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If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 03:35 PM   #1
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If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Look at Brazil--- independent from foreign oil and now they are making great strides in turning coffee beans into biodiesel fuel.

http://www.agriculture.com/ag/future...oryId=91101056


The USA was always the innovative world leader but no longer and it is frustrating because I believe (with leadership) we could retool and become energy self sufficient within a few years. The key is we must have dedication, commitment and leadership. We have none.

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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Uh, because sugarcane doesn't grow all that well in most of the US and labor is a lot more expensive here than it is in Brazil.
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeeyre

The USA was always the innovative world leader but no longer and it is frustrating....
Uhhh yeah


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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeeyre
The key is we must have dedication, commitment and leadership. We have none.
Here's your chance to demonstrate your dedication, commitment, and leadership.

Would you mind having a few cooling towers and commercial nuclear reactors in your back yard? Hopefully downwind & downstream?
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

There are several reasons. Perhaps the most important is the amount of energy demand. Brazil has about 2/3 of the US population but only uses 2-3% of the world's energy production, as compared with almost 25% for the US. If we had Brazil's energy consumption we could certainly get by with domestic energy alone and probably switch to biodiesel quite easily.

Another problem is the population distribution. Brazil has a lot of people, but they are clustered mainly in coastal cities with much of the country being jungle. That means simpler transportation networks without as much driving as in the US. I remember when they built Brazilia, trying to get people to move to the interior, most of them refused and would just go there during the week and commute back on weekends.

Finally, Brazil doesn't have an Exxon or Haliburton.
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Recently, I attended a seminar offered by Boeing which addressed the following....

http://www.energylan.sandia.gov/sunlab/overview.htm

In fact, Boeing plans to include this technology in some of their own buildings.

Also, I am a school board member and we are building a new high school -- geothermal. I have shown dedication and leadership by bringing this technology to our district as well as a few others --- minor stuff (recycling, lighting fixtures)

There are many existing options. I am surprised by your responses, perhaps, the innovative spirit is dead.

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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 04:52 PM   #7
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Up here - I don't mention Louisiana sugarcane unless my six guns are strapped on - and I'm wearing my Stetson.

Soybean diesel and ethanol from corn at the pump.

Do not be a sheepman in cattle country.

Solar is neutral - ok on the plains as well.

heh heh heh

P.S. Haven't got the straight skinny on wind yet - but I think it may pass muster!
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 05:02 PM   #8
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeeyre
There are many existing options. I am surprised by your responses, perhaps, the innovative spirit is dead.
The original post was about following Brazil's example and becoming independent from foreign oil. Solar is a great source but it's not the best solution for transportation. 40% of US energy use is from petroleum, most of it for cars and trucks.

There are answers, but they all fall short unless we first cut back our consumption. Again, we consume 25% of world energy production, this can't continue.

But sorry if I sounded negative, I do think there is plenty of room for innovation and action.
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 05:07 PM   #9
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

BTW - not to be an old phart but I worked with an engineer who got loaned/went tdy on one of those solar plants shown in the link. And Old Will, a NASA cat circa 1974 - took me thru the demonstrator Solar trailer at Huntsville - the attempt at a solar powered air conditioner was a trip.

Progress has been made since 1974 - right? Most engineering is evolution not revolution.

heh heh heh
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 05:14 PM   #10
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

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Originally Posted by unclemick2
BTW - not to be an old phart but I worked with an engineer who got loaned/went tdy on one of those solar plants shown in the link. And Old Will, a NASA cat circa 1974 - took me thru the demonstrator Solar trailer at Huntsville - the attempt at a solar powered air conditioner was a trip.
That was the heyday of solar concepts, driven by the energy crisis. I was working on a study to convert Air Force base buildings from conventional to solar. Our studies showed that solar could provide anywhere from around 15% to 30% or more of energy needs at that time, depending on where the base was located. DOE had a Solar Energy Research Institute in Goldern Colorado that was also doing some innovative things. That continued through most of the 1970s until Reagan became President and priorities changed. Not anti-Reagan, but facts are what they are. SERI was shut down along with most government research programs into alternative energies. The story was that the govt should not be doing what private industry can do better, and our govt work was only slowing the process down. Well, you see the results, we're still pretty much at 1970s level of adoption.
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 05:37 PM   #11
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Quote:
Originally Posted by janeeyre
Also, I am a school board member and we are building a new high school -- geothermal. I have shown dedication and leadership by bringing this technology to our district as well as a few others --- minor stuff (recycling, lighting fixtures)
Cool. There is an office building in Portland, constructed in the 70s as I recall, that heats using two wells. Extracting the k from one, emptying it into the other. The ground then "heats" the water".

