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Chevrolet Volt  (Source: General Motors)

Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle  (Source: Honda Motors)

2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 Concept
New energy bill calls for 35 MPG CAFE, increased ethanol production and more efficient appliances

The calls for more efficient vehicles in the United States amidst rising gasoline prices have not fallen on deaf ears. A bill destined to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) average to 35 MPG by 2020 passed the House of Representatives 235-181 earlier this month.

The measured cleared again yesterday with a 314-100 vote. President Bush will sign the energy bill today.

The energy bill calls for a 40 percent increase in fuel economy from the current 25 MPG to a loftier 35 MPG. The bill also provides provisions to increase E85 ethanol production from six billion gallons a year to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022 -- this is despite opposition to the increased production of the alternative fuel.

Automobiles aren't the only consumer products targeted by the energy bill. Household appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves will also need to become more efficient while commercial and government buildings will be required to use more efficient lighting including fluorescent-based technology.

Energy companies dodged a bullet with regards to a provision included in the bill that passed the house earlier this month, but stalled in the Senate. It called for over $13.5 billion USD in tax breaks to be rolled back for the United States' five largest oil companies.

President Bush said that he would veto the bill if the $13.5 billion USD rollback was included -- the money would have gone to ignite the development of alternative energy sources like wind and solar energy.

"You are present at a moment of change, of real change," said House speaker Nancy Pelosi. "It could have been stronger," added Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. "It’s really unfortunate that we didn’t have the renewable electricity standard or the incentives for wind and solar. But we’ll fight for those another day."

House Representative Joe Barton, a Republican from Texas, offered a counterpoint; "This legislation is a historic turning point in energy policy."

Not surprisingly, representatives from America's Big Three were quick to voice their support for the new energy bill.

"Ford has worked with lawmakers to enact nationwide requirements that provide a significant increase in fuel economy while protecting consumers' choices of cars, SUVs and light trucks," Ford Motor Company said in a statement. "We are working to do our part to help reduce greenhouse gases and U.S. dependence on foreign oil."

"We commend the Congress for passing an energy bill today and we fully support it being signed into law. Chrysler is committed to meeting the fuel economy standards of the bill and doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our country's reliance on foreign oil," said Robert Nardelli, Chairman and CEO, Chrysler LLC. "We continue to devote significant resources to develop quality, fuel efficient products that our customers expect."

"GM commends the Congress and President for passage of an energy bill. The new fuel economy standards within the bill set a tough, national target that GM will strive to meet," said General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner. "We will focus our engineering and technical resources to attain these standards and we remain hard at work applying the innovation and developing the advanced technologies that will power tomorrow's cars and trucks."

Earlier this month, GM Vice Chairman "Maximum" Bob Lutz said that the 35 MPG CAFE average would require "massive restructuring of the product plan" and that GM would "start raising prices as we introduce the new technology."

All of the major players in the American auto market are looking to hybrids, fuel cell and all-electric vehicles to increase fuel economy across the board. Toyota has even gone so far as to say that all of its vehicles will be gasoline-electric hybrid by 2020.

Other manufacturers like Honda, Nissan and Volkswagen are looking to bring more diesel engines to passenger vehicles to increase fuel economy. Americans have been hesitant to accept diesel engines in cars and light-duty trucks in recent years, but newer technology may change many opinions.

One thing is for sure, however, we may start to see less vehicles like the upcoming tire-shredding 2009 Chevrolet Camaro and 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 and more vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Honda Accord Diesel.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By GeorgeOrwell on 12/19/2007 6:58:44 AM , Rating: 5
Instead of:

1. Continuing to fund the oil industry.
2. Giving billions in pork to corn farmers.
3. Setting weak/meaningless MPG targets.
4. Largely ignoring pollution/emissions.

Why not:

1. Phase out hydrocarbon fuels by 2020.
2. Use the money from this one bill to build a bunch of nuclear reactors.
3. Mandate all new vehicles to be zero emissions by 2020.
4. Subsidize electric and hydrogen vehicles.
5. Use the reactors to provide electricity for vehicles and to create hydrogen.
6. Outlaw all Mexican/foreign trucks that do not meet regulations from entering the US starting in 2008.

Note, 'vehicles' = cars and trucks. No more loopholes for trucks. There are electric trucks now and if the industry is not told to make ALL trucks electric/hydrogen, it won't happen.

The 'do instead' can be anything other than 'a slight polishing of the status quo' which is all this energy bill is. Sure, some pork is sent to corn farmers. And there is a small smear of lip service for 'alternative energy' research. Uh huh. But big changes are needed for a big change in results. And this energy bill contains no big changes.

At its heart, this energy bill is about doing the same old things, continuing to burn hydrocarbons without any serious improvements in fuel economy or emissions control.

In short, it is the very definition of insanity.




By DigitalFreak on 12/19/2007 2:18:35 PM , Rating: 4
Nope. Folks here just don't give a shit about your opinion. That's why you're voted down.


By diablofish on 12/19/2007 11:03:13 AM , Rating: 5
I don't know what a "green person" is: but if that means I want improved energy efficiency to lower my energy costs, potentially reduce the environmental impact, and possibly allay some of the national security issues this country faces with regard to oil coming from politically volatile regions, then I guess I'm "green".

With regard to gas vs hyrbid vs electric cars: today, you are correct. But the automobile at the turn of the 19th century couldn't tow much of anything either. Hybrid/electric/hydrogen cars are in their infancy, much like internal combustion was 100 years ago. As the technology improved, more could be done with internal combustion. And more can likely be done with these alternatives as the technology improves and matures. Remember, the first locomotives ran on STEAM until a new technology (internal combustion) replaced them.

The point is that these things are likely possible to change (whether it's electric or hydrogen or natural gas or something, as yet, undiscovered). Your concerns about being able to tow something are valid today but not likely to be valid as the technology improves. And no one is saying that you CAN'T have your big truck - it's just saying that that big truck has to get better. Why's this such a bad thing? Don't people want better things?

With regard to electric/hybrid cars just transferring the pollution to other places, this issue has been studied and it has been determined that electric and hybrid cars, over their lifespan when compared to internal combustion cars, produce much less pollution. This is because many of those materials are being mined already and the added resources for additional mining is relatively small. And shipments come from overseas with internal combustion cars along with hybrid cars and electric cars, so the boat was going to make the trip regardless. And the factories that make all these cars were going to make cars anyway. So there really isn't all that much more of an environmental impact from getting a hybrid car or electric car to market than there is for an internal combustion car.


By MozeeToby on 12/19/2007 2:00:49 PM , Rating: 3
A battery revolution you say? Ask and you shall recieve... http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/12/... With this tech, in thoery a tesla roadster would get about 2500 miles per charge. Even if it's only 5x improvement, that's still 1200 miles, which is a heck of a lot more energy than I can store in my gas tank.


By FITCamaro on 12/19/2007 3:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
Nice error page.


By goku on 12/22/2007 6:59:16 AM , Rating: 2
remove the period at the end of the URL and the link works.


By jrb531 on 12/19/2007 12:20:24 PM , Rating: 3
Is there any reason for the Hummer and vehicles like it? Not talking military.

There is a middle ground between tiny electric cars and full blown 400HP monsters.

This law is needed because we have wack jobs that could not care less about anyone but themselves.

-JB


By Spuke on 12/19/2007 1:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hummers are retarded but it's a luxury item like HDTV's. Most people look at them as such and drive them as such. Not too many Hummer commuters out there.

I personally don't like ANY SUV's but I can see their practicality for some people. I find the small SUV's to be the most retarded as they're no bigger than a sedan and have worse braking and handling and gas mileage than a sedan. I find large SUV's to be far more practical and logical but you'll NEVER catch me behind the wheel of any of them.

I own a truck and use for towing and hauling. It's also my wife's commuter as buying a third car is too expensive.


By FITCamaro on 12/19/2007 3:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
Well SUVs like the Saturn Vue aren't bad. It's going to have more useable cargo space than a sedan and the mileage is close to a V6 sedan as well. I'd own one if I was married with kids and wanted a family car.

Plus it can tow light loads like jet skis and small trailers. Most sedans aren't designed to tow at all except the larger boat like variety which are becoming few and far between. And those are typically V8s.


By goku on 12/22/2007 7:02:39 AM , Rating: 2
A small SUV isn't stupid when all you want is the capability of going off road without having the fuel consumption and bulk of a full sized SUV. Also having a full sized SUV isn't exactly the best for going offroad especially if that weight gets you stuck.


By crazydrummer4562 on 12/19/2007 7:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the hauling part, they're [heavy duty truck owners] really getting alienated here and are probably going to be paying premiums for vehicles that can tow anything well in the future.


By Spuke on 12/19/2007 8:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
Most heavy duty truck owners are already paying a premium. Your typical diesel option alone costs upwards of $5000. With some other decent options, a 3/4 ton costs about $40k out the door while a similarly equipped 1/2 ton costs $15k less. Although resale value is pretty decent on them but it would be nice to get a used two year old diesel for under $30k.


By EricMartello on 12/20/2007 9:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
It's not often, but every now and then I find a post on the net that I do not disagree with in any way. You're absolutely right about the points you made.

The only viable "alternative fuel" I've seen to date is biodiesel. Why? Because it will run in EXISTING diesel engines and there is a lot more flexibility in the ingredients that can be used to produce it. Even so, it is still cheaper to refine crude oil than it is to produce any of the alternative fuels. E85 is a joke...hope the people behind E85 like paying $5.00 a gallon for milk, among other things.

Now I don't buy "global warming" for one bit, and I maintain that humankind's CO2 contribution to the atmosphere is still a fraction of a percent. Can it have an effect on climate? Sure, but nothing like those ridiculous doomsayers predict. When they can tell me the weather TOMORROW and get it right, only then might I consider their predictions of weather conditions "50 to 100 years from today".

To those of you who just got your Prius: I am a proud Trans AM driver...my car gets a healthy 14 MPG and the lack of catalytic converters greet you with the fresh smell of partially burnt fuel. bwahaha!


By BMFPitt on 12/19/2007 9:04:39 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Why not:
1. Phase out hydrocarbon fuels by 2020.
2. Use the money from this one bill to build a bunch of nuclear reactors.
3. Mandate all new vehicles to be zero emissions by 2020.
4. Subsidize electric and hydrogen vehicles.
5. Use the reactors to provide electricity for vehicles and to create hydrogen.
6. Outlaw all Mexican/foreign trucks that do not meet regulations from entering the US starting in 2008.
Awesome. I'll be riding a unicorn to work in 2020.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 10:29:33 AM , Rating: 5
> "Awesome. I'll be riding a unicorn to work in 2020."

Only if you're a virgin.


By goz314 on 12/19/2007 2:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
With that type of imagination, one might also envision putting one foot in front of the other and walk to work. Better yet, why not get out the bicycle and pedal pedal pedal. Gasp! Shock! Horror! Yes, I know... it's totally un-american.


By BMFPitt on 12/19/2007 3:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to buy me a house that I can walk to my job from, I'd be happy to do it. They start around $400k in that area.


By Spuke on 12/19/2007 4:12:38 PM , Rating: 2
My house is $400k and I live in the boonies. For me to live close to where there's tons of jobs (a mere 60 miles away) AND be able to walk to them, I would need at least a $1 million. Oh, and I need some zoning laws changed so I can bring my horses too.

People that make these stupid statements (just walk to work) really have NO idea how the world works out past their own noses. Or maybe they're just trying to get a rise out of others.


By MrBungle on 12/19/2007 9:23:50 AM , Rating: 5
"Why not" is obvious - we're using politicians in Washington that are even less efficient than the combustion engines that we use today. There are a lot of reasons why this bill is such a lame attempt, and they all revolve around a broken political system. Nobody will champion meaningful changes to our energy policies until we stop electing leaders who serve the interests of lobbyists and special interests.

This is much more a political issue than a technological issue.


By MrBungle123 on 12/19/2007 11:15:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why not:
1. Phase out hydrocarbon fuels by 2020.


and the technology to do this is where? This is a great idea but it's not realistic.

quote:

2. Use the money from this one bill to build a bunch of nuclear reactors.


good idea, i agree, now just get the environmentalist wackos to get out of the way.

quote:

3. Mandate all new vehicles to be zero emissions by 2020.


we do not have the technology or infrastructure to switch to hydrogen or electric cars... the technology to economically produce hydrogen with zero emissions on a large scale does not exist, the power grid could not handle running every car in the country if they were all battery powered. This is a pipe dream, we should move that direction for sure but setting dates for it to happen is the wrong way to do it. Incentives in the form of prizes and tax breaks should be offered to encourage research into zero emissions soloutions that will work on a national scale.

quote:

4. Subsidize electric and hydrogen vehicles.


good idea that will help motivate the free market.

quote:

5. Use the reactors to provide electricity for vehicles and to create hydrogen.


good idea

quote:

6. Outlaw all Mexican/foreign trucks that do not meet regulations from entering the US starting in 2008.


I agree, they should also be required to meet similar safety and driver training standards.


