What If - Gasoline is $5 a gallon in 2010?



  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    I'm convinced that we're on a road to considerable "overendulgence". If you don't change your vehicle for a thriftier one then what are you willing to do to reduce waste and/or missuse?
    We talk & talk but all I hear is petty bickering over who's right or who's to blame for our woes.
    I'd like to say that the gravytrain is almost over when it comes to "Massive Gas Hogs." I still think that tax breaks(both state & fed) and bonus consideration to any car owner that drives a vehicle that meets minimum gas economy levels is the right direction we should be going. I'm amazed at the attitudes of many naysayers of the coming changes. Why can't they see the "green" forest for the "diesel" fumes?
    railroadjames(just plain tired of hot air and smoke)
    P.S. Tonight's ABC Evening News indicated "over 10,000 injury roll-overs w/ Ford SUV's annually. I wonder, how few are the numbers for sedans,wagons and anything else thats not an SUV
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    Unless I missed something, I'll second your post #115. The only thing I'd add is that oil will not continue to rise beyond the cost equilibrium point at which coal and oil-shale can be used to make fuel.

    The price of gasoline/oil will plateau at the point of the cost of a gallon of gasoline produced from coal or oil-shale, and that is in the $3/gal neighborhood. There may be some price spikes until those plants are built, but I bet Exxon-Mobil and the other oil companies are dusting off the plans for those plants. Then in a 100 years all bets are off.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    And throwing out some more dire predictions like gas will hit $3 by this fall "at the latest" and over $5 within 2 years doesn't help.

    me: I agree with this. I agreed with brucej's other post but it didn't mention $3/gal. in the fall, or $5/gal later. The only way I see that happening is if there is a terrorist attack on a refinery or a revolution in Saudi Arabia. Gas will eventually touch and stay at $3 based solely on demand( 3 to 5 yr?), but consumption will cut back as prices continue to rise.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,256
    conservation isn't just what vehicle you drive, it's also how far you drive.
    regarding the rollovers, that is one outcome of an accident. another may be that a vehicle does not roll over, but breaks apart, compresses to the size of a trash barrel, or catches fire.
    my point is that if it is fuel consumption, accidents, or whatever, there are several factors to consider.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    But other companies need to figure out how to affordably extract and deliver hydrogen.

    me: I don't see any company finding a way around the laws of thermodynamics. You need to put more energy into creating the hydrogen fuel (say from H2O), then you get back.

    you: The manufacturers need to increase the amount of hydrogen vehicles can carry.

    me: But a liquid gallon of hydrogen contains less energy than a gallon of gasoline. And do you realize how strong (thick and heavy) a container needs to be to maintain the pressure to keep hydrogen liquid?

    yerth: That depends on the compression level. May be they must have used the older level of 350 bar (5,000 psi), the latest is 700 bar (10,000 psi).

    me: I agree with oregonboy. A basic rule of chemistry is that liquids are incompressible, though you can change their density a few percent through temperature changes. Unless you have a quantum singularity (blackhole).
  • chrisducatichrisducati Member Posts: 394
    here is a link to a company that thinks Solid hydrogen is the way to go. Kind of off topic but as the price goes up on gas the more we may be willing to look at different ways of replacing oil as fuel.

  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    I'd like to say that the gravytrain is almost over when it comes to "Massive Gas Hogs."

    me: so you don't like my wife's X-cab Z-71 Silverado? Well bring your hybrid over and we'll use it to haul in the 4-5 cords of firewood I'll use next winter. I guess that gas-hog saves about 1,000 gal. of heating oil a year! What a wonderful idea to pass some kind of generalized policy to penalize people.
    I tell you what. I'll take that penalty if I can penalize you if you use elctricity/natural gas/propane or oil to heat or AC your house. That sounds fair?
    And good thought to penalize people who have somewhat legitimate needs to go places. ;-) Its much worse than all the millions of boat-owners who have no trouble burning hundreds of gallons of gas every year just cruising around the lakes and bays; or the millions and millions of people who fly to go on vacation. Yes go after people who are commuting to work, and don't mention those who have a 30' cabin cruiser.

    As far as the Explorer goes, it is another poor example of a Ford. But driver ignorance is the main reason for SUV accidents not the vehicles themselves (driving them like a car and not a truck). SUV's are relatively safer than cars when being struck by other vehicles. SUV's are not safe when driven at 60 mph around a 35 mph curve.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    Where do we get the energy to create the hydrogen, and store it in the Ovonic's system ? Hydrogen is not an energy source; it is a form to store energy.

