free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 47. TRANSPORT FUEL NONSENSE

Monday, August 22, 2005


Another misconception which needs to be cleared up is that coal, natural gas and nuclear are not suitable transport fuels.

Coal is an excellent transport fuel. In fact, it was the ONLY transport fuel for many decades. Locomotives and ships can run on coal, no problem.

Natural gas is also a good transport fuel. Taxi fleets and buses run on natural gas throughout the world.

Nuclear too is transport fuel. Nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers and the French train system show how nuclear can be used to move people/things around.

Clearly, there is going to be some serious retooling involved, particularly in backwaters like the U.S. which are behind the times. But the main point stands: we're not running out of transport fuel any time soon.


At Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at 4:47:00 AM PDT, Anonymous WW said...

Or even water power! The Swiss rail system is 100% electrified powered from hydro power.

Huge gains can be made in efficiency with transport operations, especially in the road sector. 15mpg SUVs are not needed for human life, the only reason these vehicles exist is cheap oil. If oil price increased by a factor of four, the same journey could be made for the same price using 60mpg cars - which are already commercially available.

Other economies can be made by modal switch from air to road/ship and road to rail.

Indeed, road is 4-5 times more energy efficient than air and rail 6-10 times more efficient than road.

At Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at 5:42:00 AM PDT, Anonymous WW said...

Its only worth noting US drivers experienced 3.7 billion hours of delay and wasted 2.3 billion gallons of fuel stuck in traffic.

At Tuesday, August 23, 2005 at 6:36:00 AM PDT, Blogger James said...

When oil was below $40/barrel, they weren't suitable. Now they're looking feasible, and will be more acceptable as people adjust their budgets and lifestyles to the realities of expensive transport fuel.

I'll think I'll pass on filling up my car with uranium though, cancer's not my idea of a good time! :P

At Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at 5:49:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More history on Hydro development in Switzerland and why they Swiss built dams and electrified their railways. IE lack of fossil fuels.

At Friday, August 26, 2005 at 11:04:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee John Denver, if all of this is true, why the heck has every spike in oil prices been followed by an economic slow down.

Reading your blog, I'm led to believe that skyrocketing oil prices will not even effect transport!

At Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 7:06:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

If you have grid-powered electric cars (like the Reva from India), you can run automobiles on whatever electric power source you like.

Plus, you can retrofit existing hybrids with extra batteries and new software, so that they drive up to 150 km without using any petrol.

At Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 11:43:00 AM PDT, Blogger Caseygrl said...

I heard recently that airplanes are now being made to be able to run on something other then gasonline. I think its synfuel, which is interesting. But I agree, I don't think transportation will be really affected by PO. When the price of gas goes up, water travel and rail travel will become more popular. Granted, the USA doesn't have much of a passenger train system, but that can easily change. Plus, maybe we'll see a come-back in blimps (safer then that which caused the Hindenburg explosion)

At Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 3:15:00 PM PDT, Blogger Baba McKensey said...

I take the subway to and from work everyday. When I get my electric bill every month its says that most of the electricity is generated from coal and nuclear power, so the subway train in my area probably runs mainly from coal and nuclear power generated electricity, too.


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