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  #16  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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I have a PC but can still get paper, I use a battery driver but also have a screwdriver.
But think how many letters you post now that you have email. Are records electronic or paper driven now? Apart from the antiquated NHS... Paper will not last as a main form of info storage so I do not feel the analogy is accurate. As for the screwdriver, how many people use that screwdriver since they bought the cordless? I certainly don't unless I forgot to charge the spare...

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Let the cuddly-bunny-tree-huggers come up with alternative fuels; it'll take the pressure off the oil supplies. They even believe that some of this technology is going to save the planet. It won't, (switch to Scottish accent) "we're all doomed"

....
...
.
But not for a while
I am interested and concerned about protecting not just the trees, but the environment as a whhole and yet, but by painting it in that light its made out to be something to scoffed and laughed at....why?

We get all excited about a new technology for, say, PCs or Digicams or TVs, but if its something that might make our overlander, V8, racerep, less growlly, we reject it...I don't get it. The IC engine must have been mind blowing when it was invented: I would like to see what next big leap we can achieve rather than leaving it to the sci-fi programmes to dream up! I want to see it happen. After all the IC basically helped society expand the way it has, but not always healthily IMO, would it not be cool to see in what new ways and directions we can grow with an all new concept? Imagine a society where oil was not the global priority. Not easy to do, is it?

The only reason that alternative fuels will not save the planet if because people are too lazy to make a change to their lives, or they do not like the idea of abandoning what they like, regardless of the advantages....

As for not being doomed just yet. Well, IMO, that depends on what we do now, because there is an almighty cluster-f#!k bearing on down on human society and to think otherwise, I think, is gonna get you sand in your ears...
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Last edited by Warthog; 10 Apr 2009 at 10:49. Reason: Unduly harsh...
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  #17  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by Big Yellow Tractor View Post
As alternative fuels/power become mainstream, the reserves of petroleum products won't be depleated meaning you could still rag about on your 2-stroke bike or drive your V8 pickup. (assuming you could afford it)

OK. I get your point about freeing up resources, but I think this only an interim situation.

Would you actually want to rag around on those, that you have to pay to fill up, when you could get similar performance from electric, all "filled-up" from a panel on your roof, not from a speciallist supplier, "by appoinment" only!

Before dismissing references to the power of electric (easy to do given what is on the market now), just think about the changes in performace for digital cameras, PC harddrives and processors and mobile phones over the last 15 years: all thanks to the demand existing. Now super-impose that potential, on a market as important as personal transport.....
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  #18  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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I find it interesting that everyone has focused on the enviromental issue's,and not the legislative side of things

The way thing's are going in the UK,and Europe it seems that bikes will soon be outlawed as expensive playthings that cost millions every year in medical/accident costs.

The cost of just getting a UK licence is getting ridiculous,with more training costs being forced onto learners.And the time required to "jump thru all the hoops" are pretty much equal to gaining a PPL licence.

When Mayor Boris allowed bikes to use some bus lanes in London,he was praised for forward thinking to help reduce some of the traffic entering C London.

When the number of commuters using bikes/scooters rose by a significant amount,Westminster Council decided to scrap free parking for bikes!!

Enjoy your "freedom" while you can

Andy
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  #19  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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.... that cost millions every year in medical/accident costs.

...

I have to say, that in my experience, decent driver training and awareness would go just as far for reducing MC accident related costs, whilst not threatening to eliminate a for of transport that is far more congestion friendly....

Its common for young folks to start out on scooters in France, regardless of their inclination towards bikes later in life. Reult? The car population are a lot more bike aware.... even if they do drive like lunatics....

I've always thought, pipe-dream though it is, that making car drivers spend 6 months on a scooter before getting a car would do wonders for their sense of perspective once driving a cage....
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  #20  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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Mr Warthog ,you dismiss new technology and ideas without researching them yet you assume that electric powered vehicles will prove our saviour .
I work in the power industry and in N America it is struggling to keep pace with increasing demand.
GW Bush when he was in office gave the green light to ,I believe , over 100 new coal fired power stations ,and they are also building new nuclear stations .
Canada and the US will also be flooding MORE river valleys to produce MORE electricity .
If you factor in a further huge demand because of a switch to electric powered vehicles ,even more power plants will have to be constructed .

Arable land will continue to produce either fuel or food depending on the economics .Poorer countries will continue to go hungry ,the market economy has no heart .There have been several studies done on the likely fuel production one could achieve ,they have been contradictory because some of them have been influenced by the petroleum producers .

The earth's core contains the means for power production if the resources are handled correctly and we develop the technology to exploit it .