    If you answer solar or wind, can you tell me if we're building more wind and solar capacity each year, than our energy consumption is increasing? From what I hear each summer we don't have enough electrical capacity right now, never mind electricity for producing hydrogen (whether you store it liquid, gas or solid).
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    I ain't no scientist but neither shale oil nor hydrogen are going to replace conventional oil any time soon. Our Canadian brethren to the North are already producing about a million barrels a day from huge shale/tar sand deposits near Alberta. (We're talking billions and billions of potential barrels of oil) Trouble is to extract usable oil from tar/shale you have to heat it up to a point where the oil will escape the sludge. Currently they are using natural gas as the energy to supply the heat. As of late natural gas has been spiking up right along with liquid gas.

    Hydrogen is not energy so much as it is a way in which to store energy. It currently takes more energy to produce x utils of hydrogen then you get back in usable hydrogen power. If it takes the fox two rabbits worth of energy for every rabbit he catches the fox is out of business in fairly short order.

    For us to continue to think that we will be able to duplicate the exact way of living that we have grown accustomed to enjoying in the oil age is really kind of silly. Oil enabled us to grow and prosper at a rate unmatched in human history. It was plentiful, relatively easy to extract (especially in the early years) and the all- time, number one, energy bargain.

    But the price of putting it in our car doesn't begin to address what non automotive issues await us. The reason we can currently support 6 billion people is because of the huge global agribusiness that has developed in the last 50 years. All pesticides, fertilizer, seed stocks and the energy that it takes to run today's modern farming enterprise are oil dependant. Think you'll still be eating South American bananas in 15 years or enjoying winter strawberries? Probably not unless you live in the region of the world that produces those items.

    Change is coming folks. Whether it is change for the worse or the better depends on how we choose to face it. Get informed.
    Conservative (I repeat, conservative) Congressman Roscoe Bar, Chairman of the Projection Forces Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee gave an hour long speach on Peak Oil to the U.S Congress on the 15th of this month. You can read the transcript in it's entirety at:http://www.energybulletin.net/4733.html
    I urge you to read it. I guarantee it will get you thinking about a number of important issues that we will all shortly be forced to address.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    Well I'm a chemical engineer, and I interviewed 20 years ago with 1 of the oil companies (may have been Tenneco), and they at that time had plant-designs to build plants to convert coal into oil/gasoline.

    We have enough coal for at least 100 years to meet our needs in this country. We have more coal then all of OPEC has oil. In the short-term -next 100 years - we will not see any drastic change downward in our lifestyle. You could see a temporary shortage and price-spike due to something bad happening in the world, as I gave examples before. It would take several years to get the coal-gasification plants up and running.

    Again naturally-occurring Peak Oil may be true, I'm not going to argue that. But it is NOT THE ONLY source of oil, or energy. Give me some carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in any form, and some electricity (produced by nuclear?) and I can produce oil or gasoline for you. It is Chemistry. It's not economical though compared to simply taking formed molecules from the ground.

    Oil, coal, natural gas, solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal are all forms of energy. They are all interchangeable, given some loss of converting from one to the other. All are thus renewable, and originate from the sun (if the sun didn't heat the earth from the outside it would be frozen solid, having expended its geothermal energy to the cold of space, over the 4 billion years).

    I just browsed the article you quote, and go back and read it again. It discusses a very narrow topic of energy, which is naturally occurring oil. I have no problem with the facts presented therein.

    The messages there though is : 1) yes, if we don't do anything and continue to rely on oil without developing any new energy sources, we are going to have problems in the near future. Demand is outstripping supply.

    This simply means we need to develop all the oil sources we have, start building new nuclear plants, start building plants to convert coal, and certainly move ahead with geothermal, solar, and wind. ALL will be needed.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,256
    lots of people like to 'dis the explorer, but think about it. sales have averaged 350-400k per year for 15 years. that's a lot of vehicles.
    it's a wagon, so many times it is carrying more than just the driver. when an accident happens there is likely to be more than one injury. statistically, it's a very safe vehicle. ymmv.
    to keep ot, since i had to buy gas to get to work in the original gas crisis, i decided that living near work is the best decision. it has worked out well, so far. not as good as wfh, though! :)
    another thing, filled up the car the other day. work commute was 26 miles round trip. driving the kids around was another 50 miles.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433

    I said, fusion reactors - closer than most think, or bio-extraction.

    I've seen where several of the hydrogen supply companies are working on alloys and plastics that are both lighter and have superior tensile strength to what is currently available.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    At worst, transportation is 25% of the nation's fuel use.

