Friday, August 06, 2010

New Taxes to make Green reality

The UN is calling on a Billion dollars in new taxes to continue to fund the transition away from Carbon Fuels and towards Green technology. In other words, all the money we're pouring into it already, and it's still not commercially viable.

On another site, I explained the history of trans ocean shipping to explain how and why older less efficient systems are no longer in use. Not because they were dirty, or dangerous, but because it was cheaper, and more PROFITABLE to use the newer systems.

First Man used oars, and then a combination of oars and wind to move his boat across the waters. This gave way to tall sailing ships, the square rigged ships of lore and legend. The days of Wooden Ships and Iron Men. Man switched to this system because it was possible to go much farther with a smaller crew than the oarsmen allowed. Wooden ships continued to get larger, more heavily armed, more heavily armored, and faster. However, the limitation they faced was wind. Revolutions appeared from time to time, style of sail, style of rigging, changes in the type of sails. However, the basic truth of their limitations was obvious. When there was no wind, there was no movement. If the wind opposed the ship, they were relegated to tacking into the wind, days were spent trying to go a few miles upwind.

Then coal fired steam engines were adapted to ship designs, and the first powered ships were invented. These had huge advantages in speed, and maneuverability. No longer were they limited by the wind, but by how much coal they could carry, and how fast they could shovel it into the fire. The old sailing ships were still around, but growing fewer and fewer in number as ship owners cast them aside in favor of powered transportation. It was economic, you could complete a distance faster, with fewer delays, with coal than you could with the power of wind alone.

By World War I, Coal fired ships were giving way to the new technology. This was oil fired boilers. These boilers took an hour or so to light, but once lit, were easy to maintain, with fewer workers, and far more powerful and reliable than coal fired ships.

By the time World War II came about, the standard was these oil fired ships, but there was a new energy source on the horizon. Diesel. Submarines and smaller ships used Diesel engines to power them through the water. Diesel Submarines were essentially our only real offensive arm after Pearl Harbor in the Pacific. These Submarines powered by these engines were able to range from Hawaii to Japan, stay on station for a month or so, and then return clear across the Pacific again for more supplies.

After the War, Oil and Diesel were both used, as Diesel wasn't suitable yet for large oceangoing ships, like the Air Craft Carriers. We wanted bigger ships, but the Oil Fired Boilers just weren't capable of handling it. Then, we discovered Nuclear, and the size of our ships was no longer limited by how much oil we could carry. Submarines could sail underwater indefinitely, limited only by the crews and their need for food and eventual maintenance.

Today, most large ships are powered by either Diesel engines, or Jet Turbine type engines, as well as the standard Nuclear Power for military vessels. Today's modern ships use giant Diesel engines, that are more efficient and powerful than anything in our history for commercial shipping. It's amazing when you see how large these engines really are. One of the largest, the Emma Maersk is also one of the most efficient. They channel the exhaust through radiators, transferring the heat to steam turbines, which provide additional electrical power to the ship. They use silicon based paint to decrease drag.

In other words, that ship combines all we currently know about building large ocean crossing ships to operate with maximum efficiency. Notice there are no solar panels, or silly little wind turbines. This is a working ship, meant to move a heck of a lot of cargo as quickly as possible, while keeping costs as low as possible per trip.

Now, you want to replace Diesel, because it's dirty, and creates Carbon Dioxide. Here is your challenge. Make the new system as reliable as Diesel, and make it as efficient as Diesel. Now, make it MORE efficient and cheaper to run than Diesel is for ships, and you've licked the Green power problem.

Yet, the greenies can't manage to get to that part. They come up with complicated electric driven systems, that are quasi reliable, in the short term. They take up more space, and still require Diesel as a generator back up for when the sun isn't shining, or the wind isn't blowing.

So what are our options? Fuel Cells? Perhaps, but they're more expensive and Hydrogen is a little tricky to store, and oh yeah, it's just not available in large quantities that a ship would need at every port it's liable to arrive at. That it's extremely flammable is well known, as everyone knows the story of the Hindenburg. One little spark and the whole ship could well blow up much the same way.

So are the Greenies coming up with technology that is cheaper and more efficient? The answer is no, the systems they're coming up with are more expensive, far more expensive, and far less efficient. Ethanol for example, is actually not helping burn much less gasoline at all. You burn more as you get worse mileage from the Ethanol blend, so you have to buy more gasoline/ethanol. That means that we're burning a tiny bit less gasoline, but we're turning our food into fuel, which is asinine no matter how you try to explain it. I would like to be here in two hundred years when school kids are learning about that folly. I would really like some of these ethanol fanatics to explain to the future why we were starving people all over the world, so we could feel good about our gasoline.

Ethanol has to have subsidies, which means that the Federal Government pays the makers to get the Ethanol. In other words, if they weren't paid money from the Federal Government, your Gasoline would be about six bucks a gallon to include the mandated ethanol. Is it better yet?

Well at least we reduced those nasty greenhouse gases. We have to do this to save the planet the Greenies say. Yes, we reduced those greenhouse gases 1/19th of 1%. Yes, you read that right. We reduced Greenhouse gasses by .19% and it only cost us $7 billion in 2005.

So they can't make a more efficient system, and they can't make a more reliable system, and they can't make a cheaper system. So the answer is to make the current systems more expensive with those new taxes, thus driving the costs up artificially, to make the newer less efficient systems seem competitive. In other words, they have to LIE to make Green a reality with the current technology.

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