But, hey, some of you critics are just so shortsighted, says the Editorial Board, who probably haven’t given up their own use of fossil fuels for their vehicles
The once-distant promise of clean, affordable hydrogen-powered cars is starting to become a reality.
Several major automakers, including Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, have started or will soon start selling these cars, which will be more expensive than comparable gasoline models but a lot cheaper than they were just a few years ago.
Hey, this is a great opportunity for limo liberals to Show They Care. Of course, this is what the big power using folks at the Times care about
The broad adoption of hydrogen-powered cars, which emit only water and heat, could play an important role, along with electric vehicles, in lowering emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants responsible for climate change. Cars and other modes of transportation account for about 28 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, second only to power plants, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Yeah, you didn’t think I would care that much about the editorial without “climate change”, right? Of course, they ignore the fact that water vapor is the #1 greenhouse gas, and adding more water vapor to the atmosphere could actually have a big effect on warming. Stress could, because the studies really do not exist except as possible models. A lot would depend on where the vapor goes, whether it stays lower in the atmosphere and creates more of an urban heat island effect, or goes into the upper atmosphere and messes with the global trapping of heat.
Most hydrogen today is created from natural gas in a process that generates carbon dioxide. But scientists say fuel cells are still good for the environment, because making hydrogen produces far fewer emissions than burning fossil fuels. Hydrogen could be produced more cleanly by using alternative energy sources like solar and wind power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. And it can be generated from renewable sources like sewage and animal waste.
Sounds like wishful thinking. Perhaps far in the future. And they may well be minimizing the release of CO2 from the process of releasing hydrogen. One article notes
Then again, hydrogen isn’t always clean to produce. It’s expensive to pull hydrogen from water. Non-renewable sources of hydrogen, such as oil and natural gas, are much cheaper, but using them still puts a drain on our fossil fuels supplies. Ironically, the carbon dioxide released in the process of producing hydrogen from fossil fuels cancels out any benefits to the environment. Experts say hydrogen that escapes during the production process could erode the ozone layer even further and exacerbate global warming [source: PBS]. There are other problems as well: Scientists are still struggling with the challenge of how to store hydrogen. Because it has such a low energy density, hydrogen needs to be stored and transported under high pressure — which makes it bulky and impractical. The pressure issue compounds another issue with hydrogen energy; like gas, hydrogen is highly flammable, but unlike gas, it has no smell. Sensors must be used to detect a leak before hydrogen can combust. Another issue is the need to provide enough refueling stations to supply all the hydrogen-powered cars throughout the country. Are hydrogen fuel producers willing to put a hydrogen station on virtually every corner?
Huh. So also bad for the ozone.
But cost isn’t the only problem. There are just 13 hydrogen fueling stations in the United States today, according to the Department of Energy. Big investments will be needed, and some are on the drawing board. The state ofCalifornia, where many of the first fuel-cell cars will be sold, plans to spend up to $200 million to build 100 fueling stations in a decade. Countries likeJapan and Germany are also investing in refueling stations. And car companies like Toyota and Honda are providing loans to help their business partners build hydrogen stations.
In other words, they want Government to pony up. According to this source, there are more than 13, but still not even close to being able to make it viable. Oh, and then there’s the part about it being tough to transport, tough to store, and highly flammable. Say, remember what the Hindenburg was full of? Hydrogen. And you won’t be able to smell a leak.
Some critics of hydrogen cars say they remain expensive and impractical compared with electric vehicles, which can be plugged into the existing electricity system. But that is shortsighted. The real competition for hydrogen-powered and electric vehicles is the gas guzzler. There is little doubt that the world will need many transformative technologies to deal with climate change.
I’ll agree, we do need something transformative. I’ve said time and time again I’m not a big fan of fossil fuels, they are dirty to the environment, and I’m not talking about greenhouse gases. Hydrogen, though, has too many dangers, such as …. being highly flammable. When it comes to “climate change”, though, we also learn
To produce usable hydrogen, it has to be separated from water, biomass (plant and animal waste), coal, or natural gas. About 95 percent of the hydrogen used today is produced by a process called steam reforming — separating hydrogen atoms from carbon atoms in methane [source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory]. This process releases greenhouse gasses, which contributes to global warming.
The other production method, electrolysis, separates hydrogen from water. Electrolysis can be powered by renewable energy such as wind, hydropower and solar energy, so that it produces no emissions. The downside is that it’s expensive. For hydrogen to reach its full potential as an energy source, scientists need to figure out a way to produce it inexpensively from clean, renewable sources.
That’s not sounding too impressive, and what happens when they start using water for this, leaving less for drinking and stuff, much like they are using food to create ethanol?
On the plus side, hydrogen is much more prevalent than fossil fuels. And, it is certainly clearer for the actual environment. It also provides roughly double the efficiency of fossil fuels (which is, itself, much, much more efficient than ethanol).
There are certainly pros and cons, but, hey, according to the NY Times, if you fail to get 100% behind hydrogen power, you’re a stupid meany critic and shortsighted. They do not want debate and discourse, they want people to shut the hell up and get in line.