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Euro Ford Focus 5-door, 1.6 liter gasoline engine (42.8MPG combined), 1.8 liter diesel engine (54.3MPG combined)
When it comes to fuel efficiency, America comes up way short

When it comes to high mileage vehicles available on the U.S. market, we come up short compared to vehicles available in other countries. Recent research put forth by 40mgp.org shoes that while 113 vehicles available overseas manage to maintain a combined fuel economy rating of 40MPG or higher, only two vehicles made the list in the U.S.

The two vehicles available in the U.S. that crossed the 40MPG threshold were both gasoline-electric hybrids: the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid. In many European countries, vehicles achieve a 40MPG or higher rating by using small, ultra-efficient gasoline or diesel engines.

Research by 40mpg.org also showed that over 38 vehicles available outside of the U.S. were able to achieve 50MPG. Of those 38 models researched, 34 used "clean diesel" technology.

Other interesting tidbits brought to light include the fact that the number of vehicles achieving 40MPG or higher outside of the U.S. has risen from 86 in 2005 to 113 in 2007. Likewise, the number has decreased from five in 2005 to two in 2007 for the U.S. In addition, the number of vehicles achieving at least 35MPG outside of the U.S. has risen from 129 in 2005 to 161 in 2007. That number has fallen from nine to six in the U.S.

"We have to face the unpleasant facts here: America is needlessly losing the race to develop the best fuel-efficient technology and then deliver it to the American consumer, which wants these cars and other vehicles that would use less imported fuel and create less global-warming pollution," said Pam Solo, President of the Civil Society Institute (CSI). "The Europeans, Japanese and Chinese are already committed to far more aggressive MPG standards than we are in the United States. Congress needs to show some leadership now and insist on a 40 miles per gallon standard now - not 10 years from now when it will be too late to save Detroit from its worst impulses."

The interesting thing to note is that the vast majority of the vehicle available overseas that achieve such high mileage ratings are made by U.S.-based companies like General Motors and Ford as well as foreign automakers like Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen – all three of which are very familiar to American buyers.

However, until these automakers are given a reason to introduce more fuel efficient models here in the U.S. (i.e. higher government-mandated fuel economy standards), we'll likely continue to see a dearth of affordable, highly fuel efficient vehicles.





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Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Shoal07 on 2/16/2007 10:45:09 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
In many European countries, vehicles achieve a 40MPG or higher rating by using small, ultra-efficient gasoline or diesel engines.


Why do American companies build gas efficient vehicles and then sell them overseas? Two reasons:
-Americans like big cars/trucks
-Americans like horsepower

Would the average American drive a car that has absolutely horrible acceleration, no trunk, and barely seats 4 moderate sized people? Unlikely. Americans are big people (and not just fat, taller and broader as well) plus we have a desire for speed. Speed and fuel-efficient are, at least right now, the opposite of each other. Congress can mandate all they want; your giant SUV that seats 7, can hold 3 picnic tables, and tow a yacht will never get 40mpg with a simple redesign. You’ll also not see these cars in Europe or most other overseas places, they simply want smaller, lighter and (as a side effect) efficient cars.

American cars stand out from the rest of the world in their style. We have an American car style that’s been built in to our culture. This isn’t going to change overnight. I know that I won’t buy a car that says “goes 0-60... eventually” on the sticker. Would you?




RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By therealnickdanger on 2/16/2007 10:57:37 AM , Rating: 2
I rated you up, but it should be noted that you can have the best of both worlds. There are several full-sized, sub-6 second German Autoban-destroyers that are capable of achieving over 35MPG. Twin-turbo diesels are extremely efficient and very powerful. The problem is that they are very expensive.

This will progress as it always has: more power, more features, more safety, more efficiency. It just takes time.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By jkostans on 2/16/2007 2:49:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, we're are also cheap. Cheap horsepower means cutting corners, and efficiency is on the top of the list of corners that are acceptable to cut.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Wonga on 2/16/2007 10:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree that people in Europe often like smaller cars (which of course really depends on what you want a car for), the real reason for choosing a particular vehicle is now very often down to efficiency. It isn't really a side effect at all.

Obviously people don't care about how light a car is (they aren't exactly lifting it into a parking space), but they do care about all the benefits that comes with that.

Thanks to the rises in oil costs recently, I know of several people who have ditched their high speed Jaguars and bulky Land Rovers and switched over to standard mid-range diesels which can manage 50MPG. I can only see this trend continuing as oil supplies get more strained and biofuels take over at higher price points.

Since the EU keeps moving the bar up for CO2/km, I guess cars will just keep getting more efficient and everyone will reap the benefits. Of course, that won't stop people complaining about the extra £500 on the price tag, no matter how much money they are really saving over the lifetime...


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By StevoLincolnite on 2/16/2007 11:32:55 AM , Rating: 3
Alot of People may have moved from Petrol to Effiecent Diesel based cars, Here in Australia at least the Government has released a rebate scheme on LPG conversions, So instead of people selling they're cars etc for more effiecent ones, They instead get they're cars converted to LPG gas. (I never get over Other people calling petrol gas... :P)
Not only is LPG around 50% the cost of Petrol, (Sometimes allot less if you take shopping vouchers off).
But it is also allot more clean to burn.
In my VN SS Commodore V8 1990 model, I get 570KM's on a tank of LPG, Where on duel it was 610KM's Yet when I had my Old VN Commodore, which was a V6 And petrol only I was getting on average 520KM's to a 60 litre tank. (The tanks are the same size in my old VN and the SS) So What that came down to was the Power to weight, Both Vehicles had equal weight being same model, chasis etc. (The V8 probably weighed slightly more for the much larger motor) But because you don't have to Put your foot down as hard in the V8 the motor doesn't have to rev as high to get up to its required speed, thus conserving fuel. (In my theory anyway...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden_VN_Commodore

I think a better alternative to Fuel Economy is different fuels, More cleaner burning ones at that, And trying to keep about the same economy featured in cars as present.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Ringold on 2/16/2007 11:41:49 AM , Rating: 2
LPG is one of those things advanced by environmentalists (I guess) but really is impossible on a significant scale.

Why? Take a look at the natural gas market. It's price swings are downright violent. I don't trade in it (Can we say 'Amaranth'?) but I keep an eye on it and I think I saw it make an 8% swing in one day. Supply is tight, storage capacity is tiny (and always will be), and demand inflexible but also funky (spikes and troughs). Try to expand it to power even a fraction of the auto-market, and it'd only get worse. Filling up a tank on a Monday may cost you 20% more or less than on the following Wed on occasion.

It's fine for its tiny applications, but countries that want to mandate it for widespread use do so at their own risk.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Ringold on 2/16/2007 11:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.wtrg.com/daily/oilandgasspot.html

If those spot price shifts dont make you mess your pants then I don't know what would. As a consumer would you want fuel prices to double or triple in a Jan and then, say by March, be 1/3 the cost, and then by May be at a new record high?

Never will happen.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By StevoLincolnite on 2/16/2007 11:06:00 PM , Rating: 3
Price shifts on LPG? I only know about South Australian Conditions, I have never ever seen LPG more than 55-60% of the cost of Petrol. At the moment its 40% of the Price of petrol, And as long as there is a huge price difference? Who cares? Your still getting it cheaper, And the Australian Government basically gives you the LPG conversion for free.
Currently LPG is sitting on 63.9 Cents per liter. Multiply that by 3.785 which in turn is 2 dollars 41 cents a gallon.
Where as Petrol here is currently 125.9 a liter when converted into the American formats is: 4 dollars 76 cents a gallon.
LPG is readily available, Is mass produced here, Is cleaner Burning, Is almost as economical as petrol. (In most cases) And Plus its cheap. The Price has remained the same for months now, In fact a few weeks ago dropped 1 cent. (Yay).


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xsilver on 2/18/2007 4:28:41 AM , Rating: 2
steve,
LPG is only 46 cents here in melbourne - you're getting ripped off over there in SA! :P

also did you know the the aus government is going to start introducing a new tax on LPG in '08/'09?
its going to close the margin a bit on the price difference but yes you're right about the current situation in aus.
I made a comment below about how it may not be totally suitable for the rest of the world though.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By sxr7171 on 2/18/2007 2:24:46 AM , Rating: 2
There could be ways around it, like setting up contracts that price your supply annually based on a monthly usage range that you and your supplier have agreed to. It's done with gas utilities where they price you based on anticipated use patterns. It's still a lot of hassle for a consumer to commit to a minimum annual usage and usage that doesn't vary too much month to month. I'm sure there'd be penalties for using too much gas in January for example. Anyhow, your basic point stands in that a wholesale switch to gas would really drive prices up and increase volatility. But the energy trading firms love to make money handling volatility.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xsilver on 2/16/2007 5:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
here in australia our market/demand is so low, LPG is a viable alternative - but yes your right in that it is not viable as a world solution.

but the OP was just highlighting that in order for things to change technology should be developed on both a small scale and ALSO a paradigm shifting scale.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By ZoZo on 2/16/2007 10:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
Well then I guess that the Americans should stop living so luxuriously, stop eating so much, and start thinking about the environment more than their bulging stomachs and pompous lifestyle. Geez...


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By therealnickdanger on 2/16/2007 12:03:50 PM , Rating: 1
No thanks. I've seen how the rest of the world lives and I've worked damn hard to live how I live. I will always prefer to have the freedom to make that choice for myself without undue government regulation driving up costs and stifling innovation.

A life of excess can be unhealthy, but removing the option would be worse for everyone.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By lucyfek on 2/16/2007 12:43:03 PM , Rating: 4
just to remind you that while your parents "worked damn hard to live how I live", we just waste the resources and live on credit (aka 700+ billion trade gap just for last year alone). we'd better lower our insane apetite or someone else does it for us (on less favorable conditions).
it always hurts to fall.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By mindless1 on 2/16/2007 8:55:06 PM , Rating: 3
I always love that idiotic lie "I"ve worked damn hard".

Bullsh!t, there are plenty of millions of people in this world that work similarly hard in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd world countries, it wasn't working hard that got you were you are, and it isn't in itself some justification for wasteful living relative to someone outside the US.

Work hard < work smart
Smart is recognizing that needs and happiness don't actually depend on excessiveness.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Moishe on 2/19/2007 12:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
Work is work. Some work pays more, some pays less. That is usually determined by the market.

But his comment is pretty spot on. People work so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. The benefits for working harder may just be food to live on, or a nice car, or a new TV. Either way people should be rewarded for working.

What you call excess, I call the benefit of having skill and a good job. It shouldn't be up to you or some government to tell me what is and is not excess. Freedom means you can go overboard if you can afford it or you can live like a monk even if you're a millionaire.

Your attitude is pretty common and it indicates that you think your opinion about excess is worth forcing on others. This sort of thinking goes in all directions though. If you can tell me that my car is excess, I can tell you that the food you eat is excess. It goes on and on and eventually, you're just a slave to other people's whims with no freedom to choose.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By sxr7171 on 2/18/2007 2:30:27 AM , Rating: 2
No one's telling you that you can't have your gas guzzler, just that you'd have to pay more for it. So keep working hard(er).


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By bob661 on 2/16/2007 1:19:34 PM , Rating: 2
1. America is a democratic society where we have freedom of speech and expression.
2. It's MY money. Not yours and not societies. I don't work to better society. I work to better MY and MY families life. A side benefit is that OUR society continues runs because we all work.
3. In OUR society (not yours), we buy stuff. Buying stuff keeps people employed. There's all kinds of side benefits from being employed. See #2 for one benefit.
4. We make some damn good money compared to the rest of the world as a whole society. See numbers 1 and 2 for why that is.
5. Because of #4, we like to live good. We also are very generous and give in the billions (look it up). But why would we give away most of what we make? Where is the incentive to work harder? Where is the incentive to create? Where is the incentive to raise our children with good work ethics? There HAS to be personal benefit. Giving away most of your money does not benefit the person.
6. Not all of us are fat. My entire family including in laws are very healthy, eat well and exercise. You watch too much TV if you think it's different. Americans are generally healthy. Just because we're bigger doesn't mean we're fatter.
7. If you don't like what I've said, stay in your country where things are how you like it to be. And I'll happily stay in mine. And trust me, if I had my say, our military wouldn't step foot outside of our waters. And there are plenty of Americans that believe in that philosophy. Too bad we don't care about politics to change it.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By ZeeStorm on 2/16/2007 2:05:57 PM , Rating: 1
Typical immature response. He comes with very valid reasons, and all you can come up with is childish name calling. By the way, what's a moroon? (hilarious) Please come up with a better response to this person's statements. I think they're quite accurate.

P.S. Just because people don't know what a checkbox is in West Palm Beach, does not mean Bush stole votes in Florida. My family proudly voted for Bush, thanks.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By ZeeStorm on 2/16/07, Rating: 0
By CascadingDarkness on 2/16/2007 6:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like a poor way to justify the death of what he implies {I think} as an innocent civilian.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By 05SilverGT on 2/16/2007 2:53:32 PM , Rating: 1
The last time I checked American troops weren't blowing up 60 people daily with car bombs. Instead they are rebuilding schools and beefing up the Iraq infrastructure. The terrorist, Saddam loyalists, and militia groups keep screwing it all up. That’s were the anger should be. All the Americans did was tried to throw out a potential threat that wouldn’t live up to the ceasefire agreements he made. A large percent of the American population is tired of these thugs around the world. It’s time we get the rest of the world working instead of living off of social welfare and American handouts.

On a side note I'll take my 300+ HP 05 Mustang GT that gets 28MPG on the highway, does 0-60MPH in less than 5 seconds and the high twelve’s in the qtr. mile. That's without a SC or Turbo.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: 0
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By 05SilverGT on 2/16/2007 3:05:24 PM , Rating: 2
Again I can't see the movies at work but there are always bad people in any group. However as a whole I think American troops do a fine job and want to help people in anyway they can. It's why they do what they do. Anyways the more I think about this the Iraq stuff is really off topic. Lets get back to cars!


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By hubajube on 2/16/2007 4:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
And I could probably find videos with you surfing porn. What's your point? There people make mistakes? That a "good" military would have perfect soldiers that never committed crimes? What planet do you live on? I want to know what Utopian society you live in where mistakes and even atrocities aren't committed. No one is perfect bro. I understand a lot of Europeans are afraid right now but place the root of the fear where it lies. And for God's sake, quit watching so much TV and learn for yourself what the world really like.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By johnsonx on 2/16/2007 4:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why you provided two links to the same clip, but either way, what does this clip show that anyone is supposed to be upset about? I'm impressed: whatever the reason for the way he's driving (a wounded soldier in the back of the truck maybe?), notice how precise the driver is to bump the other cars just hard enough to get their attention; nobody crashes. No one in the entire video gets so much as stubbed toe. Is that really the best you can come up with?



RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By michal1980 on 2/17/07, Rating: -1
By CascadingDarkness on 2/17/2007 1:19:12 PM , Rating: 2
So are you just saying you want the nation of America to be destroyed, or all the people. It's not quite clear. I've gotta say wishing for people to die when you know nothing about them individually, but just condeming them all together is genocide. Last time I looked this is a rather evil and awful thing.

Gotta say I'm rather sick of everyone picking on USA for generalizing and hating groups outright without trying to understand them, but then everyone else goes and does the same thing to us.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Milliamp on 2/17/2007 12:44:50 PM , Rating: 2
They are in a hurry, they are beeping but the cars cannot hear the horn, so they are bumper tapping them to get them to move.

It looks to me like they were in a hurry to get somewhere.

Does the reason they were rushing justify driving like that? Well I guess that would depend on the reason, but I think its pretty safe to assume it was an emergency of some sort.

