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le Gimp
QUOTE (verlaine @ Nov 1 2005, 09:58 AM)
I somewhat agree but also it is the consumer whom controlls gas prices. If people were to just say no we dont want to put up with this garbage, The oil companies would change the prices but on the other hand cnn and fox news…..ect. base their daily news reports on "soaring gas prices" and "the cost of freedom". its getting old. I am sick of media tring to scare us all into being better consumers, and as americans thats what we are…consumers.


Not quite. It is a simple matter to say that the consumers control gas prices (Ideal situation), but reality is a totally different matter.

People have to get to work to make a living, and there are not enough alternatives to the automobile as a means of transportation. We just don't have the ifrastructure to support it.

For instance, in my case it is 10 miles to work. The closest bus pickup is a mile and a half from my house, and they don't run at 7am, so the bus is out.

I could walk 10 miles, but I think not.

I could ride a bicycle, but I already got put in a wheel chair for six months from doing that and don't care to risk it again.

Fortunatly for me, I also own a motorcycle.

Most people in this area are not so fortunate.

We are slaves to our own transportation system. We (the USA in general) lack the infrastructure of alternative transportation.

For instance, what would happen if in my town even 5,000 people suddenly decided to take the bus?

No, the consumer does not control the price of gasoline. It is dictated by the large petroleum companies.

The little we can do is consolidate trips to reduce the total mileage we drive. That will effect supply and demand but not enough to have a significant effect on the price curve.

Long term we could change our habits. Ride the bus and force the infrastructure to change to support the changes we want. However, I am convinced that most epople are cattle and will just continue on with the same old attitude that they can do nothing in the short term and will do nothing in the long term.

Socker moms in SUVs, LARS!.gif .
Kirk
I lived in the mountains, far away from any town.
I was crippled by my gas bill, trying to get to town for work was costing me half my pay.
I found a bundle of letters from 1902 in an old shed.
I was surprised to read how the woman that lived here could catch a nearby train and ride the Norfolk & Southern rail to make a connection for anywhere in the country. For a nickle she could ride to town.
Eventually the trains quit running and
a few years ago they tore up the railroad tracks and built a world class riding trail for hikers, bikers and horses.
A major oil company not only payed to remove the tracks and build the trail but actively sought out other communities to do this to.
A rail system is vital to a healthy country.
Our rail system has been systematically dismantled.
verlaine
I dissagree and agree. In my oppinion the gas prices are set by the consumer , In that i mean that the whole suv culture as well as the "Im bored lets go drive around" attitude greatly attributes to the gas prices and there are simple solutions to most transportation issues, its called alternative fuels. If us americans can ever get off our need-for-speed binge and realize that alternative fuel cars are the way to go. A very good friend of mine just started a vegitable oil based fuel station and he also offers bio-diesel and conversion kits for all types of diesel motors, his pirce per gallon is estamated to be around $1.25, with discounts to those whom get the convertion thru him. Even more hybreds would be a step int the right direction.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE (le Gimp @ Nov 1 2005, 09:09 AM)
No, the consumer does not control the price of gasoline. It is dictated by the large petroleum companies.

Petroleum company profits have skyrocketed over the last few months for one reason: price gouging. Consumers do not set those prices.

The math is pretty simple. We were overcharged for gas because whoever set the price per barrel set it artificially high. There's no other way petroleum companies could possibly profit that much from a supposed supply shortage. Petroleum companies weren't raking in billions during the gas crisis under Jimmy Carter. In that situation, people stopped buying American gas guzzlers and went for cheapo fuel efficient Japanese cars instead, which created an incentive for American companies to make better cars, so while consumers may not have set gas prices, they did create a demand for fuel efficiency.

Meanwhile this time around plenty of money from American households went directly into the pockets of Islamic extremist nations and American companies that invest in them. You're paying out of your pocket so greedy people can get even richer.
le Gimp
The last information I saw (Discovery Channel I believe) was an analysis of the total cost of manufacturing and operating a hybrid car. It inidcated that they still had not broken even. However, I will conceed that if more people bought them they would break even sooner.

As for biodiesel, the numbers I have seen indicate it is cheaper as long as the feedstock is cheap enough (nearly free). Once enough demand takes place, the price of feedstock will go up and I suspect it will approach parity with petroleum based fuels. Some states have large biodiesel companies already producing it and selling it for about 80% of the cost of diesel.

I also expect the EPA to step in on making biodiesel since some of the chemicals (Methanol, Lye, methoxide) used to process it are toxic. Not to mention that there are b-yproducts which have to be disposed of.

