[Paleopsych] Kerry and Armageddon
Werbos, Dr. Paul J.
paul.werbos at verizon.net
Mon Sep 13 12:11:10 UTC 2004
At 03:42 PM 9/12/2004 -0700, Steve wrote:
>I'm not sure that the future depends on a handful
>of decisions that we will make in the next year.
>More likely it depends on thousands of decisions
>that we will make over the course of the next 20
>years in response to the changing oil supply
>and other factors.
>Right now hybrid cars are selling as fast as
>they can be built, and I think Ford is licensing the
>technology from Toyota. Someone recently
>pointed out that with hybrid cars, you get better
>mileage in town than you do on the highway
>because of regenerative braking.
This is the unconscious consensus -- from the vast majority of reasonable
people who have never run the numbers (or had the nerve to look hard
at them as they do so).
Please do look at the Cavallo number.
It's not JUST hybrids here! Hybrids alone are not enough to prevent the
utter catastrophe that
Al-Shatti has described in some detail (with full access to all the best
oil economics that OPEC can afford -- and I know it's serious, having once
had access as
internal evaluator to al the best that DOE has access to).
The crunch occurs by 2025 (though bad stuff can occur well before then, as
The car fleet takes 15 years to turn over.
It is as if there were a big asteroid due to hit the earth on 20 years and make
a lot of folks extinct... and we have 5 years in which known technology
will be able to make
a course correction. The US election and early Administration choices of
the next year will
control most of that 5 years.
Why only 5 years? Simple: the average car stays on the road for 15 years.
To make HALF
the cars able to run without gasoline by 2025, roughly, we would need ALL
the new cars
to be able to run without gasoline by 2010.
This is technically EASY TO DO if we have the consciousness and the guts to
It's as easy as it is (physically) for a deer to jump off the road at
night, when a car is coming.
But we seem to be hypnotized in the headlights, both parties.
More precisely -- it is $200 per car using old, established technology,
about a 1% tax, cheaper than Kerry's plan,
and easily passed on to the consumer in effect. A 1% rise in car prices
would slightly reduce sales... but that would
be a lot less than the sales the car companies already lost this past year
due to EXISTING worries about fuel supplies (let alone the risks
that are on the way! BIG risks to the auto companies to be sure!). Thus I
would argue that such a law
would actually BENEFIT the car companies, A LOT if we look ahead a bit.
Fuel flexibility is actually easier to do in a hybrid than in a
conventional car. (I've discussed
this with guys who know more about building hybrids than... anyone else in
the US does.).
And it needs to be GEM flexibility -- gasoline, ethanol and methanol -- in
order to provide the
open, competitive market which some folks in the private sector would be
smart enough to fill in ways
that Washington reps couldn't begin to understand. open the market, and you
But don't, and you will see the asteroid
... in a your own neighborhood.
Fortunately, there is a little more time on the supply side. While it takes
to turn over the car fleet... people can start building alternative fuel
takes less than 15 years. Yes, there would be some transition bumps, but we
would have a chance. Maybe the rear end of our deer might get bumped a little
rudely by the car as it passes by, but that's a lot better than being
But... being run over is the fate which currently seems to lie ahead of us.
Best of luck to us all...
>I think the choice in the election is in part a
>choice between someone who is very rigid and
>someone who is more adaptable. I think
>flexibility has a higher survival value.
>One of the macro trends I believe in is the
>shift from a transportation-intensive to a
>At the moment the US has a communications
>backbone so fast that you can send an
>entire movie from coast-to-coast in about
>2 minutes. I haven't seen any figures, but
>cable modems and dsl are growing rapidly.
>Portability of pensions and medical insurance
>will make it easier for people to change jobs
>and to find something closer to home, reducing
>the crazy commutes so many of us endure.
>Back home in the midwest I know of organic
>farmers who can make money when corn is
>$1 a bushel. Their chemical counterparts
>go broke at that price.
>Learning how to generate/capture energy
>from many sources and integrate them to
>meet our needs will be one of the major
>growth businesses in the future.
>I predict that Dick Cheney will pull his thumb
>out of his mouth and his head out of his ass
>and decide that our lifestyle is indeed
>negotiable, particularly in regard to the
>way we routinely waste energy.
>I'm not saying that there won't be big bumps.
>I think Iraq will convince that we can't secure
>our energy future by waging war, and I have
>long thought that humanity has collectively
>decided to use the Four Horsemen of the
>Apocalypse to manage our population.
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