Conspiracy . . . or Merely Convenient?

Print Friendly

Many new cars are optimized for ethanol – “flex-fuel” compatible is how it’s usually described. The problem, of course, is that a majority of cars in service are not optimized for ethanol; many are not even compatible with it.ethanol 1

One effect – intended or not – of the ever-increasing concentration of ethanol in “gas” is to accelerate the retirement of older cars. This can be considered from a number of points of view. First, there’s the economic interests of the car companies; they need to sell new cars at a certain rate in order to remain profitable. The problem (for them) is that for more than 20 years now, the useful life of a new car has been increasing to the point that it’s common to find cars more than 10 or 12 years old in service as daily-drivers. In fact, the average car on the road is now more than eight years old. Rather than buy a new car every six years or so – which was typical in the ’70s – people now routinely hang onto their cars for twice as long. That means – if you factor it out over a lifetime – that the average person buys just two or three new cars vs. four or five.

Even worse – from the standpoint of the car companies – is that a large and growing number of people aren’t buying new cars at all. Because lightly used late-model cars with three or four years (and 30,000 or 40,000 miles) on them still typically have more useful life left in them than a brand-new car had back in the 1970s. By purchasing a used car, one saves a tremendous amount in “up front” costs – and suffers very little in the way of “down-the-road” costs. Or at least, not enough to obviate the huge up-front savings. This has become fairly common knowledge. As a result , new car buying has become less common – and less frequent. From a purely business point-of-view, this is not good news for the car industry, especially in a saturated/mature market without the potential for exponential growth that existed forty or fifty years ago.ethanol 2

So – call it conspiracy theorizing if you like. The fact remains that ethanol is helpful to the car industry because it helps get rid of older cars, thereby creating demand for new ones. This may be a merely coincidental confluence of economic interests and political interference in the economy (i.e., the government’s pushing of ethanol). But the fact remains that the dosing of “gas” with ethanol – in ever-increasing amounts – does serve the economic interests of the automakers.

That sort of thing – what was called derisively “planned obsolescence” back in the ’60s – has probably always been at least a background consideration for large-scale consumer goods producers such as car companies. There is no question, for example, that  the automakers perform durability studies to determine exactly how long a given component can be expected to work before it fails or requires repair – if only purposes of warranty coverage.ethanol 3

But there may also be a more sinister motive in operation with regard to the ethanol slow-drip: The government may simply wish to accelerate the extinction of vehicles not equipped with the potentially (no, actually) Big Brother-ish electronics such as in-car “black boxes” and computers that are the technological prerequisites for   external monitoring of –  even external control of – our vehicles.

Just coincidentally, that would encompass most if not all vehicles made before the early 2000s.

It might be argued – not unreasonably – that the government knows it cannot impose (for example) automated enforcement of speed limits – or electronically enforced restrictions on driving – until everyone (or at least, almost everyone) is driving a car with all the technology necessary to make such things practical. And also, that the government knows it cannot call for an outright ban on older cars lacking such technology; there would be too much push-back.

However, if older cars simply wear out more rapidly . . . as a result of being fed fuel they weren’t made to burn . . . then the problem solves itself quietly and fairly quickly. Most people will not hang on to a ten or twelve-year-old car that’s gotten to the point of needing expensive (or frequent) repairs, or which just isn’t reliable any longer. And when they realize that a later-model (but non-ethanol-friendly) used car will likely give them the same trouble – they’ll queue up at the new car dealers.ethanol 4

If E15 – that’s gas with 15 percent ethanol – is mandated, as appears very likely, the timetable will speed up. Most new cars built before 2008 – that’s barely five years old – cannot safely use E15. It’s quite possible that – via the fuel they’re fed – within ten years, there will be very few cars in regular use that were not made before 2010.

Deliberate – or not – that’s where things appear to be headed.

Throw it in the Woods?

 

 

Share Button

  163 comments for “Conspiracy . . . or Merely Convenient?

  1. Mike in Spotsy
    January 31, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Here’s a news article from today directly on topic: http://washingtonexaminer.com/study-new-e15-gas-can-ruin-auto-engines/article/2520078

    You are, as always, ahead of the curve Eric.

    • Martin Tjossem
      January 31, 2013 at 4:13 am

      If anything is gumming up things, it’s the kerosene that the oil companies are blending into the gas.API will stop at nothing to keep from losing any more market share. Instead of going by hear say, try something for yourself, get some E85 instead of just E15, and cool it to minus 20 and see if it gells. How about you also Eric, try it and report back.

      • January 31, 2013 at 11:18 am

        Hi Martin,

        I don’t have the facilities to cool anything to -20!

        The issue as regards ethanol is its corrosiveness/hygroscopic qualities vis-a-vis vehicle engines and peripheral systems not designed to deal with that.

      • BrentP
        January 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        Blending kerosene in gasoline? WTF? Gasoline gelling?
        um kerosene is blended into diesel to prevent gelling. There are other more effective additives if people want to use them and pay for them.

        Kerosene in gasoline would be a money loser even if it worked because there is less kerosene in a barrel of oil than gasoline. Gasoline also would start gelling at temperatures no human would be living at. Beyond the lowest recorded temperature on this planet.

        Biodiesel has quite a gelling problem, because it does so in pretty normal winter temps for much of the country.

        • Martin Tjossem
          January 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm

          Brent, explain this. Why did the Texas fuel survey find that 5% of the composition of a gallon of gasoline have molecules that distill off at 400 degrees and higher? Explain that one expert.

          • BrentP
            January 31, 2013 at 3:27 pm

            This is meaningless drivel. Gasoline is a mixture of various hydrocarbons. Of course heating it to 400 degrees F is going to drive some out. Without any context it sounds like you fell for the old eclipse is the snake god trick where someone who knows more than you tricked you.

            Do you know what oil refining is? It’s a separation process. This page has a nice chart for you:
            http://www.cartografareilpresente.org/article132.html

            This one works well because it orders the hydrocarbons by weight. Do you see what is next to each other? Nobody is adding kerosine to gasoline. Now Texas gets some poor quality gasoline as I understand it due to their location, so poor refining I can believe. But adding after the fact is BS.

    • Martin
      January 31, 2013 at 4:24 am

      Moore said she recently called the EPA and asked them how many fuel additive applications they get a year and they get more than 500 that would be nearly identical to the E15 additive applications. This has been the norm, she said, since the fuel additive program began in 1974. It is my contention, she continued, and is well documented, that no fuel additive has been studied in history to such as rigorous degree as E15.

      http://domesticfuel.com/2013/01/29/ethanol-industry-responds-to-api-e15-study/

      • January 31, 2013 at 11:16 am

        Hi Martin,

        As you know, I test drive new cars every week. All those not “Flex Fuel Compatible” stridently warn (via large lettering on the gas cap or a sticker on the fuel door or in the owner’s manual) against use of E15. The warranty materials also very specifically state that coverage will not be honored in the event E15 fuel is used in the vehicle. Just a statement of fact, not my opinion or anyone else’s.

        • BrentP
          January 31, 2013 at 2:42 pm

          There’s this guy they keep putting on coast to coast am ( http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2013/01/30 ) saying ‘oh it’s fine to put up to E100 in any car’ and ‘I asked assembly line workers, all the fuel system parts are the same (yet they have to pull from different piles) regardless if it is flex fuel or not’. Arg. There’s more even. I don’t know why they keep having that guy on.

          Yes, Ewhatever will work, for awhile. Awhile.

          The guy is just entirely full of crap like this from his website: “In fact, it’s oil that has a negative EROEI. Because oil is both the raw material and the energy source for production of gasoline, it comes out to about 20% negative. That’s just common sense; some of the oil is itself used up in the process of refining and delivering it (from the Persian Gulf, a distance of 11,000 miles in tanker travel)”

          Talk about a math and knowledge free assertion. He obviously doesn’t even understand how to do an energy equation or what wide array products are made from oil. Never mind that oil companies ship oil the shortest distance possible, meaning most oil used in the USA comes from this hemisphere. A fair amount of oil in Alaska goes to Japan, because of shipping efficiencies.

          It just gets worse. This is what is guiding forced use. And ultimately it’s the forced use that I object to.

          • Martin Tjossem
            January 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm

            Brent, you’re the one that is full of it. The ECU’s are the only difference between FFV and non-FFV. The ECU’s are actually built at the same place and conveniently they block out the flex part on some—talk about a conspiracy. Fuel pumps, injectors, etc are the same. Also, just read where the distiller’s grain from the alcohol plant might be the most important product coming out of the ethanol plant because it is such a good feedstock for livestock. I’m a farmer and do a lot of no-till so fuel use is negligible and no, I don’t use a lot of chemical either. Do you think it takes any energy to make and haul all that well pipe used at the oil well?

            • January 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm

              Martin,

              “The ECU’s are the only difference between FFV and non-FFV.”

              You’re wrong about that – it’s just not so. Look, I’m a car journalist. That means I attend R&D presentations/backgrounders hosted by the car companies – at which the engineers who designed the cars go over, in minute detail, the differences year-to-year and between models (and so on). I know for a fact that the differences involve more than the ECUs – as Brent mentioned. I’ve seen the actual components (they mount them on a display stand for us to look over) and talked with the men who designed them.

              This isn’t a question of differing opinions.

          • BrentP
            January 31, 2013 at 3:20 pm

            Farmer, you cannot as that guy says, just dump Ewhatever into any car. He was actually saying pre 1994 was better to use it in. Right up to E100. Full of crap. Now maybe one or two models that are available as flex fuel have the some of the same components, but there is no way in hell some ’92 Buick or something was made to deal with E85 let alone E100.

            Just to prove you wrong I went to call up the Ford Fusion Flex fuel vs. gasoline. The engine available for flex fuel only comes that way. But let me look at the one part that should be the same. The fuel tank.

            Here: http://www.southwestfordparts.com/parts/2012/FORD/FUSION/SE/?siteid=213883&vehicleid=1501983&diagram=JP10580
            that’s the flex fuel. Here’s the gas: http://www.southwestfordparts.com/parts/2012/FORD/FUSION/SEL/?siteid=213883&vehicleid=1501984&diagram=JP10580

            You can go through the fuel system and there are different parts. I’ll even wager they look identical to the naked eye. I’ve made many a part out of different materials. They often look exactly the same. However something like chemical resistance can be vastly different.

          • Martin
            January 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm

            Eric, this from a pretty knowledgebleable guy on an E85 forum I frequent

            I know that I spoke with an engineer who works in a development lab at GM. I know he is my neighbor.

            And when I asked him how come the Chevy Cruise wasn’t flex-fuel when it came out, after all the hype for two years ahead of time said it was going to be flex-fuel- he said he would go ask the guys working on that 1.8 and 1.4 turbo engine. (He works not on that engine section, but works in the same building where the work was going on).

            And a couple days later he came back and told me that they were having issues meeting EPA requirements for the CEL light, and it was because they took the fuel composition sensor out of the system a few years back, and now it won’t meet EPA qualification rules because of that. He said they tried for several weeks to brainstorm ways to make it pass, but eventually they were told to simply make it non-flex and get it out the door, and they would worry about flex-fuel later. So that’s what they ended up doing- certifying it for gasoline only, and moved on to other higher-priority work.

            That’s all I know. More or less. He gave me some more technical insight, but that’s what I shared earlier in this thread.

          • BrentP
            January 31, 2013 at 5:59 pm

            Martin, an FFV project that was downgraded to gasoline in order to meet cost and deadlines does not mean all FFV and gasoline cars are indentical except for the software.

