Bill James wrote me—and I could swear I published his comment and my reply on the blog, but they seem to have disappeared; the WordPress app has not been “behaving” well as of late—that Saul Bellow did write, “We have a word for everything except what we really think and feel” and that I almost certainly read that in one of Bill’s books. Many thanks for reading and for commenting, Bill.
Some “inconvenient” facts:
The US population increased by 7.7% from 2004-2013…
Total energy consumption decreased by 5.9% meaning per capita consumption decreased by even more…
Total carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 11.7%. (The energy/carbon dioxide data comes from the International Energy Agency.) By the way, the move from carbureted engines to fuel-injected engines has played a role in the decline of carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide emissions.
Too many people are barking up the wrong tree.
Speaking of automotive induction systems, on this day in 1860 Philander and Francis Roots received a patent for a supercharger as an air pump for use in blast furnaces and other industrial applications. Of course, the automobile as we have known it did not exist in 1860.
In a car, a supercharger is a compressor that increases the pressure in the intake manifold so a more energy-laden mixture can be ignited. A supercharger is actually driven by the engine crankshaft usually via a belt/pulley system. A turbocharger is a compressor that is driven by the exhaust gases of the engine.
I have written elsewhere that I believe most, if not all, new automobile internal-combustion engines should be turbocharged. That would allow for smaller displacement engines that are more energy-efficient but without losing power and engines that release less emissions.
I have owned both a turbocharged car (a BMW Z4) and a supercharged car (the Corvette Z06 that I own now). Intellectually it was amazing to me that the Z4, after some tuning, was generating about 370 HP from 182 cubic inches. Emotionally and viscerally, though, there is no comparison between the Z4 and my Corvette Z06.
A gratuitous photo of my Z06. There is no replacement for displacement is a common saying among gearheads; I understand the sentiment.
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