By MrBungle on 12/19/2007 1:23:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

Why not:
1. Phase out hydrocarbon fuels by 2020.

and the technology to do this is where? This is a great idea but it's not realistic.


Technically, the technology to raise fuel economy standards to 35mpg doesn't exist yet either, unless the major car companies are willing to accept the loss of SUV sales (which would obviously raze the American car industry). It may be more immediately practical based on the increasing mastery of combustion engine design, but this is purely a question of scope. Setting a target for fuel efficiency 12 years out that is still lower than what many European countries achieve today is just ridiculous.

Why don't we set a goal that will beat other countries, and create an example for the world?


By mcnabney on 12/19/2007 1:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
Are you saying that the country that won WW2 in 4 years is incapable of adjusting energy usage in 12?

Electric cars can be built right now. Their motors are extremely simple to make and the only thing holding them back is the patent holders on various battery technologies. And don't give me the 'not enough power' argument against them. Electric motors have far more torque than traditional combustion engines.

Unfortunately the only way to break our addiction to petroleum through the free-market forces is to have a real shortage. Do you really want to see $10 gasoline? That would change things. Wouldn't it be better to get 'in front' of the problem and not have another Depression? That is the role of government - to tackle problems that are just that big. The leadership in our nation needs some balls.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 2:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "the only thing holding them back is the patent holders on various battery technologies"

Oh god, not another conspiracy theory.

> " Electric motors have far more torque than traditional combustion engines."

Sure. We just have to get around the problems of charge time, range, and cost. Few people want to pay *more* for a vehicle that's less convenient for their normal driving patterns.


By goz314 on 12/19/2007 2:37:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Few people want to pay *more* for a vehicle that's less convenient for their normal driving patterns.


Well boo freakin' hoo. People will just need to pony up the extra cash and adjust their "normal" driving habits and patterns accordingly. Owning a vehichle in the first place is not a personal right, nor is it even a necessity. If we as a society are truly serious about making progress in energy efficiency with anything mind you, then at some level it's going to require some individual sacrifices.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 2:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
> "...it's going to require some individual sacrifices."

Why is it that every environmental discussion ultimately boils down to a demand we lower our standard of living? Personally, I want my children (and eventual grandchildren) to have a better life than I do. More, not less.

When we abandon the ideal of progress, we step onto the road to stagnation. Is that really a path you want to take?


By goz314 on 12/19/2007 3:48:31 PM , Rating: 3
Making a few sacrifices in the short term does not mean that those same sacrifices will need to be made in the long term by future generations. Virtually every American made personal concessions by scaling back their consumption habits during WWII and doing so didn't halt technological progress or incite societal stagnation.

Also, making short term personal sacrifices for the eventual long term benefit of future generations including one's own children is something that every parent does (or at the very least should do). If you aren't willing to do so for your kids, as implied by your counter point, then you are obviously a very selfish individual. Shame on you.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 4:03:52 PM , Rating: 3
> "Making a few sacrifices in the short term does not mean that those same sacrifices will need to be made in the long term "

So you're saying we should drive tiny cars, so our children can go back to driving SUVs? I think that runs counter to what I've heard from every environmentalist, who believes we should make permanent, long-term changes to our lifestyles.

> "you are obviously a very selfish individual. Shame on you"

While you demonstrate a ad hominem attack nicely, the fact remains you've yet to demonstrate that this "sacrifice" is actually going to help our children in any substantive manner.

I believe the exact opposite-- this government meddling in the free market is going to cost us, both in the short AND the long run. More subsidies for the ethanol boondoggle? That alone should tell you how unwise this measure is. It's not only costing us billions directly and indirectly raising the prices of food globally, it diverts valuable resources away from exploring solutions which actually make sense. The free market would find those solutions...if its allowed to.


By bobbronco on 12/19/2007 11:43:23 PM , Rating: 3
Shhhh.... do you hear that sound? It's the worlds smallest violin, and it's playing just for you.


By Spuke on 12/20/2007 12:14:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Shhhh.... do you hear that sound? It's the worlds smallest violin, and it's playing just for you.
LOL! You sure got him with that comment!

/sarcasm


By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 4:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
Because crude progress isn't the only way. Because progress at the cost of the environment isn't the only way. Because making a choice to be careful, even though it's "limiting" in your carefree nature, isn't that bad. You have a very entitled attitude, maybe start thinking about what's good in a worldly ideal.

There's one chair left, it's between you and and old woman... If you sit in it, you'll be more rested and you'll be able to do more with your day and make more money. If the old woman sits in it, nothing changes but she's more tired when she goes home and sleeps longer that night. But again, she got in the way of progress - that's what you look like to other people


By Spuke on 12/19/2007 4:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because progress at the cost of the environment isn't the only way.
Because saving the environment at the cost of progress is not the only way.

quote:
You have a very entitled attitude, maybe start thinking about what's good in a worldly ideal.
Maybe you should start thinking about what's good for the world in a individual way.

The world is made of individuals whose cultures differ. Who determines which is "better"? You, Greenpeace, Al Gore, Ghandi? What makes one person greater or lesser than another? Why should I follow you? Why don't you follow me?


By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 4:50:50 PM , Rating: 2
No you're right, we should destroy the environment. This post is probably as thought out as your claim that the US doesn't consume the most Oil in the world. You self-centered argumentative jerks are multiplying on these boards. Must find real people to debate with... damn I used to like better when you people just posted "FIRST" on anandtech's pages. Now you've all grown up and developed what you thought are original ideas.


By straycat74 on 12/19/2007 5:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
did you call someone argumentative?


By Spuke on 12/20/2007 12:23:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No you're right, we should destroy the environment. This post is probably as thought out as your claim that the US doesn't consume the most Oil in the world. You self-centered argumentative jerks are multiplying on these boards.
Argumentative? I'm just replying to your comments. LOL! The US consuming the most oil in the world is a fact. But your, umm, "suggestions" don't take our culture or lifestyles or population for that matter into account. What works for your culture may not work for ours. Any fix must to be tailor made for our environment much as your fixes are tailor made for yours. We'll figure it out and get back to you on it.

No one here believes the environment must be destroyed. No sane American believes this. But we're not going to do it your way. We'll do it our way where we all win.


By eye smite on 12/19/2007 2:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
The answer to all your questions is simple. There's no money to be made in doing the right thing. From the corp's to the lobbyist's to the politicians and that the tiny loop these laws get decided in.


Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By MVR on 12/19/2007 6:54:42 AM , Rating: 1
Here are somes facts that are facts mostly because I deem them so. But you should believe them too.

There absolutely must be sports electric and fuel cell electric cars. It's actually easy to keep a high performance electric car nearly as effecient as a "wussie-mobile" design.

Ethanol is not the answer to anything. Neither is Biodesiel. Sorry, but it is the truth. These are just bandaids to an issue. The issue is, burning fuels for purplusion will always be horribly and rediculously ineffecient.

Flourescents are good. LEDs are super-great. It is purely conspiracy that we can't buy pure LED bulbs (that are brighter than incadescents and CFL) for nearly the same price what CFL costs. If you have doubts, go order yourself a flashlight that has three 3watt LEDs, shine it in your eyes, then picture 15 of those LEDs in a single module. $1.25 worth of parts, light output equivalent of a 90 watt CPF.

Solar still has about 10 years or so to go before it makes any sense financially. It really does need to reach the 30-40% effecient mark, and sub $2.50/watt before any mainstream consumer will buy it.

Wind technology is coming along very well. If the government would wake up, they'd have everyone from NASA to Boieng working on 1000 foot tall 20 megawatt wind turbines. Instead we are stuck with pretty wimpy 2.5MW 400ft units. We need to, as a nation, invest and design the next generation of mighty wind turbines. Also, it is quite important to develop massive energy storage technologies for when large wind parks has burst energy production.

Nuclear is great. It's safe. We should have 100 new plants under construction in the USA right now. But we don't. Unfortunately, there will never be enough nuclear fuel to supply all our long term needs, so lets get solar and wind working.....

FACT: Battery technology is truly the only real issue holding back battery-electric vehicles. There should be a $100 million dollar "X-Prize" for a battery that has no memory degridation (recharge cycles killing battery life), instant charge/discharge (for performance and energy recapture), light weight, and of course - massive energy density.

I guarantee than if people went to the car lot and the price was the same between a gas model and an all electric model - and the performance was exactly the same, yet people could plug in their car overnight for a full recharge, everyone would be buying the electric model.

Which reminds me.. Houses (in my state at least) get wired for 200-400 AMP service. People may want to start accounting for being able to charge 3 or 4 cars at once. 600-800 AMP service may not be a bad idea for a large family home..

Let the debate begin....




By GeorgeOrwell on 12/19/2007 7:04:21 AM , Rating: 1
Okay, that's a long way of saying that the incumbent hydrocarbon energy industry has the US (and the world) in a headlock. I agree.

Say the technology is all done, ready to go.

Now what do you suggest the people do to change things?


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By wordsworm on 12/19/2007 7:35:32 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
There absolutely must be sports electric and fuel cell electric cars. It's actually easy to keep a high performance electric car nearly as effecient as a "wussie-mobile" design.


You say that as if Ferrari or any other high performance auto manufacturer has something to compete with Writespeed's X1 electric car. I'm assuming that when you said 'efficient' you really meant 'faster.' As far as efficiency is concerned, electric wins hands down. Most of a combustion engine's energy gets wasted in heat and stopping, whereas the electric engine doesn't even waste energy when it brakes, it just recharges the batteries.

We need more power. We need a lot more power to evolve technologically. Personally, I'm all for geothermal energy as being the answer. Of course, digging that far underground isn't a simple task. Nonetheless, it seems to me that we could really get a lot of juice from it.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By theapparition on 12/19/2007 8:50:56 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
As far as efficiency is concerned, electric wins hands down. Most of a combustion engine's energy gets wasted in heat and stopping, whereas the electric engine doesn't even waste energy when it brakes, it just recharges the batteries.

Not even close.
Where does that electricity come from??? It comes primarily from "burning" fossil fuels. You have the inherent loss of efficiency from converting those fuels to electricity, then transmission losses, charging losses, and electric motor losses. And regenerative braking only recaptures about 20% of braking energy at best. Currently, it is much more efficient to burn fuels at the destination than the source.

Now, even though less efficient, I still think that's the future for several reasons. First, it's much easier to manage pollution when it's being generated in a single location. Second, when we finally fully support nuclear power, it will reduce energy costs, and remove the inefficiency involved from burning fossil fuels.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 10:47:09 AM , Rating: 3
> "Currently, it is much more efficient to burn fuels at the destination than the source."

As you say-- "not even close". A car's internal combustion engine is inherently limited by many factors. First, it has to be small, lightweight, and portable. It has to start and stop combustion many times per second. It cannot generate the ultrahigh temperatures (and thus efficiencies) of a large, dedicated power plant.

An average IC engine typically averages under 20% over its entire operating range. Supercritical coal-fired plants are averaging close to 50%. Even when one adds in transmission line losses (~7%), coulometric charging/discharging losses (For Li-Ion, under 3%), electric motor losses (trivial, for a well-designed motor), and conversion losses (~15%), the central power station option is far more efficient, even when one ignores the energy which can be recaptured through regenerative braking.


By theapparition on 12/20/2007 3:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
So lets see 50-7-3-15=25%

25% is far more efficient than 20% (which I dispute for modern engines)? Now, most coal plants now are not modern supercritical designs, therefore having an efficieney less than 50%, and no car that I know of is using Li-Ion, rather NiCad, which has worse losses.

Even if your spot-on right with your numbers, it's still pretty close, and not enough to warrant a complete multi-trillion dollar change in infrastructure.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By MVR on 12/19/2007 1:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Where does that electricity come from??? It comes primarily from "burning" fossil fuels.
Well, we are talking the future here. So let's pretend 3 things happen:

1. Solar hits the magic 35% effecient mark @ $2.50/watt.
2. Wind turbines get all "Altarin" style and we have monster 20-40MW units.
3. Someone invents a really groovy tunnel boring technology that can punch out 15 mile deep Geothermal holes.

and .. 1, 2, and 3 - become wide spread throughout the land.

So - at least with the solar factor, a home would have plenty of power to charge it's own cars. Gigawatt wind farms start taking over for fossil fuel generation plants. Small towns are powered by 1, 2, 3 and eventually don't even require the tie-in to the grid.

