In life, there is the simple belief that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” In science and engineering, there is a law that nothing comes for free. This is known as the conservation of energy — you can neither create nor destroy energy. You can only convert it to another type.
I often find it amusing when people purchase electric-powered vehicles and claim how they are saving large amounts of energy or reducing carbon emissions. Naturally, they aren’t pragmatic enough to realize that when they plug in their vehicle to recharge the batteries, their energy is coming from a coal-fired electricity plant operating on the Ohio River.
Now we have the latest claim sweeping the country in the form of “using ethanol as a substitute for petroleum.” Naturally, a new study indicates that ethanol production will drive up corn prices… in turn, leaving grains and meats in short supply.
Darn, I’m still looking for that perpetual motion machine…