Not worried a bout electric transportation myself. Battery technology to equal the performance size and weight of a simple tank full of gas is centuries away if ever attainable. The electrical grid can't handle every one charging up every day. The cost to upgrade it to that level would be prohibitive. The total cost (when infrastructure upgrades included) and pollution to travel one mile burning electrons is greater than using Dino fuels unless the electricity is nuclear generated.Today we have diesel pick up trucks and cars that drive like or out perform gassers. Diesel is "here", now. Look at the performance specs of this production bike. http://www.dieselmotorcycles.com/models.htmUnless you're in a third world country, the electric grid certainly can handle charging everyone at once. Most home systems, and grid systems within cities, are overbuilt. Charging a vehicle doesn't use much more power than an extra refridgerator or two - those use TONS of electricity."Centuries" away? Pfff. More like decades, at most. Electric vehicles have been around for more than a century; all they needed to get off the ground was a push from somewhere, and the peak oil dilemma combined with international conflict certainly has given that push. Advances have been made in less than the past year that make me excited for the future. Combine that with the recent discovery of the super-efficient solar polymer, and you have yourself a new energy system.Diesel is great, but diesel, hydrogen, or hybrids are only a stopgap for full-on solar and wind systems.
Ice sounds like most skeptics... "centuries away"... people thought air vehicles were impossible and nuclear fission a scientist's imagination.Current grids can handle electric vehicle charging easily - it happens at night typically, when grid demands are low. I would say we are twenty years away. Perhaps because they say we are only twenty years away from nuclear fusion, for that matter.
Smart cars are alright but do not meet the transportation needs of the majority. Buying one would be a waste of money for many. Take my Jeep Cherokee for example. It gets 20 MPG combined average with four people aboard. To separately move the same people the same distance for the same fuel each would need to achieve 80 MPG individually. With my Diesel Rabbit its more like 200 miles per gallon per individual. For us to use two smart cars or electrics we would use up twice as many tires and we would spend twice as much on insurance and other taxes. Never mind the initial purchase price difference.
What impresses me most is how fast these changes are occurring.
This is why I'm not worried about alternative energy. When the need presents itself (read: when gas gets expensive and stays expensive), creativity will kick in.Mike
You would think someone in Detroit might get their head outta their...Now would that "someone" be OBAMA who seems to be doing the hiring and firing or the Taxpayers in general?
Geoff, Geoff, Geoff,I always thought conservatives believed the 55 mph limit to be an unconscionable infringement on their Constitutional right to go very very fast...By the very definition of conservative they would be the ones wanting to go slower.
just noticed this one Kevin... If that definition was true, then conservatives would be conservationists as well, and we KNOW that ain't true...Being a conservative, in my observation, has never been about conserving ANYTHING (let alone speed)... it's about blowing your resources just as fast as you can and calling it the 'free market' at work...
QuoteThis is why I'm not worried about alternative energy. When the need presents itself (read: when gas gets expensive and stays expensive), creativity will kick in.So here's a truly shocking thought... let's get a head start.A national tax of $5 per gallon. Proceeds either fund alternative vehicles or pay off the deficit, you choose.
This is why I'm not worried about alternative energy. When the need presents itself (read: when gas gets expensive and stays expensive), creativity will kick in.
You left out one very important aspect to the free market system.Domestic oil exploration and production.That would solve allot.
Unless of course you want to subsidize domestic exploration through artificially cheap leases or tax cuts... but no, that's NOT market forces, dude... that's that pesky evil old gummint interventionism...CAN'T HAVE THAT, now can we??
Let me see if I got this right... you want 'market forces' to solve this problem.
We've had the same problem for ninety years and market forces haven't solved it yet; here's why...So long as gas is extractable, the people owning the land (OPEC) will charge as much as they can get away with to maximize profits - and cut production to artificially induce higher prices, whenever prices are low.
When gas gets too high and demand cuts back (people start buying efficient cars) OPEC immediately raises production, drops prices, and floods the market. People go back to inefficient cars, because they cost less.
That's market forces for you and it will stay this way until gas runs out. Period.
We're talking about doing something that is in our nation's interest - not OPEC's (or Alaska's for that matter). This CANNOT be done purely by bowing to the gods of 'market forces'
So the government plays a role in setting an agenda and a goal, based on public demand as expressed in majority votes (electing a President committed to energy independence, not just one who talks about it) and figures out how best to achieve that goal.
As the goal is energy independence, one certain way is to artificially raise prices and use the revenues to fund either alternative vehicles or alternative fuels or an expanded electric grid, whatever.
Nothing complex about it.But if you wait for market forces to fix this, you'll be waiting forever.
Just like if you wait for market forces to fix pollution - market forces don't care about pollution, people do.
