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BS: gas prices

Peg 15 Jan 01 - 12:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jan 01 - 07:49 AM
Troll 13 Jan 01 - 10:49 PM
BanjoRay 13 Jan 01 - 08:41 PM
kendall 13 Jan 01 - 08:38 AM
Gypsy 13 Jan 01 - 12:32 AM
Burke 12 Jan 01 - 09:50 PM
kendall 12 Jan 01 - 09:43 PM
Troll 12 Jan 01 - 09:09 PM
Greg F. 12 Jan 01 - 08:48 PM
Lady McMoo 12 Jan 01 - 07:22 PM
MarkS 12 Jan 01 - 06:33 PM
Burke 12 Jan 01 - 06:24 PM
Troll 12 Jan 01 - 03:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jan 01 - 09:44 AM
kendall 12 Jan 01 - 09:14 AM
Greg F. 12 Jan 01 - 07:57 AM
Lady McMoo 12 Jan 01 - 07:37 AM
kendall 12 Jan 01 - 04:26 AM
Troll 11 Jan 01 - 09:49 PM
kendall 11 Jan 01 - 09:22 PM
Gypsy 11 Jan 01 - 04:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jan 01 - 02:14 PM
kendall 11 Jan 01 - 12:41 PM
Lady McMoo 11 Jan 01 - 11:41 AM
kendall 11 Jan 01 - 11:32 AM
roopoo 11 Jan 01 - 03:03 AM
mousethief 10 Jan 01 - 06:14 PM
kendall 10 Jan 01 - 06:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 01 - 06:05 PM
Gypsy 10 Jan 01 - 05:48 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jan 01 - 05:43 PM
mousethief 10 Jan 01 - 05:41 PM
Dave Wynn 10 Jan 01 - 05:39 PM
kendall 10 Jan 01 - 03:49 PM
DougR 10 Jan 01 - 03:31 PM
mousethief 10 Jan 01 - 03:17 PM
sophocleese 10 Jan 01 - 03:14 PM
Troll 10 Jan 01 - 03:11 PM
kendall 10 Jan 01 - 11:03 AM
Grab 10 Jan 01 - 09:28 AM
kendall 10 Jan 01 - 08:49 AM
MarkS 10 Jan 01 - 08:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 01 - 06:32 AM
Jock Morris 10 Jan 01 - 05:33 AM
R! 09 Jan 01 - 10:34 PM
kendall 09 Jan 01 - 06:37 PM
mousethief 09 Jan 01 - 04:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 01 - 04:51 PM
Gypsy 09 Jan 01 - 04:38 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Peg
Date: 15 Jan 01 - 12:14 AM

Boy is it amazing in this day and age that people are still in denial about global warming...

the only thing that disgusts me more than people being blind to environmental destruction is people thinking our 'energy problems" will be solved by drilling for oil in Alaska, destroying a unique natural landscape and simply prolonging the inevitable admission that THIS GREEDY STUPID WAY OF LIFE HAS TO STOP!!!

No, I don't own a car.

Call me an ignorant bleeding heart; I worked for Greenpeace for years and did a lot of research on these matters. It can seem a waste of time detailing the facts for those too contrary and stubborn to see the truth of what humankind has wrought...but the effort still has to be made.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jan 01 - 07:49 AM

Alternatives do have a cost - and the present way of organising things means that the cost paid by motorists for burning petrol is vastly less than the true cost.

Most of the cost of petrol is shuffled off onto people who don't have an effective voice, people in poor countries, and our own children and grandchildren.

If we had to pay the true cost of burning fossil fuels it would be so high that we would be effectively looking for alternatives, and paying for the cost of developing them.

In principle the best way would be to levy a charge on fossil fuels which would be exclusively used for these kinds of thing. The trouble is that this seems to be politically impossible, and this years brouhaha in the United Kingdom is an example of how it can backfire - though this was made much worse by the fact that the increased cost of petrol was not being used to pay for developing and supplying alternatives.

Probably the best hope is that, even with the unrealistically low price of petrol, viable alternatives and changes in society will be developed which will in fact ultimately drive it out of the market. Solar power, wind power, wave power, biomass (especially biomass) - all of them have the possibility of providing what is needed, together with electric cars, home-working, imaginative public transport and so forth.

