President Bush says that the government has little control over the price of gasoline. I call foul on that statement.
First, one of the issues facing us is a lack of refining capability. Why not put U.S. money into building new sites that are less apt to face danger from natural disasters like hurricanes. But this is a panacea.
What we should really be doing is decreasing our dependence on oil. I can’t understand how a country like Brazil can fuel it’s vehicles on methanol, while here in the U.S. agri-business has to reap their profit first and instead give us the likes of MBTE which contaminates ground water supplies.
Why haven’t we taken a long, hard look at Thermal Depolymerization or TDP for short. TDP could eliminate the piles of tires in our landfills that represent serious environmental and health hazards into their constituent parts like oil, carbon, etc. Same goes for turkey offal – oil, carbon, etc.
Then of course there’s cold fusion. Turns out that Pons and Fleischman jumped the gun and went to the court of public opinion before they went through peer review. As a result their process wasn’t fully documented and other researchers struggled to duplicate the experiments. The end result is that it does work and can be replicated.
But the biggie is the ITER project. Imagine using Tritium and fusing it releasing huge amounts of energy while at the same time producing what is in essence water (Well, heavy water but it’s still water.) and very little radioactive byproduct. The design is inherently safe, cut off the tritium and the fusion stops.
Oh then there’s hydrogen. Hydrogen is all around us, a good chunk of the earth has hydrogen locked up in it. It’s water. When you run hydrogen through a fuel cell, you get electrical energy and water as the output. That same hydrogen is what produces tritium which could also fuel fusion reactors. But I like the fuel cell for one reason – it directly strips the electrons from the hydrogen/oxygen process. It’s a very neat and clean solution. The fusion reactor generates heat which is used to flash water to steam and drive a turbine. It’s that middle layer of complexity that I don’t like.
We need to write off the middle east. Let them fight over their sand and turn the entire middle east into a radioactive glass bowl should they wish. If the world doesn’t need their oil where does that put them? That’s right – back to sticks and stones.
The only thing necessary to push any of these projects ahead is money. I propose ending our little misadventure in Iraq and taking perhaps $100 billion from the military budget and using it for what I’ve outlined here.
If we did that we might not see change this summer, but in summers of the future we will. So write your congresional delegates and paraphrase away. Explain that we shouldn’t be seeking diplomacy through military action.