Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tunnel Lights

Saying for the day:A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank. ~Author Unknown
On one of the news shows the other night was another one of those gloom and doom people. He pointed out that we have reached the peak of oil supply and it’s all downhill from here. Oil supplies will be decreasing and demand will be increasing and the price of gasoline in a few years could hit $10.00 a gallon. We can’t produce enough ethanol to save us.
This will mean a great change in American lifestyle. We will move back to an age where people lived near where they worked. House values in the suburbs will plummet. Food prices will hit such high levels that people will starve by the millions. It was so depressing. I wanted to jump out a window but then I live on the first floor and it wouldn’t have helped much.
So instead I did some reading. I am here to tell you there is light at the end of the tunnel. Despite the fact that the government is doing almost nothing there is a great deal of American and other ingenuity around. Let me give you three examples:
1. At Amyris Biotechnologies in Emeryville, California, scientists are creating microbes that turn sugar into gasoline. They are not making ethanol but gasoline that will run your car. Whether Exxon notices or not, this year Amyris will begin work on a pilot plant capable of producing industrial quantities of fuel. It’s in “advanced talks” with a Brazilian sugar supplier that would give it access to large quantities of low-cost sugarcane and in early-stage talks with Costco and other companies about possible distribution deals. The plan, Renninger says, is to create “a complete line from sugar to consumer” within the next two to three years—first biodiesel, then jet fuel, then gasoline. Just think of what could be done if our politicians stopped talking about doing something and got behind projects like this one.
2. Solix Biofuels is now setting up a pilot plant that will make biodiesel fuel out of algae. It gets better. The algae take in carbon dioxide and give back oxygen. So the plants could be located near big power plants that produce carbon dioxide which would then be an asset instead of a problem. An you thought that the green slime was just there to keep you from swimming.
3. This is my favorite, a company in Southeast Asia will by the end of this year be selling a two passenger car that will go 400 miles at 65 miles an hour on a single charge and uses no gasoline. The car called the Niko will sell for $3000. At the moment American safety regulations prevent it from being used in the United States. The car weighs only 480 pounds. The car is basically made of super tough airbags. Now try to imagine the amount of gasoline this will save even if it never is used here. You add to it a garage with a solar panel roof and you have the perfect car for commuting to work. No pollution. No hydrocarbon fuel used. I am sure that when gas prices are high enough American industry will find a way to redesign this car for America and sell it for $5000 or more.
You see the future doesn't look so bad after all. It's the present that worries me.

The Alphabet Photo Challenge is being sponsored by Quilly at Quilly's Pacific Paradise.

F-Father -Mine


F-Family The Linna's

Family- Cousins (two Linnas and a Jacobson)
Family- Todd Kangas's ( my Nephew)
F-Fire - The Great Ishpeming Fire ( I was a kid)

  • #### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. The Tommy Club has decided that they are going to save the White Rabbit. They are not yet sure how but they are going to save it. Tommy UK and Tammy are going to try to sneak into Elmer Fudd’s room while he is out eating. They are experts at this having done it on several occasions in the past. Then they will try to foul up his rifle or shotgun so he won’t be able to shoot. While they are doing that the club will march in front of the Fly Inn with signs that say “ Save our Rabbit” and “ Go Home Fudd”. Tommy PK will watch for Fudd’s return and warn Tommy UK if he sees him returning.. The plan is all set for this evening.
    Nancy says that Fudd was in to her place for a cup of coffee. He had a stange accent and she can’t quite place it. But it’s not at all like the Fudd in the cartoon.
    So far nobody has seen the guy with a gun. Some feel that Mrs. Trumble is being cheated. He may just take his money and leave one morning on the train.
    Mrs. Petrovich is supposed to be back tomorrow . At least that’s what Petrovich told Nancy.. Her mother is recovering very well and won’t need her after today.

