Don`t Pump Gas on May 15th !

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MikeVDS
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Post by MikeVDS » Tue May 08, 2007 9:43 am

The thought that large oil corporations(with the government in their back pocket) will kill themselves with massive profits is a little far fetched I think.
Is it? It's those massive profits that cause people to post silly boycott days that most of us know will do nothing even if everyone did boycott. It causes anger by the people and political pressure. As stated before it makes other technologies that have been and continue to be developed, more cost effective. If the companies were barely making it or in the red, all down the line, no one would have hatred toward the monopolistic oil.

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Post by EvilDustBooger » Tue May 08, 2007 9:49 am

MikeVDS wrote:It's those massive profits that cause people to post silly boycott days that most of us know will do nothing even if everyone did boycott.
Yep. I figure it`s kind of like pissing in a pair of black slacks.
You get the nice warm feeling, but nobody seems to notice.

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Post by Wind_Borne » Tue May 08, 2007 11:44 pm

The notion that goods have some intrinsic worth is simply medieval.

The amount of a good sold varies inversely with price - the higher the price, the less is sold. This relationship is the product's demand curve. Somewhere along that curve the product of units sold times unit price will be at its maximum -- that point of maximum revenue. All vendors seek that point. When goods go on sale, the vendor has realized his price was too high. When prices go up, the vendor is betting his prices were too low. Either way, the vendor is responding to consumer behavior.

This is true for Apple and Exxon. No one cares that Steve Jobs is making a fortune on the iPod & iTunes -- after all, Jobs is cool and dresses all in black. So why should anyone care how much the CEO of Exxon is taking home? Exxon's shareholders might. But the rest of us shouldn't. Unless you think envy enhances human happiness.

Want to reduce the price of fuel. Change the demand curve: buy less fuel.

The planet will thank you.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

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Post by MikeVDS » Wed May 09, 2007 12:14 am

So why should anyone care how much the CEO of Exxon is taking home? Exxon's shareholders might. But the rest of us shouldn't.
Some care about how much the CEO makes, but I think more people care about the amount of profit take in by the company. In most cases this is not a problem for most people, but some companies have such a large share of the market and so much capitol that the average person has zero chance into that market. At that point bad behavior seems to be fairly common. When the competition has been narrowed it's easy to hide illegal anti capitalistic behaviors. In addition and much worse is that with enough capitol, politicians, news media, and votes can, and are, bought. When this happens, things have to get relatively bad for people to see past the fluff and realize what's going on.

There are kooks on all sides of all discussions, but don't think everyone who thinks oil has their hand up our governments ass a little too far is some wacko who thinks everyone who has money is evil. Most reasonable people will agree that people with too much money at some point get too much power. The way things are working now I don't think it's any individuals, but more certain organizations and corporations that throw around a lot of political power strong arming the government or coercing people into agreeing that what is best for that group is best for the country, when it is clearly not.

I'm all for helping to decentralize some of this power we've given and continue to give to large organizations, but many of them are so ingrained in our society and way of life that things may have to get pushed too far before the masses will revolt against them.

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Post by Wind_Borne » Wed May 09, 2007 12:33 am

Yes. We should care about corruption. And we should encourage a competitive marketplace and be watchful for anti-competitive practices.

What we should avoid is the kind of market and price manipulation the government tried in the seventies. Such distortions to the market hide the true cost of production, and cause people to waste resources (natural as well as financial) as they game the system.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

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Post by Wind_Borne » Wed May 09, 2007 12:44 am

Another thought...

Everyone acts in their own best interest -- be it for short term gain, for the continuation of their DNA, or the health of their eternal soul (or karma). Everyone.

The trick is to set up the system so that the pursuit of personal interest benefits society.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

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Post by MikeVDS » Wed May 09, 2007 6:17 am

Also I thought it was interesting that it was Reagan who *lowered* the top tax bracket to 50% which he thought was the "magic number". Bush senior lowered again into the 30's and I know Clinton adjusted a little (lowered a few more points I think). I know the world is much different today with globalization, than it was through most of the 1900's when the top brackets sometimes got taxed 90%, but when we see the massive organizations buying up everything and their mother we may want to start asking why we should support some corporations wishes to be 50 radio stations 2 television stations 8 country wide restaurants, an airline, 2 grocery store chains, ..., ..., ..., ..., ...... looking back to see how we used to run things might help us find some answers if this trend continues out of control.

