last night Thom brought us the story about Brazil protecting their manufacturing. I say: way to go Brazil! Woo-hoo! Thank you Brazil for another excellent example of what can be accomplished with common sense! Maybe we need a former Marxist Guerrilla to deal with all the craziness here and do the same.

Why is it that the Brazilians have more common sense and cajones than our melting pot here? In 1976 the Brazilian governance had the amazing ability to analyze the scenario and came up with a way to get off of petroleum. Currently over 90 % of their vehicles run on alcohol fuel.

There are many ways we could do it here. But don't think I am saying we do it the same stupid way we are now - there are many many other ways to go about making a renewable alternative. We need to be realistic NOW and look at what is already working in other parts of the world. Please don't regurgitate the assorted myths given to us from the American Petroleum Industry. Remember economics? They have the economics to promote many many myths of mythological proportions. At least Brazil isn't their sucker any more. We could lose our sucker status too. But before things can be different they have to be not the same. I hope things are not the same before we we run out of time to get totally trounced by oil prices and climate destruction.

Brazil vows to protect manufacturing -

4 days ago – “We don't want to lose our manufacturing sector,” Guido. ... The government fears that employers will try to maintain their competitiveness by ...

Today this story is in the BBC:

Brazil to Charge Chevron Executives Over Fresh Oil Leak
BBC News
Excerpt: "Brazilian prosecutors say they will bring criminal charges against 17 executives from the US oil company Chevron and drilling contractor Transocean after a new leak of crude."

From wikipedia:

Brazil is the world's second largest producer of ethanol fuel and the world's largest exporter. Together, Brazil and the United States lead the industrial production of ethanol fuel, accounting together for 87.8% of the world's production in 2010.[1][2] In 2010 Brazil produced 26.2 billion litres (6.92 billion U.S. liquid gallons), representing 30.1% of the world's total ethanol used as fuel.[1]

Brazil is considered to have the world's first sustainable biofuels economy and the biofuel industry leader,[3][4][5][6] a policy model for other countries; and its sugarcane ethanol "the most successful alternative fuel to date."

Ethanol fuel in Brazil - Wikipedia, the free

There are no longer any light vehicles in Brazil running on pure gasoline. .... Alcohol Program -Pró-Álcool- (Portuguese: 'Programa Nacional do Álcool'), ...

  1. Flexible-fuel vehicle - Wikipedia, the free to Brazil‎: In March 2009 Volkswagen do Brasil launched the Polo E-Flex, the first flex ... Brazilian flex cars are capable of running on just hydrated ethanol ... media to use more alcohol than gasoline in their mix only when ethanol ...
  2. BBC NEWS | Business | More Brazil cars run on 11, 2006 – Brazil's carmakers sold more vehicles adapted to run on alcohol last year ... "Flex-fuel" cars attract a purchase tax of 14%, while buyers of their ...


media_muse 2 years 35 weeks ago

Oh yes, one other 1976 the Brazilian government mandated that any vehicle manufacture manufacturing in Brazil must make their vehicles run on alcohol fuel. Our Ford & GM guys cried it couldn't be done. But guess what? They figured out how to do it - because they had to. The rest is history. In the meanwhile the rest of the world is eating us alive while we are kept busy arguing over non revenue producing subjects - like birth control.

And when we had the chance to use the same leverage with the GM bailout our politicos wimped out. While I'm glad that the many many jobs were saved for the GM workers. I am NOT glad for the resulting HUMONGOUS missed opportunity of the non-nonsensical kind.

Alberto Ceras 2 years 35 weeks ago

I've "no dog in this fight" but folks ought to have good information. Here's part of an article stating the case against ethanol:

Elsa Steward, Yahoo! Contributor Network

What's Wrong with Ethanol?

Elsa Steward,

May 14, 2007

Ethanol, also known as grain alcohol, is being promoted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), automobile manufacturers and the corn growers' lobby as the answer to some of our most persistent energy and environmental challenges. According to proponents, ethanol would lessen air pollution and global warming. it would allegedly reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil with its attendant price fluctuations and disruptions in supply. And it would supposedly decrease the general use of fossil fuel, which is non-renewable and will eventually run out.

The facts are, however, that the production and use of ethanol will actually worsen air pollution and may increase the release of greenhouse gases. In addition, it will not result in meaningful independence from foreign or domestic oil. Its production will require large amounts of water, often in areas that are subject to chronic and sporadic plagues of drought. And, it will have severe effects on agriculture, food prices and starvation relief, along with the potential for serious water pollution.

