The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

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reikiman
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Uploaded on Jan 9, 2012 - What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project -- and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat.

For almost twenty years, Garth's photography of threatened wilderness regions, devastation, and the impacts on indigenous peoples, has appeared in the world's leading publications. His recent images from the boreal region of Canada have helped lead to significant victories and large new protected areas in the Northwest Territories, Quebec, and Ontario. Garth's major touring exhibit on the Tar Sands premiered on Los Angeles in 2011 and recently appeared in New York. Garth is a Fellow of the International League Of Conservation Photographers

Filmed at TEDxVictoria on November 19 2011

http://garthlenz.com
http://tedxvictoria.com

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marcopolo
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Very emotional, and aimed at tearing at the heart-strings of the well intentioned, but poorly informed.

This sort of presentation preaches to the converted. However, it lacks any real solutions nor do such activists address the problems of a world of 7 million inhabitants desperate for energy.

The message gets more irrational when these activists object to an efficient pipeline, replacing the highly inefficient transportation of oil by trucking !

The problem is, the world still needs oil. Huffing and puffing with self-righteous indignation while flying to the latest environmental talk-fest, accomplishes nothing except make the conference attendee's feel smug sanctimony.

Effective environmental action requires the possibility of a positive and beneficial outcome for the general public. Environment movements wasted all the political capital created over the last 20 years, in pursuing unrealistic hate campaigns, and wildly irresponsible, exaggerated claims.

The public quickly realized that much of the new 'Green" ideology, was just repackaged "red" ideology and lost interest.

The impetus of the last 20 years has largely been lost.

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sandorszabo
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

I think this TED talk increased my appreciation of the "true cost of oil;" though I also appreciate MP's point that flying is at least a mixed bag.

Warren
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

marcopolo,

You say you are concerned for the "7 [b]illion inhabitants desperate for energy". You must also know that most never have, and never will reap the majority of benefit from that energy. If you look here

http://oilprice.com/free-widgets

you will see that the USA uses about 1/5 of all the energy directly. And China also uses about 1/5. The difference is that much of the energy used in China ends up as stuff in US landfills.

Pretending that we are trying to get energy to those poor people in Bangladesh, as the sea rises to drown them, is too cynical for words.

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PJD
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Quote:

The difference is that much of the energy used in China ends up as stuff in US landfills.

There seems to be a mistaken belief that a major part of GHG emissions are a result of "stuff" - presumably meaning manufacturing. But actually most GHG emissions are related to transportation, followed by heating and air-conditioning, (including the heating and air-conditioning of manufacturing buildings, of course), then agriculture and/or manufacturing processes - the biggest manufacturing GHG emitters being cement production and by metals manufacturing. I hate the proliferation of plastic crap - especially those profligately-used grocery bags and throw-away food and beverage containers as much as anyone - but the manufacturing and molding of plastic resins is not all that high on the list of GHG sources.

Th reason China has passed the USA in GHG emissions is primarily due to its increasingly urbanized and mobile population of 1.4 billion. This brings up the main point - the GHG emissions of this or that nation is not at all a useful statistic - the per-capita GHG emissions are. So, by that measure, China has less than a quarter of the GHG emissions of the USA.

As far as marcopolo's arguments - don't pay him any mind. His accusations of climate activism as being some kind of red-communist plot is out there with Joe McCarthy, the John Birch Society or the current-day Tea Party - or whatever their Australian equivalents would be.

Warren
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

PJD,

"the GHG emissions of this or that nation is not at all a useful statistic - the per-capita GHG emissions are. So, by that measure, China has less than a quarter of the GHG emissions of the USA."

Having been to other countries, I understand that we Americans live like ancient Pharaohs, or out of control crack whores, and most would give anything to be in our position. What baffles me, is that we don't seem to understand the ultimate impossibility of this.

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marcopolo
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

@ Warren and PDJ

Yours are exactly the sort of responses that has seen the world grow weary of environmental activism. Endless impotent hand-wringing against the evils of the USA (and Western allies), but no constructive suggestions that could actually work.

Any criticism of the hypocrisy and ineffectiveness created by the leftist dogma within the environmental movement, immediately brings accusations of 'heresy' and right-wing conspiracies. (even the arcane and minuscule John Birch Society).

The more unrealistic the environmental movement becomes,the less willing to accept criticism and policies that are effective environmentally, even if they don't coincide with leftist ideology, the less credibility the environmental movement will possess in the opinion of the great mass of the population.

Any effective environmental action, must be focused, prioritised, economically costed, and of proven effectiveness and measurable benefit to gain widespread support. Crank theories, anti-capitalism, wildly exaggerated claims, and a smugly self-righteous, moralistic attitude, accompanied by leftist ideology and political dogma, may provide a satisfying social environment with a certain peer group, but will never accomplish anything of any value.

In the meantime, the most effectively beneficial environmental actions, are being forgotten due to a lack of concentration on priorities.

Get off your chairs, get out and actually do something beneficial. Be defined by what you're for, not just what you're against !

