10-27-10, 05:24 PM #621
Ha Ha, nice.
We will continue independent motoring at all costs. Don't know how clean independent motoring ruins anything. I would say it makes the developed world go round.
Why not google the audi car, it is no hoax.
10-27-10, 05:33 PM #622
10-27-10, 05:47 PM #623
It's a matter of what people want. Which in the US is individual cars so they can go where they want when they want.
There is no sense in building trains and trolleys that nobody will use.
So you could do some things to make them or force them to choose the train/trolley over the car but there is absolutely nothing in our political environment that leads me to believe that we will allow such to be imposed.
First you have to deal with the addiction, oil. That is a hell of a lobby to get the better of.
So the alternative to that fight is to find a way to make both work. IOW allow people to own individual cars and move us away from the addiction. As best we can.
A positive that would come from roads that could supply power would be the need for the battery capability would go way down. Because very few locations off the freeway or highway would be so far out of range.
Obviously this is a bit of a pipe dream itself.
10-27-10, 05:53 PM #624
Haven't you ever been stuck in traffic. In most cities, rush hour is a f8cking nightmare.
People go through tremendous stress having to drive their own cars. Trying to avoid accidents, getting to work on time, maintenence costs, insurance costs, cost of insurance increase after an accident etc etc.
But we do it anyway. Which says a lot about what we are willing to go through to keep our cars.
10-27-10, 05:54 PM #625
We won't have to force anything. When gas is 5-10 dollars a gallon, people will look around and think, "hey, we should have built some light rail and trolleys". But by that time, it will be too late. You know what? Rail lines regularly have electric power above them, they run on regular routes. You are trying to re-invent the wheel.
10-27-10, 05:57 PM #626
It speaks to the lack of practical public transportation, and also the mistakes we have made in developing our communities around a soon to be obsolete technology. Why do we need cars? Because we didn't build near public transportation, we didn't care.
What is already happening is that suburbs with no future are losing their value and emptying out and becoming wastelands.
10-27-10, 06:04 PM #627
I also don't disagree with the price of gas going way up having an affect. It will for sure.
But what I am saying is that the way things are and have been suggest that we and when I say we I mean us, our choices, our elected leaders and the people that have direct influence etc. We have proven that we will do anything to keep our cars.
Whether that be subsidizing the price of gas or lobbying against any sane transportation system that won't use oil.
When you look at what we are doing with electrics and hybrids, we are already creating subsidies for us to buy these cars. Again, we are trying to support the industries that are in place and all of those jobs. Remember what happened when GM was about to go under.
So we have this massive investment in cars and roads, and we will do whatever it takes to keep the wheel turning.
Yes, at some point we will figure out that there is a better way but like most things it will have to get much worse before it gets better.
In the end I am saying be realistic in our expectations.
10-27-10, 06:09 PM #628
10-27-10, 06:11 PM #629
In the LA area in the 70's they were being presented with a choice. Trains and trolleys or roads and cars.
The auto industry stepped in and crushed the other side. They proved to be way more powerful with their influence and now we have a desert with cement on top.
As well. Every, so it seems train project that is presented tends to be this huge political mess where nobody has any common sense. Then it ends up costing 4 times as much as predicted and then nobody uses it because for some reason it goes where nobody wants to go.
I live near Seattle. Everyone I have ever met when it comes to this discussion says the same thing.
"why don't we just build the thing right down I-5. We can connect Vancouver Canada with LA and all in between"
But that makes too much effing sense. It's almost like they fail on purpose.
10-27-10, 06:14 PM #630
I know, everyone is concentrating on high speed rail, but it requires retooling and renegotiating rights of way while standard rail lines exist already which could be upgraded with the minimum of investment. High speed rail requires smoother curves, so a bunch of new land would have to be bought. The only choice about downsizing is when do we start.
10-27-10, 06:38 PM #631
10-27-10, 06:43 PM #632
The magazine Scientific American (September 2010 issue) suggests peak oil will strike in the year 2014.
This may or may not be correct. However, it is clear that we will need alternatives to fossil oil fairly soon. The rapid development of battery operated electric cars is very welcome. Due to the forthcoming lack of fossil oil, the change will not be due to the technical merits of IC vehicles over Ev's, or vice versa. We will change because we have to.