You say America will fall, but if the people who are responsible for bringing it down are driving around like that rather than throwing us all in concentration camps I suppose it could be worse.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By 05SilverGT on 2/16/2007 2:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
Video's at my work are blocked but trust me there are always some bad apples in the bunch. I'll take American troops over any in the world. History shows they'll get the job done when the American government does get in their way. Like the dems are doing right now.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By vicjm on 2/16/2007 2:35:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
every empires crumbles , and your fat ass rich polluting empire will crumble.. pray that when it does the poor ppl of the planet won't be so hugry as to consider you americans - Food.


I've seen a lot of interesting comments, but I think this is the first time I've seen someone suggest that our behavior could result in being . . . eaten.

Oh, and of course the detention center at Guantanamo Bay isn't democratic. Do inmates in your country run the prisons? I would think that would make security more difficult.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: 0
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By 05SilverGT on 2/16/2007 2:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
No we'll probably be saving their asses from the next real big threat like we always do.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By 05SilverGT on 2/16/2007 3:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
Where the hell are you from. Do you realize America offers the largest amount of foreign aid to Africa? And I do have a big cock by the way. Thanks!


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: 0
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By CascadingDarkness on 2/16/2007 7:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
Any idea how much of a hypocrite you are right now? Here you are yelling at Americans for generalizing people {arabs}, and considering them all {possible} terrorists. Your doing exactly what you accuse us of doing. Seems hating America is the cool thing to do these days. I should know, plenty of people who live here think it is.

I am an American btw. Do you know what I want? To go to work, live my life, and be happy.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: 0
By CascadingDarkness on 2/17/2007 11:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
I can sympathize with your situation, but rather than getting angry and attacking everyone who has basically no relation to this scenario you should be trying to clear their name and doing something constructive.

Continuing a cycle of hate that is started directly only by a handful of people, and than passing it along to a great number who actually feel something like that is awful isn't going to help. It's just going to continue the cycle of things like this happening. If you're just saying that out of anger I can understand, but if that is your line of thinking than this type of thing will never end.

I know I'm speaking out of turn, because nothing like this has ever happened to me or anyone I know. When it comes down to it any US citizen who pays taxes {basically all} is guilty for kidnapping? That seems a bit harsh.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By michal1980 on 2/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By rtrski on 2/26/2007 2:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you live?
Do you pay taxes to your government?
Do you agree with every single thing they do?
Would you consider yourself personally guilty for every bad act of theirs, to the extent of receiving a death sentence for their crimes?

Oh, I'm sorry...that's reserved for evil Americans...

But feel free to keep typing on that computer, and posting on that old Internet, both of which are brainchildren of American ingenuity. The tools of the Debil will corrupt you yet!

<hugs and kisses>


By Le Québécois on 2/16/2007 1:54:22 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Americans are generally healthy. Just because we're bigger doesn't mean we're fatter.


I don't know where you get that from but according to wikipedia ---> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obese#Prevalence

quote:
The prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States makes obesity a leading public health problem. The United States has the highest rates of obesity in the developed world. From 1980 to 2002, obesity has doubled in adults and overweight prevalence has tripled in children and adolescents.[20] From 2003-2004, "children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, 17.1% were overweight...and 32.2% of adults aged 20 years or older were obese."[20] The prevalence in the United States continues to rise.


If wiki is wrong and you have the data to correct it please do so and let me change my perception of the USA population.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xsilver on 2/16/2007 6:34:14 PM , Rating: 4
8. and by living like this we have realized that this way of life is not sustainable and am willing to change.
Can I get an amen?

no one is asking you to give up your car and only eat tofu for the rest of your life - if a small change to your lifesytle can make a significant change to the sustainability of it why not go for it?

also in rebuttal to your point 3
http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAi...
while the USA gives the most foreign aid, compared to their GDP, they are ranked 21st - hardly anything to gloat about.

another thing; its wierd how the general sentiment is that if you dont like or live in the USA, you are either
1) a terrorist 2)some european crazy kook 3) a vegeterian tree hugging hippy 4) all of the above

if everyone is changing for the better then standing still actually means you're going backwards.


/rant


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2007 7:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
> "while the USA gives the most foreign aid, compared to their GDP, they are ranked 21st - hardly anything to gloat about..."

Your link only compares public foreign aid...that aid given directly by the government. The US leads the world in private charitable donations by a much larger margin.

> "no one is asking you to give up your car and only eat tofu for the rest of your life - if a small change to your lifesytle can make a significant change to the sustainability of it why not go for it?"

Because a small change does nothing. That's just it. If the doomsayers are right, then even cutting world gasoline consumption in half-- a wildly unrealistic goal-- doesn't even appreciably slow global warming, much less halt it. Cutting all CO2 emissions by 50%, which means not just driving, but half as much electricity, half as much meat production, and a hundred other sacrifices, will, by 2100, result in continued warming that's only 0.8 degrees less than what we'd otherwise experience.

That's if the doomsayers are correct. Luckily, more and more evidence says they're not....and that this environmental scare is no different than any of the thousands before it.




RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xsilver on 2/17/2007 10:42:16 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Your link only compares public foreign aid...that aid given directly by the government. The US leads the world in private charitable donations by a much larger margin.

and for private donations how much of the companies bottom line would be donated -- Anybody can donate a million dollars when your net worth is 50mil+
also, I would question how much of these donations are a direct result of tax writeoffs/claims

quote:
Because a small change does nothing


so instead your attitude is to just do whatever the hell u want and just say stuff u to the world?
how about telling us where u live - that way I can build a nuclear power plant and a sulphur mine next door

having a green attitude costs nothing, and yet its already too hard?


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2007 10:58:03 AM , Rating: 2
> "I would question how much of these donations are a direct result of tax writeoffs/claims..."

From this, I assume you've never made a charitable donation yourself. Let me explain how the process works. Say my marginal tax rate is 30%. I donate $10,000, which saves me $3,000 in taxes. I still lost $7,000. I didn't save anything.

When the US tax code consisted largely of fixed non-marginal brackets, you could sometimes save money with a donation that would drop you to a lower bracket. But since the overhaul of the brackets, this is no longer true.

> "having a green attitude costs nothing..."

And accomplishes nothing either. Except for that nice warm fuzzy feeling you get. But then, that's more important than results, eh?


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xsilver on 2/17/2007 3:59:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
saves me $3,000 in taxes. I still lost $7,000. I didn't save anything.


you didnt lose anything, you DONATED $7000 yes. costs less than donating $10,000, wouldnt the $3000 be called a saving then? amazing math skills eh?


Its funny because you seem like a person that feels like the world always owes you something whereas some of us seem to feel we owe the world.

how exactly is anybody supposed to fix an environmental problem without an environmental attitude?
an exercise in futility is still exercise. but who needs that when you can just close your eyes.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2007 5:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
> "you didnt lose anything, you DONATED $7000 yes. costs less than donating $10,000, wouldnt the $3000 be called a saving then?

I'm not sure if you're intentionally trying to be dense or not, but the point is that donating to charity does not save you money. The US is the largest private donor to charity by far...because private individuals and companies want to donate. Not because they're "saving" money by doing it.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xsilver on 2/18/2007 4:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
no im not intentionally trying to be dense; but just that you have decided to sit on one particular side of the fence and I have decided to sit on the other.

I did not claim that donating to charity saves you money; merely that you can donate at least 130% of what you put in and ultimatley makes your company look better. and I only question if the whole donating scheme is not entirely fueled by kindness but rather for publicity and PR to impress shareholders. I could be wrong but we'll never know.

and by your method of thinking masher2 im surprised you haven't said something like "donating is pointless anyways, the poor african people are going to die before they are 20 anyways of starvation, disease, aids etc.."


and to the guy below:
do you not believe in firedrills? I hope where you work never catches fire then.
I was merely pointing out the fact that shouldn't it be better to try at something and fail or get no result rather than sitting around twiddling your thumbs and waiting for something to crap itself? (proactive vs. reactive) maybe its a misconception I have about humans.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2007 9:01:22 AM , Rating: 1
> "I did not claim that donating to charity saves you money..."

You claimed much of private donations were the result of tax deductions. If you were speaking English, then you were implying the motivation was a desire to save money, rather than to contribute.

> "I [question] if the whole donating scheme is entirely fueled by...publicity and PR to impress shareholders..."

Well of course it is. Everything a corporation does is for either its customers or its shareholders. That's their legal responsibility, in fact. Public corporations are not allowed to squander funds. If it doesn't build value somehow for the shareholders, then you're shirking your fiduciary responsibility.

But you miss the point. The important fact is that US corporations have so many customers and shareholders that like those huge contributions. If not for that, they'd never donate. And you also ignore the tens of billions of dollars given annually by private individuals. Not big business.



RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xsilver on 2/20/2007 7:36:01 AM , Rating: 3
I have no idea what you are arguing about anymore, in fact I'm not sure you understand me at all.
you are mangling my quote to make it sound like I have no idea.

in one sentence you strongly disagree with me, yet in the next sentence you say of course, and then in the next you say I miss the point and try to argue another point which I have already explained.

here it is again one last time
Anybody, private or corporation who donates money that lives in a government with taxes is giving MORE than the actual amount taken out of their pocket. probably at LEAST 30% in fact. Therefore it is debatable, and I question, weather this incentive is a distinctive factor in the reason WHY people are willing to donate money. Another reason as to WHY donations can come freely is that it is viewed as payment to boost public relations and at least somewhat make a multimillion/billion corporation/individual look less like a ass.
I have no doubt that if people/corporations are in such a standing of wealth, contributing a small percentage of profits to a good cause is a negligible expense.
before you misunderstand me again, private citizens also pay tax no? so their donations can also be tax deductible, at least where I'm from. Private donations can also buy social standing amongst your friends ranging from saving a 3rd world village/city to rescuing some ancient artworks/statues in a remote/wartorn region etc.etc. its called philanthropy.
again I'm NOT stating that these are the only reasons for donating but since there is no possibility for donating without these reasons - we'll never know.
btw. I don't like how you present everything in such black and white terms, its never that simple; try to understand.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/20/2007 9:13:06 AM , Rating: 2
> "in one sentence you strongly disagree with me, yet in the next sentence you say of course"

Because between your two sentences, you changed your statement entirely. In the first, you implied charitable donations were the result of tax savings. In the second, you implied corporate donations (specifically excluding individuals) were the result of a desire to "impress stockholders and customers".

Your first statement was false. Your second one was correct, but irrelevant.

> "I have no doubt that if people/corporations are in such a standing of wealth, contributing a small percentage of profits to a good cause is a negligible expense..."

Bill Gates is giving away 90% of every dollar he ever made; Warren Buffet is going to give away nearly every penny of his $44 billion. Those aren't "small percentages of profits".

A public corporation, now, cannot give away its entire fortune. Should it try, it would instantly be the target of SEC action and shareholder lawsuit. Corporations exist to make a profit, not to give it away. Still, total corporate charitable donations in the US are larger than the EU's entire budget for foreign aid.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Lord 666 on 2/17/2007 7:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
An exercise in futility is still exercise


Unfortunately, I can't rate this reply down since already participating in the post.

This reply ranks up there in the most pointless and ignorant. Something that should be the new quote on the bottom of news articles of Dailytech.

In management speak, its called a "firedrill" or a "false alarm" whenever something is an exercise but is futile.



RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By sxr7171 on 2/18/2007 2:33:03 AM , Rating: 2
#3: Keep buying lots of gasoline because it makes lots of rich Saudi sheikhs.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xstylus on 2/17/2007 3:15:29 AM , Rating: 2
Excuse you?

I am an American starving student who is surviving on a shoestring budget at a part time job, going to a University with crazily increasing tuition fees and drive a (what we consider) very efficient 27mpg vehicle. I'm also underweight by 10lbs.

Yes, there's a disproportionately larger number of inconsiderate and pompous assholes here in America than elsewhere (and unfortunately, unlike my generation, they vote, which thus explains why Bush is president). However, I resent you speaking as if all Americans, including myself, are that way.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By badgeror on 2/16/2007 10:59:15 AM , Rating: 5
I love that comment!

I guess you've never gone out of town man did you? it's not like putting 300hp in a 3 tons vehicle will get you more acceleration than 150hp in a 1ton vehicle. You can get fast cars that are energy efficient. Problem is you can't get heavy ones to be energy efficient...
But by the way? why have cars that can run so fast when most of the time (ie always) you drive at speed limits that are so low compared to some european countries (not even mentionning german highways which are speed limits free...)?

As a final note: no one would buy a car that says "goes 0-60... eventually" you don't need to be american for that. but who needs a hummer to move from point A to point B running at speed limits, alone in your vehicle? except maybe to compensate for some lack manhood?


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By wolrah on 2/16/2007 11:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
I think part of the problem is that most of our small cars are not fun to drive. I can't say I've ever hopped out of a Focus or Civic and thought "that was fun". I have, on the other hand, thought exactly that every time I got out of my Thunderbird.

It seems like the American auto market has a problem that's best described by this: Small, Practical, Fun, pick two. Small and fun cars like a Miata or S2000 are not at all practical. Small practical cars like a Civic or Camry are not really fun, and practical, fun cars like a Thunderbird (ignore the retro model when talking practicality) or Marauder are big and have engines to match.

For me personally, to be fun a vehicle can not be front wheel drive. I just don't like the feel of a FWD at the limit. This excludes practically every small vehicle from the fun category by default, because for some reason the Europeans won't bring over some of the small RWD models like the BMW 1 series.

Give me a RWD compact 5 door hatch with a 0-60 time below 9 seconds and handling to match, I'll give up having a V8 as a daily driver without a second thought. I get 22 MPG if I take it easy, so I'd love to be up in the 30-40 MPG range, I just can't stand driving econoboxes and I need more cargo space than the few fun compacts offer.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Merry on 2/16/2007 11:35:57 AM , Rating: 3
BMW 3 series diesel? Maybe not compact but it fits what you want.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Alpha2Omega on 2/16/2007 11:51:45 AM , Rating: 3
As I understand it, the way American cars are set up in terms of their suspension is different to European cars. I live in the UK and from what I've read, the Focus you mention and to a lesser degree, the Civic, are two of the most fun to drive small cars on the road today. Sure they're not fun like a BMW 3-Series is, but they're not unexciting. The Focus has independent rear suspension which gives it very good handling by all accounts.

If you don't like FWD cars, that's down to you, but then certainly over here, you'd have to be going considerably faster than the speed limit to be anywhere near it's technical limits.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By ThisSpaceForRent on 2/16/2007 1:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
I would tend to agree. I went from a BMW 325is to a Civic SI, and the Civic has a better suspension. Of course they handle much differently, front wheel as opposed to rear wheel drive.

One thing people never think about when it comes to fuel convservation is gear ratios. The Civic I have gets terrible gas mileage in town due to the gearing of 1st through 4th gears. The only saving grace is that the car has a 6th gear for highway driving which makes a world of difference for the gas mileage.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By FITCamaro on 2/16/2007 1:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The problem isn't the engine. Its the tuning and gearing. There are people with 6 speed Corvettes making well over 400hp and getting 30+ mpg. I've seen one with a supercharger on it that ran 10s or 11s at the track and got 35mpg on the highway. All the gearing. I've got a Cobalt SS 2.4L and if it had a 6th gear, it'd probably get 40 mpg on the highway. The 31-32 it gets isn't bad, but an extra gear would give it even better. Now thats driving at 70-75. If I'm doing 55-60, it's getting 38-40.

Good tuning and proper gearing can make a V8 have awesome power, great acceleration, and good mileage. Maybe not 25+ in the city, but good for the engine size.

