Jun 152016
 

With a rather ridiculous headlie, Robert Scribbler has lowered the bar of believability once again – “Al Gore’s Revenge — Internal Combustion Engines Stink and This Ridiculously Powerful Electric Turbine Truck Proves It“. I suggest you read it.

Wow. A whole 190 miles between recharges. I’m sure that’s an improvement over current models, but seriously? And ‘tanked fuel’. Hmmm, might that be diesel?

I am seriously underwhelmed. More hopium from the Scribbler who has yet to grasp reality on just how much this really means to our greenhouse gas contributions.

An electrical vehicle powered by a battery that is capable of recharging either through regenerative breaking or a wall socket, the Nikola One is already capable of achieving a zero emissions ride.”

Oh really? And just exactly where did all those materials to build the truck come from? Or the batteries? Or the ‘tanked fuel’? Or the recharging stations?

All this and no emissions? Only if you believe in fantasy fairy tales and winged angels.

“But that’s if truckers are willing to stop every 190 miles for a recharge or to put net zero carbon biofuels into its ‘agnostic’ fuel tank.”

Ah, now we get to the punch-line. Stop every 190 miles… Well, that’s doable, I guess. Pretty short run for a long-haul trucker, but doable, sure. Even I like to get out and stretch my legs, but that is a rather short distance for a freight truck (average distance to transport food is 1500 miles and much further for other kinds of products). Let’s see, that’s approximately 8 stops. This is sure to impact it’s efficiency computations, and how often or not the carbon-emitting biofuels are used. Truckers are paid by the mile, not by the hour. They’re also limited on how long they can drive before mandatory stops and rests. 190 miles doesn’t even figure into this current arrangement, which means what you think it means – hey baby, it’s ‘biofuels’ all the way!

And the recharge? Is that “zero-emissions” too? (Nope). And the supposedly zero-carbon biofuel – is that zero emissions? (Nope). It’s the same with the recharging stations and the electricity they’ve obtained from the grid (or even from ‘alternative energy sources’). None of this stuff is zero emissions.

“In all likelihood, most rigs will be refueled for some time by compressed natural gas stations on many long haul routes.”

Well, we all know (if we’ve been paying attention) that natural gas is anything but zero emissions, so I don’t see how this will qualify any of these claims as being truthful or accurate either.

I love the idea of electric vehicles, but not one of them is zero emissions (and never will be if you do the math). They’re quiet, they don’t emit smelly fumes (when driving, but it’s another story when they’re being manufactured or supplied with replacement parts) and they’re simply fucking cool.

I want one myself. But I don’t have any use for the curved 4k TV Tesla is offering (useless). I could silently cruise down the road secure in my delusional belief that I’m helping the planet while maintaining my lifestyle, never the wise to the horrible truth of what is really occurring. But there aren’t any vehicles that could tackle the roads here and there are certainly no recharging stations anywhere around for hundreds of miles (except at home of course – but what about my fishing trips?).

Is everybody aware that Tesla proposes to consume 100% of the world’s lithium supply? What do you suppose this might mean for other industries that require lithium? Like your cellphone? Or your computer? Or what it might mean for the price of lithium? Competition for this dwindling resource is going to create some big problems.

“Though this system does use a fuel tank (which can be filled with CNG, petroleum, diesel or biofuel) to extend the base electrical range, it represents a huge leap forward in the sustainability of long haul trucking.”

Uh, no – it’s not. Sustainability will actually go down as the raw materials required for these designs depletes and their demand goes up. They’ll be highly dependent upon their technological limitations and availability (just the opposite of sustainability). And none of these ‘fuels’ are zero-emissions. They’re all carbon sourced, carbon emitting fuels.

But still, I love the idea of electric vehicles. I just don’t endorse the hype, propaganda and incessant brainwashing on how great they are or how much they’re going to help our greenhouse gas problem much. In fact, there is evidence that the greenhouse gasses emitted are going to go up instead of down.

“If we’re going to tackle climate change, we need to address both long haul trucking and aircraft based fossil fuel emissions.”