    Someone commuting 50+ miles a day in a Prius back and forth from a Macmansion to a carelessly designed office building and otherwise living the typical throwaway life most modern people do is not green.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    What? You don't use the Jag to haul wood? O.K. I'll give you that (about the need for serious hauling). I too use my Prius(seats flipped down) to haul wood for my wood-burner but I'm fortunate to have near 4 acres of woods to keep me busy cuttin.
    Actually I've owned Suburbans and Ford trucks in the past....What concerns me are the MANY who own the "biggies" that can't justify the beast. Over the past few weeks I've seen only women driving Hummers and not one guy. Strange combo don't you think. It's like seeing a woman in combat boots putting on nylons. Your right about poor driving technics of SUVs and I even agree that there many, many areas of waste that are out there. Have you noticed how many "new" cruise ships have been commissioned lately? (at least 30 in the last 5 yrs). Cruise companies are on a roll to add each yr by vast numbers the tourist clientele.
    The whole point that I'm trying to convey is that changes NOW could avoid serious problems later. We agree there? Don't we?
    Railroadjames(I'd rather see 300-400 people fly in a jet than each drive to vacations if it was to their advantage)
    P.S. I tell this one many times...One Locomotive can haul the equivalent of near 70 semi-trks on the fuel of one trk. The next time you're stuck behind a big-rig waiting..think about that!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,256
    rrj. hummers are a small part of the vehicle market. my sister has a prius 2. in 5 months it has less than 4k miles on it. this includes a 750 mile round trip. how much gas has she saved?
    when it came time to carry 6 people, we had 3 choices; prius, passat wagon or 3 row explorer.
    guess which one was chosen. happens every time.
    at the very least, we conserved parking spaces. :)
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • chrisducatichrisducati Member Posts: 394
    I've always been a small car fan so I can't really move to a smaller vehicle. I have started watching how I drive more. I also shut the car off if I'm setting for more than a minute or two. Like at the drive up window or at one of those three minute traffic lights....
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    I agree with much of what you say. Here's where I differ.

    If a person drives an SUV reasonably, I do see a definite justification to people driving a "beast". Protecting yourself from serious injury and death is probably the top priority in a vehicle. More armor is better then less. A person I work with was with her family coming back from shopping and it head-on by some kids passing on a 2-lane road. The Tahoe they were in saved their lives and kept it to moderate injuries. Very good justification in my mind. A Crown Vic would have probably done the same too.

    Although I personally like to conserve, but only so much - as I said I won't compromise safety much - I don't necessarily agree anyone has to. I'd like them to, but I'm not going to preach or otherwise try and force them to. Everyone earns money and can spend it as they wish. Whether you like competition or not, we are all in economic competiton with each other. I suggest to everyone to try and make as much as you can, so you'll have whatever energy you want. Everyone can make their own choice. Just don't pick out SUV's or such and ignore all the other more wasteful energy choices people make. As explorerx4 said a person with an SUV may be less of a gas-hog than a person with a Corolla.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    O.K. Lets try this. The word that comes to mind is....."Extreme" If a vehicle is safe just where do you draw the line and call it extreme? Or how about "overindulgance"? I, like you, want to be safe too but, how can there be all that justification for a 7500 lb mamouth to pick up a gallon of milk?
    As for being safe....if you tangle with a loaded semi-trk you'll lose just as bad as anyone else. So where does it stop? You talk of "armor" as if you're in a "war zone". I prefer good handling over size mostly because the biggies are usually terrible on handling. Since I'm an avid motorcyclist, I have a personal stake in SUV avoidance. That is my dilema. I'm at risk for my hobby. Oh well! We all make choices.
    One last thing....I see your point as to the safety in the "big rigs" but as gas goes up and government mandates mandatory fuel efficiency if not today then sooner or later other options will become real.
    Railroadjames(to bad mass transit isn't in the works to help our needs)
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Over the past few weeks I've seen only women driving Hummers and not one guy.

    Women like to be up where they can see what is going on around them. They feel safer. My Ex wanted the Suburban in our divorce. She got to keep her old Camry. The Insurance Institute statistics all say you are safer in a large SUV like a Suburban than any of the small cars. If you spent any time in So California you would see where the millions of SUV & PU trucks reside. They far out weigh the small cars if not outnoumber them. Safety is more important to many people than saving a C note a month in gas.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    quote gagrice-"Women like to be up where they can see what is going on around them. They feel safer."-end quote

    They can "feel safer" all they want - it's not necessarily going to save their lives being "higher up." "height" has nothing at all to do with safety.

