Thursday, April 16, 2009

A bemused prophet of the obvious

Re: this

There is something not quite right about this so I've tried to work it out. Now, I've not been to school for a very long time so I may have got a few things wrong so bear with me.

Oil -> petrol/diesel ->car moves a long way. Stops for 5 minutes then goes a long way again.

3 stages using an existing infrastructure and technology that is being improved year on year to be more efficient and economical. By no means perfect but best we've managed so far and getting better.

Oil/coal -> electricity -> car moves not quite so far and then has to stop near a socket for several hours. Bummer.

3 stages using a virtually non-existent infrastructure outside the home and technology that is, compared to the existing one, crap, and which will involve a huge amount of effort and additional energy resources to create and to be anywhere near as versatile and useful as the existing one. Environmentally it's probably actually worse than the top one. I can't prove it of course but I wonder how much energy will be expended creating the vehicles and the network of recharging points that will be required. The electricity has to come from somewhere and that somewhere is the same place as the oil and coal. Going to put a solar panel on top of each car? Solar panels currently work at around 14% efficiency if you're lucky and then only in the daylight. There is a panel that works at near 100% efficiency using all the available spectrum but it's way off being developed economically. And it still only works during the day. "Electricity" is no greener at all so don't be fooled by that. OK, less fumes coming out of the car granted but I can just about remember enough physics to state without much fear of contradiction that the fumes will have to be generated somewhere and when the environmental lobby protest whenever more efficient fossil fuel power stations are built it would seem that there is an inbuilt environmental impasse just waiting to happen. We could of course cover the landscape in windmills but hey, all that steel has to be made and then maintained (more fumes from somewhere) and besides, no bugger's going to want to go anywhere in a car anyway if all they're going to be able to look at is another sodding great white turbine tower or 600.

So to sweeten the pud, this shortsighted, talentless and frankly useless government will do the one thing it's got good at recently and throw a load of money at the wrong people so they go out and buy another new piece of kit they don't really want or need.

The governments of the world, including that new one run by that basket of new ideas, nice Mr Obama, are missing pretty damned obvious trick after trick and it makes my blood boil because we're now just heading straight back towards the mess. The global economy has just collapsed rather dramatically. What are they doing? Trying to re-create it! Why FFS? It's just gone wrong because of this: GREED. So why are you trying to recreate a system that will still promote greed? This is the best opportunity the world will ever have to do something radical and beneficial to everyone yet all they want to do is get back to the safe old "buy useless crap and make rich people even richer even though they're probably criminals who'd sell your children if they thought they could make a quick cent" type economy because even though we know it doesn't really work, better the devil you know. And that's regardless of their supposed political colour.

If the exchequer can afford to bail out everyone to the tune of 5 grand so they can go out and buy a bleedin' Toyota Pious or whatever they're called that's going to sit in the garage for much of the time anyway, and that's after it's been imported on a big ship which are just about the least environmentally friendly transport system going, why not invest that same money in creating an efficient and economic public transport system so that anyone contemplating a journey of under 5 miles will actually think of using it? When a transport infrastructure is widely available and efficient, it gets used. Anyone over 60 will tell you that. Don't expect it to generate money, it's an asset. Let it be owned by THE people, not A person. If people can get to places with confidence and ease, they will spend their money at their destination and that's the beginning of your trickle-down. Sorted. Job done, put your feet up.

Either I'm simple or I'm the greatest thinker of our generation.

7 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Rog said...

The latter. RISPEK!!!

6:29 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

According to The Times today the technology for these cars won't be available for mass production until after 2012 (after the next election, so no worries for this govt then). Batteries (costing several thousand pounds) will need replacing every few years.

Spenind the money of more efficient petrol and diesel engines makes far more sense. But not such good headlines.

4:42 pm  
Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

You are very clever.

10:05 pm  
Blogger Dyna Girl said...

clever, indeed.

4:57 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

I always fancied hydrogen fuel cells - it uses electricity which we would have anyway, could use the existing infrastructure and only makes it rain a bit more,
Still what do I know...

12:01 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I am glad to see we are all forward thinkers. Phil, I didn't even go there, that is a whole new kettle of spanners.

2:20 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

You mix your metaphors with style sir!

5:29 pm  

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