Yes, we should. But let’s have some honesty about this, shall we?

The largest sources of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions include passenger cars and light-duty trucks, including sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks, and minivans. These sources account for over half of the emissions from the sector. The remainder of greenhouse gas emissions comes from other modes of transportation, including freight trucks, commercial aircraft, ships, boats, and trains as well as pipelines and lubricants. (Transportation Sector Emissions)

The larger greenhouse gas problem with transportation is personal vehicles. Tesla’s working on that too, but it’s still unaffordable for most people. Electric freight trucks are a breakthrough for certain, but they’re not going to save the planet.

Vehicle emissions from all sources contributes less to climate change then oopselectricity generation and agriculture (see quote below). So how does this “work” with those recharging stations envisioned every 190 miles? Anybody want to do the math on this one? How many thousands of recharging stations does this actually represent? And what is that going to take in terms of resources and their contribution to emissions?

Tesla is only planning on 55 natural gas fill-up stations by the way (for the entire country) and claiming that these will provide for “millions of gallons of clean natural gas each day.” Liars. Isn’t there a place in hell for such people?

So let me get this straight… A electric vehicle company is going to promote natural gas consumption? And call it clean? Are they by chance involved in the horrible fracking activity going on around the country? I don’t even want to look. Perhaps the good news is Tesla’s only actually received $10 million (not the $2.3 billion claimed). Now you know why I didn’t post a picture with this blog entry – the thing doesn’t even exist. But hey, I still like the idea of electric transportation. I don’t want to see them fail. But I’d also like to have the truth about what they’re offering really means. It’s not a solution and it’s not much of a step in the right direction either.

So what about the claim that transportation contributes to our greenhouse gasses?

(Transportation Sector Emissions) – In 2014, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 26% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second largest contributor of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions after the Electricity sector.

(Electricty Sector Emissions) – 27% of electricity generated in 2014 was generated using natural gas. Petroleum accounts for approximately 1% of electricity generation. The remaining generation comes from nuclear (about 19%) and renewable sources (about 13%), which includes hydroelectricity, biomass, wind, and solar.

I’ll try and spell it out for you. A ‘zero-emissions’ truck (which isn’t) running on lithium batteries (also not zero emissions) which must be recharged every 190 miles, or using ‘zero-carbon biofuels’ (which aren’t) is supposed to make a substantial difference on human-contribution to greenhouse gasses and global warming (it won’t). But hey, it’s a start – I guess.

Actually, we could do better. We could change the entire paradigm of how we live and how we transport stuff and how much we make and what we demand, and hey! We could even grow some of our own food as part of this new paradigm. But this sort of conversation is rarely in the public space and even rarer among authors and publishers, let alone industry or government. And we sure as hell don’t want to discuss things like population or what sustainability really means… no, we’d rather endorse a war criminal and do everything we can to maintain the status quo while pretending everything is going to be honky dory based on vaporware and empty promises. Pardon me while I puke.

Maybe this really will be “Al Gore’s Revenge” when we all finally start to listen to what the Earth has been telling us for decades and stop paying attention to all the hype and propaganda and phony ‘solutions’ we’re constantly being promised.

But probably not. Hopium is simply easier to accept then face reality. What we’re far more likely to get, no – what we are absolutely certain to receive is Gaia’s Revenge (James Lovelock) as the Earth totters towards the total collapse of the biosphere while we continue to dither around embracing our failed paradigms. Our insistence of “business as usual” is our death sentence.

I wish I didn’t have to write article like this. I wish we could all get on board with reality. I wish that people would wake the fuck up and realize just how deceptive many media sources really are. But I rarely ever get anything I wish for. I rarely even get a thank you. But I don’t care anymore, I’ve got nothing left to lose that I haven’t already lost.

Be careful with what you read these daze. Glassy-eyed hopium isn’t the new crack, it’s the same old crap shoveled since the human ape stood upright and formed a coherent sentence.

 Posted by at 5:45 pm