college prep work

Monday, May 29, 2006

Leading the Way

Many countries seem to be seeing the dangers that relying only on oil is having. Brazil is an example of a country that is slowly making the transition and preparing for peak oil.
The government cars are all switching over to ethanol powered vehicles. Their public transportation, farm machinery, and garbage pick-ups are just some of the examples of ways that they have done it. Brazil has done this very well. Since we need to come up with new exports and imports after peak oil since things will not be as simply transported they have now have made a lot of business by using so much ethanol. Their ethanol is based off of sugar cane. So because of that they were able to comply stop relying on Middle East oil. That is a good example because now as I said before they have money from the sugar cane exports and imports, as well once peak oil happens they will not experience what happened to Cuba. Since they are not heavily relying on one country or one group of countries they might have more control over what happens to them.
Sweden seems to the one of the countries and is leading the way for the example of how to prepare for peak oil. They have set very good deadlines for the weaning off of fossil fuels. By 2020 they will be completely fossil fuel independent. While the U.S. plans to just double their ethanol production by 2028. Sweden does seem to have one issue with Nuclear energy. Though I do not know much about it, it seems to be something that is very unstable and in the event of a peak oil collapse could be very dangerous. They rely very heavily on Nuclear energy. In 1980 they created a referendum to phase out nuclear power, but it has been wildly ignored. This is a place at least I feel that U.S. might be in a better position. Not only do I not trust Nuclear power since with the few that we have had their have been many issues, but it just seems that when governments will be falling apart I would not want un-run nuclear reactors all of the country, just seems like that may be a bad idea.
Sweden seems to be looking as wing power to be having the greatest potential. This is something that worries me. One issue is the somewhat the same as the one that I had with the Nuclear reactors. The work that goes into fixing the windmills is not only expensive but very difficult as well. So unless the average American is taught to go out and repair their windmills, I feel that it would not be a good investment. It is like buying a computer but then never being able to fix or update the software, it would just be useless after I certain period of time. For the amount of land needed, as well I just do not see it as being really a good use of that space. A wind farm that produces the energy equivalent of a conventional power plant would have to cover an area of approximately 200 square kilometers. So all right it does have the ability to produce the power, but I feel that the land and space could be put to such better use. How many people really want looks out their wing and sees an 80-foot high windmill.
The government of Brazil also seems to be setting a good example and encouraging people to use things other than oil. While our country is simply trying to give people money back saying that, the issue is not how much we use but the cost, Brazil is doing the exact opposite. Carbon Dioxide neutral fuels are exempt from energy and carbon dioxide tax. This makes the average become encouraged to buy that, because of its lower price, and forget about the other. Environmentally friendly cars such as Hybrid cars, or electric ones, get free parking and are exempt from congestion charges. This is exactly what the U.S. needs to do. It shows people that it does matter and changes need to be made, and since people for the most part, follow the governments example they will do what the government encourages, and says what’s right.

1 Comments:

At 7:57 PM, Blogger esbeccari said...

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