Abe would be proud
Dear Editor:”It has been said of the world’s history hitherto that might makes right. It is for us and our time to reverse the maxim and to say that right makes might.”This quote of Abraham Lincoln came to mind as I was wrestling with thoughts about our present petroleum predicament: our dependence on foreign oil. It has always been those in power who have determined what is the “proper” and/or “correct” path.But, just because someone says a particular course is the “right” one, doesn’t always mean that it’s the best for the majority. Such is the case with our current oil crisis. I believe the most elegant solution I’ve heard so far is to use vegetable oil or a vegetable oil-based biodiesel fuel as the best choice for diesel engines.When Dr. Diesel invented his engine, it was originally designed to run on peanut oil. Apparently, because petroleum was cheaper at the time, that source was favored instead.This, I believe, has proven to have been a mistake. Times have changed. Petroleum is a finite resource, and the costs are becoming astronomical. Vegetable oil is a renewable one.It makes more sense to switch from a limited resource we have little control over to a renewable one we still do. We’re likely to be involved in fewer wars over petroleum if we do.Please understand that I’m only referring to diesel engines. Vegetable oil, biodiesel fuel or petroleum diesel fuel will not work in a gasoline engine! They will ruin it!Diesels don’t have to be smelly, dirty and slow. I think it’s really more of a fuel choice problem. The fact is vegetable oil or true biodiesel burns very cleanly, and at most gives off the aroma of French fries.Europe has a plethora of sporty, high-performance diesels, so it isn’t that they don’t exist. Like diesel fuel, we simply haven’t been given proper options. Besides, diesels get better mileage and are more durable – definite pluses.It really pains me to say this, as I don’t mean to offend, but I believe hybrid and hydrogen-fuel cars and the current “biodiesel” blend fuel sold at the pumps (80 percent petroleum) are just more expensive, high-tech ways to confuse the issue and keep us tied to the petroleum tit.It has been said that knowledge is power. I urge everyone to go online and check out the facts. A good place to start: biodisel.org. I also recommend contacting Solar Energy International in Carbondale (963-8855). They give classes on how to make your own biodiesel fuel. It can be done. Many people are already successfully going the vegetable oil and/or biodiesel fuel route.In the past, I didn’t know I had a choice regarding fuel. Now I know, now I do. I’m going to get myself a diesel. I know Lincoln would be proud.”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret MeadBob KeenanCarbondale
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