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marcopolo

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Marco,

If you go to this video:

http://vimeo.com/55930801

and some good background info here:

http://vimeo.com/55930802

You will see that to keep within the 2 C limit, we need to reduce CO2 emission to zero by about 2070, and emissions have to become slightly _negative_ by 2090 (The 23-minute point on the video onward). Note that under the economic business as usual, we will be inevitably locked to an 8.5 C with, far higher increases possible within the upper 95% confidence interval, by 2300. Within a couple std. deviations or so - far less confidence than an engineer would ever design a dam or other critical structure for, are temperature increases will reach or exceed the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, and possibly even the P-Tr mass extinction event, and render much of the earth physically uninhabitable to humans (we aren't even talking about impacts on the ability to grow crops yet). Remember that humans perish within hours at a wet-bulb temperature of 35 C - something that could occur in summer or the hot season over wide areas of the earth should these degrees of warming occur.

And we aren't even talking about the dire effects of ocean acidification either.

So, how do you propose, under the current economic system - a system run by tiny minority of powerful wealthy people who have shown absolutely NO interest in addressing the problem whatsoever - to address the problem! In particular, how do you propose to stay below the 2C limit - a degree of warming that will still be quite disruptive, and even fatal to many, by the way.

marcopolo
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

PJD wrote:

So, how do you propose, under the current economic system - a system run by tiny minority of powerful wealthy people who have shown absolutely NO interest in addressing the problem whatsoever - to address the problem! In particular, how do you propose to stay below the 2C limit - a degree of warming that will still be quite disruptive, and even fatal to many, by the way.

If I understand you correctly, we, the planet and everything on it, are all doomed unless there is a radical, reorganisation of the entire planets economic,social and political structure, to a social order which sounds suspiciously like the usual old socialist ideology?

Since you know perfectly well this will not occur, it must be a great relief to you ! Such reasoning, saves you from doing anything constructive, because it's all the fault of a mysterious "tiny minority of powerful wealthy people" !

Such reasoning also allows you to be patronising to the people who are actually making a difference (no matter how modest)while smugly advocating grand plans, that will never happen.

Your reasoning is like a man whose boat has sprung a leak, but refuses to join those attempting a repair, or manning the pumps, instead demands a complete redesign of the boat !

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Guys,

I haven't been keeping up with this thread. Too busy wringing my hands. :-)

Actually, I have been busy riding my bicycle, hanging out our laundry, eating beans instead of meat, having only two kids, living in an earth bermed, passive solar house for 35 years, driving cars with more gears than cylinders, and no AC or power anything, and voting for sensible legislation, and politicians the few times they appear. What else can I do?

The analogy of the leaky boat is pretty good, although the Titanic is probably a better. They had huge faith in their technology, and struggled mightily to keep the lights on, and the pumps running. This allowed a few more to make it into the life boats, but it sunk anyway. The future probably won't look like socialism. Probably more like tribalism, feudalism, or hunter-gathering...systems that existed before cheap energy.

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Marco,

Did you view the videos? Does Prof. Rahmstorf look like a screaming commie to you?

Why are you misrepresenting what I asked you? I asked you to view the videos, then with an understanding of what needs to be done, propose how to do it in the way you would prefer - without massive government regulatory intervention that will, by necessity, deeply penetrate most aspects of the economic system.

Regarding your accusations of "conspiratorial" thinking, And there is nothing "mysterious" about how capitalist economies naturally concentrate wealth in few hands. Nor, that that wealth confers power over public policy, the general direction of an economy, and over ones fellow humans in general. I suspect that you are a 1%er yourself - but thankfully, Australian government policy moderates the concentration of wealth a bit (we can only dream of your $16.00+/hour minimum wage up here). In the US, the top 1% most wealthy own about half of all wealth and capital assets; the bottom 80% own just 7%, and the bottom 50% own 0.5%. And, most of wealth held by that top 1% is actually held by just a few hundred individuals, and pertinent to the discussion, almost all of those individuals are AGW denialists who advocate no action whatsoever. These people can buy a lot of influence. Just look at the US Congress and who funds and runs it. There is absolutely nothing controversial about the above facts; so drop the tired "tin-foil hat" fallacy.

But all this is a digression from the specific question I asked you - but your "tin-foil-hat" and "leftist fringe" accusations demanded a detailed response.

Warren
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Watch the video here. Nothing revolutionary, but well presented.

http://www.urbee.net/vision/

Vehicles like this would go a long way to solving our transportation energy problems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YOCkd1aJ2c

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marcopolo
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

PJD,

Prof. Rahmstorf is undoubtedly an able and knowledgeable scientist. His scientific conclusions may well be correct, or just as the Club of Rome discovered in 1977, experience the same unknown and incalculable factors that contributed to club of Rome's international 'consensus' of scientists, being proved inaccurate.

But let's assume that Prof. Rahmstorf is correct, and nothing intervenes to interfere with his scenario.