Most of these massive monsters don't worry me yet, but the trend is quite troubling to see many chains getting gobbled up nationwide with competition growing very small and far out of the reach of a working entrepreneur.

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Post by Wind_Borne » Wed May 09, 2007 9:03 am

Change, the process of change, dethrones the mighty.

In the seventies many worried that IBM and ATT had such power that they would rule the business world (and maybe the political one, too). In the mean time, the Steves assembled the first Apple and Bill wrote Microsoft Basic. So much for IBM. And over in Scandinavia Nordisk MobilTelefoni created the first cellular phone system. ATT shrunk until SBC bought it essentially for the name.

Sure, that's a simplified history. The point is, change happens and big companies don't change direction well. Exxon can be seen as an energy company (as opposed to a petroleum company); so they should be well positioned to take advantage of the change from dwindling oil to the next new energy source. Will they? History suggests they won't. That's where you come in...
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

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Post by unjonharley » Wed May 09, 2007 9:20 am

There is " NO '!!!! shortage of oil.. Even after oil there is enough coal to gas-a-fi that would last the US 100 years.. The Us oil reserve is kept for the military just in case.. Find other ways to get around and make your car last a few more years..

If you do not want to pay the rate change what your driving and buying .. What your wearing right now is made from oil.. The inside of your car and most of the outside.. Now it's in your pets food chain and coming to you in pork and fish..

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Post by EvilDustBooger » Wed May 09, 2007 11:46 am

I'm all for helping to decentralize some of this power we've given and continue to give to large organizations, but many of them are so ingrained in our society and way of life that things may have to get pushed too far before the masses will revolt against them
Such distortions to the market hide the true cost of production, and cause people to waste resources (natural as well as financial) as they game the system.
The trick is to set up the system so that the pursuit of personal interest benefits society.
the trend is quite troubling to see many chains getting gobbled up nationwide with competition growing very small and far out of the reach of a working entrepreneur.
Exxon can be seen as an energy company (as opposed to a petroleum company); so they should be well positioned to take advantage of the change from dwindling oil to the next new energy source. Will they? History suggests they won't. That's where you come in...
What your wearing right now is made from oil.. The inside of your car and most of the outside..


Excellent points.
Suberbly articulated.
I agree with most of what you are saying.

How dare you move beyond my ineffective little pipe-dream of
jacking with the laws of supply and demand for a week,
...and cut right into the heart of the societal problem?
Good work. Thank you. :oops:


I wonder though:

Even if Americans can drastically reduce dependency on oil and fossil fuels;...what about the rest of the world?

Will the gradual and incremental change in market forces and technological advances really be enough to change the course of history as far as fuel consumption is concerned?
or
Will it really take an economic or natural catastrophy of some sort to
affect a noticeable change in the very way the entire planet is living ?

and then will it be too late to impliment the next generation fuels?

That`s what it amounts to. Eliminating oil as the major transportation fuel source means utter drastic change...


...when will it happen?

...will it ever happen?

Someone way smarter than me will have to answer that one....


(by the way; tonight I`m installing a basket on my bike in preparation for my actual reduction in gasoline use next week)




thanks for the discussion, you got my juices flowing....

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Post by MikeVDS » Wed May 09, 2007 4:28 pm

Even if Americans can drastically reduce dependency on oil and fossil fuels;...what about the rest of the world?
Probably not. As long as humans keep their race alive we'll probably use up all the easy to get to oil eventually. It's cheap energy. If we slowed the rate that we use it up we could avoid many of the problems which could be caused and it looks like we're causing now. Only if we develop superior methods of collecting and storing energy will we really see the amount of oil worldwide decrease. That is why people using solar panels, wind turbines etc make a difference. The amount of pollution and loss to "big oil" means nothing, but their dollars into these technologies help to improve them for future generations. When you buy oil you are a extremely tiny percent of the whole and it's going to mostly extremely wealthy people who'll use most of it in self serving ways. When you buy a solar panel it helps keep that company alive and buying panels so those who manufacturer will continue to make them and look for ways to be better than their competition.

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Post by diane o'thirst » Wed May 09, 2007 6:59 pm

EDB — one point I'd like to make.

