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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 8, 2008 3:08 PM. The previous post in this blog was Charles Lewis for Portland City Council. The next post in this blog is Sho's got more money than Sam the Tram. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Biofuel breakthrough?

Our kids' cars may run on grass.

Comments (13)

Damn--looks like some folks at my Alma did more than drink beer for 10 yrs.

At least they didn't smoke it which was my alma's research method. We found it did little to fuel more than our hunger and certainly not short term memory. Let's hope it's more effective in cars.

One of the earliest modes of transportation was powered by grass,(the horse).
They might make a comeback provided we let them use the bike lanes,... although the potential for a stopped horse getting rear ended by an inattentive bicyclist would require some veterinary skills on the part of emergency personnel.

I've been reading about this switchgrass technology for awhile and it's infinitely better for the economy... you get 7-10 more units of energy per unit consumed compared to corn ethanol, which has caused shortages and massive inflation. Plus, it grows fast and in poor soil without irrigation or fertilizer.

What's not to like about this? Hopefully 'big-energy' won't stonewall these efforts to protect their existing interests...

This is not good for the car haters.

It's not good for choo choo trains if everyone can drive all they want without any pollution and foreign oil dependency worries.
The car haters better hurry and dream up a new crisis. Maybe a rubber tire toxins scare?

another fantasy of better living through slightly different purchasing decisions.

we're on about the fifth "biofuel" promise in the past decade. hoping and having faith in science is not science--and it's not reality. the problem is not just pollution--it's the fact that the world consumes like a 400-pound sumo at a buffet, and its eating more every year.

or, to be more pragmatic--if every single acre of land now used for food production were used to grow biofuel source, *regardless of the type of source*, it wouldn't be enough to even cover the yearly increase in fuel consumption.

Hal: The car haters better hurry and dream up a new crisis.

Dream up? Come on, even if vehicles were suddenly made zero emission, you're saying that there's no other issues with cars? How about for starters: auto-caused suburban sprawl, urban roadway congestion, necessity for large parking areas, injuries from accidents, stress, consumption of resources for their manufacture, toxic substances caused by their manufacture, purchase costs, insurance costs, maintenance costs, disposal and recycling issues after their useful life has expired, isolation of seniors and minors unable to drive when there are few other options, too many impervious roadway surfaces in urban areas, polluted water runoff, and the social problems caused by impaired drivers? Yep, except for these issues, cars aren't a problem.

what John said.

Yeah dreamed up Dreamed up.

"auto-caused suburban sprawl" is a boogeyman and there's nothing wrong with regulated and reasonable growth in subrubs and rural areas.

Stop building light rail and cramming everyone together and there won't urban roadway congestion.

Ohhh! "large parking areas". Yo mean where the City, Port. TriMet and Metro spent 4200 plus million to have the IKEA big box/strip mall cluster?

"injuries from accidents"? Safer streets that are maintained curb that effect.

"stress?" That's funny. Who has stress?
The person waiting in the rain for their transit that doesn't show or the warm, dry and driver?

"consumption of resources for their manufacture" Jobs, economy and tax revenue?

"toxic substances"? Like th eones in Portland superfund sites they never clean up?

"purchase costs, insurance costs, maintenance costs,"

All free choices that provide jobs and the freedom cars provide.

"disposal and recycling issues after their useful life has expired,"

All paid for and part of every other consumption process.

"isolation of seniors and minors unable to drive when there are few other options"

That's too stupid to respond to.

"too many impervious roadway surfaces in urban areas, polluted water runoff,"

Petty compared to CoP officials deferring road and sewer maintenece resulting far more severe problems. Leaking sewer pipe in our stream beds for starters.

"social problems caused by impaired drivers"

Like social problems cause by gangstas on MAX?

Yep, cars are a big problem for you.


Stop building light rail and cramming everyone together and there won't urban roadway congestion.

there was roadway congestion before light rail and urban density. in every large city.

if i hear you right, you're saying spreading buildings out more and minimizing public transit choices between them will reduce traffic?

okay. if you're thinking that a less dense city is the cure for traffic congestion, no amount of proof (say, all of Los Angeles) will likely convince you of how oxymoronic that conclusion is.