There is no conversion required from what I have read. The Journey to Forever site talks about it in detail. Biodiesel does tend to jel in cold weather.

Understand that I am not trying to Poo-poo these alternatives as unworthy of persuit. However each carries it's own baggage. And, none is going to make a major dent in the petroleum addiction we have.

However that said, with enough small alternatives we can have a noticable effect on it.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE
Verlaine sez>>>>Its not that i dislike america, I love the damn country and everything it stands for, but I do not agree with where things are going.


Then stay here and do what you can to change things like a real patriot instead of running away like a deserter. I probably hate this country's current political situation as much or more than you do (90% of BOTH parties are to blame for it), but that's why I'm sticking around. If all the progressive people run for the hills (Iron Maiden, anyone?, just kidding), imagine how crazy things will get then!
verlaine
I have played the game , and even now playing it. And its not about running or changing the country, I have learned this the hardest way possible, Its about family, friends, and quality of life that matters to me. i get to sit in an office all day listning to polititions go back and forth about the unpredictibility of everything and it's all garbage. All in all I think we should elect Christopher Walken as president and rowan atkinson as vice president.
hartsmar
Ethanol is one alternative, and I know I could still drive my (yeah - hate me…) SUV on that. It requires little modification. New ones (I know Ford does them) are "Flexi Fuel" and can run on either Gas or Ethanol. Problem? Well, in Sweden it is not legal to do this modification. Smart eh?
So, that requires me to get a new car.

Get a smaller car then. No. Not an option. Why? Two kids, loads of stuff to bring along, strollers, bags and what not.
Also, I'm not a sucker for having to do puzzle work to get things loaded in the car. Fact is, a large Volvo or Saab for instance does use its fair share of gas too.

Did I mention that I am the most egoistic SOB when it comes to the safety of my family? That is - I gladly (no, maybe not gladly) pay the extra bucks for insurance of this bigger car as long as I know that it is less likely that MY family will die in the event of a crash with some drunk driver. I do hope he or she drives a nice little environmental friendly Smart or something.

There, that said, I am all for alternative fuels. That is, if they are combinable with each other - like gas and ethanol. That has to be the smartest solution, because let's face it. It will take a loooong time until all gas stations provide whatever various fuels are at hand. And there would be no meaning in driving "environmental friendly" if you'd have to drive an exra 30 miles to get to the one station that has your fuel option…
verlaine
I by far do not condone selfishness but think people just need to think about what is important to them and apply it to their politics. Iraq, korea, germany, italy, kuwait, japan,….ect. all the places we said we would not go when the country was founded. If we would focus on the us. we could take in all the people whom are oppressed just like the crazys that came over on the boat in 1492.
verlaine
Like i said before, The people who design your suv, which I can understand the necessity, fail to realize the profit they could make from an alternative fuel suv that keeps the same body-style such as the honda civic's, But theres too many americans addicted to speed and that is a restraint with that type of car.
hartsmar
I assure you, my Explorer is no speed monster, but the CR-V can't load shit. It would be smarter to by a VW Golf "stationwagon"! And as I said, Ford does provide FlexiFuel versions of their SUVs and some pick-ups.

Donnie Darko
Oppressed crazies came over in 1492? Well, they were crazy in a homicidal kind of way, but weren't oppressed. They did all the oppressing, mostly in Haiti in the 1490s, which the idiots mistook for America.

verlaine
I am most definatly not defending the early slave ownning-mass murders, but they had some good ideas.
verlaine
BTW:

walkin08
celticgent
this hydrogen powered motorbike seems like a step in the right direction..
le Gimp
Yes, a nice idea since it is using a fuel cell.

However it still begs the question, Where do you get the hydrogen from?

Break down water with electrolysis? If so, where do you get the electricity? Burning coal, natural gas, etc?

IF we can put in enough wind farms, geothermal generation stations, solar power generation stations, etc then it would be a good idea. Now it is just feel good expensive technology.
celticgent
hence 'step in the right direction' and not 'answer to all of our problems'.
verlaine
They had a show on hydrogen cars on disc. channel last nigh and they already have refuel stations that use solar panels to create the necessary energy.
Kirk
Those hydrogen cells are actually metal cylinders under thousands of pounds of air pressure.
When a high pressure cylinder explodes (and they often do) or even empties rapidly it is absolutely devastating.
I do not want these high pressure cylinders hurling around at high speeds on our highways and back roads,
powering who knows what kind of vehicle everywhere gas goes today.
celticgent
steam engine fans said the same about gas engines years ago….
le Gimp
There is a form of storage called metal-hydride. It was demonstrated in the late 60s to be a viable way to store hydrogen without the high pressure requirements, and gave greater sotrage densities.

