to be. But the sad thing is, the 'doomers' may turn out to be correct insofar as peak oil's affects. If we don't adopt alternatives before the crisis is significantly underway, we won't have the resources to adopt them with our budgets being diverted towards getting more oil via war and other means and your common 1st world consumer will be spending so much on oil that they will never be able to save for the alternatives to get themselves off of it. The oil industry can keep us locked into oil consumption with this crisis, as the high price of oil will make sure there's little spare money for your typical American to obtain/build an electric car or for the American government to develop mass transit. While alternatives have been able to save lots of money since the 90s without reducing living standard, there is a cost of entry.
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:56 PM   #6
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The oil industry would rather have oil wars, massive starvation, and ecocide than to see their profit margins decline, as evidenced by the treatment this industry has given to those in the 3rd world throughout modern history.
I thoroughly believe that is true. The degree to which evil oil has manipulated the public and our government through lobbying and FUD is nothing less than racketeering (the same way tobacco has done).

I also know that we Americans vote every day for this situation to stay as it is. We don't want to believe we should change any of our habits (just like the addicts that we are). It doesn't hurt badly enough yet. Only a horribly painful disaster will awaken us from this sardonic stupor. Only when it's too late.

We're like frogs in a pot. We got in when the water was cold but the heat has gradually increased and now we're very nearly cooked.
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Old 09-07-2006, 03:49 PM   #7
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Ironically enough, I think big oil's biggest threat is going to be other big business. Due to the huge jump in price, profits are through the roof, which means people have less discretionary income to spend elsewhere, which means big oil's increase in profit is at the expense of someone other business' profit. Even if the average inflation adjusted income had increased through Bush's term there still wouldn't be more income for the average 9-5 worker to spend. Check it out. Anyway, I don't think we'll get to a four horsemen senario, but there will be a recession, and big oil will squeeze us for what it can, while it can.
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:33 PM   #8
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Big oil is milking as much as they can from the American cash cow. They play this balance continuously and carefully. We saw it immediately precede (and most likely precipitate) the dot-bomb crash (then 9/11 deepened it). Their gas price spike robbed the economy of its momentum and we saw the stock market decline. They knew what they were doing. That momentum went into their pockets and we still haven't fully recovered.

We see the same thing today. Where are consumers getting the money to pay the prices? They're cutting back in other areas like not dining out, not taking vacations they saved years for, etc. The money goes to the oil cronies and their puppets in the government. We pay $billions in taxes to subsidize them so they can make world-record profits.

The sick thing is the high price we're already paying in world security and damage to the environment.

edit: see US heading towards recession, says HSBC
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:37 PM   #9
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I thoroughly believe that is true. The degree to which evil oil has manipulated the public and our government through lobbying and FUD is nothing less than racketeering (the same way tobacco has done).
When you factor in what oil companies have done to Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, and other nations, this goes well beyond racketeering into the realm of terrorism.

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I also know that we Americans vote every day for this situation to stay as it is.
Not exactly. The alternatives that have been developed have mostly been denied to them. The average Amerian cannot simply hop on a trolley in the suburbs to take them to work in the cities like they could in the 1920s and 1930s. In that time period, only about 1/3 of driving age Americans owned cars and car ownership hit a plateau at that level pre depression, mostly because alternatives to the car that were as convenient as and cheaper to use than the car existed at the time. Then the auto industry, oil industry, and others saw that the government wanted to grow the economy out of the depression and seized the opportunity to lobby politicians to meet their demands. So the most extensive mass transit system the world had ever seen was dismantled, to turn the car into a necessity for most Americans, and not a mere luxury. There were riots in cities like LA or Cincinatti where the inner cities relied on this mass transit, but to no avail. Throw in an extensive propaganda campaign to give Americans a feeling of freedom with the use of a car, and once the riots subsidied, car ownership rocketed to 1 car per every person of driving age. This made the auto, oil, and other companies rich and provided the government with a ****load of tax revenue. It was win/win/win for everyone except the average American, but by then, the average American had forgotten how they had been fleeced and only saw the good side of owning a car.

