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July 28, 2006

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Luke

I'm always wary of people who point to a single technology as the solution to a massive problem, such as fuel shortages and emission reduction.

I predict that the eventual fuel shortage/emission reduction problem will be a solved by a mixture of technologies. No one technology will be perfect for every situation. Just as Ethanol technologies create emissions and use oil, electric batteries are not sufficient (currently) for long-distances using heavy vehicles (and it's those semis that are used mostly for long-distance transport, yes?).

I agree that ethanol from corn is the wrong way to go. Corn and oil are highly subsidized in this country and that is a major reason why we are so dependant on these two products.

As an aside, there was a study recently done on the ratio C-13 [the predominant form of C on earth] and C-14 [the rarer, yet still naturally-occuring "heavy" C atom] in humans. It was found that the ratio was roughly the same as it is in corn. All that High Fructose Corn Syrup adds up! But seriously, almost all the processed foods we eat contain corn or corn by-products.

To get back to ethanol, I don't see the issue with using switch grass-based ethanol in moderate amounts to cover the gaps where electric cars fail (currently). It's also important to note that all the electric car supporters are clustered in California and thereabout, where the climate has no adverse effects on the battery life of their cars. Try using the current battery technology during a New England winter and your battery life can be reduced to as little as 20 miles/day.

So yes, putting all out eggs in one basket, so to speak, with electric cars (or ethanol, or oil) can only lead to the same problems we have now.

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