            This is just something that happens in product development from time to time. Features get dropped but there isn’t time to remove everything that was put in for the feature. It also costs money to remove it after the fact for some parts. So it’s not done.

          • Martin
            January 31, 2013 at 6:39 pm

            I found some info I couldn’t find before. I bet this is pretty typical for all vehicles in recent time.Make sure and read till the end.

            Just for the record, I finally was able to find a record of the component parts used in the fuel system of both a Flex-Fuel version, and a Non-flex-fuel version of the 2011 Chevy Malibu. Previously I wanted to know what the physical difference between the two were.

            What I found:

            There is NO DIFFERENCE in the physical parts of the fuel system between a Flex-Fuel car, and a NON-Flex-fuel car, except for THE YELLOW FUEL CAP.

            The injectors- are the same.

            The fuel pump used- is the same.

            The hoses are: the same.

            The fuel rail is: the same.

            the gaskets are all: the same.

            The only differences on various models of the Malibu with the LE5 (non-flex-fuel) engine, and the LE9 (flex-fuel engine) show up with the California Emmissions package, which is available on both the Flex -and -non-Flex versions. (PLEV = california emmission package)

            Here is the data:

            Quote

            2011 Malibu –

            Flexfuel LE9-

            FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL SUPPLY / FUEL SUPPLY / FUEL PUMP [/q][/c] FUEL PUMP Malibu; 2.4L; LEV2 MSRP Core ? Online Price $341.46 $0.00 $210.00

            FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL SUPPLY / FUEL SUPPLY / FUEL PUMP [/c] FUEL PUMP Malibu; 2.4L; PLEV MSRP Core ? Online Price $330.10 $0.00 $203.01

            FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL INDUCTION / FUEL INJECTION / FUEL RAIL [/c] FUEL RAIL Malibu; 2.4L MSRP Core ? Online Price $204.42 $0.00 $125.72 FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL INDUCTION / FUEL INJECTION / INJECTOR INJECTOR Malibu; 2.4L MSRP Core ? Online Price $56.66 $0.00 $34.85
            [/c] FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL INDUCTION / FUEL INJECTION / INJECTOR SEAL KIT INJECTOR SEAL KIT Malibu; 2.4L MSRP Core ? Online Price $40.50 $0.00 $24.91

            NON-Flex-fuel: LE5

            FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL SUPPLY / FUEL SUPPLY / FUEL PUMP [/c] FUEL PUMP Malibu; 2.4L; LEV2 MSRP Core ? Online Price $341.46 $0.00 $210.00 FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL SUPPLY / FUEL SUPPLY / FUEL PUMP FUEL PUMP Malibu; 2.4L; PLEV MSRP Core ? Online Price $330.10 $0.00 $203.01

            FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL INDUCTION / FUEL INJECTION / FUEL RAIL [/c] FUEL RAIL Malibu; 2.4L MSRP Core ? Online Price $204.42 $0.00 $125.72 FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL INDUCTION / FUEL INJECTION / INJECTOR INJECTOR Malibu; 2.4L MSRP Core ? Online Price $56.66 $0.00 $34.85
            [/c] FUEL SYSTEM / FUEL INDUCTION / FUEL INJECTION / INJECTOR SEAL KIT INJECTOR SEAL KIT Malibu; 2.4L MSRP Core ? Online Price $40.50 $0.00 $24.91

            So boys, the ONLY difference between a 2011 Chevy Malibu NON-FLEX_FUEL car, and a FLEX-FUEL car, is:

            #1. The Yellow fuel cap.

            #2. The fuel map of the software, although I am still trying to find out if the software is actually any different. I haven’t been able to identify the actual part numbers of the two softwares yet.

            (Which means, by the way- if you had a valid software load for the flex-malibu, and loaded it into the non-flex malibu- you would have a flex-fuel malibu if you then changed the fuel cap to the yellow one).

            • January 31, 2013 at 8:39 pm

              Martin,

              You’ve found one car. It doesn’t prove your universal statement.

              Furthermore, you reference a GM car.

              GM has embraced ethanol (and Flex-Fuel compatibility) more than any other automaker – much in the same way that GM was the first to really push DRLs. In the same way and for the same reasons that it would be inaccurate to make the universal statement that because all GM cars have DRLs, all cars therefore have DRLs, so also it is inaccurate to make the claim that all cars are “the same” as FFV cars.

          • BrentP
            January 31, 2013 at 8:16 pm

            Even if I sort through all of that and find that Malibu is indentical, it doesn’t matter. The argument isn’t that one model is just software, but they all are. Furthermore the argument presented is that all cars are capable of running on E100 regardless if there is an FFV version or not. One model being indentical doesn’t prove that argument. All it takes to disprove it is show that one FFV model is different or that one non-FFV car can’t run on high percentage of ethanol fuel.

            The claim is much higher than one model being indentical. Just showing one to be different is enough to foil it.

            BTW, same retail price doesn’t mean same part, it’s a good indication it’s the same but that’s it.

            • January 31, 2013 at 8:52 pm

              I’ve been to several car company events at which the differences in FFV powertrains were elaborated in great detail. I suppose (per Martin) I hallucinated all this. Also the ALL CAPS and otherwise much-emphasized warnings to NEVER use E15 (let alone E85) in the vehicle… virtually all the non-FFV vehicles – I have test driven during the past several years.

          • BrentP
            January 31, 2013 at 9:46 pm

            I used to see a dog and pony show on them now and then via SAE or because the automakers would do a presentation at the mega-corp I once worked for. So I’ve seen the abbreviated versions of those I figure. I also participated in flex fuel and hybrid vehicle projects via SAE when I was in school. I realize things have changed since then but one thing hasn’t, it costs more. Not as much more as it used to, but it does.

            If someone told me that flex fuel would only cost $100 more, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. It’s just seals, coatings, and material substitution build cost wise. But that the capability is in every car and not advertised is just plain bunk. It’s a selling feature.

          • Martin Tjossem
            January 31, 2013 at 10:50 pm

            I’m going to give up on you guys. Do you really think any seals, fuel lines etc are made today that aren’t high % ethanol compatible? Remember cars made in the USA are sent to Brazil also where everything runs on at least 20 some % ethanol. It would be a logistical nightmare to make sure that non, flex, and Brazilian parts were kept separate at the factory. It’s all about computer programming and EPA emissions politics.

            • January 31, 2013 at 10:54 pm

              Martin,

              It’s not about “giving up.” It’s about facts.

              You keep make assertions.

          • Martin Tjossem
            January 31, 2013 at 10:59 pm

            Wish I could edit. I failed to mention, not just today but for a long time. That’s why my 1992 Toy,1995 Ford, and 2000 Buick are still running fine after up to 13 years of way more than measly E15.

          • BrentP
            February 1, 2013 at 12:47 am

            Brazil has its own auto industry. It does not need junk cars from the USA. Yes, there are cars made in Brazil, have been for many decades. The market in Brazil demands flex fuel because ethanol from sugar cane makes sense and actually is often cheaper for them. Their fuel market brings about flexibility because there is market competition unlike the USA where there is government mandate. On any day people will be buying any particular mix or 100% of one or the other depending on what makes sense that day economically.

            As anecdotes, my brother put E85 into his 2000 mazda thinking it would be ok as folks like you preach. The MIL came on right away and the car wasn’t running right. I ended up removing the back seat and the fuel pump and pulling out ten gallons or so of ethanol fuel with a vacuum pump. The car suffered no damage to my knowledge, but it was only exposed to a very little bit for a short time. I then burned the E85 ~ quart at a time after it destroyed a carburetor on one of my mowers, even with dilution. (I had to get rid of it somehow) Thankfully I never liked that carb and finally putting it to death was a blessing in disguise. I took the carb from another older mower and the result was better than ever.

            The simple reason why high ethanol percentage doesn’t work right besides chemical attack is that cars don’t have the wide band O2 sensors needed. They can’t maintain mixture control and run lean. E10 was started to fake old cars with carburetors into running leaner.

            Also, professionally, I’ve had the pleasure of sitting through meetings looking at slides of engines damaged by ethanol fuels.

            • February 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm

              I’ve had to “up-jet” all my old stuff to get it to run well on E10. Even so, the mileage is markedly reduced – which is to be expected given the E10 has less energy per unit volume than straight gas.

              This was all very obvious – even to average Joes – back in the ’80s when “oxygenated” fuels came online during the winter. It was impossible to not notice the reduction in MPGs as well as driveability issues. They’re less obvious today because of the 02 sensors and so on. But they’re still there, nonetheless.

              New cars with EPA ratings for say 35 MPG on the highway would probably deliver close to 40 on regular unleaded vs. E10.

          • BrentP
            February 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

            I don’t know for sure but I think he government fuel economy tests are done on the same grade of gasoline used for engine testing. Things may have changed, but in the 1990s it did not contain ethanol. I forget the proper name for it. It’s something like reference fuel or research gasoline.

          • Martin
            February 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm

            Brent, I think you’re right—does Indolene sound right(Indolene is a form of gasoline used in testing because it is standardized and has no additives.) That is one thing so frustrating with some peoples testing to prove ethanol bad–Indolene vs E10 that is using sub-octane for the gasoline. Eric I hope you get your wish for E0 84.5 octane for your car. Also, Brent, on your bro’s E85 disaster, do you think just maybe if he’d made a 30% ethanol blend instead of going whole hog the outcome might have been similar to my good luck with my vehicles. One more thing I read recently—winter blend gasoline can have a varible btu content from I believe 107,000 up to 115,000 so just that can change gas mileage.

            • February 1, 2013 at 5:23 pm

              Martin,

              It’s hard to keep up with your non sequiturs!

              84 octane gas? Really? Maybe in very high altitude areas (or Mexico) but not here. Pre-E10 and other “oxygenated” fuels, regular unleaded and leaded was not 84 octane. Why would it be so now?

    • January 31, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Bedard’s no fool, either. He’s been around since I was beating off to Farrah posters!

      I think those of us who fool with old stuff – and outdoor power equipment – are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine when it comes to ethanol-laced “gas.” The problems associated with alcoholic fuels are more obvious to us – and sooner – from direct, personal experience.

  2. Tor Munkov
    January 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Large Fresnel lens focused on a copper tube with a 12 V pump* with water circulating through the unit. The temperature of
    7 gallons(58.4 lbs) of water was raised from 63 F to 106 F in one hour.

    *pump powered by two 6 watt solar panels

    6 ft. sat. dish w/ 5800 mirror tiles focused on ~ 1/2in. circle.

  3. Martin Tjossem
    January 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Part of an E-mail from my ethanol friend. Looks like Ford needs octane to make small but powerful and efficient engines. UFP’s are ultra fine particles from the kerosene that is being blended into the gasoline in Texas by your buddies—BIG OIL. Hopefully you know about who AVL is and their testing expertise. Following is the email.

    The link below is an important SAE conference in DC and we are having a table top there specific to a Clean High Octane message. As you can see this starts on Jan 30th but it is events like this that need to get more public exposure.

    I just submitted my first SAE paper yesterday with the help of some John Deere engineers and AVL & Ford just submitted 3 more. One of which I outlined and ICM funded.

    Our story about why the autos want E30 is gaining a lot of traction with another meeting in Detroit next week but we need our industry to pull together.
    What people aren’t hearing is that ethanol has more octane then most engineers knew about just 2 years ago. They had known the value of cooling effect but until recent studies, no one effectively measured this.

    I am not talking neat ethanol octane value but for at least E0 to E50, ethanol has a blending value of 140 octane. That is a neat story and one the autos want to see more of. Then you also have the emissions story and since ethanol is a simple 2 carbon partially burnt molecule, it also improves emissions.