Neither of us know what will eventually happen .There is technology out there that could revolutionise transportation but it will probably be stifled by Big Oil or the Car Manufacturers who manipulate governments .Joe public is a pawn and usually thinks what he is conditioned to think .

The next step in technology will have to concern power storage ,because without the means of storing a substantial amount of charge [ie batteries] electric vehicles will always have a limited application.However knowing about the need for better batteries and having them available is another matter maybe technology will advance and maybe it won't .It hasn't advanced much in the last century .

Don't forget the petroleum industry has the world by the nuts and if it can use bacteria to produce useable hydrocarbons ,then it will and you will not see rapid advancements in alternative fuels.

Electricmotor cycles may become viable ,there are several on the market now ,but I hope that petroleum powered bikes will be around for a long time .The soulless whine of an electric motor is no substitute for a barking megaphone .
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  #21  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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I think D is right that Joe Public is fed disinformation. It's really difficult to get a true picture of oil reserves, as the big oil companies are expert in manipulating public opinion. They also kick governments around.

I wouldnt mind a diesel bike though. But the current ones are way too expensive.
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  #22  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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  #23  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
If you factor in a further huge demand because of a switch to electric powered vehicles ,even more power plants will have to be constructed .
That's a really interesting point. I just got back from a month in SF where I lived with a couple of alternative energy consultants (solar for the most part). They were telling me that the first thing they do when they go into a home is look at what they can do to reduce electricity usage - it's amazing how much you can drop by just changing over to the now viable LED bulbs - they're still pretty expensive, but the math (as our dear cousins over the pond say) proves they pay for themselves in electricity usage alone within six months.

In some homes - the more modern they say - where recessed halogen are the fashion - simply replacing them with LEDs reduces consumption in the home by a massive amount - up to 50% in some homes, with a more realistic 20% - 30% in others with more incandescent and less halogen.

If the government gets it's way in the UK - and it's going that way - incandesant bulbs will be illigal in the next five years, within 10 years they want all bulbs to be LED - so.... if we can reduce our home use by one simple step of replacing our bulbs, do we start to of-set our electic vehicle usage?

Of course the other option with fuel cell powered cars is the wonderful idea of a hydrogen unit in your garage... fills me with the heeby jeebies - but if they say it's safe.... well - I'll let others try if first.

In any case, I do think that over the next ten years we'll see more electric powered vehicles as governments around the world see them as, importantly, vote winners (hello Mr Obama) and as the car manufactuers see them as ways to get money out of the public purse (hello Mr Obama, and EU).

There's a wonderful docuemtary made by a very good freiend of mine - Mr Richard Titus - titled 'Who Killed the Electric Car'. It's a few years old now, but it's getting a lot of play as the US and EU start forcing manufactures down a line they've be reticent to pursue.

Who Killed the Electric Car?

It covers a lot of the issues discussed in this thread and is well worth a watch.

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  #24  
Old 10 Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
Oil will not run out .
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that oil is produced by bacteria and not from rotting dinosours and primaeval forests as is conventionally believed .
Bacteria have been found that produce hydrocarbons in areas that have the right combination of heat and raw materials .
Furthermore ,methane producing bacteria have been found in coal bed methane wells ,which proves that the methane within the well is not a finite resource . Modern science will ,no doubt, enhance these naturally occuring bacteria and use them to provide oil and natural gas .

They can already do it. Now they have to learn how to do it cheap. Petroleum oil is still cheaper, so this isn't popular, but they will get there- the incentive is huge.
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  #25  
Old 11 Apr 2009
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The latest innovation is some sort of moving bed process using algae and bacteria. Can't remember where the article was but it was supposed to be near to a commercial design.

Making a liquid fuel is nothing new. In the mid 1940's the Nazi lunatics running half of Europe managed to keep things moving using stewed coal and sugar alchohol. The problem is, it's still very expensive compared to something you dig out of the ground. It also wrecks engines, pollutes and halves fuel consumption at the 1945 technology level.

The cost isn't going to change, if anything it'll go up as it no longer has to compete with natural oil in large quantities. If fuel is £5 a litre, not many of us will be riding to the coast for a cuppa because we fancy it.

Enviromental issues are a different subject. I'm not against saving the planet and I do believe in man made climate change, but I really do wish they'd be honest. Man made climate change is not global warming, the general population don't understand that heat in one place causes blizzards in another. If the summer is wet they'll decide your scientist is wrong, so don't dumb it down. Resource allocation and population pressure is another subject and the reaction of industry (scrap your perfectly good vehicle and buy a new "green" one full of batteries ) is a problem not a solution. There are some hard choices coming and shouting confusion about whales and carrier bags and what your God wants you to do isn't helpful.