    If you keep up with current safety trends like I do, you will know that many safety organizations LATELY have been BLASTING SUVs for their tendency to roll over in crashes.

    This was all on a Google News page 1 of "SUV +rollover" search done right now:

    "The Ford Explorer has been in the news over the past several years because of several reports of rollover problems. Just about two weeks ago a Florida jury found the Ford Motor Company negligent because of the potential design flaw in some of its vehicles."

    "GALLUP — A 65-year-old Harbor City, Calif., man died from head injuries he sustained when his sports utility vehicle rolled over on Interstate 40 near Gallup. According to an accident report, the driver's sleepy condition and an icy roadway could have contributed to the fatal accident."

    "Two Iowa Teens Killed In I-70 SUV Rollover Crash"

    "Chandler lost control of the SUV, according to a state Trooper. The Mercury Mountaineer SUV struck a guardrail then flipped over, throwing Chandler from the vehicle."

    So for my money and my safety, I prefer a car which stays upright in crashes.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,331
    of perception versus reality. I'll admit I feel a bit safer driving my '85 Silverado, because I sit up high and have excellent visibility all around, with no blind spots whatsoever, something that can't be said for some SUVs. So there is that extra bit of reassurance, when you can see around you better, and possibly see the potential for oncoming threats sooner.

    However, this perceived safety can be like a double-edged sword, as people in SUVs, since they can see further, and over the roof of the car ahead, might be more likely to tailgate it. And if an inattentive person is driving, they might be less likely to see the car beside them as they switch lanes, since they're looking over it, instead of directly at it.

    And, of course, you put somebody into a bigger vehicle where they start to feel invincible, many people will start to drive accordingly. I even noticed it with one of my friends, who normally drives a Tracker. I used to have an '89 Gran Fury ex police car, and I'd let him borrow it sometimes when his Tracker went in the shop. He said he liked the way it accelerated, and how people were more likely to let him merge onto the highway, and how it tended to clear out the left lane. So to me, that's an indication that having a more powerful, aggressive vehicle was causing him to change his driving habits somewhat.

    Now when I get behind the wheel of my '85 Silverado, I know it's not going to handle like a car. It's not going to flip nearly as easily as an SUV, because even though it has a high seating position, it still has a fairly low center of gravity. But it's still going to flip more easily than a car will, and there are certain types of road conditions where its handling is horrible. For example, under most conditions it actually has pretty good braking ability, but if you hit a dip in the road and have to suddenly brake while the [non-permissible content removed]-end is starting to bounce up in the air, it can get a bit, ummm...interesting.

    I think one of the biggest problems is that they try to make these SUVs more car-like, and when people get behind the wheel, they drive them like a car, when they should drive them like a truck!

    Essentially, it goes back to the old "Don't blame the car, blame the driver" argument.
  • woodbyrnewoodbyrne Member Posts: 1
    The current Bush Regime is not concerned about what really matters. And that is decreasing demand. Not increasing supply. More is at risk than just our wallets. Our current president is a greedy moron who cares only about his bank account and that of his friends. Why would a family of oil barons try to stop the influx of oil into this country? Or stop trying to drill for more oil? Companies need true incentives for hydrogen powered cars. These fuel cell hybrids are a great start but they still use oil/gas. We need to abandon it all together. Until then, you people with your moron mobiles (any SUV bigger than a Liberty or Escape) have fun paying over $100 to fill your tanks.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    They were still running trolleys in downtown Philadelphia as late as 1989 from what I remember and they were the old PTA trolleys. They still run newer Kawasaki-built trolleys in much of West Philadelphia. I even remember riding one as late as 1991.

    That whole idea of GM buying up trolley lines is an old myth. Heck, they even used the idea in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" except they substituted "GM" for a freeway construction firm called "Cloverleaf."

    What am I doing to conserve? Well, I don't drive a big PIG of an SUV like the girl next door. Here's this tiny girl, only passenger in the vehicle, driving this huge Tahoe. If things get bad enough, well, that red Cobalt coupe is pretty nice.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    Well, people who are wealthy enough don't care about $100 fill ups. How about the guys in England driving Rolls-Royce Phantoms in a country where gasoline is about $8 a gallon? To them it's like us buying a pack of gum. The rise in gas prices hurt the working poor the most. A lot of them are "reverse commuting." That is, they are driving from the city to the suburbs to work at all those malls and fast food joints. A lot of these jobs require "reliable transportation" and that is most definately not SEPTA.

