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By Robert Rapier on Jul 1, 2008 with no responses

People Who Do Stupid Things

This is off-topic, but hits upon a topic very important to me: Safety. In my previous post, I mentioned that I thought those long-distance family vacations were going to become rarer as gas prices cut deeply into budgets. But Yellowstone National Park will remain a popular destination as families do venture out on the road. Having lived in the shadow of Yellowstone for a few years, you hear a lot about the tragedies that happen there every year. It seems that people will go to Yellowstone and act as if they are at an amusement park or a zoo. I could list case after case of stupidity that has gotten people either injured or killed in Yellowstone. It is a… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 27, 2008 with no responses

Mumbai’s Deadly Trains

Given my recent trip to Mumbai – in which I took a trip on a very packed train – this story caught my attention: Mumbai’s deadly trains claim a dozen daily MUMBAI (AFP) – The death toll on Mumbai’s railways averages a dozen a day — more than a whole year on New York’s subway system, which has an average annual accidental death rate of eight. In the first four months of this year, 1,146 commuters died and 1,395 were injured, railway police said. Many of the victims had been hanging on the side of the packed trains, unable even to wedge themselves inside, and fell to their deaths after losing their grip, they said. Last year’s total toll was… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 23, 2008 with no responses

Ethanol Roundup

Couple of ethanol-related stories of note in the past few days: Corn prices hurt ethanol industry Iowa’s ethanol industry is being squeezed by high corn prices that are partly due to the estimated 3.3 million acres of crops that have been destroyed by spring floods, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said Friday. “These kinds of prices are not profitable to produce ethanol at the current ethanol price,” Northey said at a taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press.” “There will probably be decisions of whether they want to keep processing or not at these prices.” Farmers can replant and still be covered by crop insurance, but coverage levels drop with each passing day, and late-planted crops could face the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 21, 2008 with no responses

More Calls for Nationalization

As I have been saying, expect more of this: That’s pretty scary, but not unexpected. As oil prices continue to rise, governments will make desperate moves that will probably worsen the situation. Can you imagine the U.S. government running the refinery system? Thanks to The Oil Drum for highlighting this, as well as the previous O’Reilly clip in Peak Oil Media: Hirsch, Simmons, House Dem(s?) on Nationalizing Refineries, Klare, O’Reilly, and Gas is F*-ing Expensive.

By Robert Rapier on with no responses

Bill O’Reilly is an Idiot

It is simply amazing to watch someone authoritatively pontificate on something that they clearly know nothing about. One of the major reasons we have such an energy problem in the U.S. today is that people are so misinformed. So what does Bill O’Reilly use his airtime to do? Misinform millions of viewers, and demonstrate that he has no grasp of energy issues: Unbelievable. Of course O’Reilly has also had trouble getting his facts straight in the past. But remember this is the same guy who twice said that the U.S. was behind the Malmédy massacre in WWII. Footnote: As I indicated in the comments below, the idiocy isn’t the suggestion that speculation plays a role. The idiocy is that O’Reilly… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 17, 2008 with 1 response

Fire from Water

Based on some of the comments following my post on the “water car”, I think several people misunderstood the point. It was not to debunk the water car. You can in fact run a car with water as one of the reactants. I could even run a car on crushed ice or Jell-O, if I used the right second reactant. My point was merely to show how a car could be run on water, and to further point out that it requires a second, very reactive substance. In other words, the “water car” is not running solely on water. The other point was that the reactive substance will always take more energy to produce than you will get back from… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on with no responses

LS9 Stock

There was a major story a few days ago about LS9 in the Times Online: Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol I have previously written several articles that mentioned LS9, including: LS9′s Oil-Crapping Bugs Apparently as a result of the Times article, there have been a number of articles in the past couple of days on LS9. This naturally attracted the attention of investors, and I have literally had hundreds of hits to my LS9 story by people Googling LS9 stock. In fact, right now if you Google that (without quotation marks), my story comes up at the top of the first page. So, in an effort to provide investors what they are looking for (the other… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 15, 2008 with no responses

How to Run a Car on Water

Oh, it can be done. There are no scientific laws that say you can’t run a car on water. In fact, I have personally made fire from water on a number of occasions. A Japanese company is the latest to claim they are running a car on water. See the video here: Water-fuel car unveiled in Japan However, what you can’t do is run a car on water without overall energy inputs greater than you get from splitting the water. In simple terms, let’s say you split water to create 10 BTUs of hydrogen. You can then use that to burn in the car, or to operate a fuel cell. When you burn the hydrogen, it reacts with oxygen to… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 14, 2008 with no responses

Suggestions for ASPO Talk?

I have been asked to give a talk at ASPO this year in Sacramento. Ditto last year for the International ASPO Conference in Ireland, but I couldn’t make it (even though I lived in Scotland at the time, I couldn’t work it in). However, this time it looks like my schedule will allow me to attend. The theme is The Energy Challenge – The Future Starts Now. Here is the Agenda Overview. As you can see, I got tapped to talk about fertilizer. I contacted ASPO and asked them how it came about that I got assigned to talk about fertilizer, and they said this was essentially a placeholder, and I could change my topic. So, I plan to. The… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 13, 2008 with no responses

Neste Moves Forward with Green Diesel

I have written periodically on ‘green diesel’, which should not be confused with biodiesel. Neste, Petrobras, and ConocoPhillips (in a venture with Tyson foods), have all entered the green diesel arena. (See a bit on the projects from these companies here; explore the green diesel stories I have written here). Green diesel is produced either from hydrotreating or hydrocracking plant oils or animal fats (Neste, Petrobras, COP) or via the BTL reaction (Choren). Green diesel is chemically different from biodiesel. Green diesel has chemical properties identical to petroleum diesel, while biodiesel is not a pure hydrocarbon (it contain oxygen atoms, hence the somewhat different physical properties). Today, Bob Rohantensky sent me the following story indicating that Neste just announced that… Continue»