Solution to gas prices?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_henry miller, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. B_henry miller

    B_henry miller New Member

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    Obviously, if gas prices continue to soar (and they most likely will), the average man is going to have to cut back considerably on his driving, or give up driving altogether. I was wondering what the rest of you think is the solution. For me, I think the US needs better transit systems, and ultimately it is best for the environment if gas prices ARE high because then people don't pollute the environment. I realize that ultimately the goal should be to get off of gas entirely.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. B_socalstud89

    B_socalstud89 New Member

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    I do belive the public transit system will become more used, as weel as biking and lots more car pooling
     
  3. unabear09

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    I agree with you 100% henry. Idk about all areas in the US, but in my area (metro pop. ~170k) pre WWII and just past WWII, there was excellent mass transit. There were street cars and buses, that ran all over the place and was cheap to use. The tracks are all still there, just covered under about 4 inches of asphalt. I don't understand why we can't uncover those tracks and start the street cars back up. They ran to all of the city centers and shopping areas, and in my area, the places that weren't in existance are easily accessible to train tracks, so why not make connections to the train tracks? I look at so many small cities thru out the Eastern US (primairly in the southeast) and back in the day they all had trollys and street cars. What would it really take to get these things up and running. Why not take 1/2 of 1% of the gas taxes and use them to reestablish the old school mass transit, and establish rail links b/t cities? that would be my solution
     
  4. D_Ivana Dickenside

    D_Ivana Dickenside New Member

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    i agree on focusing on better public transportation systems. hopefully if i get my new job i'll be turning towards public transportation as well. besides that i am also saving up to get a beach bruiser (hot pink with a basket and a froggy horn :biggrin:) so i can bike around locally. and if i'm going to drive, it's only going to be to important places.
     
  5. B_enter today

    B_enter today New Member

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    OK, here it goes. Flame away.

    1) Yes, people DO need to cut back on oil consumption. That has to be done.

    2) Ethanol MUST MUST MUST go!!! It's a joke. It uses more energy to create enthanol than it does to refine oil. Plus, the conversion of about 80% of our farmland has created a massive mark up in price for every other food that we now have to import.

    3) India and China are becoming industrial nations, it's unavoidable. With them needing more oil, our prices go up. It's not like we can do anything about it, but they are contributing.

    4) Possibly the biggest problem is that we have enough oil in Alaska to supply America with cheap oil for almost 50 years. The big problem is that... remember a few weeks ago when they made a big deal that the Polar Bear was now at risk? Well according to my uncle who works for the government that happened just in time to stop the production of oil collection thingymagigs up there in Alaska. Yeah we need to save the environment and blah blah blah but humans take precidence over animals any day. We can do virtually anything here in America, it shouldn't be a problem to simulate exact environment conditions to keep the polar animals alive and well.

    5) I'm going to get bashed for this, but Obama should not get elected. There was a report on the news two days ago saying that he's got this plan to tax the oil companies. OK, at first I think, "Yeah, they screw us, so why not screw them back" But then I think "Hey, they control gas prices.... Hmmm, maybe they'll decide to bump up prices again to meet the need to pay the tax...." And beside that, the facts prove that the tax will bring oil price up to $8 a gallon. Now I don't know about any of you, but I'm making minimum wage, coincidentally it's 8 an hour. Maybe Obama can afford 8 a gallon, but people like me would die or have to start walking.

    There's my two cents.
     
  6. MARCOPOLO4

    MARCOPOLO4 New Member

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    i'm in total agreement with unabear09. the streetcars should never have been eliminated in favor of buses but, we all know the conspiracy behind that.
     
  7. Nikkiwadlin

    Nikkiwadlin New Member

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    What about sugar cane like brazil?
     