The most optimistic thing I ever heard about all this was the Arab oilman (I forget his name) who pointed out that the reason people moved out of using the technology of Stone Age was not because the stones had run out.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Troll
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 10:49 PM

And who manufactures these photovoltaic cells at what cost? Considering the amount of energy that would be needed to make the cells and the work involved in setting up a vast network of them to generate the needed power to separate Hydrogen and oxygen from water, I'm not sure that the energy debt could be paid back.
Photo-cells can be made that are fairly resistant to damage now but thats only been true for a few years and they are pretty low yield. A cell farm has to be set so the cells follow the sun for maximum output. This requires sophisticated tracking gear and panels mounted on bearings.
The desert environment is not kind to such things; sand and dust get into everything and maintainence is a nightmare. Ask anyone who has worked in North Africa or was in Desert Storm.
IF all the problems could be overcome at reasonable expense in time and energy, it's a nice idea.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: BanjoRay
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 08:41 PM

What's the solution I hear you all cry - as an ex-British Coal scientist, I've thought a lot about it over the years. Of course the coal industry didn't want anyone to find a coal substitute! That's the world's problem - none of the power industries want to make themselves redundant. However I think there's a possible answer, and I'd like to hear your views on the feasability of it.

Most of the world's oil at present comes from desert areas of the world - energy is these people's only source of income. The amount of sunlight energy they get per square yard of what seems to be useless ground must be immense. So you convert the sunlight into saleable useful energy.

You cover large areas of desert with photovoltaic cells which generate vast amounts of electricity. This is cabled to the coast where it is used for the electrolysis of sea water - splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen. Both gases would be exported worldwide - the hydrogen for powering the world's vehicles etc - it burns to form water and nothing else. The oxygen would have countless industrial uses.

The OPEC countries must be very worried about the limited lifetime of their oil stocks - they could be using some of their huge profits now to ensure much more over the coming centuries.

So what do you guys out there think? Could it work? and if not, why not?

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 08:38 AM

I have lived in Maine for 66 years, and, I have NEVER needed 4 wheel drive. We know how to deal with large amounts of snow, and the roads here are always passable.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Gypsy
Date: 13 Jan 01 - 12:32 AM

Troll, to a certain extent, i agree with you. We DO need to have bigger, better organized ways of going green. But even that won't work without the individual changing the lifestyle. Things like: Avoid overpackaging. Buy bulk. The less packaging that you generate to throw away, the less in a landfill. Recycle. We have 5 five gallon buckets on the porch. We separate as we go, and recycle once a quarter. Must you have perfect produce? When you consider the impact that pesticides create on the environment? For that matter, must you have out of season produce? And of course, must you eat meat? Consider what that does to the environment! How often MUST you drive to town? Could you cut down by 2-3 trips? These, and many more, we have practiced for over twenty years. If more people behaved this way, wouldn't the accumulative effect make a difference?


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Burke
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 09:50 PM

I think, the safety felt in SUV's is not from other drivers as much as road conditions. Two of my co-workers drive RAV4's. Both drive 30-40 miles to work on rural highways where there can be lots of snow in the winter. Kendall's in Maine & probably sees the same. Even just as a passenger, I sure do like the way you can see so much more when up higher that way. With the rollover problem from the higher center of gravity, I'm not sure they are safer, but if Ford comes up with a fuel efficient one a promised, I'd be tempted.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 09:43 PM

It's interesting to note that one insurance company haS LOWERD rates for SUV's because they are safer, and another company has raised them because they do so much damage! State Farm was one of them. How's that for going in circles?


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Troll
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 09:09 PM

McMoo, why not right here and right now?

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 08:48 PM

Maybe women would feel safer driving smaller vehicles, Kendall, if there were fewer testosterone-poisoned Bubbas (and Bubettas) tearing around in oversized SUV's? Perhaps they're the problem rather than the solution.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 07:22 PM

My point is that a lot of individual responsibility-taking adds up to a great deal in the end. In fact the changing of individual behaviours is the only feasible long-term solution. Of course I support the work of all environmental agencies and organizations and do what little I can in my own work. But at the end of the day it will be collective understanding and the sum of individual efforts that will make the difference. A little everyday from a lot of people adds up to a massive difference over the period of a lifetime.

