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[P]
Gas (petrol) is cheap!

By gregholmes in Op-Ed
Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:35:02 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Gas prices are through the roof! Its an environmental calamity! We must have more mass transit!

Oh, wait, that's the story I was gonna post a few months ago.


Actually, as I was looking to get a tank of gas, right after the US counterattack began, I saw it was about $1.16/gallon at the cheap stations, right where it's been for a week or so. About what it cost 10-15 years ago, come to think of it.

Just wondering why we never see k5 stories saying "oops, I was wrong. Guess we don't need more mass transit. Guess we aren't rapidly running out of the stuff. Sorry about those SUV cracks, too."

Well? Everytime the price spikes we get calls for alternatives and evil oil company stories.

The real story, which never gets mentioned, is the amazing stability of oil prices over the years. In fact, the real price of gasoline falls over time - what else costs what it did 10-15 years ago?

Here's one guy's chart and some U.S. government info. It jibes with my own experience; how about yours? If your state/country has had steep tax hikes, you should factor that out :)

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Gas (petrol) is cheap! | 67 comments (65 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Mass transit and alternative fuels (4.25 / 8) (#3)
by Skippy on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:20:23 PM EST

The reasons I tell people we should use mass transit and alternative fuels have nothing to do with the price of gas (as I don't own a car and use public transport to get around). The reasons I give are environmental and political.

I tell people we should use alchohol as an alternative fuel all the time. It's non-polluting, cheaper, renewable (yeah, I know we aren't running out of petroleum), we aren't dependend on other countries for its supply and gasoline engines can be fairly easily converted.

I push public transport for the same reasons. Its good for the environment and reduces our reliance on foreign controlled power supplies.

Using gasoline to the extent we do and being so dependent on it is a choice. Collectively, we make it so none of us has room to bitch about the price.

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #

re: Mass transit and alternative fuels (2.75 / 4) (#5)
by gregholmes on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:34:29 PM EST

The reasons I tell people we should use mass transit and alternative fuels have nothing to do with the price of gas (as I don't own a car and use public transport to get around). The reasons I give are environmental and political.

You, then, are a principled advocate. I congratulate you (as I disagree with you) :)

Using gasoline to the extent we do and being so dependent on it is a choice. Collectively, we make it so none of us has room to bitch about the price.

Agreed! That's why I'm celebrating (and tanking up) not bitching.



[ Parent ]
Why do you disagree? (3.75 / 4) (#24)
by Skippy on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:02:06 PM EST

Why shouldn't we explore alternative fuels? Why shouldn't mass transit be more convenient and plentiful? Why should we continue to allow other countries power over us if we can be self-sufficient? I guess I never have understood the inertial mindset "This works well enough. Why try something that might be better." I'm curious as to why you are against these two things that (arguably) benefit society?

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]
answers (5.00 / 1) (#42)
by gregholmes on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:44:00 AM EST

Why shouldn't we explore alternative fuels?

Go for it! Convince me I'm likely to get a good return on my investment, and I'll help.

Why shouldn't mass transit be more convenient and plentiful?

Because people in general don't actually want it enough, at least not enough to pay for it with ticket prices. They seem to like freedom, privacy, and flexibility.

Why should we continue to allow other countries power over us if we can be self-sufficient?

Agreed. Lets drill in the frozen tundra, rather that buy it from poverty stricken third worlders.



[ Parent ]
ROI (5.00 / 1) (#59)
by janra on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:31:21 PM EST

Go for it! Convince me I'm likely to get a good return on my investment, and I'll help.

If everybody thought like that, nobody would ever do research. It sometimes takes years between discovery and application; in all that time, you can't make money off of it. Yet people still do research, because it eventually pays off, and there's a chance it will pay off big.

Why shouldn't mass transit be more convenient and plentiful?

Because people in general don't actually want it enough, at least not enough to pay for it with ticket prices. They seem to like freedom, privacy, and flexibility.

I don't know... I've lived in a city with convenient mass transit, and it was used a lot. I've also lived in a city with inconvenient mass transit, and people used the same argument you just used for not improving the transit system. Reach your own conclusions :)


--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
can't yet (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by gregholmes on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 01:05:56 PM EST

I don't know... I've lived in a city with convenient mass transit, and it was used a lot. I've also lived in a city with inconvenient mass transit, and people used the same argument you just used for not improving the transit system. Reach your own conclusions :)

I can't reach my own conclusions until I know:

  1. Actual usage rates, vs. perception.
  2. Rate of subsidy, which was my point. Sure, if you make other people pay for it, you'll get some happy riders. I'll let you buy gas for my car, too :)
  3. Other forms of goverment sponsered fiddling ... is this one of those cities where they say "traffic's bad, so the solution is to stop building roads and make it worse, so everyone will ride the bus"? Yeah, people can be herded onto public transport ... so can livestock.


[ Parent ]
EU and alcohol (3.33 / 3) (#16)
by squigly on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:36:10 PM EST

I tell people we should use alchohol as an alternative fuel all the time.

I agree. Especially in Europe - One of the side effects of subsidies and quotas is that we have huge piles of organic matter essentially rotting in storage (someone please correct me if this is anti-Euro bullshit). A large proportion of this could be brewed and distilled into alcohol. Europe is certainly not a major oil centre. There would be very little harm caused

What interest me most about alcohol though is speculation that it could be used in fuel cells. Alcohol is a more convenient to store than liquid hydrogen, less explosive, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was greater energy per unit volume.

Using gasoline to the extent we do and being so dependent on it is a choice. Collectively, we make it so none of us has room to bitch about the price.

If there was an alcohol powered car - and infrastructure to support it, I would buy one. I don't have the choice. Why don't I get to bitch?

[ Parent ]

Hidden costs. (3.90 / 10) (#4)
by claudius on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:31:12 PM EST

I find petrol rather expensive once one factors in all the externalities. The obvious thing to point to is greenhouse gas emissions, however I would like to identify something else entirely: Consider, for example, any of the various wars we have been involved in in recent times in the Middle East. If the West had no addiction to cheap petrol, then political comings and goings of the gulf states that threaten our supply of cheap oil would be as irrelevant as any of the African conflicts we routinely ignore. Want to defeat a Saddam Hussein? Use the much-vaunted "Yankee knowhow" to find practical alternative energy resources and technologies and thereby render his nation's primary commodity irrelevant.

Part of the price for those big SUVs that you and Rush Limbaugh are so enamoured of is attacks like the WTC and expensive conflicts that your grandchildren will be paying off.

nonsense (2.41 / 12) (#6)
by gregholmes on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:40:30 PM EST

Part of the price for those big SUVs that you and Rush Limbaugh are so enamoured of is attacks like the WTC and expensive conflicts that your grandchildren will be paying off

The bin Ladens of the world hate the success of the West. They hate its freedom. They hate that we let women work and not cover every square inch of their bodies.