    Today's Link-Baba's Blog/Night Owl- Another one of the alphabet group
    A good day. Oxygen was almost in the normal range. In the morning I sorted pictures. Betty went to Bible study.Then I read a little bit of " The Magic of Reason". Betty, Pennie, and I went out for lunch. Then we went shopping at Pick and Save. In the afternoon I went back to sorting and did some reading. Betty worked in the garage and the garden. Now I need a breathing treatment.
    Another picture of the boys digging the new garden:


    Blogger Janvangogh said...

    Mrs Trumble has paid Fudd BEFORE he gets the White Rabbit?

    4:59 AM  
    Blogger LoieJ said...

    Then there is always conservation. I've always been appalled that many so-called conservative Christians interpret certain Bible verses as giving us leeway to use up the resources and environment that God has given us. I suppose that they feel that Christ's return in imminent, but haven't Christians always thought that?

    6:29 AM  
    Blogger LoieJ said...

    Check this out.

    7:26 AM  
    Blogger Stacy said...

    Americans are more creative and resilient than we're given credit for. Consumers,yes, but when push comes to shove I think we'll survive.

    Great pictures!

    7:30 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Dr. John, did you know that OC is also working on a bio-fuels project? That's why we moved to HAwaii.

    And I am very much enjoying your photographs. Thanks for sharing.

    9:40 AM  
    Blogger Unknown said...

    Loved the photos. Given enough time even a monkey can come up with great things. At least that is what Bob Newhart said when he was talking about writing great books, I guess that could also apply to scientists?

    10:27 AM  
    Blogger Family Man said...

    America, and the world are full of invention and ingenutiy. When politics gets out of the way. This of the industrial revolution. (Yeah it helped to create the polution). If we can find alternative energy then watch the middle east settle down. Their only big cash crop would not be so important! Thanks for your comments yesterday!
    ~God Bless

    11:46 AM  
    Blogger Gingers Mom said...

    That actually is very encouaging and exciting. Isn't it amazing how creative God has made us to be?

    12:53 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the great photos.

    The gas, oh geez don't get me started. My husband and i just had this conversations last night over margarita's. The ethanol in the long run turned out to be a bad idea since OPEC perceives it as competition and just rose the prices anyway. it's horrible.

    1:58 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You know, not so long ago people worked in their life - they grew food and bees. Sure, they had jobs. But they didn't obsessively work so they could pay for something. That's a relatively recent phenomena (50 years?) - and the result is all of this - pesticides in food, a spiraling global warming world, collapse of industries.

    What happened to those evil 1940s ideas: victory gardens? recycling? oil conservation? waste not want not?

    We can turn this around by just waking up from our consumer fog.

    3:59 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    P.S. Did you see the NYT article about food costs? It said that while most markets are soft, the big screen TV market is booming. People said they would rather have a big screen TV than food. Now how messed up is that?

    4:02 PM  
    Blogger Devil Mood said...

    I have been really worried about that too. The prices have been rising in such a scary way!
    But I'm glad you told us there is hope. Thanks for yout research!

    4:25 PM  
    Blogger Cindy said...

    When push comes to shove people get creative. Interesting projects you were telling about...

    4:34 PM  
    Blogger Minkydo said...

    Love the family pictures. Great choice for today's letter!

    5:59 PM  
    Blogger Melli said...

    Love the research Dr. J! I think I'll start growing sugar cane! Maybe make a few extra bucks! Today's assemblage of family photos is fun! (i do like the way you keep this game all in the family!)

    7:04 PM  
    Blogger tsduff said...

    Your pictures help stave off the gloom and doom of the news on the energy/food/environment crisis'. My Sweetie is working on his own business recycling cooking oil as biofuel. A great encouragement.

    8:17 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nice Family. I'll bet you post Grandparents and Grandchildren tomorrow, haha.

    12:45 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Whoof!! Fine Family Fotos. (Hey, I'm a dog, you can't expect me to spell everything like hoomans do). Bark!

    12:47 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great pictures, Dr. John!!

    6:35 AM  
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