  8. midlifebear

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    At the end of WWII General Motors lobbied a Republican Congress and got the go ahead to mass market the diesel engine bus to cities, insisting that it was a better form of public transportation. Almost all US cities bought this bull crap: 1) because at the time it was less expensive than maintaining a large workforce to service and run electric trolleys, 2) transportation routes could be easily changed as the suburbs blossomed. However, in most cities the fuel burning buses rarely opened up new areas for public transit and tended to follow the old trolley tracks which were quickly covered in asphalt. At that same time, even though air travel was still "exotic" the main reasons the famous trains that criss-crossed the USA continued to lose customers were: 1) WWII had taken its toll on the railroads -- the rails and equipment were worn out from being pressed into service to support the war effort and 2) the price of gasoline was kept at an artificially low level, therefore personal automobiles seemed a more realistic and cheaper way to get around.

    Trolley systems have made a bit of a comeback, but it's been an uphill battle. San Diego, which I believe has one of the better transit systems, is in a constant battle to keep their transit system alive and publically funded, despite the fact that it is heavily used, even by its opponents. The same goes for Salt Lake City, where the installation of one valley-long trolley met opposition for 25 years until better minds prevailed and the first line was built and suddenly everyone began to use it -- except on Sundays. The mormon church, which has a heavy hand in the ewetaw way of life, didn't like the idea of citizens being able to use the trolley on Sundays, because it conflicted with their idealized concept of a day of rest. Then one weekend brighter minds prevailed and, just to benefit the mormon church, the new transit system ran during one of the "general conference" specials that particular church throws twice a year, making it easier and more economical for large families to attend church in downtown SLC by taking the trolley. Of course, now the trolley system runs EVERY Sunday. But that's an example of the backward thinking that tried to prevent the return to an efficient mass transit system in the West. Now SLC can hardly wait to add new lines, including a commuter train service from Ogden to Provo.

    This same scenario will continue in most 'Mericuhn cities in the future. Atlanta's got a great subway system, except that it isn't expansive enough. If you been to Portland, Oregon, and tried their trolley system the jury is in that the service is exceptional. But remember that the main reason these systems were dismantled in the early 1950's in the first place was primarily to benefit the automobile and oil industries.

    Every time I return to the USA I end up gaining 10 pounds. If I were to live at my place in Nevada for a year, I'd probably become morbidly obese. Why? Because I have to drive everywhere for food and services. Interstate 80 and Highway 93 and not conducive to public transport (or even riding a bicycle). Just to buy groceries ends up being a 40 mile round-trip event. But in Barçelona, Paris, and even Bueno Aires I walk about three blocks to the nearest Metro or bus stop and can get anywhere within the city or out into the neighboring countryside. Even México City has a remarkably sophisticated Metro system that makes the "quaint" New York subway system look and run like the antique it is. Sorry, New Yorkers, but your subway system is a filthy pig sty that reeks of stale urine. But I understand that's one of the things New Yorkers like about their subway system. Regardless, even taking the New York subway means I burn enough calories walking to a station and running up and down stairs that I have little trouble keeping relatively fit.

    It would be so easy to rebuild the the USA's railroads, implementing rapid passenger service that cost less than airfare and was fast enough that the extra few hours to travel between most cities (Phoenix to Tucson, for example) would not be an inconvenience. But first the oil industry has to have something major happen to it (like U$S5 a gallon gas?) and then the government has to intervene and subsidize the renovation of existing rail beds plus breaking up the mess they've allowed private railroads to create. In the west, the Union Pacific pretty much rules the rails and owns all the old routes, keeping the rails loaded with freight. That's just fine. But 21st Century rails need to be built along the same corridors so an efficient rail high speed rail system can start to grow.

    I don't know about you, but it ain't gonna happen in my life time. Although, when I was a child my family regularly traveled from our little central ewetaw farm community on a trolley/train line called
    the "Inter-Urban", two hours to SLC from where we changed trains at the Uniion Pacific Station and took a second train to Ogden. After a two or three hour wait we boarded a Northern Union Pacific passenger train and would usually be in San Francisco (actually Oakland, we always had to take a bus or trolley into the city) within 26 hours. Now, if you catch the same AmTrak route inm Elko (thus cutting off about 300 miles of the old trip) you still end up in Oakland and the shortened trip takes 23 hours.
     