Troll. I have plenty of possible solutions in mind. Where would you like me to start?

Sensible discussions like those in this thread can only help this process.

Peace to all

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: MarkS
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 06:33 PM

Lets look at some successes and then extrapolate ahead. Even an SUV today gets better gas mileage than the standard 4 door sedan of the 60's. The tires last longer, the interval between oil changes is longer, and they most certainly pollute less. I think we have every reason to believe the improvements will continue over the next 30 years as well.
Please, all, don't think I am defending pollution or environmental misuse. Just look at how far we have come and lets hold out some reasonable hope for the future.
MarkS


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Burke
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 06:24 PM

Of course, individual effort is not enough. That's why I support the work of NRDC, Environmental Defense, and my state PIRG. These organizations have scientists, lawyers & others who both defend the environment & work for changes on a larger scale. I'm sure there are other good effective organizations.

Personally I recycle like crazy, but our whole county has a curbside recycling program. That's where differences are made. There are, or at least were, federal regulations on energy efficiency ratings for auto sales. I think the SUV's have avoided these regulations because of not being classed as cars.

It takes both individual personal changes and societal changes. Governmental regualtion to achieve some of these goals is controversial. Societal change come slowly, but it's discussions like this one that can make people aware of the possibilities.

One of the problems with the whole gas problem is that we've had at least 75 years of building based on cheap gas & it's really hard to put effective mass transit into the suburbs as they are in the US. We can't tear them all down, but it seems like lots get ever bigger in new developments.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Troll
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 03:12 PM

The last four or five responses simply reinforce my point. Everything that was said was either macro (stop burning fossil fuels) or micro (sold my motorhome)
Nowhere was any solution suggested.
Of course it's up to each of individually to protect the environment but individual effort is not enough. There must be group effort as well and it must reach across class and cultural lines to do any good.
Doing the right things individually can give you a warm fuzzy feeling but if you are the only one doing them, you will die with all the polluters when the air turns to unbreathable sludge.
I repeat, individual effort is not enough.
McMoo, not to pick on you, but as an environmental scientist you should have some solutions in mind. Does anyone else?

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 09:44 AM

Over in England too most of the prettified jeeps seem to be driven by women. Normally small women with lots of little milling around. Maybe that's a formmof testosterone poisoning too though.

But troll, exchanging views and talking about it is what discussion threads are about. We aren't going to solve the problems of the planet online. But we can get some pointers, and some information, and a better understanding of where other people's heads are at.

The solutions aren't that difficult to see. In the first place, what needs to be done is stop burning fossil fuels, and that means finding alternative sources ogf energy and using less energy.

But finding ways in which people (incuding ourselves) can actually be willing to change their ways of doing things in order to do what needs to be done, that is a much bigger problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 09:14 AM

My theory on that is, women need to feel safe. Especially when carrying children.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 07:57 AM

It started out as testosterone poisining some years back, Kendall, but think you'll find now that the majority of SUV & such like Urban Assault Vehicle drivers are women- at least by 'windshield survey' in my neck of the woods. Also, beileve there was a study of some sort a while back that came up with the same result nationwide. Go figure...

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 07:37 AM

Dear Troll,

I am an environmental scientist and the simple answer is that it lies in EACH of OUR hands. It is not a problem that can be foisted onto some agency or organization. It is a matter of personal responsibility for the environment.

BTW, I DO cycle or use public transport every day even though using a car would be quicker and more convenient, I DO separate and recycle my rubbish assiduusly, I DO pay the extra for organically grown food and I do as far as I can choose NOT to buy goods that I know are harmful to the environment or that are unsustainable. I cannot promulgate a solution unless I am prepared to abide by it myself.

Respectfully,

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 12 Jan 01 - 04:26 AM

I sold my motor home. 8 miles to the gallon.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Troll
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 09:49 PM

Fine. You have defined the problem and, at least in part, assigned blame. The one thing that NONE of you has done or even begun to do, is suggest a WORKABLE solution.
It's all very well to blame the industrialized countries for global warming(IF it actually exists and IF it is caused by man)but what do you intend to do about it other than feel very righteous because you are on the 'Right" side. What is the name of the organization that you founded and/or support that is working to convince the peoples of the industrialized world to change their entire economy.
All I hear is rhetoric and sloganeering. I hear no one suggesting practical solutions.
In the words of an old poem:
I move, since no one seems to yearn,
To bell the cat, that we adjourn!