It's evident that over the next few decades, the planet's various nations will fly delegates, to endless talk-fest conferences, after which those with nations already low emissions will obey any concordat, but the developing nations will just lie, and ignore anything which proves economically difficult. The PRC will continue to import and mine coal for power production. (even brown coal). India and the PRC will complete over 1200 new coal fired power stations in the next 8 years. These power stations will emit equal the equivalent of Western Europe.

This is beyond the power of anyone to prevent. The US will slowly convert from an oil importing nation to natural gas energy. This will help reduce emissions. But not as mush as developing nations will increase.

There will be no " world revolution" creating a 'New Social Order" ! It just won't happen ! The dream is as impractical as Warren's idealistic dreamers, designing hopelessly unmarketable forms of futuristic transport.

To make Bio-spheric environmental policy effective needs a method of enforcement. Such policies needs self-interested popular support. Policies with priorities and goals, people can understand and believe.

Utopian, idealistic dreams about creating a new social economic order, simply doesn't attract enough worthwhile support !

But here's a definite, positive, understandable, method of emission reduction that could be effected in a very short time, and on a world scale.

I refer to the fuel used in shipping. No.6 Marine grade Fuel, better known as bunker fuel ! This is the most toxic of all industrial air pollution. Bunker Oil pollution is estimated to kill over 130,000 people in the Northern hemisphere each year. In addition, this proven carcinogen creates millions of cases of cancer each year. Even animals are affected. Because this toxic pollution is spread over the worlds oceans, it not only affects the food chain, but directly reduces the oceans ability to act as a carbon sink.

Each container ship, emits the equivalent pollution of up to 50 million cars ! That's 5000 times more than the worlds entire road transport fleet !

Yet, it would only take action by a handful of nations to abolish this most toxic of fuels. If these nations refused to allow ships rigged for bunker oil enter their ports, the use of bunker oil would become uneconomic. These nations do not include the PRC, India or any difficult to enforce developing nations, the pivotal nations are all economically advanced western democracies.

At one stroke, (and only minuscule economic disruption), a hugely significant part of the planets climate change emissions would disappear.

There are no "omnipotent, plutocratic," forces supporting bunker oil usage. Abolition, and conversion of the worlds Fleet may need a little government support, but hey, it creates employment.

So what will you do to aid such a positive, practical and effective campaign ? Or will you just sit and ramble on about a 'new world order, that won't occur !" ?

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

marcopolo wrote:

...
...

At one stroke, (and only minuscule economic disruption), a hugely significant part of the planets climate change emissions would disappear.

There are no "omnipotent, plutocratic," forces supporting bunker oil usage. Abolition, and conversion of the worlds Fleet may need a little government support, but hey, it creates employment.

So what will you do to aid such a positive, practical and effective campaign ? Or will you just sit and ramble on about a 'new world order, that won't occur !" ?

Convince me that your claims are true.

I can understand that bunker oil might cause more pollution of some kind than the worlds fleet of cars taken together, because (I assume that apart from bitumen) the bunker oil is the thickest, most toxic lot left after "refining" other fuels and products out of crude oil. It might have fabulously high concentrations of sulphur, for example, and cause acid rain.

But why would burning of bunker oil be "a hugely significant part of the planets climate change emissions"? My understanding is that the CO2 emissions from burning of fossil fuels are the chief greenhouse gas ingredient in the exhaust gases of internal combustion engines, and these CO2 emissions are directly proportional to the energy released in the process of oxidising hydro-carbons after mixing them with air. In other words, if you used prime unleaded petrol instead of bunker oil to propel a container ship across the ocean, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted would be very similar.

I might be wrong about this, so please explain it if you can, or provide a link to a reputable source that explains it in a bit more detail.

Mik

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Warren
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

"idealistic dreamers, designing hopelessly unmarketable forms of futuristic transport."

I will agree with marcopolo that these designers are idealistic, and that these vehicles are unmarketable in some places now. However, they are anything but futuristic. Small, light, efficient cars have existed since the very beginning of the auto age. The Model T, at 1200 pounds, and 40 mph, was the most popular car on the planet for decades. It was followed by the much more sophisticated and efficient Citroen 2CV, still at 1200 pounds, and 40 mph, and the second most popular car ever produced, for decades. Cyclecars, quadricycles, and minicars were big sellers in Europe for much of the twentieth century. Kei cars are still 50% of all cars sold in Japan. NEV's, like the Twizy, are still the best selling EV's in Europe. It is really only in North America and Australia that, I believe temporarily, the average car has metastasized into the land yachts citizens of these most recently colonized continents think of as "normal", just as the largest pyramids, in Egypt, were built at the end of the age of Pharaohs.

The dirty nature of bunker fuel is, indeed, about acid rain, and particulate matter, and should be dealt with. The reason it is so much worse than that from cars, is the direct result of those very meddling, socialist regulations, which marcopolo hates so much. The distorted way that these emissions are conflated with GHG emissions, by the car lobby, is a desperate attempt to deflect attention from that industry as a major source.

