Should Humvees be illegal?

Theia
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Should Humvees be illegal?

So, I was watching a show about the car of the future and they were talking about all the different alternative-energy cars people are trying to develop such as hydrogen, ethanol, lithium battery, etc.

When I first started watching the show I was feeling hopeful. But after the show I was feeling somewhat depressed. it's looking pretty grim, frankly. Nothing's going to happen soon and, even when it does happen, it won't be enough.

They're saying by the year 2050 there will be 2.5 times as many cars on the road as there are now. And, while progress is being made towards finding alternative-energy cars, it's slow and none of the options so far is particulary ideal. Burning ethanol, for example, only reduces carbon emissions by 25%. And this doesn't even take into account all the energy required to preduce the corn needed for the ethanol. As it turns out it takes nearly as much fossil fuel to produce it as it replaces. Kind of pointless, isn't it?

While this is disturbing enough, there was something else that sort of pissed me off. Besides all the research being done towards alternative-energy cars, lots of research has been done to make current gasoline powered cars run more efficiently. They say that within the last 20 years engine efficiency has increased 30%. Yeah, that's good. That's not the part that pisses me off. What pisses me off is they also said that during this same time the average fuel economy rating has gone from 22mpg to 20mpg despite this increase in efficiency. Why? Because, rather than making cars more fuel efficient, car manufacturers have been using the technology to make "sexy" cars with more horsepower, or bigger vehicles. There are more SUVs on the road now than ever before.

So in this day and age of looming energy shortages and global warming, why do we even allow gas-guzzling vehicles? Why are Humvees, for example, even legal? Who the hell needs one of those? Considering the Earth's dire future with our current practices, would it be so aweful to make it illegal to own a huge vehicle without proving you have a need? No more Humvees, no more Ford Expeditions, unless you can prove you have a real need for one. For example, if you earn your living doing construction and you need a big-ass pickup truck to haul your tools and supplies then fine, you can own one. But if you're just some guy with money having a midlife crisis who gets a hard-on about the idea of driving a Humvee, no go for you, buddy.

Most of the time I've actually seen Humvees on the road they're being driven by middle-aged housewives buying groceries or taking the kids to Big 5 to buy new soccer balls. She's probably driving it because her dumb-ass husband had a mid-life crisis and thought he was going to reclaim his youth with it but soon realized he couldn't afford the gas to drive it to work everyday, so the wife's stuck using it to run errands. This is just selfish, wasteful, and stupid, IMO. Would it really be so bad to just outlaw this kind of crap?

 

 

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Totally agree

In Oz only the rising fuel price is very slowly stemming the facination with gas guzzlers. I am amazed at the number of 4wds (SUVs) that never leave bitumen and 5 Litre plus sports sedans that just do the shopping.

I put this in the same catagory as video games promoting school bullying etc: the What the f*k were they thinking catagory.

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Here in SA fuel is almost at

Here in SA fuel is almost at epidemic prices. Yet we have the same problem as America-go into a wealthy suburb and you will see large bakkies(pick up trucks) being driven by woman to do the shopping. And the Hummer H2 landed on our shores a few months ago. Some people have too much money and not enough education.

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

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Want to be really depressed?

Want to be really depressed? Watch Who Killed the Elecric Car? It's a fascinating documentary about Saturn's test-run of consumer electric vehicles. Very interesting stuff, though very depressing. It's got your basic idealists, corporate greed, misdirection and misinformation, corrupt politics, and so forth.

Yeah. We're gluttonous, short-sighted beasts who are willing to betray others for our own profit.

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This has been a soapbox of

This has been a soapbox of mine for a long time.  There are so many individual things that could be done, but just one of them wouldn't really help much.  The scope of the change necessary to actually reduce (not reduce the growth of) our emissions is virtually impossible.  It is certainly depressing.

In a country that was actually trying to help the environment, not only would hummers be illegal, but only with a relevant business permit would you be allowed to buy any kind of full sized truck.  Cars would have a maximum of 60mph.  All cars.  Auto racing would be illegal.  If you didn't have a family, you'd only be allowed to buy a compact, and drivers' licenses would cost several thousand dollars.  Public transit would be the standard way to get around for anyone who needed to go farther than they could bicycle. 

Sadly, businesses would not be able to afford the kind of delivery schedule they can now, so places like Walmart wouldn't be able to keep anything you wanted in stock at 4AM on Sunday.  We might have to eat more regional produce, and forgo our passion fruit shipped in from the tropics.  The economy would be in shambles. 

It's a bad mess.  It's actually a shame there isn't a god.  It'll take one to fix what we've done.

 

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Great responses so far.For

Great responses so far.

For what it's worth, I think (and hope) we're on the edge of a HUGE! and great revolution here. Things cannot go on as they have. People have gotten too cushy with the status quo--one that IMHO is unnatural.

