Aerospace engineer Robert Zubrin, the author of Energy Victory, presented his strategy to cut our dependence on foreign oil. He argued for a mandate to produce cars that run on flex fuel (accepting a mix of gasoline and alcohol fuels such as methanol or ethanol). By offering an alternative fuel to gasoline, the oil cartel would be forced to be competitive in their prices, he said. If more flex cars were produced, gas stations would begin selling ethanol or methanol to meet the demand, he added.
By being less dependent on such countries as Saudi Arabia for their oil, we would have more leverage for combating terrorism, Zubrin stated. Increased production of methanol and ethanol would be a boon to American farmers, as well as poorer countries who could produce the fuel from crops such as sugar. He noted that flex fuel cars have taken off in Brazil which has ethanol stations all over their country.
The presidential candidates aside from Hillary Clinton, have not addressed the flex fuel issue, Zubrin reported, and he suggested that people in upcoming primary states ask candidates if they would support a mandate for the cars (which only cost $100 more to manufacture than non-flex fuel vehicles). Zubrin also touched on his work as an advocate for Mars exploration.
1507 Map Names America
In the first half-hour, archeologist Gunnar Thompson discussed a 500-year old map, made by a German cartographer, that was first to use the name "America." The map accurately depicts South America and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans-- yet Thompson noted that the Chinese made a similar map nearly a century earlier. The Chinese had access to telescopes, kites, rockets and flares for use in their mapmaking, he reported.