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marcopolo
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Warren

I like your spirited defence (and well written) defence of small, light motor vehicles. But the truth is very different. The European (and Japanese) small cars were created to accommodate government Tax regimes.

The BMC mini designed in 1958 by Sir Alec Issigonis, was brilliant concept, and who couldn't love the original "Italian Job" . However, the little car was a safety nightmare ! Sir Alec's comment ""I make my cars with such good brakes, such good steering, that if people get into a crash it´s their own fault" ! Would not be acceptable today. Now try adding airbags, etc

Small cars will always have a market. But the thing is, the human shape doesn't change and people buy what's convenient, not a idealists concept of what's efficient.

The Renault ZOE EV, will be a "make it or break" it vehicle for small, low range EV's. The disappointing sales of the Nissan Leaf outside Japan, is causing deep angst in the Renault/Nissan Alliance. Carlos Ghosn has bet everything on the Zoe achieving volume production.

EV's will face increased competition from EREV and PIEV, technology. At the same time the US market is looking at introducing CNG/LPG fuelled vehicles. The US has huge reserves of natural gas.

Warren, the problem of bunker oil is massive. But it's a problem that can be logistically solved in the immediate future. Restructuring the world automotive fleet fuel demands, is so much more difficult.

Doesn't it make more sense to to tackle the biggest problem first, especially is it's the easiest problem to resolve ?

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

marcopolo,

"The European (and Japanese) small cars were created to accommodate government Tax regimes."

Yes. And the end of public smoking, in the US, was the result of government regulation as well. What is your point?

"However, the little car was a safety nightmare!"

The argument that big cars are safer is misleading, at best. They are actually much more dangerous, for other vehicle drivers, and pedestrians. It is the vehicular version of the "mutual assured destruction" doctrine. Size is relative. By that logic cars should all be as large as the largest vehicles on the roads.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8taP4ZxpCqU&feature=youtu.be

"But the thing is, the human shape doesn't change and people buy what's convenient,"

That is ironic. Actually, the size of people in the industrialized nations has changed dramatically. Over a third are now obese, and commercial planes are being redesigned to accommodate the increase. The "convenient" modern car, with automatic gear change, power steering, brakes, windows, seats, even door locks, requires zero effort to drive. That, along with buildings with automatic doors, moving walkways, and elevators has created what is now our largest health crisis.

"The Renault ZOE EV, will be a "make it or break" it vehicle for small, low
range EV's."

No OEM has made a serious attempt at an EV. The aerodynamics of every one is pathetic. GM could make a 2500 pound, 24 kWh version of the EV1, without the use of exotic materials, and sell it for the price of the Leaf. It would have a 140 mile EPA range. I suspect that would sell quite well.

"EV's will face increased competition from EREV and PIEV, technology. At the
same time the US market is looking at introducing CNG/LPG fuelled vehicles.
The US has huge reserves of natural gas."

Yes. I have no doubt that Americans will continue to drive some version of big, ICE cars, until we have to give up driving altogether. This is called "biting off your nose to spite your face."

"the problem of bunker oil is massive...Doesn't it make more sense to to tackle the biggest problem first"

Compared to climate change, the effects are small. Granted, the relative handful of ships could be regulated much easier than the global car fleet. I see no reason why dealing with freighter fuel standards, requires postponing work on GHG emissions.

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marcopolo
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Warren wrote:

No OEM has made a serious attempt at an EV. The aerodynamics of every one is pathetic. GM could make a 2500 pound, 24 kWh version of the EV1, without the use of exotic materials, and sell it for the price of the Leaf. It would have a 140 mile EPA range. I suspect that would sell quite well.

No GM couldn't ! Renualt/Nissan has spent nearly $7 billion to produce the Leaf,Zoe etc EV's. Aerodynamics are not the problem. The problem is that current the ESD technology, just doesn't store enough power to be marketable. Expensive vehicles like Tesla's model S can achieve265 mile range with a huge pack of NEC batteries. My LEVRR, is big enough to carry a battery pack that will produce a 200+ mile range in a 4WD vehicle. But both are expensive vehicles.

The idea that OEM's don't make safe, marketable, cheap, viable EV's, because the OEM's are part of some mysterious conspiracy, is just plain silly.

Quote:

Compared to climate change, the effects are small. Granted, the relative handful of ships could be regulated much easier than the global car fleet. I see no reason why dealing with freighter fuel standards, requires postponing work on GHG emissions.

It's a question of priorities ! The world's automotive fleet, will eventually convert to alternate fuels due to the increasing depletion of economic oil. No one is suggesting postponing anything.

But, here we go again, Given the opportunity to really make a difference. (Each ship equals the Pollution of up to 50 Million cars) , you would rather waste time upbraiding auto-manufactures about silly conspiracy theories!

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Hi Mik,

Sorry I haven't replied to you earlier.

I'm currently travelling in Europe,(Monaco), having taken my youngest child back to the land of her ancestors, (UK) to experience an English Christmas. Partly as a reward for her doing so well in passing VCE, and obtaining a driving licence at the first test. Unlike her older brothers, she's looking forward to returning to Australia to attend University.

