Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Political Climate Change

Allegations of corruption are again making news in the Climate Change debate. A press release for a not yet published report made a claim that 80% of global energy could come from sustainable energy sources IF political will focused on that goal.

Whoop d friggin' do!

The lead author of the now published report is a bigwig with Greenpeace and the report list a variety of scenarios, one of with is a maximum possible sustainable energy percentage by 2050. So does this indicate a conflict of interest?

Of course, but what should you expect? Like it or not, the real world of politics is not all warm and fuzzy idealism. The social mores of the undeveloped nations is not the same as the developed nations which is not the same for all the developed nations. That is the way it is, has been and will continue to be. Working within the system with its imperfections is a political exercise. Science, well, would best be apolitical. It is not though. Scientists carry social baggage just like the rest of us. Intellectuals have much more baggage because their idealized views of a perfect world are unattainable because man is imperfect. There is a great deal of frustration for all to share.

Perfectionists are constantly disappointed while pessimists are often pleasantly surprised. A realist is a pessimist with hope. When it comes to policy, realists should be in charge.

The realist recognizes that good enough for now, not perfect solutions, are always required in an imperfect world. My focus in this blog changes with the general political opinions which drive transitions to hydrogen technologies. Hydrogen is not perfect, it has several issues that are challenging, but not insurmountable. I am a fan of hydrogen because it has awesome potential for not only national energy independence, but personal energy independence. That, the potential for personal energy independence, is one of hydrogen's largest obstacles. The ability to make your own fuel from less than perfect energy sources can create serious political problems for those wishing to financially control the masses.

That may sound like a paranoid conspiracy mentality, but there is plenty of basic truth in its foundation. Without sustainable profit for governments and industry, there is no political motivation for home brewed anything. For that reason, the components scaled for home production of hydrogen have taken a turn to industrial scale components. Hydrogen made from reformed natural gas is taxable because natural gas production and distribution is controllable. The US Department of Transportation research into hydrogen is focused on larger scale, taxable plant sizes. That is the way of the world.

Once you allow for the independence afforded by home brewed hydrogen from water, the cost and efficiency factors become more flexible. Fifty percent overall efficiency is more than acceptable for home brewer desiring a self directed lifestyle. For the Government, 50% is unacceptable, even though 33 percent has been more than acceptable for other energy sources in the past. This is a humorous conundrum.

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