And yes, American's like horsepower. The majority of us don't like Mini's and the like. I'm 6' 1" and sat in one. While I had enough room for me and a passenger, thats about all the room there was. Thats not to say I want a huge Excursion or Tahoe (I have no use for one), but I want something bigger. I go for fun and practical. Of course whats practical is different for everyone. If you have a boat or something else you need to tow, a V8 SUV with a large tow rating is practical. If you are a single person or someone with one kid, you don't have anything to tow, and its never going to see dirt behind that on the street, you don't need a Tahoe or other large SUV. You just want one because you think it makes you look rich, important, cool, and/or manly. Thats not to be confused with people who drive sports cars (of course some get them for that reason). I love to go fast. A Miata or Civic doesn't cut it. Neither does my current Cobalt, but I got out of college and had to get something I could afford to drive 150 miles a day. Now I don't need it, but I can't afford to go trade it in and get a new car. So I'll just pay it off, and in a few years, get the new Camaro coming out.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By sxr7171 on 2/18/2007 2:39:15 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, I'll take a BMW 1 series or Peugeot 306 or Alfa 147. I'm glad Audi brought over the A3, but no one wants it because you could be successful in every way in life and people here will laugh at you for driving it. Not that I would care.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By xstylus on 2/17/2007 4:40:05 PM , Rating: 3
Part of it is about intimidation factor, and feeling superior to everyone else on the road.

Having an expensively large vehicle with a throaty engine engine and a big exhaust even if you don't need it (especially in 5mph Los Angeles traffic) is a status symbol, and it also tells people not to mess with you.

It's all about saying "I'm faster than you, I'm bigger than you, and I have more money than you so get the hell out of my road or I will crush you and your pathetically un-American rice-burning econobox and sue your surviving kin for the faint scratches I incurred in the process."

That's the mindset of the +51% Bush voting American majority, unfortunately. At times I'm embarrassed to live here.



RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Dribble on 2/16/2007 11:18:02 AM , Rating: 4
Bet a uk lotus elise (about 120hp) would be quicker around a race track then most muscle cars. Power->weight ratio = acceleration. grip->weight ratio = Handling/turning speed. Only thing power gives you is a higher top speed, but being as even the weediest new car can comfortably break the highest speed limits that's hardly a big issue.

There's no real excuse - it's a cultural thing that needs to change - there's no reason for doing the school run in something big enough to pull a bus.


By Alpha2Omega on 2/16/2007 11:56:39 AM , Rating: 2
It could indeed. I have the latest video from Jeremy Clarkson (for those not from the UK, he's a famous motoring presenter) and he pits a Lotus Exige (the hardtop, 200bhp brother of the Elise) against a Roush modified Ford Mustang around a racetrack and the Exige won.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By therealnickdanger on 2/16/2007 12:17:10 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
it's a cultural thing that needs to change

Does it? I don't think so at all. There's no problem with wanting what you want. If I want to buy a car ONLY because it looks cool, so be it. If I want to buy a car because it can break land-speed records, who's to tell me I can't? If I want to buy a car just to pimp out and win car shows, why is that bad?

Manufacturers should be allowed to build what they want and consumers should be able to buy what they want.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Dribble on 2/16/2007 1:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
You might want to pimp it up to work as a boat then - that could be useful as global warming kicks in and we all end up underwater :)

If American's want to blow holes in our world's ozone layer all in the name of fashion then the rest of the world has the right to object.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By bob661 on 2/16/2007 1:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If American's want to blow holes in our world's ozone layer all in the name of fashion then the rest of the world has the right to object.
Never been to China have you? We are not the world's gross polluter. We just get all the bad press. California STILL needs some work but most of the country has fresh, clean air and the emissions requirements reflect that.

Why is it that Americans get to use battle tanks as commuter vehicles while I have to drive a SEAT? Economics is one reason. Less socialism in our society is another. BTW, anyone here is free to join us. Ask Mexico how open our borders are.


By Le Québécois on 2/16/2007 2:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
I've been to China and you're right it is ugly. But just think for a second if every person in China did have our (USA and Canada are the worst per-capita polluters in the world) "freedom to pollute" what THAT would mean for our planet pollution.

quote:
California STILL needs some work but most of the country has fresh, clean air and the emissions requirements reflect that.


Don't fool yourself, it's because we live in the biggests countries (if you forget about Russia) in the world that we still have fresh and clean air if we do step out of the cities. Not because we don't pollute.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By mezman on 2/16/2007 4:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
Does using spell-check and punctuation consume too much "fule" too?

If you want to spout vitriolic BS to make yourself feel superior, that's your dumb call, but at least have enough respect for yourself and everyone who reads this forum to freaking proofread your posts before throwing them up for the world to see.


By AlmostExAMD on 2/16/2007 7:04:36 PM , Rating: 1
Maybe you should think also before posting, This is not a school exam,Secondly if you took the slightest notice in the word "Fule" instead of "Fuel" you might have realised it may have been a simple typing mistake probably from typing to fast, The L was hit before the E. It happens to the best of us sometimes,Give the person a break, Lighten up!


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Ringold on 2/16/2007 12:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah; that all makes sense.. Ford and GM are so in bed with big oil they're going bankrupt! Golly, sounds like a good logical relationship, huh?

Or maybe because no car manufacturer knows how to get European econo-box style fuel efficiency while meeting American taste for size, safety standards, driving conditions and other preferences?

Look. Foreign companies enter and exit markets freely. If a European car mfg knew how to do it, you're pretty dim if you don't think they'd come to America and offer it. To offer a Camry-clone that gets 40 or 50mpg at a similar (or better) price point? They'd be filthy bloody rich over night.

But since no one has done it, and no one is even close to doing it, logical assumption to non-conspiracy theorists and non-environmental communists? It must not be possible.

If you think it is, its a free country (here, at least), and I invite you to patent the necessary tech and open up shop. I'll be your first customer.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By lucyfek on 2/16/2007 12:50:36 PM , Rating: 3
the funny thing is that gm and ford do have better (more efficient and better looking) vehicle mix for sale in europe than in the "motherland". is it to streamline the business and cut the costs?
i wish i could get the same models here in states. but someone has made the choice for me (was it free market?).


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By mezman on 2/16/2007 5:30:01 PM , Rating: 2
Alright Nutso. Back in your cage before you start slobbering on your keyboard.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Ringold on 2/17/2007 12:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, VW loses money on every vehicle sold in the United States. Primarily because it's European labor unions have it by the balls by making up 50% of the board of directors and refusing to allow cost-savings. But thats another bag of worms entirely.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Mitch101 on 2/16/2007 12:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
I would however if the surrounding vehicles are 2-3 times my weight and size then well I dont want to be an accordian when metal starts to twist.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By misuspita on 2/16/2007 1:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
Have you seen the Mercedes Smart testing? Or the EURONCAP star rating it gets? I couldn't believe myself when a car that is so small can be that sturdy (frontal impact made it "shrink" by some 20-30 cm/ 8-10 inch). I like that strong case they've put in that tiny car. So I don't think it's amatter of size, just of technology/materials used. Oh, and also gets a great mileage because of weightand a 800 cm3 motor


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By badgeror on 2/19/2007 5:39:25 AM , Rating: 2
I guess euroncap tests will never be run in the US because no one in their right mind would buy a single american car again fearing too much for their life. Plus the fact that manufacturers would get sued and condemned to thousands of billion dollars for selling cars that are just coffins on wheels...


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By wien on 2/25/2007 11:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
You have to remember that EuroNCAP tests are performed by crashing cars with a stationary object, or rather, their own weight. A Smart will have to absorb much less energy than a Land Rover upon impact. Crash the two together though, and you'll get some pretty different results.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Wagnbat on 2/16/2007 1:11:49 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Why do American companies build gas efficient vehicles and then sell them overseas? Two reasons:
-Americans like big cars/trucks
-Americans like horsepower

Would the average American drive a car that has absolutely horrible acceleration, no trunk, and barely seats 4 moderate sized people?


Because most people don't need more than that. Look at every metro area, and how many people drive only to work and home, never carrying more than 4 people in a car in any given month... Yet still drive SUV's, sedans, and other larger than needed cars.

One of the most amazing things I saw while spending a week in London, was the total lack of trucks and SUVs. Sure there are a few here and there, but the average person doesn't own one. Want something delivered? Hire a service. In the end, that's cheaper than paying to own a gas guzzler anyhow.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By daidaloss on 2/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Xenoid on 2/16/2007 1:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
I rated you down because you're a goddamn moron. Europeans not only have better milage, but they also have more horsepower and torque on their respective vehicles.

In Europe the Focus has a trim that DOESN'T suck so hard. In Europe, any of the BMWs I drive make from between 10-50 more horsepower, and they even have diesel versions that are very respectable as well.

Americans like big GASOLINE truck engines. How stupid is that? For a truck, nothing can beat a diesel, yet we are given a choice of 1-2 diesels in our trucks, and 5 gas engines. For what? Less mileage and less power.

And yes Americans do stand out. The big 3 make one car that isn't utter shit and it's called the Z06. Anything other American car will get destroyed in every single way against say an M5. It looks worse, it drives worse, it's slower, it gets less mileage, it has less space in it, less features, and less comfort.

We don't even have to just compare sport cars. Even Ford makes better Euro-spec cars than they do in America.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By Slaimus on 2/16/2007 2:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
Some additional things to consider:

1. miles driven - American drives a lot more miles. Many econoboxes use more gas per year than Hummers.

2. traffic - all the MPG technology would not matter if you are in stop and go, unless you are in those few hybrids.

3. transmission - American cars are mostly sold with heavier and, most of the time, less efficient automatics


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By cocoman on 2/16/2007 2:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
Actually just getting a diesel version of a car (new ones) gets you a cleaner and at about 30% more efficient car with the same horsepower and the same engine size. At least with the best carmakers (daimlerchrysler, bmw, vw, etc...) There is no excuse for not changing to diesel. And actually the diesel engine works better with the same amount of horsepower than the petrol one.


RE: Big Cars, lots of Horsepower
By LoneWolf15 on 2/16/2007 3:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
Why do American companies build gas efficient vehicles and then sell them overseas? Two reasons:
-Americans like big cars/trucks
-Americans like horsepower


And:
-Other countries impose gas taxes that make gasoline far more expensive than in the U.S. so consumers of those countries demand better fuel efficiency.

Americans might not like big so much if we paid what the UK or some European countries did (where it is priced per litre, and winds up being double to triple what we pay when you convert litres to gallons).

Would the average American drive a car that has absolutely horrible acceleration, no trunk, and barely seats 4 moderate sized people? Unlikely. Americans are big people (and not just fat, taller and broader as well) plus we have a desire for speed. Speed and fuel-efficient are, at least right now, the opposite of each other.

Honda has a version of the Accord they have released to Europe that is diesel, gets incredible gas mileage, and is still incredibly fast. They haven't brought it to the U.S. because it is unlikely we'd buy it. And how fast do you really need? A ton of current cars with 16-valve 4-cyclinder engines can go 0-60 in under ten seconds, and get 30-35mpg on the highway. Heck, my Acura Integra GS-R got around 30mpg on the highway being driven at 90mph when I owned it and several mpg higher if I dropped my speed to 70-75 (admittedly, it used premium fuel). How much more is needed?



By otispunkmeyer on 2/16/2007 4:12:17 PM , Rating: 2
-Americans like horsepower

heh

coming from a country who more often than not produce cars with less HP/liter than european/jap cars.

last episode of TG for example... 190bhp from a 5 liter V8. wow good going. we can get that from a 1.4

no trunk? no acceleration? barely seats 4? wake up. 1.6 liter ford focus TdCi easily accomodates 4 blokes, and the boot will easily take their luggage...and i can vouch for the performance of that car becuase ive driven it, with 4 blokes and their luggage. its by no means slow. and thats just a mid-size car, a hatch back.

the only cars with the things your describing here are the shit ones like the small, barely seats 2, 999cc city car jobs. hell even a 1.0 liter yaris or a 1.2 skoda fabia will still work just fine with a decent load on board


and you definately lost your style in the 80's and 90's. before then you built some stunning machines....then drivel made by the lowest bidder, now its slowly coming back with good cars like the Z06 and 300C


By TheOtherBubka on 2/16/2007 7:25:23 PM , Rating: 2
There are a lot of things that could be said, but contrary to popular sentiment that it takes a lot of gas guzzling to get high horsepower, it doesn't. F=ma doesn't change and the more your vehicle weighs, the more energy it takes. However, on average, you can have both. This is the basis for the 'newer sport oriented hybrids'.

But for 90+% of the general driving public:
http://www.volkswatch.com/vwnews/tsiawards.asp
170 hp and 199 lb-ft plus 34 city 38+ highway are great numbers. Beats all NORMAL Civics, Foci, Dodge, Cobalts, Corollas in horsepower and fuel economy. Plus all of that torque is available across the entire engine range. I saw
better expected fuel economy numbers earlier, but couldn't
find the link.

But then again, we in America don't really utilize our 'horsepower' all that often in our driving. It only takes something like 20 horsepower to cruise down the highway at highway speeds.

Hopefully I can add more later...


By s12033722 on 2/16/2007 10:45:24 AM , Rating: 2
Efficiency is great. Ultra-high mileage is great. I don't want to see the car market turned into a homogenized slurry of micro-sized, gutless econo-boxes, however, because some people decided that they should restrict my freedom of choice to fall in line with their worldview.

By all means release the ultra-efficient diesels in the US, just don't legislate the other options out of existence. Given the choice, a large number of people will choose the high-mileage vehicles.




By Wonga on 2/16/2007 11:07:13 AM , Rating: 5
I'll probably get a -1 rating for this, but maybe those low-efficiency choices shouldn't be available? It is all very well saying a large number of people will switch over, but since we are sharing this world (and assuming you accept global warming is happening and influenced by man), shouldn't each person be doing their part in minimising their carbon footprint? If your inefficient car isn't really necessary, why contribute a disproportionate amount of emissions?

Now, the argument may be that we should be able to make our own choices here, but sometimes people make the wrong choices. And the phrase "It's my God-given right to drive what I like" doesn't really hold water, since God didn't create the car, an engineer of yesteryear did.

Anyway, let the flaming begin, call me an environmental socialist.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2007 11:41:23 AM , Rating: 1
> "If your inefficient car isn't really necessary, why contribute a disproportionate amount of emissions?"

Considering more greenhouse gases come from the production of meat than the entire transportation sector combined, do you really think you're focusing on the right issue here?

> "assuming you accept global warming is happening and influenced by man.."

When there's scientific evidence to support that claim beyond, "we can't think of anything else", I'll believe it. That's probably the reason so many scientists disagree with the anthropogenic theory of global warming.


By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 12:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Considering more greenhouse gases come from the production of meat than the entire transportation sector combined, do you really think you're focusing on the right issue here?

Considering the topic has to do with vehicle efficiency and not meat production I would say that he was focusing on the right issue. Save the meat argument for a topic on meat production.


By Ringold on 2/16/2007 12:33:14 PM , Rating: 1
I think it was valid here. Why ban or force cultural change to one thing and not the other? It'd be illegal to not take them all on, if they must be taken on at all. Ban SUV's and all red meat all in one whack, if environmentalists really want to be fair. Of course, they don't, since meat isn't an icon of wealth (except in the third world) they're not concerned with it.


By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 12:47:58 PM , Rating: 2
There are a ton of environmentalists, I am not among them, who would absolutely jump at the opportunity to ban meat production. The problem I have here is the hijacking of the topic. Meat production and automobile efficiency are different topics. Also one could argue that humans need meat to survive unless you supplement your diet. I'm not a nutrition expert, but there's plenty good reasons to have a reasonable amount of certain kinds of meat in your diet.