It wouldn't matter a bit to them if we all walked/biked to work and had euro-prices for fuel (well, we'd be poorer; they might like that).



[ Parent ]
Re: nonsense (4.20 / 5) (#10)
by claudius on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:12:27 PM EST

The U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, bombing and sanctions vs. Iraq, and unmitigated support of Israel has been stated by Osama Bin Laden as the primary reason for his directing terrorist activities towards the United States. And as the primary cause of his hate. None of these activities would be required if the West did not have a large economic stake in the cheap oil it buys from the Middle East.

You may like wars just as you like your SUV. I do not. I find conflicts such as this one, fought (ultimately) over cheap petrol, to be an enormous waste of resources and a source of human suffering that could be avoided by some intelligent R&D choices. I firmly believe that if we wish to invest in R&D for national security purposes that the money is better spent finding alternatives to your cheap oil than, say, financing a $200-billion missile defense system that has little hope of working. The money is better spent subsidizing the opportunity costs of adopting these technologies so that their impact is felt by all in the U.S. The money is better spent acting like responsible stewards of American democracy rather than its spoiled children.


[ Parent ]
It must be true... I heard it on TV (2.83 / 6) (#12)
by Duke Machesne on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:18:41 PM EST

Do you honestly believe that people attacked our buildings because it keeps them awake at night thinking of all the fun we're having waving our flags in strip clubs?

Do you honestly believe that?

__________________________________________________
arts schoolsweight loss
[ Parent ]

don't know what you heard on tv ... (4.00 / 4) (#17)
by gregholmes on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:38:38 PM EST

Yes, I honestly believe Islamic extremists are whipped into a fenzy of hate quite easily because they think we are wicked, and see that we prosper anyway (tremendously, compared to their masses). They do fear our freedom, and the "corrupting" effect it has on their countries and cultures. They say so frequently.

I also agree with the former prime minister of Israel that they hate Israel because they hate the West, not hate the West because of its ties to Israel. In any case, we're certainly not going to stop supporting the only democracy in the region.



[ Parent ]
They say so frequently (none / 0) (#67)
by vectro on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 10:27:17 PM EST

The original poster referred to those responsible for the attacks, whereas you use "Islamic extremists". As I'm sure you'll be able to find someone who claims to be an islamic extremist to say anything, I will instead pose the question regarding the terrorists.

Therefore, perhaps you could provide some evidence that "They say so frequently." Certainly Bin Laden dosen't.

As for your claim that Israel is the only democratic government in the region, it is plainly false. A quick check in the CIA factbook shows that Lebanon (who borders on Israel) is a republic. Incidentally, Lebanon was the first country I checked after Israel. There are certainly a number of reasons we might support Israel, but the mere fact that they are democratic is not one of them.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
Uhm.. (4.00 / 3) (#14)
by Inoshiro on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:22:39 PM EST

Wouldn't they be poorer since we wouldn't be spending as much on their oil?



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
Do what? (4.08 / 12) (#7)
by Rand Race on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:42:15 PM EST

So, due to steady gasoline prices, our supply of fossil fuels are infinite, don't harm the environment, nor produce emmissions harmfull to humans? And, again due to 15 years of steady prices, SUVs are safe, efficient modes of transportation that put those filthy mass transit systems to shame?

Sorry but we do need more mass transit, the supply of oil is not infinite, and SUVs are overpriced, environmentally disasterous, pretentious junk... regardless of the price of oil.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Actually, (4.00 / 6) (#9)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:52:24 PM EST

If you look at the emissions results from tests on SUVs, they're cleaner than the average car on the road. Of course, this is because they're newer, but the fact remains that you're hyping a myth.

As for pretentious, that depends on what you use it for. I hate people who buy them just to drive around in, but I do know people who actually use SUVs for their intended purpose.

Oh, and about that oil thing: if you actually do honest math, your only conclusion will be that while there is a finite amount, we're unlikely to use it up in the next century, contrary to leftist rantings. You see, we will have used up what we've already discovered - that's true, and is what the ecofreaks are on about - but we're discovering new oil at a still accelerating pace. In other words, we probably haven't even used more than a small fraction of what exists.

Incidentally, mass transit systems powered by electricity derived from coal burning power plants are not particularly better than modern SUVs, after you consider transmission losses, coal's inherent dirtiness, left over coal sludge pools, the relative lack of emissions controls on power plants compared to SUVs, the typical underutilization of mass transit(which is true even in areas where it is THE way to get around, and is NOT a feature of our "car society,") and so on. Until we have cleaner power sources, you will not improve the environment; hiding the dirty power in someone else's back yard does not solve any problems.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
What myth? (3.66 / 3) (#13)
by Inoshiro on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:21:27 PM EST

"So, due to steady gasoline prices, our supply of fossil fuels are infinite, don't harm the environment, nor produce emmissions harmfull to humans?" -- is not a myth. AFAIK, breathing the fumes of an SUV leads to death. Unless this has changed, the emissions are still harmful. Since the SUV is less efficient (MPG wise) than a Pontiac Fireyfly, you could say in produces more "less bad" emissions. Think of it as 2(1/2) = 1(1). Either way, you get bad emissions which could be avoided by using alternatives.

One might also consider that in addition to coal (which have much more efficient scrubbers and cleanup methods than those found in your SUV's catalytic converter), there are water, wind, solar, nuclear, and wave generators also producing eletricity. Some of these from people who run their own home power setups, and sell the excess to the power company.

I'm surprised that you didn't attack bicycle power as bad because people eat foods, foods which have been packaged in plastic (oil!), shipped by truck (diesel!) or boat (even more diesel!!) or plane (jet fuel!!!). Or the fact that farms need eletricity and farm machinery to produce food efficiently enough to support our populace :)



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
What I'd like to see (3.50 / 2) (#21)
by garbanzo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:53:06 PM EST

...is comparisons done in person-miles-per-gallon or something like that. For instance: carrying 8 people in a Ford Excursion is probably cleaner than driving 8 people in 4 Ford Escorts. Or 8 people in 8 Ford Escorts.

Problem is that most of the time I see an Excursion with 1 or 2 people in it. If we are going to continue (in North America) to commute one-to-a-vehicle then the SUVs are more problematic.