People should also be aware of problems with 15 percent ethanol (that may reach the market soon). It cannot be used in vehicles prior to 2007, and even some vehicles manufactured after that date cannot use it. Read this:

The military and Toyota, reasonably conservative enterprises, are betting - and investing heavily - on hydrogen fuel cells. This seems to me the sensible alternative to both gasoline and ethanol. Read these articles if you want:

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles join the Army

By Peter Valdes-Dapena @PeterDrives February 23, 2012: 8:33 AM ET

"For now, the U.S. is testing a fleet of 16 General Motors fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii. They run on compressed hydrogen gas. The hydrogen is combined in a fuel cell with oxygen from the air in a process that generates electricity. The only exhaust the vehicles produce is water vapor."

Click on the URL above for the entire article and then click again on the URL below for Toyota's take:.

March 6, 2012 6:01 pm

Toyota commits to hydrogen-powered cars

By John Reed in Geneva

Alberto Ceras 2 years 35 weeks ago

This seemed to require another comment. For those who would like to be well informed these articles might help. The first speaks to corn based ethanol while Brazil would like to use sugar cane based ethanol. The trick is that Brazil has had to import corn based ethanol from the U.S. because of ethanol shortages in its own country. All of the other articles refer to sugan cane/bagasse alcahol. Check all the articles if you're interested.

Ethanol remains a case study in poor choices and the negative effects of government intervention in markets. The problems with alcohol-based "renewable" fuels are well-documented. Both corn-based and cellulosic ethanol have significant drawbacks, not the least of which is that artificial demand for corn to produce ethanol is driving up global food prices and contributing to civil unrest in parts of the world.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 2 years 35 weeks ago

Hypocrite- you wanted to make such a stand on overly done titles.

Alberto Ceras 2 years 35 weeks ago

Well, no. I wanted to present information for consideration, information that might be useful, hoping that others might rationally discuss, even refute, these published statements based on factual evidence. I simply don't understand the propensity of a few on this website for resorting to slander, insult and personal abuse. It generally demonstrates ignorance, the inability to mount a cogent, rational and factual argument. "Hypocrite?" "Overly done?"

media_muse 2 years 34 weeks ago

clown alberto,.. in wondering why you would post something so dated - from 2007 - gave me pause for consideration. Knowing how you like to clown around - clearly this is more clowning around! Before alcohol fuel became the most studied fuel ever it was a thriving industry in the early 1900's - here & abroad. There is nothing complex about the already historically known deadly swathe across continents & history for energy dominance & its conquest by early to present day oil barons. It is a complex & controversial issue - because our oil barons have NOT YET been able to patent alcohol fuel. You asked about being serious but its difficult to take this stuff posted by you seriously. I wonder - are you another innocent ignorant? Or are you a friend of the API ? Hmmm.... I have a hopeful heart so I will speak to the openness in innocence where the possibilities of transition lay.

So --- Lets Get Serious:

Alcohol gas is THE ONLY GAS APPROVED FOR INDOOR USE FOR INDOOR COMBUSTION - WITH OUT VENTILATION. (Gee whiz, this must make it really really outrageously bad for our outer world environment ! ! ! )

Why is alcohol gas permitted this safety standard?

Because alcohol gas is the only gas which burns cleaner, cooler & at a higher octane. This provides a range of use:

~Does not explode (that why they use it in restaurants for those Baked Alaska & other flaming desserts

~Is safe to breathe - because it is clean burning

For these reasons alcohol gas is the fuel used for: 1.) cooking on boats and ships. 2.) car & motorcycle race drivers for their racing & street vehicles 3.) Vent-less indoor & outdoor fireplaces AND cooking places. 4.) Sweden's energy infrastructure 5.) Brazil's energy infrastructure. 6.) Alcohol has been used for fuel and heating - in several places for several reasons in several histories.

We have all the technology RIGHT HERE - RIGHT NOW to use for our fuel & environmental concerns. There are several proven ways to go about it - if WE ARE SERIOUS about making realistic doable efforts in this area. Because alcohol fuel is so well studied we have a plethora of knowledge how to do it smarter & sustainable rather than the current monolithic moola monster monsanto making greedy destruction. I wonder why weren't there are beneficial studies put up?

media_muse 2 years 34 weeks ago

alberto more seriousness for you - this is not correct as you wrote "People should also be aware of problems with 15 percent ethanol (that may reach the market soon). It cannot be used in vehicles prior to 2007, and even some vehicles manufactured after that date cannot use it."

Check out this site:

For several years now all gasoline has some sort of additive to help combustion. When our government FINALLY mandated that the oil companies could not longer add know toxins to the gas -remember MTBE? - they had to find something. That something was alcohol. Right now over 90% of gasoline sold in the usa has at least 10% alcohol in it. Any vehicle built after 1987 can use alcohol/ethanol fuel - if it has the electrical fuel injection system.

