: Al Gore - A Generational Challenge to Repower America
Matthew Miller email (remove spam text)
On Mon, Jul 28, 2008 at 01:29:05PM -0400, ian.org wrote: piclist
> So you are saying that it's too hard to build new infrastructure so we
> should just keep burning petroleum in slightly more efficent engines?
> Thats not a very good long (or even short) term solution, considering the
> price of oil is going to continue to rise.
It's not too hard, just very expensive. There is also no reason that the
hydrocarbons we use must come from petroleum.
> Building a hydrogen distribution system is not going to be easy, or cheap.
> But it does have one HUGE advantage over sticking with the current system
> that we have... it is sustainable.
What sustainable source of energy is going to be used to produce the
hydrogen? The US gets half it electricity from burning coal and 95% of the
hydrogen that is produced is done so using petroleum. Hydrogen would only be
evo friendly if generated using nuclear power (so more plants need to be
built), but producing hydrogen would still be a wasteful use of that energy.
> Batteries are expensive and take forever to recharge and have a limited
> lifetime. In the future we might solve these problems, but with the
> technology we have NOW we could make hydrogen work.
I'd rather use electrical energy to charge batteries than waste half the
energy producing hydrogen.
> Hydrogen is not perfect. It's far from it. But the price of doing nothing
> is simply too high. If something better comes along, I'll dump hydrogen
> in a second, but delaying doing something because we might figure out a
> better way is insane.
I don't advocate doing nothing, it's just that hydrogen isn't going to be a
solution. I also don't look for solutions to be only technical, there is
going to be a societal aspect as well regarding transportation, urban
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