Sooo I guess I’m still on this biofuels kick.  Here’s something pretty neat going on in my hometown – Madison, Wisconsin.  Basically, they’re making jet fuel (and regular fuel, too) out of biomass, or leftover biological stuff like waste and plant materials.

Dinosaur

Personally, I think my bones make a great 93-octane gasoline.

But I’ll take it easy on the new biofuels now.  I want to ask a question: why the heck haven’t we adopted an entirely new fuel model?

Well, in America, we’re stubborn, individualistic, and set in our ways, for starters.  But there’s something bigger going on here.

Let’s think about it.  For the past 150 years or so, we’ve stuck a pipe in the ground and gotten in return an energy-rich mixture of ancient fossils (thank you, dinos).  It makes our cars go, it powers our tractors, it even starts our rickety old lawnmowers.  Basically, we’ve had it easy, and we coasted along intent on getting the most out of oil as we possibly could.

And now here we are.  Oil is running out, the planet is heating up, and things are generally just going to pot.  We want an answer!  Yet here we sit, most of us still driving fuel-dependent vehicles that get marginally better miles per gallon than cars ten or twenty years ago.  Are we just that resistant to change?  Maybe.

But here’s the thing: right now, there’s not an easy way out of our oil dependency, or even our “dirty energy” dependency.  There is no single front-runner in the biofuel or alternative fuel industry.  Instead, there are all kinds of small, somewhat helpful projects going on, and at this point, we don’t know if we will have one dominant solution or many.  Maybe there is no one solution, or maybe we just haven’t found it yet.  We have no choice but to keep looking, and I give a lot of credit to those who are.  There’s just not an easy fix – hard to admit in a society thrilled with one-click buying and fast ways to lose weight.  We didn’t get here overnight, and we can’t go back overnight.

So the next time you’re wondering why the heck we aren’t all just driving electric cars, think about just how easy we’ve had it.

Advertisements