They hold up to 250 times their volume in hydrogen at lower pressure than standard compressed gas tanks.

FOr example, this 4" long 1.25 diameter cylinder holds 20L of gas.

http://www.fuelcellstore.com/products/gfe/SL2000.htm

Expensive they are. For now.
Kirk
No
steam engines were dangerous and everyone knew it,
besides the whole stoking the fire and stopping for water thing,
safety was one of the things that killed the steam engine.

Thanks Gimp,
the last hydrogen cells I saw were high pressure, but I don't keep up with it.

They need to start getting more out of a gallon of gas and make it cleaner,
that would help a lot.
Get all the dinosaurs off the road and go ultra light.
Remove truck freight from the passenger traffic, make them have their own roads and at least their own lane for areas where there is no choice.
verlaine
If everyone wants to really know whats going on heres some helpfull links:



refuel station


fuel tank

fchv
celticgent
kirk, i am not arguing the safety of steam engines.

just saying that awhile ago people thought that internal combustion engines would blow up, and therefore be more dangerous than steam engines.

not saying it's true….

people are afraid of change.
Absomphe
They should have thought of that when they "elected" Bush the first time.
Stroller
$2.16 a gallon in South Carolina. w00t2.gif
le Gimp
Where in SC?

It was 2.39 a gallon at the gas station at mile marker 4 on I26 last Sunday. North Carolina was worse. Even Wally Land was 2.69 a gallon in Laurenburg NC last weekend.

We are down to $2.19 at wallyland in E Town, and $2.29 at wally land in JC.

Someone please explain the ecconomics of the same business extensions 10 miles apart having different prices (aside from the cheaper one is to drive local competition out of business).
Stroller
My wife called while driving to Asheville from Atlanta this morning, she didn't mention what exit off the highway. It's $2.65 gal in LA right now. Not as good but better than it was.



One California family is paying $500 a month to drive a $1M fuel-cell (hydrogen) compact car made by Honda.

They live in Redondo Beach. Where do I sign up????
Outerlimits
yes.gif The word for today is : BIODIESEL

Biodiesel
Stroller
What, they let you back in Outerlimits. abs-cheers.gif
Outerlimits
yes.gif
le Gimp
Old topic.

no points.
Wild Bill Turkey
QUOTE(Kirk @ Nov 1 2005, 09:28 AM) *

A major oil company not only payed to remove the tracks and build the trail but actively sought out other communities to do this to.
A rail system is vital to a healthy country.
Our rail system has been systematically dismantled.

This was my biggest source of frustration when I lived in Lost Angeles. I daily had to drive over the abandonned railbeds of the dismantled "Red Car" system that had once carried people around that city in inexpensive, attractive cable cars. It was tire manufacturers that paid to tear out the rails of that system, and they didn't even replace them with a footpath. They simply dug up the rails, and left big ugly scars on every street to remind people of the freedom they once had.

This was actually the plot of the movie "Who framed Roger Rabbit". Nobody really noticed it, because we were all looking at Jessica Rabbit, but the movie was actually a fairly damning exposé of what happened to the Red Car system, and left L.A. the gridlocked, insufferable HELL it has been ever since.
bjacques
I remember that. Only a 'toon would dream up something like that… wacko.gif
hartsmar
QUOTE(Wild Bill Turkey @ Nov 3 2005, 09:19 PM) *

This was actually the plot of the movie "Who framed Roger Rabbit". Nobody really noticed it, because we were all looking at Jessica Rabbit, but the movie was actually a fairly damning exposé of what happened to the Red Car system, and left L.A. the gridlocked, insufferable HELL it has been ever since.


?


I have to get a V10 now, just because you said that!
Provenance
QUOTE(celticgent @ Nov 3 2005, 11:38 AM) *
steam engine fans


IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

British Steam Car
dakini_painter
I think you're going to have problems driving around the city in that. But it does have the advantage to vaporizing anyone trying to tailgate.
dakini_painter
OK, I just read the article.

Ten years of work to get to the first test drives of 80 mph to challenge the 1906 steam car speed record?

I hope the UK government isn't planning on any auto bailouts.
Provenance
I was just wondering if the design could be reconfigured to create a mobile distillery.
Tibro
Although the car is undeniably cool in a certain sorta way, it just ain't chillin' enough.
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