    I also wouldn't want to see a president who is the polar opposite of the man you described - some eco-weenie that would have us all pedalling bikes or riding mopeds to work.
  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030
    No comments on post #114? I think I made a pretty good point.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    Why do we have to wait for a new President?

    The whole point of this nation has always been about the people making things happen and the government dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

    If using less makes sense, then lets figure out how to use less. We do not need Uncle Sam to explain it for us.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Last I checked, the White House was not in control of OPEC. Bush and his "oil baron" family has all the money they need....did you check the tax returns for the President for the last few years? He's not making money on any of this. And how are his friends gettin rich, when they also have to buy oil from OPEC?

    And how is it in Bush's best interest to keep gas prices up? In case you didn't notice, the liberals are in part BLAMING GEORGE for the rise in gas prices. Why would he bring all that down on himself and hurt the country? He wouldn't, that's what....

    Why not drill for our own oil rather than be controlled by a group of "multi-billionaire" Saudi Oil Princes? Is that what you want, to always be controlled by OPEC? Not me pal....

    I think your anger at Bush is misplaced and is without a doubt wrongly placed when it comes to high oil prices. Bush does not want this....
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    "The Ford Explorer has been in the news over the past several years because of several reports of rollover problems. Just about two weeks ago a Florida jury found the Ford Motor Company negligent because of the potential design flaw in some of its vehicles."

    The older Explorers and many of the Japanese wannabe SUVs are more rollover prone than a car, I'll grant you that. Even with that possibility Most SUVs and all 4x4 PU trucks are safer than the Honda Civic. 100 being the average rating for all vehicles the Suburban is rated at a very low 38 for injury. The Civic has a worse than average 127 and the Toyota Corolla a much worse than average 150. There is no way that a compact car is as safe as a Suburban or most of the current SUVs. Anyone that buys a small car has to accept the fact that about half the vehicles on the road are SUVs & PU Trucks that are going to do serious damage to their little car if they get in a collision. If saving money on gas is a high priority when buying a vehicle, the safety risks have to be accepted. If you are going to buy a small car get a VW or a Volvo and give yourself a fighting chance. If you want both FE & safety in a compact car, it is narrowed down to a VW TDI.

    Here are the facts:

  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Last I checked, the White House was not in control of OPEC.

    I take back anything bad I said about you, BRAVO! I could not have put it more succinctly than you have.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    I know it's easy to go off on all kinds of tangents, but let's not go off into "I don't like SUVs" or politics please.

    PF Flyer
    News & Views, Wagons, & Hybrid Vehicles

    The Subaru Crew Chat is on tonight. Hope to see YOU there! Check out the schedule
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    The current Bush Regime

    Welcome to the forum. I have a question. What in the Clinton years was done to promote less use of fossil fuel? It seems to me that was the most over indulging decade in my 62 years on this planet. What was done to curtail our dependency on OPEC oil during those years of White House decadence? I do appreciate the fact that he promoted Big Macs, as it helped my MCD to go ever higher. Personally I am more concerned about the possibilities after 2008.
  • kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    O.K. Lets try this. The word that comes to mind is....."Extreme" If a vehicle is safe just where do you draw the line and call it extreme?

    me: God knows we have enough laws and regulations, and I think they are society's judgment on what is extreme. They set the weight and size limits, and the states regulate who is qualified to judge what vehicles in the licensing process. Hummers and RV's are not judged extreme - they are legal.

    you: You talk of "armor" as if you're in a "war zone".

    me: I plan on driving thru Newark next month. ;-) From a mathematical (probability) standpoint driving is no different than playing a lottery. You drive enough you're going to be in a collision. Near my house there are a lot of deer, and the occassional moose, or the icy road and the oaktree, etc. I and most people would prefer to have steel and crumple zones between us and what we hit.
  • reddogsreddogs Member Posts: 353
    ..."what really matters. And that is decreasing demand. Not increasing supply."

    What you California dreamers dont seem to understand is most Americans have heard the talk about reducing demand but then see the same people find a excuse to do the opposite.

    What you see driving up to the 'Oscars', Golden Globe, and other Hollywood bashes are overblown limo's or 12 passenger Hummers with the occassional hybrid supprising everyone..

    We will buy what we want, when we want it and how we want it and no one will keep us from our freedom to do so as long as the Stars and Stripes waves over the land.

    You have to "do as you say" and walk the walk not just talk it, before anyone believes in "decreasing demand". Then show how it benefits the average American, instead of crashing waves of guilt against their shores.

