Thursday, September 29, 2005

I so totally hope this is real

Korea's LG is planning (supposedly) to introduce a methanol fuel cell for laptops. The unit runs around $500 and each 10-hour recharge costs a buck or less.

I love fuel cell news! Any excuse to go off on a fuel cell rant is welcome, so here goes:

This is where we HAVE to get (not fuel cells for laptops, fuel cells for EVERYTHING).

The modern world's dependence on fossil fuel is THE root cause of 75% of the problems we face as a society. Can you imagine what it would be like if the Arabs were as influential on world events as the Cambodians or Congolese? If petroleum were not the lifeblood of the world's economy, that's exactly what would happen.

Oil money makes so much bad stuff happen:

  • The corrupt regimes of the Middle East get away with their repressive shenanigans because a) they can afford to and b) we have to let them because we need them as much as they need us.
  • Outrageous energy prices kill what should be a rapidly expanding world economy. Think back to the boom days of the mid to late 90s. Sure, the Internet was exploding and people were kidding themselves about it's value, but at the root of it was CHEAP energy. Remember paying less than $1 for a gallon of gas? I sure do, it wasn't that long ago.
  • The need to expand production of petroleum forces us into places like ANWR in Alaska. I really believe that drilling there can happen without significant impact on the environment, but wouldn't it be better if we didn't have to do it in the first place?
  • I'm a bit conflicted on global warming. Our experience with the cycles of the planet is so minimal and so poorly understood that I think it's reckless to draw any real conclusions about what causes what. With that said, the amount of CO and CO2 being dumped into the atmosphere cannot possibly be good and probably isn't entirely benign. Again, wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to worry about this?
Fuel cells, fusion, wind, and other low-environmental-impact fuels are not that far out of reach, at least in my not-very-informed opinion. Will today's insane energy prices restart the push towards truly viable alternative fuels?

I sure hope so.

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