The bottom line; The planet is so big. It can only support a given value of life. If we all ride bicycles and eat bean stew there can be 20-billion of us. If we want V-8 cars and steak there can only be 2-Billion. If we are careful and don't waste, there is a level in the middle where maybe 10-billion of us can have clean water, enough to eat and some sort of personal transport.

IMHO, be lean and mean not green.

I'll go find another use for my soap box now

Andy
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  #26  
Old 11 Apr 2009
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The only savour for our fuel supply is to get all the cars in the world on hydrogen powered cars. Then there will be an almost endless supply of oil for those applications such as lesuire vehicles (bikes, quads, jetskis etc)

The government would then have no right to tax it so it would offset the price rise.
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  #27  
Old 11 Apr 2009
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All this new technology is all very well, but for heating it is difficult to beat wood burning stoves. properly managed coppiced woodland is better than just carbon neutral as there is always a huge reservoir of trapped carbon in the current crops and their rootstocks. There is no reason why large scale planting of coppices should not be used for teh production of 'town gas' like they used to do with coal. This would make any country ( thinking particularly the UK) self sufficient in gas with a carbon neutral based industry that is good for 100'sif not 1000's of years
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  #28  
Old 13 Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
Mr Warthog ,you dismiss new technology and ideas without researching them yet you assume that electric powered vehicles will prove our saviour .


Not entirely true. Yes I responded to your initial post without researching, but looked into it right afterwards: I did not find anything that contradicted my points drastically.

You stated the following:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
Oil will not run out .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
There is a lot of evidence to suggest that oil is produced by bacteria and not from rotting dinosours and primaeval forests as is conventionally believed .
Bacteria have been found that produce hydrocarbons in areas that have the right combination of heat and raw materials .
Personally, I have not found any evidence referring to naturally occurring bacteria in oil fields. What I did find were references to genetically modified strains of a given bacteria, into which manufactured DNA is inserted to make the bacteria excrete oil as a by product of its own metabolism. Amazing, but not the answer IMO. As I said before, you then need to think about the volumes needed to produce a single tank full of unleaded, multiplied by how much the world uses. Finally, I’d add that we have a tendency of storming forth on one path because we are blinded by its advantages, only to realise the full ramifications much later. Bacteria kill lots of people, plants and animals. I’m not sure I want mass production of bacteria whose main metabolic waste is a toxic material, no matter how valuable, and whose potential for mutation is unascertained. And I certainly would not want that in the hands of organisations who put $$$ before health and safety considerations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post

The earth's core contains the means for power production if the resources are handled correctly and we develop the technology to exploit it .
snip
Joe public is a pawn and usually thinks what he is conditioned to think .
snip
Batteries: They haven't advanced much in the last century…
snip
Don't forget the petroleum industry has the world by the nuts….
snip
Electricmotor cycles may become viable ,there are several on the market now ,but I hope that petroleum powered bikes will be around for a long time .The soulless whine of an electric motor is no substitute for a barking megaphone .

My view is, running out or not, oil has had its moment and its time to move on. Oil has allowed technology to advance incredibly over the last 100 years, driven by demand. However, alternatives do exist. They have done for some time. It is not naïve to think that their popularity or even existence has not been stepped on by the oil industry: these would be oil's direct competitors. Nor is it naïve or unrealistic to say that oil is a dirty fuel. It is hazardous to produce, handle, use and its combustion is proving unhealthy for all concerned.

So, the alternatives:
I do think that electricity is the best bet, here. However, the reasons against that you posted above are based on the existing dominant production techniques. There are also Solar, Wind, Tidal and, as you mentioned, Geothermal. On that last point the American continent could kick arse, given that its entire West coast is part of the Ring of Fire around the Pacific: there is huge Geothermal potential. We know solar can work well, ditto for wind. They are often poo-pooed, but that is because it would not suit the conglomerates for us to think these were workable alternatives for free energy at best, or at least significantly cheaper than oil. These sorts of measures would mean that flooding this river or growing biofuel crops is not even necessary. As for batteries: I disagree. Think how far mobile phone batteries have come in the last 10 years. Why? Because we the consumer wanted it: that is it… I recently saw a programme that claimed that the technology existed and had been tested so that an electric car sustained 100mph for two hours on a single charge. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it…?

