Just noting

Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Instapundit links to it today but you know me, always on top of things. I read The Truth About Hydrogen early yesterday morning while waiting my turn in the barber's chair (yes, I got both hairs cut). It's a quick read and probably doesn't tell any of the clever Flares audience much of anything new. But heh, next time you run into some moonbat or wingnut who wonders why we didn't convert the nation to hydrogen "energy" by the end of last week you might wanna point him to it. It does a good job of summarizing the "hurdles".

Keeping with the energy and "a day late and a dollar short" themes, Jim Miller provides a brief and cogent explanation for Why Don't We Have Coal Conversion Plants Now? It's worth reading his links but the bottom line is that the price of oil has this durned habit of sinking to levels that make alternatives durned expensive. I guess we need a much bigger tax on oil to keep the price high, right? BTW, I'm too lazy to go track down the link again but a few days back I had a chart of gasoline prices in various places around the world. Darned altruistic of those evil oil execs to drive down the price of gasoline worldwide when all they want to accomplish is to re-elect Bush in November.

The phone rang early this AM. Sometimes that causes anxiety but it would not have been unusual this AM. It turned out, however, to be quite unusual. It was Our Baby calling from Rome to tell us she was OK in case we'd heard the news about the subway crash there. We hadn't. I clicked on the tube and searched but nothing about it. Since I had a brief drive to attend to I clicked the car radio to BBC figuring they'd mention it. They did.

They also mentioned that the 300th million human would wail to life sometime in the next 30 minutes (that's was a while ago so we've likely roared past that milestone and set our sights on the 400th) reminded me to mention one last thing from the day late and dollar short department. In this case it is the Economist telling us why America's rising population will solve more problems than it creates. There's not actually a whole lotta there there but an Economist article that has the following in it is worth the few moments it takes to read:
When Europeans hear the words “America”, “religion” and “family values”, they think of brimstone preachers raging against unconventional domestic arrangements. They often forget the more positive role American churches play in nurturing conventional families.
As Steyn says, "It's the stupidity, economists!"

Last but not least... I'd hoped to do an extended post about this a couple days ago. The opportunity and desire are gone now. Nonetheless I feel it should be noted that there's more to the wrechage wrought upon our military by McChimpy and Rummy. Robert Burns, writing for the AP and published in WaPo, tells us about U.S. Air Power in East Asia Has Grown. Naval power also. The two dopes have this odd notion that the tools should match the task at hand. It's not long but it is worth reading.


terrye said...

A coal conversion plant is being built about 30 miles from me. It will take 6 more years to complete.

Knucklehead said...

It only takes that long 'cause Rummy has all the replicators tied up in Iraq.

CF said...

As to alternative energy-your point about petro costs dropping periodically and making alternatives more expensive is a long-standing problem.

I've been watching the energy scene for a considerable period of time and think the best thing that could happen would be if government took a stand of benign neglect instead of wasting our money.

When alternatives are needed and cost efficient the petro industry will find them a lot more efficiently and faster than the pinheads at DoE.

What we do need is for that benign neglect to extend into the permitting process and for some regins to be placed on those who make a living tying up energy projects.

chuck said...

Coal conversion plants were fairly common in the middle of the 19'th century, producing gas for lighting the towns, coke, and as a byproduct, coal tar. It was the discovery of the means of producing dye from the coal tar that led to the modern chemical industry, see the excellent posting at Chicago Boys. I also recall coal gasification plants dotting the countryside as a feature in the stories of H.G. Welles, adding a sort of anachronistic tickle to the narrative. Some technologies just pass away, leaving little behind.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Hydrogen fuel cells are basically just batteries. They beg the question of where the energy comes from in the first place. Most of the time it comes from burning fossil fuels, so the question is merely kicked down the road.

It has been remarked that LA has done a wonderful job of moving the pollution needed to produce its electricity out of California and onto the Navajo reservation. Out of sight, out of mind.