As a result, I haven't access to all my material. But I will post the links when I get back to London. Also some information on our bio-mass electric generation plant we installed on our UK estate.

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Warren
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

"No GM couldn't ! Renualt/Nissan has spent nearly $7 billion to produce the Leaf,Zoe etc EV's. Aerodynamics are not the problem. The problem is that current the ESD technology, just doesn't store enough power to be marketable."

There is really nothing to argue about. It is just engineering. By their own claims, GM got 160 miles out of the 26.4 NiMH pack. That is 132 Wh/mi, to 80% DoD. That pack weighted almost twice as much as a comparable Li-ion pack today. The car was 2,900 pounds with NiMH. It would be 2,100 pounds with a Leaf pack. Increase the weight by 400 pounds by forgoing exotic materials. Another way to look at it is take a 2013 Smart ED, at 2100 pounds, and add another 6.4 kWh of li-ion and some additional aerodynamic sheet metal, and you are up to 2500 pounds.

As a rectangular box pushing through the air, the standard cars of today can average 10 Wh/mi/pound, driven by the average brain dead driver, hence the 330 Wh/mi, EPA rating for the 3,300 pound Leaf. Many drivers, my two friends included, get 220 Wh/mi on their Leafs by driving the speed limit, and accelerating sensibly. A two seat version, with 800 pounds less weight, and half the CdA of the Leaf would easily exceed the "magic" 100 miles per charge everyone thinks they need.

Unfortunately, the OEM's learned a lesson from the dismal sales of the remarkable first generation Honda Insight. Give the public more of the same, and hope for a miracle.

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Warren,

10 years ago, even 5 years ago, you could justifiably complain, "Why can't I buy an EV ?!

Today there are at least 15 models available with Plug-in EV technology, but that's still not good enough for you ! You want an OEM, to build a vehicle specially for you !

Your contempt for your fellow motorist displays your conviction that you are in some manner, a superior individual with greater knowledge. (not an unusual phenomenon among those who claim to speak for the masses).

But the truth is simple. (even the "Average brain dead driver" can understand). By the time all the necessary safety features are added, including a reasonable level of comfort and functionality, all vehicles become substantially heavier.

There's no 'Magic' 100 mile range, "that everyone thinks they need" ! In fact, as current world sales show, the biggest problem pure EV's have is range anxiety. Tesla's model S, overcomes this problem with a large battery pack, and fast charging capacity. Liberty Electric Vehicles in the UK does the same, but the longer range makes these vehicles expensive .

GM's brilliant Volt/Ampera overcomes the problem with an on board gasoline generator. Sales of PIEV and EREV's reflect the wisdom of building cars that people want, rather than something a designer thinks they should need.

But, if as you say, your transport requirements are less than 100 miles, why not buy yourself a iMev, or Leaf ? Even a Renault Twizzy ? (or more sensibly, a ZOE). Treat yourself ! Invest in purchasing the superb Tesla model S ! Want to look like you are driving a 'real' car, buy the Ford Focus EV.

If you have only one car, and worry about recharging facilities, buy a Volt/Ampera or Plug-in Prius etc..

Need a much bigger vehicle ? Buy a Mitsubishi Outlander PIEV, or even a LEVRR. How about a small delivery vehicle like the Renault Kangoo EV ?

Or alternatively, you can do nothing, except sit and whine about silly conspiracy theories, feeling smugly superior about imaginary vehicles, which don't (and never will) exist.

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Warren
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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

marcopolo,

Please pay attention. I have an EV. I built it myself. It does everything I need it to do.

I don't claim to be a superior individual. We have friends in the Netherlands. He was an engineer for the Dutch oil giant, and she was a nurse. Neither of them has ever had a driver's license. They live in a much harsher climate than I do, yet they have always gotten around by bicycle. Their lives, and careers gave them a unique understanding of the role of oil as a blessing, and a curse. They wouldn't claim to be superior individuals, just lucky.

Things change. People change. Living in tobacco country, I never expected to see public smoking disappear, but it has. Our local celebrity, Thomas Jefferson, as superior as he was, couldn't imagine a time went someone of mixed race, like his slave and concubine, Sally Hemmings, would end up in that exclusive club to which he belonged...president of the United States.

And, yes, I believe there will come a time when owning, and driving huge, private cars will be a thing of the past. It could happen sooner than either of us can imagine.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/2012-hottest-year-on-record-in-continental-us-noaa-says/2013/01/08/5c9dc1a...

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

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Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Warren,

Congratulations on building your own EV. Although strictly speaking you really only converted an existing ICE to operate as a simple EV. You didn't build the technology, simply converted the power train, the really difficult technology was already developed by others.

I'm not meaning any disrespect for your enthusiasm or hard work and commitment undertake the arduous to task of conversion, but simply to say that an OEM faces a totally different set of dynamics when designing a car that can be sold to the public.

