We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We wish these folks luck "working together" with the Obama auto-design team. One thing seems certain by 2016: Taxpayers will be paying Detroit to make the cars Americans don't want, and then they will pay again either through (trust us) a gas tax or with a purchase subsidy. Even the French must think we're nuts.
MIT: We're all gonna die. Despite 10 years of global cooling, computers insist on apocalypse. Doesn't direct observation trump computer modeling? I guess not. How come nobody is paranoid about Hal living in those MIT computers?
Henry Waxman, chair of Commerce and Energy, is opposed to both.
Electric cars could reduce use of fossile fuels if we could generate electricity easily by other means -- solar, wind, hydrogen fuel cell, hydroelectric, nuclear. Since the environazis have demanded all of these except nuclear, and then blocked a lot of the projects, we will not get electricity from the supposed renewable sources.
I have read that the energy required to charge a car and run it for 100 miles by electricity is actually less than the energy to run it on carbon fuel. The real problem is range and recharge time. We can't field a battery that will take me from Billings to Bozeman and back on a cold day while allowing me to recharge and go out that evening. Solve that and maybe we have electric cars.
I don't have a source at my fingertips, but as I recall the article (maybe from Cecil Adams at Straight Dope?) it was apples-to-apples, that is, comparing sedan to sedan of about the same weight and features. The energy to produce the electricity at the wall can come from a non-combustion source. Even if it comes from a combustion source, the energy footprint is supposedly smaller than the direct burning of hydrocarbon fuel.
The reality is that carbon dioxide won't be toxic in the atmosphere until it's about 100 times current levels or maybe an order of magnitude higher yet. It won't affect the earth's temperature until about that point. And we can get all the hydrocarbon fuel we want, really. But all resources should be used efficiently.
Hunted around myself for that and couldn't find an original authoritative reference. I did find this by Waxman though:
We're seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point - they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn't ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there's a lot of tundra that's being held down by that ice cap.
Seems a northern shipping route would save tons and tons of fuel. That's a good thing. As far as more tundra, that's great because we could move all the ungulates of Anwar to the new tundra and get us some liquid gold from Sarah P.
A discussion thread on another blog [Neptunus lex] is full of commenters saying that it would be better to hang on to your old car and repair it rather than buy a new one built to these basically non-achievable requirements. The commenters also note that there could be a thriving market for older, well-built cars built to simpler, more achievable standards. Less stuff to break, simpler to repair.
But-but-but .... the Obama dreamers want you to buy new cars, powered by busy little squirrels in cages. Or a cute little windmill on the top of the car. Or a reeelly long electrical cord attached to an outlet in your garage. They're counting on it. Our whole economy depends on it. Do it, dammit, or we will keel you! Or tax you to death, which is the same thing.
Geoff, you little carbon dioxide generator you, [every time you breathe out] Don't tell me you've fallen for the biggest scam of the 20th century. Carbon dioxide is an essential gas, like oxygen, not a pollutant, except in Gore's disturbed mind. Without carbon dioxide, we'd all be living in a sandbox, for the short period we'd still be living at all. All plants, let me repeat, all plants require carbon dioxide as fertilizer. Lucky for the plants, all living landbased creatures that breathe keep exhaling carbon dioxide, every time they breathe in air.
It's called 'the balance of nature' by every one except Democrats. They say, "It's a disaster! Let's tax it."