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Old 02-03-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
66olds442
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Treating combustion engine owners like smokers?

Read this editorial on a technology blog, while I think that emission restrictions are the biggest killer to American Automakers, I wanted to see all your thoughts.

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I don't smoke and I never have. I can't say as I've felt the temptation to ever try that particular vice, especially given the cost these days. 50 years ago my avoiding that lifestyle choice would have put me in the minority, and if I'd dared asked a smoker to step outside or made any implications about what their habit was doing to my lungs... well, that wouldn't have gone over well.

Today, of course, such questions and expectations are the norm, with legislation forcing smokers into the cold and science showing that what comes out of their mouths isn't great for passers by. But why am I talking about cigarette smoking on a gadget blog? In a few decades this is what it's going to be like to drive a car with internal combustion, a life full of exorbitant taxes, constant inconveniences, and state-sponsored attempts at inducing shame among those who would dare putter around with an engine that casts off 70 percent (or more) of its energy as waste.

The internal combustion engine hasn't become such a hugely popular means of propulsion for particularly complex reasons. At the dawn of the automobile there were many different ways of powering a car, from steam to gunpowder to, yes, electric cars with limited range. Gasoline didn't win out because there were pump stations on every corner (there weren't) or because it was scientifically created to be the perfect fuel (it wasn't). It won because it was cheap -- nobody wanted it.
http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/03/s...nal-combustion
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:04 PM   #2
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Hmmm...I don't think the two are related. Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor do NOT equal cancer-inducing tobbacco smoke, nicotine, and other nasty ingredients...

That said...the problem here is not the IC engine...it's the fuel. If anybody wants to reduce emissions and our dependance on oil -- change the fuel. It's the easiest fix in the near term.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
Hmmm...I don't think the two are related. Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor do NOT equal cancer-inducing tobbacco smoke, nicotine, and other nasty ingredients...

That said...the problem here is not the IC engine...it's the fuel. If anybody wants to reduce emissions and our dependance on oil -- change the fuel. It's the easiest fix in the near term.
True, but if you go with say, biodiesel or Ethanol or any other 'ol those arguments may be the same 70 years from now. The veggie based fuels several times have proven themselves to be less efficient..

So what. They're renewable.

But on the same ticket there are some tests that have shown that it's just as bad as using gasoline.

So what.

Give those few test results to a hippie spin doctor who goes at the 'issue' like a MadLibs book and they'll still argue "ICEs ARE BAD, M'KAY!".. in that same Mr. Mackey voice from South Park.

Then in the same mindset read the article again. You're welcome in advance for the and headache.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
Hmmm...I don't think the two are related. Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor do NOT equal cancer-inducing tobbacco smoke, nicotine, and other nasty ingredients...
I agree completely. My father was one of the reps from Saturn working on the EV project when it was launched. Electric vehicles cause vastly more damage to the environment than a 5th gen Camaro SS. That was the real reason the EV1 was scraped, the batteries were too costly, unreliable and EXTREMELY dangerous to manufacture and dispose of.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
Hmmm...I don't think the two are related. Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor do NOT equal cancer-inducing tobbacco smoke, nicotine, and other nasty ingredients...

That said...the problem here is not the IC engine...it's the fuel. If anybody wants to reduce emissions and our dependance on oil -- change the fuel. It's the easiest fix in the near term.
co2 and water vapor? In an absolutely perfect world. In the real world there are far more products of combustion than those two when it comes to gasoline. The combustion is not clean nor is it a total burn. You get nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons that aren't burned, sulfur oxides from impurities and you even get ozone from NO2 releasing an oxygen atom and it bonding with an o2 molecule. There are plenty of dangerous, carcinogenic products from an internal combustion engine of any kind.

I think certain aspects of this article are very accurate. Our future is plagued with huge taxes and costs associated with running a gasoline powered vehicle. I don't think anyone but tree-huggers will look at you with disgust, but cost-wise it's going to be terrible.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Then in the same mindset read the article again. You're welcome in advance for the and headache.
No article I've read has had decicive proof that biofuels are more dangerous/emissive than fossil fuels. Yes, in many cases they are less efficient because few "tank-able" liquids offer better energy density than gasoline...but I would agree with your quip -- "So what, they're renewable."

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I agree completely. My father was one of the reps from Saturn working on the EV project when it was launched. Electric vehicles cause vastly more damage to the environment than a 5th gen Camaro SS. That was the real reason the EV1 was scraped, the batteries were too costly, unreliable and EXTREMELY dangerous to manufacture and dispose of.
Yep, good point. I remember a study done comparing the Prius to 10+ years of fueling a Hummer H1. The Hummer left a 'greener' impact on the environment.

