Re: Hemp fuel? [was Re: Hydrogen cars, etc. [Re: QUOTE: Bey on e

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 05:56:14 -0500

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin wrote:
> > From: "Michael M. Butler" <mbutler@comp*>
> > However, regarding hemp qua fuel: inasmuch as hemp still has to be cultivated,
> > there's an energy cost associated with that. Assuming hemp is as efficient as
> > soybeans at generating oil (that seems like a conservative estimate), and
> > assuming similar cultivation/processing costs (not sure this is true), a first
> > approximation of the energy credit (or debt) ought to be easily calculable. I
> > don't have the numbers at present. But we don't see a lot of soybean-powered
> > cars, do we? Now if hemp were incredibly better as a fuel, or incredibly cheaper
> > to cultivate, this use might still pan out. I'm curious to know if the book you
> > mention goes into this, or just handwaves about it.
> I don't have the numbers either, but I know that from all
> appearances, hemp is pretty easy and cheap to grow if you don't have
> to hide it from the police.
> But fundamentally, hemp -- or soybean -- oil as a substitute for
> gasoline, isn't going to happen for a while because they are
> solutions to a non-problem. Solutions that have to compete against
> an existing infrastructure which has no apparent need to accommodate
> them, and without the ability to provide any apparent advantages.
> Now, it is a given that eventually we will run out of fossil fuels.
> When the supply actually runs low enough to drive the cost of
> fossil-fuel-derived gasoline high enough, something will be done.
> Today, though, we are not at that point and we have no reason to
> believe we're anywhere particularly close to it.

no it is not a given. All of those projections people put out of "30
years" or "50 years" of oil left are projections based on consumption of
reserves retreivable at current market prices. Obviously, as prices
rise, more difficult to retreive reserves become cost effective
resources. Eventually, even oil shales will truly become cost effective
reserves, as they are not now. Oddly enough, as market prices rise, the
number of decades of reserves available INCREASES.

The only real excuse to not use fossil fuels is because of global
warming, if it really exists. There is still debate on what the actual
effect is, and how much has to do with solar variances rather than
actual human pollution. THere are many indications that our present
pollutive state is protecting us from another ice age the we should be
knee deep in by now.

A secondary excuse to not use fossil fuels is from a libertarian
standpoint, to liberate oneself from the oil oligarchy. Solar, wind, and
microhydro power are excellent methods to liberate oneself from the
energy sugar daddy. If cold fusion in a bottle were actually to come to
frution, it would be a major destabilizing influence on the oil and
fissile nuke powers that have a big degree of control over our
mercantilist institutions. This is one reason not to buy the
conventional wisdom about cold fusion. The powers that be fear anything
that might loosen their control, and are not totally above tech
supression in areas that fit this bill.

> And unless someone in the meantime finds it worthwhile to put a major
> effort into tuning external-combustion engines (what we should have
> done in the first place), the "something" that will most likely be
> done is finding a way to make gasoline from some other raw material.
> Perhaps hemp oil or soybean oil.

external combustion? you mean a fireplace powered car???? ;)

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?