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Who Killed the Electric Car?

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Guest motionstream

Who Killed The Electric Car?

 

Just saw a really great documentry film this weekend that I think is a must see film on the same level as Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth". The film– "Who Killed The Electric Car?" is about how big oil, General Motors, Iraq, and the government (Bush) conspired to kill off the Electric Car. Those of you who live in California probably know the story already. But for the rest of the world it is probably news. I for one will never buy a car from GM! And, the hydrogen powered car is complete B.S.

 

 

http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheel...r/electric.html

 

See it, and tell everyone you know to see it too!

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Guest SermonOfMockery

im glad to see these films coming out... would like to see this one as well.

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Guest motionstream

 

Hydrogen power is a fantasy. It is a ploy by big oil to push alternative fuels out 20 to 30 years into the future while they continue to make big bucks on oil. It is purely a distraction to make you think they are doing something, and to make you think they care. Meantime you will be paying more and more for gasoline.

 

The technology for an electric car is here now, big oil is scared of it.

 

Go and see this movie!!!

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Guest scott frizzle

Oh crap, another movie to see... ;)

 

Something from the website is very misleading:

 

"Traditional gasoline-powered cars produce harmful carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. To get an idea of just how much greenhouse gases are emitted, consider this: in the United States alone, approximately 6.6 tons are emitted by the average person in a given year. About 82% of these emissions are from the burning of fossil fuels used to power our cars. Contrast that with electric vehicles, which produce zero emissions and therefore do not contribute to the global warming epidemic."

 

Um, not really. Electric vehicles may not themselves produce CO2 emissions, but they get their energy from the existing electrical grid. So, all you're really doing is changing where the power gets generated. If your energy infrastructure relies on fossil fuels, and electric vehicles rely on the energy infrastructure, then you can't claim that electric vehicles do not contribute to the global warming epidemic.

 

I think electric cars are great, and have significant benefits, especially in areas like controlling smog in urban centers. But let's not pretend that the electricity they run on is falling out of the sky.

 

Both the hydrogen powered car and the electric car must rely on a clean energy infrastructure for their respective clean energy scenarios to pan out. You have to make the hydrogen somewhere, and you have to generate the electricity somewhere. Given current technology, both of these scenarios are impossible without a massive increase in our nuclear power generation capacity, which so far the majoirty of environmentalists are against (although there are some signs of this changing.) Otherwise you're just shuffling around where the CO2 comes from.

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Guest parallax

Exactly.

 

That's why everyones money should be on a 100% renawable-based grid, with hydrogen as a carrier.

 

btw. nuclear is in my book not an option, because a) it's mad expensive B) if everyone turns nuclear, the price will skyrocket, and uranium deposits will be depleted (not literally) in no time.

Uranium is as much a scarce fuel as oil is.

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Guest carniceria

It is also expensive and dangerous to store nuclear waste. (and they always tend to get put near poor communities, weird!)

 

I agree though that the website is ignoring where the electricity comes from. (except when they point out ethanol would not be efficient, energy-wise) That should be our primary concern.

 

We, as a society, are too dependant on cheap abundant energy, regardless of its container. In the very near future, that energy will no long be there - and we'll HAVE to figure out a way to live sustainably. Call me a skeptic but I don't think people are really going to start acting up until there is no other choice.

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Guest scott frizzle

Exactly.

 

That's why everyones money should be on a 100% renawable-based grid, with hydrogen as a carrier.

 

btw. nuclear is in my book not an option, because a) it's mad expensive B) if everyone turns nuclear, the price will skyrocket, and uranium deposits will be depleted (not literally) in no time.

Uranium is as much a scarce fuel as oil is.

 

Ah, gotta disagree here. Nuclear energy is initially expensive, but pays for itself nicely over time (assuming the plant building process isn't bogged down by the usual protests, red tape, etc. that plagued the industry in the 70's and 80's.) As far us running out of uranium, well, there's this: http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/cohen.html

 

Some other good links here: http://russp.org/nucpower.htm

 

What renewable fuel do you suggest as a nuclear substitute? I hope you're not talking about turning Nevada into a giant solar collector... ;)

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Guest carniceria

Ah, gotta disagree here. Nuclear energy is initially expensive, but pays for itself nicely over time (assuming the plant building process isn't bogged down by the usual protests, red tape, etc. that plagued the industry in the 70's and 80's.) As far us running out of uranium, well, there's this: http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/cohen.html

 

Some other good links here: http://russp.org/nucpower.htm

 

What renewable fuel do you suggest as a nuclear substitute? I hope you're not talking about turning Nevada into a giant solar collector... ;)

 

Well what about the waste?

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Guest parallax

lol

 

But seriously, what are you using Nevada for again? Or the Sahara? With strides in solar power, you might not even need that large an area. There are plenty of other technologies that could supply energy that is clean.

 

And regarding the 'abundance' of Uranium, of course there is enough. Were it not for the fact that the US is not the only country consuming energy. With demand growing not tenfold, but thousandfold, the price will most definitely not get cheaper, but rather skyrocket. The Indian and Chinese economy alone are going to ensure that.

 

Then there's the timeframe. For instance in the Netherlands, building a nuclear reactor takes 10 years, and costs billions of dollars. To replace all coal/gas/oil stations will be a huge strain on any economy, while the effect will only be apparent 10 years later, when energy consumptions has grown linear with the economy.

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Guest scott frizzle

Well what about the waste?

 

Waste is THE problem for nuclear power, but it's a manageable one. Actually, the government came up with a good solution in the Yucca mountain storage facility in Nevada. It's big enough to take care of the entire nation's nuclear waste storage needs for the forseeable future. Unfortunately it's been (surprise, surprise) delayed by various politicians and activists over the years. So, we have nuclear power plants, who were promised a place to store the waste, storing it locally until the government gets its head out of its ass.

