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  1. #21
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    Rolling blackouts come from an entirely different problem - NIMBY suburbanites.

    Actually, electricity is comically-efficient to produce and distribute in comparison to fossil fuels, which is why electric utility companies are still in business in spite of the apparently-cheap energy they sell. The markets just don't affect them as directly...
    Ahem, the bulk of our electricity comes from coal. And electricity from fossil fuels is not comically-efficient to produce, it's very wasteful, but utility companies have government protection from competition. So their incentive to become more efficient is greatly reduced.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #22
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    "...she doesn't look Druish..."
    So maybe it be funny for awhile until all the spaceball jokes got old. Imagine every moron saying that, I'm sticking my head in an oven if we ever ride around on her.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  3. #23
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    After the drastic increase in gas prices, do you think almost everyone - with the exception of very rich people - will need to give up their cars?
    No.

    If so, do you believe that large countries that have reneged on the option of optimizing public transportation will suffer huge economic crises?
    No.
    .
    Since I'm sure you were looking for a bit more than that...I don't think that gas prices are all that much of a concern, until it hits $6-7 a gallon, you won't see people giving up cars. With many more efficient cars coming out in the next few years, I'd expect that even with higher prices, the average person will wind up not spending that much more because of increased fuel economy.
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  4. #24
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Ahem, the bulk of our electricity comes from coal. And electricity from fossil fuels is not comically-efficient to produce, it's very wasteful, but utility companies have government protection from competition. So their incentive to become more efficient is greatly reduced.
    And coal-burning power plants are the #1 source of air pollution in North America, with combustion engines (cars, buses, snowmobiles, jet skis, some leaf blowers, etc.) being #2. Switching to a combination of hydro, wind, and nuclear would go a long way to improving air quality here.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #25
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    It shall be so. *zen chimes*
    In fact, that's the sound for the horn. For urban areas, there's an aftermarket "walrus heat" klaxon.

  6. #26
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    No.



    No.
    .
    Since I'm sure you were looking for a bit more than that...I don't think that gas prices are all that much of a concern, until it hits $6-7 a gallon, you won't see people giving up cars. With many more efficient cars coming out in the next few years, I'd expect that even with higher prices, the average person will wind up not spending that much more because of increased fuel economy.
    In Germany, gas is already over $9.00 a gallon. So it's coming, folks; it's coming - it's just a matter of time.

    Just think - I believe only a year ago, gas was like $2.50. Now it is nearly $5.00 in some places, so I have heard.

    Perhaps you guys are right, though...You won't be driving huge-ass hummers anymore for the most part - just little tiny "goofy-looking" cars. Lots more carpooling might be coming into the picture as well.

    However, I still think this is going to be a major problem and cause a major recession. Let me give you an example where we are (which is going to be experienced in a neighborhood near you in the not-too-far-away future).

    There is a major German company that produces tractor trailers, which we will call company X. Company X experienced the highest profit of all time last year, only to be destroyed this year. Why, you ask? That's right, folks, gas prices. Who wants to pay a thousand dollars to get from here to Munich??? And it is not just affecting this company. It is affecting logistics companies, which are forcing firms to increase prices, which are making other companies think twice about buying things there....Blah blah blah....

    Folks, one of these days, I think we are all going to have to realize that things cannot go on like they did in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1990s. And the longer people procrastinate, the longer energy companies buy up patents for alternative forms of energy so they can sit on them (yes, they do that), the longer we keep pretending it is not a big deal, the longer we keep putting off long-term problems for short-term benefits, the worse the crash is going to be when disaster strikes.

    Just to clarify: I am not a 68-er, environmental, radical crazy maniac; rather, I am rather conservative, and I understand how vital these energy resources are to keep businesses running. In addition, I recognize and respect the fact that Americans have much greater distances to travel to get to work, especially in areas in the middle of the country, the south, and the midwest.

    However, these problems are facts - they are there, and they cannot be pushed away just because it is inconvenient. And I wonder what your politicians are doing to deal with these problems because I do not want to see them blow up in your faces.

    Nonetheless, it could be that I am ill-informed. Perhaps American politicians are doing a great deal to handle the problems. Perhaps getting rid of cars is not the answer - surely it is not that feasible for Americans, considering your answers; it is not even feasible for Germans - but what is?

    On a lighter note, however, I want to see a picture of those flying rocket things!!!!
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  7. #27
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    In Germany, gas is already over $9.00 a gallon. So it's coming, folks; it's coming - it's just a matter of time.

    Just think - I believe only a year ago, gas was like $2.50. Now it is nearly $5.00 in some places, so I have heard.

    Perhaps you guys are right, though...You won't be driving huge-ass hummers anymore for the most part - just little tiny "goofy-looking" cars. Lots more carpooling might be coming into the picture as well.

    However, I still think this is going to be a major problem and cause a major recession. Let me give you an example where we are (which is going to be experienced in a neighborhood near you in the not-too-far-away future).