I am sooooo sick of looking at my fellow lazy fatass US citizens who refuse to conserve resources. Would it kill you to walk or bike to the store? maybe turn a light or two off? turn down the heat a notch and vice-versa in the summer? I could go on...

We need to DESPERATELY get back to a local commerce driven society where we rely so very little on the outside world. Deal w/ what ya got in yer own community. Your area doesn't produce pineapples? don't eat 'em. Figure out something else.

Oh! And would it kill you to bring your own cloth bags to the grocery store so you don't--ah!!!! fuck it, why do I try?? Eye-wink

rant off...

 

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dassercha wrote:We need to

dassercha wrote:

We need to DESPERATELY get back to a local commerce driven society where we rely so very little on the outside world. Deal w/ what ya got in yer own community. Your area doesn't produce pineapples? don't eat 'em. Figure out something else.

Wait until gas gets really expensive. You're going to see a lot of bike riding and local community action. Also, fewer highways. Suburbia is ready for a fall anyway - what has it been, 60 years? C'mon. Suburbia can't live forever, it's too much of a terrible monster.

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Man, I wish I could believe

Man, I wish I could believe that.

Unfortunately, me thinks things will be business as usual. Head in the sand for the lot of 'em... Sad

Change old and busted habits? Why...why, that's unAmerican!!!!!

 

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dassercha wrote:Great

dassercha wrote:

Great responses so far.

For what it's worth, I think (and hope) we're on the edge of a HUGE! and great revolution here. Things cannot go on as they have. People have gotten too cushy with the status quo--one that IMHO is unnatural.

I am sooooo sick of looking at my fellow lazy fatass US citizens who refuse to conserve resources. Would it kill you to walk or bike to the store? maybe turn a light or two off? turn down the heat a notch and vice-versa in the summer? I could go on...

We need to DESPERATELY get back to a local commerce driven society where we rely so very little on the outside world. Deal w/ what ya got in yer own community. Your area doesn't produce pineapples? don't eat 'em. Figure out something else.

Oh! And would it kill you to bring your own cloth bags to the grocery store so you don't--ah!!!! fuck it, why do I try?? Eye-wink

rant off...

It isn't just laziness. Our whole infrastructure's built around suburbia now. How do you realistically change that? My area is a good example. I'm 5 miles from a decent shopping center and many areas have no sidewalks or bike lanes or street lights. It would be dangerous to ride a bike or walk on many of our streets, especially at night. No, I can't afford to move to the city, and all of suburbia can't fit there anyway. I don't know how you could change the way existing communities work. It's not like you can just raze our whole city and redesign it for pedestrian living. The best we can do at this point is to stop building more suburbs like this and make everyone drive small cars. Outlaw gas guzzlers!

 

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Off the top of my head (not

Off the top of my head (not always a logically good idea):

I'm as poor as it gets, but i chose to live where I live thru much planning. It's working out okay.

I do see yer point about suburbia not fitting in the city, so, again, how about trying to be as self-sufficient as possible out there?

Hmmmmm: What if all of suburbialand started boycotting Chinese goods starting, say,  tommorrow? Now there's a thought!

 

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America is flat

America builds out, while most countries build up. The consequences of this are multifaceted, but the major one is that driving 20 miles to work and 5 miles to the store is normal. There has to be a redefinition of the coming impact that fossil fuel consumption will unleash in not only economical or environmental terms, but overreaching cultural terms.

I saw this thing on the science channel the other day about the future of oil shortages and the reactions to our culture. It would require a fundamental change of how people plan cities, suburbs, etc.  Growing up with consumer freedom and ideas of individualism, there are a few things that it is hard for me to wrap my head around. The ideas that we can start banning cars that consume more gas than others, along with all forms of auto racing makes me reject them from a gut level. I fully comprehend the effects of oil dependence, fossil fuel pollution, and its contribution to global climate change are harming our world, but these ideas are anathema to most Americans, even left leaning progressives. I am not saying they wouldn't result in first steps to addressing a ubiquitous problem, but rather I think things such as the implementation of banning auto racing or hummers are literally impossible until oil is consumed for only subsistence(ie Heating your home). Hopefully, large scale green energy programs will have been instituted before we get to that point.

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dassercha wrote:Off the top

dassercha wrote:

Off the top of my head (not always a logically good idea):

I'm as poor as it gets, but i chose to live where I live thru much planning. It's working out okay.

I do see yer point about suburbia not fitting in the city, so, again, how about trying to be as self-sufficient as possible out there?

Hmmmmm: What if all of suburbialand started boycotting Chinese goods starting, say,  tommorrow? Now there's a thought!

 

Yeah but there's nothing in suburbia but houses. You'd have to tear down half the houses in order to build enough commercial and retail space to sustain the community so people wouldn't have to drive to the city for their jobs and to do their shopping and what not. It was just poor planning from the beginning. So, first thing we need to do is stop developing communities this way. But how do you fix the suburban communities that area already developed?

