OT: Why General Motors is doomed

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I... don't... f'ing... believe it! But it's true!
http://tinyurl.com/lgn9w
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No secret, look at Oldsmobile. Having worked for a GM dealer as the Service Sales manager, as the Parts director, and eventually as the GM of an AC/Delco distributor it is not a even close to a surprise that GM would end up where it is today. Arrogance will get you every time.
Unfortunately these "Environmentally Friendly" new cars are worse for the environment than the exhaust of a gasoline engine. The batteries that do not last for ever are a hazard to deal with as well.
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Leon wrote:

Old lead acid batteries - yes. New battery technologies - no.
Mike
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No, new technology batteries also.
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Leon wrote:

Why? Is lithium the new heavy metal? NiMH are not anywhere near as bad as NiCd.
Replacing a reusable battery once every few years is peanuts compared to the environmental cost of finding, transporting, refining and burning gas or diesel.
Mike
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Michael Daly wrote:

You still have to find, transport, refine, and burn oil in one form or another. Where do you think the electricity comes from?

--
--John
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J. Clarke wrote:

Coal, nuclear, hydro, wind all come to mind...
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Coal has the same if not worse problems ecologically as oil although we have plenty of high sulfur coal.. Nuke, hydro and wind are very hard to get built. We haven't built a big hydro dam since the 50s and a nuke plant since the 60s. I doubt there will be one in the US any time soon either. They are trying to take out dams and nuke plants. Wind is also taking a beating. None other than the Kennedys, Kerry, Romney and most of the rest of new england stopped a plant there. Too ugly. All of this "bio" stuff is only a pork barrel projerct for farmers. We have more than we can sell so burn food in your car and get subsidized for doing it. Where are all the rain forest people on this "Brazil miracle" weren't we trying to save the rain forest. Now the lefties are praising them for burning down the jungle to grow sugar cane, just to spite Exxon. Maybe they should talk to the environmentalists who are condemning sugar cane production in Florida. What a schitzo bunch we have over in the "save the planet" sect.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

We also have a _lot_ of low sulfur coal as well--

Well, except for large hydro I think you're wrong on all the above.
There are active plans underway w/ several utilities as we speak to site and build new nuclear stations--see Power Engineering (June issue I believe, maybe May) for a summary story.
We're building new wind generation stations all over out here in the midwest--a new site went on line just last month with the first windmils and they're continuing to add an additional tower at roughly one-1/2 per week on average.
Hydro is the least likely for additional large generation owing to basically a lack of places to put them. There are at least a few pumped-storage facilities still in the background in the southeast that I'm aware of, but you're correct they probably won't be built in the short term.

I disagree totally here as well...commodity prices are not skyrocketing w/ the huge surge in ethanol. If there is a surplus of any commodity for a given use, why should there be a reason to not use it for something there is a use for, whether that use is energy or anything else? While there is a small tax incentive at present to spur investment in ethanol production, it will be phased out and unless world oil prices decline significantly ethanol and biodiesel production will be economically viable. No one has ever claimed they will completely replace fossil-supplied fuels, but there certainly is no reason not to extend existing supplies. ...
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So basically, you can build plants where there is nobody using electricity? Bear in mind you lose power in transmission lines as a fuinction opf the square of the distance they run. P=I2R

... and the environmental push to rip out the ones we have.

grocery store.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

*sigh* People who don't understand math and physics shouldn't play with equations.
P=I^2R True.
However I (current) doesn't vary (significantly) with distance. R (Resistance) does.
So doubling the distance would make R-> 2R Resulting in P=I^2*(2R), moving the power loss linearly with distance, not with the square of the distance.

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On Wed, 19 Jul 2006 09:26:28 -0700, Nobody_special

You got me, sorry for the confusion.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That's a big if, and I, personally, don't...but, whether we in the US do or don't, we're going to be dwarfed very shortly by China and India, anyway...look at the available data on power plant construction in China for example, and that's only what is publicly known easily. Half the guys I know from the construction and operations side are now working in China where they're building as fast as they can get the material and people...

Someone else already noted the fallacy there. The point is, they _are_ being built and in sizable numbers where there is the resource despite the previous post (to which the response was made) that would try to imply a few isolated instances of not building a small number is a general phenomenon. But, like many other options, it isn't universally the best solution nor even feasible everywhere, but it is a very viable option to increase electrical generation.

And while there are some who would/do advocate it, I don't suspect we'll see Lake Mead disappear anytime _real_ soon...