For the record: I have been carpooling on my commute about 66% of the time for the past year and I drive a '01 Honda Civic coupe. Before that, I drove a Dodge Ram 1500 with a 5.9 liter V-8. Been part of the problem, but I've changed my ee-vil ways.



sure, it's all fun and games--until someone puts an eye out

[ Parent ]
Heh (3.33 / 3) (#22)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:01:18 PM EST

The myth is that SUVs are dirtier than most cars. They're not, because most cars are older ones not in good repair, some of which were never all that clean to begin with.

As for coal scrubbers, you clearly have been reading utility company propaganda or something. Coal plants account for well over half the carbon emissions in the midwest, and I suspect elsewhere in the US. By comparison, the percentage contribution of cars has been shrinking, and was never much above 15%, as I recall. Water, wind, solar, nuclear, and wave power, while they are in some use, and while some(particularly wave) sources are very promising for the future, produce a tiny minority of our power in the US; coal is king.

The difference between mass transit and bikes is that people eat food regardless of whether they ride bikes, whereas when you build and continuously run a light rail system, you consume a WHOLE LOT of coal power that wasn't being used before, even when people aren't riding! Right now, I would guess that a mass transit system that actually was usable to navigate a good sized city without a car would cause more carbon emissions than if you just had people driving cars. Of course, you can build noncoal power plants, but until you do, it is stupid to talk about mass transit as an environmental consideration.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
That's a misrepresentation (5.00 / 1) (#43)
by spiv on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:56:08 AM EST

The myth is that SUVs are dirtier than most cars. They're not, because most cars are older ones not in good repair, some of which were never all that clean to begin with.

I don't think that's what people mean when they say "SUVs are dirtier than cars". Allow me phrase it more explicitly for you:

"SUVs are dirtier than cars of a similar age."

Be fair, and don't compare apples with oranges. You are knocking down a strawman.

The reason why it is important that you compare vehicles of a similar vintage is that you want to know if the environment would be better if everyone who bought an SUV had bought an ordinary car instead. Your "myth" misses this point.

Now tell me: Are 2001 model SUVs cleaner or dirtier than 2001 model cars?

-Spiv.



[ Parent ]
I'll answer that (4.00 / 2) (#48)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:05:22 PM EST

But first, you have to tell me which cars and which SUVs. There are "SUVs" out there that are among the most popular(ie, the cheapest,) which are built on car chassis, using engines and drivetrains and suspensions built for cars, which weigh the same as or close to a full size sedan. They often compare favorably to those sedans in terms of emissions because they have newer designs than our full size sedans, most of which haven't been redesigned in any substantial way in many, many moons. (Some foriegn ones have recent revisions, but they're monstrously expensive, and so few sell that they have essentially zero environmental impact.) On the other hand, there are horror story monster vehicles like the Funmog that nobody in the US actually has that belch fumes like a semi. Then there are vehicles in between.

Similarly, there are cars that get 80-100mpg and even some total electric cars - but nobody is buying them in any quantity, because they're impractical unless you're single and never want to leave the city you live in. On the other hand, there are full size sedans that make many SUVs look like shit.

This "cars vs SUVs" thing is inherently unworkable. Furthermore, it is irrelevant, because there is no way in hell you are going to make everyone drive around in overglorified golf carts to "save the earth" anyway. Even if you were right, your ideas would never be adopted, because people have multiple goals, only one of which involves concern for the environment. They also worry about safety, range, passenger capacity, cargo capacity, style, comfort, features, and so on, and there are a lot more of them than you. This means that in a democracy, you lose. Now, they're not all buying SUVs; as I said earlier, the new big growth segment is actually sport wagons, and there's been a small resurgence in sedans too. However, it should tell you something to go look at the sales projections vs the actual sales of hybrid and electric vehicles.

People do not want those things.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Good point, but... (4.50 / 2) (#53)
by spiv on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:22:29 PM EST

But first, you have to tell me which cars and which SUVs.

Good point. However, I think it would be reasonable to pick a typical or cars, ones that are popular, have 4 doors, have a large amount of luggage room... basically, you want to compare the cars that would've been bought if you'd said to the owners of SUVs, "What car would you have bought if you didn't buy an SUV?", so that you compare cars and SUVs of similar functionality.

And obviously, at this point, we are heavily into the realm of the hypothetical and the subjective.

This "cars vs SUVs" thing is inherently unworkable.

I agree with that, to some extent. Both categories are too broad to be able to make simple generalised comparisions between them.

Even if you were right,

About what? Read my post again. I haven't expressed an opinion on this subject.

What I did is point out that you had carefully constructed a strawman argument. I mentioned this, because I distrust arguments from people who argue using such techniques. I wanted to force you to acknowledge that your "But they're cleaner than older cars" line of argument was irrelevant to the discussion.

That's why I finished my post with a direct question. I wanted to know what you thought about the real issue. It turns out that you are guessing too ;)

As it happens, I'm against suburban SUVs, not just for environmental reasons. But I would like to think that if I saw someone else use an irrelevant strawman argument twice in the same thread, that I would challenge them on it also -- even if I agreed with their conclusion.

For your reference, I see no reason why an SUV should be require any more than marginally more petrol (not gas, I'm from Australia ;) than a large car (assuming they were manufactured at the same time). I'm no automobile expert, but I would fully expect that they'd use much of the same componentry and technology, so they should be as efficient, except for the fact that a 4WD is generally a larger, heavier vehicle (which is more efficient for some workloads, but *not* for the typical suburban one of mum driving her son to a soccer game). There is also a small environmental cost associated with manufacturing a larger vehicle, but this is probably negligible.

Basically, while I disapprove of SUVs environmental impact, they're only marginally worse than cars. I'm more annoyed at their use in suburbia because of the risk of killing pedestrians -- a higher bonnet makes it that much more likely that when you hit a pedestrian, they will go under rather than over. A car is designed so that a pedestrian would just "roll" over the bonnet most of the time. And if there's a bull-bar, the pedestrian has virtually no chance.

I absolutely agree that there are many valid reasons for owning an SUV. Similarly, I agree that there are many valid reasons to use a car, even though I advocate mass transit systems.

-Spiv.



[ Parent ]
Making your own power (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by bgarcia on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:41:25 AM EST

Some of these from people who run their own home power setups, and sell the excess to the power company.
I have relatives who use solar energy to create their own power, and let me tell you, it is NOT cost effective!

The main problems with solar power are reliability of the components and maintenance costs. The lead-acid batteries used to store the energy will need to be replaced about every 10 years. And the solar panels can get damaged, and are very expensive to replace. The other electric components used to convert the solar panel's DC current into a 120 volt AC current can also fail, and they too are expensive to replace.

As much as I'd like to have a reliable alternative to fossil fuels, there just isn't one. Hopefully this will change before too long.

