How can James Howard Kunstler, author of the "World Made By Hand", be classed as a "denier", Bushwalker?
I don't think that term fits.
Kunstler is one of the speakers on a panel organised last month by the Centre for Progressive Urban Politics titled "Reality is no Longer an Option".
I can thoroughly recommend watching the video of the discussion, which I have linked below. All seven panellists, including the moderator, are of the highest integrity, intelligence, and understanding of our current predicament.All of them "walk the talk" in their own lives.
The snag is, you must set aside two and a half hours to watch it. It held my attention although I had heard it all before. They strike sparks off each other.
This does take us far beyond the topic of electric cars, I'm afraid.
Electric Vehicles(671 posts) (63 voices)
How can James Howard Kunstler, author of the "World Made By Hand", be classed as a "denier", Bushwalker?Posted Wednesday 5 Apr 2017 @ 4:12:08 am from IP #
Because what he wrote on his blog is simply not correct.
Coal is NOT the main source of energy in the US. Did you read what I wrote? I read what he wrote, and I showed that his claims on his blog are simply false.
He may be different from what was written on his blog, but I read his blog and it is not based on facts.Posted Wednesday 5 Apr 2017 @ 4:30:25 am from IP #
Bushwalker, in the Kunstler passage that you quoted he does not say that coal is the main source of electricity in the US.
Like Kunstler, I have long thought that the energy embedded in cars when they are built is disastrous. That is why I still have my eighteen year old car. I hold that it would be irresponsible to buy a new one until the old one is worn out.
Kunstler is well known for his assertion that "the days of Happy Motoring are over."
Electric cars may have come on the scene too late to make a difference.Posted Wednesday 5 Apr 2017 @ 5:05:08 am from IP #
I'm sure I've seen studies that show that the embedded energy in a car is miniscule compared to the energy that is used to move it around over its lifetime. You're 18year old car is probably well in to this category by now - the embedded energy is irrelevant. What is relevant is that you are continuing to use fossil fuel to move it around and if its 18yrs old I guess not so efficiently ? And embedded energy is not all a lost cause - much of that can be recovered by recycling the materials.
While electric cars might be supplied power from a coal fired station, they don't have to be. Many people who have an EV will buy greenpower or charge it from their own solar. There's no easy way to generate your own petrol or gas to run a FF car.
Kunstler might not gave said coal was the major generator but its the only one he mentioned - as if using an electric car meant you must be using coal derived electricity.Posted Wednesday 5 Apr 2017 @ 8:01:13 am from IP #
This is what your apparently hero said:
"A lot of what gets burned for electric power is coal."
He makes no difference between fossil fuel and electric cars, yet there is massive differences in production and use of energy over time. Much better to go electric than fossil fuel.Posted Wednesday 5 Apr 2017 @ 8:02:37 am from IP #
Benny, I do not think it is true that "the embedded energy in a car is minuscule compared to the energy that is used to move it around over its lifetime".
The RACQ is one body publishing costs of owning and driving a car in Austalia.
The relevant web-page is:
From it, you can click "Car running costs >" to download a pdf for various typical models of car.
It is not simple matter to extract the comparison of fuel costs with embodied costs.[I have done my best, but I may have made mistakes.]
My model of car, the Subaru Forester, is in the tables for "Medium SUV Class".
[When I bought it in 1998, the class "SUV" was not used here. It was a light sedan with off-road capability - the cheapest option for glider towing.]
The table [for 2016] cites the list price for a Forester as $32,990.00, and the 5-year total costs, driving 15,000 km/year, as $53.973.76.
However, these totals are calculated as the 5-year sum of weekly costs, and the weekly costs are the sum of various standing cost components and running cost components.
I think the weekly portion of the energy embedded the car, represented by the list price, is totally included in the weekly depreciation (because the money is all borrowed): $65.79 per week. That adds up to only $17,105.40 in five years. [Perhaps the car is still worth $32,990.00 - $17,015.40 = $15,884.60 after five years? Not likely.]
