Monday, March 31, 2008

Gas Prices Climbing

So here we are, gas prices are going up, and the cost of everything is climbing due to higher gas prices. Everyone is decrying politicians fault, but no one is listening. The problem is not a lack of oil. There is 25% more supply than demand, and that will remain for quite some time. The problem is not politicians fault. I don’t see them drilling or selling oil. The market is scared, not of high oil, but of what might, maybe happen in 20 years if a billion Indians all get cars, and 1.5 billion Chinese all get cars. Then we would see more demand than supply, and the price today is rising because that might, maybe happen some time in the future if nothing changes.

Here are my solutions :

1) Big rig trucks. Little has changed to engines, and almost nothing to air efficiency in 30 years. You can make trucks FAR more aerodynamic and save 20-40% of the fuel costs without even touching the engine. Not just with Hybrid, but with new designs for engines, you can increase efficiency even more. It is not impossible to have a big rig getting 3x the current miles on a tank. There are Hybrids out there, but very few, and truckers have not even considered them in mass.

2) Nothing. The market will correct itself. As gas goes up, more people will look at getting a car rather than the super duty 3500 to haul groceries and pickup the kids. Every time I see a soccer mom in a dually I laugh a little. Even a minivan gets 25mpg, that super duty is about 12mpg on a good day. (I know someone with a F250 and his onboard computer shows 11mpg all the time.)

3) Research. E85 and Hybrids are only stopgap measures. Fuel cell or Electric direct are solutions. Until solutions hit the market working, and workable long term, we will still use oil.

What about beyond oil? Well we could use Methane ice from the ocean floor. There is around 50x as much of it as the world has oil and coal combined.

Or we can follow the lead of the new movie 11th hour and simply allow the UN to systematically eliminate all but 1 billion people, remove all industrial equipment, including concrete, and all exotic metals, and everyone go back to 1400’s technology. The movie asserts the most people earth can support is 1 billion pre industrial, and that is all we should ever have.

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