[ Parent ]

References? (3.00 / 2) (#15)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:26:59 PM EST

Could we have a link or even a paper reference for the statement that :

f you look at the emissions results from tests on SUVs, they're cleaner than the average car on the road. Of course, this is because they're newer, but the fact remains that you're hyping a myth?

Also shouldn't the real comparison be SUV vs. Other really expensive vehicles that are currently available, such as for example those hybrid or electric vehicles that are consistently decried as being "not economical" for auto companies to produce due to their high cost?

Or what about a comparison of "Pollution if we all drive SUV's that cost a lot of money" versus "Pollution if the socialistic government infringed upon our liberties and spent tax dollars on mass transit instead of on supporting foreign oil dictatorships"?

Your concern about mass-transit being powered by unclean sources is valid. I would like some support for your statement that ystems powered by electricity derived from coal burning power plants are not particularly better than modern SUVs, does this data really exist?



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Well, (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:01:37 PM EST

Unfortunately, I do not have source data for the comparison of SUVs to average cars on the road, but it was cited by my area's "Gateway Clean Air Program" in a brochure designed to alleviate fears of owners of big vehicles that they might not be able to pass the inspections. I'm assuming it is true on the grounds that this is an organization that normally, if it had a bias, would be biased towards doom and gloom, not happy fun goodness.

As for comparing SUVs to hybrids, when you can compare the utility of an SUV to that of a two seat hybrid with no trunk to speak of and a range of perhaps 150 miles, please do so. The fact is, they're not impractical to make, but they are nearly impossible to sell in large quantities. Nobody wants them, because they're a pain in the ass. However, SUV sales growth is slowing, and sport wagons are the new growth segment.

And finally, about power sources. I don't know how it is elsewhere, but in Missouri, well over half our carbon emissions are from coal plants. Increasing the demand on those plants in order to reduce the already minority carbon emissions from cars of any kind makes no sense at all. I suspect someone like perdida might have more info on coal power problems than I do; I have no links, and am relying mainly on the argument of the environmentalists themselves against coal plants.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
sport UTILITY vehicle? (3.00 / 1) (#26)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:59:18 PM EST

As for comparing SUVs to hybrids, when you can compare the utility of an SUV to that of a two seat hybrid with no trunk to speak of and a range of perhaps 150 miles, please do so

How many SUVs have more than two seats taken up during their trip? How many SUVs make trips of under 20 miles as compared to trips of over 150? How many 4-door luxury cars that would produce a comfortable trip of over-150 miles are used instead of SUVs? What is the specific need for an SUV? Driving offroad to pick wildflowers?

Ah...whatever. Most people don't need an SUV and they're imposing upon me when they do it. If there really are people that need to travel regularly on dirt roads awash with streams and boulders then I'm sure they're using a Land Rover or a Jeep.



"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Sine you specifically mention it (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:19:35 PM EST

How many SUVs have more than two seats taken up during their trip?
Seeing as the growth market in SUVs(according to the St. Louis auto dealers' association anyway,) was soccer moms who wanted to haul kids and groceries and so on, I'm guessing quite a few. Most of them are not in the hands of single yuppies you know.
How many 4-door luxury cars that would produce a comfortable trip of over-150 miles are used instead of SUVs?
How much lumber can you haul in your 4 door luxury car? How much more fuel efficient is it(probably less, but ignore that detail since reality contradicts your prejudices?)
What is the specific need for an SUV?
I already agreed with you on this, though I can say that if you can only afford one vehicle for a family of five, an SUV is not a bad choice. It can serve as a truck, a car, and so on.
Most people don't need an SUV and they're imposing upon me when they do it.
In precisely the same way that you're imposing on me by breathing air. Get over it.
If there really are people that need to travel regularly on dirt roads awash with streams and boulders then I'm sure they're using a Land Rover or a Jeep.
That isn't what most SUVs are built to do, but ignore that fact too, since, once again, reality contradicts your prejudices.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Bah! (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:46:06 PM EST

Seeing as the growth market in SUVs(according to the St. Louis auto dealers' association anyway,) was soccer moms who wanted to haul kids and groceries and so on, I'm guessing quite a few. Most of them are not in the hands of single yuppies you know.

Reference or predjudice masquerading as information?
How much lumber can you haul in your 4 door luxury car? How much more fuel efficient is it(probably less, but ignore that detail since reality contradicts your prejudices?)

How many SUVs are used for hauling lumber? I have NEVER seen one with lumber in it. Pick-ups, yes, SUVs no. Most SUVs that I see have one or two people in them. Yes, it's not good data but here's a personal anecdote. Today on the way into work (40 minute commute) I counted 123 vehicles with the flag flying proudly. 34 of those were vehicles that were not SUVs. I excluded pick-ups and work-vehicles from the survey. Only 17 of the vehicles had more than two passengers. Unfortunately I didn't record the distribution of occupancy accross vehicle type. Perhaps Los Angeles is different to Missouri.
Where is the data to show that an SUV is more fuel efficient than a 4-door car? Unless you have that then you're just saying "SUV good, car bad". A nice inversion I'll give you, but until you show me data as opposed to telling me what your friend's cousin's brother heard on some radio station from the St.Louis car dealers association (whoever they are) then your assertions remain merely perverse.
In precisely the same way that you're imposing on me by breathing air. Get over it

No, it's not precisely the same. I don't emit particulate matter, and I'm willing to bet that my NO2, sulfrous oxide and other emissions are less than an SUVs.
That isn't what most SUVs are built to do,

So what are they built to do? Transport soccer kids who should be bicycling to their healthful activities. Oh darn! they can't do that because the roads are full of dangerous SUVs

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Um... yeah... (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:07:17 PM EST

How many SUVs are used for hauling lumber?
Every day, or occasionally? The latter, I'd say quite a lot.
Perhaps Los Angeles is different to Missouri.
I imagine it is, in fact.
Where is the data to show that an SUV is more fuel efficient than a 4-door car?
If you care, you can get mileage info from car manufacturers. I think a Mercury Grand Marquis(the standard for four door luxury cars in the US,) gets around 20-25mpg. SUVs I know of get between 15 and 35. Clearly, the smaller and newer car-based SUVs get the better mileage, and they're also the ones most people buy, due to cost, so odds are the SUV has the better mileage overall. As for emissions, given modern emissions controls, that is largely a function of mileage.
I don't emit particulate matter, and I'm willing to bet that my NO2, sulfrous oxide and other emissions are less than an SUVs.
I would bet that you do emit particulate matter, though perhaps not through the orifice you're thinking of. All your emissions are probably less than an SUV, but of course, so is your top speed, your carrying capacity, and so on. That's uninteresting. What is interesting is that you feel that you have some moral authority to tell other people how they should live their lives. Typical of your breed, I suppose. If you don't feel the need for something, then clearly if it has any negative side effects, it should be banned, right? People like you are the reason the US isn't a free country.
So what are they built to do? Transport soccer kids who should be bicycling to their healthful activities. Oh darn! they can't do that because the roads are full of dangerous SUVs
To a kid on a bike, an SUV is little more dangerous than a compact sedan. Both are fatal collisions. The truth is, for most kids, their healthful activities as you put it are neither close enough by nor timed properly to allow for bicycling, even if we had paths for them to ride - and we don't have those paths, either. In addition, one might be forgiven for thinking that kids who are about to play a game of soccer would like to arrive at it well rested, and if one had ever played such a game, you might understand why.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
References, references (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 06:34:32 PM EST