Market forces don't care about anything except producing goods at the lowest price. So market forces would (and did) prefer slavery, as a system... except that we, as individuals, don't like that idea so we vote for a system that keeps market forces in check in certain areas.Sometimes I really wonder why I have to keep explaining capitalism to conservative capitalists? There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what 'market forces' are and how they work. I've had conservatives seriously tell me that market forces will solve pollution through the 'cap and trade' market (because they don't understand that the cap and trade market is a fiction, merely a way of government controlling pollution by creating a system that sort of looks like a market but is simply regulation at work.)
I've had capitalists explain to me that they think the Chinese entrepreneur shouldn't be penalized by any tariff system and free market forces should be left to manage our trade with China.... - as if the Chinese entrepreneur isn't subsizided by a centralized Communist government, as if his workers aren't barred from any collective bargaining activity (because they don't need it living as they do in a worker's paradise); as if the Chinese entrepreneur doesn't contract out work to Chinese prison industries where Tianamen Square activists are still serving their twenty year sentences for asking for freedom... We aren't dealing with 'free market' forces in our China trade; we're dealing with a central Communist government manipulating its population with the goal of simply conquering our markets through government control ... which our capitalists like because it means cheap goods, that's all.
Now you're saying that capitalism will solve a problem where Arab oil producers can always artificially control the price of oil (and have controlled, since the formation of OPEC)... and how precisely can we do that? Short of invading?
We can't. All we can do is decide that as a nation, we don't have to play their game.The solutions are obvious, and simple.
OPEC is, for the most part, a group of dictators running a cartel which is different from the drug cartel only in that it's legal and can cross any border. When they need more gold toilets in their palaces, they jack up the price. They are the largest funders of terrorists worldwide, who have killed thousands of Americans already.
Your solution to the problem? Let 'em keep doing it, it's "market forces" at work.Remind me not to vote for you!
And bailouts will be paid through ... deficit borrowingAnd deficit borrowing will be paid through... taxes.There really is no rabbit hole, and no magic act. We're just fooling ourselves.The Democratic party is the party of taxes.The Republican party, because it supports deficit financing without bothering to arrange to get the income to pay for such financing, is now officially the party of deferred taxes, which means it is the party of higher taxes, because, after all, deferred taxes equal taxes plus interest. Lots of it.Eventually, most everyone will figure this out.
Now here's a thought.How about we just tax foreign oil?By artifically raising the price of foreign oil, we allow domestic oil value to rise without such taxes... which means exploration and profits for domestic oil producers.
And we cut our dependence on the Saudis.And we use the revenue to give Billy-Jo and Bubba a "cash-for-clunker" low interest loan so they can trade in their Power Wagon for a Jetta TDI and because they're getting four times the mpg - even at $7 a gallon - it ends up costing them no more than it did before.
Of course, Detroit could profit from it, if they only made efficient cars... duh...
No, let's stick with market forces which are making the Saudis the richest people on earth and funding terrorism worldwide. Much better.
We can produce more than enough oil from under the good oll' USA.That we can't is just more of the same old propaganda.
Nah, he's just a guy who's better than the moron you voted for that put is into the abyss in the first place, that's all.Woops, my apologies. I forgot that apparently, not a single conservative ever actually voted for Bush (at least, we cant find anyone willing to admit it these days). Talk about a Messiah, a man who won an election with nobody voting for him! Now THAT is a miracle...
A man with no executive branch experience. Never even a small town mayor.May have committed treason as a senator with middle east visits before the "election". Citizenship has never been been satisfactorily proven to the public. 1.5 MILLION dollars in lawyers fees spent blocking investigations. Miracle is not the word I would choose.
There is no possible controversy regarding Obama's citizenship that I cn see since his mother is a born and raised U.S. citizen. I have two children who have a foreign mother and me, a U.S. citizen from birth and they are citizens, pure and simple. We did have to obtain a 'certificate of foreign birth' for one of them as she was born here in Tonga.Obama doesn't have a free hand to straighten up the past mess since he has of necessity become part of the system. Even McCain said recently that he is making the proper moves - meaning, I guess, proper under these dire circumstances. There are racists who will never accept him, no matter what, and there is a large conservative base led by people like Rush Linbaugh who are like sheep being led to believe what these TV personalities tell them to. Racism in America runs very deep, BTW, and won't be solved by electing one black president. It isn't cool to express racist tendencies, so not much is there on the surface, but underneath it runs very deep. So combine the right wing propaganda with a basic racism and you are going to get some very stupid criticism of Obama. I'm personally proud of the way he handles himself, though I would hope for economic changes in the future, particularly in the area of diversification of American manufacture, and getting back our status as a manufacturing nation which makes quality products. We do need to get away fro bottom line economics to quality driven economics.
