Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Green Oil, The Nearly Perfect Fuel

1. “Oil may be the single most flexible substance ever discovered. More than any other substance, oil helped to shrink the world. Indeed, thanks to its high energy density, oil is a nearly perfect fuel for use in all types of vehicles, from boats and planes to cars and motorcycles. Whether measured by weight or by volume, refined oil products provide more energy than practically any other commonly available substance, and they provide it in a form that’s easy to handle, relatively cheap, and relatively clean.’’

~Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce in “Power Hungry."


2. "Fossil fuels have been one of the great boons both to humanity and the environment, allowing forests to regrow (now that we don't use wood for heating fuel or grow fuel for horses anymore) and liberating billions from backbreaking toil. The great and permanent shortage is usable surface land and fresh water. The more land we use to produce energy, the less we have for vulnerable species, watersheds, agriculture, recreation, etc.

As counterintuitive as it may be to say so, oil is a green fuel, while "green" fuels aren't. And this spill doesn't change that fact."

~Jonah Goldberg, "Oil: The Real Green Fuel"

15 Comments:

At 6/16/2010 8:15 AM, Blogger rufus said...

Oh yes it does.

 
At 6/16/2010 8:28 AM, Anonymous morganovich said...

it certainly saved the whales.

 
At 6/16/2010 8:33 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Note this line from Goldberg's piece: "According to Ridley, the Nature Conservancy’s Joseph Fargione estimates rainforest clear-cutting for biofuels releases 17 to 420 times more CO2 than it offsets by displacing petroleum or coal"...

If you will pardon the pun but Goldberg isn't blowing smoke up anyone's whatever...

Consider the following study: Carbon payback times for crop-based biofuel expansion in the tropics: the effects of changing yield and technology

Let's also remember the lesson from Dr. Gabriel Calzada Álvarez when thinking green energy means 'green jobs'...

 
At 6/16/2010 8:55 AM, Anonymous Rand said...

The "best" energy source would be nuclear fusion, followed by nuclear fission.

Fusion might take a hundred years to perfect, but in the mean time we can use nuclear fission based upon thorium.

Solar power is a pipe dream. The surface area required for a reasonable power yield would be prohibitive - unless someone invents an ultra high efficiency solar cell. More importantly, solar power is not available at night so some intermediate storage medium would be required.

Wind power would require massive turbine farms and as with solar power, when the wind stops, there is no power output.

 
At 6/16/2010 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been making this argument, with my "green" friends, for years only to be met by blank stares or outright denial.

The power of the media to reduce otherwise intelligent people to blithering idiots is truly disturbing.

 
At 6/16/2010 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there’s an industry in the world that deserves to be stigmatised more than any other, it’s the despicable, reprehensible, money-grubbing, mendacious, taxpayer-fleecing, bird-mangling, landscape-ruining, economy-blighting wind farm business. At least you could argue that blood diamonds make nice jewellery and that land mine manufacturers are making a valuable contribution to infantry defence. But wind farms are not merely worthless but actively evil – and anyone involved in them deserves to be as pilloried and despised as estate agents were in the Eighties or bankers are now.

I'd rather my wife made land mines than worked in the wind farm industry, UK Telegraph

 
At 6/16/2010 12:00 PM, Anonymous Norman said...

Remember what trees are, massive amounts of carbon. Trees take carbon out of the atmosphere and use it to grow. Trees are our cleansing agents. But as a tree gets big it finally stops growing and thus stops taking carbon out of the atmosphere. So, the Greenies who don't want to cut down old growth are keeping nature from cleaning the air. What to do? Cut down lots of trees to be used for building and any other use we can come up with and replant them to continue this virtuous cycle. But it won't happen because the Greens' religion don't want to hear rationality.

 
At 6/16/2010 1:09 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Norman, I so agree nuclear is great and we should do much much more, but until we get much better batteries, electric cars won't be competitive. Gasoline is great until we get better batteries, but nat gas could be a good stop gap. My father in law in eastern europe had his Yugo refitted to run on natural gas for like 200 bucks or so. Tank in the trunk, not big. Works great for city driving. If he can do it out in the boonies, so can we.

As for the article, I completely agree that fossil fuels have been a boon to mankind, and there has been tremendous progress on that too - thank goodness we don't still burn coal to heat our homes and cook our food!

 
At 6/16/2010 1:11 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Sorry, my nuclear post was in response to Rand, not Norman.

As for Norman, I agree as well. I tell liberals they need to stop recycling paper because putting paper in a landfill is basically carbon sequestration. They invariably get upset but can't explain why they are angry.

Grow more trees for paper, take carbon out of the air, and put the trees in a landfill were they will be sequestered for millennia. What's not to like?

 
At 6/16/2010 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oil is certainly NOT a "green energy." I'll pick apart the argument: Okay, we don't cut down trees for heating fuel, but we do cut the down for a number of other uses...with machinery powered by oil, to be taken to factories powered by oil. We use petroleum to create pesticides and fertilizer for crops, maybe not to feed horses, but certainly for factory farming of chickens and cows. And, of course, chicken, cow, and pig raising (if you can call it raising since we kill them and eat them in the end) is one of the WORST activities humanity does that destroys the environment. And liberating billions from backbreaking toil...maybe, but now we have a low-skill job shortage since everything's gone to the machines.

Oil is hardly green, Mr. Goldberg.

 
At 6/16/2010 2:14 PM, Blogger rjs said...

and when it runs out:

http://www.hubbertpeak.com/Duncan/Olduvai.htm

 
At 6/16/2010 7:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Rand said: - "The surface area required for a reasonable power yield would be prohibitive - unless someone invents an ultra high efficiency solar cell."

Even at 100% efficiency, there a limit of about 350 watts per square meter of sunlight at the Earth's surface. About 2.5 times current solar cell efficiency.

 
At 6/16/2010 7:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 11:05 - I take it, then, that you are not in favor of wind power? If that's the case, why not just say so, & quit beating around the bush. :-)

 
At 6/16/2010 9:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"it certainly saved the whales."

Greenpeace should require members to carry a picture of J. D. Rockefeller with them at all times to remind them of who the real whale saving hero is.

 
At 6/17/2010 9:52 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"The power of the media to reduce otherwise intelligent people to blithering idiots is truly disturbing"...

Then you have to reaccess just how intelligent those people really are...

"Greenpeace should require members to carry a picture of J. D. Rockefeller with them at all times to remind them of who the real whale saving hero is"...

Amen! Ron H....

 

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