As for trains, buses and other mass systems - well, they will have their place. Many people already use them, and many more in the future will use them. But the need for personal powered vehicles is not going to go away. I live in an isolated place, myself - 40 minutes drive from the nearest supermarket, and with no available public transport. I will need a suitable personal vehicle, and so will a billion others.
10-27-10, 06:43 PM #633
You will not prise people away from their cars. The roads are there; people will use them. People will develop every and any method possible to keep individual parambulation devices.
10-27-10, 06:53 PM #634
My wife and I and our 2 children visit my extended family each year in LA. After 9-11 especially, the air rates went way up. So what started as our trip of four for around $1000 round trip turned into about $1600.
So I thought, well it may take us a few extra days but it might be fun to take the train.
Called Amtrak. They told me they have seats and bunks, bunks for overnight etc and the family will be somewhat isolated.
They quoted me $ 2000, I said is that for all of us, and they said no, per person. Then I said well how much is it just for a seat and they said, that is for the seat, the bunks are twice that much.
I said WTF.
On top of that we needed to get off the train at least 3 times and take a bus to another station to catch the next train to make the leap.
Realizing that we are already subsidizing Amtrak, I thought how much are we effing subsidizing the airlines ?
So it's going to take a heck of sales job to get people on board with giving up their cars.
I also could have driven there just as fast.
10-28-10, 12:04 PM #635
As for "Psychology of Previous Investment" ,the roads will still be there, as will cars, they just need to be fueled differently. That group in Canada is using GreenGas.cc for cars and trucks and airplanes and to get rid of city congestion fast trains seem obvious if located properly. In Europe and England I enjoy the fast trains and they are similar in price to driving. For short trips close to cities electric cars may work but there is still the problem of winter interior heat ect.
10-28-10, 01:04 PM #636
Asphalt roads do not last long without maintenance, especially in the north. Cars will be fueled by horses eating hay. I don't think you realize, this whole high energy society, even the research into electric cars, is all fueled by cheap oil. Without it, we will be lucky to feed ourselves, much less create high tech transportation systems. Economies will collapse, jobs will be gone, loans will be unavailable...
10-28-10, 01:27 PM #637
What a horrible pessimistic attitude. Fortunately you are wrong. Humanity has one thing in abundance, and that is the ability to innovate. Our whole existence is based on technology, whether stone age man banging rocks together or 21st century computers. We are good at it.
When the chips are down, miracles are worked. Nazi Germany was faced with an almost total loss of fossil fuel. They switched, very very quickly, to an energy economy run on liquefaction of coal. Apartheid South Africa faced a trade embargo that prevented oil imports. They did the same, and ran a successful economy for decades on this technology.
One way or another, the world will switch to alternative technologies. We are in a much better position than Nazi Germany was, with a wider range of potential technologies to draw on. In another 50 years, there will be twice as many cars on the road as today. They just will not be running on fossil oil.
10-28-10, 07:33 PM #638
The Rumanian oilfields were successfully sabotaged by Americans. Anyhow, the bottomline is that they still needed oil. One could make the argument that mostly the war was about oil/energy...
10-28-10, 07:47 PM #639
No doubt the Nazis wanted oil. However, they did not have it, and they ran their war effort without it.
The point is that these things can be done when the need arises. The USA already has a pilot plant, making diesel from coal. Only 5,000 barrels a day, but that is why it is called a pilot.
There is a NZ company making diesel from algae grown in sewage oxidation ponds. Still not competitive with fossil fuel, but it is early days yet.
Synethetic fuel may be made (has been made in the lab) from anaerobic pyrrolysis of biomass, with the volatile fractions then mixed with hydrogen gas and passed over a heated catalyst. Result ; hydrocarbons, like those that run your car. And a by product is carbon which can become biochar to help reverse carbon emissions.
There are many more potential technologies also.
10-28-10, 07:48 PM #640
However, I think the main gist of his point is valid. That faced with a loss of one energy source we will at least try to find something else to keep moving forward.
We could probably produce all of the oil we need with coal gassification but it would take a tremendous amount of investment to get it up and running. Not to mention the environmental toll.
Our biggest problem is the amount of energy we use. No matter what you try to replace it with it's going to be an upfront cost to be able to generate that.
I am confident that we can both find new sources and find ways to reduce consumption through effeciency.
But that hope is placed on technology and not on our ability to see where we need to be and go there because it's the smart thing to do. We just don't have the leaders to take us there.
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