You seem to studiously avoid any reference to support any of your points.
The latter, I'd say quite a lot.
Well, because I don't want what you're saying to be true I'll say not a lot. So where does that leave us? Nowhere. You should provide something to back up your opinion
If you care, you can get mileage info from car manufacturers. I think a Mercury Grand Marquis(the standard for four door luxury cars in the US,) gets around 20-25mpg. SUVs I know of get between 15 and 35.

Care to provide a source/reference? Also what is the relationship between miles-per-gallon and particulate emissions? I can see that there is probably some sort of monotonically increasing relationship, but is it a strict linear correlation?
What is interesting is that you feel that you have some moral authority to tell other people how they should live their lives. Typical of your breed, I suppose. If you don't feel the need for something, then clearly if it has any negative side effects, it should be banned, right? People like you are the reason the US isn't a free country.

Ah yes, in the absence of fact resort to insult. Also make sure that you invert the "oppression". Poor lil' ol' SUV drivers are being oppressed by the PC, green, communist crowd.
Bollocks. Your right to emit particulate matter stops when it causes me ill health.
What is interesting is that you feel that you have some moral authority to tell other people how they should live their lives. Typical of your breed, I suppose. If you don't feel the need for clean air and safe cycling, then clearly if it has any impact upon my consumption, it should be banned, right? People like you are the reason the US isn't a free country.

Luckily the US has a constitution which emphasizes Freedom. My freedom to accumulate wealth and happiness as long as it doesn't affect you negatively. Luckily that constitution also means that you don't have the right to affect me negatively.
People like you just don't know what Freedom is.
he truth is, for most kids, their healthful activities as you put it are neither close enough by nor timed properly to allow for bicycling, even if we had paths for them to ride - and we don't have those paths, either.

Truth is we spend money that could go towards developing cities that are a pleasure to cycle in on building more roads so that more people can sit in more cars getting more slowly to work. Truth is that more people are encouraged to live at greater distance from their home and recreation. Truth is that there is a failure of planning, a failure of intelligence and a failure of this society.
If a kid can't cycle to his soccer game and still play then he's either so unfit that he won't be able to play soccer or else he lives a ridiculous distance away.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
OK (1.00 / 3) (#35)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:32:31 PM EST

Show me one person that a doctor of good reputation and reasonable experience claims has been harmed measurably or noticably by other peoples' vehicles' particulate emissions and who is not employed in a field that has caused this to happen in ways that don't apply to normal people(ie, if your job involves examining running cars' exhaust pipes all day, you don't count.) Just one, please. Oh, and try and link it to vehicles with modern pollution controls.

It just doesn't happen. It is a myth. It is a falsehood. It is horseshit.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
You fail (2.00 / 1) (#38)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:45:46 PM EST

to provide evidence to back up your intemperate statements and then demand some from me in exchange? I think not.

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Well, (3.00 / 1) (#39)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 09:08:53 PM EST

Seeing as you're the one making claims that people are being harmed, and seeing as in the absence of said harm, general principles dictate that people should be free to do as they wish, YOU are the one who needs to provide the evidence; any claims I might make are rather irrelevant to the heart of the matter, which is that you're claiming on the basis of nothing more than your blind fears that other people should be restricted from things they enjoy and/or benefit from.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
So (5.00 / 2) (#50)
by M0dUluS on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:58:06 PM EST

what you're saying is that I should be free not to be harmed by automobile emissions?

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
Good grief. (4.00 / 1) (#41)
by BurntHombre on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 11:45:01 PM EST

Ah, the old "pearls before swine" technique: You're too good to back up all your anecdotal statements with real evidence. Talk about pot calling the kettle black. Nice work!

[ Parent ]
Oh modulus. (none / 0) (#55)
by Kapoor on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:01:37 AM EST

I love you. A fellow anecdotal counter. Nice to know i'm not alone.

[ Parent ]
Cleaner how? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by DesiredUsername on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:26:45 PM EST

Per gallon or per mile?

My understanding was that SUV's do produce less emissions per gallon but that the MPGs are so bad that they produce more emissions per mile. Since the object is to get places, not to see who can use the most gas, "per gallon" is a pretty useless metric.

In any case, the post you are responding to doesn't ask you to compare SUV's to cars, it asks you to compare to mass transit. Tell me SUV's have got electric monorails beat on emissions...

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Mass Transit is not economical! (4.50 / 2) (#45)
by bgarcia on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 06:59:19 AM EST

Tell me SUV's have got electric monorails beat on emissions...
Ok, all you city-dwellers, I'll let you in on a little secret.

Are you ready? Come a little closer. Put your ear right up to the monitor...

MOST OF US DON'T LIVE IN THE CITY!!!

Buses don't go everywhere we need to go. We're never going to use mass transit.

Even over long distances, buses are too inconvenient. I can pay $20 to take a bus from Monroeville to State College, the trip takes 4.5 hours, and I have to wait until a particular time for the bus to depart.

OR, I can take my SUV, leave whenever it is convenient for me, and make the trip in 2.5 hours. Oh, and while getting about 20 MPG, even if gas prices climb to $2.00/gallon, it only costs me about $15 worth of gas.

Face it - mass transit is a failure. It will work in some specific cases, where population is high and several people need to get to the same spot, but otherwise it costs more and is less convenient.

[ Parent ]

RE:Mass Transit is not economical! I call BS (4.50 / 2) (#58)
by bored on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 05:00:32 PM EST

I assume you are talking about the US.

MOST OF US DON'T LIVE IN THE CITY!!!

You sir, are wrong! In 2000 80.3% of Americans lived in metropolitan areas, up slightly from 79.8% in 1990

Even over long distances, buses are too inconvenient.