    I agree, we need to be telling this story but we need people to listen as well. When people start hearing what some of the octane looks like from the oil refinery, especially the “stuff” over 350 degrees. We have a great story since this stuff (roughly 5%) of gasoline is responsible for most UFP’s in urban areas.

    • January 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Well, that’s great… if you own a new, high CR car (or turbocharged car) designed to run on high ethanol-content fuel.

      But what about the millions of cars in circulation that have no need for 140 octane fuel – which would in fact run poorly (less efficiently) if fed a slower-burning (very high octane) fuel they weren’t designed to use? Just throw ‘em all away?

      I’m sure “Big Auto” loves that idea!

      And what about the long-haul durability of very high CR and turbo engines? Which would you rather have in a commuter-type of car after ten years or so of driving and 100k-plus miles: An understressed, moderate CR engine of say 2.5 liters or so – or a highly stressed 1.8 liter engine that needs very high CR or a turbo to produce comparable power?

      • Martin Tjossem
        January 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm

        Eric, All I know is that I can get around 27mpg with the 2000 Buick with 3800 V6 driving to a town 16 miles away, visiting and driving home. The 1995 Ford Aspire knocking around within 10 miles of home will get high 30’s—–both burning E30. We have a blender pump at the C store that dispenses E0, E10, E20, E30, and E85. I’ve talked to numerous people that are using E30 in Chevy SUV’s and other vehicles(that are not Flex Fuel) that are several years old and they can’t see much difference in mpg’s. The frustrating part is that wholesale ethanol is 60 cents less than RBOB but that difference is not reflected at the pump. Also, ethanol is not subsidized anymore—no more blenders credit that the oil companies loved to pocket. I just drove to the east coast from Iowa in my 2012 Ford Focus FFV and except for about 100 miles was pure E85. Took some planning to get between pumps. Put it in even though some places were the same price as regular. Knowing that 60 cent price difference did bug me.

        • BrentP
          January 11, 2013 at 5:03 am

          Ethanol is still subsidized, it’s just more hidden now. I posted a link on it a while ago. Here:
          http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/01/ethanol-subsidies-not-gone-just-hidden-little-better

          • Martin Tjossem
            January 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm

            Do you call the aircraft carriers patrolling the Persian Gulf a subsidy or not? If that oil was shut off, would the price of Canadian and everywhere else in the world go up?

            • January 11, 2013 at 4:29 pm

              Arguably, that’s less about protecting oil supply than it is about helping to enforce Israel’s regional hegemony. After all, the oil is worthless unless it’s sold/used. Why would the Saudis, say, stop selling us oil absent US carriers? It doesn’t parse.

              Besides which: Most US oil comes from Mexico, Venezuela and Canada. Not the Middle East.

          • BrentP
            January 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm

            All foreign policy is a subsidy for someone. However, it’s not a subsidy for the american buyer. It is a cartel activity to keep prices high for the average american fuel buyer and primarily to keep the US dollar alive.

            If the USA had a non interventionist foreign policy the region would be more stable, more wealthy, more developed, more productive, and it’s products would be cheaper. The US foreign policy has disrupted the natural development in the region as well as prolonged systems of oppression that would have otherwise fallen under their own weight.

            Without the interventionist foreign policy what would occur is trade. Simple free trade. The US military is instead used to insure the big inside players get the natural resources for below market prices and then keep the savings for themselves. It is not passed on to the american fuel buyer. We pay the market rate.

            Needless to say people who are being ripped off get a bit angry about it. Hence the military intervention.

          • Martin Tjossem
            January 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm

            Eric, I’m not a fan of Israel so we agree on that. Can you explain what the overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran was all about in 1953. I thought it was about oil just like aircraft carriers today are or was it just about Israel also.

          • Martin Tjossem
            January 17, 2013 at 12:30 am

            You guys might find this interesting if anybody is still reading this topic.

            U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) has introduced a bill dubbed the “Energy Freedom and Economic Prosperity Act.” The bill eliminates tax credits for new industries attempting to compete with petroleum while maintaining billions in taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil. Furthermore, the bill would immediately eliminate every tax credit for alternatives to petroleum, including cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel and wind. Yet the bill only eliminates two petroleum tax credits (marginal well incentives and enhanced oil recovery credits) that only go into effect when crude oil prices are well below current levels. Ironically, despite the immediate elimination of all things alternative, the oil tax subsidies would not be eliminated until the end of 2014.

            “Rep. Pompeo’s bill ought to be named the ‘Petroleum Monopoly and Big Oil Prosperity Act,’” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA). It’s hard to take seriously the Congressman’s comment that we can’t afford ‘taxpayer-backed subsidies to companies that don’t need them’ when his bill does not eliminate a single oil subsidy currently in use. Rather the bill leaves intact oil subsidies that date back literally 100 years for the most profitable industry in the history of the world. If the question is, ‘When can Big Oil stand on its own two feet without a taxpayer crutch?’ then Rep. Pompeo’s answer is apparently ‘not yet.’”

            If the bill were to be passed as is, the petroleum tax subsidies that currently cost taxpayers billions each year including:

            Percentage depletion allowance
            Intangible drilling costs expensing
            Deduction for tertiary injectants
            Exception from passive loss limitations for oil and gas
            Oil and gas excess percentage over cost depletion
            “This bill simply tilts government policy even further in favor of petroleum,” continued Shaw.
            Read the rest of this post…

            • January 17, 2013 at 11:01 am

              Hi Martin,

              No one here – not me, at ant rate – defends or advocates wealth transfers to any entity, corporate or individual. That’s the rock bottom issue here.

              De-legitimize this business of government taking some people’s wealth in order to redistribute it to others – for whatever reason – and the problem will solve itself.

              You or I or anyone other person ought to be able to offer up any product/service our minds can conceive and our work can bring to realization – freely, without either aid or impediments put in our way by the government. If people find our product/service useful and are willing to freely purchase it at whatever price the market will bear, then it will succeed. If not, it will fail.

              Simple – and right.

        • BrentP
          January 17, 2013 at 1:31 am

          If big oil had to pay a fair market rate for drilling royalties alone who knows how low taxes could be.

          Government is about plunder and giving the insiders an upper hand.

          • Martin Tjossem
            January 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

            Eric, it would be nice to see some of your articles on Lew Rockwell promoting doing away with all oil subsidies. Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t think oil is subsidized.

            • January 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

              I’ve always been consistent in my disapproval of all rent-seeking, transfer payments, wealth redistribution (and so on).

    • BrentP
      January 11, 2013 at 4:49 am

      Have everything done privately in a free market… Then I can buy synthetic 100 octane gasoline which would be really good for the cars I currently own. Someone else can buy Ewhatever fuel. There’s no reason we can’t have a lot of fuel choices as we have choices in so many other things. But government gets involved and that’s the problem.

      • January 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

        Dear Brent,

        “But government gets involved and that’s the problem.”

        Mainstream Demopublicans and Republicrats dismiss such thinking as “simplistic.” They say “But there are some things that government has to do. Otherwise they won’t get done.”

        Wrong.

        They just don’t get it. People left free to solve problems, will solve problems. They will not sit idly and allow problems to remain fester, unsolved. Sooner or later they will seek solutions. They will “take care of business.”

        But get the government involved, get it to “do something about the problem,” and watch out!

        What will the government do? What can it do? The government will do the only thing it can do — use brute force to prohibit other people from solving the problem.

        The result? Problems go unsolved. They sit there, in perpetuity, because problem solving has been made illegal.

        This may seem like a trivial insight. But it is not. It is the reason conventional monopolistic government never solves problems and never makes life better for people.

      • Martin Tjossem
        January 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        So how much would your synthetic 100 octane cost per gallon. That would sure solve the 100LL(low lead) aviation fuel problem. Also, any ideas why I have had no problems for 10 and 1/2 years of E30 use in the 1995 Aspire, in a few months, 12 years of 30 to 50% ethanol in a 1992 Toyota 4×4, and the Buick mentioned above, at least 3 years?

        • BrentP
          January 11, 2013 at 5:41 pm

          Cost? Less than the market price of fuels today. That’s why the plants are being built.

          Just one of the efforts underway…. note article is four years old: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/410611/natural-gas-to-gasoline/

          More recent:
          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-24/nazi-technology-turns-cheap-shale-gas-into-sub-2-diesel-energy.html

          As to why you are not having issues at E30, give me a complete bill of materials, engineering drawings, etc along with software and I’ll let you know. My guess is that you are having problems, you just don’t know what they are because they are coming on slowly. Things tend to work for some time under slow chemical attack. They seem like normal wear and tear until a problem develops.

          Anyway what does it matter to me? I am not trying to force my idea of what should be on other people. The ethanol folks are however trying to force their idea on others and that’s where I object. If you or anyone else wants to make and market Ewhatever fuels as another choice and compete for market share, have at it. I have no problem with market conditions changing things. I have a problem with them being dictated from politics.

  4. Eightsouthman
    January 9, 2013 at 4:14 am

    Tin Foil, I realize you are in some part of the country there is a choice but here in Texas, we’re getting F===. I can’t find non-adulterated gas for the life of me. I have to deal with this for my wifel’s car. On the other hand I think I’ll continue to buy Red diesel, high sulphur, no road use tax(yeah, illegal for hiway use)farm diesel. Just F–k ‘em.

  5. January 9, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Instead of feeding this, I’d like to point out that it’s likely the corn / ethanol lobby that brought you this fine gift. Now “don’t let an opportunity pass” might be a piggy back to this to get more old cars off the road but if you pay attention 15% ethanol isn’t the only thing available.

    The black box is more desired by automakers so they can analyze various conditions and of course deny warranties as well as other “cost saving” measures.

    The government is mostly us… the problem is regulator capture, not government in general. The other problem which is much bigger is the desire by some to reintroduce fascism but this time on a global scale.. endless wars anyone?

    • January 9, 2013 at 11:15 am

      The key thing to understand is that there’s no meaningful difference between big government and big business. Not now. What we have is a form of cartel capitalism – which may quite accurately be called fascism. But people – most people – don’t see it because they don’t see marching brownshirts and swastikas and Der Sturmer billboards. They have been conditioned to believe that without German-style racism, it cannot be fascism.

      • Tor Munkov
        January 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm

        It’s always the Jews causing problems. Jews and their love of money. Not me, I hate money. That stuff’s for Jews. I like to get paid in fireworks & whiskey just like every other true American.

        http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/images/sturmer/ds16a.jpg

        Its basic survival to lash out when threatened. Are TPTB Jews? Protestants? Who cares? Let’s hate them now. Avoid the Christmas rush.

        It’s quite possible Americans will scatter in diaspora like the Jews if we don’t break free enough to produce things of value and extinguish our debts.

        The Federal Reserve System just keeps rolling over the accumulating debts such that we don’t even have a functioning money system. You want your money back, world, it says? Molon Labe!

        The Federal Reserve System currently holds 133 Billion in Corporate Bonds and 596 Billion in Corporate Stock on its books as assets. Most decidedly, we have Cartel Capitalism. Uncle Sam is nothing but Soldiers and Paperwork without the cartel.

        If he were to abolish his Federal Reserve System, he would need to steal 4.577* Trillion dollars from US.

        Uncle Sam has promised 4577 Billion to foreign Pauls, but so far have only robbed 740 Billion from Domestic Peters.