Replacing gasoline as energy for transportation will be the major American challenge.

The US does have a sugar cane industry but they have died out because they were not competitive. Sugar used to be big in Idaho and Utah. There are also opportunities to use currently waste cellulose. I was at a yard debris re-cycling place today... they had stumps piled several stories high waiting to be ground up... a real waste of energy.
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 05:49 PM   #12
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

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I was at a yard debris re-cycling place today... they had stumps piled several stories high waiting to be ground up... a real waste of energy.
Lilly pads - the nick name my Dad used. One of my dubious jobs as a youth in the good old PacNW was to split/break them up for our wood burning stove. 1950's. Also remember shoveling sawdust down into the storage bin for the church furnace(Boy Scouts).

And converting wood sugar was a perenial project when I did my college internship in the forest research labs(1960's).

I think my home town fuel co. sells bark now - cause sawdust is too expensive.

Progress.

heh heh heh
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 05:59 PM   #13
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

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Originally Posted by unclemick2
Lilly pads - the nick name my Dad used. One of my dubious jobs as a youth in the good old PacNW was to split/break them up for our wood burning stove. 1950's. Also remember shoveling sawdust down into the storage bin for the church furnace(Boy Scouts).

And converting wood sugar was a perenial project when I did my college internship in the forest research labs(1960's).

I think my home town fuel co. sells bark now - cause sawdust is too expensive.

Progress.

heh heh heh
Remember the old sawdust burners in the basement We even used to have a sawdust room. My Dad was sooo happy when the furnace was changed to oil.

The 'lilly pads' in Poulsbo were huge. Developers and loggers can't burn stumps any more.
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 06:22 PM   #14
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

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Originally Posted by SoonToRetire
DOE had a Solar Energy Research Institute in Goldern Colorado that was also doing some innovative things. That continued through most of the 1970s
My father worked there from 1978 to the mid-80s while he put the finishing touches on his own ER portfolio...

I don't know what you guys are doing with your yard waste, but around here we compost it or have it ground into free mulch. There's never enough mulch!
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:39 PM   #15
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

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Originally Posted by Nords
My father worked there from 1978 to the mid-80s while he put the finishing touches on his own ER portfolio...

I don't know what you guys are doing with your yard waste, but around here we compost it or have it ground into free mulch. There's never enough mulch!
Good time for him to ER. SERI was recycled into a renewable energy center, but it never regained its former stature.

I have a mulching mower and just let the stuff work its way back into the grass. Most neighbors, though, collect the waste into poly bags and set it out, where a gas hog trash truck hauls it to be buried at the county dump.
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 09:04 PM   #16
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

We take our yard debris to a recycle. It is tough to compost blackberry vines on-site.

We are so frugal (aka cheap) we don't use garbage service. I recycle everything our community recycles - stopping by the recycle center monthly, compost grass and other small clippings, and about 5 times a year take two containers of refuse to the dump.

Our trip to the yard debris place was a trailer full, a year's worth.
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-16-2007, 11:13 PM   #17
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Why does Brazil have such a booming ethanol market?

In a word: gov't subsidy's.

...Just rumor though. I don't have a link to back up my assumption.

Maybe that's not what you're asking.

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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-17-2007, 08:26 AM   #18
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

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Originally Posted by CCdaCE
Why does Brazil have such a booming ethanol market?
In a word: gov't subsidy's.
...Just rumor though. I don't have a link to back up my assumption.
Why can't the US move to a more efficient, cleaner energy source than oil?
In a word: gov't subsidy's (of oil)

Public support for alternate fuels is growing and the industry is finally getting some traction. However, it would have been far quicker if the government hadn't been giving billions of dollars each year to the oil industries.

Innovation has always been rare among the population. In the current enviornment those that do exist face a tough climb. However you can find them working hard at innovating
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-17-2007, 08:39 AM   #19
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

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Originally Posted by Zathras
Why can't the US move to a more efficient, cleaner energy source than oil?
In a word: gov't subsidy's (of oil)

Public support for alternate fuels is growing and the industry is finally getting some traction. However, it would have been far quicker if the government hadn't been giving billions of dollars each year to the oil industries.

Innovation has always been rare among the population. In the current enviornment those that do exist face a tough climb. However you can find them working hard at innovating
I agree!

Yeah, I always thought money was a good motivator, but it doesn't seem to be workin' that way. I guess it's no longer seen as "your money" when it's in the gov't coffers.

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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???
Old 05-17-2007, 08:47 AM   #20
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Re: If Brazil can do it, why can't we???

Ok I'll bite - duh? How does our govenment subsidize oil - looks to me more like we piggy back a cash cow and tax the piss out of it.

heh heh heh
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