Gas Prices… And it's solution?

  • @cystic:


    IMHO, the big question is whether or not the gas prices are a real problem. I recently read an article in the paper which said that adjusted for inflation, gas prices in the early 80’s cost $2.50 to $3.00 a gallon which makes me question whether or not this is a really significant cost increase. Of course this was not too long after the OPEC embargos of the 70’s and the Iran hostage crisis.

    I do think it would be great to wean ourselves off petroleum for many reasons (reliance on OPEC, greenhouse warming, etc.) however there is no easy way to do this. The current infrastructure of most western nations makes it impossible to go back to a pre-automotive transportation system and there really are big limitations that prevent widespread adoption of mass transportation from ever having a huge impact here. I think the solution will have to come from new technologies, but it won’t be the hydrogen car because there is no way to get the hydrogen without using large amounts of energy (which comes from ???).

    What I think will have to happen is to go with alternative sources for electricity (wind power and nuclear are the only feasible possibilities today) and perhaps the use of biomass technologies (conversion of agricultural by-products) to create synthetic oil where it is needed.

    a car with a diesel engine may be refitted to run on Canola oil . . . :D

    Okay, but that doesn’t really help relieve ourselves of the real beneficial use for oil in this country, and that’s our economy. Without oil, how do you plan on transporting goods via truck, ship, or airplane? Can 747’s be refitted to run on Canola oil? How about a cargo ship?

    I see the value in getting ourselves off of mideast oil dependence, but I don’t think it’s plausible to assume that we can do so and still maintain the status of economic powerhouse that we are. :-?

    Here’s an idea…we drill our own oil. Alaska. 'Nuff said.

  • and what do you do when the oil runs out

  • There’s no solid evidence to prove that oil will run out anytime soon. I just think it’s premature to expect that we can switch our entire infastructure over to technologies that have yet to be proven.

  • have you read the posts? we’re not proposing switching the infrastructure over yet…we are proposing (well i am anyway) taxing gas to spur the research into those “unproven” technologies. we havent even developed the vehicles yet, so obviously it would be foolish to switch the infrastructure. and there is nothing that says we have to switch cold turkey from gas to hydrogen, or whatever else might be developed. you can phase it out, install both at gas stations and such, until gradually we stop using gas.

    as for oil running out: most scientists agree we have around 50 years, at the most. could they be wrong? yes. but either way, oil is still a limited resource. even if it doesnt run out “anytime soon” it will run out eventually,and we should be planning to counteract that. better we start now then later.

  • @Janus1:

    maybe gas prices should be raised.

    now stay with me.
    I read an article by Andrew Sullivan (i think) in Time magazine, regarding gas prices. advocating increasing them. and after reading his point of view, and thinking about it, i agree.

    first, a gas tax would be beneficial to the economy.
    second, compare gas prices here to Europe. they are much higher in Europe. i heard a figure of around $6 a gallon in England, and im sure they are just as high elsewhere. compared to what we consider high in the US at about $2, thats a significant difference.
    now compare the state of transportation. in Europe, cars are less popular (many people choose mopeds or scooters over cars), they are generally smaller (in Italy for example, a BMW 3 series is considered “full size”) and more fuel efficient (smart car). public transportation is far more prevalent and popular than in the US, and gas consumption is lower.

    now what does this mean? well, nothing for certain. raising gas prices may do nothing more than piss a bunch of people off, and raking in more cash at each gas purchase.

    but more likely, i believe, it will stimulate the innovation of more fuel efficient vehicles, the decline of the ever-present gas-sucking SUV, the research into alternative fuels (like those Hydrogen fuel-cell cars), and perhaps even the expansion of public transportation and decline in personal car ownership.

    to top it off, the nations dependency on oil would go down, and things like invading Iraq for oil would be far less likely to occur (note: i said we invaded iraq for oil, but that was NOT the only reason, discuss on other forums)

    sure it would be unpopular, but in the long run, i think it will be FAR more beneficial than detrimental. even if, as some people claim, it will unfairly affect lower and middle class people more, because they depend more on their cars. if that does happen, it will be a short-term negative, something necessary for growth and advancement.

    Good point! :) 8)
    Never thought of it that way…
    gas prices in most of KY are 1.99

  • @cystic:

    This is a 100 year old house. It is well insulated with a granite foundation and walls. The heating is forced air which goes into every room. The windows are double glass. My big problem is going to be the heat in the summer. I will need to get central air for this, i believe. If you ever make your way here, you are welcome to see it.

    Thanks for that offer.
    Should you ever go to northern Germany, tell me and i will show you around.
    For the insulation and the summer: Wether you need air conditioning or not will mainly depend on how well the roof is insulated. Insulation works both ways :). It will get hot in the attic/loft, not in the lower rooms. I have heard that argument here as well (they don’t have well insulted homes here because of the summer… they seay), but if insulation keeps warm air in, it will also keep warm air out. Leaves the heat from direct radiation. For that, you need the attic. Air insulates well, and as long as there is not much air exchange between attic and rest of the house, you should be safe. … Well, you will see in summer wether i am right or wrong i suppose :)

  • Gas is stilll cheap. it is 2.30 where I live and my driving habits are yet to change. At least suv sales are down 20%.

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