It's difficult to pick the strangest part of Greg Blencoe's post today about his ongoing bet with Joe Romm over the viability of hydrogen cars. It could be the hubris, the feeling of unquestioned "win" ahead for Blencoe (who, of course) came down on the pro-hydrogen-soon of the bet. But what's really bizarre is that he is using a picture of soldiers placing an American flag on a coffin as his lead image for his post. Is this a comment on how devastating America's continued quest for oil is? Is it about putting something to rest? Is it not supposed to be there?
In any case, tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of the bet that Romm and Blencoe made about when hydrogen fuel cell vehicles hit one percent of new sales of the typically-defined car and light truck market in the U.S. Blencoe picked 2015 or earlier, Romm said no way. The stakes are $1,000 and the punishment of wearing a shirt admitting error (full details after the jump). As we mentioned in our original post about this bet, even the DOE numbers say it's more than likely that Romm will walk away the winner here.

The money is really secondary here. Both men want to raise awareness about alternatives to gasoline and possible solutions to global warming. They agree that, "When people are discussing and debating the solutions, the best technologies will emerge and positive change will come sooner than later."

Still, a flag-draped coffin? Sometimes I get the feeling that Blencoe just likes to draw attention to himself. As long as he keeps the debate going, that's not a terrible thing.

UPDATE: Joe Romm responds to Blencoe: "If your post means you'll triple the size of our bet to $3000, then let's do it. If not, your post is just more BS."

LATER UPDATE: Blencoe responds as well. Read it after the jump.

[Source: Greg Blencoe]

The Bet:

Greg Blencoe wins if hydrogen fuel cell vehicles hit 1% of new sales of the typically-defined car and light truck market in the U.S. during 2015 or any year before. Joseph Romm wins if it is 2016 or any year after.

If Joseph Romm wins, Greg Blencoe agrees to wear a t-shirt (and take pictures with the media) that has Romm's website on it and says:

'Joseph Romm was right about hydrogen'

If Greg Blencoe wins, Joseph Romm agrees to wear a t-shirt (and take pictures with the media) that says:

'I was wrong about hydrogen'

Furthermore, if Joseph Romm wins, Greg Blencoe also agrees to hand over $1000 to him. If Greg Blencoe wins, Joseph Romm agrees to donate the same amount to an environmental organization that fights global warming.

The spirit of this bet is to raise more awareness of all of the possible solutions to global warming and the energy problem beginning now. When people are discussing and debating the solutions, the best technologies will emerge and positive change will come sooner than later."

Blencoe's response:


First, I changed the picture a couple of hours ago before I saw your post on AutoblogGreen since I figured it might become the focal point instead of all of the progress with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that is not being reported by enough people. And if you go to the link below which will take you to the picture on Flickr, please note that is says the following:

'Shipping Specialists Staff Sgt. Star Samuels, front, and Tech. Sgt. Willard Rico, rear, place a U.S. flag over a casket during a dry run of procedures...'

http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/3575307038/

However, did you read the following excerpt in the post which clearly explains the original picture?

'Furthermore, energy wars will likely be fought if the right energy strategy is not pursued. These conflicts could result in the death of many, many thousands and perhaps millions of people from the U.S. and around the world.'

Do you really think the U.S. military would be in Iraq right now if there weren't a lot of oil in the Middle East? Do you not believe in peak oil? Do you not think that energy wars will be fought if oil becomes scarce over the next 5-10 years and countries become really desperate for it?

Do you have any family members or friends that are in the military that might have to fight in an energy war a few years from now, because the U.S. is pursuing the wrong energy policy today? I do and I care about their safety and the safety of all of the other members of the U.S. military (and I don't want to see harm come to military personnel from other countries either).

I'm baffled that you can't see the connection.

Perhaps what is really making you uncomfortable is that you are an unabashed supporter of plug-in battery vehicles and you are now starting to realize that your support of a technology that is not viable with mainstream consumers has horrible consequences like what is shown in the picture.

Why don't you save your outrage for comments like this one which Romm made on October 6th?

'Hydrogen cars will not be practical or a cost-effective climate strategy in your lifetime.'

You know hydrogen fuel cell cars are arriving in 2015 and yet you didn't say anything about this in your post. Isn't this the real story? Why are you choosing to ignore it?

You made the following comment:

'Sometimes I get the feeling that Blencoe just likes to draw attention to himself.'

If you did your job properly, I wouldn't have to do what I do. What don't you spend a lot more time on AutoblogGreen focusing on what Toyota, THE GREATEST AND MOST CREDIBLE CAR COMPANY IN THE WORLD (which developed the Prius and spends nearly $1 million per hour on research & development of future car technologies), says about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and plug-in battery vehicles?

How else do you suggest that I bring attention to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles? This is a HUGE story that is being completely missed by you and many others, so I have to do what it takes to bring the facts about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to people's attention.

We are all in very big trouble with the oil crisis, so all of the facts must be put on the table so the right decisions are made. Furthermore, it will take years to change the energy infrastructure. Therefore, the right action needs to be taken now, so we can avoid a disaster in the 2015-2020 time frame.

Feel free to say what you want about me, but I hope that you will instead choose to focus on what is most important and that is that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be a viable alternative to the vehicles on the road today beginning in 2015. And they can get us off of our horrible addiction to oil.

I apologize if I have used harsh words in this response. I truly believe you have the best intentions. But I think you are very misguided in your support of plug-in battery vehicles and disdain for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Regarding Romm's ridiculous proposal to triple the bet, this is not at all about money for me. I didn't want to make it part of the original bet. Therefore, I decline his offer. Romm responds this way, because he wants to draw attention away from all of the good things that Toyota is saying about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (and, as I also mentioned in my post, that eight car companies have recently called for the initial hydrogen fueling infrastructure to be built by 2015).


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