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We don't want to believe we should change any of our habits (just like the addicts that we are). It doesn't hurt badly enough yet. Only a horribly painful disaster will awaken us from this sardonic stupor. Only when it's too late.
Many would change their habits, under a condition that it doesn't cost them too much money or time. Given the technology we have today, they shouldn't have to sacrifice.

Electric cars have been viable since the 1990s. NiMH batteries were allowing 200 miles range in a converted Geo Metro sedan and 120 miles in small SUVs with no attention to aerodynamics. The Solectria Sunrise midsize car had attention payed to aerodynamics, and it consequently did over 350 miles per charge while being able to seat 5 adults.

But, they need no tune ups, no oil changes, no belts, no pistons, no pulleys, no gaskets, no emissions systems, no complicated computer bull****. They basically had no maintenance, except for routine things like brakes and tires, or batteries. Electric motors last over 500,000 miles without ever having a single repair. The AC100 drivetrain(integrated motor/inverter/charger) Alan Cocconi of AC Propulsion is using in his electric CRX is rated to 1 million miles life, if I remember correctly.

Panasonic and Ovonic NiMH batteries have demonstrated 150,000 miles life in electric RAV4 SUVs with no major capacity or power loss yet. 150,000 miles is the most these vehicles have been driven so far, and the batteries haven't gone out yet. No one knows how long they will last, but I've heard estimates ranging from 200,000-300,000 miles before they deliver 80% of range. These estimates would be in line with the cycle life figures published for the battery. In over 3 million miles of fleet use, Southern California Edison has seen only 6 module failures!

In the 1990s, ECD chairman Robert Stemple presented a slide at a confernence claiming $150/kWh in volume for 20,000 electric cars a year. Today, more modern estimates are around $200/kWh, from UC Davis. A midsize car with Prius aerodynamics would need about 36 kWh to have 200 miles range. At 1,750 cycles to 100% discharge for the Ovonic NiMH(UC Davis) or using a more conservative 1,200 cycles to 80% discharge(Cobasys), do the math on cost per mile for battery.

Chevron Texaco has the patent, and is sitting on it. It won't mass produce for anyone but an OEM, knowing full well that OEMs refuse to make EVs. Small EV businesses and individual converters would kill to get ahold of this battery.

Americans did indeed want EVs as well. A study titled "The Current and Future Market for Electric Vehicles" found in the state of California, the immediate market for EVs was between 12-18% at the 95% confidence interval. In California alone, this is over 180,000 cars. The car outlined for this study would have had 80 miles range with reduced range in the winter, slow aceleration, comparable price tag to gas powered cars, and capability to reach highway speeds ~80 mph. The technology at the time the study was conducted was more like 150-200 miles range, fast acceleration(AC Propulsion TZero doing 0-60 in 4.1 seconds then, GM EV1 doing 0-60 in 7.5 seconds), and if mass produced, studies at the time have found that electric cars would be comparably priced to gas ones.

And this was all when gas was cheap. A lot of people don't like being tethered to big oil, no matter how cheap gas really is. For every person that actually does care about the environment, you have another that despises the control an industry has on their life. Sadly, niether group ever does much.

There were studies finding cost parity of a mass produced electric car with a gas one around $1.75/gallon including periodic battery replacement(This has lowered to ~$1.50/gallon cost parity today). But this is only with mass production, to bring battery costs down. Without mass production of EVs and their components, cost parity is closer to ~$4.00/gallon using advanced batteries and with an insane high purchase cost for the car itself. Yet even then, $7/gallon Europe is still by and large denied this alternative too.

If there were a convenient form of mass transit available as we used to have, there is little doubt that Americans would use it. I have already observed this: in St. Louis, those living near Metrolink stations who have long commutes to make the cost per mile more economical than using a car and are lucky enough to have their work mere blocks away from a drop off, have voluntarily replaced their driving with mass transit. Those not living near these stations or who don't have long enough commutes for the price of the ticket to make sense, haven't.