The issue you mention above has to do with the fact that the oil barons don't want us to use alcohol - UNTIL THEY CAN CONTROL it. Our EPA - when they aren't hallucinating from the heady smell of FRESH CASH knows the oil barons are full of goopy goo of the stinky kinky kind - so they made their .02% attempt to appease science by making that law. Since the oil barons don't own alcohol / ethanol they won't permit the true truth in labeling by calling all gasoline E10.

Any vehicle which has an electronic fuel injection system has a computer chip which senses the fuel. Therefore any vehicle with this system can use a blend of ethanol & gasoline.

If our domestic vehicle manufactures made simple inexpensive changes on the assembly line floor - like the Brazilian government mandated to their vehicle manufactures 30 years ago ! -then this would be a non-issue. And the other very curious part - currently Ford & GM do this now for SOME of their production. They just don't always promote this. Why is this? Good question! Alcohol fuel keeps the engine & other mechanical parts cleaner, running with less vibration. This means less trips to the mechanic, less purchases of gasoline AND FEWER NEW VEHICLE PURCHASES.

Are you a meat eater alberto? I wonder - are you aware that most of the corn grown in the USA goes for feeding cow & pigs? Did you know that corn grown for cows & pigs cannot be used to feed humans? Since there is so much flippin' corn grown to fatten up them critters, I am wondering - are you contacting your reps to control the monsanto monster? This would be the appropriate place to direct your concerns regarding starving humans - because the cows & pigs ARE NOT STARVING. The food vs fuel monolithic myth has been brought to us by the API & their cohorts in the AGRI-Business complex.

If you are serious check out the USDA web site on domestic corn growth. You'll see the stats and the silos of overflowing corn. We have so much we can't even adequately store it. If you bring in the deforestation happening to the south of us you'll see the destruction done for raising MORE beef for human consumption. Unless we serious ones grok how the agri-business barons & the oil barons mythically promote our own destruction then they will continue to EAT US ALIVE WHILE BURPING THEIR WAY TO THEIR OFF SHORE BANK ACCOUNTS.

The reason people are STARVING here and in the rest of the world is the same: PEOPLE ARE STARVING BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY FOOD.

Today Brazil runs over 90% of their vehicles on alcohol fuel. This could create shortages in all industrialized country. So, they are smart enough to buy ours - provided by We the People tax subsidizing suppliers. I wonder why our elected officials permit this?

I wonder alberto - why are you complaining about shortages in Brazil - and not here in the USA ? ? ?

media_muse 2 years 34 weeks ago

April fools day will be here soon - then alberto, you can say hydrogen fuel works - for the one day. After that - time to get serious again. Here's the serious for you:

Hydrogen fuel is still NOT VIABLE. The theoretical folks talk talk talk about the potential but potential doesn't fly. Although fuel cell technology PREDATES the internal combustion engine the theorists have not yet surpassed theory. Nor have they figured out how to manage control compress store or distribute hydrogen. We would be better served to direct our resources to the already designed & achievable vaporized alcohol engine.

Curious, alberto, you have overlooked a GIGANTIC KEY PIECE. When our military develops technology along with a private consuming corporation, and/or with a consuming privatized public university - WE - you & me & all - ALL of the conscripted tax payerspay for the technological development. WE PAY FOR THEIR BETTING & INVESTING. Then after squandering trillions of our tax dollars they get to further enjoy the sucking, chomping carnivorous benefits of our labor to enjoy fatter profits by charging us for the new technology - that they hold the patent on - that WE the people paid for. Hmmm... if this is ok with you - I must ask - are you paying any taxes? Are you a stock holder in Toyota?

I searched but could not find a price tag for the military 16 vehicles that WE are paying for. Here is something from a web site that wasn't full of wu wu..

Hydrogen cars: A zero-emission longshot

By Peter Valdes-Dapena @PeterDrivesMarch 19, 2012: 5:09 AM ET

First, hydrogen fuel cell cars are expensive.

"The systems will cost more than many of the other powertrains that are out there today because these are first generation technologies," said Charles Freese, who heads hydrogen vehicle development for GM.

The good news is that they are, at least, much less expensive than they used to be. Both General Motors and Toyota say that they've chopped the cost of building their experimental fuel cell vehicles down to a tenth of what it used to be.

So that means that vehicles that used to cost $1 million to build a few years ago now cost $100,000. That's still way too much for commercial viability.

Toyota sees further cost cuts on the horizon before it begins selling its hydrogen-powered sedan in 2015.

