Originally Posted by knighthawk
sounds kinda like I'm out numbered here....I guess in a way, it's the nmuber 1 guy, or owner, who's responsilble for what kind of research and or engineering that gets done, but then he's limited to what ever , by customer demand ???? Help me out here , guys........
I have to agree with your earlier complaint about it taking so long to see improvements hit the market. That's the pace of big business. Mass markets don't usually change fast. Big marketers follow those markets; they don't lead. That is fine when the commodity being sold fits the times and needs. However, it's not so fine when the inertia of mass marketing prolongs obsolescence.
When I see the title, "New York Times and Science Magazine debunk biofuels", my first thought is, "Who is debunking the debunkers?" Why are we so dependent on a single fuel, petroleum, right now? Why should we assume that a single replacement needs to be found? The only answer I can think of that makes sense for those last two questions is mass marketers.
It seems pretty obvious to most people that we're not going to replace all our current petroleum needs with moonshine or leftover chicken grease from KFC. What is there to "debunk"? How about debunking the notion that we must continue being single-fuel dependent until we are rescued from that dependence by some MegaCorp?
Individuals and small businesses are already providing alternatives. They just don't show up much on tv. You don't get much advertising for building a Harley that smells like french fries or an electric commuter that outlives several commuters.
The major car manufacturers will produce vehicles that people demand of them. They will also resist changes to their current market as long as possible. Instead of pointing out that 'consumers' waste 65% to 80% of every gallon of gasoline, mass producers point out that an electric commuter is not practical for long trips and that you can't fill up with biodiesel on every street corner. They will also point out that current electrical production (no pun intended) also uses petroleum and produces pollution, without noting the reductions of each compared to vehicles using internal combustion engines.
This marketing delays the time when capital-intensive retooling has to take place. The benefits of mass production are therefore denied to alternatives to the existing vehicle production. The alternatives have to come as aftermarket adaptations to be economically viable. Remember that the huge performance parts market of today grew from individuals working things out on their own hotrods.
The history of hotrodders is one of pushing the envelope. The bounds of that envelope today include the cost of fuel and what gets wasted. There are diesel dragsters and electric dragsters
. (The first diesel dragster to get into the 7's
runs on biodiesel).
I don't expect 'salvation' from mass marketers. I expect them to lag 10 - 40 years behind as they've always done. I also expect them to fight each change that might have an impact on any given quarter's profit margin and to wage that fight both by honest means and by 'stealthy' ones.