With calm confidence, the major auto manufacturers are building and releasing cars that burn biofuels. Not just Honda and Toyota: I'm talking Ford and GM. Daimler-Chrysler and Nissan are dragging their feet but they'll turn out eventually, or they'll sink.

Research continues to refine the techniques and technology needed to make bioethanol out of, basically, weeds. People complain about using the corn crop — food — for fuel, but consider the plight of high fructose corn syrup [/irony]. It doesn't metabolize, it goes straight into fat stores and is one of the causes of our obesity epidemic. I would gladly, nay, ecstatically pass on HFCS for a tankful of ethanol.

Right now, unfortunately, there is a ceiling on how many of a single model of vehicle per year can burn alternative fuels. It stands at around 9,000. I just read a bulletin on Barack Obama's Myspace profile that said he's planning to LIFT the cap on this quota and blow the ceiling wide open. I'm confident that biofuels are the way of the future.

Another point is that here in Oregon, windfarms are selling out. There's more demand than infrastructure for wind-power but there's interest in developing more. A very successful experiment is happening on the coast here, to gather energy from turbines set in motion by the action of tides...with precisely zero harm to fish and offshore ecosystems. Imagine the disappearance of oil towers in Southern California and the arguments of offshore oil rigs becoming moot, on all three coasts (Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico).

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Post by Wind_Borne » Wed May 09, 2007 7:38 pm

Seems kind of un-American to prevent someone from building how ever many of a product they want.

"Sorry, Steve, you can't make any more iPods!"

Where is this quota set forth? And what is the rational?
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
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Post by MikeVDS » Wed May 09, 2007 8:03 pm

Seems kind of un-American
I never like when people make an argument like this. It's not really un-american at all, just un-some-ideal-someone-called-american-and-made-people-feel-fuzzy-or-something.

I agree with your post. How would you set a quote and what is the rational? But saying something is un-American to me signifies to me that someone doesn't have a strong logical argument, which I think you do. It's anti-freedom, unless somehow that product takes away more freedom than would be lost by preventing it's production, like taking away peoples "right" to own slaves. Taking away that "freedom" creates more freedom.

I have mixed feelings about government forcing the hand of a market like the car industry to produce a certain product. In one case it's a privately owned company and they should decide how they try to make money and if people like the product, they buy it. On the other hand the best products don't always get produced because sometimes they are not profitable. People do vote with their dollars but they also vote in elections for people to represent them and make people in the society act in the interest of society. We force safety standards, why not force standards that say it's in the best interest of the country to rid ourselves of our oil dependence? I really just want government to stay out of most things because people are smart enough to know to pull back when something starts to hurt. Sure we'll let things get bad before we make them better, but I'd rather have that than be stuck with overwhelming rules and regulations for everything. Certain industries have stronger regulations because the average investor cannot get into the market.

In some crazy dream world for a few moments i had aspirations of developing low resistance, light weight electric cars with regenerative breaking and solar stations that would act as carports at home, work and misc parking lots. The vehicles of my dreams have no place on our roads the way they currently are and fail to address certain issues, but the point is that the market is very closed and without something big interfering, things cannot change. Do we let things get really bad or as a group do we shout "CHANGE!"?

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Post by diane o'thirst » Wed May 09, 2007 8:09 pm

Your guess is as good as mine, the 9000 cap was probably imposed by a trade organization. Or maybe they were just being careful and proceeding with caution instead of throwing a million alterno-fuel vehicles out there...and nobody buys them.

Anyway, Obama said he'd lift the cap and let them build as many biofuel vehicles as they like/need to.

Here's the text of Obama's energy plan, from the Myspace bulletin:

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Barack Obama
Date: May 7, 2007 8:17 PM


In the face of these enormous challenges, we need a leader who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk with a bold new policy vision.

Today, at the Detroit Economic Club, Barack proposed a plan that confronts our energy crisis head on.

His plan focuses on three key components:

<b>Fuel Economy Standards</b>: Despite tremendous technological innovation in the auto industry, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars have been held hostage to ideological battles in Washington for 20 years. Barack Obama introduced a bold new plan, bringing together long-time opponents to gradually increase fuel economy standards while protecting the financial future of domestic automakers. Obama's plan would establish a target of four percent increase each year - unless the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proves the increase is technologically unachievable, hurts safety, or is not cost-effective. If the target is met for ten years, Obama's plan will save 1.3 million barrels of oil per day and 20 billion gallons of gasoline per year.