        *US Federal Reserve Liabilities Owed to Foreign Institutions 5.317 Trillion.
        US Federal Reserve Assets Held 0.74 Trillion (in Gold,SDRs,Foreign Currencies,& IMF position)

        http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/releases/intlsumm/usintltranssum20120930.htm

  6. January 9, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Think mossad with private contractors.. It pretty simple math 3 buildings, two air planes… If you want to think a little more think first three buildings of that size and construction to EVER react in such a way… EVER… in unison. Then perhaps we should all assume that unless you are young it’s unlikely that you’ll personally witness the fall of the US or your car being tracked with a black box. Now I didn’t say that it couldn’t be subpoenaed but tracked? Why bother? You have a cell phone don’t you?

    Think people..

    • Mike in Spotsy
      January 9, 2013 at 2:47 am

      Hi tin foil. I don’t think most of us here need convincing. But how do you educate boobus americanus? Their brainwashing through the government school system is incredibly successful. As if I needed more evidence of that, Butler Shaffer just posted this blog on LRC: “It has been some 3-4 years since I last held my classic “election” on the first day of class in our law school. (The students – 2nd and 3rd year – don’t know who I am, and I hand out the ballots before doing or saying anything.) The candidates for office are Candidate A and Candidate B, each of whom is identified not by name, but by description of behavior and/or policies advocated. In the past, Candidate B receives – on the average – about 75% of the vote. Today – with 22 students voting – Candidate B received 20 votes [just under 91% of the vote] while Candidate A got 2 votes [just over 9%].

      Oh, yes, for those who haven’t followed this exercise before – of which I have reported herein in the past – Candidate A is a composite of such Revolutionary War heroes as George Washington, John Hancock, Sam Adams, Paul Revere, etc.. Candidate B is Adolf Hitler.”

      Discouraging as that may be, I still believe that we all need to do our best to educate people, to continually question, to point out to anyone who will listen the inconsistencies and outright lies of the government. It’s the only chance.

      On a related matter: all of you who regularly come to this site, if you also go to LRC, please click on the EPAutos articles there. Even if you already read them here, the traffic on LRC will help ensure that Lew keeps linking here. For me, finding this site through LRC was a great event that has helped me in more ways that I can describe. Keeping the links on that site will surely lead others here. So please keep on clickin’.

      • January 10, 2013 at 1:18 am

        Dear Mike,

        “… please click on the EPAutos articles there. Even if you already read them here, the traffic on LRC will help ensure that Lew keeps linking here.”

        Good thinking. I’ll make sure I do that consistently from now on.

      • January 10, 2013 at 1:30 am

        Dear Mike,

        “Candidate A is a composite of such Revolutionary War heroes as George Washington, John Hancock, Sam Adams, Paul Revere, etc.. Candidate B is Adolf Hitler.”

        Yet the Amerkanischen schaffenmenschen don’t recognize the underlying fundamentals. They see only the surface trappings.

        I remember when the Black Panthers pulled their stunt trying to get the man in the street to sign the Declaration of Independence, and nobody would.

        Absent the title, they didn’t even recognize it for what it was. They weren’t about to put their John Hancock some subversive manifesto threatening armed revolution.

        Also, they couldn’t see past the fact that intimidating black militants were the ones doing the asking.

    • Eightsouthman
      January 9, 2013 at 4:36 am

      LMAO. TF, you nailed it. I don’t mean to be demeaning and I hope you don’t take it that way 3 buildings, two airplanes, say it ain’t so. Can the sheeple add and subtract? Evidently not. Ask me, I’ll tell you everything you want to know about black boxes and the autos that use them(nearly all).

    • January 9, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Hi Tin,

      You’ll find most people here think plenty!

      And: I don’t have a sail fawn. Never have – never will.

  7. January 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    It’s amazing how well facts are woven into conspiracy by not only this site but the persons who are commenting here. If you want a REAL conspiracy perhaps you should spend some time looking into 911. The real conspiracy is the official story, just in case you were wondering what I was talking about. All hail Bush and Chenney.. they are the ones that kicked off this endless war crap and stripped you of most of your rights. BO is just tending the farm while waiting for the next guy (likely repug) to come in and finish the job.. Vote repug to end your the world as you know it. Nothing like being Neoconned!

    • methylamine
      January 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      You presume I haven’t?

      tin-foil, I took the Red Pill a long time ago. 9/11 is so obvious it doesn’t need explication here…

      And yes…Team A, Team B. Two sides of the same coin. Left and Right wings on the same bird of prey. Left boot, Right boot–both stomping your face into the future.

    • January 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Dear tin foil hat,

      “If you want a REAL conspiracy perhaps you should spend some time looking into 911.”

      I’m pretty sure most people who have commented here agree with you about 9/11.

      9/11 was an inside job, a false flag operation, an updated Amerikan edition of the infamous Reichstag Fire.

      No argument there.

      • Eightsouthman
        January 8, 2013 at 11:49 pm

        Bevin, you don’t believe the official version? You must be a kook, you know, one of those people like Ron Paul….or me. Just yesterday I was thinking about conspiracies and thought: I have DuckDuckGo so let’s see what it will do and I disabled HTTPSEverywhere and started my search. What a friggin’ joke. I kept getting crap such as There are conspiracy theorist who believe Silverberg meant for someone to detonate an explosive that would bring building 7 down. That’s just not the case as he was saying to PULL IT because he wanted the equipment to pull Building 7 to the side to make it fall away from the other buildings. Gee, why didn’t I think of that? And they had the audacity to show a pic of a trackhoe operating in perfect, clear weather in the debris of the twin towers with about a 3/4 or 7/8″ doubled cable hooked to “who knows what” since it only showed the cable above the trackhoe and not what it was attached to or what was pulling it. Now I’ve worked this kind of stuff for too long to think a building could be pulled over with a couple cables attached to each corner. Gimme a friggin break. What would generate that much pull? A couple of D-10’s?, something way not ever there when the twin towers burned and something I never saw later on. And they were attached to ???? And they were pulling on a double 7/8″ cable? Please, insult hell out of me. In the pic, the sky was blue, no smoke and the debris was cold and old. Crap like that was all I ever got from several searches. I think I’ll refer all the rest of my searches to A&E 9/11 Truth.org. No, Larry wasn’t in on anything, esp. since he had a new insurance policy on those buildings worth way more than what they were actually worth. Pull, he said….and he meant to pull it over, shit!!!

        • January 9, 2013 at 12:32 am

          Dear Eightsouthman,

          I agree, 100%.

          It’s amazing what mental contortions the Amerikanschen schaffenmenschen will engage in to keep their comforting Fairy Tale about American exceptionalism intact.

          They just can’t bring themselves to confront the ugly reality, that “our government” could actually do this to us, in cold blood, in premeditation. Even after learning about Operation Northwoods.

          No, not ours. Other peoples’ governments, sure. But not ours.

          They just can’t bring themselves to the realization that no government is good. All governments are evil. Some are merely less evil than others.

          Sometimes which government is the most evil changes. At one time, it was Mainland China’s government. Today, “our government” is arguably the most evil government in the world.

  8. January 8, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Wow I want what you guys are smokin… Let’s all crank up the alex jones and burn one…

    • methylamine
      January 9, 2013 at 3:24 am

      Huh? Which message is this a reply to?

      • Tor Munkov
        January 12, 2013 at 4:34 am

        “Oooh! Pick me! Pick me! -Dory- Finding Nemo

  9. Tor Munkov
    January 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    A broken system, like a sinking tide, lowers all boats even to the point of beaching them, doing anything it can to maintain and control its captive fleet.

    We already spend more money for less cars, (ranking 25th), fewer than almost all developed nations.

    http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/international/cars%20by%20spending.jpg

    According to a July 2012 Carnegie paper, car ownership rates are closely tied to the size of the middle class. The paper actually measures car ownership rates for the specific purpose of using that number to predict middle class size. Comparing the middle class across countries can be extraordinarily difficult; someone who counts as middle class in one country could be poor or rich in another. Americans are buying fewer cars, just one more sign of a rapidly declining American middle class.

    http://www.carnegieendowment.org/2012/07/23/in-search-of-global-middle-class-new-index/cyo2

  10. January 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    This ties in neatly with the “Cash for Clunkers” program.

    • Brandonjin
      January 9, 2013 at 12:50 am

      WOW! It sure does, doesn’t it?

  11. January 8, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I’m gonna’ go with merely convenient for now. You make good points but I think this is more the government interfering with the free market. Dealers still make plenty of money on used cars and trades.

  12. phil
    January 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    These have been springing up where I live. I patronize them heavily.

    [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/2M2Fe.jpg[/IMG]

    • phil
      January 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      Corrected

  13. Tre Deuce
    January 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Reg; ‘essentially a different, predatory subspecies among us.’

    Or Alien… See the movie, ‘They Live’.

    WIKI…> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/They_Live
    Movie…>

    • methylamine
      January 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      Love that movie! Cheesy, low-budget…but dead-on balls accurate. Even the pirate news feed describing how the TV entrances its viewers–which it actually does.

      • MoT
        January 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

        The movie was prophetic. My favorite part is where Piper puts on the glasses and “sees” everything in black and white. Billboards and advertising soothingly and menacingly say “Breed”, “Sleep”, “Conform” and paper money clearly says “This Is Your God”. Dead on, damn it all.

        • mithrandir
          January 12, 2013 at 3:42 am

          That was a great film. (well the last 20 minutes was not strong imo, but still a very good film)

          Let those that have eyes (or sunglasses) see. ;)

  14. Robert
    January 8, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Aside from the big profits to agri-business & “warm-fuzzies” to the tree-huggers, I am not sure the inclusion of ethanol is a conspiracy by TPTB to further enslave the lumpen-americanus. I heard decades ago, that autos in Japan were considered almost disposable because the emissions laws made it cost-prohibitive to keep a car after 5 years. Cheers.

    • MoT
      January 8, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      It’s the “sha-ken” tax that eats auto owners alive. They make it steadily more expensive to keep a perfectly good car the older it gets. This serves two purposes… One, it keeps only the most up to date and expensive vehicles on the road, to the insurance companies glee, and Two it’s a steady supply of profit for the domestic car manufacturers. It’s pure fascism through and through. What we have here in the States is a move towards the same. First you mandate insurance for everyone, seat belt laws, mandatory MPG, etc. etc. etc…. All, as Eric loves to cynically point out, “Saaaaafetyyyyy” And believe you me it’s womyn and girlie-men who swallow this shit wholesale.

      • MoT
        January 8, 2013 at 5:33 pm

        Oh, and for those masses who simply can’t “afford” such luxuries there’s always “public-cattle transportation”. I have to admit it does work, far better than here, but you are indeed forced to play the game unless you like driving your bike down crowded streets with a Hino dump truck breathing down your ass (as I’ve personally experienced).

        • Eightsouthman
          January 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm

          And how will that play out in west Texas? Just a short jaunt to the store is 60 miles…..one way. Wish I had clocked the old lady many years ago and gone ahead and have perfected making my fuel from cooking oil by now. Now where to find a diesel engine that will fit my 1000 GS Zuk frame?

  15. wkwjshd
    January 8, 2013 at 10:31 am

    The US used to be the #1 everything, now it is #1 in agriculture only. The only way to make money in commodities is by reducing supply. In this case excess food is turned into fuel. So ethanol is really US export policy, sometimes called mercantilism, with the nice add on benefit that it destroys cars. The policy was copied from Brazil with their sugar to ethanol program. Raising the cost of food requires the programs like food stamps. In my youth coping anything from Brazil other than Samba would have been embarrassing. Where does it end? My guess is Russia, Ukraine, and Southern Africa start increasing agriculture exports until the prices collapse, leaving Americans with a fleet of rotting cars..