Also, I'm not for banning SUVs. I am for making them less desirable.


By Lord 666 on 2/16/2007 12:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
There is more evidence of global climate change than global warming. Google maps have shown striking changes of before and after pictures; Florida Everglades in 1973 vs. today is a huge delta.

But as you state, is global climate change/globla warming from man-made sources is the true question.


By Ringold on 2/16/2007 12:07:44 PM , Rating: 1
"evironmental socialist"? Hmm, well, environmentalist fits okay, but "socialist" implies just a fan of weflare/enemy of individuality these days. Total removal of free choice suggets something else.

So I'd rather call you 'environmental communist' or 'environment fascist', as it fits definitions MUCH more accurately. Though, "ecoweeny" sounds best.

Here's where we go astray. We dont 'need' big cars, no. We want them. We don't need anything beyond our feet, or perhaps, a cheap government-supplied bike. We don't need expensive fine-dinning resteraunts, movies, or a variety of bubble gum. We want them all. You dont need probably as powerful of a computer as you have, you could have a lower-power more efficient one. Want me to tell you that you can't have it and need to switch back to a Ti-83?

The problem is wealth envy, more than anything, and 'environmentalism' gives people like you cover to bitch and try to get government to mandate away all advantages of earning high income and make smart ass remarks like some do such as we're trying to compensate for dick size or something else stupid. The real problem, if there is one, is that pollution causes an externality that isn't accounted for in the cost of gasoline. Solution? Tax it, use the revenue to counter the pollution (in whatever way necessary, ie, invest in clean tech R&D). That's logical, doesn't infringe on liberty, gets the job done, improves technology and really sacrifices nothing.

But since people like you call for banning it, the motivation is obviously something other than solving negative externalities, since the act of doing so would neither truly solve any long term problems and only achieves political gains. Therefore, I suspect wealth envy, but could be wrong. But it's absolutely not a pure environmental concern.

I'll probably get modded down myself for ecoweeny-bashing instead of an economic debate, but so be it. Hippies wouldn't be hippies if they were capable of deep logical analysis.


By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 12:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
First off you could have made your argument just fine without sounding like an a-hole.

I would agree with your contention that certain classes of vehicles shouldn't be banned outright, but I do believe that the CAFE standards should be raised dramatically. So you make a lot of money and want a 500hp gas guzzler? Have at it, but pay up.

On to another issue. Is there anything inherently wrong with wanting to protect the environment? Or breathing clean air? Drinking clean water? I'm not sure precisely when it became a fashionable thing to label anybody who cares about the environment as somehow wimpy or inferior. On the other hand I can't find any sort of redeeming value in those who seemingly take joy in doing whatever they are capable of that is anti-environment.


By Ringold on 2/16/2007 12:30:14 PM , Rating: 1
The a-hole's are the ones telling others what they can and can not do, I just try to resist them.

And nothing wrong at all protecting the environment. The tax code here in America is so darn complex because of the thousands of tax incentives and disincentives rewarding/punishing various types of good/bad behavior. Protecting, repairing, restoring the environment can be done (and has been done) without restricting liberty in the least. Therefore my assertion that pushes to ban or force cultural change serve unpure political goals rather than environmental ones. That's all I'm saying.


By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 12:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
I think that the "serves unpure political goals" applies to both sides of the political argument. Underneath everything being discussed here there is a ton of money at stake. On one side is all of the money big oil is making and American auto is losing and on the other side is all of the potential money that could be made with renewable and clean technology.

While some oil companies (BP comes to mind) are trying to play both sides in a strategy to come out on top no matter which way things go, I think the old school is afraid of the new school taking over their turf. I'm sure that there is a much more elegant way to put it, but I'm think you get the point.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2007 1:42:41 PM , Rating: 3
> "Is there anything inherently wrong with wanting to protect the environment? Or breathing clean air?"

Since even a Prius driven 50 miles/day pollutes more than the average SUV driven 20 miles/day, why not attack the real issue here? Its not efficiency, its the number of miles we drive. How about a law mandating people live within 10 miles of their workplace? Or one that taxes people who drive more than 100 miles/week? Its not the automakers that determine fuel usage...its the buying public.


By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 2:29:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Its not efficiency, its the number of miles we drive.

I was waiting for you to bring that argument out of the closet as you always do. It's a bogus argument. Show me the numbers that say a Prius going 50 pollutes more than a Ford Explorer going 20. I picked the Ford Explorer because it would seem "average" - it's not a smaller Honda CRV and it's not a huge H2.

So what if I drive 50 miles a day in my Prius and you drive 50 miles a day in your H2? What if I drive 20 miles a day in my Prius and you drive 50 miles a day in your H2? Are you somehow trying to convince me that by and large a Prius is driven 50 miles a day and H2's are only driven to the corner store?

I have seen you present very intelligent arguments here in the past. Even if I didn't agree with what you said I still thought it was a well put together argument with a point of view I may not have considered. This just isn't one of them.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2007 3:11:16 PM , Rating: 3
> "Show me the numbers that say a Prius going 50 pollutes more than a Ford Explorer going 20."

2005 Ford Explorer 4L: 21 mpg. Driven 20 miles it consumes 0.95 gal.

2005 Prius 1.5L: 51 mpg. Driven 50 miles it consumes 0.98 gallons.

0.98 > 0.95. End of Proof.

> "Are you somehow trying to convince me that by and large a Prius is driven 50 miles a day and H2's are only driven to the corner store? "

Not at all. I'm just trying to illustrate that the number of miles we drive has a far greater impact on total consumption than does vehicle mpg. We improved vehicle economy drastically in the 1980s and early 90s. The end result? Gas prices plummetted, and people could afford to move even further from where they work. Net result-- consumption went up.



By Hoser McMoose on 2/16/2007 5:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
Way to pick and choose numbers to try and make a point.. Using the most fuel efficient 4L, 2 wheel drive explorer driving ONLY highway miles vs. the Prius.

If we just switch to the EPA standard of 45% highway, 55% city miles, and compare both the most and least fuel efficient models of the 2005 Explorer, we end up with the following numbers:

2005 Explorer V6/2WD: 17mpg -> 20 miles = 1.18 gallons
2005 Explorer V8/4WD: 16mpg -> 20 miles = 1.25 gallons
2005 Prius Hybrid : 55mpg -> 50 miles = 0.91 gallons

Of course that isn't quite a full comparison since it only measures gas used and not pollutants spewed. The two are closely linked, but not identical.

In any case, while you do have a point that we are driving more miles, on average, then we used to and a lot of that is due to people living further from work, I'm not sure you've found any meaningful solution. People have got it into their heads that they NEED houses with big backyards, and that means urban sprawl and therefore driving further to work. Trying to impose some sort of fine on people living far from work is a lost cause. If you want people living closer to work you need to tackle the root problem of urban sprawl, and that'll need a MAJOR shift of cultural expectations. Of course, the bursting bubble that is the US housing market is helping in this regard.

What we SHOULD be doing though is encouraging telecommuting, where applicable. Driving 0 miles in any car is better then driving any number of miles in any other car. MANY (though obviously not all) could have people working from home at least one day of the week. If even just 10% more of the workforce worked from just one day from home it would represent a MAJOR savings in time and money for country.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2007 6:24:33 PM , Rating: 3
> "Way to pick and choose numbers to try and make a point"

I didn't pick the Ford Explorer, you did. And you compared it not to non-SUVs in general, but the most fuel efficient hybrid that exists. If that isn't a loaded comparison in the first place, I don't know what is. And while I used only highway miles, I ignored the fact that real-world mileage for the Prius is much further off the EPA estimates than it is for any non-hybrid.

In any case, you're missing the point. Compare a Prius to the V8...It still loses if its driven 60 miles to the Explorer's 20. Compare it to a Hummer and it loses again, if its driven 100 miles.

And THAT is the point. There are people who drive 50 miles a week, and people who drive 2,000 miles/week. The gap between those who "drive a little" and those who "drive a lot" is far larger than any possible difference in fuel economy.


By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 6:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
See this is another one of my beefs. I absolutely KNOW that you're completely aware that MPG and CO2 emissions are not one and the same. Yet you went straight to that. Anyway we could go back and forth for far longer than I have patience.

I am wondering if you can agree with me on this one single premise: no matter how many miles you drive, be it 10/day or 200/day, if those miles are driven in a Prius you will put far less CO2 into the atmosphere than if you drove those same miles in an H2.

If you can agree on the paragraph above, then what really matter is not how many miles you drive. At the very least, how many miles you drive and what you drive would have to have equal importance.

I don't want to get into splitting hairs with how much energy is necessary to create the vehicle in the first place because I don't feel like researching the numbers I need to make that point AND I honestly believe that over the course of 100,000 miles or more, whatever difference there was would be negligible.

Final point. I was the one who created the "loaded" comparison. It was another fellow who responded to your response.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2007 9:45:27 AM , Rating: 3
> "I absolutely KNOW that you're completely aware that MPG and CO2 emissions are not one and the same"

CO2 emissions are a linear function of gasoline consumed. This isn't strictly true for other pollutants, but its true for CO2. Its basic chemistry.

> "If you can agree on the paragraph above, then what really matter is not how many miles you drive."

What really matters is your total gasoline consumption. Two variables influence that, your choice of vehicle and your total mileage. Of these, the latter is by far the most important. Why? Because no matter what your choice of vehicle, you can always lower your miles drive to the point that gasoline consumption is trivial. But the situation doesn't hold true in reverse-- even if you choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle, excessive driving results in large amounts of pollution.



By rdeegvainl on 2/23/2007 1:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
Correct: Total gasoline consumed is what matters.
Wrong: Total miles drive are "by far the most important"
When the choice is between getting people to half the miles driven or double the mileage in there car, the best way to go is with the mileage. By switching to a prius from a ford explorer in the examples, you more than double the mileage. that doesn't change the lifestyle and would be the best way to rectify the c02 output problem, while restricting the miles driven would force people to live in tighter areas. what happens in higher density enviroments? Higher traffic, slowing down vehicles and reducing the mileage of the vehichles making more gas used to get the "low miles"
Correct: People travel farther to work now that before the better fuel efficiecy.
I can agree to that, but would high traffic causing more gas consumption due to low mpg help anything. If anything we should try to get even higher mileage vehicles to spread population out thus reducing the traffic problem and increasing a vast majority of the efficiency of cars.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2007 6:31:18 PM , Rating: 3
> "> "People have got it into their heads that they NEED houses with big backyards..."

The real issue driving people to suburbs isn't "big backyards", its inner-city blight. And you know what that means? That if we clamped down on crime and cleaned up those inner-city schools, we'd wind up saving far more in gasoline than we would by increasing federal MPG requirements.

Believe it or not, no one enjoys driving 100+ miles to work each day. Given a reasonable alternative, people would live closer to work. They'd do it gladly in fact. But subjecting their families to current inner-city conditions is not something that today most people are willing to do...and its a wise decision on their part.


By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 7:08:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That if we clamped down on crime and cleaned up those inner-city schools, we'd wind up saving far more in gasoline than we would by increasing federal MPG requirements.

Hey look at that! I 100% totally agree with you on something.

/warmandfuzzy

Raising federal MPG requirements is something that can be done NOW and it wouldn't even be difficult. With the number of cars on the road now that won't be replaced for years to come it wouldn't touch most people for quite a while. Changing the landscape in the largest 150 metropolitan areas of the country would take decades if it could even be done at all. Plus you'd get all kinds of whining from people that they "want to live wherever they damn well want to and no stinkin liberal is going to tell me otherwise"


By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2007 9:58:35 AM , Rating: 3
> "Raising federal MPG requirements is something that can be done NOW..."

But what would it accomplish? Would it halt global warming? Would it even slow it down? Not in the least. The end result would simply be an indirect tax on the public, coupled with a nice "warm and fuzzy" that we were accomplishing something, when we really weren't.

Assuming there is a problem, why not use those funds to actually do something about it?


By oTAL on 2/23/2007 9:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
So polluting less is a bad thing?

Even if global warming is NOT man made (I believe it is), isn't it damn obvious that less pollution is always better?

As for the economic effect of such regulations, as long as it is incremental and not too aggressive in a short period, it usually turns out to be a positive driving force for the related industries and overall economy.


By mindless1 on 2/16/2007 9:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
The number of miles doesn't have a greater impact because:

A) To be commute 250% as far you will have a higher average rate of speed (avg across all drivers), better ACTUAL MPG figures for this longer trip than the avg per vehicle.

B) Most people deliberately choose a larger vehicle than they need in the US. Most do not deliberately choose to live an extra 30 miles further away from their job. In the end, we are all constrained by the available choices.

Even so, I do think it excessive to drive 50 miles, perhaps 25 miles one way, 50 round trip is reasonable in some areas merely due to how spread out the US is.


By DokGonzo on 2/16/2007 6:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
I will quote a bit old Native American wisdom here: "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

Your selfcentered attitude is exactly what is wrong with American (and western society in general) today. It's all about me, me, ME! Well it's not. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit of your own comfort to benefit the greater good. If we keep going the way we're going there won't be an Earth worth living on in 200 years. Our descendants will curse us, spit on our graves if we don't do something NOW. And lowering engine emissions is one of the most significant things that can be done right away.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2007 6:44:22 PM , Rating: 3
> " If we keep going the way we're going there won't be an Earth worth living on..."

Funny, they said the same thing 50 years ago. And yet today, the air is cleaner, the water purer, and the environment safer than it was then. And getting better every day.

People love predicting disaster. Two hundred years ago, Thomas Malthus predicted we'd all have starved to death by now....and millions believed him. Today, despite enormous increases in world population, we're better fed than ever. Over-fed in fact, in most nations.

In the mid-1970s, I was taught in school that acid rain meant the end of all forests in the US, and that we'd be out-- totally out-- of oil by the year 2000. And yet today, not only has forest coverage and oil reserves not been exhausted, but both are actually higher than they were then. I was also taught the oceans were already being fished past the point of no return. Today? World seafood production is higher than ever.

I could list a few thousand more examples, but there's no need to belabor the point. People love predicting disaster. And no matter how many times they're wrong, they'll keep on doing it.


By xsilver on 2/16/2007 7:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
there are people that exist that DO NOT predict the end of the world etc.etc.
but just want to do their bit, improve on what they can and hopefully make some significant difference in the future.

is that so hard to understand? if you can use less and still live in relative comfort, why not?

btw, the examples you mention are attributable to being regulated on what can and cannot be harvested; I think this article just highlights that the american auto industry is lagging a little behind the curve.
plus it does appear to be flavour of the month in being an "environmentalist" as being portrayed in the media


By Lord 666 on 2/16/2007 7:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
Never let college get in the way of your education.

Your examples just prove that humans like to voice their opinion, but rarely take real action. Specifically, your example earlier of inner-city blight.

Seafood production is done in fish farms to have a more consistent and cheaper supply. In Darfur, there are plenty of people starving. Defoliation of the Everglades for unknown reasons, possibly acid rain.

This article is proof positive of different unbiased thinking comparing vehicles intended for US vs non-US by world wide manufacturers. Some of those vehicles are even built in the US and shipped out (Dodge using VW diesel made in US.) It just so happens this unbiased thinking is outside of the United States.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2007 10:51:23 AM , Rating: 3
> "In Darfur, there are plenty of people starving..."

This is the logical fallacy known as "misleading vividness". Dafur is an isolated example, and in any case, any starvation there is due to political unrest, not lack of foodstocks due to environmental damage. The fact remains that today, the world is better fed than ever before in human history, despite its population of six billion plus. And in fact, by simply extending modern agriculture methods throughout the entire world, we can easily feed a population of fifteen billion.