<b>Help for Consumers</b>: Under current law, tax credits are available for consumers who buy hybrids—but only if they buy one of the first 60,000 ultra-efficient vehicles produced by a given manufacturer. Barack Obama would lift the 60,000-per-manufacturer cap on buyer tax credits to allow more Americans to buy ultra-efficient vehicles.

<b>Help for Manufacturers</b>: U.S. automakers are facing retiree health costs that add $1,500 to the cost of every GM car. They are struggling to afford investments in hybrid technology. Obama would encourage automakers to make fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles by helping the companies shoulder the health care costs of their retirees. Domestic automakers will get health care assistance in exchange for investing 50 percent of the savings into technology to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles. In addition, Obama would provide automakers with generous tax incentives for retooling assembly plants.

<b>Barack's plan will cut our oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels of oil per day by 2020.</b>

Barack's plan will take 50 million cars' worth of pollution off the road.

Barack's plan will save more than $50 billion at the gas pump, helping the auto industry save millions of jobs and regain its competitive footing in the world.
This is exactly the kind of bold and sweeping policy we need right now.

http://bulletin.myspace.com/index.cfm?f ... F494202308
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Post by Wind_Borne » Wed May 09, 2007 11:06 pm

MikeVDS wrote:
Seems kind of un-American
... But saying something is un-American to me signifies to me that someone doesn't have a strong logical argument, which I think you do. ...
Indeed I do have a strong logical argument; and you got it: anti-freedom, anti-competition, anti-innovation.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
-- George Washington

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Post by EvilDustBooger » Thu May 10, 2007 7:50 am

The vehicles of my dreams have no place on our roads the way they currently are and fail to address certain issues, but the point is that the market is very closed and without something big interfering, things cannot change. Do we let things get really bad or as a group do we shout "CHANGE!"?
It`s a slippery slope.
If we could come to some sort of political consensus to force radical changes at a federal level,...how are big changes possible? Do we then throw big government and big business back at the problem? How much more economical will the changes be then? Agencies like FEMA, EPA, FDA are disasters unto themselves, requiring more and more funds to continue bumbling along...
Do we legislate and mandate a Federal Ecological Transportation Universal System (FETUS) to guide us into the future?

I smell the distinct odor of Rome burning on the horizon.

De-centralization is what we need most, but we are inextricably centralized.

Obama has the right idea for legislating change in the current format of national politics...forcing big business to initiate the change.
But how will we fill that economic vacuum?...with higher gas prices? More expensive vehicles? It might be worth it in the short term while we wait for big changes in technology...

The thing I like about bio-fuels is that while they are still "burned" to create energy, the ecological impact is slightly less, a sizeable supply can be derived from byproducts, they are easier to introduce into the current transportation infrastructure(internal-combustion vehicles) and are much less complicated to refine and produce than gasoline.
And , by virtue of simplicity, it would be much easier to produce at a community level ....thus de-centralization.
If we could just jerk enough power away from the Titans of industry to make it possible to make substantial quantities of fuel at a community level.






(on a side note. ...maybe pumping billions of barrels of fossil fuels and natural gas from beneath the surface of the earth and burning them off into the atmosphere for all these years, has actually saved our planet from exploding into a volcanically ignited spherical lake of fire.)

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Post by mdmf007 » Thu May 10, 2007 8:48 am

Why do we have 4 ton SUV's that move one person 90% of the time, and get 10 MPG?

Why do we have 600HP Dodge Vipers that get 8 MPG and move 2 people?

Because that is what consumers want in America, whatever the market demands - thats what consumers will buy. Change doesnt come from the automakers, they merely met the demand with a supply. They may tweak a design or run focus groups to see what changes are desired.

When the consumer (majority of us) stops buying SUV's, and demand 50 MPG gallon we will get it in short time. Thats whats remarkable about out system, voices speak enmasse and companies deliver.

later.
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Post by EvilDustBooger » Thu May 10, 2007 9:06 am

yep.
It`s really up to the public who is the real "driving force" behind transportation decisions.
It`s not an endless triangle...it`s a non-stop circle.
I guess for the time being there is a lot of money out there in the U.S.,
and we`re content enough to just "burn it as we go" .