    BTW, what is the experience in Brasil?

    • BrentP
      January 9, 2013 at 3:10 am

      Brazil uses sugar cane to make ethanol. Since sugar isn’t a staple food it shouldn’t have any particular impact on food prices. sugar cane ethanol in Brazil is more or less a market condition in that country as I understand it. Because sugar cane ethanol works economically on its own merits vehicles sold in Brazil are built flex fuel. It’s how their market works.

      The freaks that have power in the USA just look at Brazil and want to copy it but don’t realize it works there because they have the correct market conditions and natural resources so it does work. The USA does not.

      On another note, Supposedly corn ethanol has sufficient left overs for animal feed and is used that way.

  16. Ross Nelson
    January 8, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Yes, throw the federal government into the woods.

  17. Dave
    January 8, 2013 at 8:20 am

    As far as forcing everyone to buy new cars goes, how do they expect us to pay for them?

    Most of the country is out of work, and, if they do find work; the jobs only pay minimum wage. Meanwhile, the cost of cars continues to go up.

    How do they expect a nation of minimum wage workers to buy new, $30,000 dollar cars every 6-10 years?

    • January 8, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Hi Dave,

      Some have suggested (and I don’t disagree) that the ultimate object is to greatly reduce, if not eliminate entirely, the privately owned car. To herd most people into urban centers – and into public mass transit.

      • Dave
        January 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm

        Ah, I had not thought of that angle.

        Of course, if they get rid of our cars and force us onto mass transit, it will free up a little of our money, even at minimum wage.

        I wonder what they will come up with to take THAT money from us? The greed of these people is boundless.

  18. January 8, 2013 at 3:01 am

    The thing that kills me is that we have the technology to convert existing cars to run on hydrogen without compromising the existing gasoline intake system. We also have the technology to produce our own hydrogen at home at almost zero cost, so that we can power our automobiles without worrying about gas prices.

    The only issue? Although we have an abundance of the rare earth needed for this in the ground in this country, we don’t have anybody mining the stuff. Apparently China knows this and wants a ton of money for the stuff that they’re mining. If we were digging this up here it would actually be cost effective.

    http://www.switch2hydrogen.com/h2.htm

    • MoT
      January 8, 2013 at 3:48 am

      I’m aware of at least two or three mining operations about to kick into gear to address these rare earth minerals that China presently has a near monopoly over. I in fact sat in on one meeting just a couple of weeks ago. My reasons were purely mercenary… as in I want to get hired!

      • January 9, 2013 at 1:58 am

        That is good news! Good news indeed!

    • BrentP
      January 8, 2013 at 3:51 am

      H2 has significant storage and production issues with present technology. Perhaps some day these will be overcome but it’s not there yet for a mass market product.

      • January 9, 2013 at 1:57 am

        Brent, it seems to be that this has been addressed by the people at that link I posted, but the materials are more expensive than they should be.

        • BrentP
          January 9, 2013 at 4:10 am

          No it doesn’t. Not to anyone with an understanding of the problems and the current level of technology.

          • January 10, 2013 at 11:29 pm

            Did you even read the page I linked? Your response tells me that you did not.

          • methylamine
            January 11, 2013 at 3:44 am

            I’m with Brent on this one I’m afraid, Trocki. Metal hydrides store about 2-4% weight of hydrogen…horribly inefficient. It’s just not enough hydrogen to get a decent range.

            I looked at that site; if you notice on their front page, they’re dependent on rare earth elements for their adsorbent material. Thanks to the mafia called the US government, and their handlers intent on wrecking the country, we can’t mine our abundant rare-earth minerals here.

            So they depend on the Chinese who’ve jacked the rates–see their disclaimer below.

            AND, they’re using a home hydrogen generator–also horribly inefficient. Sure, you can run it from solar cells or a wind generator; but the amounts of energy required are shockingly large.

            Think about it; one horsepower is 750 watts. Engines are about 25% efficient. Cruising at 60 takes roughly 20 horsepower–big variations of course depending on aero efficiency etc.

            Multiply it all out and you need, for every hour of cruising at 60, 6 hours of 10KW of electricity…and that ignores the inefficiency of hydrolysis, roughly 50%.

            So you need a 20KW solar array running all six hours of optimal sunlight, to cruise 1 hour at 60.

            Have you priced a 20KW solar array lately?

            Oh and by the way–the energy used to produce the solar cells is a significant fraction of the energy they’ll produce over their lifetimes.

            Thermodynamics are a bitch.

            Switch2Hydrogen front page:

            As our system is very dependent on Rare-Earth metals & compounds, we are now being held up by the recent move by the Chinese Government to limit (and dramatically overprice) Rare Earth elements & Compounds. China has been the only source for these materials for many years, although they are abundant in the USA but no longer mined or produced. This move by the Chinese has made our system that we were going to retail for $10,000, now cost us over $45,000 just for materials. Obviously at these prices this is no longer a viable product as far as sales go, so the Chinese political situation must change, or we take many steps back and begin looking for replacement materials – which may take years – and may not even be possible.

            We are looking into all possibilities as well as manufacturing in China (which would be a last resort). Hopefully the political situation will change so we can continue to manufacture here in the USA & use the storage material we have worked for years to develop.

          • BrentP
            January 11, 2013 at 5:11 am

            Yes I did. Unlike you I understand the technology mentioned and that it doesn’t work well. Still not ready for prime time.

            And generating enough H2 to run a car from a few solar panels? HA!

          • BrentP
            January 11, 2013 at 5:16 am

            Methyl you went into way more detail than I felt up to doing. You’re very much correct. It’s a very expensive and limiting system. Might be good for the conditions of complete society collapse…. but other than that, I’ll wait for better technology.

          • January 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm

            According to the page I linked, the tech does work efficiently. It fills the tanks in about 8 hours, and a full compliment goes for 350 miles or so…

            Your argument that the tech doesn’t work contradicts what is said at that site. Your argument that it is too expensive because of the materials needed is… Well, that’s the complaint I made in my original post, so I’m not sure why you posted it. :P

          • Me2
            January 11, 2013 at 11:48 pm

            Trocki on January 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm

            “According to the page I linked, the tech does work efficiently. It fills the tanks in about 8 hours, and a full compliment goes for 350 miles or so…”

            Interesting idea but I have some math issues here;

            The Corvette is claimed to get 350 miles from the four tanks shown. Site claims 700L per minute consumption.

            350miles at 60mph would require 5.833 hours.

            5.83 hours = 350 minutes

            350 x 700L = 245000L

            Each tank can hold 61250L of hydrogen? Really?

            Hmmmm..seems unlikely.

          • methylamine
            January 12, 2013 at 2:05 am

            Trocki,

            I don’t care what their page says–the math and physics are what they are.

            Thermodynamics is a bitch; or, in libertarian terms, TANSTAAFL–There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

            Look use some logic:
            350 miles in the ‘Vette is just about a full load on its gasoline tank. Let’s say it’s 15 gallons.

            You’re telling me you can produce 15 gallons’ worth of H2 energy-equivalent in 8 hours? That is, in physics terms, a shitload of energy.

            Put it another way: it would take almost six hours to drive 350 miles at 60 miles per hour.

            So they’re telling you it would take a huge generator to produce the H2 in real-time; so you do it offline at home. But at the same time they’re telling you you can make 6 hours worth of H2–in 8 hours?

            They’re lyyyyiiing, also commonly referred to as advertising–in this case, deceptively.

            Here’s what I think they’re REALLY doing: I think they’re supplementing the engine’s normal gasoline running with hydrogen. It is a perfectly reasonable thing to do; in fact, if the ECU is designed to complement it, it can allow extremely lean running and optimize burning in other conditions too.

            Here’s how: hydrogen can burn at almost any concentration, from 5% to 95%. Gasoline, on the other hand, has to be in a very narrow “richness” to burn well. Putting some hydrogen into the air with the gasoline allows the whole chamber to light off very effectively, since the hydrogen spreads so fast and burns so easily. It improves the gasoline’s burning.

            But I absolutely promise–and I would put very big money on this, as in my entire silver stash–that they cannot generate from wind, solar, or standard 115V household current enough H2 to run a Corvette for 350 miles in 8 hours. Nor can they store that much in the tanks pictured.

            It is physically impossible–and that comes from a guy who loves seeing orthodoxies overturned. This ain’t one of them.

          • methylamine
            January 12, 2013 at 2:16 am

            Hold on I need to amend that a little–

            “They cannot produce from wind or solar (from installations of either that cost less than the Corvette itself)…”

            Because one could, I’m sure, install a frikkin’ cornfield full of solar cells and make enough H2…for about a gazillion* dollars!

            * Actually using my previous math–6 hours @20KW to cruise 1 hour at 60–times six hours, you need a 120KW solar array.
            Look here for a good idea of solar power economics. It costs $9/W.

            So your nifty 120KW array? Yeah…that cost you a cool $1.08 million!

            Photovoltaic energy SUCKS; the economics are atrocious.

            • January 12, 2013 at 11:09 am

              Here’s an idea I’ve long wanted to actually experiment with but just haven’t had time to:

              Use mirrors to concentrate sunshine and focus it on a water heater. Use the heated water to power a steam-driven generator that feeds storage batteries.

              Remember lighting leaves on fire as a kid using a small magnifying glass? Sunlight is fairly diffuse as it hits the earth. But concentrate it a little and you have some pretty serious energy input… I’ve seen scaled-up versions of the magnifying glass above that produced (almost immediately) enough focused sunlight to cut a hole through a piece of steel. How much water could you heat that way? How much steam could you produce that way?

          • BrentP
            January 12, 2013 at 4:46 am

            “According to the page I linked, the tech does work efficiently. It fills the tanks in about 8 hours, and a full compliment goes for 350 miles or so…”

            That’s absolutely bullshit unless one has such an expensive solar array or wind turbine that gasoline prices are of no concern and the reason for doing this is just to it. In other words so expensive that it is something for curious rich hobbyist. Something for someone with NBA star money to play around with in their retirement. This isn’t for the middle class person looking to invest in capital to get his money back and then some over time. He’ll never see the payback. Not anywhere close. The math doesn’t work with present technology. It just doesn’t come out that way.

            • January 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

              About five years ago, we had to put a new roof on the house. As I am interested in being as independent of the system as possible, I looked into a solar array – one capable of providing enough electricity (or close to it) that we could go fully off-grid. The price tag was astronomical – in excess of $30,000. Unless the cost of utilities quadruples, there is no way the math works out in my favor. Decades to reach break even – and then you’ve got to consider repair/replacement of components (which like anything else, don’t last forever). I put a conventional asphalt shingle roof on instead for a fraction of the cost.

          • BrentP
            January 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

            Eric, ever look at solar cell efficiency? That is energy that lands on them vs. energy output?

            Big range… the cheap stuff is probably less than 10%.

          • BrentP
            January 12, 2013 at 4:07 pm

            Solar hot water heating systems can be purchased. They seem to be common in Hawaii.

          • January 14, 2013 at 11:44 pm

            They do NOT claim that the hydrogen necessary is generated in 8 hours… only that it takes 8 hours for the tanks to be filled. Which is all I said.

            Since most of us do not drive 350 miles per day I think this is perfectly acceptable is it not?

          • BrentP
            January 15, 2013 at 12:14 am

            Range generally means how far one can go on a full tank.

            So let’s not try to find ways to make bullshit not bullshit. It simply can’t work unless they are using a different physics than than the rest of us or are assuming power generation that is simply unaffordable.

