Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free of Oil (Contemporary Issues) Paperback – April 10, 2009
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We have all the automotive fuel we need right here in America if only the government would require OPEC and their entrenched interests to compete with fuels readily at hand in the USA. We have a "natural gas glut". Do you know that methanol can be mixed freely with gasoline in your tank to run your car? Do you know that the easiest way to make methanol is by steam reduction of natural gas?
And there's ethanol. Zubrin de-bunks much of the myths offered by people who are often found connected to the oil lobby. Moreover, Zubrin describes how ethanol is a good export product for many third world countries; a way out of poverty.
Zubrin also does a nice job of de-bunking hydrogen. 12-years after hydrogen was supposed to be the automotive fuel of the future, nobody has driven a hydrogen fueled car from New York to LA. (Hey! I'm an engineer. I didn't need Zubrin to tell me this, but a lot of people did and still need to be told.)
Cars that use less gasoline don't solve the problem. Zubrin explains that too.
The author is a PHd in Aeronautical Engineering (or something like that). He holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
If you don't read this book, don't scratch your head wondering why the price of gasoline makes no sense.
First thank you Robert for debunking using hydrogen as a fuel. I didn't know that it takes more energy using electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen and oxygen than the energy that can be obtained from hydrogen. I was a big hydrogen fan. Plus Robert debunks the infrastructure that would be required to sell, create, store and move massive amounts of hydrogen US wide for supplying cars and trucks. It wont work. Taught me a lot on that.
Robert explains why conservation by driving less and using smaller cars will not stop OPEC control of oil prices.
Robert shows how the Saudis are supporting massive world wide terrorism using oil profits and how they pay off US government officials to get what they want. Robert names names of those on the take on Carlyle Group boards getting money influenced by the Saudis.
Dr Zubrin shows how flex fuel cars are the way to go to destroy OPEC. YES I said to destroy OPEC so it cant raise its ugly head again to control oil prices and support terrorism.
Sorry Robert even with all the info you give on support of corn production for ethanol I can't agree with you pushing as much corn production for ethanol as possible. I know too many farmers (right next to me) that are growing as much corn for ethanol as they can. Water tables way down. Little water for anything else but corn growing for ethanol. Prices for corn for human consumption and animal feed has gone up drastically because of this. A smaller amount of corn growing for ethanol production would be better as US farmers are going overboard selling corn for ethanol. Maybe growing different crops that don't need as much water and raising the price for human and livestock food would be better for ethanol production.
However I can really support worldwide methanol production to use as a flex fuel in cars/trucks along with biomass energy production and bio diesel. Hey race car teams have been using methanol for years plus its safer too. Robert shows a women helped produce a methanol using car for Detroit car manufactures. It worked well and some methanol using cars were sold. Dr. Zubrin makes a compelling case for MANDATORY 100% flex fuel cars. All government officials should read Energy Victory and have a conscience and stop taking bribes and pay offs from the Saudis and make flex fuel cars 100% mandatory to help destroy OPEC grip on controlling oil prices forever.
Also lets start creating jobs in wind, solar, geothermal, natural gas,hydroelectric, CLEAN burning coal technology, and nuclear( as long as much better standards created for storage/disposal of spent fuel) to help get American off imported oil.
As Dr. Zubrin shows we are at the " break even" phase of fusion research. More jobs and money needed in fusion research to get us up to the "detonation phase" of the reaction where the reaction is able to sustain itself. This will allow future generations to have almost unlimited power for millions of years.
Right now drill baby drill. Lets have massive new oil and natural gas exploration in Alaska ,off California and Florida coasts, Texas and everywhere and bring this oil and natural gas finds to the US market.
In conclusion Energy Victory is a great book.Buy it! I wish government officials would read it and take note.
Chapter 6 tells the story of flex-fuel technology and the remarkable life story of Roberta Nichols, a woman engineer who succeeded in adapting alcohol to motor fuel and doing it cheaply. She was a great pioneer and died too young to see her accomplishments recognized. Chapter 7 tells the story of several politically supported alternatives and explains why they are not practical. One section of this chapter tells the story of a professor whose poorly done research survives as a major argument against ethanol as a practical alternative to petroleum. There is a good deal of technology in this chapter but it is well explained.
Chapter 8 discusses the potential for under-developed countries to benefit from a change to alcohol-based energy production. Methanol can be made from agricultural waste products and offers these societies a future that cannot occur if poor countries are beholden to the OPEC oil cartel. There is some economics and politics in this chapter but I agree with it all. Chapter 9 discusses the Brazilian experience, in which Brazil has freed itself from dependence on OPEC oil. An issue of Time magazine from this spring has a feature story that misrepresents the Brazilian experience so it would be good for those interested to read this as an antidote to the lies of what Zubrin calls the "Malthusians," those who do not want us to solve the problem. They prefer a smaller population, no matter how that goal is achieved. Al Gore is the most prominent member of this group.
Chapter 10 is almost the best part of the book as he describes the true role of CO2 and global warming. He shows the present levels of CO2 are actually rather low when compared to previous epochs, such as the Holocene Maximum, a warm period when humans emerged from Africa and spread across the globe. He does warn that CO2 will become a problem as other societies move to an economic model similar to ours. As they prosper, their CO2 production will rise and that does constitute a risk for the planet. That risk will be reduced and eliminated by the suggestions made in the book.
Chapter 11 goes on to discus other forms of energy, especially the promise of nuclear fusion which, once harnessed, will ensure the future of the human race for millions of years. This is his field and he knows it thoroughly.
Chapter 12 is a well-done discussion of the role of the petroleum engine in the history of the 20th century, from the "Miracle of the Marne" in 1914, when a French division was rushed into battle in a thousand Parisian taxicabs, to the origins of World War II. Chapter 13 finishes up with a summary of the history of Islam and the plans of the Wahhabis to conquer the world and establish a new caliphate to replace the Ottoman Empire.
This is a serious book with a lot of information, some of it rather technical for someone who never studied chemistry. His opinions on political issues are strong and, at times, a bit intemperate. The fusion program has been mishandled. The ethanol lobby has distorted the market, for example maintaining tariffs on Brazilian ethanol that would otherwise lower the price for American drivers.
He is absolutely right on the big issues. We need to get off our addiction to middle eastern oil. He does not get into the production of oil in our own territory and I want to know more about that. I have ordered another book to do so. Bacterial engineering to produce oil and other carbon compounds, as Craig Venter and others plan to do, is not covered. This is a big field and there is a lot of misinformation. This book is a big help and should be read by anyone seeking information on alternatives. I'm not sure methanol is the only answer but it is a big piece of it and this is the place to learn about it.