So yea.. electricity does need to be the universal fuel. We just need to be producing 150% of our electrical needs so "filling the tank" costs $15 worth of power instead of $60 worth of gas.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 2:15:07 PM , Rating: 4
> "So - at least with the solar factor, a home would have plenty of power to charge it's own cars"

You've forgotten the sun doesn't shine at night....nor does it shine very well during cloudy weather, or at extremely high latitudes. And most people would charge their cars at night, given they'd be gone during the day.

Solar power requires not only a breakthrough in cell cost/efficiency, but an even larger one in energy storage technology. And even then its not going to be viable for everyone.

The real solution is nuclear power, a clean and safe technology that's available today .


By Spuke on 12/19/2007 4:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And even then its not going to be viable for everyone.
Yep. Zoning laws are a b!tch. Try setting up a windmill in your typical neighborhood. Not only would you be sued, you would have to take down the windmill and pay a fine on top of that. Solar panels on homes are the only way to go and not all homes are large enough to fit all the needed panels on their roofs. I have a co-worker that's 90% off grid and he requires a 60' x 25' solar array to do it. How many of you have yards big enough for that? I do but most people don't.


By Noliving on 12/19/2007 5:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ya but not alot of places willing to take nuclear power plant waste though.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By MVR on 12/19/2007 1:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You say that as if Ferrari or any other high performance auto manufacturer has something to compete with Writespeed's X1 electric car. I'm assuming that when you said 'efficient' you really meant 'faster.'
Umm, no. I was talking about the performance market for the average Joe.. ya know.. the Mustang, etc etc.. When I say effecient, I mean effecient. Meanning, a big fat V8 with a blower will use more energy going from A to B than a V4 will. With an electric car, yes there will still be more loss, but with good battery technology, and an advanced larger motor you are going to waste less overall energy. Especially if you don't put the petal to the metal - although I do, nearly everytime, no matter where I am.

Long story short, having a electric car capable of putting 600HP to the 4 tires - doesn't mean you get far far less "MPG". My example isn't absolute, and can be debated, but not much.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By ignitionxvi on 12/19/2007 8:31:56 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Nuclear is great. It's safe. We should have 100 new plants under construction in the USA right now. But we don't. Unfortunately, there will never be enough nuclear fuel to supply all our long term needs, so lets get solar and wind working.....


How long term do you think our needs are? There's definitely enough uranium to go around, we just haven't needed to do any surveying for it yet, our proven reserves suit our needs just fine.

Also, if we're going to be really serious about nuclear power, then using breeder reactors is a necessity, and then that pretty much removes the fuel problem.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By FITCamaro on 12/19/07, Rating: 0
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 11:07:26 AM , Rating: 3
> "If the world ever went to large scale nuclear power use, fuel reprocessing would be a requirement or we'd quickly run out. "

No. Using even the extremely pessimistic Deffeyes figures on total uranium availability, there's approximately enough for 1000 years usage at current consumption levels. Multiply fuel usage by 10, and use more realistic assumptions about total availability, and we're still in the 250-300 year range.

But wait! We don't need to use uranium to power reactors. Thorium is also a viable fuel, and several times as prevalent. That pushes us up to the 1500 year range, even if our consumption were to rise by a factor of 10.

And, of course, all this ignores reprocessing, which for all intents and purposes, makes the fuel supply infinite.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By BMFPitt on 12/19/2007 9:00:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There should be a $100 million dollar "X-Prize" for a battery that has no memory degridation (recharge cycles killing battery life), instant charge/discharge (for performance and energy recapture), light weight, and of course - massive energy density.
I think that's the direction we need to go. CAFE (aisde from having about the worst concievable way of measuring) doesn't actually give anyone incentive to innovate. The government should say "We will never subsidize anything, but we will give big cash prizes for developing [strictly defined by results, but not methods] intermediate steps of technology that get us in the right direction."

Same for medicine, instead of the current system which gives incentive to create treatments rather than cures, and to invent new "diseases" to treat, we should put up huge cash rewards for curing certain diseases - and maybe we can get some other countries to pledge to chip in for some. And they still get the patent on top of that.


RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By MVR on 12/19/2007 2:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think that's the direction we need to go. The government should say "We will never subsidize anything, but we will give big cash prizes for developing....


Yes - I don't see why there are X-prizes for getting to orbit, landing something on the moon, etc. National security needs demand that we have localized energy production and storage. One thing the anti-wind groups say is, Wind energy does little good because when heavy enough wind comes through, the coal and gas plants can't really drop their fuel consumption at a rate to make a difference. Well, lets say we had the miracle battery that never (or say 40 years) loses its charge/discharge capability like a capacitor.. Plop these into huge underground vaults, and let the wind and solar fields pump them up during peaks, and drain them into the grid when the wind and solar aren't producing.

A $100 million dollar prize for inventing Altarin energy storage would get the scientists working on it, the $1 trillion in purchases the entire planet would be making over the next 50 years would even keep the oil companies from sweeping it under the rug.

No sane person will ever suggest to even an irrationally green person that they should install the 30-90 deep cycle batteries required for a solar install to fully power the house when there is no sun. Why? Because batteries SUCK. ineffecient charging, very low charge/discharge cycle life, expensive, and if you are very very lucky, you may manage 5 year life span out of them. What we really need is capacitors with all the groovy characteristics of batteries, without all the things we hate about batteries. reach this goal, and you will start to have houses with enormous banks of energy storage.


By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 2:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
> "Well, lets say we had the miracle battery that never (or say 40 years) loses its charge/discharge capability like a capacitor"

If you want to postulate miracle inventions, then sure, many otherwise impossible things become feasible.

> "What we really need is capacitors with all the groovy characteristics of batteries...reach this goal, and you will start to have houses with enormous banks of energy storage...."

Don't forget that energy storage is inherently a dangerous process. Whether that energy is in chemical form or electrical fields, storing enough in your basement to power your home for 12 hours is going to carry a large risk factor. And without a quantum leap forward in safety as well as energy storage density, that's going to mean a lot of additional deaths.



RE: Just the facts maam. Just the facts.
By TITAN1080 on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
By thornburg on 12/19/2007 9:51:06 AM , Rating: 2
The big 3 didn't think it was a good bill until it was all but history. They fought against it for a good long time. They're only saying it is good now because it is done and there's nothing they can do about it anymore.


Energy Prices will still increase
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 6:42:19 AM , Rating: 1
Regardless of the $13.5 billion tax breaks, oil companies are still making record profits and income. Even when efficiency increases, the companies still have a bottom line when it comes to their earnings. If demand decreases, price will increase accordingly. Price does not only increase due to supply shortages, or anticipated shortages.




RE: Energy Prices will still increase
By BMFPitt on 12/19/2007 9:06:58 AM , Rating: 4
Oil company CEOs got kids to feed!


By onwisconsin on 12/19/2007 12:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
"Kids, were going to have to shorten our Christmas lists. We can't afford you guys to get a new Ferrari this year..." ;)


RE: Energy Prices will still increase
By Khato on 12/19/2007 11:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
It's just sad that the entire bill would poof to the veto stamp purely because of repealing of those $13.5 billion worth of tax breaks to the 5 largest US oil companies. Equally sad is how many people would buy the line, "I'm doing this to keep prices at the pump down." if it were thrown out in explanation.

But come on, we should already know that any president who promises to lower taxes really means that they'll be lowered (in tax breaks at times) for his buddies, while everyone else makes up the slack. Or in this case, while the debt makes up the slack.


RE: Energy Prices will still increase
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 1:19:10 PM , Rating: 3
> "It's just sad that the entire bill would poof to the veto stamp purely because of repealing of those $13.5 billion worth of tax breaks to the 5 largest US oil companies. "

Err, you've forgotten what those "tax breaks" were for in the first place. They weren't charity, they were designed to compel those companies to perform actions (and spend their own money) on things we want them to do.

Most of these "breaks" are simply to allow oil companies to more quickly write off the costs of domestic exploration, as well as reducing the depreciation period for upgrading transmission and pollution-control facilities.


RE: Energy Prices will still increase
By Khato on 12/19/2007 8:48:23 PM , Rating: 2
Naw, I haven't forgotten, I simply don't care for that excuse - aka I'd call it charity. If, instead of giving monetary encouragement to go along with it, there had simply been mandates to go and do these things like most every other industry, then I'd say we'd be better off. That way oil companies would have to pass on costs to the consumer and we'd have a bit more of a supply/demand structure. Yes, the cost per gallon goes up, but it's already gone up just the same, it's only a difference in where you're paying for it. (Not to mention, pulling it out of taxes means those with high gas usage come out ahead of those that are actually doing what they can to minimize.)


RE: Energy Prices will still increase
By SectionEight on 12/19/2007 3:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
It's called the efficiency paradox. Over the last 30 years or so, our appliances and cars have definitely become more efficient. Yet our demand for energy has increased. Yes, the rise of our high-tech world has something to do with that, but also the fact that if people are spending less on energy because of high efficiency goods, then they will buy more energy-using goods. A rise in fuel efficiency isn't going to hurt the oil companies, because people will drive more since their cars are so efficient.


RE: Energy Prices will still increase
By Spuke on 12/20/2007 12:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A rise in fuel efficiency isn't going to hurt the oil companies, because people will drive more since their cars are so efficient.
This is why I predict an INCREASE in SUV and truck sales by 2020. As these vehicles become more efficient and cheaper to own, people will buy more of them. Since they'll consume less fuel than their predecessors,they make even MORE sense to buy from the consumers standpoint. You might even see a sharp increase in sales in Europe too. Think about it. If I can get a small SUV that gets the same mpg as my old econocar, why would I want to buy the econocar?


Example of the slippery slope
By exdeath on 12/19/2007 11:55:52 AM , Rating: 2
"You are present at a moment of change, of real change," said House speaker Nancy Pelosi. "It could have been stronger," added Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. "It’s really unfortunate that we didn’t have the renewable electricity standard or the incentives for wind and solar. But we’ll fight for those another day ."

Who doesn't believe in slippery slopes now? Eventually it will be a all out ban on SUVs or engines bigger than 2 cylinders, etc.

"It could have been stronger," added Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. "It’s really unfortunate that we didn’t have the ban on all guns. But we’ll fight for those another day ."




RE: Example of the slippery slope
By mdogs444 on 12/19/07, Rating: 0
RE: Example of the slippery slope
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 12:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
Good to see you have such an open mind about discussing various topics.

<end sarcasm>


RE: Example of the slippery slope
By exdeath on 12/19/2007 12:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
Being "open minded" is another term for "compromising" and I will never comprimise with someone because in their mind it's always the same: "But we’ll fight for those another day."

Compromising just means "take what we can for now and get the rest later when they are complacent".

Which is why there is no "middle of the isle" or "compromising" on two diametrically opposed irreconcilable ideologies.


RE: Example of the slippery slope
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 1:14:39 PM , Rating: 2
No, being open-minded means you have the mental fortitude to consider all options - including the option that you are wrong.

No one's asking you to compromise - only to consider that your ideology might not be the absolute truth. The same maxim would apply to those on the other side of the aisle.

"Listen to those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who have found it."
- Andre Gide


RE: Example of the slippery slope
By straycat74 on 12/19/2007 5:27:12 PM , Rating: 2
Was that last line meant for AL "the debate is over" Gore?


RE: Example of the slippery slope
By exdeath on 12/19/2007 12:30:57 PM , Rating: 1
Boxer, Pelosi, Feinstein, of those totalitarian socialists need to be outed, and their supporting constituents shot or hung in public.


RE: Example of the slippery slope
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 12:33:36 PM , Rating: 1
You forgot Harry "Dingy" Reid, John Murtha, Ted Kennedy. The only people who can call our troops murders, and one of them (Kennedy) who can actually get away with murder...and still be loved by the Looney Left.


RE: Example of the slippery slope
By andrinoaa on 12/20/2007 4:46:03 AM , Rating: 2
Wasn't it the looney right that sent them to war in the first place?


RE: Example of the slippery slope
By mdogs444 on 12/20/2007 6:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
Nope, it was actually a majority of vote in congress by both parties - Democrat & Republican.


interesting thoughts...
By inperfectdarkness on 12/19/2007 9:41:23 AM , Rating: 1
good discussion.

aside from chrysler being dead and buried inside 10 years (thank you, bob nardelli)...there's some interesting things to contemplate here.

if the government doesn't mandate change...it won't happen. hell, they TRIED to mandate change with analog>digital tv...and they had to push back the original date by 3 years. to assume it will simply happen without legislation is foolhardy.

simply because energy is being created inefficiently and with pollution now--doesn't mean it has to be. it's entirely possible to provide 150% of our country's current electricity needs by relying solely on a combination of nuclear, wind, geothermal, hydro, and solar power. if we were deadset on mass-producing wind-turbines that put out a MINIMUM of 10 megawatts each...we'd be practically set for life.

the pollution created to mine, ship, and burn coal for electricity will ALWAYS be far, far greater than what is used for producing batteries. it is much more efficient to create electricity at a central source...than to subsidize individual homeowners setting up their own equipment. and we already have a power-grid in place.

gasoline is dying. diesel is the already in use for heavy-duty machinery (ships, semis, locomotives, etc). and while ethanol COULD produce equalivant mpg to gasoline...no one is willing to build an engine with a high enough compression ratio to actually take advantage of it (because it wouldn't be flex-fuel any longer).

tesla roadster paves the way. electric plug-in FTW.