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dassercha wrote:Man, I wish

dassercha wrote:

Man, I wish I could believe that.

Unfortunately, me thinks things will be business as usual. Head in the sand for the lot of 'em... Sad

Change old and busted habits? Why...why, that's unAmerican!!!!!

The funniest thing about it is that I'm suggesting that this will be the only problem I can think of that will actually solve itself.

Consider America operating on $300 a barrel for oil, like a lot of the world does right now. That's what, $10 a gallon for gasoline? Good luck with that, everyone. What about when it hits $400?

Suburbia will die based on resource prices, not a desire for change. Our own turbo-foolishness is actually going to save us from sprawl, overfishing, polluting, and mechanized war. But I have a feeling it's going to get a lot uglier before it calms down, since it's often difficult for individuals to suddenly be faced with their own impotence.

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Theia wrote:But how do you

Theia wrote:
But how do you fix the suburban communities that area already developed?

You abandon them.

Oh man, the Amish are going to be laughing at us. "Guess that whole car thing didn't work out for you, eh, fancy-pants?"

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HisWillness wrote:Theia

HisWillness wrote:

Theia wrote:
But how do you fix the suburban communities that area already developed?

You abandon them.

Oh man, the Amish are going to be laughing at us. "Guess that whole car thing didn't work out for you, eh, fancy-pants?"

The Amish! Hahahaha, too true.

BUT, if the suburbanites built their own self-sustaining communities, they'd be fine. There's plenty of land out there to farm, right? I think those enclaves would then be called villages. They're all over Europe.

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Quote:Oh man, the Amish are

Quote:
Oh man, the Amish are going to be laughing at us. "Guess that whole car thing didn't work out for you, eh, fancy-pants?"

 

I like hearing a lot of what you guys are saying.  My town is an interesting example of what's possible, but it's a long way from perfect.  The City Council here has instituted a land use program that encourages mixed zoning outside of downtown.  In other words, apartments over businesses.  They are also experimenting with building apartment complexes into commercial zones, so that you have six or seven businesses literally across the parking lot from your room.

If I just had my restaurant, which is a fifteen minute walk from my house, I could live without ever driving a car.  As it is, sometimes I have to drive downtown to my bar when the buses aren't running, which is far too often.

The down sides are that most of the yards in the neighborhoods around here are huge, and most of the houses are three to five bedrooms.  That would be ok if three to five people lived in the houses, but the city council, in its wisdom, has zoned most of it "Single Family."  That means that no more than two unrelated people can live together in the same house.  (This is a college town, remember?)  So, you get people like me living alone and taking up 2000 sq ft and half an acre.  This, of course, means sprawl.

Then again, maybe it's better to have smaller population densities, and more self sufficient areas?  It would definitely be better fuel efficiency to have only delivery trucks coming to an area because people didn't need to leave their little part of the city.

Feh... it's all probably a pipe dream at the moment.  People won't change until they have to, and gas is still $3.50 a gallon.

 

 

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dassercha wrote:The Amish!

dassercha wrote:

The Amish! Hahahaha, too true.

BUT, if the suburbanites built their own self-sustaining communities, they'd be fine. There's plenty of land out there to farm, right? I think those enclaves would then be called villages. They're all over Europe.

Uh-huh. When was the last time you saw a suburbanite on a farm? Also, since chemical-based fertilizers will rise in price along with the gasoline/diesel that's used in tractors, the only reference we have to old-school farming is organic farmers. Oh, and the Amish.

I personally don't expect people to adapt very quickly. We already know that Saudi Arabia can't increase production of oil, and most of the countries in the world can't produce any more light crude. So the phrase "peak oil" is now even being used by Shell executives (of course, in their case, it's a great way to explain the price hikes - cha-ching!).

Denial is powerful. It may take four or five years for people to figure out they can't afford their lifestyle any more.

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Hambydammit wrote:Feh...

Hambydammit wrote:

Feh... it's all probably a pipe dream at the moment.  People won't change until they have to, and gas is still $3.50 a gallon.

I'm hoping for more than ten years, but looking at the math, that's wishful thinking. The baby boomers are in for a shitty, shitty retirement, is all I'm saying.

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Quote:Uh-huh. When was the

Quote:
Uh-huh. When was the last time you saw a suburbanite on a farm? Also, since chemical-based fertilizers will rise in price along with the gasoline/diesel that's used in tractors, the only reference we have to old-school farming is organic farmers. Oh, and the Amish.

What is it with you and the Amish?

Quote:
I personally don't expect people to adapt very quickly. We already know that Saudi Arabia can't increase production of oil, and most of the countries in the world can't produce any more light crude. So the phrase "peak oil" is now even being used by Shell executives (of course, in their case, it's a great way to explain the price hikes - cha-ching!).

