Soaring gas prices

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by lynn, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes. Lots of tradeoffs, in this game, IMO. :? Various constituencies competing. Balancing the needs of the present with the future. Trying to get elected so you have enough time in office to accomplish anything at all. Having enough foresight (or good enough advisors) to understand the long-term implications of today's decisions. Finding money, period.

    *shrug* Not simple. :?

    btw, the price of gas went up here about 15 cents per gallon in the past week. Did something new happen that I missed? :? I saw a headline about potential record-high oil prices on the way. Are the prices up in reaction to the headline? Or did something real (i.e. non-speculative) happen?
     
  2. luh

    luh Active Member

    yeah, in my opinion a way better reason, but the other one is better to convince a bunch of people who don't really think.
    luh
     
  3. lynn

    lynn New Member

    that's right, whenever you have such a big project, there are ways the naysayers doesn't matter how you present it. There are people who don't like to have the residential area turned to be semi-commercialized, yet there are always those who want the convenience and don't mind having a train station in their backyard. It all depends on the individual and sometimes to break off that "equilibrium", you need something like having an olympic game as a major reason to revamp the whole system.
     
  4. luh

    luh Active Member

    what seems so weird to me, is that a soccer game is more convincing to so many people than our future.
    luh
     
  5. lynn

    lynn New Member

    with most of government spending, sometimes the project not only has to be economically justifiable but also politically (sucks, i know).
     
  6. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    You also have to have generally agreed-upon (and fairly accurate) projections of what the future may bring.

    It's quite possible that the well-intentioned folks who decided to invest US transportation resources into highways fifty years ago had no idea of the long-term fuel-dependency they were helping to create. (Edit: Or perhaps they saw the dependency, but didn't see dependecy as a problem. That was way before the gasoline "shortages" of the early 70s.)

    Sure. They could have hedged their bets and invested in alternative energy research then. But maybe they didn't see the need. We see the outcome now. But hindsight is 20-20, as the saying goes. :?

    It's quite possible that the things we see as reasonable solutions today will create unforeseen complications in the future. *shrug*
     
  7. lynn

    lynn New Member

    yep, that's what makes long-term decisions so difficult..... some alternate technology might spring up 5 years down the road and completely render our current plans on transporation useless.
     
  8. jon

    jon Member

    That's a very short timeframe when you think in terms of replacing the vehicle fleet and supporting infrastructure (gas stations, auto repair shops, etc.). Last time I looked, the median age of cars in the USA was ~7-8 years. That means that if you had a totally compelling replacement and if it could supply everyone who wanted it - both of which are unlikely, ref. the current situation with hybrids - then after 8 years you would still have a huge number of gasoline-powered internal combustion vehicles on the roads. No easy answers.

    Building out infrastructure for alternate-fuel vehicles is an enormous problem, it requires increasing the electricity supply dramatically (powered by burning oil?) or generating huge quantities of hydrogen (from oil feedstocks?), etc., as well as refitting tens of thousands of gas stations and retraining millions of people.
     
  9. jon

    jon Member

    Gasoline prices react very quickly to changes in the oil spot futures market, which is in turn driven by all sorts of current events - perceived risks of terrorism and stability of governments in Saudi Arabia, for example. Futures markets are very volatile precisely because people are trying to predict the future, and those darned unpredictable events keep happening.
     
  10. lynn

    lynn New Member

    I heard a statement a while back that it takes 6 months for the gas price to react to the market price, is this true?? For example, if the petroleum price hiked up $1/gallon, we likely won't see that change until 6 months down the road, does that sound conceivable to anyone??
     
  11. luh

    luh Active Member

    yeah.
    luh
     
  12. lynn

    lynn New Member

    I don't know why, jon, but your post reminded me of our own transit system. We had to have buses that run only on gasoline then a couple of years ago, we changed them to be partially powered electronically ( i have no idea how this works) and partially on gas. I was just thinking whether or not there'd be enough incentive to retire the entire fleet if say tomorrow, ballard power announces that they've perfected the solar power technology (isn't going to happen, obviously). From an economic stand point, probably not, as you've pointed out the average life span of cars is about 7-8 years and there's not much point replacing them if they're still in fairly good "working condition". - just something of an aside, when i used to take buses to school, i'd say the rate of buses breaking down was about 10-15% (higher in winter months). Does this sound normal or did our transit system just got a bunch of lemon :lol: :shock: ??!!
     
  13. luh

    luh Active Member

    hydrogen is a nice source for energy. And there are nice ways to get it. In countries that have plenty of sun, you can use the suns energy to split it. But there are also bacterias that split water to hydrogen and oxygen. Which i think is pretty cool.
    luh
     
  14. jon

    jon Member

    Seems unlikely. See here, for example.
     
  15. lynn

    lynn New Member

  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Alas, there are no large-scale production methods for hydrogen that are more efficient than burning oil.

    Same for electric-powered vehicles.

    No idea about CNG.
     
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    It occured to me this morning, when I was going back to sleep, that I should have added a sentence to the link I posted earlier -- just in case the news blurb page goes away.

    The aol news article is about the ten or so people who have cars that get 80 to as much as 250 miles per gallon. They're just souped-up versions of the hybrids already available on the market, from what I understand.

    Anyway, what I found interesting is that the article makes the same point you just did, Joe. The whiz-bang technology is out there. Sure. But it's just ready for large-scale manufacture. :?



    Now I have to dig through five pages of posts, at least, to find that link. :( :lol:
     
  18. luh

    luh Active Member

    well, if you don't have enough oil to burn anymore, you have to find other solution, where you have energy, and why not use the things that never end instead of ending resources?
    luh
     
  19. lynn

    lynn New Member

    When I was in school, using never-ending resources such as solar power or wind was a popular idea. The problem? the is no available (o.k., at least reliable available) means of capturing that energy. It takes decades and huge capitals to make such an investment (think ballard who've probably been working with solar power for the last decade or so) and unfortunately that's not how businesses are run. Also, it's not always guaranteed that using these forms of energy wouldn't cause any "side effects" (i haven't done any research so i'm just speculating). In Vancouver, we have hydro-powered generators, but even though we're trying to be as cautious as we can, we're still making an negative impact on wild sea life.
     
  20. kansas49er

    kansas49er New Member

    There ws also a receent article (I will try and find it) on the negative impact the hug windfarms out in California are having on the number of some particular type of birds. In fact, as I recall, the windfarm owner is being sued.
     

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