Christopher Merle

Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Month: July 2006 (page 2 of 2)

Chewbacca Defense

My reasons for blogging are many. Mainly to test the waters of opinion. To see if they make sense, which they probably don’t. I may meander from idea to idea. In fact, I may jump around and change the subject alot. So, I’m reminded of the Chewbacca Defense from the South Park episode, Chef Aid.

I’m not going to use any legal arguments, just that what I say may not make any sense. I read an excellent book on writing. The author said, write for yourself, but write as though you were writing for other people. Writing for yourself is art. Writing for others is craft.

If what I write doesn’t make sense. Don’t worry about it because I don’t care. Well, not much anyway.

It’s Butanol Baby!

The world is changing. Is it getting worse? Is it getting better? It doesn’t matter. It’s changing. America has less than 6% of the world population and yet it consumes a quarter of the world’s oil supply. There is no way the rest of the world can live at American level’s of consumption. That doesn’t mean the rest of the world can’t enjoy a high standard of living. Technicallly it’s possible, but politically extremely unlikely. It would require very radical changes in the way we live and I won’t get into it here. The world population is putting extreme pressure on the biosphere. The rich countries are causing one set of problems and the poor countries are causing a different set of problems.

Where does butanol fit into all of this? I’m getting to it. To achieve sustainable living in America conservation, reuse and recycling is going to be base of our new technology. And using energy efficient technology and using renewable resources are the next step.

Ethanol as a replacement or supplement to gasoline is a scam. It has less energy, it’s corrosive, it’s a solvent, and it cannot be transported in pipelines. Why is it a scam? Most of the ethanol is going to come from corn. Forget cellulosic ethanol for a moment. Could we grown enough corn organically without subsidies, without fossil fuel based fertilizers and pesticides? Could the tractors run on biodiesel produced by the corn oil that also produce the starch that is converted to high fructose corn syrup to be fermented into ethanol? Oh and will there be enough water available to ferment. When I get to butanol water will also be an issue. I think the answer is yes, but industry won’t do it that way. They’ll continue to use fossil fuels and charge even more for ethanol it. So from a consumer standpoint it doesn’t make economic sense.

Butanol is basically organic gasoline, or rather it can be. It has almost as much energy as petrol and suffers none of the transport problems that ethanol does. It is a kind of alcohol like ethanol but is fermented from a different organism. It’s going to have some of the same drawbacks as ethanol but it’s positives outweigh ethanol’s negatives. Cars don’t have to be modified. It doesn’t absorb water like ethanol and it’s not a corrosive solvent like ethanol.

Replacing fossil fuel gasoline with organically produced butanol is a solution but not the solution. It’s only one part of the energy mix. Different solutions will depend on where you live. Things like climate and population density and driving distances will all play a factor. Places that are relatively flat with a good climate and close together would be a good place for lots of bicycles. The think globally act locally is a tired mantra but accurate.

I think the two fuels that we should move to are biodiesel and butanol for personal transportation and save the petroleum for planes and trains. The arguments in favor or biodiesel (not from soy) and organic butanol are very compelling and I think those fuels will figure very prominently for transportation in the near future. Ultimately, to have a high standard of living, we will have to radically change the way we live. Otherwise, we’ll still radically change the way we live, only we’ll have a very low standard of living.
One final comment. I’ve read of people wanting to produce hydrogen from coal. Coal is mostly carbon. So where they get the hydrogen from I don’t know. Apparently, it can be done, but it also produces lots of carbon dioxide. Needless to say on the surface this looks retarded. Hydrogen should be produced from electrolysis of water either using solar or wind energy.

You can read up on butanol and biodiesel if you like. I forgot to mention that cars, trucks should eventually be replaced with hybrids and all electric vehicles.


Read this comment. Hayabusa is an unusual asteroid. It is believed to be a pile O’ rubble held together loosely with low gravity. What would happen if such an asteroid were to hit Earth? I supposed it would depend on the angle of attack. Would it break up? Would the damage be less severe if it broke up into thousands of small boulders instead of striking as one solid mass?

What are the implications for other loose pils O’ rubble in the solar system that are hazards for Earth? If a lot of asteroids are actually a pile of rubble held together loosely with low gravity how does this change the asteroid impact theory. Yes, we know there were large solid meteors that hit the Earth and made some big ass craters including causing at least one mass extinction, possibly more.

Jesus H Christ

It’s all The Da Vinci Code’s fault. Christians are up in arms over a work of fiction. Let me repeat that, a work of fiction. I haven’t seen this much protest since The Last Temptation of Christ and The Life of Brian. It’s been said there are more birth defects among Born Again Christians than any other religious group. Think about it.

Take a look at this link.
I’m going to write about The History Channels Banned from the Bible, the Gnostic Gospels, the historicity of Jesus, Biblical innerency (covering Creation and the Great Flood), the Essenes, Buddhism, Alexander the Great, and some dude named Jehoshua Ben Pandira. And I’ll write about Anguipedes.

Note – I’ve begun reviewing previous posts. I’ve noticed a number of mispelled words and poorly phrased sentences. And there are probably grammatical errors as well. I’m not going to worry about it. I may decide to go back and fix them. I’ll most likely just endeavor to write better and more carefully for future posts.

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