Frankly, I'm hoping that I can sell both my businesses in the next five years before shipping gets prohibitively expensive.  At that point, I'll probably figure out a way to relocate to someplace less... um... American.

 

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Hambydammit wrote:What is it

Hambydammit wrote:

What is it with you and the Amish?

I admire their energy efficiency. If it weren't for the religous aspect, I'd probably be Amish myself. 

Hambydammit wrote:
Frankly, I'm hoping that I can sell both my businesses in the next five years before shipping gets prohibitively expensive.

Absolutely. I still say it'll take a while for people to admit what's happening, so you probably have plenty of time to sell. Barring some severe panic reaction to the recession, I mean.

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Even though the air

Even though the air pollution here is sometimes appalling, I will stick up for my city (Hong Kong). We have the best public transport in the world. No-one drives their own car. I've lived in Hong Kong for twelve years and have never driven a single mile. Then when I went to the US for six days I drove 4,260km. Unbelievable. I've really got to tell you, the American lifestyle is completely unsustainable. Suburban areas are completely unsustainable. People who live in the "exburbs" should be shot. We often criticize big cities for their environmental impact, but its really the suburbs that are the worst and most unsustainable areas. In the future (if there is to be a future), instead of having massive cities which have tentacles of conurban and suburban outreaches for hundreds of square miles, there will be smaller communities which link up with each other, high-tech versions of villages, so to speak. If it were up to me, Zoning laws would not permit conurban environments or highway commuting culture. There is no God. We did this to ourselves. Nonetheless, I disagree with the extreme nature of Hamby's pessimism. I understand it, because he is American, and lives in the US. Hell, if I lived in the US, I'd probably share it (4,260km...un-fucking-believable), but I don't. It does seem the Americans are as a nation, slow to catch up since they are used to SUVs and suburban houses, just the amount of consumption that occurs in the US is nothing short of mind-blowing, and the per-capita is horrifying. The only reason I so enjoyed my visit to the US was that I was staying at some of the best tertiary institutes for science on the face of the earth.

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deludedgod wrote:I've really

deludedgod wrote:
I've really got to tell you, the American lifestyle is completely unsustainable. Suburban areas are completely unsustainable.

It can probably be sustained for another 10 years. Nice round number. I'm not psychic - the math points to about 10 years. The push for ethanol has made the situation worse.

deludedgod wrote:
In the future (if there is to be a future), instead of having massive cities which have tentacles of conurban and suburban outreaches for hundreds of square miles, there will be smaller communities which link up with each other, high-tech versions of villages, so to speak.

It will be interesting to see how much it's possible to keep up the "high tech" when food is expensive. Also, of course there will be a future. There was a future after the Roman Empire collapsed for attempting to overextend itself, and there will be a future after we've finished overextending ourselves. No doubt we've changed the biosphere, but it has handled worse than us.

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HisWillness wrote: Wait

HisWillness wrote:

 

Wait until gas gets really expensive....

 

Unfortunately I don't have to wait.  My old '82 Mercedes sits in my driveway because diesel is already in excess of $4.00 a gallon.  

Perhaps I should try and purchase a used Space Shuttle from NASA, the operating costs are probably cheaper ! 

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ProzacDeathWish

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

Perhaps I should try and purchase a used Space Shuttle from NASA, the operating costs are probably cheaper ! 

You would, however, have the greatest car of all time. Burning your neighbourhood down starting the thing would be a small price to pay for such greatness.

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Quote:Nonetheless, I

Quote:
Nonetheless, I disagree with the extreme nature of Hamby's pessimism.

I think the thing that keeps me from getting any hopes up is the number of ways we can potentially fuck ourselves.  I just watched an episode of Mythbusters, and one of the commercials was asking for donations to a fund for scientists studying the growing number of honeybee deaths in the U.S.  If honeybees go extinct... wow.  That would fuck up a LOT of things. 

In the DC area, there's a fish from your part of the world, the snakehead, that has no natural predators here, and is taking over the Potomac.  It's also been spotted in California.  It's just one of hundreds of animals and plants that are being introduced and killing off native species.

Water pollution is a big, big problem.  Not only are we overfishing the oceans, we're polluting them so that the creatures who don't get caught are developing lesions and growing third eyes.

Basically, I don't think that any one problem is completely beyond hope of solution, but every time I start researching one ecological threat, I discover five more I didn't even know existed.

 

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Should Humvees be illegal? 

Should Humvees be illegal?  The short answer is "regulated". The long answer is long.

      Who is the government (s) What is government and laws etc.  ????

       Can I own a tank ?  Yes, but what may I do with this tank ? 

       etc

    

   

 


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Quote:Should Humvees be

Quote:

Should Humvees be illegal?  The short answer is "regulated". The long answer is long.

      Who is the government (s) What is government and laws etc.  ????