Yeah Bobby, A hard rain is truly going to fall.









sorry for the puns.
..with an issue so wrought with irony...I couldn`t resist.

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Post by Wind_Borne » Thu May 10, 2007 10:55 am

Why do we have 4 ton SUV's that move one person 90% of the time, and get 10 MPG? ...

Because that is what consumers want...
Yup. We agree that this foolish obsession with SUVs is not good. We could pass a law against SUVs. There's a word for outlawing what people want: oppression. That never turns out well.

What's needed is a desirable alternative. Tesla, the company that is working on an all electric sports car, has the philosphy that clean cars should be fun cars. Satisfying self-flagellating environmentalists won't change a thing; you have to attract everyone else. Tesla's got the right idea.

As to the role of government in all this, I flash back to Peter Drucker, who astutely noted that the role of government is to maintain stability, while the role of enterprise is to foment change. Why? Because change threatens power, but innovation yields competitive advantage.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
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Post by mdmf007 » Thu May 10, 2007 11:07 am

Absolutely -

I believe that the government has no place regulating what I want to drive, If i want to drive a school bus as a commuter rig, it is my right to do so - albeit trashy, wasteful and irrespodnible - its still my right and should always be.

Oppression is disgusting, like I said it is up to the consumer to change the market, not the market to change the consumer. So if we as consumers (not government regulating) stop buying wasteful rigs, then the market will adapt to high powered efficient vehicles.

later
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Post by diane o'thirst » Thu May 10, 2007 8:16 pm

I'm of the opinion that SUVs should only be bought by people who USE them...and I mean, hauling trailers, going camping/hunting/into the back country and to go to SUV schools...they exist...Land Rover has one and it's open to any SUV, not just theirs.

I have always held this view.

And...what is known as midsize SUV now should be the max size. You don't <i>need</i> a Tankigator, a Hummer or a Suburban unless you breed St. Bernards and have six kids. And no-one should have that many kids, not in this country.

At the same time, SUVs should get better mileage. I'd like to see an SUV that gets 25+ mpg. It galls me to no end that there are RVs that get better mileage than my Navajo.
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Post by Lassen Forge » Fri May 11, 2007 3:02 am

diane o'thirst wrote:I'm of the opinion that SUVs should only be bought by people who USE them...and I mean, hauling trailers, going camping/hunting/into the back country and to go to SUV schools...they exist...Land Rover has one and it's open to any SUV, not just theirs.
The whole "SUV" thing is a BS propaganda scheme. It was designed (a) to build a cheap-ass vehicle that can be sold for more money, (b) so the government could let the carmakers sell "cars" as "trucks" and bypass the EPA and Conservation laws and rules, and (c) so the oil oligarchy could scam profits by promoting vehicles that burned 3 times as much gas as people needed.

If ya need a truck, then buy a truck. If not - buy a M-Fing CAR. This "buy your way around the rules so we can look like we're better than we are" bullshit is what's fucking up this little blue marble we live on. But then again, who cares if our kids can survive, as long as *we* can be the pseudo-affluent "gimme gimme I want it all" generation until we die, then if the world is ruined, so what - we got ours, and fuck you junior...

diane o'thirst wrote: And...what is known as midsize SUV now should be the max size. You don't <i>need</i> a Tankigator, a Hummer or a Suburban unless you breed St. Bernards and have six kids. And no-one should have that many kids, not in this country.

We raised dogs, had a Station Wagon (a car with a bed on the back) that got decent mileae and worked fine. Hauled kids in it (and not just our own, and fuck you because I'm better than YOU), hauled lumber home, pulled a trailer (heavy trailer), and got, what, 25 to the gallon with a 390 big block with a 3 on the tree - and overdrive....

The only reason you *need* an SUV is you were brainwashed into thinking you *had* to have one. Used to be if you needed a truck, you bought a truck. If you needed a car, you bought a car. If you needed a 4wd, you bought a 4wd. And if you needed an affluent "I'm better than you" vehicle, you bought a nice car, not a dressed up cheapshit Flashed out car on a cheap truck chassis contraption.

