Internal combustion engines
If there is one thing that people in 2050 will be laughing out loud at, it is internal combustion engines -- the kind of engines we find now in everything from automobiles to lawn mowers. The reason why they will laugh at them is because they are so very, very sad. Think about how sad they are:
- The most glaring problem is the waste. Something like 80% of the fuel that goes into an internal combustion engine comes out as heat rather than motion. 80% of the fuel is completely wasted, in other words.
- Then there is the pollution - nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, soot, hydrocarbons, etc.
- Don't forget the carbon -- something like 5 pounds of carbon is emitted for every gallon of gas consumed.
- Then there's the noise.
- And don't forget idling. Idling! You are sitting at a traffic light not moving at all, but the engine is still running -- still burning fuel, producing heat, making noise and spewing pollution -- for absolutely no reason. When you think about it, idling is insane. Yet every car engine has to idle.