    There is a major German company that produces tractor trailers, which we will call company X. Company X experienced the highest profit of all time last year, only to be destroyed this year. Why, you ask? That's right, folks, gas prices. Who wants to pay a thousand dollars to get from here to Munich??? And it is not just affecting this company. It is affecting logistics companies, which are forcing firms to increase prices, which are making other companies think twice about buying things there....Blah blah blah....

    Folks, one of these days, I think we are all going to have to realize that things cannot go on like they did in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1990s. And the longer people procrastinate, the longer energy companies buy up patents for alternative forms of energy so they can sit on them (yes, they do that), the longer we keep pretending it is not a big deal, the longer we keep putting off long-term problems for short-term benefits, the worse the crash is going to be when disaster strikes.

    Just to clarify: I am not a 68-er, environmental, radical crazy maniac; rather, I am rather conservative, and I understand how vital these energy resources are to keep businesses running. In addition, I recognize and respect the fact that Americans have much greater distances to travel to get to work, especially in areas in the middle of the country, the south, and the midwest.

    However, these problems are facts - they are there, and they cannot be pushed away just because it is inconvenient. And I wonder what your politicians are doing to deal with these problems because I do not want to see them blow up in your faces.

    Nonetheless, it could be that I am ill-informed. Perhaps American politicians are doing a great deal to handle the problems. Perhaps getting rid of cars is not the answer - surely it is not that feasible for Americans, considering your answers; it is not even feasible for Germans - but what is?

    On a lighter note, however, I want to see a picture of those flying rocket things!!!!
    All good points, and the logistics problems are already happening over here as we speak. I think we got a nice taste of "disaster" back when Hurricane Katrina hit, and fuel prices spiked up $1/gal or more temporarily to the ~$3-4/gal range. Right now we're already above those levels, it's just taken a while to get there.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member Ilah's Avatar
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    In the area where I live, most people live in the suburbs. It is not really possible for them to get to work without a car. It is common to drive your car to a metro station though. I don't have a car, but I made sure when I choose my home that it was on a bus line. Many people didn't bother to check if their home was on a bus line so they don't have the option.

    I don't have car. People have often given me a hard time about it, saying I was weird not to have a car. I am trying not to gloat now that they have tight budgets now because of their long communtes in cars.

    The ideal of course is to have a place within walking distance of a metro station. You also have to pay significantly more to live in place within walking distance of the metro. I hope to be able to afford a place like that within the next few years.

    Or you could have a place downtown so you could walk to work. Prices for a condo downtown are around a million dollars. This is not an exageration.

    Ilah

  9. #29
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    After the drastic increase in gas prices, do you think almost everyone - with the exception of very rich people - will need to give up their cars? If so, do you believe that large countries that have reneged on the option of optimizing public transportation will suffer huge economic crises?
    I think there may be a transitional period where more and more people minimize their automobile use and and give some serious consideration to public transportation options, but I think rather than using this oil supply/demand problem as an incentive to re-think modern transportation, the focus will go to new energy sources and while public transportation may see a short term benefit from this, it will fade when we have some other affordable fuel to take its place.

    As for the actual subject of a world without cars, that is something I would for the most part like to see. To me, the major deterrent from walking and riding a bike to go everywhere (aside from very long distances) is the presence of automobiles on the road, or more precisely the notion of potentially distracted people driving something that their carelessness could be lethal to pedestrians and bicyclists. A secondary problem with bicycles is a way to reliably secure them at the destination (if they do not have faciities for that specific purpose).

    In one of my idealistic visions, I could see a world designed with a good public transportation infrastruccture (ie, nearly all destinations reachable with an average wait time of 10 to 15 minutes for a bus/train etc to arive). Automobiles could still exist in this world, but the streets would be designed to have seperate roads for automobiles, roads for bicycles and trails for pedestrians. In such a world all roads would have either bridges or underpasses so that the three transportation options would not risk colisions with each other and nearly all destinations would be reachable by whatever transportation method the indivdual prefered.

    I think in the existing world, there is not enough incentive for good public transportation, so in many areas it gets neglected (or at least no funding taxes get passed to improve it), but if it were done right where it was convenient and affordable, I think a lot more people would use it. Its sort of a chicken and the egg scenario. Public transportation does a poor job of getting you where you want to go when you want to go there, so your not concerned about it if you have an automobile. And you think its nescessary to have an automobile because you need the freedom it provides, but if the system worked, you would only need that automobile for things like traveling to areas not serviced by public transportation and maybe shopping trips. The problem is gettign enough peopel to beleive in the potential benefits of a good public transportation systme for it to get the funding and support it needs to not be implimented poorly. I have some hope that high oil costs will get people thinking about ways public transportation can be done well and benefit everyone, but I'm cynical that the support for public transportation will be sustained after new energy technologies become commonplace.

  10. #30
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    In Germany, gas is already over $9.00 a gallon. So it's coming, folks; it's coming
    In Germany, petrol taxes are over $7.50 per gallon -- about ten times the per-gallon tax in California.

    No transportational-industrial bedlam in forecast; cancel despair.

    All right, enough seriousness.

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