Carbon atom claustrophobia

Dave Riley says the problem is where to put all those carbon atoms where they’ll do the least harm.

We are no longer just talking about whether you can run the air conditioner 24 hours per day or how you plan to heat your bath water but how are you going to afford to live given that food and petrol and water and accommodation are all going up in price.

Given that oil is a commodity whose price is in effect becoming more reflective of its cost there is really no other option than to move to a public transport solution or get energy for transportation from somewhere else — such as turning nutritional calories into biofuel or harvesting natural gas for running internal combustion engines rather than heating. It’s a take from Peter to pay Paul situation.

Makes it all rather claustrophobic doesn’t it? as the world economy closes in on you.

Electric vehicles that are recharged by renewable energy would certainly be one solution, but only a partial one. EVs can’t do everything. Hauling equipment and supplies will still require diesel engines, as does farming. But if less petroleum-based fuels are consumed by all, then that leaves more available for the vehicles that really need it, presumably at a lower price since demand will have dropped. But that is long-term solution, while the squeeze is happening now.

Truckers, especially independents, are definitely feeling the economy closing in.

In real terms, at least 50 percent of truck-generated income is going right back into the fuel tanks. Factor in maintenance, and that bill can approach 75 percent. Thousands of operators have been forced to look for shortcuts, put off critical maintenance procedures, or park their rigs altogether because they cannot earn a living.

Here in California, diesel is now over $5 a gallon. The soaring cost of diesel means higher prices coming for virtually everything. Too few carbon atoms. Too many places that need them.