Tuesday, March 25, 2008

That won't fly

I read with interest a post on Lyle Estill's blog recently. It reiterated a point that I see made frequently: we all need to just quit driving. Well... I don't want to cause a commotion, but that's not going to work.

What made the post more interesting to me was that he was writing from Mexico, on vacation with his family, where he flew. The incongruity is exquisite, yes? As I stated in my comment on his blog, the modern world is, at least partly, defined by the possibility of taking your family from NC to Mexico for a vacation, whether by land, sea, or air. The issue is how to keep that possibility alive and not destroy our homes, vacation destinations, and everything else in the process. Aren’t biofuels (especially "local biofuels") part of the solution?

Look, I have a terrible carbon footprint. I'm a corporate pilot. I live 40 miles from my home airport. There is not a lot I can do about either one.[1] I am interested in solutions that will work for existing people, in existing circumstances. My brother-in-law is convinced that solar-powered electric cars are the answer. The problem is that I can't buy one. And certainly not one that will take me and my two sons across the western US this summer with a couple hundred pounds of gear and three 40 lb. downhill mountain bikes.

I actually have pretty simple requirements. I want to run local B100 in my 3/4 ton 4x4 20 mpg Duramax turbodiesel until I can buy a diesel-electric hybrid 3/4 ton 4x4 truck that gets 40 mpg. I'll drive that until I can buy a zero-emission 3/4 ton 4x4 truck that gets 80 mpg equivalent. Easy.

[1] I can change careers. I can move. Neither option is on the table at this time.

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