[extropy-chat] Debate on Peak Oil

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Tue May 3 21:33:22 UTC 2005

--- Alfio Puglisi <puglisi at arcetri.astro.it> wrote:
> On Tue, 3 May 2005, BillK wrote:
> >On 4/29/05, "Hal Finney" <hal at finney.org> wrote:>
> >>
> >> Now you want to sell that SUV and replace it with a hybrid getting
> >> 30 mpg and selling for $25000.  You'll save $2500/year in gas
> costs.
> >
> >So the current UK gas price is about 0.86 x 3.785 x 1.89 = 6.152 USD
> per gallon.
> >
> >$5/gallon is cheap! Send it over here!
> >
> >Most of the gas price in the UK is tax, of course. But this price
> >level has made little difference to the public's love affair with
> the
> >automobile. It doesn't seem to matter what it costs or how many are
> >killed on the roads, we must have our cars.
> Actually there is an effect: Europeans tend to drive much more
> efficient cars and drive less miles. Something that was immediately
> evident in Hal's post was that a 30 mpg car is seen so efficient
> that it must be a hybrid (!)

We drive heavier vehicles to move our fatter butts and our fatter kids
with our fatter groceries further distances with more acceleration. We
drive more miles to from the burbs to the malls to work to school, etc.
Europeans are smarter in going for the 'urban village' concept more
widely. Our urban and suburban planning is atrociously focused on
creating artificial land scarcity through zoning, setbacks, minimum lot
sizes, etc. which claims to be good for environment and controlling
growth, but winds up accellerating sprawl and harming more environment.

> Nowadays a 30 mpg car would be a "thirsty" one in any European
> nation, except for very big and/or sport cars. Ordinary gasoline
> cars are about 40 mpg, new diesels are a bit better (as long as you
> don't run the proverbial circle around gasoline cars), cars tuned
> for low consumption easily get 50+ mpg. Also, a 20 km (12 miles)
> commute is seen as quite long.

It's all about power. The first Toyota Prius to come out got 66 mpg
easy but was judged by most Americans as sluggish, accelerating to 60
mph (~100 kph) in a measely 14 seconds. Current generation hybrids here
shoot for 35-45 mpg while delivering high horsepower, awesome
acceleration off the mark with that electric motor, the long range that
Americans need and want, while delivering ultra low emissions. There is
a triangle between low emissions, high power, and high milage. You can
have any two of the three.

On the good side, American hybrids are quite capable of having their
vehicle computers reprogrammed to emphasize efficiency and emissions
rather than power, if we ever need to do so in the event of a crisis.

> I don't remember where, but I remember one study concluding that the
> amount of money spent by USians and Europeans on gas wasn't that
> different.

And where USians money goes into highway miles they actually drive for
their own productivity and recreation, where do the Eurodollars go? As
most eurogas pricess are taxes, how much of those taxes actually go to
reducing alleged greenhouse gasses???

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://intlib.blogspot.com

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