RE: interesting thoughts...
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 10:35:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
tesla roadster paves the way. electric plug-in FTW.
$100K+ cars are niche play toys not typical consumer transportation. You go ahead and buy one. Oh wait, you can't.


Hey Kiddies
By Dfere on 12/19/2007 9:24:49 AM , Rating: 2
What is not included in the CAFE standards? SUV's still? Fleet vehicles?

What a gross case of misinformation.




By Imaginer on 12/19/2007 12:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
And the fact that money was rejected towards research, realization, and availability of alternative energy production methods???

Are they nuts? Looks like this part of the bill is the knee jerk reaction that short sighted politicians are only looking at. Do they not realize that EVERYTHING and I do mean everything is in a balance? Affect one thing, you throw off the balance of others to the point of collapsing that so called jenga tower of life???




Feel Good Legislation
By Machinegear on 12/19/2007 1:13:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A bill destined to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) average to 35 MPG by 2020...


I was hoping for 36. But then my wife said the new technology for such a high CAFE rating would make vehicles prohitively expensive to own. I didn't understand, until she mentioned Sony's upcoming 11 inch OLED TV for a grand, the dinky Toyota Prius for over 20 g's, and that pretty PC game called Crysis.

quote:
Automobiles aren't the only consumer products targeted by the energy bill. Household appliances such as refrigerators and microwaves will also need to become more efficient...


That's nice. We will have crap built appliances that operate with less energy that we still replace every 5 years. Full of common sense.




The Begining of the END
By SLEEPER5555 on 12/19/2007 3:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
"One thing is for sure, however, we may start to see less vehicles like the upcoming tire-shredding 2009 Chevrolet Camaro and 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT-8 and more vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Honda Accord Diesel."

A sad fact, maybe this will be good for values of these "muscle cars"

One note of error in the article the Challenger will be release and sold in 2008 as a 2008 (though 08 sales were limited to 5000 units)

--Sleeper




Like Father, Like Son
By Lord 666 on 12/19/2007 9:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
This 35mpg CAFE bill will probably be the only commendable legacy GWB will have.

It is popular belief that GHWB's only commendable legacy is the American Disabilities Act of 1990.




New boat anchores
By andrinoaa on 12/20/2007 4:34:51 AM , Rating: 1
Great to see all the fury hair in the air over some piss week economy standards for 2020! What are you going to do if petrol gets very very expensive? wet your pants? By having more economicxal cars in the country's fleet, you are prolonging the days of relatively cheap fuel. Isn't this self interest? Or are you an" I am alright jack, fuck you" type?
To all the trailer trash " I commute in a truck " types, what are you going to seriously do when petrol does get to $7 a gal? Sell your trailer to live in the truck?
To all those freedom junkies, what a lot of hot air.
Do yourself a favour, buy a small car and put some money in your bank account, your country needs it. A car is just a means of transport, why glorify it? Why buy into someone else's dream. That some one else is 1/ a car manufacturer 2/ an advertising guru. They don't have your interest at heart. Get over it, that dream is now seriously debunct!




Good!
By mindless1 on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Good!
By jaded1216 on 12/19/2007 5:13:54 AM , Rating: 2
Alas, it's not that cut and dry. You can't just say 'people will not tolerate an increase in the initial cost of their cars,' and my reasoning is two-fold. First off, cars are perceived to be much of a necessity in today's world (here in the States), so generally speaking, people will pay what they must in order to do what they want (meaning the auto makers already have a leg-up on us.. they make something we 'need'). In addition to that, consumers love to be lied to. They don't even have to know what something really is, but if they hear a (marketing) term that sounds important, they will see value in that, thus justifying to themselves the increase in cost.
Hell, just look at those abominations of commercials for DirecTV, the ones with Jessica Simpson. "And it has HDTV too. I don't even know what that means, but I need it!" and people buy into it like you wouldn't believe..!

Tangent aside, this little excerpt from GM saying that "oh, to help the consumers - and the environment - we're going to raise the fuel efficiency on all our vehicles. However, all of these improvements will cost money, which will raise the cost of our cars," is only the beginning.
Don't you just love how they make it sound like they're doing us a favor with all of this? They're kinda leaving out the part that says "if we don't do this we won't be able to sell our cars in this country, enjoy." lol


RE: Good!
By zhaltees on 12/19/2007 6:52:23 AM , Rating: 2
Just buy a normal a car instead of SUV. I can't understand people driving huge cars in a city that are even wothless as SUVs... They are just big. US government should encourage people to use normal cars, since they are more economical, maneuverable, save (especialy for pedestrians) and finaly - cheaper.

And the ignorance of a problem would be like a middle finger to whole other world, since US is a biggest consumer of oil. US use 3 times more oil than the second consumer - China.


RE: Good!
By mushi799 on 12/19/2007 7:04:32 AM , Rating: 2
tell that to soccer moms, although i do agree that 99% of people in america do not require a truck or SUV (especially that damn hummer).


RE: Good!
By Chaser on 12/19/2007 8:25:36 AM , Rating: 2
SUV drivers annoy me sometimes. Like when someone in an Escalade slows down to drive over a rain puddle.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 9:31:53 AM , Rating: 3
So anyone with an SUV or $60,000k+ car/truck shouldnt slow down at a potential road hazzard? How do you know its not a pothole under the water that will pop a tire or cause a misalignment?

Dont be an idiot.


RE: Good!
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 11:25:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'd like to tell that to all the SUV drivers who go 70+ mph in a snowstorm around here. I guess snow isn't a potential hazard!

Much more amusing to me is when these same SUV drivers slow down in a rainstorm but don't slow down at all in a snowstorm. Someone please explain that one to me...


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 11:29:12 AM , Rating: 1
Well for one - its pretty common knowledge that 4WD gives better traction in the snow - when you are going....but not when you are stopping. I've had plenty of 4WD SUV's and yes, i always drove faster than the majority of the cars on the road & the freeway....because I could. Its not their fault that your car does not perform as well in certain conditions - because after all, those conditions are what the true SUV is marketed for.


RE: Good!
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 12/19/2007 11:32:06 AM , Rating: 2
So you acknowledge that you drive faster than everyone else around you in the snow, but also acknowledge that 4WD doesn't help stop you in the snow.

Yeah, that sounds pretty smart... or maybe you're just the Yoda of snow driving :P


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 11:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
Depending on where you are, its fine to drive faster. For example in the fast lane on the freeway.

And, yes I am the Yoda of snow driving - compared to people who consider 5-12" of snow, ALOT. I grew up in Chardon, OH - the snowbelt where we got snow + lake effect. It was not uncommon to get 5+ ft of snow in 3 days. I used to drive to school in about 12" snow covering the road and make my own tracks.

So dont lecture me about how to drive in the snow.


RE: Good!
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 12:21:22 PM , Rating: 1
So you're the SUV driver that goes flying past me at 70 on the cell phone in the snow....

... and then a few miles up the road I pass you while I'm still on the road and you're in the ditch...

I guess that marketing about 4X4's being infallible really does work on a certain part of the population...


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 3:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
goes flying past me at 70 on the cell phone in the snow....

Nope, Bluetooth.

quote:
... and then a few miles up the road I pass you while I'm still on the road and you're in the ditch...

Sorry, perfect driving record. No accidents.

quote:
I guess that marketing about 4X4's being infallible really does work on a certain part of the population...

And i guess the global warming hype really does work on a certain part of the population too. Its all kool-aid isnt it?


RE: Good!
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 12:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well for one - its pretty common knowledge that 4WD gives better traction in the snow
4WD plus crap tires equals 4 wheels with no traction. It's ALL in your tire selection. 4WD does NOT give you carte blanche to drive "faster" in inclement weather. 4WD with decent snow tires or rain capability WOULD give you a leg up on 2WD cars all else being equal in inclement weather. I personally wouldn't drive much faster than other cars in bad weather.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 12:47:49 PM , Rating: 1
4WD w/ all season tires that still have good tread left is obviously better than 2wd with the same tires. I dont know anyone personally that goes out and buys snow tires for an SUV or a car for that matter. But then again, everyone i know has more than one car - a winter truck/suv and a summer car.


RE: Good!
By Chris Peredun on 12/19/2007 2:53:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I dont know anyone personally that goes out and buys snow tires for an SUV or a car for that matter.


Then you, sir, are no "Yoda of winter driving" as you claim to be above.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 3:29:48 PM , Rating: 2
> "Then you, sir, are no "Yoda of winter driving".

If you want the real "Yoda secret" of winter driving, it's simple. Move south far enough that it doesn't snow.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 4:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
Well driving in the snow...and buying snow tires are two different things. You are probably one of the types who thinks its the end of the driving world when you get 2" of snow.


RE: Good!
By Chris Peredun on 12/19/2007 4:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well driving in the snow...and buying snow tires are two different things.

But like peanut butter and jam, they come together into a delicious combination that is greater than the sum of their parts.
quote:
You are probably one of the types who thinks its the end of the driving world when you get 2" of snow.

I'm Canadian. Care to try again? ;)


RE: Good!
By The0ne on 12/19/2007 3:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I dont know anyone personally that goes out and buys snow tires for an SUV or a car for that matter.


This made my day too. What a joke of a person to be making comments like this. If you don't know anyone and IF you know better you should advise others to get snow tires when you can. Skidding to your eminent demise is not a fun thing to do unless you're know what you're doing :)

Hahha, can't stop laughing.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Good!
By zhaltees on 12/19/2007 8:05:30 AM , Rating: 2
Whatever China. Here is statistics per person:
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_usa_per_per-...

USA and Canada takes the "lead" again :(


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 9:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
What does that prove in terms of the efficiency in the automotive industry? Nothing.

Americans have larger homes than the people in china, and it takes more energy to heat our homes & maintain them. Americans also drive longer distances to work than people in china....much of whom dont drive to work at all. It just goes to prove that with totally different geographics - when the US & Canada do share, that the people of the US & Canada are more dependant on higher amounts of energy to maintain their lifestyles.


RE: Good!
By zhaltees on 12/19/2007 9:57:39 AM , Rating: 2
You don't understand, yeah?
I don't don't about China. China is simply the second consumer. That's it. On the next comment there is a link. There is no China at all. Because of diferent life. But yet on the link there are many other countries. Do you want to tell that people in Germany don't drive to work? Do you think there are no trafic jams in France? Yet, somehow they manage tu use much less oil per person.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 10:07:37 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that europe has pretty big train systems that take people from city to city for work, right? The US does not really have that. SOME cities have subways, but those only consist downtown. Chicago has a Metra system for train from teh suburbs. But many people here live 20-40miles away from work, and drive that every day. Highly doubt that many germans or french do that.


RE: Good!
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 10:19:19 AM , Rating: 2
France had LESS people and SHORTER driving distances to work than your typical American. Why is this so difficult to understand? We have a population of 300 million and an area of 3,793,079 sq miles (9,826,630 km²). France has a population of 64 million and an area of 260,558 sq miles (674,843 km²). You have almost 4 times as many people per sq mile than we do. There's a slight difference here.

Most of Frances population lives in a metropolitan area. Most of our population lives in the boonies or in a suburb of a city. We also have more children (4 million per year vs 800,000) than you do and we require larger vehicles to transport those children to other places. Our habits and lifestyle is different because of this. Ask an American why they own an SUV. They'll tell you space, one-car-does-all, and perceived safety. Since "everyone" drives SUV's (still not the best selling vehicles BTW not even in the top 10) that makes other people want to buy SUV's because of the perception of safety.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 10:32:44 AM , Rating: 2
> "France had LESS people and SHORTER driving distances to work than your typical American....You have almost 4 times as many people per sq mile."

True. However there's an larger factor at work here, which people don't seem to want to mention. The US is a richer nation, with a much higher per-capita income. People who make more money, spend more money....and they spend it on things which consume energy. Larger homes and larger cars are two of the first things on that list.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 10:38:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do realize that europe has pretty big train systems that take people from city to city for work, right?

Eh This guy had it right. Has more to do with the train systems in Europe. They're much more vast than ours. Not to mention the European Economy is not what it was 2-3 years ago. You call the US a richer nation... In regards to the European Union, I'm not sure it's going to be true for much longer. And yes the EU is not a "nation" but when we're talking about the global economy, it's decisions are made and count the same as the US.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 11:17:13 AM , Rating: 2
> "You call the US a richer nation... In regards to the European Union, I'm not sure its going to be true for much longer".