    #8 midlifebear, Jun 17, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  9. vince

    Gold Member

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    Yes, I was thinking about the same thing. Wasn't it GM, Standard Oil and Goodyear (or Firestone) that pulled that one off? Toronto didn't go for the deal and that is why they have the great system of street cars they do. In Vancouver, the streetcar system went all the way out to Surrey and beyond (countryside).

    Those were simple systems and they worked well. Now to build rapid transit, governments spend billions on complex, computerized, elevated, blah blah blah systems. It is so expensive that they can't operate without massive public subsides, otherwise no one could afford to ride them! There has to be a better way.

    I doubt the price of fuel will ever stop going up no matter how much new drilling gets done. We need to change our wasteful ways and find alternatives.
     
  10. Deno

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    I am positive the only reason gas it becoming such and expense for the US is because all the gas we once purchased is now going to the Billion people in China. As long as that countries development continues to skyrocket the demand will only continue to increase driving up the cost. I don't care how much OPEC increases there output it will never keep up with demand. SO. The only options available presently would be to rid ourselves of the need for oil and dependance on OPEC and other producers outside the US. Eventually whats going on in modern day China is only bound to happen in India who also has a billion population. Where will it go then. China is so rapidly increasing industry and the use of automobiles that it has ruined it atmosphere to the extent that there is a constant smog over most of its cities. More and more people need a resource that is unrenewable and depleting, Imagine what it will be like when its gone. There are technologies out there that can replace fossil fuels but the governments are so wrapped up in Big Oil profits who is gonna turn it around. Arabs say they make so much money they don't know what to do with it, A billion dollars a day. Mean while there are no economic service or social services available for there people. They plan on spending most of the money to build a new big city for economic improvement but who will be able to afford to live in it when big oil is gone. It funny that prices have gone so high when the word is out that the supply is dwindling and will be gone in a short period of time. The Arab leader say there concerned for the high barrel price but do they make it go down, no they only promise to make more so they can make more larger profits.

    sorry for the rant, lol.
     
  11. 1BiGG1

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    Sure it takes more energy to make ethanol than it does to pump oil but does that hold true for importing foreign oil of which 60+% of our supply comes from? No

    We have not converted 80% of our farmland or anywhere close. For starters 80% of the corn we grow here is fed directly to livestock, about 10% used for human consumption and about 10% exported. The ethanol we make is made from what was once fed directly to livestock, now we make ethanol out of a small portion of it first and then feed it to livestock giving US two products out of the same corn.

    Ethanol is mainly used as an oxygenate in fuel so fuel complies with the Clean Air Act. In the past everybody used MTBE for the oxygenate until we found out it’s a very-environmentally-unfriendly, ground-water-contaminating train-wreck just now starting to unfold. Most states have already banned it and replaced it with ethanol and the rest will as soon as production capacity can handle it.

    And lets not forget the US Government pays farmers over 25 billion dollars not to plant over 60 million acres (that’s more land than Ohio & Indiana combined) every year so that prices stay high enough for farmers to make a profit on what they do plant. We need this land back in production making money instead of spending 25+ billion a year for it to sit idle.

    If you are looking to blame recent prices on ethanol production you are looking in the wrong spot, look at the high cost of energy and the weak dollar instead. Ethanol is adding huge money to the domestic economy instead of shipping it overseas = win, win for US!
     
  12. Pendlum

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    It doesn't take more energy to produce ethanol from corn. It's a measly .1 net gain though. We need a better crop for ethanol to be a viable alternate fuel source, so the net gain out weighs the production cost of gasoline. Brazil uses sugar cane which has a net gain of at least 7, and they happen to be very not dependent on oil.

    I don't know about Obama wanting to tax oil companies. I know I don't want it to happen, but I also don't want McCain. I really wish we could pull together as a country and say no to anyone who tries taxing it (and not no as in don't elect him. I want Obama to win). But people don't get why it is a bad idea. They just like sticking it to the oil company despite the fact that it will hurt them and others.
     
  13. Deno

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    I wish people would stop being pro Obama and Anti McCain just because he's a republican. His name is not John Dubya McCain. I can't believe I have to vote Republican just to try and keep this guy out of office.

    edited my rant, sorry!
     
