Monday, October 24, 2011

Energy and Environment

First off, we now hear that cellulosic ethanol is about to hit the market. Oh goody! this means that the additive that reduces your fuel economy and adds to pollution via enhanced evaporation and increased consumption will now be less likely to be made from stuff you would otherwise eat. This should bring down the price of food.

Good thing. You'll need that money to give to the government:
As Poet exec Greg Hartgraves points out, production of cellulosic ethanol is expensive and that means those floodgates need to be helped open with federal monies. Without an energy policy mandating its production, U.S. firms are likely to shy away from the cellulosic biofuel, he said.
But with sufficient financial incentives, the race is on.

If you turn away from motor fuel, which is what ethanol is, we get into the even greener pastures of photovoltaic solar energy. The good news is that manufacturing techniques are getting better and better, enabling those with a supply of the (very) rare earth materials required to partly offset the cost of the underlying product.

The bad news is that most of the mines producing rare earths are in China, and believe me they haven't heard of the EPA there. Of course if your miners all die by age 40, the up side is that there are more where they came from and with their self-induced shortage of women, reducing the supply of men just makes sense.

Absent any progress in the field of converting unicorn farts into limitless energy, it now appears that "energy efficiency" is simply political doublespeak for shutting down your economy. The less industry you have, the less energy you use all around.

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