Rock, meet hard place

There were two articles in today’s SF Chron that piqued my interest.

The first was about the way in which San Francisco is trying to turn itself in America’s electric car city.  I appreciate that this will make the City quieter and better smelling.  However, to the extent it’s supposed to help aid America in its oil dependence I was left with one question that I can’t answer (but maybe you can):  What makes the electricity that these cars will use?  I don’t believe either water or wind power provide the City’s electricity needs.  Do any of you know?

The second was the Catch-22 that the worship of “all things natural” creates:  People who have lawns are castigated for harming nature by wasting water (since we’re in one of our cyclical droughts, although the greenies will swear up and down that it’s global warming), while people who put in pretty artificial turf are being castigated for abandoning nature’s bounty.  Mother Nature used to be a harsh enough task master on her own.  Things are infinitely worse, though, with the greenies constantly trying to second guess her every desire.

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  • Charles Martel

    San Fran gets some electricity from power generated by water falling from Hetch Hetchy, but not enough to meet all its needs. Like all other Northern California cities it’s hooked into PG&E’s grid and the Pacific Intertie, which gets power from as far north as Seattle and as far south as San Diego.

    I used to have some friendly arguments with a co-worker who was gung-ho on electric cars. He just couldn’t accept that their one great drawback was the lack of a satisfactory answer to the question you’re posing here, Book: Where do you get the electricity to recharge the cars?

    He said solar and wind would take care of it. But once I tried showing him the massive amounts of acreage we’d have to give over to solar or the thousands of birds that would die from the windmills necessary to recharge the cars, I heard the inevitable sound you hear when you’re trying to reason with a leftist: The loud =click= in his head that indicates that the brain is shutting down and the conversation is over.

  • Ellie2

    Figure 2. U.S. Electric Power Industry Net Generation by Fuel Source, 2006

    It won’t let me paste in the chart but you can see it here:

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/bookshelf/brochures/rep/

  • David Foster

    Electric cars will probably mostly get charged at night. This is good in the sense that power companies will be using their lowest-cost sources at that time (reserving the more costly sources for the periods when demand is highest)–however, it’s not consistent with the output characteristics of solar…moonlight doesn’t generate much electricity.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Ellie’s chart shows that the vast amount of power comes from coal. Except I thought Biden and Obama were going to bankrupt the coal industry. Maybe they didn’t get the memo from San Francisco yet….

  • Mike Devx

    Book,
    Biden and Obama only want electric cars for the well off. The rest of us serfs are destined to ride mass transit. All men are created to sacrifice, but some will sacrifice more than others.

    And, just as he has with “investment”, Obama has changed the definition of “sacrifice”. Sacrifice will now mean “something you are compelled to do by the government, for your own good and for the good of all humanity.”

  • pondering penguin

    Excellent point on your first referenced article – it is usually missed by most. My husband is an engineer in the evil oil drilling business and you don’t want to get him started in a discussion on the manufacturing process of solar panels. What is essential in the process, you ask? Oil. Yep. Wonder if Al Gore knows that?

  • pst314

    “The rest of us serfs are destined to ride mass transit.”

    If you really want a laugh, there was an issue of the Whole Earth Quarterly some years ago which featured a cover painting of a pedal-powered commuter train.

  • Charles Martel

    The first pedal-powered commuter train was introduced by Union Pacific in 1867 in Bedrock, Nebraska, where the company quarried rock for its road beds.

    I saw a neat series of animated documentaries on the trains, which were produced by two guys who had previously done work at MGM. I can’t recall their exact names — I think one was related to Daryl Hannah and the other one had something to do with Italian red wine.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Book, your biggest flaw is that you think rationally. As if facts matter. Sooooo..20th Century.

  • pst314

    “What makes the electricity that these cars will use?”

    Although the San Fran nutjobs are totally opposed to the construction of new power plants anywhere in California, they are willing to buy electricity produced elsewhere. In fact, such generation is also important to Californians for cultural reasons, as it gives them the opportunity to feel superior those who live in the states where the electricity is produced. (Just as human beings cannot live without air, Californians cannot live without somebody to despise.)