Problems of energy sources
While various players in public and private sectors deliberate our energy future, often visioning a mix of fossil fuels, natural gas and wind, solar and sustainables, we will have to focus on emissions in terms of utilization rather than the fuel source.
If we had all the cheap hydrocarbon fuel we needed, we could not use it as the limits to utilization have to do with saturation of the atmosphere with CO2. Our biosphere is conditioned to an atmosphere with a specific partial pressure of oxygen, which is altered by carbon emissions; not to mention the mercury, cadmium and other toxic substances in the fossil emissions mix.
We have atmospheric warming and cellular hypoxia which lowers the vitality and function of every living cell, inviting depletion, poverty and disease. Whether we’re discussing coal, the myth of clean coal, oil, bio-ethanol, natural gas from any source, the issue is combustion emissions where carbon and a variety of undesirables is released into our lungs. This should be the beginning and end of the discussion.
Our automobiles are not “high tech.” They are highly automated, archaic devices, the best of which, maybe the turbo-diesel, is less than 2% thermodynamically efficient. The energy in automobile fuels is the heat content that produces the expansion that pushes pistons, turbines etc.
Current internal combustion heat engines, designs over 150 years old, squander 97% or more of this heat and this is why your car has a radiator and cooing system. The lost heat which does not get trapped in our atmosphere resulting in undeniable atmospheric warming and violence, radiates infinitely into space as radiation. This radiation carries a message to any extraterrestrial intelligence that most intelligence is extra-terrestrial and this unfortunate planet is inhabited by poorly structured beings that are stuck in the past.
What little heat energy that goes to work propelling your car is quickly converted back to heat as the friction of the braking system, thanks to an obsolete roadway system and traffic lights guided by the principle of democracy rather than law of inertia.
As to hydraulic fracturing for gas, coal or, for that matter, coal, why would intelligent people sacrifice their health, property values, mental and emotional well being and incline their children’s futures toward big trouble?
Germany created 185,000 new jobs in going to solar power.