US per-capita GDP: 44,000
EU per-capita GDP: 29,900

The GDP growth rates between the two are about the same, so I don't see the EU surpassing the US anytime in the next several decades. The "growth" you've seen recently is simply a currency-level adjustment of the dollar back down to a more natural level.


RE: Good!
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 11:31:20 AM , Rating: 2
Including the entire EU in that is a little misleading since wealth varies from nation to nation within the EU. It's not quite the same apples to the same apples.

Other things to consider: EU countries pay a much higher tax rate to have these marvelous train systems (among other social programs). So while the GDP may be lower, the standard of living may not be quite at the disparity the GDP is at when comparing what you get there versus here. Again, personal preferences for wide open spaces versus accessible public transportation mean different things to different people - especially across cultures.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 12:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 12:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
> "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...
Read up "


You seem to have forgotten the EU's population is some 60% larger than the US. That explains why the US has far higher per-capita wealth, despite the EU slightly exceeding the US in total GDP.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 12:21:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Using a PPP basis is arguably more useful when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using just exchange rates which may distort the real differences in income.

Did you even read the article?


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 11:32:54 AM , Rating: 2
> "Has more to do with the train systems in Europe. They're much more vast than ours"

You've forgotten *why* those systems are larger. Yes, population density is one factor increasing their viability. But there's a larger one of personal wealth. Trains (and public transportation in general) are a cheaper option for Europeans than a private automobile...but those who can afford that private car, buy one and use it.

In the US, we didn't build that vast train network because people didn't want to ride it. Ever take a train? In my ealier years, I rode trains across half the nations of Europe and Asia. It's a great option, especially for tourists. But when you actually LIVE there, and have to use that train daily, for shopping, visits to the doctor, etc, its a real drag. Waiting on schedules, buying tokens/tickets, walking between stops and stations, particularly when sick or carrying large amounts of purchases, fighting for a seat, etc, etc.

By and large, people prefer private transportation as an option. And those who can afford it, use it...American OR European.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 11:49:12 AM , Rating: 3
You're talking to someone who lives in NYC. It's a way of life that if you're not willing to adapt to, you'll never understand it. Yeah I just spent 10 months all over Europe "living" there. I took the train everywhere and became emersed in the culture, enough to understand their actual patterns. They take the train to work and to the doctors. And the schedules are quite frequent.. better than ours. You really have no understanding of their train systems. Yeah they still have cars for the rural areas, but they're fuel efficient because they caught on early. It's a combination of both.

BTW, the US $ didn't lower to a normal lvl, that's a ridiculous claim. It lowered to a point where it's becoming cheaper to shop in America than Europe. This is the first time in decades that this was true. Not to mention GNP doesn't effect the mindset of the European as much as you think it does. Their ideals are set completely different than the "American way." They don't have the drive to work overtime to get more money than they need. Look at the average vacation time they take compared to ours. They look at quality of living over how much they made in the year.

And the trend is changing, people don't prefer private transportation when it means repair bills and extremely high gas prices. I live in NYC, a culture much more European than most places in the US. By and large, most people in NYC would prefer taking public transportation.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 11:59:27 AM , Rating: 2
> "You really have no understanding of their train systems."

Really? I've lived in three European nations, and ridden trains in a dozen others. And I have "no understanding" of them?

> "Yeah they still have cars for the rural areas"

And for the cities as well, for those who can afford them. People in London alone make some 11 million car trips per *day*. Do you really think "everyone rides the subway" in large European cities?

> "BTW, the US $ didn't lower to a normal lvl"

Of course it did. The US dollar has been inflated for decades, due to many nations and foreign organizations holding reserves in our currency. That creates a demand which raises the exchange rate beyond normal levels.

Now that the Euro and other world currencies are showing the stability that the dollar has held, those reserves are shifting, and the dollar is floating down to a more natural level.

> "And the trend is changing, people don't prefer private transportation when it means repair bills and extremely high gas prices"

So how do you explain that per-capita car ownership in the US is still increasing? The fact is, the "trend" isn't changing. People don't want public transportation forced upon them. Even in Europe, private ownership of cars (and especially SUVs) is on the rise.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 12:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Really? I've lived in three European nations, and ridden trains in a dozen others. And I have "no understanding" of them?

"In your younger years" is exactly what you said... how long ago was that? I take it you were fluent in the language as well? Enough to understand their culture? BTW England doesn't count. Not to mention, it was by you saying things that made no sense compared to modern day culture that deem you un-knowledgeable, not the fact that you rode them.

quote:
Yeah they still have cars for the rural areas

If you really took that as in "only" in rural areas, than once again you're picking apart what you want instead of arguing the real point.

quote:
the dollar is floating down to a more natural level

Proving my point again, the US economy is lowering to a natural lvl... right on par with the other nations... Read my above post about your skewed GNP opinion. You're only proving that we're on level with the European Union and world economy, which is what you argued against at first.

quote:
how do you explain that per-capita car ownership in the US is still increasing?

I don't remember talking about the US? Funny I thought we were talking about the EU. Hence why I compared NYC culture to European culture.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 1:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
> "Not to mention, it was by you saying things that made no sense compared to modern day culture that deem you un-knowledgeable, not the fact that you rode them"

I'm sorry, but I can't make heads or tails out of this syntax. The fact remains your previous comments were incorrect. The US is a richer nation than the average member of the EU...and those citizens of the EU who can afford a private car, use one.

> ""In your younger years" is exactly what you said... how long ago was that?"

I haven't lived in Europe for over 10 years, but I still take extended trips there on a regular basis. And in any case, if you think transportation patterns have changed substantially in the past decade, you're mistaken.

> "Proving my point again, the US economy is lowering to a natural lvl"

Err, no. The dollar's devaluation isn't "lowering" the economy. In fact, its boosting it, as it makes American products more competitive, both here and overseas.

> "once again you're picking apart what you want instead of arguing the real point."

What is the "real point"? If you want to argue that point, why not do so directly, instead of making veiled references to it?

And by the way, when you say "yes, they still have cars for the rural areas", that certainly does imply you believe they're not driving mich in urban areas.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 1:54:50 PM , Rating: 3
Again... Did you even read that article?

quote:
And in any case, if you think transportation patterns have changed substantially in the past decade, you're mistaken.

Yes you're right... 10 years ago SUV's were looked down upon just as much as they are now... eh, wrong. I'm not talking patterns, I'm talking culture. and I'm saying you don't have a good understanding of the culture and why they choose a certain transportation system. I'm only pointing out that you're trying to say we drive bigger cars cause we're richer... We drive bigger cars because our culture deems it important. Where-as the European culture doesn't, as they have a much different idea of wealth than us.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 2:34:10 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I'm only pointing out that you're trying to say we drive bigger cars cause we're richer... We drive bigger cars because our culture deems it important. Where-as the European culture doesn't, as they have a much different idea of wealth than us.
And that's why Europeans, when they get a little extra money, run out and buy SUVs as well? Sorry, but your theory doesn't hold water. Europeans who can afford to drive large cars do so, despite the prevalence of public transportation and the enormous cost of petrol.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 3:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
Again, did you even read the article haha


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 3:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
France, Europe's fourth-biggest car market last year, is preparing to slap a tax of as much as ?3,200 ($3,900) on cars that emit gases believed to contribute to global warming, a move that has stirred official calls for similar levies in Britain, Europe's second-largest car market. In recent weeks, London's mayor called motorists who use SUVs in his city "complete idiots," while the Paris City Council has called for banishing SUVs to improve traffic flow.


Yes, again, Europe doesn't by SUV's cause they have no money for it. My god do I have to have a European call you to believe that idea is idiotic?


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 3:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
BTW the American top 10 cars sold is topped by two trucks. There are no SUV's or trucks in the European top 10. Wow according to your standard, Europe must be really poor.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 3:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah, they have a lot of cars but they use the train to supplement... You think they use the car to go everywhere? I own a car, I use it when I can't use the train, like most Europeans. Hence why the US uses more gas then everyone else. Cause they use their cars to go 1/10th of a mile to visit their grandmothers. Something even a 50 year old European wouldn't dream of doing, they would hope on their bike or walk.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 3:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
> "Wow according to your standard, Europe must be really poor. "

Poor is a relative term, but certainly if the European average income rose to US levels and the price of gasoline dropped from $5-8/gallon down to US levels, you'd see an explosion of SUV usage, rising to near US levels within a few years.

Look in any affluent sector of a European city, and you'll see rich Europeans driving SUVs and/or large V-8 powered sedans that get comparable mileage. The average European can't afford such a luxury, so they drive a tiny matchbox, or take public transportation.

However, even as it stands today, the SUV market is the fastest growing growing segment of all autos in Europe...or was in 2005/06 at least.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 4:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
So you're argument is based on speculation? Nice try. Mines based on actual ideals expressed through culture. You're argument is asking for gas prices to lower. Sorry when will that happen?

Rich Europeans buy expensive cars more than SUV's. I've been to affluent sectors of various European cities... more cars than SUV's still.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 6:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
> "Mines based on actual ideals expressed through culture"

Ever been to Chelsea? There are so many SUVs there, they're even nicknamed "Chelsea Tractors". Across Europe as a whole, SUV's account for some 7% of total vehicle sales..and sales are rising at a rate nearly double that of all other automobiles. All this, despite gas prices 2-3X higher than US levels, and an average per-capita wealth well below US levels.

> "Rich Europeans buy expensive cars more than SUV's"

Expensive cars like the BMW 760li? (14 MPG City) The Mercedes S600? (12MPG city) The S65 AMG? (13 MPG city) These vehicles get worse mileage than most SUVs. Any any "rich European" is either driving an SUV, or something that burns at least as much gas.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 11:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
saying it's higher than the US rise is dumb, considering the US market for trucks is going down. Compare it to mid-size cars and small cars in Europe. Compare apples to apples. BTW 7% is a very small anyway. I guess my point is, that it has nothing to do with how much money you have. Fact is, a middle class American will go into debt to be a gas guzzler, a European won't. That's same PPP, stop quoting a useless GNP, BTW that's what that article says since you won't read it.

And spunk, I didn't forget anyone, read my original post, I merely showed whom was first and second in comparison to the European chart.... but thanks for taking time and typing out the rest.


RE: Good!
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 9:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
Of course you ignored that the Toyota Camry is number three, the Honda Accord is number four, the Toyota Corolla/Matrix is number 5, the Honda Civic is number 6, the Chevy Impala is number 7, the Nissan Altima is number 8, the Dodge Ram is number 9 (truck), and the Honda CR-V (small SUV) is number 10. All the truck sales are down somewhat with the Dodge Ram down 30% from last year so I doubt you'll see that in the top 10 for very long. All the car sales are up except the Corolla/Matrix but they've been redesigned so they'll probably be going up. The Prius will probably hit the top 10 next year too.

The Ford F series trucks have been number one for the past 24 years straight. Trucks have always been the top sellers in the U.S. But it's only been in the last 15 years or so that they've been used to replace cars which is why the interiors and ride have improved.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 1:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
> "I don't remember talking about the US? Funny I thought we were talking about the EU. "

If you were talking about "trends changing" for car ownership in the EU, you're even more wrong. Car ownership is increasing even faster there than in the US.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 1:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, I wasn't


RE: Good!
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 12:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
There is some truth to that: but there's the historical perspective as well.

While Americans were building highways and promoting consumption of oil, Europeans were building rail tracks and trains. They invested much more heavily in their rail infrastructure than the US did: and the whole of Europe isn't that much different (area-wise) from the US.

Of course at the time, no one foresaw the potential pratfalls of relying on oil from overseas since the US was the leading producer of oil for much of that time.

(Source: The Prize by Daniel Yergin)
A Pulitzer Prize winner for Non-Fiction


RE: Good!
By FITCamaro on 12/19/2007 10:45:12 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not disagreeing with you totally but a large number of people who drive SUVs do so because its a symbol of wealth more than because they actually need it. How many young people who are unmarried do you see driving SUVs? Tons. How many families with 1 or 2 kids do you see driving large SUVs? A lot.

Growing up our family was a family of 5 and we never had an SUV. We didn't even have a van until I was 10.

Yes if you've got a family of 5 or more, you might need an SUV(a van would work but few guys want to buy them, myself included). But if you've only got 1 or 2 kids, you don't need a Suburban or Expedition. One of the smaller V6 SUVs like the Vue will suffice. Again, it comes down to image. Now also if you tow things you need one or if you live somewhere like up north where a car could easily get stuck in the snow you might need one.

