Alternative fuels don’t solve greenhouse problem

Popular mechanics examines various alternative fuels, but isn’t good at figuring out cause and effect.

Point one:
Global warming is caused by too much greenhouse gases; Burning stuff creates carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Burning stuff causes global warming. Not digging stuff up out of the ground.

Point two:
Hydrogen is easiest to create by passing electricity through water. Electricity is mostly created by burning coal (heating water, turning turbine, yada yada yada). See point one. This has just been pointed out in an Age opinion piece on public transport.

Which is why ethenol, methenol, biodiesel, natural gas, electricity and hydrogen aren’t anti-greenhouse fuels; Solar, wind, hydro, nuclear and geothermal are.

Only electric batteries / hydrogen cells can act as crossover technologies from renewable generation sources to transport. Anything else is going to have water lapping at your front door in a century; but hey, Venice is a romantic city – and wouldn’t it be great if many more of the cities of the world were romantic like Venice?.

4 thoughts on “Alternative fuels don’t solve greenhouse problem

  1. Martin

    I have to disagree on some of this. Ethenol, methenol, and biodeasel are all produced from plants which means that their carbon has to absoberd from the atmosphere in the first place. So their use will not decrease greenhouse gas but nor will it add any. This is exactly the same as for solar, wind, hydro etc.

  2. Martin

    PS should have added:
    So, arguably, Alternative fuels *can* solve greenhouse problems.

  3. glen

    I think Josh mis-categorised.
    Anti-Greenhouse energy sources: solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, geothermal and ethenol, methanol, biodiesel (assuming produced from renewable (plant) sources)
    Greenhouse energy sources: Natural gas, petroleum, oil

    Energy transport mechanisms (not a fuel as such, just a way of moving stored power around. The power could have been generated through greenhouse or non-greenhouse means): Hydrogen, electricity, batteries

  4. Nick

    You fail to understand the problems with the use of fossil fuels, you see the carbon tied up in FFs have been ‘out of the system’ for ages, any use of ‘fresh’ carbon effectively slows the process of releasing ‘out of circulation’ carbon- reducing future effects of an over carbonized atmosphere, it is infinitely better to halt or reduce FF usage and biofuels are a healthy alternative due to the fact they are absorbed and reused at a lesser rate than emmission bacause the emmitted vcarbon is less than the sum of carbon uptaken by producing the new fuel- ie, carbon is still sumped in non-oil aspects of plants.
    Equally, reduction of plastics for example would reduce dramatically the problems faced by GHG emmissions- biofuels produce none- coal is likely to last a further 200 years- 150 past oil so there’s the rest of the FF carbon dump.>>> 😉

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