One other thing - for every *genuine* Utility 4wd vehicle out there (think Toyota Land Cruiser, Jeep, Land Rover, Pinzgauer, Unimog, etc.) - and I agree, there are people who need vehicles like that - there's a couple dozen 1000% profit flash trash cheap shit Spurt Utility Vehicles which are made solely so the driver can drive a gas guzzling status symbol. Bling bling.

diane o'thirst wrote:At the same time, SUVs should get better mileage. I'd like to see an SUV that gets 25+ mpg. It galls me to no end that there are RVs that get better mileage than my Navajo.
My ugly 3/4 ton 4wd pickup Work Truck gets 18-20 to the gallon. The reason you won't see an SUV with good mileage is they're built and designed specifically to get their owners to buy as much gasoline as possible without getting them to dump the gas hogs, thereby keeping the government sponsored oil profits up. You think it’s coincidence that the whole SUV craze came in during an oil oligarch's tenure, and got worse during the first part of his son's reign?

Of course... there's the whole "we ignore the environment" thing, too, because how can you proceed to destroy the atmosphere by filling it with pollutants from the excessive fossil fuels and pass rules limiting how much gas people will burn (and thereby buy). If we were signatories on these treaties, how could we continue to make sure our vehicles suck 10 miles to the gallon rather than 30-50? That's 1/3 to 1/5th the money the "Oil-igarchs" pocket - and that will NOT DO!!!

Who cares if our children - the future of our genes - live once we're gone, as long as me me me me could have it all, look like I had money and shit? Fuck the planet - right? Fuckit - once I'm gone, if the world dies a horrible choking death, I don't care. If my kids croak from no air and no water, fuck them, I got to drive my SUV and show those people next door.

GRRRRR!!!!!!!!

(Rant off now)
bb

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Post by mdmf007 » Fri May 11, 2007 10:03 am

Bay Bridge -

Honetly, let us know what you are really thinking - and dont hold back, J/k

I am sure it wil take a major catastrophic event to change peoples thinking. Take a couple of the national refineries out of the mix and when gas hits 6-7 a galllon you'll see some different thinking.

our nation would fall apart at 6-7 a gallon.
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Post by Rob the Wop » Fri May 11, 2007 10:11 am

Image

OK. Wasn't planning on it anyway.
My newest rig.

And I assure you that any non-gasoline buying day/week, or not buying from a specific vendor, is a fool's errand. Make it a month and the stockholders might see it, but other than that- no one higher up will give a crap. Also how are you planning on stopping the major transportation fuelling contracts? Trucking, trains, busses, etc.

Any decrease in fuel consumption must be sustainable or it is meaningless.

Even then, you know what will happen if everyone suddenly goes biodeisel/electric?

The price of crude oil will drop to nothing to get the baby back on the teet. We are using oil, and have been for a century, because of one thing- its comparitively cheap when viewed against the alternatives.

And now back to your regularly scheduled debate.

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Post by diane o'thirst » Fri May 11, 2007 11:41 am

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:GRRRRR!!!!!!!!
Self-edit.

Sorry for the werewolf bite, I take it back. After reading through I realized you weren't talking specifically to me. At least I hope you weren't.

However...I will say you <i>were</i> talking straight out your asshole. Cynicism fixes <b>nothing</b>. Trucks are good but they're not very secure, and the tailgates as stock create drag which affects mileage, too. You have to fix that via aftermarket products; (often) flimsy canopies and vented tailgates, which cost money. Quite a bit of money.

There are assholes who buy SUVs for the perceived status symbolism and intimidation factor, and there are assholes who buy trucks and trick them out for the same reason. How many times have you been menaced by a dickwad in a chrome-plated pickup truck that you need a fucking elevator to get into, blasting along through the fast lane with highbeams blazing? There's one guy in my neighbourhood that handily fits the "arrogant SUV driver" stereotype and uses his Hummer as an urban assault vehicle. Everyone gets off the street when he fires that goddamn thing up. On the other hand, in every town I pass through, there's at least three dillholes in tricked-out pickups

Station wagons are great — my folks had two during my grow-up phase. My Dad had a Monte Carlo ocean liner for his wank-off car. Want to talk about sucky mileage?

Thankfully family people are getting clued in to the SUV scam and are migrating to better cars, at least up here. I'm seeing less SUVs and minivans (which get worse mileage) and more station wagons. Good, I say.