> "Your examples just prove that humans like to voice their opinion, but rarely take real action."

And despite us not taking action, all those past "crises" resolved themselves. Because they were either wholly fictitious, or wildly overstated.


By mindless1 on 2/16/2007 9:15:12 PM , Rating: 2
While I can't predict a date of relative "doom" instead of arbitrary shades of grey as we decline, we are in fact exceeding, in use and normal projections of future use by the growing population, the renewable resource levels of this planet.

That doesn't even touch on non-renewable resources, landfills, and the inadequacy of measurement methods. Much of this pollution isn't just dissappearing, it's just diffusing away from the measurement sites or being settled into the ground where it's not going to disappear, the actual level of contamination upon the earth is still rising so long as we have non-rapid-degrading byproducts from all our endeavors.



By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2007 9:09:54 AM , Rating: 2
> "we are in fact exceeding, in use and normal projections of future use by the growing population, the renewable resource levels of this planet."

This isn't even close to true. I challenge you to name one essential renenewal resource that will be exhausted within the next few hundred years, even if population levels continue to increase at their current rate.

Atoms are atoms. Ultimately, resource availability and production depends on the supply of energy. And we haven't even begun to seriously tap the three largest sources of energy on the planet-- nuclear, solar, and geothermal. All three of which are, for all human purposes, essentially infinite.


By Wonga on 2/17/2007 1:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
I personally don't enjoy predicting disaster, but I am aware that we are leading an unsustainable lifestyle if: a) Technology doesn't improve and/or b) We don't reduce the amount of resources used.

Yes, in the past we were taught that oil was going to run out before now, but, oil extraction technology has improved to allow us to extract oil from previously inaccessible locations. That doesn't mean that oil will not run out eventually. Much of the oil industry believes we will reach peak production by 2010 and it will decrease from there. Should we not be more efficient with the oil remaining? Is it possible to be more efficient? Certainly, by improving our fuel efficiency in cars, as well as improving the efficiency of our entire production base.

Regarding acid rain. Yes, it was a serious risk in the past. For instance, the UK contributed to significant acid rain conditions in Scandinavia. This was damaging the forests and wildlife. So, what did we do about it? We introduced legislation requiring all coal power stations (where the majority of SOx emissions come from) to have SOx abatement processes. This reduced the efficiency of the power stations by some amount, by prevented acid rain from being a continual problem. So, what did this prove? Well, firstly it explains why acid rain is no longer a concern, but also proves that introducing environmental legislation can have a real positive benefit on society. Similarly, the Montreal Protocol means that the Ozone layer now has a chance to recover.

So, just as previous legislation and directives have reduced environmental damage in the past, the likes of the Kyoto Protocol should hopefully reduce problems associated with CO2 emissions. There are many arguements that CO2 emissions mostly come from natural sources, and that I don't dispute. Similarly, methane emissions (which have a greater global warming potential than CO2 by a huge amount, but are released in much lower concentrations) come from many natural sources too. Unfortunately this argument does not take into account the fact that nature also reabsorbs CO2/methane/any other GWP product emissions. Now, since these emissions are reabsorbed and the planet has been in equilibrium at this point, does it not stand to reason that as oil is burnt in huge quantities (which was a great CO2 store underground) and as natural resources are reduced, this will cause a net increase in CO2 etc in the atmosphere. Yes, I am aware that algae in the sea is a wonderful absorber of CO2 so deforestation doesn't have such a dramatic effect, but slowly we are tipping the balance in the favour of a net surplus of CO2. The end result: the increases in global temperature we are experiencing.

Now, I do have a degree in Chemical Engineering, believe it or not, and the current philosophy that we are taught is to reduce our use of resources and minimise waste produced. This makes perfect sense: it makes business more profitable, it reduces environmental damage and it can improve our way of life (for e.g. reducing CO, NOx, SOx emissions from vehicles, a waste, has improved our health). This is the key to sustainability. So, as it stands to reason that we should be more efficient, this is where I get confused with the talk of "it doesn't matter" and "it won't make any difference". Well, many people certainly think that it will make a difference. Since the costs of more environmentally friendly options are often very competative (if not the logical choice: high efficiency > low efficiency), the question has to be asked, shouldn't we choose the environmental option? I can certainly agree with the conclusions of cost/benefit analyses which state that retrofitting existing industry is not an economically sound option, but when discussing new builds, or new cars in this case, the environmentally friendly option is the logical option.

Reports of environmental choices damaging the world economy really don't hold water in many situations. Look at the EU: it has some of the most stringent environmental legislation in the world and is actively moving towards a more renewable future, yet its economy is in good shape - win, win.

So, even if you don't believe in global warming, you can still accept that efficiency is a huge advantage for business and can help prolong our non-renewable reserves. Eventually the oil will run out...


By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2007 9:30:11 AM , Rating: 2
> "In the past we were taught that oil was going to run out before now...That doesn't mean that oil will not run out eventually.

No, it simply means we won't run out nearly as soon as some people are predicting. As far back as 1910, people have been predicting oil would be exhausted in a few years. Today, we have proven reserves so large that many companies have simply stopped looking for more...its doesn't make financial sense to.

> " we are leading an unsustainable lifestyle if: a) Technology doesn't improve and/or b) We don't reduce the amount of resources used."

Neither of which is true. We already have the technology we need to support us for next several thousand years. Nuclear power, coupled with direct synthesis of petroleum. Oil is nothing but a few simple hydrocarbons, easily made directly from nothing but CO2, water, and elecricity.

> "Much of the oil industry believes we will reach peak production by 2010"

Imagine that...a company claiming its products are scarce and therefore more valuable. You find this surprising?


By Wonga on 2/18/2007 12:41:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, it simply means we won't run out nearly as soon as some people are predicting. As far back as 1910, people have been predicting oil would be exhausted in a few years. Today, we have proven reserves so large that many companies have simply stopped looking for more...its doesn't make financial sense to.


Why do you say I am wrong, then go on to say yourself that oil will run out at some point? Oil will run out, it is a fact. As I stated later, much research has concluded that oil will reach peak production soon. Yes, oil companies surely will like the idea that oil will increase in price. (Heck, its great for me, they are looking for new engineers to fill the gaps, so I can't knock them there), but that does not mean that it will not run out at some point, and that point is fast approaching. Developed countries are using more than ever. Developing countries are using more than ever. And during all this less reserves are being found, or they are in less hospitable locations. Even Middle Eastern countries can see the end of a wonderful oil-dominated world in sight (at least for transport - coal is keeping us ticking over in the energy sector).

Now, I'm not shouting about how the world is going to end, or how we are all suddenly going to be reduced to cycling again one morning in 2010, but as we need to start generating fuels from biomass and creating syngas from coal, prices may very well start increasing to a point where we don't drive 100 yards to get a pint of milk anymore.

Now you have certainly hit the nail on the head with what hydrocarbons are made of. Like I said above, it can be made from biomass (an indefinite resource, but in limited quantities unless enough biodiesel is created from the likes of algae to satify everyone's demand) and coal (which we have enough supply of for a couple of thousand years). Far in the future, the hydrogen economy will certainly reach a certain level of maturity where it can be taken seriously, but that is going to take a bit more research yet. I do predict that we will eventually have the means to generate hydrogen via electrolysis of water from renewable sources and these problems surrounding industrial and transport emissions will be over, but the question is, will the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere be at such a high level by this stage that the world will be a bit harder to live on and a few million people have been displaced or met their maker? I can understand the arguement that the technology is there and people in Africa etc. can adapt with its use, but when a country has such a poor GDP per capita as some do, will they really be able to afford this adaptation, or will they die?

Anyway, I have strayed off a little there. But, the point I am getting at is that large scale environmental change should be tackled now, not when it becomes economically viable, as at that stage we may be a bit late to the party.

Now, if you accept that global warming is man induced (or we are at least accelerating it), which I am sure you dispute, then the conclusion would be that we should all be more efficient in our daily lives as much as possible and nobody has the right to use a disproportionate amount of non-renewable reserves if it is easy to avoid it (i.e. by buying a lighter, slightly slower, god forbid, car). Also, to keep the oil-economy running for as long as possible, we should do our best to curb demand.

I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree here. I am of the opinion that global warming has been accelerated by the actions of man (even if ever so slightly, but enough to alter the climate), where as you appear to believe it is naturally occuring, correct? I'm sure it will take a lifetime to draw an accurate conclusion, but I personally think that we should be applying the precautionary principle and attempt to tackle a problem at the source, such as we did with previous problems such as acid rain and the ozone (for two well known examples).


By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2007 1:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
> "Oil will run out, it is a fact..."

No. Natural petroleum will run out...but artificially synthesized petroleum is a renewable, unlimited resource.

> "much research has concluded that oil will reach peak production soon..."

Not reliable research. 'Peak Oil' is a fraud that gets recycled every few years. Every time a predicted peak fails to materialize, the Peakites simply announce they've 'discovered' the earlier flaw in their calculations, then move the date up again.

> "And during all this less reserves are being found."

In the last forty years, we've discovered five new barrels of oil for every three we've burned. Oil reserves keep getting larger and larger. Right now, with 50+ years of proven reserves, most companies have scaled back or even eliminated new exploration.

> "[oil] can be made from biomass..."

That makes it a limited resource. However, oil can also be directly synthesized from nothing but CO2 and water. All it takes is energy.

> "large scale environmental change should be tackled now, not when it becomes economically viable..."

Large-scale changes should -never- be done before they're economically viable. Examine your history...countless times in the past, resources rose in price as they were slowly consumed. At some point, this caused a natural change to more economic alternatives. Switching to those alternatives early, though, while the original resource is still cheap and plentiful, wastes time, money and resources that could be better spent in other areas, such as R&D into just those alternatives.

It's a pattern repeated countless times on everything from whale oil to aspirin to natural rubber. There's no need to scream the sky is falling, simply because at some hazy point in the future, 50-100 years from now, it will happen for oil.


By Wonga on 2/18/2007 2:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No. Natural petroleum will run out...but artificially synthesized petroleum is a renewable, unlimited resource.


Perhaps I wasn't being clear. Mineral oil is what I was referring to. I am quite aware that synthesised petrolium can be created by the Fischer-Tropps synthesis process, such as that mentioned from biomass and coal.

quote:
That makes it a limited resource. However, oil can also be directly synthesized from nothing but CO2 and water. All it takes is energy.


Yes, I know it is a limited resource, but also a renewable one, if managed effectively. There will always be some CO2 emitted in the cycle of conversion from biomass to fuel, but with improvements in technology this can be minimised.

As I stated earlier, I am fully aware of the possibilities of creating fuels from the basic elements of CO2 and water, hopefully leading to a hydrogen economy in the distant future. However, since the process of hydrogen production currently comes from hydrogen reforming, which ultimately leads to a net increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, I say again that technological improvements are required to truly bring the whole world population up to a level that the West currently enjoys... at least for this lifestyle to continue indefinitely.

quote:
Large-scale changes should -never- be done before they're economically viable. Examine your history...countless times in the past, resources rose in price as they were slowly consumed. At some point, this caused a natural change to more economic alternatives. Switching to those alternatives early, though, while the original resource is still cheap and plentiful, wastes time, money and resources that could be better spent in other areas, such as R&D into just those alternatives.


I really do understand your thinking here, but unfortunately a sustainable lifestyle involves more than just economic growth. The needs of the environment and society also need to be considered for any enterprise to be successful. Now, again, we are at a crossroads here, as I am of the opinion that global warming is occuring through our actions and therefore needs to be tackled. This may be before the environmentally-friendly options are considered economically competative with the non-environmentally-friendly norm, but as I say, my rationale is that the environment needs to be considered in any decision which has a globe-altering potential.

Some examples of success in these areas include, say, Germany's 20GW windfarm capacity, just as an example. Wind power is not currently economically competative, but the price difference is still manageable for the population and there is an environmental benefit. Was this worth implementing? I guess this depends whether the economics of the project are the overriding factor, or are considered alongside the environmental and social needs. The German Government at least decided it was, along with the other nations of the world of signed up to the Kyoto Protocal.

Now, because Germany took the first steps, as are other countries in such areas as renewables, the costs will decrease more over time, so the investments made today can hardly be called a waste, as more efficient processes of production and expertise have been gained as a result. The German economy is surviving just fine too.

Now to get back to the original story, I should really be focusing on engine efficiency in US cars. This really won't be such a large scale change as to cause catastrophic problems with the US economy, or cause people too much distruption, if requirements for engine efficiency are slowly introduced into new vehicles over an acceptable period of time. This is not causing a lifestyle change which is going to lower the average persons quality of life (unless you really, really enjoy getting up to 60mph in 5 seconds more than anything else in life), but instead will save people money over the lifetime of the vehicle and preserve an important supply of energy (mineral oil) for a longer period of time. Win, win?

I don't personally believe that a persons life is being ruined by such an action. Similar actions on the emissions limits for SOx, NOx, PM10s etc. were performed in the past on cars, raising the health of the population, so if global warming is accepted, this very long-term effect on human health should be considered too, both local and distant, and restrictions on CO2 emissions should be imposed.

quote:
Not reliable research. 'Peak Oil' is a fraud that gets recycled every few years. Every time a predicted peak fails to materialize, the Peakites simply announce they've 'discovered' the earlier flaw in their calculations, then move the date up again.


This is not out of the realms of possibility, but is not to possible that advances in both extraction technology and oil-exploration technology have improved to explain this movement of peak-oil dates? I think we both accept that mineral oil (that is, I am referring to oil drilled out of the ground) will eventually run out - I am going on what I have heard has a general estimated date in the field. It may be wrong, it may not be.

My only concern is that when oil does run out, life on this planet may be more difficult for many people. One way to avert this is to strive to be more efficient and move over to renewables as quickly as is economically feasable (that is to say not ignore the problem until renewables are cheaper, but move in small steps). The other option is to invest in carbon capture, which appears to be environmentally sound, and continue to use oil/coal. This I don't have a problem with, but it should be implemented sooner rather than later, hence the requirement for legislation again. Now I would never opt to legislate a company out of business, but a company can still make a healthy profit whilst being poked in the right direction environmentally and not taking the cheapest option every time.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2007 2:45:06 PM , Rating: 2
> "since the process of hydrogen production currently comes from hydrogen reforming, which ultimately leads to a net increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, I say again that technological improvements are required..."

We already have the technology to produce both hydrogen and petroleum in a carbon-neutral manner. We don't do so yet, because its cheaper to exploit natural petroleum. Also, to prove your premise, you must first prove that CO2 emissions need to be reduced in the first place which, so far, no one has been able to do.

> "The German Government at least decided it was, along with the other nations of the world of signed up to the Kyoto Protocal.."

I have to point out here that the vast majority of Kyoto signatories signed up not for any "environmental benefit", but due to the less-advertised provisions of the Protocol. Kyoto exempted developing nations from any action themselves, and allowed them to receive billions of dollars in direct aid and technology transfers. Who would't agree to a sweetheart deal like that?

As for Germany, it recently decided to exempt its entire coal industry from the treaty, which pretty much guts its support entirely.



By Lord 666 on 2/18/2007 12:56:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Today, we have proven reserves so large that many companies have simply stopped looking for more...its doesn't make financial sense to


Speaking with direct knowledge, oil companies have stepped up the search for oil since this sudden "windfall" of money they now have. This surplus of revenue has pushed for exploration using standard methods, just areas that have not been tapped yet on land for their 20-40 year plan

This "sudden" increase of land exploration within the US is being funded by the increased revenue from sales. Would this R&D happened without the increased prices, probably not. You are correct there are huge reserves, but it makes financial sense if you charge more to look for it.