I'm not saying don't buy one if you have the means but don't need it. Just don't try to justify that the vast majority of people who have SUVs actually use them. Hell a lot of the mid-size SUVs these days are worthless as an SUV. Acura, Honda, BMW, Mercedes all have SUVs built on car chassis and they can't tow for crap. They're soccer mom mobiles, nothing more.

I would say its probably about a 50/50 split. Half of people who own them actually use them. The other half just owns it to look wealthier or cooler.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 10:48:31 AM , Rating: 2
And personally, I love the fact that in America, we can work as much or as little as we want. We can make as much money as we can, and be able to buy luxury items to show off, make yourself feel better, or hell, take hundred dollars bills and burn them if you want. Freedom of choice, and the opportunity to enjoy luxuries are great.


RE: Good!
By goz314 on 12/19/2007 3:25:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
We can make as much money as we can, and be able to buy luxury items to show off, make yourself feel better, or hell, take hundred dollars bills and burn them if you want.


LOL! Actually, it's a federal offense to burn or otherwise deface bank notes.

Title 18 United States Code, Section 333

Mutilation of national bank obligations

Whoever mutilates, cuts, defaces, disfigures, or perforates, or unites
or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft,
note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking
association, or Federal Reserve bank, or the Federal Reserve System,
with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence
of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or
imprisoned not more than six months, or both.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 4:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
No, that only means if you deface them to be reissued/reused. If you mutilate them so that they cannot be reissued, for example burning them, thats not breaking the law.


RE: Good!
By goz314 on 12/19/2007 4:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
Read again...

with intent to render such bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence
of debt unfit to be reissued, shall be fined


Defacing currency is an intent-based crime. An element of the offense is "...intent to render such [currency] unfit to be reissued." It doesn't make an exemption to those who were planning to never reuse the currency. An arguement can be made that burning your dollar bills implies intent to render it unfit to be re-issued.

Now, has literally burning your cash with the intent to render it unfit for re-issue ever been procecuted? Probably not, but that doesn't make it legal.


RE: Good!
By The0ne on 12/19/2007 3:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yet I bet when something bad happens to your family, lets assume acid rain, you wouldn't do anything right? :) Why should you, you're enjoying your precious luxury materials and ignoring everything that might have been affected and the cause of your misfortune.

And yes, you have every right to live as you want. Just don't complain when you and your families are in the shi* hole, so to speak. But then again, isn't this always the case with so many people? :) Yes, it is but that doesn't make it "right" for the lack for better terminology atm.


RE: Good!
By The0ne on 12/19/2007 7:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yet I bet when something bad happens to your family, lets assume acid rain, you wouldn't do anything right? :) Why should you, you're enjoying your precious luxury materials and ignoring everything that might have been affected and the cause of your misfortune.

And yes, you have every right to live as you want. Just don't complain when you and your families are in the shi* hole, so to speak. But then again, isn't this always the case with so many people? :) Yes, it is but that doesn't make it "right" for the lack for better terminology atm.


RE: Good!
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 8:51:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And yes, you have every right to live as you want. Just don't complain when you and your families are in the shi* hole, so to speak.
Would you guys come help us even if we did decide to act like Europeans (or at least your version of Europeans)? Of course not.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 10:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yet I bet when something bad happens to your family, lets assume acid rain, you wouldn't do anything right? :) Why should you, you're enjoying your precious luxury materials and ignoring everything that might have been affected and the cause of your misfortune
Interesting that you choose to mention acid rain, one of the most overhyped environmental "disasters" of recent memory.

When I was in secondary school, we were being taught (propagandized, rather) that acid rain would soon result in the loss of all forests in the country. Today, despite more than 25 years of this horrible devastation, the country is more forested than ever.


RE: Good!
By FITCamaro on 12/19/2007 10:32:20 AM , Rating: 2
Those numbers are also a study of usage from 1999-2000. That was published in 2001. Read the damn info before you spout your crap.

And his point is still valid. China's overall usage per person is going to be extremely low just as India's is considering not even a quarter of the population of either country even lives in what would be considered the modern world.


RE: Good!
By Dfere on 12/19/2007 9:27:58 AM , Rating: 1
I disagree on the government comment. The government SHOULD NOT tell you what car to drive. That line of thinking leads to fascism.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good!
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 9:45:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Its all wealth envy arguments from these people.
I agree here. It's really as simple as that. Also, you have a lot of younger kids and adults here that really haven't grown out of their me me me phase yet so it's difficult for them to see another persons point of view. In a few years, they'll think differently.


RE: Good!
By zhaltees on 12/19/2007 10:03:40 AM , Rating: 2
Actualy if you think that US citizens are wealthiest in the world your're wrong. In US life quality is significantly higher than medium, but not the best. That's for sure.


RE: Good!
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 10:24:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actualy if you think that US citizens are wealthiest in the world your're wrong. In US life quality is significantly higher than medium, but not the best. That's for sure.
Yep. Compared to other countries, things are cheap here and we have a ton of people so it looks like we are rich.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 10:37:33 AM , Rating: 2
> "Actualy if you think that US citizens are wealthiest in the world your're wrong"

You're right, it's only #3. Luxembourg and Macao beat the US in per-capita wealth:

http://pwt.econ.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt62/pwt62_for...


RE: Good!
By Enoch2001 on 12/19/2007 11:06:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You cannot argue with people who think this way. Its a mental disorder .... have you ever tried to argue with someone who has down syndrome?


LOL - awesome.


RE: Good!
By inperfectdarkness on 12/19/2007 11:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
while i see your point, please understand what i previously stated.

unless the government stipulates change, americans are resistant to it. it's the same thing with analog > digital tv signals.

no, the government shouldn't tell you what to drive. however, if they never stipulate what mpg's manufacturers make...we'll never have progress.

i want cars to be more efficient. i want to get 35-40mpg in a car where my knees don't have to touch my chest just to fit inside. our representitives are doing their job by legislating the change that I as a constituant want.

if anything, remember the largest single consumer of oil is the USAF. if we want to reduce the cost of our military...we'd do well to start by consuming less oil in other methods. you're not going to be flying an f-22 on ethanol anytime soon. or battery power.


RE: Good!
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 12:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
Analog & Digital tv signals are a totally different story. They are a luxury, not a resource. We dont NEED television at all - much less HD. The world thrived not that long ago when people didnt even have televisions in their homes. Personally, I dont think the govt should mandate a switch to a digital signal. I think the cable companies should pay for it, and if they want to refrain from losing customers who do not want to buy a new tv, then they should foot the bill for the converter.


RE: Good!
By inperfectdarkness on 12/20/2007 8:58:01 AM , Rating: 2
owning a car is a luxury. if you don't believe me, move to china.

the government has vested interest in analog tv bandwidth...quite similar to how they have a vested interest in reducing our dependence on foreign oil. it is that vested interest which drives legislation such as this.

what irritates me most as a consumer may be the fact that i DO want a vehicle that gets 35mpg on average...but i can't buy one that will do what i need it to do (i.e. have room for more than 2 pre-schoolers). thank god the government is pushing manufacturers to make them; lord knows i'm pretty much powerless to enact this change myself.

again, the benefits of REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY.

you really want to worry? perhaps the u.s. should invade columbia and argentina...just to ensure that our supply of coffee remains unthreatened. lord knows our economy will shut down without 90% of the population getting their daily fix.


RE: Good!
By DirthNader on 12/19/2007 10:13:08 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

What's next after the government "encourages" you to drive a smaller car? Perhaps they should "encourage" people to live no more than 15 miles from their workplace. Heck, let's start ticketing people who don't have their tires inflated at the proper pressure at all times and who drive around with 100lbs of stuff in their trunk. How about fines for not routinely servicing emissions equipment - is that O2 sensor old? Here's your ticket!

There are so many things outside of what kind of car you drive that affect how much fuel you consume. I split my driving between a 5.7L V8 sports car and a 4.3L V6 SUV. I maintain my vehicles and have a 10 mile one-way work commute. The guy next to me drives a four cylinder Toyota, but it pisses oil during his 80 mile one-way work commute. Who's consuming less, and who's having a greater impact on the environment?

I've never met a single person who doesn't live in a glass house of some kind when it comes to energy consumption. Best to not throw stones.


RE: Good!
By andrinoaa on 12/20/2007 4:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
Listen pup, don't use big words if you have no idea what they mean.
The government is not telling you what car to buy. Its telling the manufacturers what economy they should have.
No more no less. You are stuck in a small frame of mind son, get over it.


RE: Good!
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 9:40:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
US use 3 times more oil than the second consumer - China.
Nope. I guess you just pulled that number out of your butt. China has already passed us. More to come later.


RE: Good!
By zhaltees on 12/19/2007 10:00:21 AM , Rating: 2
There you go my friend. Right from the butt.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-ener...

You can also use google if you don't trust this.


RE: Good!
By FITCamaro on 12/19/2007 11:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
Yes and we're a nation of 300+ million people who all actively live in the modern world using power and what not. China is a nation of 1 billion people with only 200 million or so of them living in the modern world and using power. And of that 200 million most don't own cars.


RE: Good!
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 2:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can also use google if you don't trust this.
Nope I trust it. Thanks for the info.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 10:28:01 AM , Rating: 2
> "US use 3 times more oil than the second consumer - China. "

China, however, leads the globe in CO2 emissions...and its growing those emissions at a rate much higher than the rest of the industrialized world.

Oh, and at the rate China's oil consumption is increasing, it should surpass the US in that metric as well, in about 15 years or so.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 10:40:12 AM , Rating: 3
Didn't you write a whole article that CO2 doesn't matter? Why does this matter?


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 11:20:01 AM , Rating: 2
If the AGW skeptics are correct, CO2 doesn't matter. If the AGW proponents are correct, then total CO2 emissions count...not total oil consumption.

Therefore in neither case is the US's higher oil consumption relevant. And, as I pointed out earlier, China is poised to soon surpass that as well.


RE: Good!
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 1:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
So we know CO2 absorbs infrared heat: we can build two vessels, fill one with air and fill the other with CO2 put them in the sun next to each other for the same amount of time and measure the temperature difference and find that the vessel filled with C02 is higher in temperature than the vessel filled with air. Conversely, we can reduce the amount of CO2 in the vessel and watch the temperature difference fluctuate. So we know CO2 absorbs heat from the sun.

Yet we don't know if CO2 has an impact on the climate?


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 2:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a better experiment, one cited by climatologist Timothy Ball. Paint a car's windows black, then measure the temperature inside the vehicle. Now put a second coat on, and re-measure. Did the temperature change?

CO2 only absorbs in a very narrow band of infrared. Once a certain CO2 level is reached, adding more is like putting extra coats of paint on a window...you've already absorbed all there is. Or, as the chairman of the American Meteorological Society put it, the effects of CO2 are like "the linoleum on the first floor of a 100-story building".

Are CO2's effects saturated today? Without a baseline, we can't say for sure. But we do know for a fact that the response is logarithmic. The more CO2 rises, the less effect that rise has.


RE: Good!
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 3:08:16 PM , Rating: 2
None of this changes the fact that CO2 absorbs heat. So adding more CO2 increases the capacity of the atmosphere to absorb heat. We're increasing the percentage of CO2 in the air - and each molecule of CO2 has a certain amount of energy it can absorb - it's specific heat. By adding more CO2 to the air, we drive up the number of these molecules in the air and therefore, the capacity of the air to absorb heat is also increased.

I was wondering if Timothy Ball bothered to test whether one vessel of 100% CO2 absorbed more than a vessel of 50% CO2 to see if 100% CO2 absorbs more heat than 50% CO2? I'd find that a far more relevant experiment that can likely be more accurately applied to CO2's effects than painting windows on a car since painting the windows wouldn't change the CO2 concentration.

Regardless, if you have a link to the study, or the name of the scientific journal in which it was published and the name of the study, I'm certainly interested in reading it.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 3:27:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
each molecule of CO2 has a certain amount of energy it can absorb - it's specific heat. By adding more CO2 to the air, we drive up the number of these molecules in the air and therefore, the capacity of the air to absorb heat is also increased.
Unfortunately, you've misunderstood the greenhouse effect. It's related to the relative opacity of the atmosphere to specific frequencies of radiation (in the case of CO2, infrared), and isn't due to the specific heat content of the atmosphere.

Take for instance, Nitrogen which has almost exactly the same Cp (specific heat) as CO2, and is over two THOUSAND times as abundant in the atmosphere as CO2. Yet nitrogen's contribution to greenhouse warming is negligible in comparison. Why? Because of it's absorpotion spectra. And yet, combine that nitrogen with oxygen to form Nitrous oxide, and you have a gas that's far more effective at causing warming than even CO2...again, because its spectrum has changed.