    The average American will not allow you to restrict what he can buy, legislate his horsepower, or block access to their fossil fuels, but you can go on "California Dreaming"...
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    What you see driving up to the 'Oscars', Golden Globe, and other Hollywood bashes are overblown limo's or 12 passenger Hummers with the occasional hybrid surprising everyone..

    I imagine for every Hollywood type with a Hybrid you will find 100 driving SUVs & Rolls Royce's. Maybe even the same stars have both, depending on the occasion.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    Of course, the US no longer has the oil reserves sufficient to allow it to be free from OPEC, provided it still uses oil as its primary transportation fuel.

    Thus the current DOE interest in hydrogen, etc.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Anybody see the report issued yesterday regarding the state-of-the-world? I haven't had a chance to read the report yet but it was headlined in newsprint and on the evening newscasts. It basically said that we have already burned through 2/3 rd's of the earth's resources and if we continue on our present course the earth will refuse to support us.

    I'm not certain of the science behind this report or of the "politics" behind its being generated but supposedly 1900 scientists from around the world participated in its development. They took 4 years and spent 20 million dollars compiling their report that is said to be over 2 thousand pages in length.

    Why am I bringing this up? Well lets suppose for one moment that this report is true. (Again, I have no idea at this point whether it is or isn't.) If you were President, or Primeinister or Pope or Sheik and you believed this report to be true how would you go about breaking this news to your countrymen?

    Let's talk about the U.S.of A. for a moment because I think most on this forum live there. We currently are having some fairly heated arguments about our involvement in the middle east. We are also engaged in what direction to take regarding the future of social security. Our schools are said to be failing us. Personal debt (yours and mine) are at an all time high. Our manufacturing sector is shrinking. Our nations debt is at a point where OPEC is toying with the idea of making the EURO the preferred standard of payment (currently the Dollar is.)

    Since this is an automotive forum lets look at that for a brief moment. Like our Social Security system which seems like it has promised more than it can deliver, GM currently finds itself in a similar bind. Promised benefits to retirees are becoming so cumbersome that there has been recent talk of GM going into chapter 11. It was recently announced that GM's 2008 production run has been scrapped. The effort that would have gone to readying 2008 production will be centered on improving and revising their current line-up. Just last week it was rumoured that GM will rid itself of either Pontiac or Buick.

    Ford is having similar difficulties though to a lesser degree. Their current Ford 500 which just hit showrooms is a flop. So much so that they are already at work redesigning it.

    Here is a scary thought. Neither Ford nor GM would have made a dime in profit for the past four years had it not been for their financial services. (If you want to be a bank be a bank. You don't have to build cars "on the side" to be a bank.)

    I'm not even beginning to suggest that we are at end times and the game is over. Mankind has been faced with problems from the beginning. But we have gotten rather complex in our development. There is an old saying that goes, "A man with a full stomach can have a multitude of problems but a man with an empty stomach only has one."

    The point I am trying to make here is that we have lots of complex, yet tangible problems that must be addressed. If your credit card says you owe $1453.77 you know to the penny what you problem is. Yet we tend to put off or ignore that nagging bill . We might even continue to make additional charges and run it up a little higher knowing at some time in the future we'll make things o.k.

    So here we are back to my original question. With all the little fires that our leaders already have to put out if you were King of the World how encouraged would you be in breaking the news to those in your charge that because of recognized shortages we are all going to have to make some changes in our way of life...and damn soon? Like it or not certain things on our planet are finite. At what point will the serious discussions begin?
  • sdheersdheer Member Posts: 6
    I do a lot of things like taking a motorcycle to work. But the best thing I did - I did not vote for Bush.

    Instead of continuing on this tpic, I would rather think about what brucej says. His message is very informative and worth discussing.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    quote brucej-"Anybody see the report issued yesterday regarding the state-of-the-world? I haven't had a chance to read the report yet but it was headlined in newsprint and on the evening newscasts. It basically said that we have already burned through 2/3 rd's of the earth's resources and if we continue on our present course the earth will refuse to support us."-end quote

    I think the end of Earth's ability to support us is inevitable, as the Bible says their will be an end to this world. That was written a coupla thousand years ago, so this is not exactly "new" news, is it? I wish they would have spent that 20 million dollars on environmental concerns, i.e. attempts to help extend the livable time of the Earth, rather than pointing out the obvious....:)

    But the "global warming" thing is SO overdone....did you know far more people are killed worldwide every year by cold than heat? The Earth can stand a little warming.