Anecdotal evidence about people with different lifestyles is not really conclusive of anything. Yes, there are human beings who choose to live on a vegan diet, but that doesn't prove humans evolved to be vegans ! On the contrary, the humans species is decidedly equipped for an omnivorous diet.

Your example of Thomas Jefferson is an interesting example of how science (and history) can become distorted to suit a popular political concept or ideology.

Sally Hemmings may well have been Thomas Jefferson's common law wife, and indeed she may have given birth to at least one of his children. But the DNA result were not that conclusive. Subsequent to the publication Eugene Foster, the lead co-author of the DNA study, has tried ( with little success) to clarify the findings and establish that the data only concludes that Thomas Jefferson was one of several candidates for the paternity of Eston Hemings.

Historian's like Professor Annette Gordon-Reed, have built very successful and respected careers, based on the desire of Americans to believe that Eston Hemmings was the child of Thomas Jefferson. In Professor Gordon-Reeds own words, "Symbolically, it's tremendously important for people to accept that Jefferson sired children with is black concubine, as a way of inclusion for Afro-Americans"

The late Professor Nathan Irvin Huggins, said the story of Sally Hemmings giving birth to the children of Thomas Jefferson, was an important way of establishing black people's birthright to America. He went on to say that it proved the hypocrisy and culpability of white America.

Despite the uncertainty of the DNA results, it's now almost impossible in liberal institutions to raise this subject without being subjected to accusations of racism from those with vested interests in maintaining the popular belief.

A parallel can be drawn with climate change, where popular misconceptions supported by political and ideological rhetoric have overwhelmed and distorted the meanings of the scientific data. Even questioning of the accuracy of the methodology, bring a torrent of irrational abuse.

The institution of slavery is clearly not morally or even economically defensible. Not even in the time of Thomas Jefferson. Even at that time, many nations had abolished slavery, even some of the US states were opposed to slavery.

(I'm happy to say that my own family played a small part in helping to pass the (UK) Slavery Abolition Act 1833, and later the (UK) Slave Trade Act of 1807.)

However, the point is that no matter how worthy a cause politically, or ideology, misrepresenting or exaggerating scientific, or historical accuracy, is never justified.

The idea that the future will be a sort of minimalist utopia, is hardly new ! In fact it has been tried. But it didn't end up with everyone driving a wonderfully aerodynamic efficient vehicle, it resulted in the late (and unlamented) GDR's Trabant !

__________________

marcopolo

Warren
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Joined: 12/29/2010
Points: 30
Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

marcopolo,

"Congratulations on building your own EV."

I didn't convert an ICE vehicle. I converted a bicycle, the most efficient vehicle ever devised.

"Anecdotal evidence about people with different lifestyles is not really conclusive of anything."

Except that hundreds of millions of people get through life just fine without automobiles. To pretend that driving automobiles is some sort of given, like breathing, is a debating trick to remove it from discussion.

"Your example of Thomas Jefferson is an interesting example of how science (and history) can become distorted to suit a popular political concept or ideology."

Yes. The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society is a perfect example. In creationist circles, this tactic is called "teaching the controversy."

"Sally Hemings may well have been Thomas Jefferson's common law wife"

To suggest that a slave can be a "wife" is an insult to all women, and to men of good conscience.

And again, your tactic of going off into the weeds on a debate about whether it was Thomas, or his brother Randolph who raped Sally, deliberately ignores my point...that people, and circumstances change.

"The idea that the future will be a sort of minimalist utopia, is hardly new !"

Why do you insist that I am talking about a socialist utopia?

In fact, I don't expect anything of the sort. It was Richard Nixon who instituted gas rationing, and the 55 mph speed limit, not a socialist. I don't expect any reduction of private car usage under this, or any Democratic president. A much more likely scenario, given the current collapse of global capitalism, and the end of cheap energy, is increased tension leading to actual conflict. Perhaps China and Japan. More likely India and Pakistan, real fighting leading to a very insecure energy supply. The US, under a Republican administration, with its small domestic energy supply, in the name of national security, will drastically curtail private auto use. Perhaps only allowing them for government/military officials, and important private investors, like yourself. :-)

__________________

warren

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Warren,

You have incredibly narrow vision, seeing through the prism of preconception. You invent scenario's then argue them as facts.

Warren wrote:

I converted a bicycle, the most efficient vehicle ever devised.

A bicycle is only efficient depending on individual subjective needs. A bicycle is not an inherently efficient method of transport. Your statement, deliberately omits detail to prove an ideological point. Making a highly generalised statement, while deliberately omitting any factors to the contrary, is a typical error of the ideologue.

Quote:

To suggest that a slave can be a "wife" is an insult to all women, and to men of good conscience. And again, your tactic of going off into the weeds on a debate about whether it was Thomas, or his brother Randolph who raped Sally

Again, you make the mistake of assuming the circumstances, and without any evidence, use extreme language to assume you know what others thought or felt.