"The target is in the $50,000 range in order to interest enough customers to make the thing work," Toyota spokesman John Hanson said.

Fill 'er up! But Where?

The other big problem for hydrogen cars is "infrastructure" which, in this case, means hydrogen filling stations. Bottom line: If you don't live near Los Angeles, you'll probably have a tough time filling up.

"The earliest the infrastructure becomes viable is 2015 or 2016," said GM's Freese, "and that's debatable."

At least the fuel itself isn't hard to locate. It is, literally, everywhere.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. But, ordinarily, it doesn't just float around by itself. It has to pried out of molecules like those of water or natural gas.

media_muse 2 years 34 weeks ago

How to use alcohol /ethanol fuel with an fuel injection system. Begin with a 100% Tank Fueling/Blending Fill Up:

Use 10% of gasoline/E10, fill balance of tank (whatever total tank capacity is this applies for all) with the balance of gasoline (which already the blend of 90% gasoline AND 10% minimum of ethanol/alcohol).

With next tank re-fill of TOTAL tank capacity add another 10% - total of 20% of E10 with the balance of the gasoline.

With each tank fill up increase the ethanol by another 10% at a time until you have a blend of 50% E10 with 50% gasoline.

The average blend of 50/50 % of both fuels can be used before conversion is necessary for enhanced fuel performance. You don't want to put more than 10% in to begin with - or increase more than the 10% each time because the alcohol cleans out the carbon build up. If you do too much at first this creates "washout" when the dirty sludge will plug up the little portals. This cleaning provided by the alcohol keeps our air cleaner too! And, the vehicle requires less maintenance! This is why car & motorcycle racers used ethanol for their expensive vehicles. And why the auto supply manufacturers like to provide us those $25.00 8 ounce engine cleaners. They clean up in two ways -the engines AND PROFIT ! ! !"

media_muse 2 years 33 weeks ago
Quote Alberto Ceras:

The military and Toyota, reasonably conservative enterprises, are betting - and investing heavily -with TAX PAYERS MONEY on hydrogen fuel cells.

"For now, the U.S. is testing a fleet of 16 General Motors fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii. WITH TAX PAYERS MONEY

Toyota commits to hydrogen-powered cars WITH TAX PAYERS MONEY

By John Reed in Geneva

How about a book which really tells the truth about FUSION - here it is - of course that means you have to read instead of regurgitate....

Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of › BooksProfessional & TechnicalEngineering Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking (9780670020331): Charles Seife: Books.

From Publishers Weekly

Fifty years ago scientists and futurists glowingly predicted a future in which cars would run on little fusion cells and the world would extract deuterium from the oceans for an inexhaustible supply of energy. Like all too many shining visions, fusion turned out to be a mirage. Award-winning science journalist Seife (Zero) takes a long, hard look at nuclear fusion and the failure of one scheme after another to turn it into a sustainable energy source. Many readers will remember the 1989 cold fusion debacle, but Seife explains why tabletop fusion isn't all that difficult to achieve. The problem, as with all fusion devices except the hydrogen bomb, is to produce more energy than the fusion process consumes. The two most promising approaches today use plasma and lasers, but again, Seife reports, scientists have been repeatedly frustrated. The United States and several other industrial nations recently agreed optimistically to sink billions of dollars into a 30-year fusion power project. Seife's approachable book should interest everyone concerned about finding alternative energy sources. (Nov. 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

telliottmbamsc's picture
telliottmbamsc 2 years 29 weeks ago

Careful, Thom's manner of presentation of this whole argument reeks of currying favor with monied Washington democrats.

This isn't the whole story on Brazil. Brazil like the Obama administration always makes sure to cultivate the possibility for debate when it is doing bad things.

For instance, Brazil produces a gargantuan amount of oil off its shores and exports almost all of it. The fact the it is seemingly combating climate change with vehicles run on alcohol fuel is a huge exaggeration that omits negating facts. Shame on Thom. Worse still, Brazil is decimating the rainforest like there is no tomorrow - and there won't be if hillary and GE keep getting their way. The damb dam Brazil's "enlightened" government chose to build right in the middle of the Amazon violated international labor union by laws, and disregarded every conceivable environmental regulation available! (remember the millions of signatures collected on petitions throughout the globe that were disregarded?)

Brazil's rich are getting richer and the "Manufacturing successes" are illusionary as they develop into a petrol-state.

There is nothing especially noteworthy about brazil other than its burgeoning monied democracy that is continually touted by the Administration in their quest to build a economic hegemony dominated by Wall Street\IMF\WorldBank and American Oligarchs.

Shame on Thom for skewing the picture to curry favor with democrats.

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