And I still say that nobody needs to breed up six kids.
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Post by mdmf007 » Fri May 11, 2007 12:47 pm

[quote="Rob the Wop"]
Even then, you know what will happen if everyone suddenly goes biodeisel/electric?

The price of crude oil will drop to nothing to get the baby back on the teet. We are using oil, and have been for a century, because of one thing- its comparitively cheap when viewed against the alternatives.

quote]

Wouldnt work - we could cover the planet in soy beans and it wouldnt come close to producing eough diesel, grow corn on every acre of desert and it wouldnt provide wnough ethanol to fuel our cars.

I agree not buying fuel for one day wont work. it owould only be felt if you can take that days fuel need out of the market entirely. Not buying fuel on tuesday doesnt do any good if you just fuel up on wednesday or monday.
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Post by Rob the Wop » Fri May 11, 2007 2:42 pm

mdmf007 wrote:
Rob the Wop wrote: Even then, you know what will happen if everyone suddenly goes biodeisel/electric?

The price of crude oil will drop to nothing to get the baby back on the teet. We are using oil, and have been for a century, because of one thing- its comparitively cheap when viewed against the alternatives.
Wouldnt work - we could cover the planet in soy beans and it wouldnt come close to producing eough diesel, grow corn on every acre of desert and it wouldnt provide wnough ethanol to fuel our cars.

I agree not buying fuel for one day wont work. it owould only be felt if you can take that days fuel need out of the market entirely. Not buying fuel on tuesday doesnt do any good if you just fuel up on wednesday or monday.
Yup. My choice will always be electric for a wide variety of reasons, but I always try to mention biodiesel too. That was mostly a statement more for end results sake than as part of the argument.

The major oil barons aren't stupid. They are well aware of how hard they can squeeze. If our demand drops off, cheapen the supply. If the choice is making less money or making no money- they will drop pricees.

But they will try and drop the prices long before that happens. If new technologies start becoming viable, what happens when you adjust the cost window? IE. Let's say battery technology becomes cheap and the car cost drops to a reasonable level. If the price of gas dropped 400%, what incentive would there be to get the new electric cars? The cheaper alternative becomes the established technology. Wait 3-5 years until the companies that put their capital into a startup die out. Then jack up the price.

Simple business. Intel does it all the time. We have money in reserve. If AMD leaps ahead in price, we sometimes drop our price below cost, get market share, and when they are on the skids- bring the price back up. When the tech bubble burst, we threw money into research. Now that the market is slowly coming back, all the research investments are paying off as other, smaller silicon manufacturers had to cut their research budgets.

The makers of one of my electric cars went out of business and I can point to at least two others offhand that went down. The only reason Tesla will be able to last is that they have plenty of capital reserved. Not the case with most electric car manufacturers.
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Post by EvilDustBooger » Mon May 14, 2007 9:26 am

Well, since I started this thread almost 2 weeks ago, and the gasoline prices around here have steadily risen roughly 5 cents per day.
The price is now $3.19 per gallon, and this area has some of the "best" prices in the country.
I suppose the gas stations could drop their prices 50 cents tomorrow,
everyone would rush to the pumps;... and prices would still be around the level they were before my useless little revolt.
Now if there is a big price drop tomorrow, I will not only pee in my black slacks...I am going to crap in them as well.
But I don`t think prices will go down...much.
I`m thinking the traders are beefing up the prices in preparation for the heavy travel Memorial Day weekend; ..where oil companies can easily skim a few extra billion bucks from our economy over the course of a long weekend.
All last weekend, as the prices continued to rise, and my fuel indicator went from 1/4 tank to dangerously close to empty, I resisted the temptation to "stock-up", and my vehicle is parked in front of my house right now, with close to empty on the fuel guage.
I walked to work today...twice; because I forgot some things on my first trip.(it`s beautiful outside today, but chances of rain scattered throughout the week)
So here I go. I`ll be biking or walking most everywhere this week.
Wish me luck...or giggle when you think of me peddling away in those steaming black slacks.
I`m sure I`ll have plenty to rant about......later.

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Post by EspressoDude » Tue May 15, 2007 7:36 am

If ya can't beat em, join em.

Take the money you would spend on transportation for one year, use that to buy EXXON stocks.

The dividends will pay for most of your fuel costs.
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