Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Political Aspect of a Hydrogen Economy

Before the exciting diversion of Fukushima, which I pronounce oddly, I was building on misunderstandings of other transportation fuel options. Natural gas makes perfectly good sense from a energy security perspective, but squat from a CO2 emission perspective.

Politically, the global warming issue is losing ground mainly because proponents suffer from the same lack of trust they toss around about individual governments. They seem to believe that one global government is a better option than a bunch of individual governments doing their own thing. Conspiracy theories are so 20th century. The realism is that a majority government by third world leaders is no better than a minority government lead by first world capitalists. Bribery, corruption and stupidity are not reduced by increasing the number of players. Gridlock is, so that may be the only advantage of one world government.

Infrastructure cost is for some odd reason, one of the political stumbling blocks for hydrogen. An initial basic hydrogen infrastructure is only about 2 billion. That is a fraction of the subsidies for wind and nuclear power which no one complains about too loudly. That basic infrastructure is enough to start making Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV) economically viable. If you can't fill up on the road why buy one? The basic infrastructure would initially limit FCV use to the more densely populated ares, but everything has to start somewhere.

America has an advantage in leading the alternate transportation energy front. For whatever reason, the rest of the world covets our neat toys. Other countries bitch about our gas guzzling SUVs, but foreign sales have remained strong. As I have said before, FCV's will be big gas guzzling looking vehicles that happen to be efficient and "green". Damn the bad luck. Shouldn't we all drive Mini Coopers packed to the gills with kids to look like we care about the environment? Maybe doing something instead of appearing to, makes sense?

Anyway, is a road system full of "green" Hummers really that absurd?

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