          • methylamine
            January 15, 2013 at 1:25 am

            @Eric re: How much steam could you produce that way?

            There’s a great rule of thumb: average solar radiation energy at American latitudes is roughly 1000 watts per square meter. It’s quite a lot actually–and there are plenty of solar hot water systems.

            I’ve never seen a home steam generator; my practical thermo isn’t good enough for a strong answer, a bet BrentP knows the answer…but my guess is, home steam generation would be mucho inefficient.

            HOWEVER, there’s a killer alternative–Stirling engine generators.

            There are a couple of great designs that use the piston itself as the armature in a reciprocating generator and get pretty good efficiencies.

          • BrentP
            January 15, 2013 at 4:25 am

            I may have missed where steam was discussed… but I wouldn’t want to mess with steam for home electrical generation. Efficiency shouldn’t take a big hit for being smaller but the problem as I see it is because of well steam… that’s pressure vessels, high pressure lines, etc. Screw up maintaining it and it would be considerable maintenance, and it could kill. It’s not like a heating system.

            I could be wrong, maybe someone has made a simple system, but what I know of steam electric generation, which isn’t a lot, it would be more trouble than it’s worth for a home. Now for a neighborhood that’s a different story.

            Where I went to college the campus had a central heating and electrical co-generation plant. The steam was used to generate electricity for the campus and heat all the buildings. That of course costs millions, but it probably paid for itself on the heating bills alone in a few years.

  19. MoT
    January 8, 2013 at 12:17 am

    So they intend to “mandate” the removal of food grain, and thus raise food prices further, and likewise “tax” us by subsidizing big-ag farming operations in the creation of this shit.

    When, I ask you, will we start pitchforking these fuckers in the stomach and hanging whoever is left over from the lamp posts in DC and Wall Street?

    • Tinsley Grey Sammons
      January 8, 2013 at 2:14 am

      Shoulda been done decades ago.

      tgsam

    • methylamine
      January 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      @MoT:

      Remember, it’s NOT an accident!

      Their lower minions might be useful idiots; but at the top, they know exactly what they’re doing.

      They’re Ukrainizing us. As Kissinger said, “Control the food, control the people.”

      Just as they’re attacking the vital infrastructure of small, resilient, local farms–SWAT-teaming dairy farms, killing pigs in Michigan, tearing up front-yard gardens–they’re consolidating power in corporate mega-farms.

      At the same time they’re introducing a guaranteed famine-factor: monoculture farming. Those Monsanto seeds are one pathogen away from laying waste to 70% of our grain crops.

      And if that’s not enough, they’re forcing us to burn our fucking food!

      It’s no accident.

      Pitchforks are for farming MoT. I like lead poisoning.

      • Cederq
        January 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        I have a hunch MoT wants “them” to suffer a little bit, I had a pitch fork run through my lower right leg and it was excruciating! I can’t even begin to wonder what it feels like in the lower gut… Or, he wants to get up front and personal?

        • MoT
          January 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm

          It’s more of a rhetorical device to shock people awake. Because there is no doubt they’re out to literally starve folks to death I see no difference in “giving” them their due in return.

          The only thing that keeps these bastards in line is the fear of attaining room temperature. Talk, on your dime mind you, only serves them to further acquire stolen wealth and resources to your detriment.

          I’ve said it for years that what our elites suffer from is a lack of minerals in their diet. That is to say they don’t “eat” enough lead.

  20. James
    January 7, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    “It’s quite possible that – via the fuel they’re fed – within ten years, there will be very few cars in regular use that were not made after 2010.”

    Eric – Did you mean to say “before 2010″?

    Apologies for being pedantic.

    • January 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Hi James,

      Good catch – thanks!

      • Adrian
        January 8, 2013 at 4:50 am

        Believe it was correct the first go.

        To say “before” you’d need to remove “not”.

  21. Tor Munkov
    January 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    The State is going beyond Engineering Consent and making Consent mandatory by Diktat. The poor will be getting poorer. I expect all roads not leading to Serfdom will be clogged with legions of the FSH – the Federally Sponsored Highwaymen.

  22. January 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Could you clarify how ethanol is distributed now? Isn’t it limited to certain times of year, and geographic areas?

    Agree that making it mandatory would trigger the consequences you mention, and probably some unintended ones too. But my perception is that it presently does not represent the majority of fuel sold in this country. Is that right or not?

    Enlighten us, please.

    • January 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Mike,

      Most regular unleaded sold nationwide is E10 – 10 percent ethanol. They (EPA) are looking at mandating E15 (15 percent ethanol).

  23. MoT
    January 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    The time has finally come for the “water engine”. If you want to starve the beast an entirely gas-free, and hence “taxless”, engine is needed.

    • Tor Munkov
      January 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      July 2012 – Engine running on HHO gas.

      Sept 2012 – Harley on HHO

      The energy we currently harness: burning wood, propane, the household alternating current electricity, all involve creating plasma, the fourth and most common state of matter beyond the Earth.

      Water is truly a powerful & unique element, it is certainly worthwhile to pursue ionizing it into hydrogen and oxygen gas for use as a fuel source. I believe water engines are now being supplanted by HHO gas engines.

      I don’t have any place where I could do that sort of thing, but I think a DIY-er in the right workshop could accomplish a lot.

      • methylamine
        January 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

        Tor the problem is you have to hydrolyze the water to get the HHO, or plain H2 and O2…

        …and that takes more energy than you retrieve from combining the H and the O again.

        TANSTAAFL–there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

        There are some gains from having the HHO in the intake stream; the hydrogen lights off very easily and spreads the flame front more effectively, increasing efficiency. It’s particularly effective if the engine is designed around this boost–there are some diesels that use the concept.

        But running on pure HHO or H2? It’s an energy-losing proposition, because you first had to divorce H2O (very stable) by electrolysis or thermolysis…using more energy than you’ll get back.

        Of course you could do as plants do, and split water photochemically; so that’s solar power by a different route. I’m enthusiastic about it but it’s not viable at the moment.

        • Tor Munkov
          January 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm

          Thanks methylamine. Almost everyone posting here is an expensive lunch, to be sure. It is likely the whole lives of the many are energy losing propositions for the NPTB (natural powers that be.)

          Yet let us continue to metabolize at an accruing deficit, because as you imply, some unknown exceptional being is going to pay off big time for them.

          Some where some one is going to invent and propagate the next great idea. Just like the “guy” who invented photosynthesis. We can all attempt to be one of those “guys” and sanguinely relegate to our likely fate of being just one of many bread and circuses for the NPTB, as we fail in our attempt.

          Guy Gets 6 to 14 add’l MPG w/ HHO
          http://www.youtu.be/uFtCuXOJqjQ

          DIY HHO Cell for under $20
          http://www.youtu.be/U-wBABseUqs

  24. Shoal Creek
    January 7, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Another option for many of us in areas where it’s not illegal: buy an older rear-wheel drive car whose body is in good shape but has a bad engine and do a diesel conversion with, for example, a 3.3BT or 4BT cummins. There is no ethanol in diesel and sulfur additives are available that give back the performance that low-sulfur diesel fuels take away from older diesel engines. This has the added effect of much better fuel mileage and longer range per tank. While the horse power and accelleration may not be the best, the torque is enough to keep pretty much any load moving at highway speeds, no matter the terrain.

  25. Boothe
    January 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Eric – I think now is the time for those of us that are serious gearheads to look into propane conversion for at least some of our vehicles (plus you avoid the “road tax” that way). This may also be a great opportunity for someone to produce and sell an additive (if it’s possible) or device that would seperate the ethanol from the hydrocarbons. Methylamine – Any hope there?

    • Steve White
      January 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      I’ve been separating the alcohol from my gas for years for use in my experimental airplane. It requires unleaded premium with no alcohol. Avgas has lead.

      Put the ethanol-contaminated fuel in a clear container (such as a water jug) and add the same amount of water as there is alcohol. So, if it’s E10 (10% alcohol added) and you’ve got 5 gallons of fuel, you’ve got to remove 0.5 gallons of ethanol so add 1/2 gallon of water.

      Let the water settle for a few minutes and make a mark on the outside of the container with a marker to show where the fuel/water line is. The clear container lets you see the separation point. The water is heavier so it’s on the bottom.

      Shake the mixture well and let it sit overnight. The water will absorb the ethanol (alcohol LOVES water) and will sink to the bottom. The apparent water level will rise. Siphon off the fuel on top. Again, that’s why you want a clear container so you can see how far down to go. There will be about twice as much “water” (now laced with alcohol) as what you started with if you did your math right.

      Even if you don’t get all the alcohol out, you’ll make a BIG difference. If you’re worried about octane, you can add an octane booster or, if you don’t need premium, start with a higher octane fuel than you need.

      Of course, it’s expensive because you’re removing CRAP you didn’t want in the first place that you paid for. Typical government “solution”…

      • Rooney
        January 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm

        Thanks for the tip, Steve. So far we only deal with E-10 to deal with at the moment in my neck of the woods. I’m thinking I’ll gradually treat and build a stash of roughly 25 gallons of de-ethanoled fuel for both my truck and my motorcycle. Once I build the reserve I’ll treat more as I use it. Would it be wise to incorporate a fuel stabilizer as well? I’m retired so my actual travel miles don’t amount to much. Thanks again.

        • Rooney
          January 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

          Arrgh…”deal with to deal?”

          Need more coffee….

          • Eightsouthman
            January 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm

            Chill, have a cold one, relax, life is too short.

        • Steve White
          January 7, 2013 at 7:22 pm

          Hi!
          It would not hurt, I believe, to add a high quality fuel stabilizer if it will sit for a while. I burn it pretty fast so I don’t bother for the airplane fuel. I want as little crap in the fuel as possible since my ass is hanging on it…

          For my 33cc Robin/Subaru 4-stroke, motorized tadpole recumbent bicycle (whew!), I treat a 5 gallon can of E10-laced regular auto fuel with 2 capfuls of StaBil because the bicycle gets 180 MPG and it takes much longer to use it up.

    • methylamine
      January 8, 2013 at 2:06 am

      Ha ha funny Boothe, you read my mind! I thought furiously throughout the article about how to remediate this polluted petrol.

      There’s already the Sta-Bil additive; I’m curious how it works. It’s 95% light petroleum distillate–cas 64742-47-8–according to its MSDS, so I think it’s just acting as a solvent to keep the ethanol married to the gasoline and away from water.

      The chief problem is ethanol’s hydroscopic nature; pulling water from the air and corroding your tank, fuel lines, and injectors. It’s also a very mild acid; not as bad as methanol –whose more electrophilic base group makes it a more effective proton donor.

      So going back–yeah, a solvent/detergent combination would keep the damn stuff married to the gas. A corrosion inhibitor would help too–something to counteract the alcohol-acid conversion.

      I thought about distillation…but it’s kind of impractical. And ever so slightly dangerous :)

      Knowing what’s in the Sta-Bil, though, gives me hope; by any other name, it’s just mineral spirits. Throw in some cheap ethanolamine or another weakly basic amine to mop up the alcohol acids and act as a detergent, and you’d have a cheap way to treat the crap.

      One real problem though is it wouldn’t fix the energy deficit. If your fuel injectors are at max duty cycle at WOT, maximum revs, they’re out of reserve–and the lower energy content of the gasohol would mean you’re running lean. The ECU would probably throw a code as the lambda sensor went out-of-band.

      OR, it might not; I don’t know for sure, but I believe many or most engines go “open loop” at WOT…can anyone comment?

