Help fight gas prices!!!!!!

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  • June 19, 2007 at 1:15 pm #513215 Back to Top REPORT



    Joined: 5/24/2004
    :^O Now if that isn’t a Quixotic quest if I ever saw one. :^O

    Oil prices are being set on the global market according to supply and demand,
    with Saudi Arabia the world’s largest producer being the key player and
    key US ally in adjusting and stabilizing prices through their capacity to increase
    and decrease global market supply. They have been doing this successfully
    with our prodding and unambiguous support of their regime and exemplary
    democratic ideals. Thus, we have been able to enjoy very low gas prices
    (as percentage of average income and relative to other commodities)
    for the last say almost 30 years.

    In this state of cheap energy supply we have built our cities and especially
    our suburban sprawl into vast areas of complete dependency on cars and
    gas consumption. Most people in America cannot get to work, nor even buy
    what they need to live without using their cars. Stores, shopping centers
    and malls are usually built with huge parking lagoons around them so you
    often can’t even get from one store to the next without a car. Suburbs,
    in most cases, have been zoned so there is no grocery store/hardware store
    to act as a focal point and supply center for the local community
    on a human scale. The relationship between most American infrastructure
    today is nothing but the car. There usually isn’t a human scale (walking or
    biking) for daily life, and public transportation
    is usually inadequate or
    non-existent.

    However, global oil demand is increasing steadily especially due to the
    rapid economic growth of China, which is putting thousands of new
    drivers (not to mention how many new cars) on the road every day.
    Even Saudi Arabia is having trouble keeping up with this increasing demand,
    since no major new oil fields have been discovered anywhere since the 80s,
    and it is becoming more costly to pump the existing fields. The price of oil
    and thus of gas is going to continue to go up, no matter how hard Americans
    are going to gripe and wish it down. It’s high time Americans yanked their heads
    out of the sand, and started getting serious about becoming more energy efficient,
    the development of alternative energy sources, and reducing America’s dependence
    on (foreign) oil. That inevitable transition is still easier now as long as oil is so cheap,
    providing the necessary cheap energy to realize that transition not just for transportation,
    but also in the configuration and relationships of urban infrastructure.
    As oil becomes more expensive with the increasing demand
    and no significant increase of supply in sight,
    this will become ever more difficult.

    Of course you can write your Senators that the gas taxes (which do factor in
    significantly for consumer prices) should be lowered, so you can continue to
    exist with your addiction to “the cheap gas injection” and lament futilely
    about all those horrible high gas prices,
    but that will only worsen the agony
    when the wake up call hits
    existential economic home.

    In Europe a quite different strategy has been adopted. Gas prices here
    range from about $ 5.00 to 8.00 per gallon. Not because they are buying oil
    at so much higher prices than savvy Americans, but rather because they are
    taxing it so highly to reduce consumption and pay for public transportation
    infrastructure and subsidize using existing public transport, and use it for
    the development of alternative energy resources. Germany has made it
    a national goal to become the world’s leader in energy efficiency and
    alternative energy technology. Switzerland is making huge efforts to
    become a leader in photovoltaic technology. It is already the per capita
    leader in electric cars on the road. A full 70% of Switzerland’s electricity
    demand is being generated by renewable energy sources. It has the best,
    most efficient (extremely dense in time and space) national public transportation
    system in the world, whose trains are powered exclusively by renewable energy.
    In Switzerland you don’t even really need a car and many people don’t have one.
    This is of course no accident. Rather it is due to national policies
    that the people vote on, in this country of direct participative
    democracy. People are OK with these high gas prices,
    and many in Switzerland demand even higher prices
    to get more people off the road.

    So whose standards of living and economies do you think
    are going to fare better as gas prices will continue to increase?
    Theirs or ours?

    It’s about time Americans quit griping about the high gas prices
    (which are still quite low by international standards) and started doing
    something serious on a national scaleabout their gas dependency,
    instead of continuing to act like a bunch of spoiled cry babies
    or drug addicts in denial.

    Tox.

    June 19, 2007 at 2:04 pm #513216 Back to Top REPORT
    indychris
    Indychris

    Joined: 6/22/2004

    It’s about time Americans quit griping about the high gas prices
    (which are still quite low by international standards) and started doing
    something serious on a national scaleabout their gas dependency…
    Tox.[/quote:xvcwdnxr]

    I agree about stopping the whining, but we are a LONG way off from being independent of petrol. Our focus, IMO, ought to be getting away from as much FOREIGN dependency as possible.

    I also admit to tiring easily from all of the inferences that we should be content when we compare ourselves to all those OTHER countries. Their prices are higher because of the tax structures, and I personally refuse to be content when the number one profiteer from Oil Production is the government who invests and risks nothing in the endeavor! [-X [-X

    Besides, the USA didn’t get to it’s prominent position in the world economy by constantly comparing itself to others and succumbing to global peer pressure. We did it by pursuing what was right and in our best interest.

    [=}=]

    June 19, 2007 at 9:03 pm #513217 Back to Top REPORT
    supertac45
    supertac45

    Joined: 8/2/2005

    Before lambasting the oil companies, take a close look at the breakdown of who gets what part of the sale of a gallon of gas. You will find that the oil companies don’t get that much. Your state government makes the most money off of taxes on gas. Try boycotting your state government!

    BTW – there is a possibility I could be moving to Henderson, NV. We’ll have to go shooting if I do.[/quote:3g8dyi7g]

    Your absolutely right on with this. Michigan rips us off big time.