I will give you this one, but understand that if they were used more often there would be more departures, bus stations etc. which would make them more convenient. They are in some ways more convenient if you look for them. For instance you can spend that 4 hours on the bus, with a laptop programming and make money or learn something.

it costs more

This is because the current system is broken and you failed to completely compare the costs. I noticed right away that you forgot to add in maintenance costs for your SUV. Assume you paid $30k for you vehicle and you plan to drive it 100k miles. That's $.30 a mile. Now, assume it takes you 8 years to put the 100k miles on it and you pay $500 a year in maintenance (oil, battery, tires etc). That's another 4k. Which is $.04 a mile. Insurance at say $750 a year is another $.06. Now at 1.40 a gallon and you get 20Mpg that's another $.08 a mile. So, the total is more like $.48. I assume your going about 175 miles or so if it takes you 2.5 hours. Now your cost is more like $84. Now there is another nasty thing which is harder to qualify. There tends to be more (and bigger) roads because everyone is running around in their cars. This is a big hidden cost. Take a look at how much your state spends on roads from your your state income and property taxes as well as the federal grants it gets. Your share of the road maintenance each year is probably another thousand dollars or more depending on how much you make and how nice your house is. Then there is the 'world power' subsidy you pay to help keep your gas prices low.

The bus on the other hand has a slightly higher cost per mile say $2 a mile. Look around though there are probably 20 people on that bus. Buses also have a bunch of fixed costs, like bus stations. These fixed costs get cheaper per person as more people ride, as long as the stations are at capacity. Basically even if your ticket cost $40 its really cheaper for you to ride the bus. If you drive a cheaper car then you can probably cut about 2/3 off that cost, at which point the bus vs the car is pretty much the same cost. Now you just have to pray that more people see the light so your convenience factor gets better.



[ Parent ]
Corrections for you... (4.00 / 1) (#61)
by bgarcia on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 07:44:42 AM EST

You sir, are wrong! In 2000 80.3% of Americans lived in metropolitan areas, up slightly from 79.8% in 1990
And if you were to look up the definition of metropolitan area, you would see that it includes much more than cities:
...generally there are both urban and rural territory within both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.
I know that I live in a "metropolitan area", but I assure you that I don't live in a city.
I will give you this one, but understand that if they were used more often there would be more departures, bus stations etc. which would make them more convenient.
And if they were cheaper and more convenient, I would use them, etc. etc.

You can talk hypothetically all day, but the fact is that RIGHT NOW, it is expensive and inconvenient for the majority of people.

They are in some ways more convenient if you look for them. For instance you can spend that 4 hours on the bus, with a laptop programming and make money or learn something.
*Or*, I can get to my destination in 2.5 hours instead of 4.5 hourse, and then spend the extra 2 hours in a confortable, ergonomic setting while I program, make money, or learn something. And I can listen to books on tape during the 2.5 hour drive so that I also learn something during that time.
Assume you paid $30k for you vehicle and you plan to drive it 100k miles. That's $.30 a mile.
And here you are making two big mistakes.

You are assuming that I have a choice - a choice between buying a vehicle, and NOT buying one.

Mass transit does NOT go everywhere you NEED to go! Unless I'm living within walking/biking distance of everywhere I need to be (ie, I live in a big city), then I MUST own a car regardless of whether I plan on riding a bus as much as possible.

The cost of the vehicle itself is to be considered a one-time expense that is applicable to both the bus-rider and the non-bus-rider. Same goes for the insurance costs.

(The second mistake is that you cannot divide the vehicle cost by miles driven. A vehicle depreciates whether it is being driven or not. It is not directly related to mileage.)

After removing vehicle price and insurance costs from your calculations, it comes out to under $15 for that trip, compared to the $20 bus ticket.

There tends to be more (and bigger) roads because everyone is running around in their cars. This is a big hidden cost.
Again, that is an expense that both the bus-rider and the non-bus-rider will both pay.

Let me spell it out for you: you are never going to replace a significant amount of automobile traffic with mass transit. It's too expensive and too inconvenient. The roads are necessary, even if they are filled with delivery vehicles only.

[ Parent ]

SUV's (4.00 / 1) (#25)
by catseye on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 04:41:46 PM EST

I'm really tired of people coming down on SUV's... yes, they use more gas than smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles and cause more pollution than the new hybrid gas-electrics.

When car companies begin manufacturing hybrid gas-electric (or fully electric) vehicles that can carry 5 people comfortably, have enough height that you can travel down dirt roads and over poorly-maintained roads without undercarriage damage, and have the carrying capacity of an SUV or small pickup, then I'll buy one.

Until then, those of us that have to travel on horribly maintained roads, carry passengers, and carry a great deal of stuff (computers, boxes, books, etc.) all the time, will take our SUVs, vans and trucks, not the bus or some ridiculous little subcompact coffin on wheels that gets 80mpg.



[ Parent ]
I'm intrigued (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 05:51:58 PM EST

what do you do for a living? You make it sound like a backwoods library-cum-tech-center-cum-bus-service!
Do you think that people that don't have your special needs should be driving SUVs?

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
[ Parent ]
I believe... (4.66 / 3) (#49)
by beergut on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 12:17:45 PM EST

... that anyone who:
  • wants one
  • can afford one
  • can purchase one
  • can safely drive one
should own one, and drive it. Not because they're "allowed" to, but because they are free to.

I drive a 3/4-ton 4x4 pickup. I will soon be living in the country (if all goes well,) and will use my truck for hauling, towing, and maybe even for a little bit of off-roading. I currently live in the inner city, where I use my truck for hauling, towing, and even a little bit of on-roading. I would not begrudge anyone this freedom, nor would I begrudge anyone the freedom to own an SUV who meets the criteria that I have set out above.

It's been shown that a 2-1/2 ton SUV is immensely more safe in an accident situation than, say, a Geo Metro. Given that, I will equip my wife (should I ever have one) with one, and will see to it that my kids (should such entities ever exist) are hauled around in one.

Does that give my family an unfair advantage in a collision with another, smaller vehicle?

You God-damned right it does. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

Immensely more safe (none / 0) (#66)
by vectro on Wed Oct 17, 2001 at 10:04:36 PM EST

Why is your family more deserving to survive an accident than one that can't afford an SUV?

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]
My situation (4.00 / 1) (#57)
by catseye on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:20:17 PM EST

I'm a Systems Analyst, but many times I have to move computers, manuals and other equipment. I work at a large university, but the roads in the surrounding city are poorly maintained and once you get about 5 miles (or less in some areas) out, the roads are dirt and gravel. As well, there isn't crap to do in this town, so road trips are fairly common, which means packing a group of people into the safest vehicle to drive out of town, which is usually mine or my fiance's. Yes, it costs more, but I feel safer driving in this area in a larger vehicle than in a smaller one. The stretch of highway right outside our town has a large number of crashes and fatalities due to the poor road design (two lanes, no shoulder, no division, lots of big trucks and construction equipment, and hidden cross-roads) and I feel my Jeep Grand Cherokee is more survivable and would handle better in an accident than my friend's Saturn.