 

Nuclear waste is indeed nasty stuff, but if you look at the specs on Yucca mountain, they've gone to great lengths to make it safe. I'll take a relatively small amount of admittedly nasty waste, stored inside a mountain of solid bedrock, over millions of tons of toxins pumped straight into the air any day of the week.

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Guest scott frizzle

Sure, but multiply that by 20 when the entire globe is using nuclear energy.

 

Don't get me wrong; there are always going to be tradeoffs. I just think all things considered, nuclear power is our best option right now, even though I do think Nevada would look realy cool covered in solar panels.

Edited by scott frizzle

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Guest parallax

But Scott, those estimates are based on current usage. There is no way close to supporting the entire world population for a thousand years. Apart from the fact that nuclear is indeed the most efficient source of power, going nuclear seems like displacing the problem to me. And while i could not even care that much about safety, turning the entire world into a nuclear reactor seems foolish to me. The changes of a new Tjernobyl will increase exponentially.

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Guest scott frizzle

But Scott, those estimates are based on current usage. There is no way close to supporting the entire world population for a thousand years. Apart from the fact that nuclear is indeed the most efficient source of power, going nuclear seems like displacing the problem to me. And while i could not even care that much about safety, turning the entire world into a nuclear reactor seems foolish to me. The changes of a new Tjernobyl will increase exponentially.

 

I'd just ask that you give it a second look; I think it's a lot more sustainable than you're implying.

 

Chernobyl certainly set nuclear power back by a massive amount, but you're talking about a 50's vintage flawed design, with some serious operator error to boot. The latest nuclear technologies, like pebble bed reactors, are orders of magnitude safer and more efficient. Again, I think it's worth a second look; the tradeoffs may be too much for you, and that's fine. However, beyond a massive reduction in the world's energy usage, I don't see a workable alternative.

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Guest Sao_Bento

Don't get me wrong; there are always going to be tradeoffs. I just think all things considered, nuclear power is our best option right now, even though I do think Nevada would look realy cool covered in solar panels.

Yeah, I mean the indians are already pretty much extinct, so why not finish it by filling their land with radioactive waste? It's all about the tradeoffs.

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Guest parallax

I'd just ask that you give it a second look; I think it's a lot more sustainable than you're implying.

 

Chernobyl certainly set nuclear power back by a massive amount, but you're talking about a 50's vintage flawed design, with some serious operator error to boot. The latest nuclear technologies, like pebble bed reactors, are orders of magnitude safer and more efficient. Again, I think it's worth a second look; the tradeoffs may be too much for you, and that's fine. However, beyond a massive reduction in the world's energy usage, I don't see a workable alternative.

 

It's a slippery slope for me, although i agree on the safety issues. China is putting it's money on the pebble-bed method when using nuclear, but it's at least not putting all its eggs in one basket.

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Guest scott frizzle

Yeah, I mean the indians are already pretty much extinct, so why not finish it by filling their land with radioactive waste? It's all about the tradeoffs.

 

If only we could generate electricity from sarcasm...

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Guest SermonOfMockery

If only we could generate electricity from sarcasm...

if only! this board could power the entire solar system for trillions of year.

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Guest Tread

the film is playing in NYC on june 28th at these locations...

 

64TH AND 2ND (3) - NEW YORK, NY

ANGELIKA FILM CENTER 6 - NEW YORK, NY

LINCOLN PLAZA CINEMAS - NEW YORK, NY

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Guest motionstream

Oh crap, another movie to see... ;)

 

Something from the website is very misleading:

 

"Traditional gasoline-powered cars produce harmful carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. To get an idea of just how much greenhouse gases are emitted, consider this: in the United States alone, approximately 6.6 tons are emitted by the average person in a given year. About 82% of these emissions are from the burning of fossil fuels used to power our cars. Contrast that with electric vehicles, which produce zero emissions and therefore do not contribute to the global warming epidemic."

 

Um, not really. Electric vehicles may not themselves produce CO2 emissions, but they get their energy from the existing electrical grid. So, all you're really doing is changing where the power gets generated. If your energy infrastructure relies on fossil fuels, and electric vehicles rely on the energy infrastructure, then you can't claim that electric vehicles do not contribute to the global warming epidemic.

 

I think electric cars are great, and have significant benefits, especially in areas like controlling smog in urban centers. But let's not pretend that the electricity they run on is falling out of the sky.

 

Both the hydrogen powered car and the electric car must rely on a clean energy infrastructure for their respective clean energy scenarios to pan out. You have to make the hydrogen somewhere, and you have to generate the electricity somewhere. Given current technology, both of these scenarios are impossible without a massive increase in our nuclear power generation capacity, which so far the majoirty of environmentalists are against (although there are some signs of this changing.) Otherwise you're just shuffling around where the CO2 comes from.

 

 

 

Yes, except for the following things:

 

The Electric car technology is here now and ready to be deployed worldwide. Hydrogen-powered cars are just a concept—which will NEVER get off the drawing board. All the talk about hydrogen powered cars is nothing more than smoke and mirrors by the oil industry to distract consumers from the truth about big oil's business.

 

Regarding infrastructure, the power grid is already global. For hydrogen-powered cars to work a whole new infrascructure must be built. That won't happen in our life times. Your children's children might see it.

 

Regarding the pollution issues and global warming: Wouldn't make more sense to try to get the Chinese and other developing nations to use electric-powered cars. Imagine the benefits of millions of electric cars vs gas powered cars in china for the environment. Every gallon of gas burned puts something like 17 pounds of CO2 into the air. Remember that the next time you have a smog alert.

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