It is cheaper now to look for it using John Q Public's money while he tools around in a gas guzzler then later when Jonny is driving a hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell.


By Le Québécois on 2/16/2007 2:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since even a Prius driven 50 miles/day pollutes more than the average SUV driven 20 miles/day, why not attack the real issue here?


The real issue here I think is that way to many persons think :

If a Prius driven 50 miles/day pollutes more than the average SUV driven 20 miles/day I'm ok with my SUV because I don't drive much.

And not:

Even if a Prius driven 50 miles/day pollutes more than the average SUV driven 20 miles/day maybe I would pollute less with a Prius driven 20 miles/day.



You're right about the fact that the number of km we drive it's also a problem but why not to try solving all of those problems and not just shift the blame on the one that affect us the less?

And before you talk about it, meat production is also one of those problems I acknowledge and it too should be adress in some ways (I love eating meat so it's not crazy PETA talk here...)


By milomnderbnder21 on 2/16/2007 11:17:22 AM , Rating: 2
The point is that until Congress sets mandates, the industry is not going to develop these more fuel efficient vehicles. That's why the US is doing so poorly in this respect.

Car makers are not innovating/making any effort here, so Congress needs to compel them to.


By Delegator on 2/16/2007 11:38:26 AM , Rating: 3
Absolutely correct. The "free market will fix everything" types like to whistle past this particular graveyard, but that argument doesn't hold water. We are willing to MANDATE safety features like seat belts and passive restraints. We MANDATE emissions. We MANDATE all sorts of things for the common good.

The CAFE standards allow the auto manufacturers to dance around the question and play games with fleet sales, sales to their car rental companies, and so on.

The question is, why don't we MANDATE that (for example) all passenger vehicles sold in the USA must achieve at least 30 MPG? An across-the-board mandate would result in an even playing field for all manufacturers, so the arguments about what people will or won't buy would evaporate.


By Ringold on 2/16/2007 12:46:36 PM , Rating: 2
The only "free market" "graveyard" is Europe, first of all..

Second, basic safety features are mandated, but people flock to cars with advance safety features when they can afford it; free market works there. Gives incentive to create new safety features so to attract the safety-conscious soccer moms in droves.

Third, as I said in an earlier post, if it were possible to make a 50mpg Camry, someone would do it and they'd be rich. Since they havent, logically... nobody can. If they could, again, they'd do it and get filthy rich; nothing stopping anyone but technology.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/16/2007 2:18:08 PM , Rating: 3
> "a romanian invented in the 90's a vehiclefor one man that consumes about 1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers."

Then the CIA murdered him, stuffed his body in a tank, and took it to Roswell, NM. I think I heard this one before...


By mezman on 2/16/2007 5:13:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, if one were to enclose a moped, that's probably about right. Unfortunately, a one man moped car is not terribly practical in the US. Sorry, come back when you have a practical solution.


By mindless1 on 2/17/2007 10:02:08 AM , Rating: 2
Considering how much work, resistance and time it takes to get such a mandate pushed through, better to aim a bit higher like 40MPG. Plus, aim too low and it's ever moreso a temporary measure, not a resolution.

As unamerican as it sounds, I almost support a pollution mileage tax, so those who feel they can just rack up dozens of thousands of miles a year in their large personal vehicles will be hit with a deterrant expense, one that might be applied to environmental cleanup too.


By VIAN on 2/16/2007 11:40:46 AM , Rating: 2
I don't want that either, but the fact that an Yaris in the US, a 1.6 liter engine, doesn't get over 40MPG, really does make you question. My corolla, a 1.8 liter engine, gets less than 30MPG combined. That's pathetic. .2 liter difference doesn't create a 10MPG gap.

In all probability the reason why we don't have these ultra fuel efficient engines is because the standards here don't matter, and of course, the world dumps the cheaper engines on us because the Americans can afford it.

Just think, if the cheap cars can get 40MPG COMBINED, it would also start showing up on the more powerful cars as well. Everybody would benefit. I'm not for making all cars 40MGP, but the government needs to get efficient cars in here.

Probably won't happen til Bush gets out...


cold conditions
By mpc7488 on 2/16/2007 11:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone have experience running some of these smaller diesels in the US? My brother's VW Golf is very tough to start in anything less than 5 deg F, which isn't that uncommon in a number of states in the winter. The last time we had a cold front go through, Uhaul had to shut down since none of their trucks would start.

I know my father's old VW Rabbit used to have block heaters that you'd plug in before you crank. I'm also told you can add fuel additive to diesel to prevent it from gelling, but both of those sound like a pain if you have a couple months or more of these temps.




RE: cold conditions
By badgeror on 2/16/2007 11:22:22 AM , Rating: 3
i guess the problems stays in the diesel engines sold in the US as well as the diesel itself. In europe all gas stations sell diesel that goes down to -20 to -40 C easily. And that's in the Mediterranean area. Sweden, Norway and Finland all run diesel engines and have no problems whatsoever.


RE: cold conditions
By angryhippy on 2/16/2007 12:09:06 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone have experience running some of these smaller diesels in the US? My brother's VW Golf is very tough to start in anything less than 5 deg F

My bosses' wife has a 2005 VW Jetta, and lived in Montana until recently where the temperature could occasionally get to well below 0 F. I think she kept it Garaged though. It get like 50 mpg and is fairly zippy for such a small engine. Plus with small deisel vehicles you can use biodiesel which produces much less polution than regular gas or deisel. The Dodge Sprinter Van can get up 25-30mpg per gallon, has more cargo room than most other full size vans, and can carry or pull 5000 lbs. Newer deisel engines are almost as efficient as Hybrids (more efficient on highways in some cases). They have no battery packs to worry about. Plus biodiesel is made from vegetable oil which is renewable. I'm not sure if it is more efficient to make than ethanol, but it sounds promising. I know ehthanol made from corn barely produces more energy than it takes to grow/harvest/manufacture. Brazil makes ethanol from sugar-cane which has a much higher energy yield than using corn.


RE: cold conditions
By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 12:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
Another point is that at least diesel can be manufactured from something that would otherwise be considered waste. I don't know all of the ins and outs regarding biodiesel and I'm not an engineer or anything, but from everything I've read about it I just don't understand why there hasn't been more adoption.


RE: cold conditions
By Ringold on 2/16/2007 12:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
It wasn't anticipated (by politicians; myself and my economist pows, and The Economist, saw it from a mile away, but no one would've wanted to hear it), but one problem with ethanol (and biodiesel would be the same) is that lo and behold, the Phillipines and Brazil are mowing down rain forest and setting peat bog fires like mad to spool up corn/sugarcane production.

So, biofuels or rain forests that produce a big chunk of our oxygen? That's the main problem I see.


RE: cold conditions
By RogueSpear on 2/16/2007 12:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
I obviously don't know enough about this so I can only tell you what I have read. I was under the impression that biodiesel was generally produced from waste. Specifically cooking waste from restaurants, cafeterias, etc. and that ethanol was generally derived from sugar cane (Brazil) or corn (US).


RE: cold conditions
By Wonga on 2/17/2007 1:52:20 PM , Rating: 2
Biodiesel is also created from crops such as Rapeseed.

Current advances in biodiesel revolve around gasification techniques in the medium term, which allows more biodiesel extraction from crops, and the possibility of oil-algae in the long term. The US Department of Energy conducted tests on oil producing algae up until 1995, but decided it wasn't economically feasable at the time. Of course, oil prices have increased a lot since then...


RE: cold conditions
By angryhippy on 2/16/2007 4:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
So, biofuels or rain forests that produce a big chunk of our oxygen? That's the main problem I see.

Yes, that is a drawback. Also it could use a lot of farmland otherwise used food. I have read that a certain type of algae is a great source of oil, so perhaps ocean algae farms would work? I also read about some tree in India that contain a lot of oil, and grows abundantly in areas with poor soil.

Sorry at work, don't have time to dig up references.

Fuel produced from waste would be ideal. Like maybe harvesting methane from garbage dumps or animal manure for hydrogen.


RE: cold conditions
By Wonga on 2/17/2007 1:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
It is the Jatropha tree which is creating a lot of interest in India at the moment. It has several good properties, such as the ability to grow where food crops can't and is a good perennial tree which is resistant to many forms of disease.


RE: cold conditions
By Johnmcl7 on 2/18/2007 12:03:33 PM , Rating: 2
I've had two VAG diesels and both have been fine in the cold, I usually don't even have to wait for the coil light going out. In a small diesel Ford you had to be more patient but as long as you waited the ten or so seconds it asked for, the engine would then start fine.

Current car is a Seat Toledo with the 150bhp 1.9 turbodiesel providing a reasonable amount of torque at 320Nm (same as the VAG 3.2 V6). Economy is superb for the performance, it cruises very quietly in sixth and the road tax is almost half what it would be for a similar petrol car due to the lower CO2 emissions.

John


Not really $7
By vladik007 on 2/17/2007 3:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
Actually last time i visited Prague galon was about $5.

Roads are much smaller but highways are about the same with much higher speed limit.

Also higher taxes for those gas eating monsters is much better than banning them all together. if one wants to have freedom of choice , let them have one , but it'll cost them. There's just very few reason to have 5.8l daily commuter car.




RE: Not really $7
By michal1980 on 2/17/07, Rating: 0
RE: Not really $7
By masher2 (blog) on 2/17/2007 11:00:09 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
theres a very good reason for driving a V8, because you want to.

Why do you want to make that choice for someone else?
Do you drink? 'There's just very few reasons to drink'
Do you eat red meat? There's just very few reasons to
Do you play any rough sports where you can get hurt? There's just very few reasons to
Eat fast food? There's just very few reasons to
Eat out 'There's just very few reasons to'
watch tv? 'There's just very few reasons to'

Where do you stop?

I'd be curious to know who downrated michal1980's post to zero, and your rationale for doing so. He raises a very valid point.


RE: Not really $7
By Scrogneugneu on 2/18/2007 4:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
I did not rate him down (would be useless anyway since I'm replying), but I can explain the rationale.

You watch TV? I don't care.
You eat out? I don't care.
You eat fast food? I don't care.
You play rough sports? I don't care.
You eat red meat? I don't care.
You drink? I don't care.

Now, you drink AND decide to drive? I do care - it might harm somebody else, and thus your actions are not concerning you only anymore, they become broader, and now concern the population in general, hence the role of the government to legislate in this situation.

Considering the global warming, the acid rains, the quality of air, smog and other problems related (or partly/possibly related) to cars, I would say that a wasteful usage of oil with your car does hurt other people, in the long run. Therefore, it should be the role of the government to legislate in this matter.

However, this point differs between me and a majority of the US citizens. While I (and apparently, most of the Europeans) agree that using a car that pollutes a lot does damage the population in general, most Americans do not. This is the reason for the actual market situation, as well as the diverging views seen in the comments.

The government is there to draw the line between what you can do whenever you want to, and what you can't do, for the good of all. Obviously, as in any democratic society, the line moves around depending on the people living with them. Remember that all these people you vote for are supposed to get paid to decide where they should draw that line.


RE: Not really $7
By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2007 9:17:48 AM , Rating: 1
You miss his point though. Ultimately, everything we do is a "waste" of resources. Do we need a big car? No. A big house? No...anything more than a hut is wasteful. In fact, putting us all in massive gymnasiums would allow the elimination of nearly all residential electricity usage.

Entertainment? A waste of resources....think of all the gas we'd save by banning pro sports alone. Vacations? Don't even think about it. Movies? no way...read a book instead. Meat for dinner? You don't need it...and it generates far more pollution and greenhouse gases than do cars. Excess clothing? Who really needs more than 1 pair of shoes and a few jumpsuits?

When you start deciding for other people what they're "wasting", the line becomes very hard to draw. Pretty much everything we do is a "waste" of resources. Couple that with the very scanty evidence that this is even harming anyone else, and legislation against is is extremely ill-advised.


RE: Not really $7
By Scrogneugneu on 2/18/2007 10:30:08 AM , Rating: 1
The problem here is not wasting oil, it's creating too much pollution. By using more efficient cars, the pollution output is reduced, thus it benefits everyone around. The reverse is the situation some country do not like to see.

You can waste whatever you want, so long as it does not disturb anyone. Waste all the money you have, waste your time, waste your health, we don't care, go ahead. Waste our air, water and such, that, we care about.


RE: Not really $7
By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2007 10:56:58 AM , Rating: 2
> "The problem here is not wasting oil, it's creating too much pollution..."

Did you even read my post before replying? Everything I mentioned generates pollution. And all of them, from private homes to pro sports are not neccesary to sustain life. So if you're going to ban one, why not ban them all?

But first you need to accept there's even a problem at all, given our air, water, and food are all getting cleaner year after year.


RE: Not really $7
By Scrogneugneu on 2/18/2007 11:18:04 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
So if you're going to ban one, why not ban them all?


There's your problem. Nobody said we should ban cars. The point is, we know how to make cars that will be much more efficient. We lose nothing in there, nothing is banned. All we ask is to be more efficient. Who said you can't be as efficient as now without losing what you currently have? Normal research and evolution should lead there.

The problem is, there's no incentive to do so. Passing laws to ensure a minimum level of efficiency makes up for that lack of incentive. I don't see where you lose anything, if not for that pollution you create.

You seriously think that current available technology is the best we can get?


RE: Not really $7
By masher2 (blog) on 2/18/2007 11:54:37 AM , Rating: 2
> "Nobody said we should ban cars..."

No, you're simply saying we should ban cars you deem too large and/or inefficient. Or at least tax them into oblivion, which works out to the same thing.

> "I don't see where you lose anything..."

Then you're not looking. An immediate increase in Federal CAFE standards is going to be met in only one way. Smaller cars, with smaller, less powerful engines. Of course, there's nothing stopping automakers from doing that already...except for one thing. People don't want those cars. They are losing something they deem valuable. Perhaps you don' yourself...but if we examine your own personal life, I'm sure we'd find countless examples of pollution-generating waste, none of which you actually "need".




RE: Not really $7
By Scrogneugneu on 2/18/2007 10:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
An immediate increase in Federal CAFE standards is going to be met in only one way. Smaller cars, with smaller, less powerful engines.


I feel this is not true. It is perfectly believable that technology we currently know enables us to create a car as big, as fast and as powerful as we currently have them, all the while creating much less pollution. This is the goal that is aimed when we talk about raising the standards.

You like your 500hp Camaro? Well, I'm sure the maker also likes to sell it to you. If there is a law that makes it mandatory for any car to meet certain minimal efficiency parameters, then I'm sure the car maker would simply produce your same 500hp Camaro, but with a better efficiency. The market wants a fast car with lots of power and whatever, fine, let's give it to them. But just make sure it respects the environment a minimum.

If passing those restrictions would just remove choices on the market, then it wouldn't be all good. But as I see it, it would only improve what is currently available. Nobody said we all had to drive small ultra-efficient cars, all we want is efficient cars. The best way to get a powerful and efficient car is to have a reason to do both, in exchange of money. The market wants powerful cars for money, and the law wants efficient cars in order for them to be legal to sell. Therefore, you got a huge incentive to work on making those powerful - but efficient - cars.