    #13 Deno, Jun 17, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  14. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    New Transmission Tech Doubles MPG, Reduces CO2 - GoodCleanTech

    Algae: 'The ultimate in renewable energy' - CNN.com
    10% of the area the size of New Mexico could produce 100% of all transportation fuel, for the USA. An area the size of Belgium could produce all of transportation fuels for Europe.

    Proof of concept has produced 33,000 gallons from 1 acre.
    Tropical Palm Oils, 630gal/acre
    Soybeans, 48gal/acre
    Corn Ethanol 18gal/acre

    Cellulosic ethanol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia might be the future,
    There is information and technology there but in the meantime you just have to deal with high prices.

    If you have substantially cut back on driving, might wanna call your car insurance company and see if they can lower your rate. Less driving, less chances of accidents.
     
  15. pronatalist

    pronatalist Active Member

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    Recent gasoline price-gouging, is not at all free market economics, but a combination of conspiracy and bad anti-development "environmental" luddite-ism.

    Why are we not drilling more of our own oil? Why do we decide to remain so dependent upon politically volatile Middle Eastern oil?

    And no, we shouldn't give up our cars, because driving and freedom aren't priviledges to now be reserved for the ultra-rich.

    What we should do, is PROTEST. Boycott the economy, ban/boycott gasoline-wasting restaurants and sports, stay home more, or when we do have to go out, combine trips, drive SLOWLY.

    Run the car air conditioner while driving, because opening windows consumes as much gasoline as running the A/C. It's like trapping the air and dragging along a parachute, they said on the TV news.

    I figure that rich elites who don't even live in the real world of the working poor, make way too many of the real economic decisions in the world, so if they are inconvenienced by having to wait behind "slow" drivers trying to stretch more miles out of a tank of gasoline, the cry to drill for drilling our own oil, should only continue to grow until something is finally done about this outragious rip-off. Besides, driving "slow" would be a nice relaxation and less stressful anyway. BTW, the optimal gasoline milage speed is around only 30 or 40 mph. Any faster only increases wind drag. Freeway milage is rated higher, due to the lack of stopping and starting.
     
  16. Not_Punny

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    These gas prices are insane!!! Fortunately, I now live one block from one of the beautiful new LA subway stations, and I can walk to the market/coffee/restaurants. I can even walk to the cinema! (After 10 years of suburban living, the city is cool!)

    I am gonna buy a bike, and later this year will probably trade in my compact SUV for a hybrid.
     
  17. dreamer20

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    It must be a hoot watching drunk livestock stagger around the farm.:biggrin1:
     
  18. HazelGod

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    Here's a thought...stop being short-sighted nitwits clamoring for continued / expanded dependence on non-renewable energy sources, wherever they may get pumped out of the ground.

    Scream at the automotive industry to abandon the internal combustion engine entirely. Tell them to stop wasting stupendous amounts of money bombarding every medium known to advertising, and start investing it into research and development...and stop using R&D resources to figure out ways to fit bigger cupholders into vehicles.

    After a century of explosive technological advancement, there's no rational excuse for our continued reliance on such inefficient, antiquated power systems. If you're truly sick of gas prices, then fuck the oil industry altogether...it's completely unsustainable anyway. At some point, the raw material will run out, and we'll be left with an entire economy and an enormous infrastructure built around a resource that no longer exists.

    We're squandering fossil fuels moving people and shit around on the ground, when technology already exists to use other means. Surface travel is comparatively easy to switch...air travel is a different story. Jet engines don't run on batteries, and long-haul heavy flights require the massive thrust of those powerplants. It won't be nearly as easy to develop alternative propulsion systems for flight.

    Think more than five minutes ahead, people.
     
    #18 HazelGod, Jun 17, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  19. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    That would take away from instant gratification! :eek:
     
  20. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Just plan your economics around it. Most ppl I know of bitching about gas prices are dropping $4 on a latte every morning... and pay $10-20 premium for HD channels on their $2000 TV. I know it hits a few lower pocket books, but I notice a slew of satellite dishes in the poorest parts of SF. All about priorities folks.
     
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