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 09:22 PM

My guess would be, testosterone poisoning. A rare form of missle envy.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Gypsy
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 04:49 PM

I find it interesting that it appears that most SUVs (in my area, anyway) never leave pavement. Why on earth have such a monster to four wheel on the highway?


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 02:14 PM

"You're asking for a very drastic change in people's behavior based on something unproven and (currently) unprovable."

That's exactly what they said about smoking tobacco. But at least most of the damage done by smokers is to themselves, not to poor people away in foreign countries. (Except of course that that is exactly where the tobacco pushers are concentrating on building-up sales now.)


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 12:41 PM

No amount of faith can create a fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 11:41 AM

I'm with you entirely on this one Kendall.

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 11:32 AM

How anyone who is able to think can say that the millions of tons of hydro-carbons we pour into the air daily is not helping to create a shield between us and the sun is a mystery to me. You remind me of that actor who represents the NRA.."from my cold dead fingers will they take my SUV.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: roopoo
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 03:03 AM

Going back to the increase in desert area: we crossed the Sahara in 1985, going through via Lake Chad, Niger, Algeria. I got talking to a guy in Niger who told me that 10 years previously there had been fishing boats on the lake shores nearby. We never saw the lake. By the time we were there it had shrunk to 10% of its original size. I saw dried hippo bones, but no water, and there was a horrible haze of dust in the air. The guy also told me that the desert advance was driving people to leave and head towards the coastal countries, such as Somalia, where he was originally from. From what we could work out, the problem is exacerbated by the burning of wood for cooking fires, and the keeping of goats, which had browsed and eaten most of the vegetation. People were growing gourds up the thatches of their homes, and I even saw goats reaching up to eat the leaves of these. Apart from scrubby thorn trees, there is little else to bind the land together unless people have made a point of planting. We once got locals willing to trade with us so that we could have wood for a fire. I don't know where they got it, because I could find none lying on the ground, which was where we always took ours from. The desert is a constantly moving thing, and has always shifted, but it is accelerating now, and the build-up of the land levels is making the water level harder to reach. We did see a well-drilling project when we went through Northern Cameroun, and more have begun since then, but we aalso saw many abandoned villages on what was once the shores of a huge lake, and which had become merely a ridge in a desert area. (Ironically, some of the Saharan countries like Nigeria are oil producers. What happens to the revenue from this oil?)

Back to the original - I think a lot of people would welcome alternative energy sources and would use public transport if it was cheap. And reliable. And a real, frquent alternative. My doctor is 4 miles away. My mother is 6 miles away. I would have to take 2 buses to reach my mother, and that is presuming that their timetables are compatible. The fare would be more than the cost of petrol and the 15 minute journey would probably take tha best part of an hour, given the reputation of the buses in this area! We do have a railway station, but there are about 3 trains per day, and as we live outside the Wakefield Met. area (subsidised) most people drive and park to a station within it, and then pick up a train if they want to head west - it still works out cheaper. My mum lives about 6 miles from me and has about 4 miles to get to town. The fare (return) is about £1.90. (She is 84 and on the minimum pension). There is one bus per hour. The local council make the wonderful gesture of giving the pensioners £8 worth of travel tokens per annum. So I do a lot of running around for her, and transporting her to and from the doctor's (which is 3 miles the other way, and 4 miles from me if I need to go).

With running around, taxi-ing teenage kids and also travelling to occasional craft fairs, I changed 6 months ago to a diesel for better fuel economy. 50+mpg has made it worthwhile. Even though the price of unleaded petrol has dropped recently proportionally more than diesel (there's an election this year!)

Andrea


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 06:14 PM

You're asking for a very drastic change in people's behavior based on something unproven and (currently) unprovable. The world's full of alarmists arguing we should change our ways OR ELSE. Why should we take this one any more seriously?


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 06:12 PM

If we wait until we can PROVE it, it will be too damn late.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 06:05 PM

"Any flooding that does occurr will take place very slowly"

Didn't they show the floods in Bangla Desh and Mozambique on your news broadcasts? And if that was your child being born in the middle of a flood on the top of a tree?