The cost of fuel is given as 8.3 cents per kilometre. At 15,000 km/year, that is $1245 per year, or $23.94 per week, and a total of $6225 in five years.
In dollar terms, the embedded energy of manufacture given by the list price of $32,990.00, is over five times the energy in the fuel used in a five-year "life": $6225. That cannot be called "minuscule".
My car has a proven life of 18 years so far, which is three-and-a-half times the 5-year figure used in the RACQ tables. To extrapolate, in an 18-year life, my car would still have more energy embedded in its manufacture than used in the fuel for driving it.Posted Thursday 6 Apr 2017 @ 4:32:09 am from IP #
I now agree with you that the embodied energy is not miniscule compared to operational energy use, but not because of your monetary argument. I couldn't accept any calculation using money as a proxy for energy, especially considering the huge variations we've seen in fuel prices.
So I did a quick search for information and although there are various answers around it looks like the embodied energy is generally comparable to the lifetime energy use. I find figures of about 20,000kWh for manufacture. My iMiev uses only 8kWh/100km so if I get 100,000km out of it that should be 8000kWh over that lifetime - far less than the manufacture but also far less than a petrol equivalent would have used. 5L/100kM = 5000L at 10kWh/L = 50,000kWh. Total for the electric is 28,000kWh and petrol is 70,000kWh. If you were to drive the petrol another 100,000kM it would use another 50,000kWh whereas buying a new electric and running 100,000kM would be 28,000. If I get all my electric car kWh from solar PV should I just use the embedded energy of the panels and not what they generate which would be even lower.
Toyota published an interesting article on CO2 equivalent of manufacture vs operation here...
10.2tonnes for manufacture, 44tonnes over lifetime (not specified mileage etc)Posted Thursday 6 Apr 2017 @ 7:30:41 am from IP #
The latest fuel cell car - Honda Clarity - has a range of 590 km, which is slightly more than the 500+ km range of an upper range Tesla. So the promised range advantages of hydrogen over battery cars has not been kept.
So we are left with charge times as the biggest differentiation. Then of course fuel costs, availability and durability (of hydrogen cars).Posted Saturday 15 Apr 2017 @ 5:59:34 am from IP #
A sensitivity analysis of different scenarios was carried out. The sensitivity analysis is a systematic procedure for estimating the effect of the choices made regarding methods and data on the results of the study.
Examples of the scenarios considered in the sensitivity analysis are:
Influence of the different consumptions and electricity production scenarios.
Influence of the data robustness on the life cycle assessment results.
Classification BMW i3 in relation to other vehicle concepts.
Influence of the environmental impact of the high-voltage battery cells and the
battery ́s lifespan.
Ambitious sustainability targets had been already set in the early strategic phase of the BMW i3. These targets were pursued steadily and monitored by LCA.
Thanks these sustainability actions over the whole value chain and the ongoing monitoring the resulted global warming potential of the BMW i3 BEV is about 30% up to 50% (with renewable energy) less compared to a conventional vehicle (Green Car of the Year 2008).Posted Saturday 15 Apr 2017 @ 7:20:36 am from IP #
There is two alternatives, horse or steam, both are renewable, one for you poor fools that live in the city's the other for us smart farts that live the way we were all ment to live.
The whole problem is (and nobody seems to have recognized it) the world is over populated, and is causing ALL the problems that you are facing.
Technology is being stalled by oil company's and politics, we can live in both worlds with the right balance.
Grow Your fuel, live simply, work hard.Posted Friday 21 Apr 2017 @ 5:34:02 pm from IP #
The promising research and development into increased high density battery storage, the soon to be released TESLA semi and the increased interest in the development of VTOL electric jet aircraft makes for exciting times.
I have heard that Mazda has decided not to embrace electric car development. a strange decision if true.Posted Friday 21 Apr 2017 @ 11:27:03 pm from IP #
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