Written by WATYF on Monday, 07 July 2008 (8107 hits)
Category: Serious Crap
I'm not some tree-hugging hippie... far from it. It has always been in question, but considering some of the more recent data , I think that "anthropological climate change" is just as likely to be an over-blown bunch of crap as it is to be a real issue.
But that's also not to say that I'm a ignorant boob who thinks I should keep pumping gas into everything I own no matter how much it costs just because, "that's the American way!"
I'm all for renewable energy... for independence. Not just for "American independence" from "foreign oil", but for individual independence from anyone else, as well. And in both of those arenas, renewable energies have been the biggest let-down I have ever seen...
I have literally lost track of all the times that I've read a story about a "breakthrough" in renewable energy. And yet somehow, after the initial, "Hey, look what we discovered!", you never hear of it again. It's just sad.
We had the machine that eats garbage and spits out hydrogen. Then there's the machine that eats garbage and spits out electricity. Then, the machine that eats pretty much anything (garbage, biomass, etc) and spits out pretty much anything (electricity, diesel, etc). Oh yeah, and don't forget the bacteria that eat garbage and poop oil.
And don't even get me started on the myriad of electric cars that have a range of ten feet and only take a mere 3 days to recharge. The only electric cars that promise good range/charge-times end up being a bunch of bunk.
But what about "breakthroughs" in gas mileage...? There are plenty of those... that never go anywhere. The latest is a guy who modified his '87 Mustang to get 110MPG. A hundred bucks says we never get a chance to buy a car with that kind of engine in it.
If you really want to feel good about the prospects of renewable energy, head on down to the Pure Energy Systems wiki and read about the countless hundreds of "breakthroughs" in energy that YOU CAN'T BUY!
"But what about Solar and Wind... you get buy those right now!!!"
Sure... I can buy those right now... assuming I've got a life-sized pile of cash in the hall closet and a spare kidney to hock on eBay. I recently looked into wind and solar for my home... wind was about 10 grand for something that will barely offset my electric costs and it would involve perching a 35-70 foot pole above my home. I'm guessing that's gonna go over great with the neighbors. But, if you can believe it, that was the most "promising" option. Solar was almost a joke... no... it was a joke. I thought... how much could solar cost? Not that much, right? Yes.... that much. I found a calculator online that tells you what kind of solar setup you'd need to cover your electricity consumption. Mine was about 6-7kW. So I looked at a local dealer for solar. The biggest residential system they had was 5kW... alright... maybe I could offset most of my elecrticity. The system has a 25-year warranty, and it only costs... 40 thousand dollars. That's right... you heard me. Foorrrr-teeee... freeeea-kinggggg... thouuuuuuu-sannnnnnnd.
So let me get this straight... even if I assume that this system will pay my entire electric bill (which it won't), and that I stay in the same house for 25 years (which I won't), and that I have 40 thousand dollars (*chuckle*) laying around to pay in cash and don't have to finance it, since that would add additional costs (which I don't)... assuming all of those things that aren't even true just to give solar a handicap... I'm still looking at paying about 1500 bucks a year for this thing. Well, what's my current yearly electrical bill? Hhhhhmmmm... let's see. Even if I guess on the high end for every month, I'm still looking at less than a thousand per year. Most likely it would be between 700-800. Wow... score one for solar!!!! Forty thousand bucks up front and twice as much per year over the course of 25 years. It's a no-brainer, if you ask me.
Wake me up when I can walk into Walmart, stroll on over to isle 9, pick up a machine that turns all my trash into electricity, and then walk over to isle 13 and pick up another machine that turns all my grass clippings into gas. Until then, don't waste my time.... you dirty hippie.