I don’t normally go though about 35 emails going back and forth just to prove a point, normally I would use messenger or one of the other IMs I have, but when an opponent (Conservative) sent me a mail letting me know that my support of Barack Obama was doomed to fail – because Obama was doomed to fail, I replied.
What was this opponent on about?
Well the Model T quote that Obama has used Re: The Model T got more gas mileage than current SUVs.
I of course replied that Obama is correct. Which he is, and we now have a new conservative convert to the ‘tree hugging’ brigade.
The first link that was sent to me was this one – a full on debunking of the ‘Myth’ that Obama speaks of.
OK, lets look at this debunking of the myth.
There’s an article in the Nov. 5 edition of The New Yorker magazine that claims that “the average new car sold in the U.S. today gets twenty miles to the gallon, which is…-remarkably enough-less than Henry Ford’s Model T got when it went on the market, ninety-nine years ago last month.”
A number of members of Congress have also perpetuated this myth. We join with those in Congress who are in favor of higher fuel economy standards. But comparing the Model T with today’s vehicles is like comparing the Wright Brothers glider with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. You don’t hear people complaining that the Dreamliner doesn’t get as good fuel economy as a glider.
Firstly – and most obviously it isn’t! A glider doesn’t use any fuel at all once it is off the ground – a Dremliner does. I have yet to see a glider take more than two people at a time – although a glider would be a stupendous idea for international travel if you could get it off the ground and get it across the oceans safely with 3/4/5/6/7/8 hundred people on-board.
So that really doesn’t hold water. Yet the advancement in Jet engines is a different animal to Turbo props – and we can have that debate another time. Because, essentially, this one was about cars. But as we all know – debunkers use outlandish statements to put the reader in the right frame of mind.
There’s a reason the Model T weighed 1,200 pounds, less than half the weight of most vehicles sold today. The Model T didn’t have safety features like dual airbags, reinforced safety cage, anti-lock brakes and traction control. The Model T didn’t have electric windows, interior lights, air conditioning, a radio and CD player. That Model T four-cylinder, 22-horsepower engine had a top speed of 45 miles per hour, and it spewed out far more noxious emissions than today’s vehicles because it didn’t have a catalytic converter. And the brakes on a Model T? Make sure you plan ahead. Assuming the laws of gravity apply in New York, all those extra features add a lot of weight to a vehicle.
Now, without doing a bullet point rebuttal of all those points, let’s speak in a sane manner. I don’t think anyone would disagree that the Model T was a very basic car. Yet, as safety features have been added to vehicles we see that the actual technology that drives the thing is based on exactly the same as the Model T – so, how can you do a like for like? If you did then you would look at the power to ratio of the vehicle power/output/torque etc, you would there for have a smaller engine with much more power and would do 150 MPG.
What the car makers did was simply add bigger engines to compensate for the weight – that isn’t debunking anything – that is just saying that the auto companies had no interest in research and development.
As said here:
when it comes to energy, most of the world still depends largely on huge, polluting coal and oil generation plants not much more efficient than those of 100 years ago. How can it be that we’ve had such dramatic, almost miraculous advances in so many fields, while the energy and transportation sectors have made so little progress? Could it be that greed and the desire for economic and political control…
That, to me is the most obvious point – yet the technologies that we need today to give us the energy we need – and the same standard of living – are already invented and awaiting to be put into production.
In comes Tesla.
Consider Nikola Tesla, the genius inventor of AC current, fluorescent light, and laser beams, who has over 700 patents to his name. Tesla proved in 1900 that the Earth itself could be used as a very cheap conductor of electricity. He successfully lighted 200 lamps without wires from a distance of 25 miles.
Why wasn’t Tesla’s wireless electricity developed and spread around the world? His main financial supporter, banking tycoon J.P. Morgan [Yeah – THAT J.P. Morgan], withdrew funding with the classic comment, “If anyone can draw on the power, where do we put the meter?”
With the technology there as a starting point I am sure that the geeks at MIT or some other palace of geekdom could make this into viable energy for today’s homes – and of course the car.
Ah but – as I said, the technology is there – what isn’t, is the investment or the demand.
So, for like for like – the Model T did have more fuel efficiency – the difference was that – like for like – the Model T was far, far more advanced technologically.
“Well I didn’t know all that Will, you’re still a tree hugger though, bastard”