In answer to your second question, I think people should be able to drive whatever they want, as long as what they're driving meets current standards. I don't care how much fossil fuel is wasted... the sooner we get rid of it all, the sooner we can be on a more efficient source.

[ Parent ]
did people think gas prices were ever high? (3.85 / 7) (#8)
by speek on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 02:47:04 PM EST

Sorry, I must've missed the time when gas prices were high. When was that? Oh, you're not referring to nearly $2.00/gallon as being high, are you? Please. Gas has always been cheap.

I think the calls for alternatives are based more on other considerations, such as pollution, over-dependence on one resource, the potential for disaster if/when the crunch does arrive, especially if it comes all of a sudden without warning because certian folks had an interest in deceiving people about how much oil was still around.....

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

Who has an interest in deceiving people? (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by roystgnr on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 11:32:07 AM EST

The oil companies? They benefit if people think there is less oil to go around, as then they can justify raising prices to ration out remaining reserves longer.

[ Parent ]
don't agree (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by speek on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 07:18:18 PM EST

Well, I doubt Exxon would really find it in their best interest to stand up and proclaim that their ability to provide oil was in jeopardy because of shortages of natural resources. Somehow, I don't think that would do much good for their stock price. Maybe you think it would because people would think they could charge higher prices, but I think it would more likely indicate that their days were numbered - that they were either going to disappear, or have to spend lots of money on alternative energy strategies.

And, it seems to me, you simply don't see oil executives going around speaking about how limited oil resources are in the world, and that they going to have to raise prices to account for it. I sure don't see that happening, so that would be evidence against your theory. OPEC might have interest in talking a good story about oil shortages, but not Exxon.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Sorry about those SUVs (3.60 / 5) (#11)
by M0dUluS on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:13:25 PM EST

I for one am sorry about the SUVs. Every time one of those wasteful, view-blocking POS passes me I'm sorry that they exist.
While I agree with you that there is definitely massive government intervention to keep gasoline prices artificially low I don't think that this is an argument for continuing single-user gasoline powered transport. It is manifestly inefficient in getting people to work in dense urban areas, contributes to respiratory diseases and involves our country in supporting despotic regimes in order to get c.25% of our oil.
If there were a free-market in this commodity and the costs of redressing the public health effects were built in it would be a lot more expensive than it is now.
+1 FP

"[...]no American spin is involved at all. Is that such a stretch?" -On Lawn
Gas prices not the only cost (4.30 / 10) (#18)
by garbanzo on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:40:07 PM EST

I can think of one very good reason for the USA to look for ways to reduce gasoline consumption: foreign policy. The U.S. is sometimes described as "the world's policeman" but it's a safer bet to refer to it as the world's oil junkie.

Everytime I see news that indicates that fuel cells are penetrating farther into the energy and transportation sectors, I feel a little better. Even though fuel cells may ultimately get most of their hydrogen from the same source (oil and gas) it will be more efficient than burning gasoline and kicking pistons. Not to mention cleaner. Won't miss those "ozone action days" one bit.

The current target for fuel cell vehicles from the Big 3 is about '04 or '05. The Japanese are also working on them.

Imagine how different the past 20 years would have been if we were not oil junkies. Would we have gone to war with Iraq, for example? Probably not.



sure, it's all fun and games--until someone puts an eye out

Not likely (none / 0) (#54)
by goonie on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 03:47:01 AM EST

For the big three to have fuel cell vehicles in production in 2004 or 2005 would require them to have the technology ready now. It's not. It's nowhere near. Hydrogen tanks are too bulky and expensive, as are reformers to get hydrogen from conventional fuels.

[ Parent ]
Odd... (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by janra on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 10:32:51 PM EST

Some friends of mine are designing a hydrogen filling station (ie, to fill up hydrogen powered vehicles) right now. The plan is to have those things available when the cars start showing up in a couple of years, so that there's infrastructure in place so people won't use that as an excuse not to buy the cars.

The reformer they're using is about the size of a shed (8'x6'x6' or thereabouts, IIRC).

There's still a fair bit of work to be done on fuel cells - making them even more efficient and especially cheaper - but look how far gasoline engines have come since the early 1900's. Fuel cells are probably more advanced than gasoline engines were when they first went into production. Why shouldn't they be available?


--
Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
Gas prices (2.25 / 4) (#19)
by J'raxis on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:46:13 PM EST

Gas prices are low again?! Well then let’s all go buy SUVs and waste it all!!!

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]

Okay - Lets look at that graph (3.66 / 3) (#20)
by squigly on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 03:49:07 PM EST

Here is the graph again for reference

Look at that sharp spike in 1990. Thats about a 30% increase in price. This was no doubt caused by the Gulf war.

So, a problem in an area that produces lots of oil causes such a huge rise, doesn't this suggest that we're over reliant on a single source of fuel? If the entire middle east suddenly raised prices, then the cost would rocket. Thats one of the reasons we need alternative fuels. The other reason is that we might find that they are actually better if the automotive industry was willing to spend the same amount on alternative fuels as they are on tradition engines.

It may be cheap, but at what cost? (4.83 / 6) (#32)
by Wing Envy on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:02:32 PM EST

I've read several comments already stating the fact that foreign policy relates entirely too much to our energy consumption, so I've decided to post some facts in light of this. (I apologize for the length of this comment, but I think it is worth seeing.)

OIL RESERVES- in billion barrels (% of world total)
1. Saudi Arabia- 261.7 (25.01%)
2. Iraq- 112.5 (10.75%)
3. UAE- 97.8 (9.35%)
4. Kuwait- 96.5 (9.22%)
5. USA- 29.7 (2.84%)

OIL PRODUCTION- in barrels produced daily
1. Saudi Arabia- 9,145,000 (12.21%)
2. USA- 7,745,000 (10.39%)

OIL CONSUMPTION- barrels consumed daily
1. USA- 18,745,000 (25.36%)
15. Saudi Arabia- 1,335,000 (1.81%)

GAS RESERVES- in billion cubic meters
1. Russian Federation- 48,140 (32.05%)
2. Iran- 23,000 (15.31%)
3. Qatar- 11,500 (7.42%)
4. Saudi Arabia- 11,150 (7.42%)
5. UAE- 6,010 (4%)
6. USA- 4,740 (3.16%)

GAS PRODUCTION
1. USA- 555,600 (22.94%)

GAS CONSUMPTION
1. USA- 654,400 (27.21%)

COAL RESERVES- in million tons
1. USA- 246,643 (25.06%)

COAL PRODUCTION
1. USA- 570.7 (26.7%)

COAL CONSUMPTION
1. USA- 564.1 (25.81%)

As you can see from the above, the only energy source the US has control over is coal. The US relies too heavily on imports of oil and gas. You can find further information @ xist.org on this subject if you're inclined. I personally feel that regardless of what consumers pay, gas and oil cost much more than we are aware of.


