Hackernoon logoHydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles are Not a Solution to Climate Change by@atrigueiro

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles are Not a Solution to Climate Change


How is it that fuel cell vehicles using hydrogen as a fuel are touted as climate-friendly vehicles? California even subsidizes the purchase of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The advocates never reveal the source of the hydrogen would most likely be coming as a byproduct of fracking in pursuit of natural gas.

The petroligarchy has no qualms about subsidizing “green” technologies which tangentially actually support the continued burning of fossil fuels. Hydrogen is a perfect example of this kind of “stealth” support for the petroligarchy. Hydrogen is very supportive of the fracking industry pulling natural gas from under the ground.

Similarly, the infrastructure support for the vehicles will be very similar to the current one with containers in the ground, pipelines and tankers floating them around the world. Hell, hydrogen is practically gasoline in this regard. On top of this support for the extractive industry, water vapor is the exhaust. How can this technology be touted as climate-friendly?

Many will point to the relatively benign nature of water vapor as an emission from fuel cell vehicles. It is true, water vapor is relatively benign, in general. However, water vapor is a greenhouse gas. There is no doubt of this. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. Water vapor is also directly related to cloud formation in normal weather, so pumping industrial amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere would seem unwise, even if water vapor was NOT a greenhouse gas. Water vapor IS a greenhouse gas, however.

How is it that so much infrastructure is being built for a hydrogen economy? How is it that large automakers have invested heavily in this technology as a climate-friendly solution to personal transportation? How is it that a byproduct of fracking could be considered environmentally friendly?

The answer to all of these queries is — this is mostly due to moneyed power preferring this technology. The reason the hydrogen economy has gotten this far is due to these forces. Otherwise, how could hydrogen power and fuel cell technologies be touted as viable solutions, because when examined closely the science does not support climate-neutral claims. In fact, many advocates for fuel cells are simply profiteering.

Individuals and corporations with a stake in building a hydrogen-based economy are behind studies that suggest hydrogen fuel cells can save the world from climate change. These fuel cells are often billed as producing nothing but innocuous water vapor.

Every meteorologist knows that water vapor is a greenhouse gas and will cause climate change.

Pumping industrial amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere will change the climate.

Additionally, the infrastructure that transports liquid or gas through pipelines to storage tanks to fueling stations is not the future. A hydrogen economy leverages existing infrastructure requiring its modification and expansion. This is the old model for how to fuel a nation’s transportation infrastructure.

The national transportation infrastructure should transition to a mostly electric model. Currently, the nation is too dependent on fossil fuels for all manner of industrial and transportation infrastructure.

The fuel cell evangelists have obvious economic motivations. Oil companies are supportive of this technology. Hydrogen can be extracted as a byproduct of fracking.

That means the whole fossil fuel industry can continue its drilling and extraction. The hydrogen economy is driven by profit-hungry corporations. Hydrogen does not make sense if a climate-neutral energy infrastructure in the future is the goal.


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