CO2's contribution to greenhouse warming follows a logarithmic response; this is indisputable. At some point, further increases in concentrations do nothing to cause additional warming. The only debate is over just where this point occurs. However, much research in the past year has suggested CO2's contribution has been heavily exaggerated. See the links below for a bit more information on the subject:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=8588
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=9313


RE: Good!
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 4:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, but I haven't misunderstood the Greenhouse Effect. You've misunderstood my post. I was discussing CO2 not the Greenhouse Effect. And you didn't answer my questions about the research you offered in the original post. Further, you didn't provide any information that studied whether 100% CO2 traps more or less heat than 50% CO2.

Both of the studies you cited in your last post deal with ocean temperatures, not CO2 atmospheric concentrations or atmospheric temperatures.

I'll admit I haven't had the time to carefully read the research at this point, but they both discuss CO2 and acknowledge it's properties as a heat trapper. At first glance (and I reserve the right to change my mind after I've read the studies more carefully), this seems to be akin to what they are studying:

They came home, found a broken window and a rock on the floor with glass nearby and tiny glass shards embedded in the rock. Instead of concluding the rock likely contributed to the window being broken, they are searching for an alternate cause. I'd suggest they start with the rock and rule that out as the cause before searching for alternatives.

Now, since these studies also deal with oceans (not the atmosphere), I'm going to give you some data about what we started out discussing: the CO2 level in the atmosphere, which is higher than in the past 600,000 years.

http://www.wri.org/powerpoints/climate/sld001.htm

I haven't found anyone that disputes that CO2 traps heat. I've found lots of dispute about the models over what effect that added CO2 will have on the atmospheric temperature. The future models will ALWAYS be in dispute since we don't have a foolproof future predictor. It's similar to what I do: I can model a building and give you an estimate on the energy you'll use and the money you'll spend for that energy, but I have no way of knowing EXACTLY what those numbers will be.

If you want a summary on my opinion on the data I've had time to read (there's way more data available than I have time to read): the case for global warming is stronger than the skeptics make it out to be and weaker than Al Gore and Greenpeace make it out to be.


RE: Good!
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 6:41:54 PM , Rating: 2
> "I was discussing CO2 not the Greenhouse Effect"

You were discussing CO2's effects on climate. That occurs-- if it occurs at all-- via the Greenhouse Effect, and not because of CO'2 innate specific heat content.

> "Both of the studies you cited in your last post deal with ocean temperatures, not CO2 atmospheric concentrations or atmospheric temperatures"

Incorrect. Both dealt with CO2's overall effect on the climate system at large, which includes the atmosphere as well as oceanic heat content. Furthermore, changes in ocean temperatures from CO2 occur *because* of atmospheric temperature changes. Without this coupling, ocean temps wouldn't be affected in the first place.

> "the CO2 level in the atmosphere, which is higher than in the past 600,000 years."

But world temperatures are not higher than they've been in that same period of time. In fact, it was demonstrably warmer during the Medieval Climate Optimum than it is today, an event that occurred only a few hundred years ago.

> "you didn't provide any information that studied whether 100% CO2 traps more or less heat than 50% CO2."

You haven't provided enough information to answer. 50% CO2 is 50% something else...what exactly, you don't say. Also, how CO2 "traps" heat is very dependent on both how its illuminated, along with many other factors. Finally, the sample size is also critical. A 100% column of CO2 a centimeter high is far from being saturated. That same column a mile high is far oversaturated.


RE: Good!
By diablofish on 12/19/2007 7:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
Really, so CO2's specific heat plays NO ROLE in the Greenhouse Effect? Care to enlighten me as to which study determined that? Because I've never read anything of the sort in a peer-reviewed source.

Since you're assuming greenhouse effect, how come you didn't assume the other 50% to be air? Two identical "clear" (glass, plexi-glass; with the same thermal properties) vessels of equal dimensions, pressures, and volumes: one 50% air, 50% CO2, the other 100% CO2. Which one gets hotter in sunlight at the same elevation and atmospheric clarity? Put another way, put them next to each other, with a far enough distance apart only so the shadows of each vessel don't affect the other one. Keep them in the sunlight for the same amount of time and read the temperature. It's not a very difficult experiment to rig up at all.

So if you wanted to measure the air temperature of a given time period, would you check the ocean temperature first? There are flaws in collecting the data in this manner - namely you aren't actually measuring what you want to ascertain but you're interpolating (or extrapolating) one set of numbers from another. Hence, there is variance in the data.

From the data I've seen, the Medieval warming period didn't contain as much CO2 as we do today AND the temperatures at that time weren't as high as they are today. Now there IS a disagreement here (in other words, variance) in the data. But that far from proves that CO2 doesn't warm the atmosphere.

What makes one set of data more valid than another? Obviously, it's the way the data was obtained.

While I'd really love to believe that adding CO2 (and carbon) to the atmosphere (and eventually, oceans) doesn't have any effect on climate, I find that incredibly difficult to believe. I also don't believe that CO2 is going to cause the oceans to rise 20 feet. But I know that humans have been able to eradicate numerous species on Earth (ranging from the Dodo to the Passenger Pigeon, and nearly killing off millions of Bison completely from North America), deforest most of Europe, dramatically alter the landscape of coastlines around the globe to build roads and buildings, and dramatically alter ecosystems around the globe. I'm not saying any of these is a travesty or that the environmentalists are right. But since we have done all that in merely a few hundred years, I find it really difficult to believe that we can't change the climate.


RE: Good!
By werepossum on 12/19/2007 9:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
Meticulous records of ice-up/ice-thaw have been kept for hundreds of years in Europe. Similar records were kept thoughout the North Atlantic due to the ice flow hazard to sea travel. Additionally, passes, mines, and villages that were used during the MWP (which the church of AGW has attempted to write out of history) are only now being uncovered as the ice thaws. Based on those criteria the MWP was indeed significantly warmer than today. Studies that conclude otherwise involve ice core analyses, bacterial sediment analyses, and tree ring analyses - indirect evidence. Feel free to believe the MWP was cooler than today or even that it never occured at all, but please be honest enough to admit that is a faith-based belief.

And no one has done the glass ball experiment because, frankly, it's a stupid experiment. We know how much radiation CO2 absorbs, and in what spectra. That is easily tested and is well established. CO2's contribution to the Greenhouse Effect is not significantly due to its specific heat capacity. If that's not clear, invest some time and treasure in a basic thermodynamics course and a basic physics course. (Of course you'll need some freshman and sophomore science and/or engineering courses to qualify for those two.) Once you understand specific heat and absorption spectra curves, you'll have a better understanding of the Greenhouse Effect. As Asher is attempting to explain, CO2 absorbs energy over a narrow spectra; when those spectra are absorbed, any additional CO2 has nothing left to absorb. Light outside those spectra passes freely through CO2, which by the way is a very weak greenhouse gas.

As to the Energy Bill, as much as anything it's a package of pork. (I think Bush likes it because it weakens border security.) I have no problem with raising CAFE standards, but let's all realize there is no free lunch waiting. Higher standards mean smaller, lighter cars that collapse more upon collision, less power, a higher proportion of foreign marques, and higher unemployment in the USA. But this bill contains nothing for finding/creating additional energy, except ethenol which takes nearly as much or more petroleum to create, transport and distribute as it replaces, depending on whose numbers you believe. My own SUV is a 2003 Chevy Tracker 4WD convertible; good for unpaved construction sites, sufficient to tow my small bass boat, capable enough off-road to take me to any hunting ground I care to try, and good for 24 to 30 mpg. (My '97 got 30 - 33.) Notice that I don't say everyone should drive a Tracker instead of an Expedition or a Suburban? My problem is with government regulating mileage at all. Why not total energy? Why should Al Gore (also a private citizen) be allowed to travel extensively by private jet if the government wants to regulate my gas mileage? Why should he be allowed to have multiple huge homes wasting all that energy? For that matter, why should I be allowed to have a gaming computer that pulls 3 amps when I could have an econobox that pulls one amp? For that matter, why allow individuals to own computers at all? That's just a waste of energy.

Bottom line: Freedom made the USA the wealthy nation it is today. Incremental cuts in freedom hasten our decent into socialism which always goes hand-in-hand with fascism. (It's not practical for the government to control all means of production; it's always more efficient to simply control some of it.) While eliminating SUVs may not gore your particular ox, rest assured that these same people have your ox in sight.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 3:44:05 PM , Rating: 2
BTW the real issue with gas consumption and why the government wants us to lower it, is really based on reliance on foreign nations to supply us. We've become so reliant on other nations. The thought of the power that has over us, scares our government more than you can imagine.


RE: Good!
By littlebitstrouds on 12/19/2007 10:18:16 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you idiots always vote down a positive post (beit uniformed sometimes) and never vote down someone who's an ass but has some cynical point of view. I say vote down neither but for god's sake stop voting people down just because they posted something against your point of view.

*Back to the story*
This is a great step, however the consumer has already "forced" this to happen already. Well not completely but through buying more foreign recently, it's finally forced the some of the American car makers to offer more in that direction. None-the-less a step in the right direction.


Here's a novel idea
By etekberg on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Here's a novel idea
By BladeVenom on 12/19/2007 9:19:13 AM , Rating: 5
Ok then, do whatever you want as long as you keep all the pollution from leaving your personal property.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By mdogs444 on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Here's a novel idea
By Murst on 12/19/2007 10:12:11 AM , Rating: 3
That is really two separate issues.

Although I completely agree that the government should have no say in what we can or can't drive, pollution from vehicles is most certainly an issue.

The exhaust from cars can turn a freshly renovated building into a mess in a matter of years (although you can't really see that here in the US cause spaces are wide, go to Europe sometime and see their cities - there's a reason why buildings are cleaned there so often).

Personally, I would much prefer that there be a "tax" on more inefficient/polluting cars. So, for example, people will still be able to buy their 8 MPG diablo, but if you want to drive that inside city limits, you need to purchase a pass for 100$ per month. If you have a prius, the price of the pass goes down to, say, 10$ per month. If you have a fully electric car, you don't need a pass.

This would both raise the cost of ownership of inefficient/polluting cars, and it would promote activities that reduce driving / traffic, such as carpooling, etc.

Having a decent public transportation system would also be a plus. I realize that most cities in the US are far larger than european cities (in terms of area), but our economy is far larger also. There's really no reason why we can't have a public transportation system that compares to those in Europe or Japan. My current commute to work takes about 30 minutes. If my city had decent public transportation, it should be possible to get to work in about 40 minutes (with an underground system, and something close to a direct route, it could probably actually go down to like 15 minutes). However, it doesn't, and it would take me probably 20 minutes to walk to the nearest bus stop, and then the routes are horrible and the ride to work would probably take another 90 minutes. That's just unacceptable. My house is inside city limits... its not even in the suburbs.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By FITCamaro on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Here's a novel idea
By Murst on 12/19/2007 11:39:14 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
The difference between us and them is that they built the system with the city. It's a lot harder to add one in later.

Most large european cities have been around since before Columbus sailed across the ocean. I'm pretty sure trains and busses weren't around back then.

That argument doesn't really work.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By MightyAA on 12/19/2007 12:37:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it is. Back then, the government did what the government (and big business) wanted to do.. including using force to kick you out of your building so they could lay the tracks. Now and these days, you'd have an uprising and massive litigation. I've seen it happen here in Denver when they started putting in a light rail system. Some folks wouldn't sell, so they had to utilize urban renewal clauses and fight it out through the courts before they could start... The nimbies came out in force and fought it; including several environmentalist. It can be done, but there is a lot more to it than just building it. Lets also not forget having to pass a tax hike to pay for it because folks don't like to see government handouts for businesses interested in paying for it (so they can make money), so it's a major sale job to the general public and seldom popular. It also creates a larger government body just to run the system.. We have it now though, and it's very successful, so everyone now wants it in their neighborhood. But laying that first line was not as easily accomplished as passing some piece of legislation that forces someone else to do the dirty work; That's really my issue with the bill... our government passed the buck onto the industry and consumer to fix the problem instead of trying to help solve it.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Murst on 12/19/2007 1:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
The public transportation system in Europe is always evolving. As new neighborhoods are built, new routes need to be added. Sure, most of the time it is not very easy for the government to get access to the land, and some people do have to make sacrifices (for which they're compensated rather well). However, the end result is a city that is easier to live in for most.

If we had a decent public transportation system here in the US (the issue always gets voted down in my city cause they don't want people from the poorer neighboorhoods to have access to the wealthier ones very easily), it would greatly help with the problems of gasoline demand and road congestion.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By MightyAA on 12/19/2007 7:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
In Denver, once the first line was built, they quickly exceeded capacity and had to add more trains. Economies along the line bloomed and massive redevelopment occurred. Now everyone wants it, so getting through the redtape it is easier than ever before.