You don't get to steal all the deficiency. I want some to.
-mrgoat

Well.... (4.50 / 2) (#33)
by DesiredUsername on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 07:22:46 PM EST

First of all, very very very very good comment. Very insightful, good use of data. However.

Look at this:
OIL RESERVES- in billion barrels (% of world total)
5. USA- 29.7 (2.84%)
OIL PRODUCTION- in barrels produced daily
2. USA- 7,745,000 (10.39%)
OIL CONSUMPTION- barrels consumed daily
1. USA- 18,745,000 (25.36%)
Even if we didn't produce any oil, we have enough reserves to last ~1500 days = 4 years at current usage levels. Factoring in our production gives us even longer. Around 7-8 years, without doing the math.

And of course if we stopped getting oil from overseas, we cut way back on usage and kill off our green laws so fast it would make your head spin so up that to 10 years or more.

And then there are alternatives. We have a lot of land area and even a big ol' desert--perfect for solar...

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
oops (none / 0) (#37)
by Wing Envy on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:37:37 PM EST

I posted my response to you as a comment. I need more coffee ;) It will probably be voted into oblivion because no one is going to understand what the hell I'm talking about. Oh well.


You don't get to steal all the deficiency. I want some to.
-mrgoat
[ Parent ]
I'm confused (none / 0) (#63)
by sonovel on Thu Oct 11, 2001 at 02:26:14 PM EST

I thought that productions is what we pull out of the ground and reserves are what is in the ground.

So what we produce is subtracted from our reserves. So where does the 7-8 years come from?



[ Parent ]
Better sooner than later (5.00 / 4) (#36)
by Wing Envy on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 08:32:42 PM EST

I agree and am aware of the fact that the US could sustain without any imports for a few years, but what are we doing now in case that should happen? The US has discussed alternative energy for decades, and where has it gotten us so far?

Also, @ xist.com, you can find the big companies, i.e. Exxon, put 2 and 2 together, and unless some corporation like GE gets their ass moving on electric cars, cars will continue to require gas and oil.

Also, by the data I posted, you can see that although the middle east has the largest reserves, the only country in the top 30 for production and consumption is Saudi Arabia- our source. The middle east is also not in the top 30 for coal whatsoever, nor do they rank in the top 30 for gas production or consumption. But, again, they have the reserves. Why? Why on earth would poverty-stricken countries maintain such large reserves when they, themselves, require very little? Why do these governments force their citizens to live in depravity? The simple answer is because they can. And another answer would be because that's the way the world controls energy sources- keep the civilization down, force these people to live in the dark ages compared to the way we live, and $2.00 (or whatever we, the civilized world, want them to think their resources are worth) goes a long way. And then there's terrorism. Hmmmmmmm.........

The fact that the UNSC uses US troops to patrol for illegal export in the gulf, the fact that if Iraq tries to export more oil than allowed per the sanctions, we are ordered to seize these ships, and the fact that we do use more gas and oil than any other country, it's easy for me to understand their viewpoint about our country. How could they possibly not by suspicious? Are we guilty? I have yet to find any information as to what happens to any seized oil.

I'm not trying to hype any conspiracy, but it certainly would be in everyone's best interest if we pushed alternative energy to become our only source if we really want everything to be okay. Otherwise, this will continue, then blow over, and start all over again in a couple of decades. There is no way to win this game, the only option is to quit. Besides, how much power will Saddam or any other figure in the middle east truly have when oil, gas, etc. are worth nothing? How afraid will we be to intervene if we have no economic ties? How can there be terrorism without control?


You don't get to steal all the deficiency. I want some to.
-mrgoat

alternative energy (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by DesiredUsername on Mon Oct 08, 2001 at 10:15:49 PM EST

Actually, we are farther along than you might think. All forms of alternative energy are being actively researched and solar in particular has made great strides in both fundamental improvements and adoption on the ground in even the last 10 years.

That said, I agree that, all else being equal, it won't happen quickly. But all else isn't equal. If $(EVIL_EMPIRE} seizes our oil supply, what exactly do you think we'll do? Roll over? No, I think even Exxon would start installing solar panels at that point.

Wars are crisis points in history. Witness the explosion after WWII in particular. Think about the change in American life from 1935 to 1955--a single generation. A protracted West vs Islamic Countries confrontation could be just what the Greens need...

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
shell oil (none / 0) (#51)
by lord rel on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 05:00:09 PM EST

i have undersottof from reliable resources that shell oil is the largest investor in fuel cell research i believe they invest in it because of possibility of achieving an edge on the compatition with stricter laws about pollution having stations offering the fuel (be it hydrogen, methane or *thanol) for their perhaps patented engine might be abother reason

[ Parent ]
You're absolutely Right... (1.00 / 1) (#46)
by mantrata on Tue Oct 09, 2001 at 08:18:55 AM EST

All we have to do is bomb some Arabs everytime gas prices go up. Great idea! Why didn't the Bush's think of that? ... or did they?

In the _US_ (3.50 / 2) (#56)
by fozzmeister on Wed Oct 10, 2001 at 09:00:45 AM EST

here in the UK we have the fuel price escalator which was basically a cross party policy to increase the price of petrol by x every tax year. so now petrol costs 0.76 per litre, tax=100+ and it costs me 30 to do a 140 mile round trip home every two weeks. grr life sucks.

$1.16?! (none / 0) (#64)
by BloodmoonACK on Fri Oct 12, 2001 at 02:40:18 PM EST

At the cheap gas stations near me, the price is still around $1.68, what it's been hovering near for the last year and a half!

"It's like declaring a 'war on crime' and then claiming every (accused) thief is an 'enemy combatant'." - Hizonner

update! (none / 0) (#65)
by gregholmes on Mon Oct 15, 2001 at 07:17:41 AM EST

Yesterday, $1.09 at the cheap stations. It fell more after I wrote this story :)

The absolute number depends on your tax environment, of course.



[ Parent ]
Gas (petrol) is cheap! | 67 comments (65 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
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