Tuesday, April 18, 2006

addiction to oil

one obstacle to overcoming america's addiction to oil is the internal combustion engine itself.

the best internal combustion engine designs are only 30% effecient: this means 70% of the energy in gasoline is lost as ambient heat due to friction between moving parts. moreover, much of the energy used in accelleration is also lost as heat during breaking.

a novel mechanical solution is to use flywheel technology to convert linear motion into angular momentum during breaking, and then to convert this angular momentum back into linear motion at driving speeds, thereby reducing the load on the engine.

another solution is to invest in quality mass transit and walkable neighborhoods. grocery stores and park spaces within walking distance of homes are key to walkable neighborhoods, and increased taxation on the wealthy (mass transit tax on luxury vehicles) is key to creating quality mass transit.

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