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  1. #1
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Default World without Cars!

    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?
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  2. #2
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    To "give up" cars you must have them to begin with. In much of the world, nobody owns them at this point.

    In many places that grew up with/after the automobile the distances are so great that it would not be practical to go without some form of independent transportation. It's already cutting down on the use of automobiles and transit system fare revenue is way up.

    The fact is that an alternative will come in when it gets to that point, forcing oil-based energy to no longer be used for transportation... We'll probably end up going to electricity, which is regulated by the people/government and speculation won't make it possible for them to increase prices as they have with oil (which, due to it's high importance in our world, never should be subject to market forces).

    Economic crisis? Yes.

    But then we (in the US) won't have much available to spend on, so it won't really matter, since essentially everything we buy that isn't food is made in China and came via oil-fueled boats. Therefore, they will feel the effects worse than we will, since so much of their population does nothing but cater to the first world's ravenous consumption of cheap crap. Many areas could experience famines due to transportation problems since trucks are the only way to deliver food from where it is grown to densely-populated areas.
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    Disclaimer: The above is my opinion and mine alone, it does not mean I cannot change my mind, nor does it guarantee that my comments are related to any deep-seated convictions. Take everything I say with a whole snowplow worth of salt and call me in the morning, if you can.

  3. #3
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    In the US, I do *not* see a country without cars (for the middle class, at least) anytime within in the next 100 years. It would take a very thorough and disasterous collapse of the whole economy to get rid of independent transportation.

    Scaling down of the vehicles is what I'm seeing. I've already spotted a few more of those goofy-looking "smart cars", Toyota Prius and other hybrids are becoming more and more popular, and I'm seeing more motorcycle/scooter usage around my area. I ride one myself. At the local powersports dealership I was talking to one of the parts dept. ladies and she was saying how scooter sales have surged phenomenally at their dealership; it's now to the point that they sell 2 scooters to every 1 non-scooter motorcycle.
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  4. #4
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    Yes, there's enough electric car and developing biofuel technology that it's unlikely for cars to go away.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    which is regulated by the people/government and speculation won't make it possible for them to increase prices as they have with oil (which, due to it's high importance in our world, never should be subject to market forces).
    Everything is subject to market forces. No one can them, it's simply not possible. The only thing the government can do is create a surplus or a shortage by distorting the price structure (see the 1970s gasoline shortage).
    "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."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Everything is subject to market forces. No one can them, it's simply not possible. The only thing the government can do is create a surplus or a shortage by distorting the price structure (see the 1970s gasoline shortage).
    Electricity has very slow and steady price fluctuations due to government regulation/oversight, and the market for energy is not open (though the companies may be), so you can't really be gouged like you are in other markets. To increase utility prices requires going through a long process with a lot of arguing, documentation proving it, voting, etc. It's also clearly the easiest to implement since the infrastructure exists, and it will probably win over gasoline-like alternatives due to regulation keeping the price very competitive. Biodiesel might be used in trucking, but personal transportation will probably transition to electricity. The nightly charge price around here on an electric car traveling the distance of an average commute is estimated to be under $0.50, and we have rather high electricity prices in comparison to much of the country. That's roughly 1/10th the price of gasoline for the most fuel-efficient cars for the same trip. Even the Tesla Roadster, which isn't really designed for efficiency, gets roughly 10-25 times better (mattering on the test) mileage than a comparable gasoline-powered automobile for a small fraction of the price. It'll win, at least in the short run, and everyone realizes this, which is why there are a number of prominent companies getting into the field.

    I suspect that we'll start building nuclear power plants in the not-too-distant future since we have enough uranium in this country to power our civilization for millennia.


    When will I be able to get a used Tesla Roadster or a Volt?
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    Disclaimer: The above is my opinion and mine alone, it does not mean I cannot change my mind, nor does it guarantee that my comments are related to any deep-seated convictions. Take everything I say with a whole snowplow worth of salt and call me in the morning, if you can.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    Electricity has very slow and steady price fluctuations due to government regulation/oversight, and the market for energy is not open (though the companies may be), so you can't really be gouged like you are in other markets. To increase utility prices requires going through a long process with a lot of arguing, documentation proving it, voting, etc. It's also clearly the easiest to implement since the infrastructure exists, and it will probably win over gasoline-like alternatives due to regulation keeping the price very competitive. Biodiesel might be used in trucking, but personal transportation will probably transition to electricity. The nightly charge price around here on an electric car traveling the distance of an average commute is estimated to be under $0.50, and we have rather high electricity prices in comparison to much of the country. That's roughly 1/10th the price of gasoline for the most fuel-efficient cars for the same trip. It'll win, at least in the short run, and everyone realizes it.
    Market forces still apply. Rolling blackouts? That's a government created shortage. The cost of electricity is too low due to government intervention. No government can alter the laws of physics.
    "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."

  8. #8
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    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...
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    Disclaimer: The above is my opinion and mine alone, it does not mean I cannot change my mind, nor does it guarantee that my comments are related to any deep-seated convictions. Take everything I say with a whole snowplow worth of salt and call me in the morning, if you can.

  9. #9
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    The mechanic part of me says "World without cars?! No!!!"

    *No longer being around cars would be like Mohammad Ali never watching another boxing movie ever again.


    The rationalist part of me says "Folks gotta breathe."

    *I wish things were laid out for a pedestrian society, so you could OPT to walk or ride a bike or take one of those cute Vespas. Admit it. You like Vespas, people.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I think too get rid of cars public transit would have to get better in a lot of places especially the US or things less spread out, I don't see that happening. I think the US at least has become too dependent on cars too be able give them up, plus sad as it is a lot of places in the US are spread out without a viable way of getting their unless you have a car. So no, cars will not become extinct, well not until teleporters are invented. People will be telling their grandkids "it took me 20 minutes to go to the otherside of town when I was kid." and the kid will go "No way grandpa! it only takes us 0.2 milli seconds"

    and what's a vespa I keep seeing a picture of Princess Vespa from space balls and I know that can't be right, though kind of amusing to see people riding around on clones of her,
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

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