Here is what I think the problem is. Technology advances because demand grows. Demand grows, largely due to popular demand which, in turn, is largely influenced by marketing and advertising. So, in other words, as you suggested above: we buy what we are told we want and what we are told we should buy. So really, if you want alternative fuels, if you want the choice, if you don’t want the oil companies to have quite such a grip on the "world’s nuts", you need only vote with you wallet. I don’t mean rush out and buy an electric scooter tomorrow, I mean start choosing renewable energy as a domestic supplier, for example. In the UK you can nominate who you want your electricity to be provided by: conventional energy or renewable. The latter costs a bit more, but if demand rises, prices drop and its influence grows. Where domestic demand goes, transport will follow. It does no happen over night, but that is how it starts and its perfectly achievable for any Joe Public: they need only make those small changes to their lifestyles, and the market forces will follow suite. Perhaps not without resistance, but they will eventually go where the money is going. Once the Oil Companies who hold the patents on new technologies realise that demand is changing, they’ll break them out and start making money on the preparatory R&D they are no doubt already doing…

Now for vehicles. The issue here is that people, especially us blokes, see an attempt (nay, suggestion) to replace petrol engines with something like electric as a forced castration of sorts. There is way too much ego, and self-projection involved with our vehicle choice for us to make an objective decision. Bikes, cars; they are self expression, status banners, manhood extensions, what ever you want to call them, and I think that is why we are so vehemently opposed to such a change. New tech in any other field is welcomed with open arms: cameras, phones, PCs, MP3, MP4, MP97 etc. New gadgets! We love em!!
Bottom line is people, unfortunately, ONLY change when there is a direct and immediate benefit to them. Be it perceived or real.

I agree with you: I don’t want to loose petrol driven bikes either: I love the sound, smell, sensation, but I’m not going to kid myself and say that this has a long term future. I can’t, in good conscience, just deny, because my bikes are my bestest, bestest toys and I feel cool when I’m on them, that the alternatives are the smarter option.

The final question for anyone reading this is what is your real reason for being opposed to oil running out….

Do we really think that there is another source of oil that can match today’s demand and meet that of the next 20 year or more, or are we in denial?

Is it because oil really is the best energy source for society, or is it because we are scared of the alternatives and what they might mean to our lifestyles and the changes we might need to make?

For me, I admit, it’s the latter, but I think the alternative is either biking dying out or being an even more elitist pursuit that I can no longer afford. I’d rather ride a bike whose engine growl comes from speakers rather than exhausts than no bike at all…
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Last edited by Warthog; 13 Apr 2009 at 09:29.
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  #29  
Old 13 Apr 2009
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Without wanting to come over as a nay-sayer, I'd like to pose a question to the electric vehicle advocates. I can fully see that an EV is a great alternative to a commuter car/bike, I can happily see myself plugging in every night (although in the back of my mind I might wonder about the environmental impact of digging all those noxious chemicals out of the ground and processing them), but the photoshop I did above was supposed to illustrate a point.

People on here aren't just bikers, they're bikers to the back of beyond, and the back of beyond isn't well served with power grids suitable for charging EVs. Will we all have to book hotels with power sockets? What happens when we run out of charge on the Road of Bones? How will an African community respond when we roll in and suck all their stored solar power up to charge our bikes overnight?

Why is the burning of fossil fuel so suited for powering our transportation needs and wants? Because the oil we burn is transportable, if we can get a vehicle there to need petrol we can get the petrol there to fill it up. So I remain to be convinced that the EV will be a solution for anyone who lives outside the developped world with its established power-grids at least for the foreseable future.
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Old 13 Apr 2009
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golden age, silver age, stone age, bronze age, iron age, oil age, errr something else

Quote:
People on here aren't just bikers, they're bikers to the back of beyond, and the back of beyond isn't well served with power grids suitable for charging EVs. Will we all have to book hotels with power sockets? What happens when we run out of charge on the Road of Bones? How will an African community respond when we roll in and suck all their stored solar power up to charge our bikes overnight?
Thats a great point. Its possibly THE fundamental reason why EV's will not become overly popular. I believe the future is Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology, it seems to be going well in California. And the only emissions are water. Interesting information about oil being produced by bacteria, although I can no longer say my bike runs on 'churned up t-rex's'. How about Plutonium? OK so getting rid off the waste is not going to be easy, and could you imagine fiddling with the engine; you would be bricking it!

This thread reminds me of the scene in i,robot, where Will Smith gets out his 'old' motorcycle (for those of you who have not scene it its set in the future) much to the dis comfort of his female passanger who quotes "this thing runs on petrol?!?!?....petrol explodes you know!".
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