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Time to do something now
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, July 03, 2008

Warren Meyer of the always outstanding Coyote Blog does a little figuring and charting and comes up with this:

It is always nice to get a little perspective on a problem, because it is human nature to think what you are suffering is always the worst that has been suffered.

I remember the high gas prices of the '80s very well. Of course then, there was some slack in the system as we were only a few years into our self-imposed drilling moratorium and supply was still plentiful, even if OPEC was playing with the spigot a bit.

There is no slack in the system now, but still, as a percentage of our disposable income, we have a way to go to match Jimmy Carter era gas prices. However, if we don't start doing something now, we'll be there soon enough (10 years?) with no relief in sight.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

This is generally true, but the number of miles driven from a household is up.

Its up 37.5% from 1983 to 2001 alone.

From the table, a single person household is up slightly compared to 2 or more. I’d content a major push for the increased miles is not only people living further from work alone. But rather two significant wage earners as opposed to 1 primary wage earner and 1 secondary wage earner or housewife. Therefore both are regularly traveling more miles to work since both jobs are of high value. Where you live is a bigger compromise to satisfy both workers.

The point still stands, but we aren’t as far off either.

Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
This is generally true, but the number of miles driven from a household is up.
Which really doesn’t negate the point - the cost to drive the same number of miles as 1980 is less than half the cost. That’s the only basis by which such a comparison can be made. The rest all has to do with personal choice.
Written By: McQ
Is it really personal choice?

I could go into a bunch of niggling points about how the US population has grown almost 30% since 1980 and that’s not counting illegal aliens. So pressure on housing availability has been pretty steady. Basically everything got bigger and where I’d want to live and where I worked got pushed out from each other.

Then there’s the move out of the cities aka ’white flight’. Because dealing with crime got people called racists so they chose to leave instead. It may have started form that, but the fallout didn’t settle out to the early-mid 80’s.

We can argue that a second income is necessary or not. For some it is and that number has probably grown, not shrunk since 1980.

And we might consider things like the above, personal choice, but while we’re at it, let’s cut out the second car and air conditioning. Those are personal choice as well.

Whatever the reasons its the lifestyle we’ve become accustom to. Its not going to change overnight. And the amount of disposable income the cost of gas consumes is not completely represented by the graph.

And then there’s the kicker. I’m being told to move closer to work if it bothers you, etc. I’m being told the same thing from oil interests that I’m being told by the environmentalists, basically change you lifestyle if it bothers you. Now I know I’m screwed. No one is working to fix anything. Either from lack of will or inability. And there won’t be a solution (drilling included) anytime soon.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Is it really personal choice?
Of course it is — you are where you are because of choices you’ve made, not anyone else.

Decisions obviously may have been made on data which is no longer current or valid (i.e. being able to afford to drive to work). That’s life. But it’s still all about you and what you decided.
Written By: McQ
what conservatives should be saying to the american people is. be more self dependent, pull yourself put by the boot straps. work more and spend less. people should be more self reliant. and should go to the government in tough times.

of course this is a election year so all those conservative principles will go out the window for pandering for votes.
Written By: slntax
URL: http://
Statistical analysis makes too many assumptions. In recent years, pickups, suvs and vans which have lower mpg have become popular. Also, fuel prices are rising much more rapidly than incomes. Many people have long commutes and relocating is not practical due to being upside down in a falling real estate market.

The fact is that petroleum inflation affects every product that is manufactured, transported and distributed or has petroleum as a feedstock.

The drill here, drill now movement is long overdue!
Written By: Ben
National speed limit pushed as gas saver

Could John Warner please visit Jesse Helms .. soon.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.

The figure emphatically contradicts the US government’s claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil.

Senior development sources believe the report, completed in April, has not been published to avoid embarrassing President George Bush.
How long before Obama pivots on ethanol ? Given it’s an "Illinois issue" .. none too soon.

Is it really true that using bio-fuels reduce emissions of greenhouse gases ? I’d like a tutorial as to how that happens.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Cellulosic Exploitation
As fossil fuel reserves become depleted, a renewable feed-stock for the chemical industry becomes more significant The obvious renewable resource is cellulose, which is already in embarrassingly large supply and largely wasted.
I scanned through this piece and couldn’t come up with exactly what this "embarrassingly large supply" of cellulose comes from. I can think of a few, like corn husks and stalks, but the next most obvious are trees. While this may make old copies of the NYT and LAT valuable, some how I just can’t see the Sierra Club signing on if it involves large numbers of trees.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://

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