      It would be a real problem for those occasional delicious blasts to 150+, wide open throttle, near the rev limiter…wouldn’t want to put a hole in a piston.

      • Boothe
        January 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm

        What I’ve been using for the past couple of years is PRI-G (http://priproducts.com/). Based on reviews from other users this is superior to Stabil. I haven’t been using it long enough to tell a significant difference yet, but I haven’t had any problem with it. I have read posts where people claim to have put this in old gas in cars that have been in storage and “restored” the gas to a useable condition. Check out the chemical composition if you would please and let us know what you think.

        • methylamine
          January 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm

          That does look better than Sta-Bil…according to its MSDS:

          Mineral spirits (light aliphatics):
          Shellsol D60, cas 64742-88-7, 35-45%

          And voila!–some amines to mop up acids and solubilize the ethanol/water:
          Mixture of amines, cas N/A, 5-35%

          And even better, some dispersants…i.e. liquid Dawn:
          Organic Dispersants, cas N/A, 5-35%

          Best of all it’s made right here in Houston. I’ll git me some.

          I bet this offers great protection.

      • Shazaam
        January 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

        You won’t be able to fix E15 via distillation. Gasoline has a significant butane content and I believe that the storage additives work to keep the butane in solution. “Stale” gasoline has lost the butane fraction which is the “starter fluid” needed for a cold start.

        The carbon emissions canisters are tested with a nitrogen-butane mix as the butane is what it released from a fuel tank in hot weather.

        However, it might be possible to separate ethanol from a gasoline mix via supercooling….. Ethanol is solid at -173 deg F (-119 deg C) so liquid nitrogen at -321 deg F 9 (-196 deg C) could be used for a test.

        It is possible that it might come out of solution at some temperature. Strange stuff happens in the cold, and the only way to know is to test it.

        In any case, gasoline is a wild mixture of light hydrocarbons, so it might be possible to mitigate the corrosive and low energy effects of E15 with a gallon of diesel per 10 gallons of E15 or something like that. This would require some testing.

        You might sacrifice some cold weather starting performance, yet closed loop engine control and the ultra low sulfur diesel (done for O2 sensors on modern diesel engines) make it possible.

        I’ve seen fuel pumps that suffered E15 in durability test benches. Pumps designed to last 100,000 miles (that typically last 300,000 if never run dry) were lucky to make 50,000 in E15. (Denso 2010) The pump casing materials corrode in the higher ethanol mix. It’s also more likely that the injectors won’t have enough flow capacity for WOT with E15.

        The powers that be may have their schemes, but the people that make things work should be able to circumvent the schemes.

        There will be replacement engine computers without black box functionality. Or means to reflash the existing engine computer to disable the black box. You can get rid of On-Star by disconnecting the antennae. Every wiz-bang technology has a weakness.

        I suspect that unless E15 is rolled-out uniformly, stations carrying it might get shunned for piss-poor gas mileage. (I know I’d spread the word on that one!!!)

        And, if there is an acceptable fuel mix to mitigate the effects of E15, then the scheme to help the Ethanol plant owners and Government Motors just won’t matter.

      • Shazaam
        January 8, 2013 at 10:28 pm

        Eh, did a little research. Looks like cooling gasoline enough to freeze ethanol won’t work like I expected. If you cooled it enough to solidify the higher fractions (Octane, heptane, hexane and pentane) then you might end-up with a solution of butane, ethanol and some isomers of pentane. This, assuming that the solution doesn’t alter the melting points. And we all know how that can challenge assumptions (think antifreeze, freeze point of mix is lower than either component)

        One thing that could work is to use Ethanol’s strong affinity for water. i.e. add water, and remove the water-ethanol azeotrope. What you do with the petro-chemical contaminated ethanol you’ve removed is another question…

        Obviously I’m not a chemist….. Somewhere there is the chemist with the answer.

  26. Runaway slave
    January 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Its deliberate no doubt in my mind. These bastards are ramping up for a total crack down and enslavement (not that most aren’t already slaves) and im figuring mass murder of of huge swaths of the pop. Its written on the Georgia guide stones, Its in all the secret society literature. Why there is even any speculation is beyond me. its in your face stuff, just look at the police brutality and para militarization. It looks ugly guys, TPTB wnat the mundanes either compliant or dead, and the prefer dead. They dont need labor anymore they’ve got robots and machines to do there work and all they need is a few humans to work the machines, for now anyway until the get the AI up and running which isnt that far off check out the DARPA website and look at there terminator bots its freaky shit. These motherfuckers want total control and are willing to kill woman and children to get it. So what the fuck do they care about your old beater? My advice go diesel and make your own fuel,and by a horse your gonna need it.

    • BrentP
      January 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      The ‘robots’ to do the work are only productivity boosters and they people to keep functioning. Of all the terminator like ideas out there the machines cannot sustain themselves for very long and the so-called ‘elite’ do not have the skills to keep the technology up.

      Simply put this population culling idea will only serve to put humanity back a 1000 or 2000 years. As I stated before, smart skilled people can stop the slide at about a 1910 level of technology. This is where science and engineering meets the home workshop and blacksmith. However, kill off the intelligent and skilled people because they are the dangerous people politically and from a control stand point and then it’s a free fall back to the beginning of the dark ages.

      The only way to get this idea to work is to keep a great deal of the technically skilled and intelligent people as slaves while killing the masses. Perhaps that is their plan. However the so-called ‘elite’ in that case will likely be left with the ‘good at school’ types who can’t really do the work. They probably don’t understand the difference. They will when they find out how their good corporate people can’t keep things going without the people they purged. I suppose there’s always the idea that they have been using something like devices seen in the starting sequence of “The running man”. But that’s going to take a lot of people leashed to keep this technology going.

      If they pull the trigger humanity is going to likely slide back to the dark ages. Mad Max for a few years and then it’s starting over from sticks and rocks.

      • methylamine
        January 8, 2013 at 1:44 am

        Great points Brent…

        …which is why we have to behave like absolute maniacs to win the infowar before they pull the genocide trigger!

        They’re going to lose. They always do.

        It’s just a matter of deciding how long the transition will take.

        They think they’ve designed a “scientific” dictatorship; but as you point out Brent, they think they can maintain this level of technology with a bunch of “good at school” slaves–and they’re dead wrong. I put forth my best creative/technical efforts when I’m motivated by a sense of rightness; not some high ideal necessarily, but just a sense that what I’m writing is going to be put to good use…that it will benefit the people paying me, that it will be right.

        It’s difficult to put it into words. Writing code isn’t saving the world; but I like to think that each improvement is a tiny speck of paint in the edifice all good people are working toward; a level II civilization, colonizing the solar system. Goodness. Rightness.

        I won’t put one iota of effort toward their monstrous plans.

        I’ll drop out and subsistence farm, home-school my kids subversively, and shoot, shovel, and shut up as needed–rather than contribute a nanogram of effort to their wretched plans.

        And I suspect most “doers” will do the same.

        I wonder how they motivated the Soviets? Starvation of course; live here, scientists, and you and your families will eat while you contribute to the grand Soviet military.

        I sincerely hope I have the principle and courage to tell them to go fuck themselves, I’d rather starve.

        • BrentP
          January 8, 2013 at 3:45 am

          thanks, today I finally picked up “Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings” again and finished reading it. The ice-age civilization that disappeared was clearly quite advanced. The author goes into about how the seeds of destruction are always in a society. That sometime society builds more for awhile but it can destroy centuries of work in an instant. Just a different way of stating what I’ve longed believed. He went on to say that the destroyers are always in the human race. The same people who urged on the destruction of libraries on religious grounds are still very much around.

          The legends of the lost civilization abound. Will this one be the next legend?

          • methylamine
            January 8, 2013 at 4:28 am

            Brent that reminds me of a thread we had on here about a year ago–quoting “Political Ponerology”.

            I’m convinced human history is largely a product of the battle between the two major species of humans; the 98% of us who are Reals*, and the 2% who are psychopaths.

            It is a race between those who create, and those who predate. Right now the predators are winning–but the fight’s changing fast and they’re desperate.

            I remember on that thread we bounced around the idea of Voigt-Kampf tests to deny offices of power to psychopaths. But the better solution is agorism/anarcho-capitalism/anarchy–just get rid of power-monopolies entirely so there’s nowhere for the predators to congregate.

            I don’t think we’ll be the next legend. We have an awfully long way to fall, and the information is so widely distributed it would be fairly easy to resurrect…that is, unless the crazy bastards kill 95% of us. Would that remnant be enough to reboot?

            * “Reals”–I’m trying to coin the term, because “normal” just doesn’t cut it.

            • January 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

              “I remember on that thread we bounced around the idea of Voigt-Kampf tests to deny offices of power to psychopaths…”

              Do you remember the scene in Gladiator (great movie) where Marcus Aurelius offers Maximus his imperial powers? Maximus wilts… he only wants to go home to his farm and family.

              Meanwhile, there’s Commodus….

              That’s it, in a nutshell.

          • January 8, 2013 at 4:57 am

            Dear meth,

            I read somewhere, can’t remember where, that it was 4%, minimum.

            I have no idea which is closer to the truth.

            But even 2% is way too many! It’s more than enough to account for the Capo di tutti capi who convene each year the World Economic Forum in Davos.

          • BrentP
            January 8, 2013 at 5:20 am

            We are on the cusp of star trek like prosperity across the globe technology wise. However socially, the dark ages still rule. They rule through perception and illusion and technology is working to break both down. So we are looking at the sociopaths trying to stop it. The world can go either way at this point.

            The problem with the information and technology is that what will go away is the capital to keep it going. People won’t have the foresight to print it out before it is too late and then start copying like monks before the paper decays. Plus there is way too much in people’s heads that will just evaporate in a generation or three.

          • methylamine
            January 8, 2013 at 5:23 am

            @Bevin–

            I’m sure it’s highly variable depending on criteria. I forget which figure–2% or 4%–was quoted in Political Ponerology.

            Either way–they’re essentially a different, predatory subspecies among us. Unbound by shame, remorse, or guilt; often highly intelligent; jealous with a murderous rage of our capacity for simple joy and love; captive to an insatiable libido dominandi.

            The latter forces them into sub-optimal outcomes; over-predation, really, like a lion stuck on “kill”, they can’t discipline themselves to stop after they’ve eaten their fill…and decimate their food source.

            They pull back once in a while–either themselves, or perhaps forced by their prey. I’m thinking of the Soviets in ’91, or the Maoists. But look at them now–it seems the Soviets are on their way back, and the Maoists are devouring their country economically again. They’ll be looking at an empty savannah soon wondering where all the antelope went.

            Here, they’ve been feasting for decades–and the biggest blood-letting they’ll soon commence unless we stop them.

            I’m more hopeful than I have been in years that we’ll stop it before it’s an orgy of destruction.

          • January 8, 2013 at 6:21 am

            Dear Brent,

            “Plus there is way too much in people’s heads that will just evaporate in a generation or three.”

            A while back the great SF novel “Earth Abides” came up in discussion. I’m too lazy to run a search for it at the moment.

            But you are so right. Civilization, like freedom, is never more than a generation away from disappearing.

            How ironic. These global elites see themselves as the vanguard of civilization, when the reality is they are its destroyers.

          • January 8, 2013 at 6:33 am

            Dear meth,

            “… captive to an insatiable libido dominandi. The latter forces them into sub-optimal outcomes.”

            Exactly right.

            Underneath all that veneer of civilization, culture, erudition, what we are actually dealing with is the reptilian brain within the human one.