I'm happy to say battery tech has come a long way, and Li-Ion batteries are more easily recyclable/repurposed than those nasty NiMH's.


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co2 and water vapor? In an absolutely perfect world. In the real world there are far more products of combustion than those two when it comes to gasoline. The combustion is not clean nor is it a total burn. You get nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons that aren't burned, sulfur oxides from impurities and you even get ozone from NO2 releasing an oxygen atom and it bonding with an o2 molecule. There are plenty of dangerous, carcinogenic products from an internal combustion engine of any kind.
True. But they are minimal, if not completely non-existant on a few new-age IC deisels. Much less dangerous than sticking a cigarette in your mouth. I guess I took more issue with the metaphor in the article than anything else.

So long as we get our rear in gear on renewable fuels, I don't envision a problem. And I don't think we have a choice...electrics and hydrogen are far too expensive for 75% of people to buy, and the technology isn't practically applicable to larger utility-based vehicles like pickups...
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoneye View Post
No article I've read has had decicive proof that biofuels are more dangerous/emissive than fossil fuels. Yes, in many cases they are less efficient because few "tank-able" liquids offer better energy density than gasoline...but I would agree with your quip -- "So what, they're renewable."
That's the idea. We know that, but the ones doing the "b***hing" spoken of in the article would be the same ones lobbying in the manner currently done against cigarette companies.

Even if there's really no merit.

I'm sure if you look hard enough you'll find it. God knows they would in order to vindicate themselves.

So in the end...

Do I agree with the idea that ICEs = Cigarettes? No.

Do I agree that people are stupid enough to think ICEs = Cigarettes and attempt some kind of similar legislation while being ill informed? Oh HELL yes.

Legislation = The Problem. Regardless of going full retard or not.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Legislation = The Problem. Regardless of going full retard or not.
actually, I believe


gullibility = the problem.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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actually, I believe


gullibility = the problem.
...I take that back. You're correct sir. Unfortunately.

Really a sad thought, though..
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Do I agree that people are stupid enough to think ICEs = Cigarettes and attempt some kind of similar legislation while being ill informed? Oh HELL yes.

Legislation = The Problem. Regardless of going full retard or not.
Agree completely

"You NEVER go full retard!"
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:17 PM   #11
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People like "cheap and easy". Even though the automobile is 15% of the problem, 20% I believe if you count commercial transportation of moving cigarettes to 7/11s, it is easy to pass laws and throw blame at the bad old evil companies. That way we (the people) aren't accountable.

You very rarely, if ever, hear anyone talking about how much energy your house uses and how much "stuff" goes out the chimney of a coal fired power plant.

The automobile is one of the biggest scapegoats. You'd think the were autonomous robotic organisms from another planet sent here to kill us in car crashes and polute our environment and leave piles of old tires laying around.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8cd03gro View Post
co2 and water vapor? In an absolutely perfect world. In the real world there are far more products of combustion than those two when it comes to gasoline. The combustion is not clean nor is it a total burn. You get nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons that aren't burned, sulfur oxides from impurities and you even get ozone from NO2 releasing an oxygen atom and it bonding with an o2 molecule. There are plenty of dangerous, carcinogenic products from an internal combustion engine of any kind.

I think certain aspects of this article are very accurate. Our future is plagued with huge taxes and costs associated with running a gasoline powered vehicle. I don't think anyone but tree-huggers will look at you with disgust, but cost-wise it's going to be terrible.
Most tailpipe emissions, other than the products of combustion, have been drastically reduced over the last ~40 years. No, they have not been eliminated but in some cases (like SULEV cars in downtown LA) the emissions control units make the exhaust theoretically cleaner than the air in the intake. Thats about as good as you can ever expect.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:26 AM   #13
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This is the kind of stuff that makes me politically conservative. The same guys who argue that we need to legalize drugs argue that cars/smoking/whatever they don't like needs to be outlawed. When the government has the power to (I'll be kind) "regulate" normal, every day functions, then everything becomes politicized.

Sorry for the politics, but we need to roll back this kind of thinking.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:05 AM   #14
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That's why we, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) exist! We work to beat back bad laws that seek to unfairly criminalize automotive enthusiasts. SAN also works to promote pro-active policies that will help enthusiasts, make their lives easier, and foster the growth of our hobby. Feel free to check out some of the initiatives we work on at www.SEMASAN.com. Also, please join SAN today and help us in the battle to protect and defend enthusiasts' rights. You can sign-up for FREE (yup, FREE) at http://www.semasan.com/san/join.aspx.
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