Wrong basis again--the types/varieties of corn grown for ethanol production are specific for the purpose, they aren't grown for human consumption. The amount of production of both soybeans and corn for human consumption is a quite small fraction of present production levels, anyway.
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The same resources that grow food corn will have to be used for fuel corn. There is also the poblem that it costs a lot of energy to make ethanol, between growing, harvesting and distilling. Some say it is a net zero or worse. I agree there is also energy required to get oil into your tank, but oil gives back a bigger bang per gallon.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Similar, but not identically the same. We have surpluses at the present so at least initially it will be at least mostly using up existing supply and one would expect a shift in acreage towards those varieties specific for ethanol usage. But that won't _necessarily_ be at the expense of human consumption product. In addition, there's been a significant reduction in production acres over the last 20 years a goodly fraction of which could revert to production if there were incentive to do so. (I'm not going to with our acreage as I'm simply too old now to consider going back into active farming but if I were 30 years younger and the markets looked as if they were back I'd surely be looking at real hard.)
Those who claim zero or net energy loss w/ ethanol do so with a specific prior intent in mind in the beginning compounded by an insistence on continuing to use old data and arbitrary boundaries of what is/isn't counted as inputs/losses. You can find recent work at the DOE site and research actual numbers as easily as I can quote them.
Biofuels will not replace fossil fuels in the US in the foreseeable future and probably never will unless/until oil is essentially unobtainable. OTOH, it certainly seems a reasonable objective to both stretch the current supply by augmentation if only for the benefit of minimizing at least some of the volatility in prices. If, as a side benefit, there is an upturn in the agricultural sector to counteract much of the shrinking income and resultant slide in overall prosperity in the midwest with the resultant ripple effect throughout the rest of the US economy, that can only be, imo, "a good thing". (TM)
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The dam may be there but the lake is dissapearing. They have drawn lake powell down over 100 feet below normal to keep water flowing to mead and other users down stream. If the global warming folks are right there may not be enough water
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On Wed, 19 Jul 2006 19:56:50 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

How about if the weather is cyclical people are right? IIRC, in the 1930's there was a pretty significant lack of rain and water in the western states (my grandparents were part of the dust bowl in Eastern Colorado). Seems that nobody has [yet] blamed the dust bowl on global warming, simply a drought weather cycle.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Global warming is REAL. It has been happening for thousands of years 12 months. It was commonly known as Summer before the "End of the World" types need to call it something else.
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

The conditions then were closer to normal. What we've had in the years since has been unusually wet compared to historical norms for the area. People seem to think that the recent weather is normal and the dust bowl was an aberration.
Mike
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Michael Daly wrote:

Not sure what you mean by "recent is normal" or what you consider historical norm or even the area of "the area".
There are at least two problem in determing an "average" for the portion of the High Plains most affected during the 30s--one is there are few places that have records extending much over 125 years which isn't but a blink climatologically. The second is that the variability and extremes are so extreme that an average has virtually no meaning outside that of purely a statistical average. Virtually no year will actually have "average" precipitation whereas in places where rains are more frequent and not so subject to extremes, averages really do tend to look like years.
It is true that the during the mid 1910s and 20s most of the High Plains had higher precipitation levels although often actual totals weren't so much above normal but rather the rains happened to come at the right time(s) so that what crop failures there were weren't widespread enough to be known.
After the 30s, we have since had a period in the 50s which wasn't quite as long in duration but nearly as dry most years and accompanied by a number of severe dirt storms similar to those of the 30s. I can recall several vividly such that visibility was such that one couldn't see the fence along side the road during the middle of the day.
Most of the 70s were also extremely dry and according to my grandfather's records, a couple of those years were, in fact, dryer than any year in the 30s or 50s (that, of course, is specifically true only for the one location where our farm is located, but it is indicative of how little rainfall we had in some of those years).
By the, 50s, however, despite the fact there were serious dirt storms on a few occasions, the changes in farming practices and improvements in crop genetics meant that while there were a few years of very poor or no harvest, the overall effect was nothing even approaching the effect of the 30s. By the 70s, continued improvements including by then the advent of irrigation mitigated the results to the point that there were dusty, dirty days, but no widespread "blackouts" and only a few very localized areas that had real dirt storms.
As for recent history, we have now been in the longest period since the 30s and with the exception of the summer of 2003 which was very wet from June thru the end of August or early September on record, approaching the length of time of the 30s. So far this year we have had less than 7" total moisture and something over 5" of that came over a two-week period ending three weeks ago this coming weekend. Except for that, we had been w/o any significant moisture for nearly three months. NW KS and SE CO and OK and TX panhandles, and NM are worse off than we, even.
So, in reality, not sure how to judge "recent" history -- history for the period since 1900 hundred here indicates that there are roughly 20 yr cyles of drought of varying length and intensity interspersed w/ periods of more abundant rainfall. But, even in "wet" spells, the climatology of the area is so variable both chronologically as well as geographically that any given year may produce near-desert totals in any given locality.
As an aside for aiding perspective--given the shortness of climatic records in the area, any given day has something approaching nearly 1% of setting a new record for high/low/precip/etc. Consequently, the current obsession w/ "record-setting" in the media and popular culture is really quite a short-sighted and recent phenomenon.
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