       Can I own a tank ?  Yes, but what may I do with this tank ?

I am so excited!  IAGAY, your coherency level has been on the rise of late.  Are you drinking less?

Assuming I understand your point, I'd just like to point out that the manufacture of humvees will not last long if people can own them but aren't allowed to drive them.  Kind of defeats the whole purpose.  Smiling

 

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Hamby; Cool , just

 Hamby; Cool , just thinking harder more often .... It's too early too be drunk yet !

I'll get there later  .....

   LOL , always dude, kick my ass when I deserve it.  You are a blessing for many of us. IOU .....  


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Hambydammit wrote:The down

Hambydammit wrote:
The down sides are that most of the yards in the neighborhoods around here are huge, and most of the houses are three to five bedrooms.  That would be ok if three to five people lived in the houses, but the city council, in its wisdom, has zoned most of it "Single Family."  That means that no more than two unrelated people can live together in the same house.  (This is a college town, remember?)  So, you get people like me living alone and taking up 2000 sq ft and half an acre.  This, of course, means sprawl.

I really don't get this. What is the purpose of this strange regulation?


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Theia wrote: Would it

Theia wrote:

 Would it really be so bad to just outlaw this kind of crap?

 

What needs to change is higher taxation for activities that damage the envioronment and utilize the limited resourse we have here on earth. So oil drilling would need to be in a very envrionmentally way. Cars and gasoline would be taxed based on the carbon and other envronmentally damaging products. This would encourage alternative fuels.

But a lot what's driving this is envy. Many people are jealous of those rich folks and assume that got the money for a humvee dishonestly.

It should not be made illegal. People should have the right to enjoy the fruits of their labor however they please as long as they pay for the cost and damages of their activites. If this priciple is violated, why work hard? Why study to get a good job? We'll all drive the same car. So you end up with a society with no technical and scientific advancement. Just jealous, stupid, poor people. Bitching and blaming everyone but themselves.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Quote:I really don't get

Quote:
I really don't get this. What is the purpose of this strange regulation?

To keep college students out of the neighborhood.  The regulations have been challenged, and the city is hesitant to pursue legal action against anyone.  The thing is, five of six students will go together on rent and move into a four or five bedroom house.  Older residents don't like having parties in the neighborhoods, so instead of enforcing noise ordinances, etc, they pushed through legislation to keep students out of the neighborhood entirely.

 

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EXC wrote:So oil drilling

EXC wrote:
So oil drilling would need to be in a very envrionmentally way.

Hehe.

EXC wrote:
Cars and gasoline would be taxed based on the carbon and other envronmentally damaging products.

Hahaha!

EXC wrote:
This would encourage alternative fuels.

HAHAHA!

Whoo.

Okay, wait just a second. First of all, I thought you were a small government guy. What happened to that? More taxes?

Second, oil and gas are already taxed to the hilt. The funny thing is that it goes right back into subsidizing oil and gas. Drilling for oil can't be done environmentally, even if they *were* building new rigs, and even if there *were* sizeable fields left to explore. Check out Matthew Simmons' Twilight in the Desert for more information.

Third, alternative fuels don't exist. There's no alternative. Ethanol is made from corn, which is farmed using tractors that run on gas or diesel, and fertilized with natural-gas-based chemicals. Hydrogen is ... well, it's extracted from natural gas most of the time. The electrolysis of water to get hydrogen just isn't applicable to a filling-station-style infrastructure, and coal ... I guess there's coal. All aboard!

EXC wrote:
People should have the right to enjoy the fruits of their labor however they please as long as they pay for the cost and damages of their activites.

You mean like subsidizing highways, subsidizing the suburbs, subsidizing car manufacturers, etc., etc.

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HisWillness wrote:It will be

HisWillness wrote:

It will be interesting to see how much it's possible to keep up the "high tech" when food is expensive.

When?

At least here in Chicago, the price of food has probably doubled since I was a kid. I remember when we'd have family over or throw a large party. We fill two shopping carts with food and run up a $200 bill at the grocery store, which seemed really expensive to me when I was 8 or 9. Nowadays, the same two carts of food are closer to $400 (and the large parties are less frequent, haha). Now that I'm living on my own and shopping for myself, I cringe at some of the prices, and am stunned that I can spend $50 to $70 per week on just myself.


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should Humvee's be illegal?

should Humvee's be illegal? No

 

should Hummers be illegal? Yes

 

Humvee's are military issue after all, and serve more important purposes then mere ego grataficaltion... where as the Hummer civy issue, does nothing but that... and alot less in comparision

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HisWillness wrote:Okay, wait

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, wait just a second. First of all, I thought you were a small government guy. What happened to that? More taxes?