    There are certainly a lot of problems that the world's leaders and the world's people need to address. I firmly believe driving Hybrid cars helps in the grand scheme of things. Maybe time will tell that it does not matter at all, but we can do what we think is helpful in full good conscience.

    quote brucej again-"So here we are back to my original question. With all the little fires that our leaders already have to put out if you were King of the World how encouraged would you be in breaking the news to those in your charge that because of recognized shortages we are all going to have to make some changes in our way of life...and damn soon? Like it or not certain things on our planet are finite. At what point will the serious discussions begin?"-end quote

    I think the serious discussions HAVE begun already. Problem is, humans are "short sighted" by nature - there is no getting around that.

    What people care about most are things that affect THEIR DAILY LIVES in a negative way.

    Encouraging people to make a change which might help the future but which requires extra effort is usually a hard sell. Sad but true.

    Personally, I'm doing a lot of things. I recycle like a fiend. I put my recycle bin out on the drive about 4 times more than my trash bin, it fills up so much faster. I live in a very energy efficient home, averaging about $59 per month utility bill over the last 11 months (my utility company website puts my bill equal to homes that are 40% smaller than mine). I drive a Hybrid. I conserve water by using a low-water-usage high efficiency front loading washing machine and low flow showers and toilets. I control my minimal outside watering with a drip system program. I have a solar powered attic vent fan, and am going to add a second one to my home this summer.

    So each person should do what they can, and encourage friends and family to help. It's all we can do.
  • mirthmirth Member Posts: 1,212
    People have been declaring that the end of the world is nigh since civilization began. Can you blame us if we're a teeny bit skeptical?
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,331
    of saving aluminum cans and, once I got enough of them, taking them to the recycler myself, too see how much money it would bring in. Over the course of a year, maybe a little more, we saved just about every aluminum can. I'd also get them from my grandmother.

    We ended up with enough cans to completely fill the 8-foot bed of my Silverado. For all our efforts though, all those cans only came out to 100 pounds. Which came out to 40 bucks. And the sad thing is, the majority of those cans were smashed down!

    Now, don't get me wrong, I still recycle. We have a bin that gets put out every Monday night, and they take aluminum, metal, newpaper, and some plastics. So the cans are still getting recycled. It's just that I've found out that it really doesn't pay to try recycling them myself!
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    We ended up with enough cans to completely fill the 8-foot bed of my Silverado.

    I saved plastic bottles for a year and was going to collect the CA redemption. I could not find anyone that pays it. So I found a fellow on his bicycle picking up bottles along the road and gave them all to him. He was tickled to get them and I felt better for helping someone that was cleaning up our roadsides.
  • brucejbrucej Member Posts: 105
    Skepticism is good. It forces people to prove a position. If I'm skeptical about a magic elixir and choose not to drink it I may end up living while the non-skeptic dies.

    Part of the problem with global leaders sharing the information of shortages to come is that they are skeptical as to what the skeptics will think of their proclamations. (examp: "Chicken Little", Greenie, Eco-Nut, etc.) They tend to hold back until they have more data and proof while problems continue to grow.

    Let me share a few tid-bits regarding only gasoline and its potential coming shortage.

    The following is a passage from an article that can be read in its entirety at:


    Signs of an Energy Crunch

    It is in this context that the following disclosures, all reported in recent months, take on such significance.

    * ConocoPhillips, the Houston-based amalgam of Continental Oil and Phillips Petroleum, announced in January that new additions to its oil reserves in 2004 amounted to only about 60-65% of all the oil it produced that year, entailing a significant depletion of those existing reserves.

    * ChevronTexaco, the second largest U.S. energy firm after ExxonMobil, also reported a significant imbalance between oil production and replacement. Although not willing to disclose the precise nature of the company's shortfall, chief executive Dave O'Reilly told analysts that he expects "our 2004 reserves-replacement rate to be low."

    * Royal Dutch/Shell, already reeling from admissions last year that it had over-stated its oil and natural gas reserves by 20%, recently lowered its estimated holdings by another 10%, bringing its net loss to the equivalent of 5.3 billion barrels of oil. Even more worrisome, Shell announced in February that it had replaced only about 45-55% of the oil and gas it produced in 2004, an unexpectedly disappointing figure.

    These and similar disclosures suggest that the major private oil companies are failing to discover promising new sources of petroleum just as demand for their products soars. According to a recent study released by PFC Energy of Washington, D.C., over the past 20 years, the major oil firms have been producing and consuming twice as much oil as they have been finding. "In effect," says Mike Rodgers, author of the report, "the world's crude oil supply is still largely dependent on legacy assets discovered during the exploration heydays." True, vast reservoirs of untapped petroleum were discovered in those "heydays," mostly the 1950s and 1960s, but these reserves, being finite, will eventually run dry and, if not replaced soon, will leave the world facing a devastating energy crunch.