The condition of slavery, does not preclude the idea of a de-facto relationship. Nor does the condition of slavery, automatically mean that slaves didn't enter into sexual relationships willingly. In the case of Sally Hemings, Sally lived with the Jefferson for some years in France where slavery was illegal. She was educated to speak French and free to move around Paris with the same degree of freedom as any French servant. Being easily able to pass as Spanish or Corsican she could have easily run away. The French authorities would have protected her. Instead she returned to the USA with Jefferson, and slavery, of her own volition.

It's not hard to believe, (except to the pruriently puritanical) that the young Sally Hemings found Jefferson, a youthful forty-five year old, charismatic widower, highly desirable, and willingly, even eagerly encouraged a genuine loving relationship.

Judging people who lived in a different world by the attitudes of today, is typical of the mistakes made by 'revisionist historians' . Inventing a theory that suits a preconceived idealogical attitude, and fitting only those facts that suit the theory as evidence of the theories validity, is a typical intellectual mistake of all leftist dogma.

Quote:

A much more likely scenario, given the current collapse of global capitalism, and the end of cheap energy, is increased tension leading to actual conflict. Perhaps China and Japan. More likely India and Pakistan, real fighting leading to a very insecure energy supply. The US, under a Republican administration, with its small domestic energy supply, in the name of national security, will drastically curtail private auto use. Perhaps only allowing them for government/military officials, and important private investors, like yourself.

Again you make wild sweeping assumption based on erroneous, or no evidence. There is no evidence of a "current collapse of global capitalism", ! Capitalism is alive and well ! Your understanding of capitalism, is based on a misconception. Your mistake is equating an economic phenomenon, capitalism, with an ideologically devised artificial dogma like socialism.

Again you assume that the US has a "small domestic energy supply" ! In fact, that just nonsense ! The US is rapidly becoming an energy powerhouse once again ! Currently the largest supplier of oil to the US, is Canada. Although Canada is very much a politically (and culturally) an independent nation, economically it can be considered as part of the US for energy purposes.

The US has vast reserves of natural Gas. Certainly enough to operate a vehicle fleet the same size as the current fleet for over 100 years. Geo-Thermal power(thanks largely to Chevron) is becoming a viable source of clean, economically viable energy. Last, but not least, the US has plentiful nuclear capacity.

All of these base-load power sources can be supplemented by Solar and Wind. The US will never "drastically curtail private transport to a few government, or military personnel". Such an action would destroy the economy. President Nixon's action in 1974, was intended as an emergency reaction to OPEC. The US reaction was effective, and the counter measures adopted have proved successful in preventing any re-occurrence.

The technology for alternate fuels, including CNG/LPG, didn't exist in 1973.

Luckily, your exciting 'Apocalyptic' future, remains just a fantasy !

So, stop dreaming of the impossible, and help to fight for practical environmental causes, with realistic outcomes. I understand your frustration, and feeling of helplessness to bring about a complete solution. Instead harness your energy, and passion, into making a difference, however small. By this method you may ignite confidence in others who will join increasingly successful campaigns and quickly attitudes change.

I never wanted to go into business. (certainly not investment banking). 37 years ago, I was content to be a career Army lawyer. When I was very young, my mother divorced my father and taking me with her,left the UK and returned to her native Australia . I loved the Australian way of life, and quickly settled into my new life in rural Australia, with a kind (if indulgent) step-father who was a prosperous Australian pastoralist and local politician.

I loved the easy routine of the Australian Army, and as the father of two small boys, thought my life was comfortably settled.

Unfortunately back in the UK, my father death meant that he had left me the responsibility for a large estate encumbered with death duties (UK) and debts far beyond it's value ! Owning to the peculiarity of English inheritance law, I was left with an obligation that I not only didn't want, but didn't know about.

My father had made no provision for my younger brother, (by his second marriage) who had been brought up to run the expectation of living on the estate.

I was forced to leave the Army, and return to the UK to try to find a method of resolving my late fathers affairs, look after a younger brother whom I barely knew, try to hold off the wolves, operate an English estate,(without any knowledge) work out away to make enough money to satisfy both the UK taxman, and my father numerous creditors, and retain a property that had been in my family for over 900 years. Just to add to my misfortunes my wife decided to emulate my mother, and returned to Australia. However, she left me with our two small boys.

In the words of Bruce Springsteen, "I had debts no honest man could pay!". So, I became a Merchant Banker! :)

But it taught me the lesson of the importance of priorities, and fighting only the battles you can win.

Although, in time I succeeded, and today my younger brother is well established. and manages our ancestral estate as a profitable concern. I have ensured that the estate has a tax structure ensuring his children won't be burdened by inheritance taxes. My oldest son is a successful surgeon, married to a surgeon, and my younger son followed me into law/banking and is currently employed by a major Swiss bank in the US.

My passion for environmental causes was inspired by my second wife Susan,(mother of my daughter). Suzy was a passionate 'greenie'. In honour of her memory, I established a foundation to finance effective environmental action.

When I retire in the next few years, and become free to express myself without the restriction of corporate responsibility, I intend to devote myself to advancing the affairs of the foundation.