European cities in a lot of ways have it easier. Their populations know how effective these systems are and I don't think the car is as important in their culture. Unfortunately in the US, we grew up quite differently. One of the first signs of being considered grown up and "free" is getting your license and a car... It's extremely rare to not have a teenager go all giddy as they near their 16th birthday (at least in the midwest and west coast). I've seen dull old men suddendly become annimated and excited talking about their car and past rides... and it's not just men anymore. Seldom is anyone excited about mass transit.. but I'm seeing more of it now that we can take "the train" to the ballgame; it's a lot more fun than the traffic.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By sinful on 12/19/2007 8:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, those large European cities have been around a long time.

And then a couple of World Wars took place.

And huge parts of Europe got bombed. And bombed again. And then some more, just for good measure.

And then rebuilt.

In the 1940's.

So, many cities in Europe might be old, but large amounts of Europe is less than 70 years old.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Murst on 12/19/2007 9:51:47 PM , Rating: 2
What you're saying is only partially true. I know of only one city that was completely destroyed during WW2 (Warsaw). Although large sections of other cities were also heavily damaged, the layout of the "old" sections of those towns is still very similar to what existed before the war.

Furthermore, even if an entire section of the city had to be rebuilt, attempts were always made to rebuild what was destroyed, not to replace it (at least in western Europe).

However, this all is rather insignificant, since the large cities in Europe already had been developing public transportation before the wars took place. There were horse-powered trains in cities since the 19th century.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By amanojaku on 12/19/2007 11:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
You have some good points there, although European cities were built long before mass transit existed. Unless you're counting Roman roads as mass transit. ;-)

What differentiates Europe and Asia from the US is size. It's more difficult to put mass transit in Texas or North Dakota when compared to NYC, San Francisco, or even Atlanta due to the spread out nature of cities and towns.

It's also true that adding mass transit is a burden to an existing city or town. This country is famous for lobbyists blocking things that would be a benefit in the long run because they feel it would be an immediate pain.

Another issue is mentality. The American public loves cars. And no matter how much money it costs to fill up or how much pollution a car makes more and more people are insisting on buying big, heavy vehicles. We want freedom. We want power. So we buy SUVs!


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Machinegear on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Here's a novel idea
By Samus on 12/20/2007 4:41:33 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe the fed should just stop buying all these business owners their hummers with $50,000+ tax credits.

As a small business owner and compliance to qualify for these tax credits, I am upset with the restrictions such as sports cars such as a Mustang GT being VOID. So it's no wonder everyone buys the huge SUV's instead, there isn't much else avalible above the full $50,000 over 5 year deduction credit that is still fuel efficient.

Mustang GT gets 18-20MPG, most SUV's get 12-15MPG.

So basically I'm stuck lookin at a Volvo C30 (about $33,000 spec'd out) and a Audi A6 Wagon (about $52,000 spec'd out)

Both get 20MPG, but aren't as fun or practical as the Mustang. For example, the Mustang is RWD, not front or AWD, both of which are maintenance whores with constant service to bushings, axle shafts, boots, seals, ball joints, tie rods, etc...all the common components that wear out when the front wheels are powered. The Mustang is the only vehicle that can hold a 2x4x8' board with its hatchback tail. It's 0-60 and 60-0 are better, making it safer. It's American made. And most importantly, its less expensive than both by thousands to buy, insure, and maintain.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Spivonious on 12/19/07, Rating: 0
RE: Here's a novel idea
By mdogs444 on 12/19/07, Rating: -1
RE: Here's a novel idea
By Spivonious on 12/19/2007 10:26:34 AM , Rating: 2
I'll agree that some of his ideas are a bit wacky, but his underlying thought process is "get the federal government out of people's lives." This is my main political belief, so he's getting my vote in the primary.

I think many of the media polls are misleading, since a lot of them don't even list Paul as a choice! He routinely wins in straw polls, so I wouldn't count him out just yet.

Don't worry, there's no way I'd vote for Hilary or Barack. They're way too big government for me. The problem is that it seems like many of the Republican candidates are too. The next best from Paul, IMO, is Romney. Huckabee is a "bring God into government" person. Guiliani is a snake who comes across as someone who will say whatever gets him ahead. Thompson doesn't seem to have an idea of what he'd do. Everyone else doesn't have a chance.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By MrBungle on 12/19/07, Rating: 0
RE: Here's a novel idea
By KraftyOne on 12/20/2007 11:16:09 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a Romney fan at all, but I do wonder if you've actually read the book or are just basing it off the movie...it is over 1000 pages after all...

I thought the book was pretty good. My issue with that being his "favorite book" though is that it doesn't say much for his choice in intellectual pursuits. I think its a great question to ask politicians though - it really says a lot about them. That would have been a good YouTube debate question.

To the previous poster who said Ron Paul is "overboard"... in what way? I've found that people who often say statements like that simply don't understand the rule of law in this country, but I'd like to hear your viewpoints...


RE: Here's a novel idea
By MrBungle on 12/21/2007 2:01:13 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't read the book or seen the movie, nor do I intend to. I don't have to read 1000+ pages to understand that it's not worth my time.

The book was a lure to bring new people into the Church of Scientology cult:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_Earth_%28...

Why would I want any part of that?

Regardless, my original (and apparently unpopular) point was in line with yours. I don't care about the fact that "Battlefield Earth," specifically, is his favorite novel as much as the fact that a politician who may soon lead our country can't find a better book to spend his time with than that! Favorite novel?!?

Who are these guys? How are they running our country?

On a brighter note, Maybe Romney will finally open up dialog with Iran or North Korea, though... and unite us against humanity's true common enemy: the Psychlos!


RE: Here's a novel idea
By DirthNader on 12/19/2007 10:23:09 AM , Rating: 5
People want more fuel-efficient vehicles, but they don't want to pay for them in terms of cost or loss of utility.

If all of these surveys about the public "demanding" better fuel efficiency were framed in the proper context, the results would be a little less overwhelming. Typically, they simply ask "do you want better gas mileage from your next car" - all things being equal, who wouldn't?

Sure, a soccer mom would love for her Honda Odyssey to magically pick up 10mpg, but would she be willing to pay more at the dealer and/or sacrifice some of the space and mass of the vehicle (and thus safety) to get it? Would Joe Sixpack take a higher MSRP and/or less towing capacity for 10mpg from his Toyota Tundra?

I worked in the auto industry for close to a decade (GM, after turning down offers from Toyota and Honda). Even in engineering you get some exposure to marketing. The first thing you learn is that people will say they want one thing in a car, and then buy something completely different. People say they want more fuel efficient transportation, but when they vote with their wallets the OEMs see stagnant small car sales and increased year-over-year SUV sales.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Spivonious on 12/19/2007 10:30:31 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, but what does this have to do with government mandates? The government is not saying that cars must cost the same, just that the average gas mileage should improve.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By DirthNader on 12/19/2007 10:38:35 AM , Rating: 4
My point is that any mandate government has from the people to press for more fuel efficient vehicles is essentially bunk. We're being asked if we want something for nothing and we're answering "yes" when the reality of the situation is a bit more complicated.

There is no mandate. The people are voting with their wallets and they're still purchasing on the concept of maximum utility (buying that giant SUV "just in case" they ever need to tow something or go off-road).


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 12:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
(buying that giant SUV "just in case" they ever need to tow something or go off-road).
People don't buy SUV's in case they go off road or for towing. People buy them for the storage, space and perceived safety. Go ask the people that buy them they don't bite.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By DirthNader on 12/19/2007 12:46:07 PM , Rating: 3
The off road bit is just one example of many.

Perhaps the "maximum utility" part is industry jargon. All it means is that people buy vehicles based on the maximum perceived usage they think they'll get out of it.

A soccer mom may never load the entire soccer team into her Caravan, but she rests easy knowing that she could if she had to. An average guy may not own a huge boat, but he likes that his truck could tow it if he had one. A yuppie may never leave the suburbs, but all of those Jeep ads make them feel good about the "trail-rated" abilities of their purchase.

All the while they're commuting 95% of the time using 5% of the vehicle's capability.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 1:10:44 PM , Rating: 3
> "All the while they're commuting 95% of the time using 5% of the vehicle's capability. "

I'm always amused by the number of people riding to work solo in a five passenger vehicle, sneering at those riding solo in 7 passenger vehicles. People tend to define "wasteful" as "anyone worse than I am".

It's even more amusing when many of those sneering are driving longer distances, and therefore using more gasoline overall. Is burning 25 gallons a week in a Camry somehow better than burning 20 gallons/week in a Highlander?


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Spuke on 12/19/2007 1:30:33 PM , Rating: 3
It's all about judging a book by its cover not by its contents. People, generally, don't see past their own noses. Look at all the clowns here. How many spout BS numbers and make assumptions without at least making an attempt to back them. Hell, even if I'm wrong I'll at least TRY to back up what I say not just assume I'm right because I say so.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By DirthNader on 12/19/2007 1:41:01 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, those are my favorite types.

I mentioned in another post further below that I drive a V8 sports car to work. That's a ten mile one-way commute for me. With a six speed manual and no where to slam my foot on the gas I get around 20mpg city.

I've gotten crap from a coworker who bought a Corolla specifically because of the highway mpg. He also built a house an hour and a half away from work.

I've also got coworkers who commute in ill-maintained cars.

Who's consuming more again?

Spuke is abosolutely right. Wasteful for most people is "anything more than I consume".


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Regs on 12/19/2007 10:54:56 AM , Rating: 1
I agree. Gov't shouldn't have to pass legislation. I have all ready notice some great advances in today's car. My Mazda V6 gets 20MPG and it has extremely low emissions. Honda V6's get around 24MPG.

We also need to pass a law that standardizes how manufacturers calculate fuel economy of cars because they're not always the same.

My one main concern however is how much of a burden this will put on the average customer or how it will effect their buying power. Certainly there are cheap alternatives now for high mileage cars. If you only need 120 horse power, and drive only yourself to work each day, you can pick up a Toyota carlloa for about 15-18k. However, what about our selection come year 2020? Will a car that normally sells for 25k be sold for 30k because of the extra manufacturing costs for emission and gas econmy controls? It makes cost savings on gas kind of a moot point.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By wookie1 on 12/19/2007 11:50:21 AM , Rating: 3
Manufacturers don't create the MPG estimates, the EPA does. It is standardized, it just doesn't necessarily match people's actual driving habits and traffic patterns.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By P4blo on 12/19/2007 12:43:59 PM , Rating: 2
I dont agree at all. There's absolutely no evidence to suggest that Americans or any other people will rush out and buy smaller, more fuel efficient cars just because they're on the market. Size / power is king and always will be while fuel is cheap. Why bother with a little buzz-box? Now if your oil hugging government would tax fuel accordingly - guess what happens.... people start to want cars that are cheaper to run! Magic eh.... Doesn't have to be a huge tax either. And guess it will help reduce oil revenues slightly and you can stick that money into developing newer, cleaner fuels - genius! Phase the tax in with small stages naturally.

People will *never* be the standard bearer for change of this nature. If it aint bigger or better, people dont care. I'm sorry but we're too selfish, to pretend the consumer can cure all is total bunk. I know people who cant even put rubbish in a bin. You think they give a hoot for global temperatures? Not until the local river starts lapping at their front door my friend :)


RE: Here's a novel idea
By masher2 (blog) on 12/19/2007 12:54:30 PM , Rating: 4
> "There's absolutely no evidence to suggest that Americans or any other people will rush out and buy smaller, more fuel efficient cars just because they're on the market."

Particularly when those smaller, more efficient vehicles are *already* on the market and not selling well. All the major automakers currently have models for sale that well exceed even these new, higher standards. By and large, people ignore them in favor of the larger, more powerful models.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By mdogs444 on 12/19/2007 12:56:49 PM , Rating: 1
Of course they do. I purchased a new Honda Accord coupe (07). I had my choice of 4cyl engine and 6cyl engine. Why would I choose a 170hp 4cyl when i can have a 244hp v-6? I prefer the power & speed over fuel economy. Of course at 21/29 its no slouch, but the way I drive it, i get maybe 16 or 17mpg. And I could care less if gas was only $2 or $4, $5.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By Lord 666 on 12/19/2007 11:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
Fall on hard times? What happened to the Audi and BMW and them designer jeans? Figured you would get a MB C350 or maybe the G37.


RE: Here's a novel idea
By mdogs444 on 12/20/2007 6:35:05 AM , Rating: 2
Nope, the Audi was on a lease. My old company used to give auto credit because i traveled alot. New company does not. I explained in these forums many times how many problems the Audi had - fuel injectors blew at 40k, window motors went, etc. Still have the BMW though since its paid off.

I dont like Mercedes at all, and after the Audi I will not be buying any German cars. The G37 is ok, but the Honda was actually cheap since I got an 07 when the 08's came out. So I got it for about 7k under sticker.

But no, not hard times at all. In fact, saving up to buy a large 4-5bdrm house and get out of downtown living.