    The notion that world oil supplies are likely to contract in the years ahead is hotly contested by numerous analysts in government and industry, who contend that many large fields await discovery. "Is the resource base large enough [to satisfy rising world demand]? We believe it is," affirmed ExxonMobil president Rex W. Tillerson in December. But other experts cast doubt on such claims by pointing to those disappointing reserve-replacement rates. "We've run out of good projects," said Matt Simmons, head of the oil-investment bank Simmons & Co. International. "This is not a money issue.... If these companies had fantastic projects, they'd be out there [developing new fields]."

    These are revelations from the very producers that deliver the marvelous blends to your friendly neighborhood station.
  • mirthmirth Member Posts: 1,212
    Why not you ask? If the world oil supply really starts taking a hit, the following will happen:

    - alternative fuels, like coal and biodeisal, that are currently too expensive to pursue, will become viable
    - oil fields that aren't worth the effort at this point will be mined
    - alternate tech like hybrids and possibly fuel cells will also become economically viable and allow us to stretch a limited supply
    - and heck, maybe they will find more oil fields

    All this will allow us to stretch our oil supply for decades or even centuries. Will we have to start trading in our SUV's? Maybe. Will our lifestyle change. Likely. But don't ask me to get worked up about what going to happen in the 22nd or 23rd century, because no one can see that far into the future (with the possible exception of the Social Security administrators).
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    SUVs are NOT the problem...

    it is the many people who are all trying to drive and want a car , instead of taking public transportation or riding a bike...that is the real problem...

    having a large car or smaller car is insignificant in the context of the world market.

    Look at China....the first privately owned vehicle was registered in 1985. Now, in only 20 years, China is the second largest user of gas...behind the US......

    I think using the SUV as a perfunctory suspect makes for less attention to the real reason...

    Don't forget all those trips that one can make on bikes or by foot....or the use of sports cars....
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    quote highender-"SUVs are NOT the problem..."-end quote

    That is only PARTLY true.... :)

    Suvs are definitely PART of the problem when you have people driving them for no good, logical, sensical reasons. Like every Soccer Mom ever seen in an H2 - that's just not necessary and wasteful.

    Sure we should all take public transportation when we can - problem is, many of us CANNOT because the buses don't run where we need them WHEN we need them, or we do not have light rail or Subway service.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 216,451
    If you can walk, rather than drive your 30 MPG Corolla....

    Or, if you can drive a 30 MPG Corolla, rather than a 12 MPG Hummer..

    Saving gas is saving gas... Something tells me that I can save more fuel by buying a more fuel efficient vehicle, than by restructuring my lifestyle to walk more (not that I couldn't use it).


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  • black_tulipblack_tulip Member Posts: 435
    Well said! As a minster of one of the OPEC countries said, "the stone age ended not because people ran out of stones".
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    As long as the Coralla buyer understands and admits that what they are doing is environmentally insignificant, possibly even neutral, then I am fine with your advise.

    In my opinion, people who make a lifestyle choice and lives somewhere that forces them to drive almost everytime they leave the house are kidding themselves if they think buying a small car makes them green.

    Green is chosing either to live off the grid, or somewhere that does allow you to walk, ride a bike, or take mass transit most of the time.

    On past experience, I expect many replies to say I cannot afford to live in the city, I need to live in a good school district, etc, etc...

    Fine. What you are saying is the solution you prefer for those issues is to not be green. If the real estate market demanded multi-story and more dense housing, the industry would not make so many increasingly remote single family communities. People could work to fix school districts in more densely packed areas rather then flee and start a whole new district in remote areas, etc., etc. ...

    Moreover, if one really wanted to live in a remote area, there are many housing and lifestyle choices one could make to avoid the wasteful and commute grid altogether. Instead, people are chosing to buy homes and live a lifestyle that is the most energy intensive.

    Buying a Corolla over an Excursion does little to make up for the other choices.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    We are NOT going to turn this into a political forum and I've removed posts that are headed in that direction. Also, we don't need another rehash of the I Don't like SUV's topic which is resting in the archives if you'd care to see how that "discussion" always ends up. I know that this topic is pretty general and tends to head off in all kinds of directions, but if we can keep to the implied direction of the topic and talk about what higher oil prices might mean, we might be able to keep this one under control.

    The sure danger sign is when posts are about other users rather than the topic. Not a good direction to take.

    PF Flyer
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