            These global elites may look like they are the movers and shakers responsible for generating the wealth of nations, but in the long run, they are actually frittering away human capital that took “mere mundanes” centuries to accumulate.

            This may seem absurd given the vast wealth they possess. But it’s not.

            Just one example. Those who head up the global financial system. Anyone who knows even the rudiments of Austrian Economics knows that they are the ones destroying the world’s wealth as we speak.

          • January 8, 2013 at 10:53 am

            Back when we still had TV, I used to sometimes watch “After People.” What fascinated me was how relatively quickly almost all physical evidence of an advanced civilization simply moulders away. 10,000 years is a blink of an eye in terms of the Earth’s age. If our current civilization were to come apart, 10,000 years from now it would be difficult to find physical evidence it had ever existed.

            How about 50,000 years from now?

            The really awesome (in the original meaning of that word) thing about all this is what it implies about other, earlier technological civilizations. As you and others know, every once in awhile, a curious anachronism turns up. Something that doesn’t fit the official timeline. What if… ?

            Human history, we are instructed, is about 10,000 years old. I suspect the rabbit hole goes a lot deeper than that.

          • January 8, 2013 at 11:03 am

            Dear Eric,

            Right. “Life After People.”

            Wow that was a grim show. But damned if I didn’t watch every time it happened to be on.

            I was morbidly fascinated by what you mentioned, how swiftly all traces of man’s achievements can crumble into dust.

            As an architect, I was especially fascinated by how rapidly our buildings would disappear from the face of the earth.

            • January 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

              Except, stone buildings. Specifically, fitted (non-mortared) stone buildings. Some very interesting stuff out there in this regard.

              Are you familiar with Puma Punku?

          • January 8, 2013 at 12:31 pm

            Dear Eric,

            Wasn’t too familiar with Puma Punku.

            But Machu Picchu was I believe done the way you mention. It should last as long as the stones themselves.

            Modern buildings were designed to go up fast. They require constant maintenance to keep them structurally sound.

            I’m looking at the Puma Punku masonry work. Amazing. Looks like it was cut by a plasma jet!

            • January 8, 2013 at 12:52 pm

              I agree!

              The video puts it in the “ancient aliens” context – but I think it’s more likely we are looking at the remains of an ancient high-tech human civilization.

              In central and south America, there are giant Olmec heads with obviously negro features. Yet Africa and central/south America had no intercourse with one another due to the vast distances of the ocean, etc. So how did the Olmecs get the idea for facial features distinctly unlike their own? But very much like those of black Africans?

              Similarly, the Aztec depictions of Quetzalcoatl as a pale-skinned and bearded man. The native peoples of that area are dark-skinned and lack facial hair….

              Then there is the Piri Reis map:

              Interesting stuff!

          • January 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm

            Dear Eric,

            I really like the idea of Ancient Astronauts. Including the original “Stargate” feature film and the three TV series spun off from it, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe.

            Do I actually believe them?

            I’m skeptical, but willing to withhold judgment and await further evidence either way.

            Regardless, it’s fun.

            Another is the striking similarity between Shang dynasty Chinese sculptural motifs and various Pre-Columbian sculptural motifs, including Olmec and Mayan.

            Also very mysterious.

          • BrentP
            January 9, 2013 at 3:27 am

            Eric, one of the earlier points of my fascination with the fragility of technology was when I was in materials science class as a freshman. This class centers on things like the crystal structures of steel and so forth. One point in a lecture was made that in 5000 years give or take the steel of the Sears Tower will simply be unable to hold the load. That it is changing even now, but it is such a slow change that it can’t be noticed on a human time scale.

            So the greatest structures of our civilization will be gone in a mere 5000 years. Some theories say the pyramids of giza and other structures were specifically built as attempts to get through to another era.

            After 10,000 years practically nothing is left. What is left, is scattered bits. Today the bits left of the technology of 10K+ years ago is dismissed and denied by the status quo gate keepers of history. However it is clearly apparent to anyone who has an understanding of technology and what it took to create those bits that made it.

          • BrentP
            January 9, 2013 at 3:39 am

            Tiahuanaco, I have to see the stones for myself, to look for tell-tale tooling marks, but I don’t think the stones were machined, but cast or molded.

            BTW, I can’t stand “Ancient Aliens” because of the jump to conclusion. I have no problem of the theory of ancient space travel by humans or non-humans, it’s the jump they make to aliens for everything.

            • January 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

              I’m open to the idea of ET, but the notion of previous, technologically advanced human civilizations strikes me as more plausible.

              Humans, after all, are probably no more intelligent today (on average) than they were say 2,000 years ago (or 5,000 years ago – or 10,000 years ago). Whenever I read about ancient Rome, I think to myself: Imagine if some Roman tinkerer had hit upon the steam engine during the reign of Augustus. The industrial revolution could easily have happened some 2,000 years ago – and we’d be colonizing Andromeda today.

        • January 8, 2013 at 11:11 am

          “I wonder how they motivated the Soviets? Starvation of course; live here, scientists, and you and your families will eat while you contribute to the grand Soviet military.”

          And if didn’t work out so well for them (the Soviet ruling class). Soviet equipment was almost invariably a copy of someone else’s design. A crude copy. They had to rip-off others, because they had destroyed the creative impulse in human beings.

          Everything about Soviet Russia was dreary, shitty and backward. The limousine which carted Brezhnev around was inferior to the cars driven by working class Americans.

          • methylamine
            January 8, 2013 at 2:12 pm

            “A crude copy”

            Ah! You reminded me of something. When I was a kid just starting to play with computers, roughly 1981, the Soviets made a rip-off of the original Apple.

            Only, they didn’t have the manufacturing capacity to make the complex printed-circuit board.

            So the whole damn thing was a breadboard–open the case, and a mass of wires more dense than colorful angel hair pasta greeted your eyes!

            It’s why I laughed when the Chinese trotted out their version of the F-22 Raptor; supposedly stealth, supposedly supersonic cruise-capable, etc, etc.

            Our press of course lapped it up; it’s important to have The New Enemy to point the sheeple at and yell “Fear! Fear!” in a crowded theater.

            The War On Terror has been losing steam lately–gotta find us another Emmanuel Goldstein or the Two Minutes’ Hate might fade!

          • Eightsouthman
            January 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm

            I really wanted to reply to Bevin here about his belief in Stargate or at least not non-believing it. My cousin who worked for 45 years in the “skunk works” of Lockheed said one day when we were discussing the possibiilty of light speed or faster travel the consensus of the people he worked with envisioned something along the lines of the Star Gate. Those people aren’t necessarily engineers but physicists and mathmeticians who boned up on engineering only after going to work there. It’s not as if they aren’t theorists either since there are some of the most capable minds you can imagine emplyeed there.

          • January 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm

            Dear Eightsouthman,

            I probably should have been clearer.

            What I meant to say was that I was skeptical about the Ancient Astronauts concept touched upon in the Stargate franchise.

            That is the notion that our ancient gods, such as the Egyptian gods connected with the pyramids, were actually extraterrestrials with advanced technology.

            I wasn’t ruling the notion out entirely. But I did not think the case has been made — yet.

            I wasn’t really addressing the feasiblity of the Stargate as hardware or faster than light travel, per se. But that is a fascinating subject as well.

          • Eightsouthman
            January 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm

            Excuse me eric, I wanted to address what Bevin said to my reply to him about the Star Gate on this thread. Maybe someone can help me on this but back in the 90’s there was a great show, 2 hrs I think, about the marks across S. American that could only be read from space along with many paintings, etchings, etc. of what appeared to be astronauts, done by ancient Mayans or maybe their predecessors. I believe they showed something similar to a StarGate. Why would ancient people draw astronauts or stargates? It was a really fascinating show. The lines that are actually pictographs of various things across S. American are there now for anyone to see. Who drew them? How could someone without the ability to at least have air travel draw those figures that could only be seen from many miles above the earth? And how could someone keep straight lines across hundreds of miles? Very interesting stuff. They ask more questions than they answer.

        • Boothe
          January 8, 2013 at 3:33 pm

          Methylamine – the figures are as follows: approximately 5.5 – 6% are truly evil, sociopaths, psychopaths, devoid of conscience and compassion, according to Lobaczewski, et al. According to Lobaczewksi, these psychopaths or evil people if you prefer tend to be slightly below average intelligence. That does prevent them from being producers and creators. It does not prevent them from exercising a certain cunning, worldly wisdom or “street smarts” that allows them to “get over” on those of us that operate under a sense of fairness, honesty, compassion and non-aggression. Hence the Biblical admonition to be wise as serpents and as gentle as doves. The serpent being the archetype for ruthless cunning, worldly wisdom and trickery. The dove’s nature being a perfect example of non-aggression. In other words, know well your enemy’s mind; anticipate his motives and moves. And don’t be there when he strikes. Practice mental Aikido.

          Approximately another 27% of the populace apparently will “just follow orders” and go along with the truly evil for whatever table scraps or favors they can garner for themselves. These are the administrators, inspectors, L.E.O.s, prison guards, teachers and other bureaucratic parasites hiding behind cubicle walls that enable the 6%. They are the social drivers, Homo Cloveriens if you will, that have mass man parroting “it’s the law”, “ya’ gotta pay yer taxes” and “just do what the police tell you” because their livlihoods depend on the system. Go along to get along. They are the Judas goats leading the sheeple to the shearing shed and the slaughter house. They could be creators and producers, but the matrix makes them comfortable, complacent and inert; they are happy, like dogs under their masters’ table, with the scraps they receive for “their service.” They certainly don’t want the rest of us shooing them out from under the table before they get their 30 years in and collect a check for the rest of their lives…at our expense.

          Then there are the remnant; those of us that see through the matrix. I’m guessing here, but that’s probably the 2% number you recalled Methyl. The sheeple are too caught up in TeeVee, fuuuuhtballl, video games and their own genitals to pay attention to things they feel “they can’t do anything about.” So it’s up to us, the remnant, to sound the call, raise the alarm, to agitate and inform. Look at the evil ones and their followers as a ceramic tile floor. The two thirds, the sheeple, are like a big square stone sitting on the tile. As long as their weight remains evenly distributed and they don’t move, everything stays the same. But introduce a bee-bee between the stone and the floor and cracks form. A couple of more bee-bees and the stone will start to shift, the cracks will get worse. Those bee-bees are us, the remnant. Everyone you challenge and inform, every magazine you pass out, every post you write, every video you link to, spreads those cracks. Stay on point, keep cracking the matrix; eventually it will crumble. It is inevitable.

          • rEVOLutionary
            January 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm

            Yes, the educrats (teachers, and worse, adminstrators in the gunverment schools) are enablers. But it’s not just because they are lazy and comfortable in the matrix. They would NOT be capable of creation at all, and production only with extreme supervision.
            Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach teachers.

      • January 8, 2013 at 5:20 am

        Dear Brent,

        Grim picture you paint.

        Unfortunately, it’s not at all baseless.

        That’s why when many of us hardcore libertarians accuse the Ruling Nomenklatura of being sociopaths and psychopaths, we are not exaggerating, we are not indulging in hyperbole. We are offering an accurate scientific description of a clearly identifiable genotype–phenotype.

        Just as lone, friendless sociopaths and psychopaths obsessively pursue courses of action that are both destructive to others and themselves, so it is with these socially and politically adept sociopaths and psychopaths.

        If they would just apply their cunning to constructive ends, even they would be better off.

        But unfortunately they are not actually motivated by rational self-interest.

        They are motivated by irrational power lust that runs counter even to their own objective, long-term best interests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *