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glenn
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NOAA has an interesting program, "carbon tracker", which details North American carbon emissions and sinks. "From 2001 through 2008 ecosystems in North America have been a net sink of 0.59 ± 0.55 PgC yr-1 (1 Petagram Carbon equals 10**15 gC, or 1 billion metric ton C, or 3.67 billion metric ton CO2). This natural sink offsets about one-third of the emissions of 1.9 PgC yr-1 from the burning of fossil fuels in the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico combined." We are clearly a net CO2 emitter!
I would like to see some of this money spent on compressed air energy storage, a potential production leveling method for the intermittency of solar and wind. Along with grid smart appliances this may allow these non carbon emitting energy sources to contribute the majority of our electricity. There is some overlap in the technologies since both CCS and CAES require gas compression, heat removal and large, underground reservoirs.
Why doesn't one of our car companies license the Think City. Presumably much of the R/D has been completed since the think is in limited production in Norway. Ford owned it once, why not again.
We need a fuel tax to provide stable, high fuel prices for several reasons: 1. Demand is reduced so the cost of imported oil is less. At the high point in oil prices last year, imported oil was costing us over $1 million/minute. 2. Monetary and R/D investments in alternatives have a more predictable return. 3. People will shift to more fuel efficient vehicles and other non fossil fuel modes of transportation. 4. We will have a much more energy efficient economy so the inevitable increases in fossil fuel costs will not be as damaging. The taxes can be revenue neutral as Lester Brown has explained in Plan B, shifting tax away from persons and on energy.