Hal, you should know better than to argue with religious fundamentalists. I mean, there was roadway congestion before automobiles in large cities. I can't help it tonight, as that last post was just so hilariously insane and uniformed, so...here's a few quick Wikipedia figures from some web searches:

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana Urbanized Area population density: 7,068 people per square mile.

Portland population density: 4,199.17 people per square mile.

Roughly a 168.32 percent difference in density.

Ever been to LA, "ecohuman" ? I have, as a child 30 years ago, and as an adult. It's quite dense, and it's getting denser by the day. Might have a teeny bit to do with why the quality of life is so wonderful there. Maybe as their new light rail system grows over the coming years, that quality of life will improve yet some more. Seeing as they have crime, real crime, as in full-on Latino-on-Black race war going on nowadays, it would be a sure bet that the trains will eventually have turnstiles and armed guards.

PS: I'm so glad that the brilliant minds out there in the various scientific fields, such as the ones in this article, are not the "ecohumans" of the world. We really would still be sitting around banging on rocks, waiting for someone to invent the radio.

Ever been to LA, "ecohuman" ? I have, as a child 30 years ago, and as an adult. It's quite dense, and it's getting denser by the day.

all cities are getting denser, cabbie. it's called growth, and isn't a direct result of "planners shoving density down our throats."

so, then, what's your point? while you're off in the corner arguing about which city is "denser", another 183 autos just hit the road in the Portland area.

and, of course, telling you that congestion is actually worse in suburban, less-dense areas than dense urban areas would do no good.

i could give a rip whether public transit grows or not, because it's a false argument to frame things as cars vs. MAX. it's crap. the *real* problem is consumption and growth, and moaning about the lack of adequate superhighways will not do a thing to stop that two-headed monster.

oh, and yes: i've been to LA.

Hal: "auto-caused suburban sprawl" is a boogeyman and there's nothing wrong with regulated and reasonable growth in subrubs and rural areas.

Your idea of reasonable probably differs considerably from mine. And rural areas? You're advocating for no UGB, I presume?

Stop building light rail and cramming everyone together and there won't urban roadway congestion.

I guess, then, that Atlanta, Houston, and LA don't exist? They were congested long before their mas transit systems were in place.

Ohhh! "large parking areas". -You mean where the City, Port. TriMet and Metro spent 4200 plus million to have the IKEA big box/strip mall cluster?

You appear to make my point.

"injuries from accidents"? Safer streets that are maintained curb that effect.

Fewer cars because of other transit options curb it even better.

"stress?" - That's funny. Who has stress? The person waiting in the rain for their transit that doesn't show or the warm, dry and driver?

You're saying there's no such thing as road rage?

"consumption of resources for their manufacture" - Jobs, economy and tax revenue?

Increasingly going to Japan, Korea, Mexico, and coming soon, China. Face it, we're going to have to redeploy our auto-manufacturing labor force sooner or later anyway, regardless of what happens with mass transit.

"toxic substances"? Like the ones in Portland superfund sites they never clean up?

And your point is?

"purchase costs, insurance costs, maintenance costs," - All free choices that provide jobs and the freedom cars provide.

Just because something contributes to our GDP doesn't mean it's not a problem.

"disposal and recycling issues after their useful life has expired," - All paid for and part of every other consumption process.

Just because it's paid for doesn't mean it's not a problem. Hanford waste is "paid for", in a sense.

"isolation of seniors and minors unable to drive when there are few other options" - That's too stupid to respond to.

Apparently you resort to this when you have no response to a valid pont?

"too many impervious roadway surfaces in urban areas, polluted water runoff," - Petty compared to CoP officials deferring road and sewer maintenece resulting far more severe problems. Leaking sewer pipe in our stream beds for starters.

Once again, your point is?

"social problems caused by impaired drivers" - Like social problems cause by gangstas on MAX?

Maybe the only valid counterpoint you offer here, Hal. I would respond that both are problems that should be dealt with much more seriously, but I believe the cost imposed on society by impaired drivers far exceeds that from mass transit crimes, on a per-mile travelled basis. I don't have data, but that's my gut instinct.


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