And I know it's complicated, and there are scientists who can be bought to argue on the side of the people with money. The same way you had scientists who'd claim that cigarettes didn't cause cancer. And there are very likely other factors at work, including a lot that we don't begin to understand.

One reason for floods isn't pollution, it's deforestation, as has been pointed out. And the people ultimately responsible for that are in big offices in North America and Western Europe, and out buying stuff in DIY shops and so forth.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Gypsy
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 05:48 PM

Ouch, knew that prices were high in the UK but WOW! Anyway the price that I am whining about reflects a tremendous increase in a very short period of time. 5 years ago, i paid around 1.25 per gallon. And up here, there really isn't any rapid transit, other than one bus that goes back and forth once a day. Riding a bicycle isnt really an option, with narrow roads, and logging trucks. Not a good mix. I will ultimately have to relinquish my lovely 1968 mustang, but i hate having to do it. The end of an era. But it is equally difficult to talk "green" and drive it!


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 05:43 PM

I still think that not using the big names will help, if only to drop the big names' prices, so the little guys will match+ and lower theirs, and so on... they call it a drop in the ocean, but a drop FROM EVERYONE EVERYWHERE is tantamount to Chinese water torture (or is that phrase PI too nowadays?)!


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 05:41 PM

Kendall, rising oceans hardly proves that the current warming trend is manmade.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 05:39 PM

Who said "necessity is the mother of invention". If we HAD to manage without fossil fuels (and I mean HAD to) then you can bet the "boffins" and super global companies would soon figure out a way to replace them. Commercially of course.

Spot


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 03:49 PM

Do we wait until Florida is under water to recognize global warming?


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: DougR
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 03:31 PM

Troll: So You think, rather than developing our own oil resources, we are better off to remain under the thumb of the mideastern countries? The scenario you describe (with the oil exporters gaining the upper hand) is happening now, it seems to me.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 03:17 PM

Yes, soph, but they'd crash twice a day, killing everybody inside.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: sophocleese
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 03:14 PM

Well last night my Dad gave me this quote which I thought could slip into this discussion.

Today's car differs from those of the immediate post war years on a number of counts. It is cheaper, allowing for the ravages of inflation, and it is more economical and efficient....But suppose for a moment that the automobile industry had developed at the same rate as computers and over the same period: how much cheaper and more efficient would the current models be? If you have not already heard the analogy the answer is shattering. Today you would be able to buy a Rolls Royce for 1.35(pounds), it would do three million miles to the gallon, and it would deliver enough power to drive the Queen Elizabeth II. And if youwere interested in miniaturization, you could place half a dozen of them on a pinhead.

The Mighty Micro (1979)


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Troll
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 03:11 PM

Grab,I would like to see your documentetion on the desertification of the saraha being due to framing. The sahara was a great savannah before a climactic shift caused it to dry up but that was before the advent of agriculture.
The desertification of the Sahel or southern saharan regions is man-made and is getting worse but it is due to overgrazing and the cutting of trees for fuel by the indigenous population.
DougR, I disagree that we should exploit the Alaskan reservs at this time. If we do, OPEC or its sucessor will simply cut production and wait. When we have depleted the reserves they will be in the drivers seat and we will be well and truly screwed.
Kevin, since we don't have any agreement among scientists as to the cause of global warming or even to its existance, you are "what iffing" at best. Any flooding that does occurr will take place very slowly and there will be adequate time to assist the inhabitants of the lowland areas.
People who live in these areas do so because the land is very fertile and they are well used to floods. They build dans and dikes to help prevent the waters from doing too much damage.The very fact of their being there has changed the geograaphy and disrupted natural flood control features such as trees, unplowed ground and unchanneled watercourses.
Whatever. We cannot go back and change things, we can only try to minimize effects once we know what they are.
I'm glad someone mentioned the concept of energy debt. It needs to be taken into account in any proposed solution.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 11:03 AM

Your grasp of the big picture is right on the money. I was sinply comparing crops to oil spills


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Grab
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 09:28 AM

Kendall, I'm afraid it does. The Mid-West dust bowl effect didn't happen naturally, it was caused by ppl farming the land unsustainably. It's even worse in rain-forest areas where land is being clear-cut for farming - in these areas, the Indians cut down a small area at a time, farmed it for a year and then moved on, allowing the trees to deposit leaf-mould on the site to maintain the topsoil. When it's clear-cut, it's nice and fertile for a year or two, but then the top-soil vanishes under the pressure of the rains, and the land becomes infertile. Then they have to cut down more rain-forest to get another fertile bit... And so on. FYI, the Sahara desert was originally fertile land until the trees were cut down for farming.