That is how the free market is supposed to work.

By killing alternatives, the oil companies, the government, and the auto industry is forcing Americans to choose between walking/riding a bike or using unconvenient forms of mass transit(eg. buses that don't run at night and stop hours apart and often cost more per mile than a car's fuel and maintenance!), or guzzling gas and all the baggage that entails.

Americans are merely thinking with their heads and their pocketbooks, as the alternatives are denied to them. While shallow for doing so, and certainly unjustified, that's the reality of the situation. I'm guilty of this just like the rest of them, at least until my electric conversion is on the road. You aren't going to get a paradigm shift away from oil usage unless either the worst of the peak oil scenarios becomes reality(eg. Mad Max), OR affordable and convenient alternatives to oil use are offered to the consumer. The good news is, we have the technology for these alternatives and there is demand for them. You know the bad news.

The market is refusing to bear these alternatives, because said alternatives would greatly reduce profit margins for shareholders over status quo. The market is denying the consumer their say. That's not the way it was promised to be. It was promised to be a competition between shareholders, consumers, and employees, not a monoply built to suit the interests of just one entitiy.

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We're like frogs in a pot. We got in when the water was cold but the heat has gradually increased and now we're very nearly cooked.
IMO, we're done cooked already, waiting to give that one last croak before the boiling begins.

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Ironically enough, I think big oil's biggest threat is going to be other big business. Due to the huge jump in price, profits are through the roof, which means people have less discretionary income to spend elsewhere, which means big oil's increase in profit is at the expense of someone other business' profit.
It's not just the oil companies that fear alternatives though.

Electric cars alone aren't a total solution. Industrial hemp is one of the few biofuel sources that can make fuel for a low enough cost while also having a sufficiently high EROEI, acceptable treatment of soil, and yield per unit of land. If we legalize cultivation of that plant(and not some ineffective breed that supposedly has lower THC content when it really has less suitable fibers and seeds), the timber, cotton, corn, chemical, and other industries will all lose share because the market would adapt to the cheaper, higher quality alternative.

Have they helped prevent its cultivation here and elsewhere? You bet. William Randolph Hearst of the wood paper industry was heavily invested in timber and ran a yellow journalism campaign against the cannabis plant, both marijuana AND its non-intoxicating counterpart, industrial hemp. DuPont, Hearst, and other giants also lobbied politicians who had admitted to serving their interests. The lobbying continues to this day, but the industries involved have changed to a small extent. Not to mention, the government wants more economic growth, and by saving consumers money with the alternatives, you reduce their spending.

Corn ethanol won't work well due to illogical EROEI(< 1), but sugarcane ethanol works nicely without destroying our soil as rapidly as corn. While it can only be planted in warmer climates, sugarcane can still be grown in the most Southern regions of the US. But then agribusiness giants like Monsanto get to *****ing at any such proposal, not to mention the support of corn ethanol by oil giants because they know it won't threaten them in the least and the fact that they are invested in it and will make money from any tax subsidies that follow.

But you do make a solid point. There are industries that are suffering because of less disposable income. But they don't have the inertia that the industries stalling the alternatives do, otherwise we'd have the alternatives widely available.

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We see the same thing today. Where are consumers getting the money to pay the prices? They're cutting back in other areas like not dining out, not taking vacations they saved years for, etc. The money goes to the oil cronies and their puppets in the government. We pay $billions in taxes to subsidize them so they can make world-record profits.
They're also buying gas and groceries on credit, often unable to pay it back.

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The sick thing is the high price we're already paying in world security and damage to the environment.
Indeed. But getting the average American to care about that won't happen. Getting them to do something about it, OTOH, is merely a matter of making alternatives available that make sense to them in terms of time and money. That can certainly be done, but the politics need to be addressed.

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edit: see US heading towards recession, says HSBC
LOL

Understatement of the decade.
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Old 09-10-2006, 06:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for that great response and saying much more comprehensively what I could not.
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