Second, oil and gas are already taxed to the hilt. The funny thing is that it goes right back into subsidizing oil and gas. Drilling for oil can't be done environmentally, even if they *were* building new rigs, and even if there *were* sizeable fields left to explore. Check out Matthew Simmons' Twilight in the Desert for more information.

Third, alternative fuels don't exist. There's no alternative. Ethanol is made from corn, which is farmed using tractors that run on gas or diesel, and fertilized with natural-gas-based chemicals. Hydrogen is ... well, it's extracted from natural gas most of the time. The electrolysis of water to get hydrogen just isn't applicable to a filling-station-style infrastructure, and coal ... I guess there's coal. All aboard!

Well, I'm either a right wing extremist or a communist because I take rational positions instead of repeating political dogma. I'm against taxes per se, everything should basically be user fees. If you extract oil and pollute, you need to pay a high user fee for this privilege. One should only be taxed only when on receives a benefit. So, if people are willing to pay high fees for nice roads and access to oil reserves, that is their business.

I'm against government subsidies for things like Ethanol. Technology and free markets can solve the problems.

HisWillness wrote:

EXC wrote:
People should have the right to enjoy the fruits of their labor however they please as long as they pay for the cost and damages of their activities.

You mean like subsidizing highways, subsidizing the suburbs, subsidizing car manufacturers, etc., etc.

No, I believe in paying a user fee to solve the problems your lifestyle creates. If your lifestyle causes pollution and traffic, you need to pay to fix it. Every human activity  needs to have a value assigned to it as to how much environmental and social damage it causes, then taxed(user fees) appropriately.

Problem is government under democracy is not done in this rational way. In our democracy, whoever whines the most and loudest gets what they want. If you labor in silence, you get fucked. So, we are turning in a society of whiners instead of workers and problem solvers. And the sad thing is most people know this, but just accept the mediocrity being bred.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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greek goddess

greek goddess wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

It will be interesting to see how much it's possible to keep up the "high tech" when food is expensive.

When?

At least here in Chicago, the price of food has probably doubled since I was a kid. I remember when we'd have family over or throw a large party. We fill two shopping carts with food and run up a $200 bill at the grocery store, which seemed really expensive to me when I was 8 or 9. Nowadays, the same two carts of food are closer to $400 (and the large parties are less frequent, haha). Now that I'm living on my own and shopping for myself, I cringe at some of the prices, and am stunned that I can spend $50 to $70 per week on just myself.

At this point, inflationary measurements in G8 countries are flat-out lies. We're getting told that the government or central bank has it all under control at 3% or less, and everything's fabulous. Only the real value of money seems to every one else to be buying less in terms of quality, and certainly less in terms of quantity where food is concerned.

Just recently, with the gasoline price trends, food prices have really gone up. But I've talked to a couple of farmers who say that even that isn't covering their costs, and that price controls are making the situation for them pretty bad. I'm sure there's an equivalent problem in the states. It's looking a little grim. This is definitely one case where I wish I were wrong about things.

When I say "when food gets expensive", I'm talking actually expensive.

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greek goddess wrote: I

greek goddess wrote:

 I cringe at some of the prices, and am stunned that I can spend $50 to $70 per week on just myself.

I spend that just on beer.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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Quote:Just recently, with

Quote:
Just recently, with the gasoline price trends, food prices have really gone up. But I've talked to a couple of farmers who say that even that isn't covering their costs, and that price controls are making the situation for them pretty bad. I'm sure there's an equivalent problem in the states. It's looking a little grim. This is definitely one case where I wish I were wrong about things.

The price of pasta has doubled for my restaurant since December 07.   Milk products are up 50-60%.  Produce is up across the board at varying percentages.

I've raised menu prices twice in two years, and am making less profit per plate.

Yes, prices are rising.

Quote:
When I say "when food gets expensive", I'm talking actually expensive.

I know what you're talking about.  That's a bit down the road, I think.  We'll see specialty foods go up first as producers focus on local grown food to offset gas prices.

 

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EXC wrote:Well, I'm either a

EXC wrote:

Well, I'm either a right wing extremist or a communist because I take rational positions instead of repeating political dogma.

Probably a good way to operate. Dogma isn't one of my favourite things. I was just teasing anyway.

EXC wrote:
I'm against taxes per se, everything should basically be user fees. If you extract oil and pollute, you need to pay a high user fee for this privilege.

Yeah, instead of getting the golden handshake from the government. That would be nice.

EXC wrote:
I'm against government subsidies for things like Ethanol. Technology and free markets can solve the problems.

Or not, as the case may be. The only problem with technology is that it tends to need an energy source.

EXC wrote:
I believe in paying a user fee to solve the problems your lifestyle creates. If your lifestyle causes pollution and traffic, you need to pay to fix it. Every human activity  needs to have a value assigned to it as to how much environmental and social damage it causes, then taxed(user fees) appropriately.

Ah, assigning value. That looks like a job for the market. Only without the subsidy chain to make it look as though cars and gas are cheap.