I'm all for the choice on the market. I don't see this as banning cars, only as making sure the car makers produce higher quality products instead. The market will drag cars towards performance ultimately, as it currently does.


yeah well
By yacoub on 2/16/2007 10:33:29 AM , Rating: 2
Car manufacturers need to post realistic ratings. When a new model 2006 Civic EX with claimed 30-40mpg (city-highway) actually gets 27-29mpg in mixed (mixed, not even pure city) driving, there's dishonesty in the rating system and how they measure it in order to make it appear the car gets better mileage than it does.
If manufacturers were held to higher standards in their measurement technique, they'd REALLY be in trouble. =P




RE: yeah well
By yacoub on 2/16/2007 10:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
Btw even in ideal circumstances (summertime gas, 90% highway driving) I never cracked 36mpg average for a tank. So they ratings are skewed all the way from the City to the Highway ratings. But we know this. It's not like it's an unknown that the manufacturers eek every bit of mpg they can with tests rigged to be as ideal and unrealistic as possible (tested on rollers w/o the wind resistance of real driving, tested at the constant ideal speed for fuel economy, tested with the highest rated fuel they have, etc). It's still not 'fair'.


RE: yeah well
By yacoub on 2/16/2007 10:37:25 AM , Rating: 2
they/their


RE: yeah well
By mjcutri on 2/16/2007 11:26:16 AM , Rating: 2
This has already been addressed. The EPA changed the tests this year and you should already see some stickers with more realistic mpg estimates. The previous tests were developed over 30 years ago. Check out this article for more info:
http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2006-12-11-mpg...

The tests are run by the EPA not the manufacturers, and they are all tested the same, so it's not like the manufacturers are trying to "pull on over" on you.


RE: yeah well
By Lord 666 on 2/16/2007 10:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
My 2006 Jetta TDI Automatic is rated 36 City / 42 Highway, but usually averages slightly better.

On highway, I have reached 50mpg. Around town, it usually averages 40mpg.

As the cliche states, your milegage may vary.



RE: yeah well
By Chudilo on 2/16/2007 10:45:59 AM , Rating: 2
Higher efficiency requirements go against a market economy.

Instead of spending so much money on enforcing these standards, the government should offer huge benefits to manufacturers and buyers of high efficiency vehicles.
Things like a huge tax credit to the company and a tax credit on the registration tax would actually support people that want to buy the cars and the manufacturers that want to make them. That's what the gov't should be doing. Tax all the high millage cars. Any Hummer buyer should be compensating the government for all the tax credit given out to the high efficiency car buyer. Any Hummer manufacturer should be making high efficiency cars to compensate for the huge gas consumption of the gas guzzlers that they make.

Any CAFE restrictions and requirements will be considered unfair eventually. It's unfair to corporations to put restrictions on what they make. the government spends a lot of money on ensuring oil security and cleaning up the environment. The companies that cause these factors should be the ones paying for these things.


RE: yeah well
By Hulk on 2/16/2007 11:14:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yes we have a free market economy and I agree with it but some things have to be regulated. For example, you can't burn tires in your backyard to have a campfire.
If there were no CAFE standards Americans would buy huge vehicles when gas was cheap. Then when prices go up there would be too much inertia for auto manufacturers to respond to the need for smaller cars. You can see that happening now even with regulation. I fear the American auto industry won't be around in 10 or 15 years. What they need to do is put SUV's under the CAFE reg. Right now they are exempt.


duh!
By badgeror on 2/16/2007 10:51:19 AM , Rating: 2
2 Reasons why there are so few over than 40mpg vehicles in the US?
1/ Big cars don't do 40mpg... if you want this kind of performance stop buying V8 or more trucks
2/ Automatic gear shift won't help. Teach your driver to drive manual

conclusions?
- tell US manufacturers to build diesel based engines in small vehicles. Do you really need a Hummer when driving in town?
- stop aiming for 300hp+ vehicles. it's not like you could drive these kinds of vehicle at the speed they're designed to run at on US highways
- teach US drivers to use manual gear 'cause not that many drivers can afford sequential gear


- increase gas price in the US that's the best way to make people change their habits!




RE: duh!
By RamarC on 2/16/2007 11:08:53 AM , Rating: 2
there is almost no incentive for auto manufacturers to improve gas mileage. in the 80s there were several small cars that got over 40mpg and some nudged 60mpg. but somehow, 20 years later, those mpg figures are still rare. engine tech has certainly improved since then so the average car should be getting 50+ mpg. but cafe standards have always been lowered and the fact of the matter is that folks don't want fuel efficient cars.

as for raising the price of gas, americans had a cow when it almost hit $4 so that's not going to fly either. all electric cars are practically dead and today's hybrids focus more on performance (and use 'hybrid' as a marketing ploy) than fuel efficiency.

the auto and oil businesses are both one of the top industries in the US. no major player in either is motivated to change since that will jeopardize their position. so they do a bit of research in fuel cells and alternative fuels, but not enough to truly start a movement away from oil and the internal combustion engine.


RE: duh!
By fic2 on 2/16/2007 12:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
as for raising the price of gas, americans had a cow when it almost hit $4 so that's not going to fly either.


Yes, they had a cow, started trading in SUVs for more efficient cars. Now that gas is back around $2/gal then they are back to buying SUVs. I think that the gas tax should be raised 10-20 cents/gal per year for the next ten years. Use the money to fund alternative energy research (not just for transportation).

The best thing would probably just slap on an immediate $1/gal. Maybe then the car companies SUV commercials would stop and the sheeple would stop "needing" an SUV.

Also, stop counting E85 trucks/SUVs as fuel efficient cars. Using only the 15% of gasoline in the mpg calculation is math that could only come out of Washington, D.C.

Car I would like is a turbo diesal VW Passat with AWD (I live in Colorado and frequently drive in the snow). Unfortunately it isn't offered in the US (or last time I checked) so I just drive my Subaru (25mpg).

Crappy website - 3rd time trying to post this.


RE: duh!
By lucyfek on 2/16/2007 1:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
as much as i hate high gas prices i fully support high gas taxes - i'd rather pay extra $ to my neighbours than let it evaporate somewhere in the middle east (screw them all, sorry if i offend anyone). higher prices may - hopefully - teach the dummies to (at least) turn off engine at a parking lot and maybe even to go as far as buing more civilized (=smaller) car.


RE: duh!
By michal1980 on 2/16/07, Rating: 0
RE: duh!
By cbf on 2/16/2007 6:09:30 PM , Rating: 2
I completely agree about the need to raise gasoline taxes in the US -- substantially.

Either we ween ourselves off of imported oil gradually, or another "event" in the mideast is going to do it -- abruptly. The $3/gallon gas spike demonstrated how vulunerable our gas supply is to disruption (Katrina, Iraq war..). The fact is that a lot of the nations supplying us are not our friends (Iran, Venezuela).

I live in the Northeast, and like all-wheel drive cars as well, but my wife finally just got sick of it and is trading in her AWD wagon for a Prius. I'm hoping Subaru, or some company will give me a better option when it's time to retire my WRX.

I agree with the people who say they don't want the gov't "mandating" 40 mpg vehicles. Gradually raising gas taxes to European levels, so your Hummer cost $10,000/year to fuel will accomplish the same result much more efficiently.


RE: duh!
By michal1980 on 2/17/2007 1:21:30 AM , Rating: 1
why the hell do people want higher taxes.

Screw that, all you people that want to give more of your money to the goverment do so. Just dont deduct anything on your taxes, or give it too me.


That argument is so flpping stupid... Tax more, more taxes.

You know what that means? less money in the private sector.

That means people can't buy a new tv, or save for their retirerment. Why because the goverment takes more money.

You want to take 10,000 grand away from a person and give it to the goverment. Isn't this the same goverment you say sucks at setting standards.


Think of all that person could do with 10,000 dollars... help his kid go to school. Save for a rain day.

Buy something, which will give people jobs.

Taxes are not the answer.


And there was no shortage of gas last year. How you are on one hand argueing that 3 dollars a gallon for gas was bad, and on the other want to increase taxes on that same gallon is beyond me.



What else should the goverment control? internet time, you can only be on the internet 1 hour a day, or pay us 10 dollars an hour.

Being outside time? one hour quote a day free, after that 10 bucks an hour.

If you have more then one light bulb in the house a 20 dollar a light bulb tax...

Taxs are BAD. Period.


RE: duh!
By Madzombie on 2/18/2007 10:36:17 AM , Rating: 2
Ever considered that those taxes could go towards good causes? The family who would pay $10,000 extra a year on fuel would either be forced to trade their hummer for a smaller car, which would save them a fortune, or stick with their hummer and pay up. However, if doing so meant their kid couldn't go to university, they clearly don't care much for their children anyway. And if they could afford to and chose to keep driving the hummer then the money could go towards helping someone from a poorer family go to university. Taxes aren't bad, they just help level the playing field.


RE: duh!
By michal1980 on 2/18/07, Rating: 0
RE: duh!
By badgeror on 2/19/2007 6:23:53 AM , Rating: 1
geez.... can't you be even more self-centered? The comment was all about inducing people to buy smaller or at least more fuel efficient cars by increasing gas prices. The fact is: it's just a way to make people realize that all the money you're spending in fuel could be better used! Currently most of what you pay for fuel goes to some arabic country. Now which do you prefer?
- own a H2, keep the current gas prices low and feed the billionaires back in saudi arabia (current solution)
- own a more efficient car, pay same money for gas but then most of it will be used for people around you (and then maybe to help you if you're ever in need) and not in the middle east?

Somehow I think the second solution is far better than the first one. Call me a communist then because I prefer my money to be used for my people than for rich assholes at the other end of the world...


40mpg.org......
By kilkennycat on 2/16/2007 11:13:25 AM , Rating: 2
40 miles per gallon....

Is that the US gallon or the Imperial gallon - the unit of measure in Europe ( when converted from litres if necessary..) ?

1 US gallon = 0.8 Imperial gallons.

So, 40 miles per gallon in the US is 40/0.8 miles per gallon in Europe = 50 mpg.

There are very, very few cars in Europe that have fuel consumptions of 50 mpg (Imperial ). Certainly far fewer than 113.

So, let us assume that 40mpg is the European measure. That is equivalent to 32 mpg in the US. Quite a few vehicles currently sold in the US can easily meet those standards, even assuming that the EPA ratings are (say) 20% inflated...

See:-

http://www.greenercars.com/12green.html

( BTW, I live in the US and own a Toyota Yaris. I get a genuine measured 40 mpg (US) on the freeway @ 70mph average speed.... )






RE: 40mpg.org......
By milomnderbnder21 on 2/16/2007 11:25:32 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps instead of saying that the 113 number is wrong for Imperial gallons, and then using the Imperial gallons conversion to show that US cars aren't that far behind, you should make the connection that, if there are 113 50mpg cars in Europe, they must be using American Gallons.

You have a gap in your logic there.

To reiterate: If there are far fewer than 113 cars that get 50mpr Imperial, but there are 113 vehicles that meet this standard according to this study, then the study must be using non-Imperial gallons. Therefore, it makes no sense for you to convert that 40mpg to 32mpg, because they are the same non-imperial gallons.


RE: 40mpg.org......
By milomnderbnder21 on 2/16/2007 11:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
Additionally, 40mpg.org, the ones who performed the study, are an American institution, and therefore probably used non-Imperial gallons in their study of cars both from America and Overseas.


RE: 40mpg.org......
By kilkennycat on 2/16/2007 1:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have taken a look at the list from 40mpg.org of the European cars. I have done some direct comparison on the vehicles and indeed it does seem as if the 40 mpg is vs the US gallon. However 80% of the cars on the list are DIESEL vehicles, many are diesel versions of models well-known in their gasoline version in the US. Europe does not have any formal emissions-testing, so complete flexibility in choosing car power-plants, fuel and fuel systems for maximum fuel-efficiency. No real need for emissions-testing in Europe since with their very high(ly-taxed) fuel prices and huge annual licence-fee pro-rated surcharges on private vehicles with engines over 2000cc, the proportion of gas-guzzlers on the highways is very small.

Please note that the market penetration of diesel private vehicles in Europe is still not very high... around 5%. They are far more expensive than the gasoline version and if you want performance acceleration with diesel, you will pay through the nose for the turbo. And acceleration is all-important for passing other vehicles on narrow two-lane European roads....


RE: 40mpg.org......
By badgeror on 2/16/2007 11:35:20 AM , Rating: 2
for all europeans out there 40 mpg == 5.88 l/100km

Now to answer your question: there are indeed tons of european vehicles that do less than 40mpg. If you head over to http://www.ademe.fr/auto-diag/transports/atema/Car...
you get a study (in french sorry for that) of fuel consumption for all vehicles sold in France. I guess you'll see that there are plenty of vehicles at less than 5.88 l/100km in mixt driving and even in urban driving


Free Market Will Work
By michal1980 on 2/16/2007 12:03:59 PM , Rating: 1
Americans drive what they want and can afford. Do we really want the goverment deciding that for us?

Heres a big fact that ALOT, if not Most people ignore.

Gasoline prices are... THE SAME. EVERYWHERE. Everyone pays the same price for gas!.

Huh? Michal1980, how can that be? My station is charging 2.20 a gallon, the UK ~$6.00 a gallon, thats not the same price.

Well question asker, I have an answer... Taxes/Goverment fee's.

The overall tax rate on Gas is much much less then the rate for the same fuel across the pond. The goverments in Europe are forcing people to other fuels because they make gas expensive.

As for the free market in america. It works. When gas prices went up to 3.50+ a gallon in U.S. what happened to the Truck/SUV market CRASHED in america. Sales drop a ton. and geuss what the goverment did not have to do a thing to make that happen.

Whats more is alot of america's love big cars, I don't know excatly why. But they do, Its what americas love. Just like some people like wine, some beer, we like big.

I'll make that bigger... alot of americas just love cars. Simply and plainly.

And while I agree we should have some of these high efficent cars to choose on the market.

If a company/person sees that theres a market, and they can make money. They are free to bring those cars to the U.S.A. as long as they meet our safety standards, I dont think fuel effecient cars are banned in america.




RE: Free Market Will Work
By goz314 on 2/16/2007 12:58:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Whats more is alot of america's love big cars, I don't know excatly why. But they do, Its what americas love. Just like some people like wine, some beer, we like big.


... Big Macs --> big fat asses --> Big cars to carry our big fat asses --> Big Houses to garage our big cars and hold our big fat asses --> Big utility bills and generaly big energy consumption rates to heat and cool our big homes and to make our big fat asses feel comfortable --> Big health insurance premiums and medical bills to keep our big fat asses from getting sick and dying "too soon"

I know this post is seething with sarcasm, so please forgive me. But you're right on with your comment. It seems we do like things in our lives and our country to be "big."


RE: Free Market Will Work
By lucyfek on 2/16/2007 1:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
no doubt it will but i'm not sure if i want to experience the outcome.
it's like saying that the nature will defend itself against humans - i've have no doubt the planet earth will not disappear, will it support our presence is somewhat less certain.
usa is big, guzzles plenty of gas and just like suv won't make a 360 turn on a spot (when a sudden free market change happens) - i don't want to see it flip as i have to live here and don't desire to make 3rd world experience my daily routine. free market works but nobody said that us market is totally free (just look how much s... is decided in dc without your knowledge) and will always aply its logic in a timely manner (=before it's to late).


RE: Free Market Will Work
By michal1980 on 2/16/2007 2:10:55 PM , Rating: 1
The turn around wont be a sudden brick wall though.

Long before we run out of oil, the price will grow to a point that will FORCE a change in the cars.

And that force does not have to be Small little cars.

While I support new forms and sources of energy. I do not think we should be so quick to just dumb oil, currently it is simple the BEST fuel for Cars.

The worst fuel to use that I can think of right now, is Corn/Sugar based ethanol. We are stupid to try use our FOOD supply to power our cars. It makes as much sense as trying to eat/drink some Oil instead.

---

isn't there a saying that nessacity is the mother of all invention.

When we will NEED a new way to power cars, it will happen.