Certainly, I did not refer to anyone here as 'racist' but only wished to point out that some, at least, of the constant barrage of criticism that Obama is exposed to has a racist base, or is contributed to by racism. Over the years, even in my long tenure in universities, I have often been appalled at the racism expressed by colleagues. Like I said, it runs deep. It crept out a few times during the election campaign, but most treated it like the hot potato it is. McCain refused to be a part of it, Rush Linbaugh was right in there making racist waves.There is only one way to lose your U.S. citizenship if you are one naturally born, and that is to renounce it. Thus, Obama could have been given foreign citizenship at the request of his parent or step parent, and that would not remove his U.S. citizenship. I have been told by U.S. consulate members that if I want to hold dual citizenship, just don't make an issue of it to U.S. authorities, but even then they simply might not accept the foreign citizenship as valid, but the U.S. one certainly remains valid - so all this rubbish is smoke and mirrors.My verifiable facts come direct from a horse's mouth, the U.S. Ambassador serving Tonga.The fact that Obama had an American mother gives him American citizenship regardless of what other citizen ships might have been conferred. You can google all sorts of opinion and rubbish these days, and you can even pass it on in the guise of truth, but the law is the law.There is a new generation coming which is far more free in its thoughts than the older ones, but the older ones hold most of the power, and racism plays a part.I can't imagine anything that his lawyers would want to hide, except maybe they wish to keep some modicum of personal privacy for their client.
A "free-thinking" or "truthseeking" person should, IMHO, be more objective in their thoughts. Spoken and written words such as: "the moron who used to be President" or other snide and sarcastic comments like: "BO astinks s President" are indicators of less than free-thinking.Having passion for one's opinions is great as long as flames don't continually burn the threads. Only spouting your side and not acknowledging another doesn't really solve anything. Although it does indicate that we aren't riding motorcycles as much as we should be.
"Where is the openness and accountabillity that a free society demands of its own and is entitled to ?"Ice, this one stuns me. We've just left behind an Administration which Nixon era appointees (a very secretive Administration) ALL agree is the most secretive administration in the history of the United States... and you are now demanding openness and accountability from one that is far more open and accountable? After a prolonged silence from the right from 2000-2008 on this issue? That's remarkable.Very strange. Your protestations sir, are both too late and directed at the wrong Administration. And, I suspect, entirely disingenuous.Once we've gone back and cleared up all the dirty little secrets of the past Administration ... well, then I welcome you to renew your call for openness and accountability - something I very much doubt you demanded during the Bush years...
Bleating about Bush ,Clinton,Carter,Nixon etc. takes the focus off the present. I believe our energies should be primarily focused on fixing the mess we are in now. We are in deep and sinking fast. Fixing the dire situation that is now is the best use of those energies.Not apologizing for, or covering up for, any administration past or present.
Well, my take on it is that Obama already announced a while back that he has no intention of looking into any of the Bush administration "funny-business". So, that's pretty interesting unto itself.And it tells me that this is simply "business as usual", and that more abuses will follow under this administration, who will then expect the next Prez to ignore their "funny-business".I think the common vernacular term would be "institutionalized corruption".And that is the trend which needs to be broken.And if it has to be broken under this administration, some will cry and some will rejoice. But, it needs to be stopped, right now.
And out of pure curiosity, exactly how will spenidng millions trying to ferret out anything about Obama's birth certificiate (reminds me of the endless search for ANY dirt on Clinton, over many years and 50 million dollars, which netted nothing while the terrorists were plotting...)...exactly how will that solve our grave and real present problems?Perhaps we should stick with issues such as how best to regulate banking, how to get the auto industry back up and profitable, and how to end this bloody war...Just a thought...
Bush Administration: 9/11 - 3,000+ US civilians dead and blamed on intelligence failures.
We'll just keep our loud, smelly RE's just for the fun of it...
Interesting comments by Rake and Goeff about laser and magnetic propulsion ideas, but the problem I see is in the shear size of anything needing to be done. During the Great Depression, it was Hoover Dam and a huge undertaking that was, and one that couldn't have been achieved without government. Ideas on mass and individual transport are the same way if anything radical is to be achieved and that means several things. Number one would be a system so well worked out that it could be instituted without a lot of changes going forward, and even allowing for some change in the initial design.I tend to prefer working alone, which means I know I'm limited in what I can achieve (though I sometimes surprise myself with just how much one person can achieve), but at the same time I admire those with management skills and those who like to work in teams. Initially it will be experimental pilot schemes on a small scale, but finally it will take commitment on a rather large scale. Already states are lining up behind very fast trains for travel, and for this the technology is well advanced and in use in Japan and other places, but the more advanced ideas are going to take time and work to develop.
Perhaps even something like the "teleporter" from Star Trek might even be possible at some point, and eliminate transportation needs for anything except pleasure driving.