EXC wrote:
Problem is government under democracy is not done in this rational way. In our democracy, whoever whines the most and loudest gets what they want. 

To a certain extent. Oil money is big money, so they get what they want (tax dollars included). That's not so much "whining" as it is "weaseling", but your point stands. It's a difficult problem to assign value given a government responsible to people who don't know what they really value unless put into a market environment.

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Quote:Ah, assigning value.

Quote:
Ah, assigning value. That looks like a job for the market. Only without the subsidy chain to make it look as though cars and gas are cheap.

But... but... but...

But if cars and gas aren't cheap, then it costs me more to go to my job, which means I have less money to spend, which means I shop at Target instead of Belk, which means Belk can't pay its employees as much, which means nobody can go out to dinner, which means restaurants go out of business, which means

I CAN'T BUY THE NEW HUMMER H1000!!!!!!!!

Therefore, gas and cars are cheap.

 

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I'm surprised that no one

I'm surprised that no one has brought up the plug-in hybrid technology.  I feel that it's the most promising solution to this problem.

It's basically an electric car with a small internal combustion engine.  Some designs can run on batteries for 60 - 80 miles which would satisfy the vast majority of daily commuter use.  When the batteries get low the engine kicks in to run a generator to charge them, so range is not an issue.   The small internal combustion engine that is installed can be designed to run on gas, e85, diesel or bio-diesel, or alternatively, it can be replaced with a fuel cell if that technology becomes piratical.

Such a vehicle, charged at home by solar panels (either directly during the day, or at night by electricity stored in a battery bank) and/or a small wind turbine, would go a long way to solving or current crisis.  Also, when you are not charging your car, the electricity can help power you home.  In addition, the hybrid car can be used as an emergency generator for your home if the power goes out.

Congress just needs to pass two laws to make this a reality:

1) Increase the corporate average fuel economy to a much greater degree.  Hybrid technology is the only practical way that the car companies could meet this in the near future.

2) A law such as they have in Germany that requires electric companies to buy back home generated electricity at a guaranteed fixed price high enough to encourage people to invest in solar for their homes.  Under this law, solar panels are becoming very popular in Germany.  People are paying neighbors to rent their roof space to install panels.  Farmers are installing solar panels in some of their fields instead of crops.

There are other solutions out there, however I feel no one solution can make as dramatic impact as the plug-in hybrid/home energy solution. 

WWSD - What Would Scooby Doo?


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http://www.teslamotors.com/ 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

http://www.teslamotors.com/

 

 

Their imposters! no where on their site do they advertise about the giant lightning cannons that their company is famous for!

 

*ponders tesla cannon on a sports car...* Muahaha

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HisWillness wrote:Or not, as

HisWillness wrote:

Or not, as the case may be. The only problem with technology is that it tends to need an energy source.

Up until now, burning oil has been cheap enough that energy usage has not been a big consideration. So technology is driven by what the consumer wants not what is best for the environment and long term economy.

HisWillness wrote:

Ah, assigning value. That looks like a job for the market. Only without the subsidy chain to make it look as though cars and gas are cheap.

Well the problem is there is almost no penalty for pollution and mining. Dump all the carbon you in the air, no tax. But we pay a price in health and now climate change.

And extaction is effectively free because of all the investment tax breaks the energy companies get.

HisWillness wrote:

That's not so much "whining" as it is "weaseling"

How true. It's whining and weaseling. Whining is the tool of poor, weaseling the the tool of the rich. Everyone in the middle is in a f***ed sandwich.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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JoeyJoJoJr wrote:I'm

JoeyJoJoJr wrote:

I'm surprised that no one has brought up the plug-in hybrid technology.  I feel that it's the most promising solution to this problem.

I would absoutely love it if this were true. You might want to do some math around the subject first, and then cry. If you're not into math, then find yourself an engineer or physicist, and figure out how much energy our current lifestyle consumes all around. Then cry, naturally. Then try and figure out how it could be done without using ancient solar deposits in the form of oil and natural gas. I'll warn you about the empty feeling in the pit of your stomach before you resume crying.

The energy storage problem? Tears.

Energy transmission? Weep.

Extracting elements for nuclear fission without combustion engines? More tears.

Power conditioning and quality issues? Sob.

Mass production without quality power? Whimper.

Personal transporation isn't going to be the problem.

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Hambydammit wrote:Will

Hambydammit wrote:

Will wrote:
When I say "when food gets expensive", I'm talking actually expensive.

I know what you're talking about.  That's a bit down the road, I think.  We'll see specialty foods go up first as producers focus on local grown food to offset gas prices.

By "down the road", do you figure ... 10 years? Or maybe 8? Perhaps 5? OPEC has as much as admitted that it can't produce more light crude. We use light crude to run the machines that process the tar sands. We're at the plateau, and China just came on board the feeding frenzy. I don't see this ending well.