Even if the area's fertility is maintained (by application of natural/artificial fertiliser), there's other effects. Planting more crops than normal tends to interfere with the life cycle of the animals living in there, particularly birds which have to nest and feed young and have evolved to do this at times when the crop was historically in season. Ground-nesting birds suffer even more at harvesting time.

Off-topic, I know, but this is the general thing of the environment being regarded as something to exploit, and every industry does it - that's pretty much the definition of "industry", given that they have to produce something from raw materials, and the only raw materials are what we can find. Trouble is, I don't know of any way around this. Government subsidies are one way, but then taxes go up and that gets complaints. Besides, how do you judge how "good" someone's being? the whole system would be hopelessly open to abuse.

As far as the boycott's concerned, it seems pretty daft. It seems like the "protesters" aren't complaining about the way the oil companies are treating the environment, they're complaining that they have to pay too much to pollute the environment themselves! Excuse me if I don't sign up to this concept...

Sorcha, there's plenty of oil in Siberia. The reason we know is that a pipeline ruptured recently (year before last?) and flooded a vast area of Siberia with crude oil. It made the BBC news, at least. There was little or no clean-up, partly cos it was so difficult to get there and partly cos ecological concerns are fairly low on the list when your country's in the state Russia is. I doubt the US would get away without the clean-up operation if everything went wrong in Alaska (and with better investment it's less likely that it'd happen in the first place), but equally I doubt that they'd be able to do much once the damage has been done. All they can do really is stop the oil from spreading to other places - the area where it's been is either dead from the oil or dead from the powerful detergents used to break up the oil.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 08:49 AM

Raising too much wheat or corn never destroys the environment.


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: MarkS
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 08:43 AM

Too right, Mousethief, too right. And as long as the entities doing the charging are beyond your control, there is not much you can do. That is why in energy issues it is so much better to be self sufficient. You can always have price fluctuations when you control the supply yourself, but never to the point of crisis. Never hear of a "wheat crisis" or "corn crisis" for example.
MarkS


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 06:32 AM

Has anyone ever come up with a figure translating the human environmental cost of burning a gallon of petrol into money terms? Flooding and pollution and climatic change and disruption and illlness and death.

To do that fairly, it'd have to be assessed on the basis that the life of an individual or family in Bangla Desh or Mozambique or Nigeria had to be reckoned at the same monetary valuie as the life of someone in North America or Western Europe.

I suspect that we'd find that the price we play for our petrol, even in England, would only be a fraction of the figure we'd arrive at.

And on top of that there's the cost of repairing the damage...


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Jock Morris
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 05:33 AM

To put fuel prices in to perspective for those in the US, the current UK price equates to about $5 per US gallon. Ouch!

Scott


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: R!
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:34 PM

We in the US should be clamoring for better public transportation and more thoughtful city planning/development rather than lower fuel prices. Get out of that car! Take the train! Except that the train (or bus) doesn't go where you want to go. . . What a hideous dilemma we have wrought.

Rowana


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: kendall
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 06:37 PM

Gas is $1.42 here, and Maine is so far back in the woods, we have to come IN to hunt!!


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:54 PM

Where is gas $2.25? At my local Texaco station it's $1.579. Which is way down from the seasonal high we had about a month or 2 ago of close to $2.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:51 PM

REal globalisation would mean that the people who sell the oil and the people who burn the oil would have to pay the full cost of the damage caused to everyone else.

$2.25 a gallon! Am I right that works out something equivalent to only 35p a litre? I can see how people in the States can afford gas guzzlers if that is seen as a high price!


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Subject: RE: BS: gas prices
From: Gypsy
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:38 PM

As long as there is demand for petrol, the prices will continue to go up. In the northwest nowhere, we are currently paying about 2.25 a gallon...self serve! We are told that it is the cost of trucking it in, but i don't know of a service station in the land that has an oil well directly below the pumps! Hurray for Toyota and Honda. Will wait a few years, and then invest in a hybrid.


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