My interest in EV technology came as a result of helping to finance an electrical manufacturing business, and investing in Vectrix Ltd. The collapse of Vectrix, resulted in me suing some of the Vectrix directors personally as a result of their gross mismanagement and breaches of fiducial obligations.

Currently, we are working on a project to build an evaporative cooling system that doesn't increase the humidity, recycles water, and can be installed in specialist applications as diverse as mines and Auto-mobiles. We also are developing more battery powered tools and appliances, agricultural equipment,and bio-mass systems. We actively assist with the development of alternate energy, and EV transport, for small Island Nations. (in conjunction with the ROC (Taiwan), and ROC corporations). We have helped finance the R&D for 3 dimensional manufacturing.

Banning the use of bunker oil, building small, but environmentally (and economically),beneficial technology may not be as heroic or exciting as apocalyptic reorganisations of society, but it's real, and can actually happen!

Just 3D manufacturing technology alone, has the potential to revolutionise the world economy, and environment.

__________________

marcopolo

Warren
Offline
Joined: 12/29/2010
Points: 30
Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

marcopolo,

"A bicycle is only efficient depending on individual subjective needs."

The bicycle is the most efficient means of transporting a single individual. If you "need" to haul show horses, at 70 mph, half way across the country, then an SUV is required.

"Nor does the condition of slavery, automatically mean that slaves didn't enter into sexual relationships willingly."

Sally Hemings, undoubtedly, exercised her unimaginably limited options. As you suggest, she could have run away, as a single, penniless woman, leaving her family, and friends at the mercy of her owners. Even poor, white women, like my grandmother, were little more than property. To suggest that a person who could be tortured, and killed without recourse, like a kidnap victim, can enter into a willing contract with her captors, is the thinking of a sociopath.

Having a discussion about capitalism, and climate change, with you is pointless.

__________________

warren

marcopolo
Offline
Joined: 05/10/2009
Points: 837
Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Warren wrote:

The bicycle is the most efficient means of transporting a single individual.

You still persist in designing your questions to produce the answer you want !

A bicycle is not efficient for long distances. Nor is efficient to travel quickly. Bicycles can't travel on freeways, snow, heavy rain, etc. To operate a bicycle you must be reasonably healthy,be prepared to get dirty etc. The conditions for use,are limited.

You insist on making broad, generalised statements as if they were proven facts.

Quote:

Sally Hemings, undoubtedly, exercised her unimaginably limited options. As you suggest, she could have run away, as a single, penniless woman, leaving her family, and friends at the mercy of her owners. Even poor, white women, like my grandmother, were little more than property. To suggest that a person who could be tortured, and killed without recourse, like a kidnap victim, can enter into a willing contract with her captors, is the thinking of a sociopath.

Yet, a percentage of slaves like Sally Hemings elected to stay with former slave owners, after emancipation. For you to say that because the institution of slavery was wrong, every individual was incapable of finding love an even a measure of happiness, was impossible, and therefore is the thinking of a sociopath, is narrow minded in the extreme.

Anomalies exist throughout history. Nothing about human beings is black and white. There were even Black Soldiers who volunteered to fight for the Confederacy!

America is not alone in imposing legislative cruelties on it's minorities and unfortunates. But it's probably the only democracy where these evil practices were allowed to flourish for so long.

__________________

marcopolo

safe
safe's picture
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Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 787
Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Warren...

Like you I have roots with the Founding Fathers and am into EV's. On my mom's side I'm descended from Sam Adams.

There are a lot of hopelessly indoctrinated left wing types into EV's and I too have been abused by their language over the years in this hobby. It's just a fact of life now.

-------------------

In the beginning of the US the people who where more intellectual went North and the animal types that liked African based slavery went South. The Founders were mostly of the northern intellectual class (and loved their beer !!!) and had no choice but to allow slavery for the South because otherwise they would not have joined the country.

There was once the "indentured servant" :

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indentured_servant

...which allowed poor people passage to America in exchange for a period of slave labor.

So whites and blacks would often be slaves together.

---------------

These days we call ourselves "wage slaves"... so in a sense slavery is a permanent condition.

Only the "slave for life" has been eliminated.

"Slaves for a Workweek" still exists.

Time is Money and Money can buy Time.
.

safe
safe's picture
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Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 787
Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

Bill Gates Marries Slave Girl

What is the world coming to?

Bill Gates married a wage slave within his own organization.

How shocking !!!

The thought of such social class mixing !!!

To a "commoner" like that.... ;)

.

safe
safe's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2010
Points: 787
Re: The true cost of oil: Garth Lenz @ TEDxVictoria

George Lucas Steals Slave Girl From Steven Spielberg

George Lucas has married a wage slave of DreamWorks Animation despite the company being founded by Steven Spielberg.

Obviously, once this slave girl gets a chance to run she will. ;)

What's the world coming to?

Stealing another man's slave girl is obviously something worthy of a duel.

Firearms at 10 am ?
.

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