I dearly, dearly hope that I'm wrong, and people start producing and eating local foods. Not so much for the environment, as for the survivability of communities. I hope all this happens gradually, and we can all laugh at our past excesses and simple future. Let's hope so.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
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Quote:Personal transporation

Quote:
Personal transporation isn't going to be the problem.

This is what I alluded to in another thread.  Or maybe it was this one.  I'm not going to go back and look.

I don't think any single problem, on paper, is insurmountable.  The real problem is that each problem is part of a giant web of problems, each dependent on the other problems getting solved first.

Good example:  Why we don't have good mass transit in my town:

My town is designed for a car culture.  There are precious few bike lanes, and they're just glorified shoulders, where any passing ruffian can clip you going 50 mph and kill you.  It's happened several times in the last couple of years.  There's a bus system, but it's habitually late because  -- guess what -- it's stuck in traffic all the time.  It only runs once an hour because nobody will take it because its always late and people who need to take the bus have to get to work on time or they lose their jobs.

I live close to town, relatively speaking.  It takes me most of an hour to walk downtown from my house.  Biking is life threatening. 

The main feature in this town is the college.  We are a consumer/service industry economy.  It's all restaurants, bars, and retail.   Out of that, the most revenue comes from the bar/restaurant industry, which the county actively tries to drive out, which depresses the economy, making it impossible for the city to pull in the resources necessary to improve the transit situation -- if they wanted to.  Oh, and the university takes up most of the good land, and they are tax exempt.

On top of that, the police, because of the low tax base in the county, have to raise money somehow.  The most productive way to do so?  DUIs at $2k a pop.  Don't try to tell me they want to stop drunk driving.  They want to pull over drunk drivers and give them big fines.  Most everyone here is a student, and will be gone in two to three years.  What do the police care if they don't have their license and can't get to work because there's no decent mass transit?

Of course, the other problem with improving mass transit is the historical society.  This is an old town.  In order to do anything with a historic building, you have to get permission from the historical society, which will only happen if you're making it more historic looking, which means not increasing density in the old parts of town.  If you can't increase density, the only thing you can do is move outward.  But, if you're building on the outsides of town, you can't just throw up densely populated apartments.  You have to do single family dwellings or duplexes, because that's why people move outside of downtown, which isn't dense anyway because of historic preservation...

(I could go on for another 20 minutes.)

Seriously... this is the beginning of the discussion of why people don't ride the bus here.

 

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Quote:By "down the road", do

Quote:
By "down the road", do you figure ... 10 years? Or maybe 8? Perhaps 5? OPEC has as much as admitted that it can't produce more light crude. We use light crude to run the machines that process the tar sands. We're at the plateau, and China just came on board the feeding frenzy. I don't see this ending well.

I mean maybe a decade or fifteen years.  I do see local farming offsetting drastic increases temporarily.  The government will continue to subsidize farming, and will probably get on board with the local thing when it becomes obvious that it's necessary.

 

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The Doomed Soul

The Doomed Soul wrote:

 

 

Humvee's are military issue after all, and serve more important purposes then mere ego grataficaltion... where as the Hummer civy issue, does nothing but that... and alot less in comparision

 

I agree though I wouldn't mind having a civilian version of the M1A1 Abrams.  Just slap on a rear view mirror and some turn signals ( got to keep the 120 mm smooth bore cannon for solving traffic jams ) and I'd be happy.

Oh, and I'd proudly display my "Visualize World Peace" bumper sticker on the turret.

 

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If this pans out, then it's

If this pans out, then it's all good:

http://www.emc2fusion.org/

I am a skeptic by nature, but after looking into it a bit, there might be something to low cost polywell fusion. (BTW-This is NOT cold fusion)

If they can get this working, it would be HUGE.

 

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HisWillness wrote:JoeyJoJoJr

HisWillness wrote:

JoeyJoJoJr wrote:

I'm surprised that no one has brought up the plug-in hybrid technology.  I feel that it's the most promising solution to this problem.

Personal transporation isn't going to be the problem.

The problem with anything that plugs in to the wall is that the majority of electricity produced in the U.S. comes from coal-fired power plants. If anything is going to be outlawed, it should be those. They're by far the dirtiest source of energy. China, in particular, has metric assloads of coal and is using to generate electricity for their exponentially-increasing demand.

The interesting thing about gasoline prices in the U.S. is that even though prices are currently hovering around the inflation-adjusted record high from 1981, they still aren't high enough to cause a reduction in consumption. We're seeing the tip of the iceberg now, with prices increasing for everything due to higher fuel costs. And there's also the orgy of mergers and bankruptcy going on with the airlines - an industry that lives and dies by fuel prices.

I think gasoline is going to have to hit $5 per gallon before people really start getting their shit together and cut back on consumption.

 

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