    June 20, 2007 at 1:03 pm #513218 Back to Top REPORT
    tbolden
    tbolden

    Joined: 1/31/2005
    –>[=}=]

    I have often wondered why we have not done this all ready. Any ideas.

    June 20, 2007 at 1:20 pm #513219 Back to Top REPORT
    gjarcher
    gjarcher

    Age: 71
    Joined: 10/3/2006
    Location: Colorado
    View My Bows

    RE: Hydrogen fuel
    …I have often wondered why we have not done this all ready. Any ideas.[/quote:3u6aqfhv]
    First, it takes quite a bit of energy to separate the hydrogen. Electrolysis (separating Hydrogen in water) is rather inefficient and costly. The alternative means of production requires natural gas or oil (methane steam forming), which is self-defeating for a fossil-fuel independent strategy. Coal is the third source of production, but emissions from coal production make it self-defeating for a ‘green’ fuel strategy. With current technology, it takes more energy to separate the Hydrogen from its compounds than the Hydrogen contains.
    Second, it is very explosive if exposed to Oxygen and very sensitive to electrostatic discharges. Making it idiot-proof is a problem…remember the Hindenburg? Storage, transportation, and distribution technology is not yet developed for general public safe use.
    Third, the exhaust product is H2[/size:3u6aqfhv]O (water) and cannot be used in most of the United States in winter.

    Probably some other reasons, but the benefits of hydrogen as a producer of electricity, that then could be used to charge electric vehicles is feasible. However, cost of production and fossil-fuel independence still has not been solved.

    As it stands, it is more efficient to just burn the oil, gas, or coal to produce energy. The real problem is the gross inefficiency of internal combustion engines…something like less than 20%. Most energy from fossil fuels is lost as heat. Technology to capture the lost heat of internal combustion engines is within easier reach than technology to convert to a hydrogen-based economy. Why isn’t it being gone?….well, IMHO its like the little pigs again; as long as there is a teat to suckle they are happy, only by dragging them away from the teat and ignoring the squealing will you get them weaned before the teat dries up. [=}=]

    June 20, 2007 at 3:52 pm #513220 Back to Top REPORT



    Joined: 5/24/2004

    It’s about time Americans quit griping about the high gas prices
    (which are still quite low by international standards) and started doing
    something serious on a national scaleabout their gas dependency…
    Tox.[/quote:36ejnt4i]

    I agree about stopping the whining, but we are a LONG way off from being independent of petrol.
    Our focus, IMO, ought to be getting away from as much FOREIGN dependency as possible.[/quote:36ejnt4i]

    Yes, a very long way off.
    So the sooner we start getting serious about it the better off we’ll be.
    It is hardly an either/or foreign/domestic equation since the US so dependent
    on oil. It needs to lower it’s dependency wholesale to get anywhere.
    However, the US has done exactly the opposite in recent years.
    Since the Bush administration has been running things,
    US oil imports have gone up from 58% in 2000
    to a whopping 70 % in fall 2006,
    and are now hovering around 66 %.
    A very long way to go, indeed.

    (source: EIA, Energy Information Administration,
    Official Energy Statistics of the US Government)

    I also admit to tiring easily from all of the inferences
    that we should be content when we compare ourselves to all those OTHER countries.
    Their prices are higher because of the tax structures, and I personally refuse
    to be content when the number one profiteer from Oil Production is the government
    who invests and risks nothing in the endeavor! [-X [-X [/quote:36ejnt4i]

    Well, the government is the entity that could make the necessary systemic changes
    to induce a decrease in oil dependency, especially with the help of tax revenue.
    Without government intervention, or shall we say “guidance” there is no hope
    of achieving serious systemic change.

    It is a question of the “Tragedy of the commons“. Like you said elsewhere
    people are selfish and will generally do what is best/easiest/advantageous
    for themselves, even then when it is not in the common good.

    Already Aristotle pointed out:
    “That which is common to the greatest number
    has the least care bestowed upon it”

    Besides, the USA didn’t get to it’s prominent position in the world economy
    by constantly comparing itself to others and succumbing to global peer pressure.
    We did it by pursuing what was right and in our best interest.
    [=}=][/quote:36ejnt4i]

    Let’s be fair. The US was above all extremely lucky by being blessed
    with a host of beneficial historic circumstances. In the 20th century
    two World Wars were fought on European soil leaving the economies
    of the US’s industrial competitors in tatters. In spite of that we did not do things
    for our nation’s best economic interest between the WWs resulting in the
    Great Depression and still hadn’t really pulled out of it before entering WWII.
    After WWII the US was the only major industrial economy left that hadn’t
    been demolished by the war on its soil. The US was thus uniquely positioned
    to tap into sheer bottomless energy resources with it’s oil companies,
    it had no serious industrial competitors left, and these wrecked industrial countries,
    especially its vanquished former enemies, Germany and Japan, provided
    huge markets for American products.
    So no, it sure wasn’t “peer pressure”. Anything but that.
    But the historic circumstances sure did help.

    As for doing what’s right and in our best interest….I don’t think there is a conflict.
    I think reducing greenhouse gas emissions and
    increasing energy use efficiency is the right thing to do.
    And I also think it is the best interest of the US to so,
    and the only way to do that is to reduce oil dependency.
    It’s really a win/win situation.
    The sooner the better.

    Tox.

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