And quite frankly with the say battery power is moving along it could very will be 'plug in' cars. Some companies are working on high/higer capacity batteries, and quick re-charges.. OR cars like the volt where you can run an engine are peak efficeny to generate power. If we can get power capacity to the point where we can run a car for 300-400 miles on a single charge, and then plug it in for a few mintues (2-3 tops, maybe 4 at first, but the quicker the better) at a chargeing station, (kind of like a fuel station) that provides hi-current sources. I can see the need for fuel and emmsions drop tremondously.

The cars could even at first come with a backup engine to work as a generator. a very small motor-cyle like engine, running at very high-rpms, and since its tuned to run at one speed very very efficent).


At home the car can trickle charge if you want.

the key is to find/develop a battery source that will give you that much more capacity.


RE: Free Market Will Work
By lucyfek on 2/16/2007 2:33:36 PM , Rating: 2
didn't i say about a sudden change - everything can happen in free market and so can an abrupt change. now think, in may chavez fullfils crazy idea of communist utopia and shows the finger to our big oil, gw comes up with brigth idea of going after iran and our strategic reserves will not last long enough to keep our suv and economy runing for longer than few weeks (bicycling to work? what work?). i'm not saying that doomsday scenario has to happen (even smaller events can toss our suv upside down), but it can and our "smart" policies makes us more vulnerable than necessary. and for what - we don't have any interest in crud oil consumption (besides pushing ourselves into debt). even big oil would not suffer that much as currently it's not able to supply the demand on its own (well, maybe global prices would come down but china and india will take care of this)


RE: Free Market Will Work
By michal1980 on 2/17/07, Rating: 0
wow...
By Moishe on 2/19/2007 8:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
After reading these post I'm seeing a few things.
1. Non-Americans judge Americans by what they see on TV.
2. It doesn't matter how much Americans give to the poor, because someone will exclude facts in order to make Americans seem greedy.
3. Americans are judged by the standards of other cultures and locations, most of which do not apply to Americans.
4. Non-Americans (in general) care more about intentions than results.

So in the end, Americans cannot do right in the eyes of non-americans.

People see a war on TV. They get biased reports from media who already have a built-in dislike the the USA. People believe what they see without ever once coming over and finding out how the Americans really are and what they really believe.

If Americans give, it's still not enough as a "percentage of X". It doesn't matter that we give more than everyone else? Is $4 more than $6 as long as the $4 is public funds? Hell no. This thinking is utterly stupid and is only a way for people who give less to try to make others look bad.

People think that Americans should be more like Europeans. We should care about the same things, drive the same cars, have the same morals, be taxed the same way, have the same LACK of freedom. Americans are different than Europeans. We grew up with a love of our country and people call us names for being patriotic (as if love and loyalty are stupid). Our country is still a beacon of freedom and wealth in the world and we want to keep it that way because we know that it is where our way of life comes from. This was achieved through individual freedom, NOT through government mandate. We love our freedom and cherish the blessings that we get from it.

Americans don't care to spend the majority of our national income for the next 100 yrs just to *MAYBE* get a change of 0.8 Celsius. We see that as being a waste of money, especially since the data is hopeful at best. Americans don't care about feeling nice if the action doesn't produce results. Sorry, but Europeans can spend their money all day long on global warming and feel happy that they did something. Americans think that without results, you're just wasting your time. If that's not working smart, I don't know what is. Americans conserve, they recycle, they love the environment, but they will not be manipulated by groups who just want to use the environment as a tool to fleece the public.

In the end though, you guys who already dislike the USA are going to read this and think I'm just some chump. You can sit in your local situation and feel superior all you like but you don't know me or my family or my co-workers. You don't know how much of my hard work I voluntarily give to the poor. You can say I just give for a tax break, but that does not make it so. Regardless of why I give, the RESULT is that there are more poor people being helped by individual Americans who genuinely want to help than there are anywhere else in the world. Government tax policy encourages individual giving by letting me spend more of MY money the way I want. I want to give and I will always be careful to give to people who don't abuse my money because I worked for it and I want the most benefit out of it. You can never say that about a government where the bureaucracy will not allow proper oversight and will not prevent waste.

I may not change your minds, but I'm not going to sit here and listen to the mindless parroting without offering the American side.




RE: wow...
By michal1980 on 2/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: wow...
By Lord 666 on 2/19/2007 8:43:20 AM , Rating: 2
I'm damn proud to be an American, but have seen some trends as well, not only reflected on Anandtech, but globally.

The lack of true LEADERSHIP is what ills America. Not counting the goof-in-chief that acts as a figure head, please name an unpartisaned leader who represents the entire country? The goof-in-chief's actions are what have discounted America.

United we stand, divided we fall... when will the true American way come alive again?



RE: wow...
By Moishe on 2/19/2007 10:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
You can't entirely blame Bush or the government (of both parties) that was/is in power. Contrary to the purely emotional comments you see here, Bush cannot and could not start a war all by himself. It took congress, senate, Al-Qaeda, Iraq, US citizens, etc.

The responsibility for the anti-US sentiment lies with the people in the US and the people not in the US. This anti-US sentiment isn't logical, it's emotional.

The US citizens are to blame because the USA is one of the few countries where the people can actually have a true say in the direction of the country. People have voted against their own freedom for years. They vote against religion and morality. Religion, while controversial, is generally a good thing for a country. People need a higher power to believe in or they fall into chaos. Any religion that values human life, giving, kindness, etc is very good for a country. People tend to be happier, harder workers, more generous, etc. This effects the entire nation.

Basically, Americans have forgotten why the country was founded to begin with. Freedom. People fought and died to be free from the iron thumb of corrupt rulers and now the people create their own corrupt rulers and complain about it. We've created a system where our politicians are mostly a bunch of power hungry liars. A system where there is no right and wrong, just relative opinion, which leads to chaos.

It's a crying shame, but the people brought it on themselves over a great many years.


RE: wow...
By badgeror on 2/20/2007 4:52:48 AM , Rating: 2
Ok I'll go for a quick answer on this one because I think you're generalizing a little too much.
1. First of all there's no judging americans (or europeans or whatever people as a whole), it's just about judging acts of individuals. Or at least there shouldn't be because some posts here have been pretty much american or non-american bashings. Now I think many people here have also been judging not considering what they see on TV but what they see when they go to the US or because they actually live here.
2. I don't agree with the argument that americans give less because they give less than a given % of their GNP. You give what you can/will it might be because it gives you tax reductions or because you actually care. Anyway it's a good thing so let's not use this argument to bash anyone.
3. Anyone is judged according to the standards of the judge culture. That's also true for you when you're judging non americans.
4. Wrong! Everybody cares about the results but some people also care about intentions. I don't think it's a question of being american or not. From the comments I've seen there were many americans here that cared about intentions as well

In the end americans can do the right thing in the eyes of non-americans but I guess that somehow since Bush came to the White House your government has not done many things right in the eyes of non americans...

Actually love, loyalty and being patriotic is in no way stupid. Now blind stubborn defense of one's government's acts even when disapproved is totally stupid and I guess you'll agree here.
Now concerning individual freedom I don't think we europeans lack freedom as you think we do (I wonder if you've ever came to Europe by the way). Sure we don't have the right to hold weapons freely (thus limiting greatly the number of homicides) and we limit freedom of speech in some specific areas (racist/homophobic/nazi sayings) which you might consider a lack of freedom but we consider as simple decency. This is not about governments limiting arbitrarily people's freedom for the fun of it but simply making sure that one's freedom doesn't limit another one's freedom. And I think the grand theme in all the discussions there've been in this topic is just about that:
Sure you have the right to work hard and earn enough money to buy a Hummer or a F150 or whatever truck with less than 10mpg BUT what about the freedom of your neighbors not to breathe air polluted by your truck's emissions. Or whatabout the right of our children, grand children and great grand children to live in a livable world and not in a hot desert? And what about the freedom of people in the pacific ocean to live on their home island and not be forced to move to higher lands if sea level goes up by a mere 50cm ? Have you thought about other's people freedom or are your great ideas about freedom limited to your own greedy self?

Now you say it's a waste of money frome europeans to use our money in trying to reduce global warming? I say you're right
exactly because americans won't try to reduce it because some oil-producer lobby has made sure that the government hears only people saying data about global warming and human influence on global warming is just supposition. Now take your eyes out of "expert"'s reports and look around for yourself. Check the raw data that comes from scientists all around the world. Look at the reduction of Arctic ice cap Look at the dramatic increase in atmosphere CO2 levels and once you're done come back and tell me frankly that you don't see a link between human activities and global warming.
Now concerning the fact that Americans don't care about global warming you maybe right right now because its effects are not dramatic enough yet. But if experts predictions are even half true, in 50 or 100 years (we might not be there to see it but do we want our children to curse us for not preventing this to happen) you might see dozens of Katrina every year, much stronger tornadoes, dramatic drought in many parts of the mid-west and other such large climate changes. Then what will americans do? Take care of the problem? How?
You don't change climate in a snap we all know this but isn't it better to try prevent some cataclismic changes now that we can do some easy things about it or wait until nothing can be done easily? Using more fuel efficient vehicles is not such a pain in the ass, it's only a small step in the good direction but somehow you don't go forward if you don't make the first step.

Recylcing and conservation is good. It's a good way of limiting ground and water reserves pollution. Now why do you think that way about your wastes and not about your vehicle's wastes?

I think it was necessary to offer a european point of view not biased by pure anti-americanism on an issue that's not just about countries but about the entire humanity.


Economics Really Should be a Required Course
By Playit on 2/16/2007 4:48:52 PM , Rating: 2
So just to clear up a couple points in the comments.

First there seems to be a real desire by a number of posters to mandate higher fuel efficiencies. I'm wondering why it is people still believe this works? You are talking about a variable amount. Seat Belts are easy to mandate. They are binary in nature. When you are talking about maximizing fuel efficiency you have another problem. What should be the minimum for a 7-passenger vehicle? A 4-passenger vehicle? How often should that minimum be raised? In reality, mandates do not lead to maximum efficiency. If they did, then Soviet Russia (with their directed economy) would have out produced America's uncontrolled market. I think we all know the outcome to that one.

Another suggestion was rebates to consumers or producers for high efficiency vehicles. While this is a step in the right direction, it still has some major flaws. There is no successful test in measuring real world fuel usage. Driving styles, tire pressure, maintenance history, fuel quality, et al, will all affect the actual fuel economy. Like wise, we would still need to adjust the bar as mentioned above. People that are actually transporting 7 people should also be rewarded for choosing a vehicle that gets 20 mpg compared to 14 mpg. Those people, after all, are actually getting a higher mpg/person than the single driver of a Prius. And you have a government body directing resources. This suffers from the same problem above. The benefit of a free market is allowing market forces to drive innovation. Governments are notoriously bad at selecting the best innovators. This is especially true if the desire is to do so dynamically (that is improve over time).

What you are left with then is to encourage market forces to innovate. Really the only way to do this is by penalizing gas usage. Of course, for the libertarians that would oppose any new tax, I think the best way to actually look at this is an effort to internalize the actual cost of oil usage. Gas usage incurs a number of expenses not accounted for at the pump including: the cost of securing ports and shipping lanes, providing security for oil pipelines, the increased government health liability caused by burning of fossil fuels (and the decreased tax revenue similarly incurred), the cost of maintaining trade partners (Saudi Arabian Government, Kuwait, Iraq…), its associated military cost, and the cost to offset any loss in national security derived from dependency on a natural resource which we don’t have territorial domain over. For those that don’t have the econ background, basically we should try to add up those costs and make the people pay for them when they purchase fuel. The beneficial side effect is of course spurring innovation and conservation. The short-term cost is higher prices and inflation.

I also scoff at those who dismiss higher taxes as a price too high to pay. Are we that far removed from our grandparent’s generation that sacrificed rubber, nylon, aluminum, beef, gas and their lives for the war effort? Or our parent’s generation, who gave up their own lives in a jungle half way across the world? I think we are capable of making a real sacrifice to leave our children a world better than the one we inherited. While that might force us to change our driving habits, I don’t think that is a cost too high.




RE: Economics Really Should be a Required Course
By TTL242 on 2/16/2007 6:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree with your conclusion, I don't quite agree with some of the earlier comments.

In my country cars themselves are taxed quite a bit, though less for more efficient cars. While this may not lead to maximum efficiency, it does adress the problem of pollution somewhat, and it works fairly well.

And if you transport 7 people, aren't you automatically rewarded? Some of those obviously saved money because of it, or if you're a big family you saved by not having to use 2 cars.

Of course there are unadressed variables (driving style etc.), but these do not bring down the system.

Because of our tax system, the expensive 80mpg VW Lupo 3L actually sold well here...And if more countries had our car tax they might still be making it!

Though I still believe gas tax is the logical way to do it, other systems are not all unworkable.


By Playit on 2/16/2007 7:15:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think car taxes (or engine size taxes) can certainly be effective, but they suffer the same problem I stated before. They place the government in the position to select optimum solutions instead of the free market. The market is infinitely more resourceful than the government.

As for the 7 person arguement. The idea that a 7 car vehicle would be substaintially more taxed than say a small 2 person car. In this instance, each person (of the 7) could be taxed at a higher rate than each person (of the 2) in the smaller car. Yet, it might be that less gas is used per person in the first case. This ends up being a negative incentive for positive ecological action. On the other hand, taxing gas always ends up being divided equally to each person by their efficiency per mile per person. It also encourages people to be conservative in trip length.

Ultimately I agree that other systems can have some effect, I just think we should reach for the most effective method.


Word Usage...
By Etsp on 2/16/2007 10:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
Motorcycles and Scooters count as "Vehicles" and I'm pretty damn sure a lot of those achieve better than 40 mpg...




RE: Word Usage...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 2/16/2007 10:41:20 AM , Rating: 2
They are referencing cars. Checkout the Excel spreadsheet in the second paragraph:

http://www.40mpg.org/getinf/021407release.cfm


Petrol Prices
By probedb on 2/16/2007 11:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
It does come from petrol prices too. You guys/gals in the US pay far less for petrol than we do in the UK. Just try running one of your cars here for a while and you'll see why manufacturers develop more fuel efficient cars. It's better for the environment and actually costs you less to run.

Saying that my car gets about 15mpg and has a 1.3L engine, can you guess what it is ;) I do only drive at the weekend and commute by foot and train to work though.




RE: Petrol Prices
By Merry on 2/16/2007 1:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
VW Beetle?

I cant think of anything else that could use as much fuel considering the engine size. Either that or a Morris Minor, but i dont think they had 1.3 engines, and it surely cant be a Mini!


being an america
By EBH on 2/16/2007 1:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
im a bit sad cause i am in dire need of a new car, but i wont buy the crap that america sells

my dream car would be some sort of subaru that does not use gas, or is some sort of bio desiel

i could care less about some sports car hybrid or some fuel cell suv

i dont care about large cars or horsepower
i dont even like driving
until my dream car is made im not buying some ultra expensive gas saver that would only fit two people

what they need to make is an allhweel drive or front wheel drive wagon that does not pollute the air and gets affordable milage

i have seen conversion kits for 500$ but you need gas to kick over the engine before it switches over to bio desile




RE: being an america
By Moishe on 2/19/2007 10:43:10 AM , Rating: 2
You haven't been paying attention.
American car makers make a stack of fuel efficient cars that are as reliable as the foreign cars and sometimes cheaper. Basically, you can get a good car that gets decent mileage (30+) or you can get some shoebox car that gets outstanding mileage (40+). Looking at the US car market today, there are plenty of cars in the 30+ range that have room, style, and feel peppy.

What else do you want? If you want to change the entire US car market, you need to wait until it changes or import a car directly.